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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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Harvest Public Media
8:12 am
Sat September 27, 2014

With Curbside Composting, Food Waste Not A Total Loss

In Portland, Ore., commercial food waste from restaurants and businesses gets separated and sent to a methane digester that extracts gas from the food and uses it to make electricity.
Credit Cassandra Profita / for Harvest Public Media

Wasting around 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. certainly has its drawbacks: It's not feeding people in need, it's expensive and it does a lot of environmental damage.

But across the country, cities, towns and companies are finding food waste doesn't have to be a total loss. In fact, it can be quite valuable – in making fertilizer, electricity or even fuel for cars, trucks and buses.

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Beyond Our Borders
4:38 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Things You May Not Have Known About The Kansas-Missouri State Line

State Line Road heads south from the Missouri River in the West Bottoms.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Our research into State Line Road as part of our ongoing exploration for Beyond Our Borders turned up some interesting things about the dividing line between the two very different states in our metro.

We are pretty evenly divided as a population by the state line, and our political differences pre-date the Civil War.  

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Community
4:28 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

KCATA To Manage Johnson County Transit Starting Next Year

Johnson County Commissioners want KCATA to take over management of the JO as a cost-cutting measure.
Credit Photo courtesy of the JO

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will take over management of the JO in early 2015, the Johnson County Commissioners agreed Thursday.

Dick Jarrold, vice president of regional planning for KCATA, says the consolidation shouldn't impact riders because routes and schedules won't change.

"Johnson County will still be making all policy and budget decisions, so for the customer, they won't see an immediate change," says Jarrold.

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Education
1:19 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

University Of Missouri System Expected To Change Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Credit Yassie / Wikimedia-CC

Later this week, the University of Missouri Board of Curators will vote on a plan to change the way sexual assault and harassment complaints are handled.

But some faculty members say the process is moving forward a little too quickly.

University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe is proposing a change that would require schools to investigate sexual harassment or discrimination cases within 60 days.

The proposal before the curators also would widen which employees must report harassment to the administration and change the hearing process.

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Food Critics
12:31 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Smoked Foods In Kansas City

On this week's edition of the Food Critics, it's all about smoked foods, like these barbecued chickens and pork ribs.
Credit Hungry Dudes / Flickr-CC

Kansas City cuisine may be best known for the smoky taste of barbecue, but the earthy goodness of smoke isn't limited to pulled pork and brisket. 

From rich, smoked Gouda, to smoke-infused cocktails, adding smoke to a dish can add another layer of complexity to its taste. 

Central Standard food critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris and callers gave us their picks for the best smoked foods and drinks in Kansas City:

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Health
10:33 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Liver Transplant Reallocation Plan On Hold

Dr. Timothy Schmitt, left, and Dr. Sean Kumer perform a liver transplant at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Courtesy / University of Kansas Hospital

A plan to redistribute donor livers from areas where donor numbers are higher, like Kansas City and the South, to organ-needy coastal areas is on hold after protests from members of Congress representing the areas that would have seen transplant wait times increase.

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Harvest Public Media
9:22 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Choices For Students Can Cut School Food Waste

Gloria Restrepo, a teacher’s assistant at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., helps students choose their lunch.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Lunch time at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., displays all the usual trappings of a public school cafeteria: Star Wars lunch boxes, light up tennis shoes, hard plastic trays and chocolate milk cartons with little cartoon cows. It’s pizza day, the most popular of the week, and kids line up at a salad bar before receiving their slice.

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Arts & Culture
6:54 am
Fri September 26, 2014

WATCH: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov Takes On New Role At Park University

Behzod Abduraimov, the new artist-in-residence at ICM, rehearses in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel at Park University.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

When the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., a boutique conservatory for top performers, decided to add an artist-in-residence, they didn’t have to look very far.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Film Review: Bill Hader And Kristen Wiig Clean Out Closets In 'The Skeleton Twins'

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in 'The Skeleton Twins.'
Credit Roadside Attractions

Saturday Night Live fans who've felt a void since Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig departed the show can get sated with The Skeleton Twins. Playing Milo and Maggie, siblings who are rehabilitating their relationship after a 10-year freeze, Hader and Wiig wield comedic chops as well as dramatic ones, reminding SNL viewers that the cast wasn't made up slap-happy stand-up comics but fine actors.

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Arts & Culture
2:58 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Talent-Scouting Curators Discover Kansas City Artists At H&R Block Artspace

Raechell Smith is director and curator of the H&R Block Artspace.
Credit C.J. Janovy

People who go to the Kansas City Flatfile show at H&R Block Artspace get to do something that feels wrong: touch the art.

That’s the fun of the Flatfile exhibition, which takes place every two years. The show features work by 160 Kansas City artists, and visitors get to pull it out of the metal files themselves, spending as much time as they want having what Artspace director and curator Raechell Smith calls an "unmediated" experience with the art.

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Health
3:22 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Johnson County Names DeWeese As Mental Health Director

Johnson County announced Thursday that it has hired a new director for its mental health center.

The new hire is Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center.

For nearly the past two years, DeWeese has served as director of clinical services, overseeing the largest operating division of the center. He has also served the center as director of community support services and as a crisis case-management team leader.

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Politics
1:47 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Couples Ask KC Judge To Lift Missouri Gay Marriage Ban

Trevor Branson, 21, outside a Jackson County District Courtroom Thursday after the hearing on the Missouri gay marriage ban with his mothers, Linda (left) and JoDe (right) Layton-Brinker.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Ten Missouri gay couples – all married in states where same-sex marriage is legal – asked a state court Thursday to recognize their marriages despite the state’s ban on their unions.

The couples sat before the bench, politely listening for an hour and a half to oral arguments in a case that mixes their personal lives with voter politics. Some brought their children, some dressed-up with bow ties and hats, and all seemed overwhelmed by the phalanx of TV cameras that waited outside the courtroom.

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Economy
1:04 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Claycomo Assembly Plant Now Biggest In Ford System

United Auto Workers members look on as Ford announces 1,200 additional jobs are coming to the Claycomo assembly plant.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

Thursday morning Ford announced it was adding 1,200 jobs at its Claycomo, Mo., plant because of surging demand for the company’s new Transit van.

Ford says Transit van sales have grown every month since it was introduced.

With hundreds of United Auto Workers union members looking on, John Hinrichs, Ford president in the Americas, said by the end of the year there will be 6,000 UAW jobs in Claycomo.

That makes it the assembly giant in the company.

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Tell KCUR
11:28 am
Thu September 25, 2014

PHOTOS: See What Funky Foods Are Inside Kansas City Fridges

KCUR's social media producer, Alyson Raletz: "The funkiest thing I could find in @kcur's green room fridge. Once tomatoes go soft, I'm out."
@AlysonRaletz Twitter

One-year-old Szechuan peppercorn sauerkraut. A Jar of pickled Brazilian peppers that expired in 2012. And kimchi that’s been fermenting for 25 months.

Those are some of the things lurking in area fridges that Kansas Citians claim they still would eat.

“Older, the hotter!” Kansas City food blogger Jenny Vergara tweeted this week, along with a photo of her Malagueta peppers.

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