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Government
5:37 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Kansas City Ordinance Targets Persons Intimidating Bike Riders, Walkers

A Kansas City City Council committee has finalized an ordinance making it illegal to intimidate walkers and bike riders on Kansas City, Mo., streets.

Maggie Priesmeyer, who volunteers for an organization that helps provide bikes to needy people, was among those who shared stories about rude, intimidating and inconsiderate motorists.

She told the Public Safety Committee the story of a homeless, jobless veteran named Joe who came in for for help with bike repairs wearing a sling and brace of the type used to support a broken collarbone.

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Health
5:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

The Language Of Lullabies: KU Professor Develops Music Therapy For Preemies

Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, assistant professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, strums the guitar in front of children at Operation Breakthrough, an early education child care and social services facility in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Todd Feeback / The Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

If the idea of music therapy brings to mind 1960s-era folk singers warbling to bemused patients, you haven’t seen Deanna Hanson-Abromeit at work.

At Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, the University of Kansas assistant professor sings a good morning song to Daren, a curious, if slightly cautious, infant. 

The tune is a simple one, and the singer bubbles over with enthusiasm, but her musical interventions are more of a conversation than a performance.

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Police Investigation
8:16 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

KU Fraternity Investigated For Sexual Assault

The Kappa Sigma fraternity at KU has been put on suspension and is at the center of a sexual assault investigation.
Credit gamma-o.org

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little moved quickly to place Kappa Sigma fraternity on interim suspension after allegations of a sexual assault at the house over the weekend.

Lawrence police say the alleged crime was reported early Monday morning. According to the university, Gray-Little authorized the interim suspension letter Tuesday. That letter was hand delivered to the Kappa Sigma house. The action and police investigation were announced Wednesday.

The university's Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access is also investigating.

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Health
6:38 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Crisis Intervention Center To Open In Topeka

The community mental health center in Topeka on Thursday will formally open a 26-bed crisis intervention center that’s expected to lead to fewer mentally ill adults being referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or ending up in jail.

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Politics/Elections
3:34 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Kansas Budget Director: Job Growth Will Eventually Restore Revenues

A $21 million shortfall in September tax collections has renewed the debate on Gov. Sam Brownback’s economic policies heading into the last month of the 2014 campaign.

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Sports
3:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Kansas City, Country Bask In Royals Victory

@Cut4's tweet about this Royals fan's game day sign was one of the most popular Royals-related posts circulating on Twitter Wednesday.
Credit Cut4 / Twitter

Royals chatter dominated social media on Wednesday, the day after the baseball team in Kansas City, Mo., clinched its first postseason win in 29 years.

Kansas Citians and national media took to Twitter to document the dramatic victory over the Oakland Athletics and share their team spirit.  

Here’s a recap of some of the tweets getting the most attention, along with highlights from Kansas City-area fans.

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Election 2014
3:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Court: Democrats Won't Be on U.S. Senate Ballot

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the GOP incumbent, campaigning last week at Johnson County GOP Headquarters.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Kansas Democrats won’t be forced to place a candidate on the ballot for U.S. Senate, a county court ruled Wednesday. The decision cleared the path for a two-way race between Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and Independent Greg Orman.

A Shawnee District Court three-judge panel denied a request by David Orel, a registered Democrat with ties to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, in part because he failed to show up for court last Monday.

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Kansas City Royals
3:02 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

A Fair-Weather Fan's Guide To Jumping On The Royals Bandwagon

Royals fans filled Kauffman Stadium during the wild card match between the boys in blue and the Oakland Athletics Tuesday.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Even if you don't pay attention to sports, social media or Kansas City, you probably saw something about the Royals winning their first playoff game in 29 years Tuesday

Fans were left stunned after what was arguably the most intense game in Royals history. But what about people who generally don't follow baseball and want in on the excitement? What about those who don't know a bunt from bean? 

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Arts & Culture
2:58 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Three ‘Gone Girl’ Places In Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Credit Aaron Palmer / Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

Gone Girl, a new film based on the best-selling thriller by Kansas City native Gillian Flynn, opens this Friday.

It's directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club, Seven), and Flynn wrote the screenplay. Cape Girardeau, Mo., on the banks of the Mississippi River, was a stand-in for the fictional North Carthage, Mo. 

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Health
2:57 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Suit Seeks To Force Feds To Disclose Missouri Health Insurance Rates

A Missouri consumers group has sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over its alleged failure to disclose health insurance rates insurers propose to charge in Missouri in 2015.  

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in St. Louis by the Consumers Council of Missouri, comes just six weeks before the enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act begins on Nov. 15.

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Health
7:49 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Panelist: Kansas Compact Originator Intent On Medicare Privatization

About 100 people attended a forum in Prairie Village Tuesday that was sponsored by the Johnson County League of Women Voters.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News

Legislators who passed a health care compact in Kansas said changes to Medicare were not the impetus, but a “Medicare coach” told a Johnson County crowd Tuesday night that the originator of the multi-state compact favors Medicare privatization.

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Sports
5:19 am
Wed October 1, 2014

After Iffy Start, Royals Pull Off 9-8 Victory In Extra Innings Against A's

The post-season paraphenalia around Kauffman Stadium can stay a while; Royals advance after beating the A's in the Wild Card playoff game.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

It appeared that their first post-season appearance in 29 years would be brief, but the Kansas City Royals came up with a dramatic victory in the wild card playoff last Tuesday night, 9-8, in 12 innings.

Trailing 7-3 in the sixth inning and with Jon Lester on the mound for the Oakland Athletics, the Royals’ chances of winning didn’t look promising. Lester had beaten the Royals twice already this season.

But Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer says the Royals didn’t lose hope.

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Education
5:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Davis Says Education, Brownback Says Tax Cuts To Grow Kansas Economy

Will the Kansas economy get a bigger boost from tax cuts or additional spending on education? That's a major issue in the race for governor.
Credit city-data

There are two big issues in the race for Kansas governor this year: How to fund education and how to grow the economy.

Republican incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback is standing firm on cutting taxes to boost the economy.

Brownback has cut income taxes for individuals and eliminated them for small businesses. He says this will spur business development and thus the economy will grow.

But House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Davis has a very different idea.

Davis says he will drive economic growth by spending more on education.

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Arts & Culture
5:49 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

KCAI Students Prepare Murals For Vacant Scarritt Elementary School

Nicholette Haigler paints a peeping giantess on her mural panels beneath the shade of walnut trees.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Last week, visiting instructor Héctor Casanova Cinderhouse was at his desk in the illustration department at the Kansas City Art Institute, contemplating a small pile of plans for the first phase of a mural project at Scarritt Elementary School in the historic Northeast.

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Election 2014
3:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Senate Dispute Delays Ballot Printing In Kansas

A dispute over the ballot for a U.S. Senate race in Kansas is creating a time crunch for election officials. At issue is whether Democrats will be required to place a new candidate on the ballot for the Senate seat after Chad Taylor dropped out of the race.

A Shawnee County Court is expected to issue a decision this week. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says that normally by this time of year, ballots for people voting early would be printed and prepared for mailing.

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Education
3:09 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Two Kansas City Metro Schools Named National Blue Ribbon Winners

Two Kansas City metro schools have been named National Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Only 337 schools across the county were named National Blue Ribbon winners.

Some were named for excelling in academics and others for closing achievement gaps.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in the Kansas City, Mo., school district was named. This is the second time the prestigious magnet school has won a Blue Ribbon. It was last awarded one in 2008.

The other metro school was Our Lady of Presentation Catholic School in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

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Beyond Our Borders
2:49 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

What Are You Doing On This Side Of The State Line In Kansas City?

Trell West lives on State Line Road.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

As KCUR looks at how the Kansas-Missouri border divides the Kansas City metropolitan area, we wanted to talk to locals about their daily experiences with State Line Road.

We spent some time on both sides this month, asking people: What are you doing on this side of the state line?

From shopping to jobs to restaurants, here’s what we heard back:

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Education
2:27 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Superintendent Cheers Kansas City Public Schools Progress In Annual Address

Kansas City Public Schools Board President John Hile, left, and Superintendent Stephen Green announce the state's granting of provisional accreditation in August.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green celebrated the district's recent successes in his annual State of the Schools address Tuesday.

The district regained provisional accreditation last month after losing its standing with the state in 2012. Green, who took over as superintendent shortly thereafter, says many believed at the time the district couldn't be saved.

But he says that attitude isn't helpful in education.

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Mental Health
2:05 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Documentary Casts Light On Kansas City's Mental Health Care Woes

A KCPD officer and a mental health liaison talk with a mentally ill man who is in need of treatment.
Credit Michael Price / KCPT

The state of Kansas City's mental health care services is dire, according to a new documentary.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis focuses on the growing number of fraught confrontations between severely mentally ill people and police on Kansas City's streets. The locally produced documentary airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KCPT. 

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Central Standard
1:30 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Why Jazz Fans In Denmark Feel A Connection To Kansas City

Was Kansas City-born Ben Webster "king of the tenors" as this album title suggests?
Credit mohaoffbeat.blogspot.com / Creative Commons

Ben Webster hated to fly on airplanes.

When he went to Europe to perform for his fans across the Atlantic, the trip was one-way. 

A contemporary of Charlie Parker, Webster grew up in Kansas City, Mo., right off of 24th Street. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age, and started his career performing as a pianist for silent films. It wasn't until he was about 20 years old that he took up the saxophone.

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Health
9:18 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Democrats Call For Special Committee To Vet KanCare Contracting

The top Democrats on the KanCare Oversight Committee on Monday called for a separate committee to be appointed to study whether any legal or ethical boundaries were crossed when Gov. Sam Brownback's administration contracted with three managed care organizations to privatize Medicaid.

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Government
7:48 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Blunt Cool To Federal Restrictions On Police Militarization

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt made Kansas City his first stop in a statewide series of "listening sessions" with law enforcement officials on Monday. Blunt is co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Committee.

The Senator said the first conference included county and suburban Missouri law enforcement leaders as well as those from Kansas City. The discussion, he said, centered on what the federal government could do to help local enforcers in emergency and homeland security crisis situations.

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Community
5:21 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn Under Vatican Investigation

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn
Credit Kansascity.com

A Canadian archbishop visited the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese last week on behalf of the Vatican to investigate the leadership of Bishop Robert Finn, the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis.

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Central Standard
4:29 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Meet The Teachers Of Some Unusual Classes At UMKC's Communiversity

Cathy Cowger is an EAGALA certified equine specialist.
Credit Patrick Quick / KCUR

The fall semester of Communiversity is getting underway at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This all-volunteer adult education program allows Kansas Citians to take and teach a collection of esoteric classes that you may not find anywhere else. 

Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann talked to a few of the instructors, everyday folks with unusual skills to teach.

Let Horses Help You With Your Life Transition

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Sports
3:17 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Royals Fans Rally In Anticipation Of Wild Card Game

Fans watch the Royals practice Monday during a rally held before Tuesday's wild card game against Oakland.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Karman Romero was in second grade the last time the Royals made the playoffs back in 1985. And now that the Royals are returning to post-season play, she wanted her kids to experience the excitement.

So on Monday morning, she picked up her 9-year-old twin daughters and 6-year-old son from school and took them to Kauffman Stadium along with her toddler son. About 5,000 other fans also showed up, the Royals said.

Romero called the decision to pull her children out of class for Monday's pre-wild card rally "a no brainer."

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Health
3:14 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Ruling On In-Home Medicaid Services Raises Concerns

Jason Gallagher and his assistant, Tiffany Lentz, go through their morning routine at Gallagher's home in Overland Park. Lentz is one of five full- and part-time workers who provide in-home services for Gallagher.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KCPT

 

Karen Barezinsky is looking for an answer to what she says is a simple question: Are the people who run Kansas’ Medicaid program planning to cut the supports she and her husband use to keep her son, Ray Santin, who’s paralyzed from his neck down, out of a nursing home?

“I can’t find out anything,” says Karen, 62, who lives in Scranton, Kan., with her husband and son. “I leave messages with Ray’s case manager, but nobody calls me back.”

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Kansas City Royals
1:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

How Royals Fans Are Celebrating The Team's First Playoff Run Since 1985

South Korean Royals fan SungWoo Lee poses with a cutout of Alex Gordon as he watches the game.
Credit SungWoo Lee - Twitter

The Kansas City Royals clinched their spot in the American League wild card game last week, taking the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1985. 

With the team's World Series hopes hinging on their performance against the Oakland A's Tuesday, Royals fans in Kansas City and around the world are showing their support for the boys in blue. 

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Kansas City
10:20 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Huffington Post Names Kansas City 'Coolest' City In America

Kansas City is the "coolest [city] to visit right now" according to the Huffington Post.
Credit Allen Brewer / Flickr-CC

Kansas City is the most up-and-coming city in the country, according to a new ranking list.

The Huffington Post ranked Kansas City as the most exciting, "it" city in the United States. The food, Midwestern hospitality and music were all highlighted as reasons to visit the metro area.

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Sports
6:53 am
Mon September 29, 2014

29 Years Later, The Royals Make The Playoffs

Royals fans watch a game against the White Sox in Chicago.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

For the first time since winning the 1985 World Series, the Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs.

They will take on the Oakland A’s in a one-game wild card playoff Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. Thus ending the longest active post-season drought of any major sport team in North America.

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Harvest Public Media
6:44 am
Mon September 29, 2014

In Illinois Farm Country, A Wetland’s Dynamic Return

Doug Blodgett, director of river conservation for the Nature Conservancy, has helped oversee the transformation from farmland to wetland.
Rich Eggar Harvest Public Media

Land in Fulton County, Ill., that was farmed for more than 80 years is being returned to its original wetland state – and the early results are promising for what is now the Emiquon Nature Preserve.

“People give us credit for the way this looks now but it’s really Mother Nature that makes it look the way it does,” said Doug Blodgett, director of river conservation for the environmental group the Nature Conservancy.

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