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2:57 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Regents Reject Big Changes To Controversial Social Media Policy

Fred Logan, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, rejects criticism that a new social media policy restricts expression.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

The Kansas Board of Regents has decided to add a free speech provision to a controversial social media policy, a decision criticized as “window dressing.”

Regent Chairman Fred Logan, who along with the rest of the board has come under fire nationally from professors and First Amendment advocates, said during a board meeting this week that he does not believe the policy restricts staff and faculty from openly expressing their opinions, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

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Community
1:54 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Prosecutor Names Suspect In Kansas City Highway Shootings

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announces charges Friday against a 27-year-old suspect tied to recent highway shootings in Kansas City. The announcement took place at the Kansas City Emergency Operations Center.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced charges Friday against a man tied to recent highway shootings in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The afternoon announcement revealed Mohammed Whitaker, 27, of Grandview, Mo., faces 18 felony counts, including class A and class B felonies related to shooting into a vehicle.

The charges stem from a series of at least a dozen shootings on Kansas City area highways. Three people have been hurt as a result.

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Central Standard
11:51 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Food Critics: Kansas City's Best Lunch Spots

Our food critics and listeners offer suggestions for tasty lunches in Kansas City.
Credit Stacy Spensley / Flickr -- Creative Commons

It's not uncommon for Americans to work through lunch, thoughtlessly scarfing down sustenance at a desk or —worse — in a car.

But at its best, lunch can be a time to unwind and savor the moment, getting out in the city while nourishing body and soul.

Some Kansas Citians are keeping the mid-day meal alive in all its glory. Hosted by Charles Ferruzza, KCUR's food critics led a search for exquisite lunch experiences in Kansas City on Friday. 

Here are some of their recommendations:

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Sports
10:01 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Mizzou Basketball Coach Leaving For Tulsa

Frank Haith, men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, was named AP Coach of the Year in 2012.
Credit Wikimedia

Updated 2:29 p.m.:

The University of Tulsa officially tapped Frank Haith, men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, as its new head basketball coach on Friday afternoon. See the full announcement.

The original story begins here: 

The University of Tulsa is expected to announce Friday that Frank Haith will be named as head basketball coach after three years at the University of Missouri.

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Community
7:37 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Suspect Jailed In Serial Highway Shootings

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte announced Thursday night that a suspect was in custody in the recent series of roadway vehicle shootings.
Credit KMBC

Updated 2:03 p.m. April 18:

On Friday, Jackson County prosecutors named Mohammed Whitaker, 27, as the suspect in the recent highway shootings in Kansas City. He was charged with at least 18 counts tied to a series of at least a dozen shootings.

The original post begins here:

A suspect is in custody in connection with a series of at least a dozen shootings on Kansas City highways, law enforcement officials announced Thursday night.

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Community
1:53 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Kansas City Stands With Overland Park During Service Honoring Shooting Victims

The Rev. Bob Hill invites leaders of all faiths to join in prayer Thursday in honor of the victims from Sunday's shootings in Johnson County. The service took place at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

A diverse crowd linked arms in Overland Park, Kan., on Thursday to remember the three victims of an attack on a Jewish community center and retirement home.

Clergy representing many faiths, politicians of different stripes and more than 1,300 people from the community united to condemn shootings during the memorial service.

The service took place at the Jewish Community Center, where two of three victims died on Sunday.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the whole country was standing with Overland Park.

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Community
12:47 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Corporon Remembered As A Family Man

Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, was taking his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, to a singing audition at the Jewish Community Center when both were fatally shot Sunday afternoon.

Corporon and his wife of 49 years, Melinda, moved to Johnson County, Kan., in 2003 to be closer to his family. Before that, he practiced family medicine in Oklahoma for more than 25 years.  He continued to see patients in the Kansas City area.

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Tell KCUR
11:58 am
Thu April 17, 2014

How You’re Talking To Kids After Tragedy

What do you say to kids after a community tragedy? Tweet your answer to #TellKCUR
Credit tamckile / Flickr -- Creative Commons

As adults searched for answers tied to the recent shootings at Jewish centers in Johnson County, Kan., we wanted to know how you were handling questions about the acts of violence from children.  

A male suspect is now in custody on murder charges for the shootings that took the lives of William Corporon, 69, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, and Terri LaManno, 53, on Sunday.

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Sports
7:15 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Marijuana Charge Dismissed For Chiefs Player Dwayne Bowe

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe pled guilty to defective equipment and littering Wednesday in Riverside, Mo. The charge was amended from the original charge of marijuana possession last November. 

Bowe was not present, but his attorney, Kevin Regan, made the statement at Riverside City Hall that would be of most interest to the NFL commissioner’s office in New York.

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Health
7:06 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Insurance Coverage For Autism Set To Begin In Kansas

Insurance companies will begin covering autism services next January for a limited number of children in Kansas. A bill mandating such coverage has been signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.

“So I am pleased to sign this bill today, expanding coverage for autism. This is an important moment for families that deal with the challenges of an autistic family member, and it’s important that we do this as a society," the governor said.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:48 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Kansas City Grocer's Hand-Painted Signs Are A Lost Art In The Modern Age

Grocer William Rosser has been painting signs for his independent grocery stores in Kansas City for more than 50 years.
Briana O'Higgins KCUR

Every morning, William Rosser starts his day painting signs.

The 77-year-old butcher and owner of Wild Woody's Happy Foods on 31st Street and Myrtle Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., has been painting grocery signs for more than 50 years.

"I make sure every display's got a sign on it. That's my whole goal," he says.

Rosser's store is one of few remaining independent grocery stores in the area. It serves Kansas City's east side — an area largely considered to be a food desert.

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Community
6:24 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Occupational Therapist Terri LaManno Warmly Remembered

Terri LaManno was one of the victims of Sunday's shootings in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit courtesy of the LaManno family

At 10 a.m. on Thursday morning at two locations in the metro area, Kansas Citians will gather to pay their respects to Terri LaManno, the third victim killed in Sunday's Overland Park, Kan., shooting.

St. Peter's Catholic Church in Kansas City, Mo., will host a Mass of Christian Burial for Terri LaManno.

LaManno will also be honored at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park.

But thoughts of Terri LaManno have been stirring in Amanda Daniels' mind all week.

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Community
6:20 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Jewish Community Center Reopens Amidst Added Security

Officials with the Jewish Community Center say they'll add security in the wake of Sunday's shootings
Credit Laura Ziegler

Parents pulled into the circle in front of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., at a steady pace to drop off their prechoolers at the Child Development Center Wednesday.

It was the first day the center was open since a gunman took the lives of William Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, in the parking lot before killing Terri LaManno, 53, at a retirement community down the road. 

The only reminder of the horrific event were several police cars lining the driveway and a handful of law enforcement officers inside the building.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

New Musical At KC Rep Examines A Family And Its Secrets

Nick Blaemire at Lincoln Center, 2010.
Credit courtesy of Nick Blaemire

It seems every new musical is based on a familiar movie, such as the current Broadway productions of Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, and Aladdin. There are notable exceptions, though - original stories crafted from pure imagination.

Opening its world premiere production at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a show taking up that challenge called A Little More Alive.

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Business
11:42 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Google To Begin Rollout Of Fiber Service For Small Businesses

Google Inc. announced Wednesday that it would begin recruiting small businesses in Kansas City to test its Google Fiber product.

The Kansas City Business Journal reports after nearly two years of asking Kansas City companies to "hang in there," Google is ready to launch the pilot.

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Health
8:23 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Brownback Urged To Veto Health Compact Bill

Gov. Sam Brownback would be taking a political risk by signing a bill that could eventually give state officials control of Medicare and other federal health care programs, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said Tuesday.

Praeger, a Republican in the final year of her third and final term, said because the bill could “jeopardize” the benefits of the nearly 450,000 Kansans enrolled in Medicare signing it could alienate senior voters.

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Health
6:13 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Preschool Trauma Program In Kansas City Getting National Attention

Preschool teacher Twakisha Jones leads her class in a song.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Every parent knows that young children have meltdowns now and then - at home, at school, in the grocery store - but sometimes a tantrum can be more than a bad day. It can be the sign of traumatic stress.

A program started in Kansas City, Kan., offers teachers and parents an alternate way to deal with intense emotions and potentially avoid the long-term impact of trauma. The program has been spreading in recent months, even getting national attention.

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Health
6:10 am
Wed April 16, 2014

NIH Director Talks About One And Done At KU — For Flu Shots

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, spoke Monday with Shane Stecklein, an MD/PhD student at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, brought Collins to Kansas to highlight bioscience initiatives in the state.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

That annual flu vaccine could be a thing of the past by the end of the decade, the director of the National Institutes of Health said during a Monday visit to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Dr. Francis Collins said that NIH-funded researchers are perhaps five years away from developing a universal flu vaccine, one that is effective against virtually all strains. Individuals might need a booster down the road.

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JCC Shootings
11:20 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Johnson County Shooting Suspect Held On $10 Million Bail

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, left, and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe meet reporters Tuesday to discuss murder charges against the suspect in the Jewish Community Center shootings.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The 73-year old southwest Missouri man suspected in the killings of three people near the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., made his first court appearance Tuesday, wearing a bullet-proof vest and looking confused as a Johnson County judge set his bail at $10 million.

Frazier Glenn Cross was charged with two felony counts of murder -- one count of capital murder and one count of premeditated first-degree murder -- for the killings of three people in two locations.

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Arts & Culture
5:42 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Museum Visit Sparks Memories Of Childhood Dollhouse

A two-story dollhouse built in the early 1970s by Charles Denesha.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On my fourth birthday, my grandfather gave me a dollhouse. It was a yellow, two-floor house that he built in his basement workshop in Kansas City, Kan. The dollhouse had six rooms and came with an assortment of handmade furniture, painted floors and wallpaper in nearly every room.

I was thrilled by the gift and I played with the dollhouse, constantly moving my dolls from room to room, creating little dramas in my young mind. My dolls talked on the tiny rotary phone, ate breakfast in the kitchen and slept in their neatly-appointed bedrooms.

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Community
7:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Blue Valley High Lost A 'Star In The Making'

Blue Valley High School was closed on Monday.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Blue Valley High School, at 159th and Nall in Stilwell, Kan., was closed earlier this week for a previously scheduled professional development day. Still, counseling support was available for staff and students in the wake of Sunday's shootings that killed three people, including a Blue Valley student and his grandfather.

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Government
6:28 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

JCC Shooting Suspect Could be Charged Tuesday

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass, along with state and federal law enforcement authorities, meets reporters Monday to confirm hate crime charges against Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., which could be filed by Tuesday.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The southwest Missouri man who allegedly killed two Methodists and a Catholic near the Jewish Community Center on the eve of Passover is expected to be charged with federal and state crimes on Tuesday.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., will be charged with hate crimes, authorities said Monday. Cross was “on the radar” of the FBI for some time, but was not being monitored before he opened fire on Sunday at two locations, said Special Agent Michael Kaste.

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Community
6:16 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Suspected Shooter In JCC Attacks Has 30-Year History Of Hate

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit courtesy: Johnson County Sheriff's Office

The man suspected of killing three people at two Jewish facilities in Johnson County, Kan., is a well-known neo-Nazi and someone who authorities say spent much of his life calling for attacks on Jews.

Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. faces state murder charges and likely hate crime charges in federal court, after allegedly murdering three people in shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom assisted living center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday.

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Health
5:39 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

KU Student Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

Campus officials say a student on the KU Lawrence campus has been confirmed to have tuberculosis.

KU officials say the student is doing well, and is expected to make a full recovery. Health officials are conducting a TB contact investigation.

Fewer than 50 people are believed to be at risk from exposure to the communicable lung disease. They will all be tested to see whether they've been infected. If so, they'll be treated with antibiotics.

Harvest Public Media
4:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future

This four-story meatpacking plant built in 1925 is now home to five farming operations. It’s what’s becoming known as a “vertical farm.”
Peter Gray Harvest Public Media

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food in urban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.

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Community
7:49 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Shootings At Johnson County Jewish Facilities Have Global Impact

Shootings took place on Sunday at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement home (pictured) in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement home in Overland Park, Kan. became international news overnight as new details about the tragedy emerged.

Authorities have been learning about the racist and anti-Semitic ideology of the suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who hate-group trackers have been following for years.

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Community
4:02 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

UPDATED: Victims, Suspect Identified In Overland Park Shootings

On Monday, police tape was still wrapped around a parking lot at Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kan. to keep visitors out of the crime scene.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Updated 10:47 a.m.:

Frazier Glenn Cross, the suspect in Sunday's shootings, is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center without bond. Kristi Bergeron, of the District Attorney's Office in Johnson County said he will not be arraigned Monday.

He will face both federal and state charges.

Updated 10:36 a.m.:

The Children's Center for the Visually Impaired released this statement:

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Community
5:44 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Malted Milk Balls End 'Great Ape Escape' At Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo visitors were locked up indoors for an hour Thursday while seven chimpanzees ran free outdoors in an area accessible only to zoo personnel.

Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff told TV-9 the chimps using a tree branch for a ladder was an example of primate intelligence and strength.

"Chimps are so much stronger than humans that they can go up in a tree and pull on something long enough and pull a piece of log off, that's apparently what happened," he said.

Government
5:43 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Kansas City Council Gets Final Streetcar Line Price

Eight hundred tons of streetcar rail – 50 truckloads – will be delivered to Kansas City next week, marking the end of bargaining and a final negotiated maximum price for the project: $102 million.

City engineering service manager Ralph Davis assured the city council Thursday that they're getting a good deal. Davis said the city has worked through a "value engineering" process to eliminate unnecessary costs, and in doing so saved about $5 million. He said city representatives had also negotiated down the contractors' fees and charges. 

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Beyond Our Borders
5:30 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Tulips On Troost Still Blooming, But Efforts Are Dying Out

The Tulips on Troost program has struggled in recent years, but streets near Rockhurst University reflect the school's continuing participation in the program.
Julie Denesha KCUR

When the first blankets of tulips bloomed along Troost Avenue as part of the Tulips on Troost street beautification program, national, even international press paid attention.

But the program was never supposed to be just about flowers. It was also an effort to reimagine Troost, which for years has been thought of as an economic and racial dividing line.

Today, the program is all but defunct, lacking funds and human capital to keep it alive.

Driving north along Troost from 75th street, there aren't many signs of tulips. 

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