News

courtesy Grand Arts

After a 20-year run in the Crossroads Arts District, this First Friday will be the last for Grand Arts. The closing reception for the exhibition "Universe of Collisions," by Vietnam-based The Propeller Group, marks the end of the non-profit arts residency venue.

Tax collections in Kansas were $30 million below estimates for the month of August. The state’s tax revenues were hurt by large tax refunds given to companies as part of economic development programs. Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan says there were bright spots in other areas of the tax numbers and the report would have looked significantly better without the large refunds.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Jeff Siegfried knows just about anything you’d ever want to find out about a 50-acre corn field in northern Colorado.

The 24-year-old easily rattles off the various gadgets he uses to measure soil moisture, plant health, air temperature.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Adding extra preparations following the disastrous bird flu outbreak this year, federal authorities have tapped Kansas State University to share its course on responding to agricultural emergencies.

K-State's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, or NABC, is helping the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide training to first responders, according to a release from K-State.

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

A national expert on the federal government’s plan for reforming its support for child care says Kansas has a lot to be concerned about.

“When you look at Kansas, you see that you’ve lost lots of children who were receiving child care assistance and that you’re paying very low rates to child care providers who serve families getting assistance,” said Helen Blank, director of child care and early learning at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. “You don’t want that, and you don’t want that to be cut any further.”

Convicted Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. is expected to present evidence all week that he says will explain his actions on April 13, 2014.

The same Johnson County jury that found Cross guilty of capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno on Monday will consider whether Cross should get the death penalty or life in prison.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

On a recent summer morning, a dozen would-be teachers gathered outside Kansas City's Juvenile Justice Center, preparing to go inside. 

"This is a lockdown facility," cautioned Uzziel Pecina, the professor leading what was a rather unusual field trip. "Are there any questions before we enter?" 

Pecina teaches what he calls a "summer community immersion" course at University of Missouri-Kansas City's Institute for Urban Education. 

Saint Luke's Health System

The families of five patients who died under mysterious circumstances in 2002 at a Chillicothe, Missouri, hospital and whose wrongful death lawsuits were blocked by the Missouri Supreme Court are trying a different legal tack.

They’re asking the high court to allow them to amend the lawsuits so they can sue the hospital and Saint Luke’s Health System, which now runs it, for fraud.

This week, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office will take comments on a plan to cancel incomplete voter registrations after 90 days. There’s a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday in Topeka.

Courtesy of Victor & Penny

Victor & Penny and their Loose Change Orchestra
"Live at the Living Room Theatre"

Many a young band could learn a thing or two about rocking from the uke, acoustic guitar, clarinet and bass combo featured on this live set.

Allison Long / POOL/Kansas City Star

Updated: 4:17 p.m.  

A Johnson County jury has found Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. guilty of all charges in the shooting deaths of three people at Overland Park Jewish sites.

Cross was charged with a single count of capital murder, three counts of first degree attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal discharge of a firearm at a building.

After hearing the first verdict, Cross said, "I think the fat lady just sang," and then yelled, "Sieg heil!"

Original story begins here:

courtesy of A to Z Theatrical Supply and Service

After five decades in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, A to Z Theatrical Supply and Service has moved to a long-vacant building in east Brookside. 

Bill Brownlee / Plastic Sax

For decades, Kansas City's jazz community has celebrated Charlie Parker's birthday with a musical tribute at his grave site in Lincoln Cemetery.  In recent years that's taken the form of a "21 Sax Salute" — only with a lot of instruments besides saxophones, and a lot more than 21.

Susie Fagan / Heartland Health Monitor

Editor's note: This story was updated on Sept. 1 to include the response of the CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

A former emergency room nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital has filed a federal “whistleblower” lawsuit alleging that the hospital falsified patient records to obtain higher Medicare and Medicaid payments.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. on behalf of Megen Duffy alleges that top hospital officials knew about the fraud, which began in 2007, and threatened to fire employees who objected.

Amy Mayer

Farmers and agriculture officials are gearing up for another round of bird flu this fall, an outbreak they fear could be worse than the devastating spring crisis that hit egg layers and turkeys in the Midwest, wiped out entire farms and sent egg prices sky-high.

The potential target of the highly pathogenic avian flu this fall could be broilers, or meat chickens, as the outbreaks have been triggered and carried by wild birds, which will be flying south in great numbers this fall through several U.S. flyways.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Mike Wilson, of Independence, Missouri, has a hectic schedule — he works long hours as a mail delivery driver, and he's married with three kids (with one more on the way).

So Wilson sneaks in time to write when he can.

"Late, really really late, or really really early," he explains. "(I write) before they're awake, or when they're asleep, when I get home."

Wilson’s work has been published in literary magazines such as The Allegheny Review and Midwestern Gothic, as well as on Tweed’s fiction blog.

Johnson County

University of Missouri-Kansas City students with a valid student ID can now ride Johnson County's bus lines for free.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority expanded the service as part of its new focus on regional transportation since former Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Joe Reardon was hired as president.

The700level.com / Flickr-CC

Fans of the NBA are mourning the death of Darryl Dawkins, the man known to many fans (and himself) as 'Chocolate Thunder.' Dawkins played 14 seasons in the NBA in the 1970s and 1980s, playing for Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit.

He died Thursday of an apparent heart attack in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was 58.

Joe Ledford / POOL/Kansas City Star

Updated, 4:25 p.m. Friday:

The trial for accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. will enter a second week.

Cross took the stand Friday to present his case, which included a long-winded rant about a Jewish plot to end the white race and a detailed retelling of what happened in the Jewish Community Center parking lot on April 13, 2014.

Julia Szabo / KCUR

Name: Kelly Ott

Number of Years In Education: 18

Role: Director of Professional Development (Blue Valley Public Schools)

 Kelly Ott is a second career teacher who came to the profession with the goal of leaving a positive footprint. After graduating from college with International Business and French degrees she worked in the fashion industry in Paris, but she knew she wanted more...

Kelly spoke with some of her colleagues about this shift. 

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

People involved in Kansas child care will meet Monday to discuss a plan for moving the state in line with new federal regulations — without the state agency that will have to implement the plan.

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of a Topeka-based nonprofit called Kansas Action for Children, said her organization is hosting the event at the request of child care workers, associations and continuing education specialists.

Courtesy / the artists

Anne Pearce made her name in Kansas City years ago, as a painter and as director of the Greenlease Art Gallery at Rockhurst University, where she also teaches art. Two years ago, during sabbatical on the other side of the world, Pearce had a profound experience — one she's now sharing with her students.

File: Kristofer Husted / Harvest Public Media

Some of the nation’s largest farm groups are cheering after a federal judge blocked implementation Thursday of new rules governing water pollution.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued a preliminary injunction delaying the rules, which had been set to take effect Friday, saying that the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its bounds. Thirteen states sued the agency, seeking to prevent implementation, and Erickson said the “states are likely to succeed in their claim.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR

In Sarah Ruhl's play The Oldest Boy, a suburban couple's life is turned on its ear when they learn their 3-year-old son may be the reincarnation of a high Buddhist lama. Playing the boy's mother in the Unicorn Theatre production is Katie Kalahurka. 

For our series called Actors Off-Script, Kalahurka spoke with me about motherhood and the innovative way her character's son's story comes to life.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

When Dr. David Zamierowski was training as a physician in the 1960s, he tried out his new skills on living patients.

“I am so grateful to those poor souls, who knew it was my first time, but graciously allowed me to practice on them,” Zamierowski said Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Kansas Medical Center’s new health education building.

“But in the back of my mind, I always knew there had to be a better way, and when I first saw simulation, I realized that this was the answer.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

A Jackson County jury awarded $5.9 million to the owners of JJ’s restaurant, the popular eatery and bar just west of the Country Club Plaza that was leveled in a fiery explosion in February 2013 caused by a natural gas leak.

The explosion took the life of restaurant server Megan Cramer, injured 15 other people and extensively damaged two nearby buildings.

The jury, by a vote of 9-3, found against defendant Time Warner Cable, assigning 98 percent of the blame to the company and 2 percent to JJ’s.

Ricky Brigante / Flickr-CC

People have so many different interests and ways to be individually enthralled, getting family members to agree on the same weekend action plan can be a challenge.

Still, I’d like to believe that the family that plays together, stays together.

Corny? I guess. Worth trying this weekend? You know it.

1. ‘Disney on Ice: Frozen’

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Cabinet officials say Kansas’ quest to combine Medicaid waivers for people with seven categories of disabilities is intended to provide better care and outcomes, not cost savings.

But costs will go down if care improves as intended, they say.

Officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services are beginning a statewide listening tour on the proposed changes after briefing a legislative committee on them Friday.

badjonni / Flickr--CC

Summer breezes may make you feel fine, but for many, summertime is all about the music.

We wanted to build a summer 2015 playlist, so we asked, “What’s your song of the summer?” on the air and on social media.  

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The deadline has passed, and two proposals are in, but it may be a while before there's a decision on the fate of Kemper Arena in Kansas City's West Bottoms.

City Council Economic Development Chair Scott Taylor says city staff is vetting the proposals to make sure they are complete and thorough. Until that is determined, limited information about the two applicants will be released.

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