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Election 2014
5:12 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

U.S. Senate Candidate Greg Orman Outlines Plan To End Washington Gridlock

Greg Orman, who's running to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate as an independent, made a campaign stop at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Senate hopeful Greg Orman stopped at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday to make a last-minute appeal before next Tuesday’s election.

Orman, who’s running as an independent, is touting his plan to end Washington, D.C., gridlock. He supports term limits for members of Congress and wants to end donations from lobbying groups while Congress is in session.

Orman says his opponent, GOP incumbent Pat Roberts, is too focused on opposing the president to be an effective leader.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:43 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Most Kansas City-Area Hospitals Ranked Near Middle On Patient Safety Measures

Only three Kansas City area hospitals received grades of A in the latest hospital safety report card issued by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group founded by large employers that aims to improve hospital quality and safety.

The three — Belton Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Shawnee Mission Medical Center — were among 19 area hospitals surveyed by Leapfrog. Five of the hospitals received grades of B and the rest got C’s.

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Central Standard
1:10 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

On Halloween, A Lawrence Writer Reminds Us That Ghosts Have Feelings Too

According to writer Mick Cottin, ghosts have feelings too.
Credit Pedro Moura Pinheiro / Flickr--CC

Dressing up as a ghost tonight? Or communing with one? Ghost Feelings, by Lawrence writer Mick Cottin, shares insight into that whole haunting thing — from a ghost's perspective. It might help you get in character.

The story is one of three ghost stories that aired on Central Standard, during an exploration of scary stories and why we tell them. It is pretty short (5 minutes), and not too scary — in fact you may even laugh.

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Election 2014
11:13 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Will Voting Problems Give Kansas An Election Night Limbo?

Beth Hiller (left), and her daughter, Cheryl Logan at Brewster Place, a retirement home in Topeka.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Beth Hiller has been a member of the GOP since back when it really was the Grand Old Party, as her daughter says.

Hiller is 97-years-old, born and raised on a Kansas dairy farm, and a lifelong Republican. Her mother and father were Republican. Her husband, John Hiller, was the Shawnee County GOP chair, as well as the Kansas delegate to the U.S. Electoral College.

“Voting in our family was always a big deal,” said Cheryl Logan, Hiller’s daughter. “It was an event. We all hopped in the car, we got to the polling place and it was kind of a social event, too.”

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McTavish Weekend Extra
10:59 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Six Theatrical Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

The Kansas City Zoo's Great Pumpkin Smash is just one of the theatrical events going on in Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Greg Boege / Flickr-CC

“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote William Shakespeare, suggesting that life may be a theatrical work in progress.

Whether humanity comprises the cast of a cosmic play – heavy stuff – this weekend does offer genuine opportunities to embrace the drama, both onstage and off.

But wait: If the entire planet is really a proscenium arch, how can anyone ever be truly offstage? Oh, Shakespeare, you rascal!

1. Union Station’s Open House Celebration

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Heartland Health Monitor
9:50 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Health Care Compact Gains Attention As Campaign Issue

A once-obscure effort by a group of states to get out from under federal health care regulations has become an issue in the final days of the Kansas governor’s race.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Film Review: Danger Looks Good In 'The Two Faces of January'

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in 'The Two Faces of January.'
Credit Magnolia Pictures

In the sordid world of cult novelist Patricia Highsmith, everyone who isn’t an outright villain still manages to harbor dark secrets. Movies made from her books include Alfred Hitchcock’s twisted and campy Strangers on a Train and Anthony Minghella’s gloriously decadent The Talented Mr. Ripley. The latest is called The Two Faces of January. Though it's not as successful as its predecessors, it is stylish, suspenseful and awfully pretty to look at.

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Tell KCUR
5:12 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Kansas Governor’s Race Has Kansas City’s Attention

Supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback and opponent Paul Davis gather at the state fair in Hutchinson, Kan.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

A Kansas race that is catching attention from political junkies around the country has Kansas City-area voters captivated, too.

That’s according to feedback we heard on social media in response to our Tell KCUR question of the week. We asked, “What’s the most important political race to you in election 2014? Why?

“KS Gov race for sure! Need child advocates,” Alexis Ceule (@AlexisCeule) tells us on Twitter.

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Up To Date
4:04 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Writes A Poem For The Kansas City Royals

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-2003, joined Steve Kraske in-studio Thursday.
Credit Bill Anderson / KCUR

When Up To Date host Steve Kraske was joined in studio by Billy Collins, he wasn't expecting the former U.S. Poet Laureate to have scribed a few lines a la Casey at the Bat as he waited in the green room.

But, impressed by the Royals and their fans, Collins offered this tribute.

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Royals
3:59 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

PHOTOS: Royals Fans Flock To The K For One More Celebration

Mike Arnott, right, and his son Dillon were teary-eyed as they watched the celebration from the stands.
Frank Morris KCUR

About 6,000 fans Thursday made one more trip to Kauffman Stadium, just to celebrate the 2014 Kansas City Royals.

It was cloudy and threatening rain as fans filed into Kauffman Stadium. Almost on cue, the sun came out when the celebration started. 

Fans chanted “Thank you, Royals,” with the familiar cadence. Many were smiling. It was festive. There were little kids dressed as baseball players, cheerleaders, and Sluggerrr, the Royals’ mascot.

Most were smiling, but Mike Arnott stood with eyes puffy from crying. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:50 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

KDHE Surveyors Sent To Osawatomie State Hospital

State officials on Wednesday confirmed reports that surveyors with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment were dispatched last week to Osawatomie State Hospital, and that the surveyors in turn summoned the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Sara Belfry, a KDHE spokesperson, said the nature of the surveyors’ concerns will not be made public until after survey findings are reviewed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a process that’s likely to take several days.

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Arts & Culture
9:49 am
Thu October 30, 2014

PHOTOS: Peregrine Honig's New Paintings Encourage Selfie-Indulgence

Ryan Brown was riding around the West Bottoms on his bicycle when he heard about the show. He decided to stop by and take a selfie.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Camera phones were snapping Friday night with the opening of Peregrine Honig's latest exhibition at Haw Contemporary, a gallery in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo. While many artists discourage photographs of their work, Honig openly invited viewers to use her large-scale oil paintings as backdrops for selfies, or self-portraits. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
8:59 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Lawsuit Against KanCare Company Puts Program In Spotlight Again

A lawsuit alleging that one of the for-profit companies running KanCare ordered employees to shift KanCare members away from high-cost providers has put a renewed spotlight on the program, one of the Brownback administration’s signature achievements.

In the lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., a former official of the company, Sunflower State Health Plan Inc., claimed she was fired after she objected to the directive, saying it was unethical and possibly illegal.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Ron Rowe

Ron Rowe is vice president of sales for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The open enrollment period for 2015 health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act is coming up on Nov. 15 and extends to Feb. 15.

The federal health reform law has changed the way many consumers buy and use insurance. For insurance companies, it has transformed their entire way of doing business.

For this month’s KC Checkup, Heartland Health Monitor talks with Ron Rowe, vice president of sales for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which provides insurance to more than a million customers.

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Sports
10:25 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Royals Fall Just Short, Drop Game 7

The Kansas City Royals fell just one game win of a World Series title.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Just two hours before midnight Wednesday, autumn magic ran out of juice. The coach turned into a pumpkin. The Kansas City Royals’ magical postseason run ended a win shy of a championship.

Behind a dominating relief appearance by usual starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants beat the Royals 3-2 to win Game 7 and capture the crown.

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Government
5:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Foutch Withdraws Proposal To Convert Kemper For Youth Sports

Kemper Arena
Credit Flickr, Creative Commons

A big surprise in a city council committee meeting Wednesday afternoon:

After weeks of discussions about the future of Kemper Arena and the American Royal Complex, Foutch Brothers Developers sent a statement to the council that, due to circumstances beyond its control, it no longer was able to pursue a plan to convert the aging arena into a youth sports facility.

But it's not an automatic win for an American Royal plan to tear down Kemper and replace it with a new, smaller arena, according to committee chair Ed Ford.

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Kansas City Royals
3:34 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Mayor Sly James Shows Royals Pride Before World Series Game 7

Kansas City Mayor Sly James showed his support for the Royals by wearing a Royals cap, blue bowtie and blue pocket square.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

In an appearance at Union Station Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Sly James showed up decked out in a blue bowtie and matching Kansas City Royals hat to show support for the boys in blue as the team headed into the final game of the World Series.

James said the excitement Kansas Citians have shown during the World Series has been long overdue.

"You can't buy this kind of pride," James said. "It's about time that we had something like [the World Series] where we can say, 'This is ours, we did it, we showed the rest of you, and this is something we're going to cherish.'"

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Arts & Culture
3:32 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

For Poet Alice Friman, Kansas City Is An Unexpected Mecca

Poet Alice Friman returns to Kansas City for a reading at Rockhurst University for its Midwest Poets Series.
Credit Lillian Elaine Wilson

Kansas City can be inspiring in surprising ways. A walk in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art did the trick for Georgia College’s poet-in-residence, Alice Friman, who reads Thursday evening at Rockhurst University. 

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History
12:58 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Story Behind The Historic American Indian Cemetery In Downtown KCK

The sign leading up to the driveway of the Huron Indian Cemetery, formally known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

    

Right in the center of downtown Kansas City, Kan., between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, is a little two-acre cemetery.

The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. Over the years this place has been a gathering spot and a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation, but it has also been the site of controversy, confusion and a curse.

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Up To Date
12:57 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

DiDonato Invites 40,000 Fans To Sing With Her At Kauffman Stadium

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, a Royals fan for decades, sings the National Anthem on Wednesday.
Credit courtesy: Joyce DiDonato

After a social media campaign with the twitter hashtag #LetJoyceSing, a Change.org petition, an invitation from Major League Baseball to sing in Game 7 of the World Series -- and the Royals victory that assured there would be a Game 7, Prairie Village, Kan. native Joyce DiDonato is ready to sing the National Anthem in the final game.

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Sports
12:33 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

What Game 7 Of The World Series Means For One Roadside Shirt Seller

Selim Henderson is sitting on a lot of Royals tee shirts.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

When the Royals won the American League Championship in mid-October, Selim Henderson got busy buying T-shirts.

A lot of T-shirts.

“I bought about 30 dozen to start with,” Henderson says.

He set up a roadside stand in south Kansas City, and sales went so well, he bought another 30 dozen.

His best seller? The Royal Flush.

“That has five of the players on cards – ace, king, queen, jack, ten – and that’s the winning hand in poker,” Henderson says.

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KCI
10:50 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Kansas City International In Running For 'America's Worst Airport'

The new one terminal KCI plan, which was recommended by a city hall appointed task force, will likely take at least another year before it appears on the ballot.
Credit Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

You may not be shocked to hear that Kansas City International Airport is in the running for "worst airport in America."

A poll being conducted by design and technology blog Gizmodo lists eight airports in contention for the title. The list of candidates was gleaned from nominations they solicited from more than 600 disgruntled travelers.

Currently, New York's LaGuardia Airport leads the poll with more than 24 percent of the 5,775 total votes. KCI has 6.4 percent.

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Heartland Health Monitor
10:22 am
Wed October 29, 2014

A Few Races Could Swing Kansas House Control To Center

Rep. Jim Ward is a Wichita Democrat whose party loyalty has rarely been questioned, but even he says his party is likely to pick up only a few House seats in next week's election.

But he said a few Democratic victories coupled with a few more by Republican moderates might be enough to swing the chamber currently controlled by conservative Republicans more toward the middle.

“I think three or four votes would give us a working majority, at least on some of the big stuff,” Ward said.

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Sports
7:58 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Royals Primed For Storybook Finish To 2014 Season

By beating the San Francisco Giants, 10-0, Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals forced the seventh and deciding game of the 110th World Series.

It was the most lopsided World Series victory since the seventh game of the 1985 series when the Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-0.

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Election 2014
7:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Both Sides Abandon Kansas City Sales Tax Ballot Questions

There have been no ads promoting the taxes and no campaign opposing them, but there are two questions going before Kansas City, Missouri, voters on Nov. 4.

So why are they on the ballot? Questions 1 and 2 are the legacy of a transit activist and a 3-year court battle. The 1/4-cent and 1/8-cent sales taxes are the ruins of Clay Chastain's successful 2011 light rail initiative petition drive.

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Sports
10:43 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

PHOTOS: True Blue Fans Gather At Power & Light District For Game 6

Sporting bright blue tresses for luck Daniel Wade, (from left) Jennifer Valdez, and Erik Wade were among thousands of fans gathered in Kansas City's Power and Light District to cheer the Royals.
Julie Denesha KCUR

A blue wave of cheering fans gathered at Kansas City's Power & Light District Tuesday night to watch the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 10-0 in Game 6 of the World Series.

“I’m proud of them,” said Victor Stringer. “I’ve been following the Royals since the 1970s, I think we can take this whole thing. I just believe in them.”

Twelve-year-olds Jaydon Dickinson and Donte Smith played a game of catch before the start of the game.

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World Series
9:28 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

World Series Is Like A 'Three Hour Commercial' For Kansas City

With the Royals in the World Series, Kansas City has been thrust into the national spotlight.
Credit MoDOT / Flickr--CC

Even before the Royals made it to the World Series by sweeping Baltimore, something was happening to how America saw Kansas City.

This summer, The Huffington Post named Kansas City the 'coolest' city in America and the World Series has just made the spotlight brighter.

Kansas City, it seems, has a whole new reputation. It's a hidden gem, the place to visit, the new "it" town.

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Sports
2:13 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Listen To This 4-Year-Old Sing 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' For The Royals

Brothers Andrew and Will Duke of Kansas City are part of a new passel of Royals fans young enough that they haven’t yet experienced disappointment at the hands of the team.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Four-year-old Will Duke from Kansas City, Mo., likes few things in life more than the swings at Loose Park, but this year’s Royals team might give any swingset a run for its money.

Duke knows only a winning hometown team; he has favorite players (Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore), and even has a Royals take on a favorite baseball tune.

Listen to Duke sing his Royals version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." And let's hope it brings them a little luck as they go into Game 6 Tuesday night.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

As Missouri Picks New Education Chief, Union Sees Opportunity For Diversity

Kansas City Public Schools Supt. Stephen Green announces the district has regained provisional accreditation from the state. Green has expressed his desire the State Board will select a new commissioner with more experience dealing with urban districts.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants to know what qualities the public values in its next education leader.

Current education commissioner Chris Nicastro plans to retire at the end of the year, leaving the State Board about two months to hire her replacement. The department released its criteria for selecting a new leader on Tuesday.

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Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

State Line Hispanic Communities Have Deep Roots In Kansas City History

This is an aerial view of the Armourdale neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan. Armourdale's proximity to the railroads made it one of the first Hispanic communities to form in the Kansas City area in the late 1800s.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

Students from the Armourdale community of Kansas City, Kan., refer to their neighborhood as the barrio.

Today the neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic, but it wasn’t always this way. Armourdale, which was one of the first Hispanic communities to form in Kansas City, Kan., in 1886, went through an era when Hispanics were a minority. 

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