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A local group is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a little known but important gathering of gay activists in Kansas City.

The Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America at UMKC wants to memorialize the first meeting of the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations, or NACHO. The group gathered at Kansas City's State Hotel in February 1966, three years before the Stonewall Riots in New York City. 

Liz / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas has an unusually high number of teacher vacancies this year.

Some 317 teacher vacancies were reported across the state last month, according to a Kansas State Department of Education report.

Officials said that’s at least 100 more than normal for this time of year.

Special education teachers are needed most, according to the report. There are 46 openings around the state, with many in southwest Kansas where teachers with special language skills are needed for a large population of Spanish speakers, which are always difficult to fill.

One of the three companies that administer KanCare co-hosted a fundraiser Wednesday for Republican members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, opening a new chapter in the state’s move to privatized Medicaid.

The three managed care organizations the state contracted with in 2012 receive nearly all their revenue in Kansas from state and federal tax dollars.

One of the companies, Amerigroup, on Wednesday used some of that revenue to bolster the re-election campaigns of Republicans who control a committee charged with overseeing its performance.

American Royal

His barbecue sauce brought a taste of Kansas City into kitchens across the world.

Rich Davis of Kansas City Masterpiece fame died Tuesday. He was 89.

Davis was a child psychiatrist and avid home cook whose family and friends urged him to market his unique sauce.

“And of course, we all know how that turned out. This sauce is the most famous barbecue sauce in the world,” says Joe’s Kansas City marketing manager Doug Worgul.

Worgul wrote about Davis in his book, “The Grand Barbecue,” a history of Kansas City’s famous meal.

Kenneth Hagemeyer / Flickr-CC

As the Beatles posited in their pithy ditty, “Revolution”: “You say you want a revolution/Well, you know, we all want to change the world.”

Despite such lyrical caginess, John, Paul, George and Ringo couldn’t help but shake things up for all the world to see. That’s what revolutionaries do.

This weekend, the malleable ’60s mop-tops and other ground-breakers will be given their revolutionary due. Take to the streets! No, you can’t bring a torch. Nice try, though.

1. The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute


With Kansas City revved on Royals post-season play, a city council committee laid the groundwork for phase two of the development of the planned Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Parade Park near 18th and Vine.

Mayor Sly James announced the $14 million baseball project in late September, explaining that funding for phase one was in place. The Royals and, Major League Baseball had committed $2 million and the MLB Players Association another $1 million. The state of Missouri and the city were to combine resources to match those contributions.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri commission reviewing law enforcement training standards stopped in Kansas City Wednesday, the fifth public meeting in a six-stop statewide tour.

Department of Public Safety Director Lane Roberts told the crowd of mostly police officers and sheriff’s deputies he knows there’s concern within departments that the new rules will become unfunded mandates.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Draped in fashion of Royal blue, caps bobbing up and down in a sea of fans, they lined up Grand Avenue and wrapped around 13th Street to squeeze into the noon rally at The Power & Light District Wednesday.

There was Royals swag and spirit, and the chance to get nostalgic with veterans of the 1985 Championship Royals team.

Outfielder and speedster Willie Wilson, five-time All Star second baseman Frank White, and starter Dennis Leanord were among those who shared stories about their careers and cheered on the 2015 team.

Children's Mercy Hospital

Children’s Mercy Hospital on Wednesday marked the 500th delivery in its high-risk birth center, which raised some eyebrows when it opened four years ago.

Warren Emil was born to Mariah and Tom Schumacher of Knob Noster, Missouri, on the afternoon of Sept. 28.

Early in the pregnancy, doctors discovered that Warren had gastroschisis, a condition in which the intestines stick outside the body.

The Schumachers opted to have Warren delivered at Children’s Mercy so he could quickly have surgery to place the intestines back inside.

Kansas City comedian Brian Huther is only half surprised that the flag-dressed front-porch beer-drinking character he created has grown exponentially more famous over the last four days as the "Your Drunk Neighbor: Donald Trump" video went viral.

Esther Honig / KCUR


Standing on the corner of Armour Boulevard and Troost Avenue in Kansas City, 21 year-old Troy Robertson holds a sign that says: “My life Matters. Honk if your life matters.”

Harpers470 / Flickr--CC

Twenty years ago, a sports team captured the heart of Kansas City. This squad blazed through the regular season, earning the league's best record. As a result, it claimed home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Its postseason games would be played in front of enthusiastic, boisterous fans hungry for a title. 

Sound familiar? As Royals fans gear up for Thursday's postseason opener at Kauffman Stadium, some can't help but recall other times in the not-so-distant past when a Kansas City sporting franchise has not necessarily taken advantage of home-field advantage. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Engineering firm Burns & McDonnell has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly drones for commercial use.

The Kansas City-based company celebrated the new certification with a test flight Wednesday over the new campus being built in south Kansas City.

Steve Santovasi says using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to complete inspections presents a significant time savings over having to obtain permits to bring in heavy equipment.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

At an unusual early morning meeting Wednesday, the Shawnee Mission School District board decided to allow a tax increment financing (TIF) project to move forward.

The school board could have vetoed the plan to redevelop the old Meadowbrook County Club at 91st Street and Nall Avenue in Prairie Village. Most of the 133-acre property, about two-thirds, would be turned into a park operated by Johnson County. The rest would be redeveloped into single family homes, a senior living center and a small hotel.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

Say you're a Midwestern farmer in a hospital bed, recovering from surgery or a major illness. It's time for the nurse's check-in, but there's no knock on the door.

At Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, a camera attached to the wall over the foot of the bed whirls around, as a video monitor next to the camera lights up to show a smiling face with a headset on.

"Good afternoon, this is Jeff with SafeWatch," the smiling face says. "Just doing my afternoon rounds."

Mercy Hospital Independence

Note: This story was updated at 12:37 p.m. to include a link to the Republican talking points memo.

The Medicaid expansion debate in Kansas is heating up.

Big time.

The pending closure of Mercy Hospital in the southeast Kansas community of Independence appears to be the catalyst.

After eliminating the New York Yankees in a Tuesday night wild card game, the Houston Astros travel to Kansas City to face the Royals on Thursday night.

The Astros blanked the Yankees, 3-0, so Houston tasted some champagne before leaving New York. And they’re coming for the entrée in Kansas City. That’s how veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes describes it.

“This is a whole different game,” said Gomes. “You think you go to a restaurant or other places, the appetizer is are normally the fastest part of the meal. Here, the appetizer is 162 games. The entrée is pretty quick.”

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

One of the most important tools of modern medicine is in jeopardy. In the 20th century, antibiotics turned once-lethal infections into manageable diseases. They also contributed to the transformation of meat production in America.

Kansas officials announced Tuesday they will delay for six months a plan to consolidate Medicaid support services for Kansans with various disabilities.

The leaders of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said they want to use the time to gather more information from people who would be affected by the changes.

“After discussions with consumers, providers and other stakeholders, we have decided to take additional time to incorporate stakeholder feedback,” KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett said in a statement.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The Kansas State Department of Education is moving full speed ahead towards its goal of perhaps drastically changing what is taught in public schools.

The department's top two officials brought their case to Johnson County educators and a few lawmakers Tuesday at the Olathe School District headquarters.

"Can we reinvent ourselves and hold on to what we have always done," asked Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson who took over KSDE in July.

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

One of the top Republicans in the Kansas Senate says it’s time to fix the causes of the state’s ongoing budget problems.

During an appearance on the KCUR podcast Statehouse Blend, Sen. Jim Denning, an Overland Park Republican and vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said recurring budget shortfalls have convinced him that the income tax cuts the Legislature passed in 2012 aren’t working.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A Kansas woman is suing a San Diego-based produce distributor after she was hospitalized with Salmonella poisoning linked to tainted cucumbers.

Monica Rios of Sedgwick County said she bought a Fat Boy brand cucumber in August at a Wal-Mart store, washed it thoroughly and ate it in a salad. Within a couple of days, she was hospitalized with abdominal cramping and pain.

Selena Jabara / University of Kansas Medical Center

They wobbled across carpet, braved cracked sidewalks and even scaled a flight of stairs in high heels for the American Medical Women’s Association’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event.

Twenty-six University of Kansas Medical Center students and faculty, all male, strapped on heels and marched a mile around the campus Tuesday, marking the fourth anniversary of Walk-A-Mile. The event raises money to benefit the Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence shelter, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Jackson and Clay counties are hoping to join a handful of Missouri municipalities that have enacted a local tax to fund services for at-risk children and youth.

The Jackson-Clay Children’s Services Fund Committee wants to persuade voters to enact a quarter-cent sales tax that the committee estimates could generate as much as $40 million in both counties combined for children up to age 19.

County election officials in Kansas are starting to cancel incomplete voter registrations that are more than 90 days old.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach put the rule in place to clear out thousands of incomplete registrations. There’s a legal challenge against the new rule, but a court last week declined to put it on hold.

Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrews Howell says it could take weeks to sort through and identify the registrations that will be canceled.

In response to the recommendations of a special sexual assault task force, the University of Kansas will now officially collaborate with an off-campus rape crisis center.

University officials say they don't know how many victims fail to report incidents of sexual violence, but they know the number is high. Victims often want anonymity, and seek services off campus to reduce their chances of running into other students, faculty or staff.

Marina Chavez

Danielle Nicole
Wolf Den (Concord Music Group)

If the blues were an amputated, gushing heart, Danielle Nicole (Schnebelen) would gladly pick it up and pin it to her sleeve for the sake of a song.

After the Schnebelen family band, Trampled Under Foot, parted ways last year, Nicole wasted no time in creating the Danielle Nicole Band. Wolf Den, her debut solo album, hemorrhages tales of pain and vulnerability from the daily trouble of finding a love that lasts.

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Drive down a dirt road, a two-lane country highway, even many Interstates in the Midwest and the view out the window is likely to get monotonous: massive fields filled with acres of corn sprawled in all directions.

Heather McMichael

When Grace Day enrolled in law school in 1948, it didn't occur to her she was doing anything unusual.

"I just thought, gosh you just enroll and you go," says Day, who is now 88. "If people were going to be resentful about women going into a professional school, it never dawned on me."

Until she got there.