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3:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Black House Collective To Premiere Five New Chamber Operas

Mezzo-soprano Anna Hoard sings in the role of Charlene in George Lam's 'Sherman's March.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

As they waited for other musicians and singers to arrive, composer Hunter Long and mezzo-soprano Anna Hoard lounged among music stands and percussion instruments in a sixth-floor room in the Town Pavilion building in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Hoard sings the role of Charlotte in Long’s new chamber opera titled Lost in Translation, one of five new operas that will have their world premiere on Friday.

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Tell KCUR
1:54 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

What Kansas City Can Learn From The Ferguson Shooting

Tear gas, shown here streaming in Ferguson, Mo., earlier this week, was one of law enforcement's crowd-control measures amid looting and riots in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The shooting of an unarmed man near St. Louis — and the aftermath that has ensued — offers Kansas City broader lessons tied to law enforcement and media coverage.

That’s according to people who responded to our question of the week on the air and via social media: What can Kansas City learn from events in Ferguson?  

“Our police force doesn’t need to arm itself like this is Iraq,” Kansas Citian @OfficialMKoussa answers on Twitter.

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Arts & Culture
8:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

At The Nerman, American Indian Art Is Contemporary

Norman Akers' "Transience"
Norman Akers

This fall, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its blockbuster exhibition "The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky," with works ranging from a 2,000-year-old stone pipe to beaded designer shoes from 2011. To spark enthusiasm, three enormous teepees now compete with the Shuttlecocks on the Nelson’s south lawn.

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Sports
5:24 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Can SungWoo Save The Royals From Sports Illustrated Cover Curse?

Many Royals fans credit the team's winning streak to South Korean super-fan, SungWoo Lee.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

You may have heard that the Royals are doing really well. They are 15 games over .500, and are first in the AL Central. They're doing so well they made the cover of this weeks' regional Sports Illustrated

"September is coming, and for the first time in nearly 30 years it will matter in Kansas City," the headline reads. That hasn't happened since the last time the team made the playoffs: 1985, when the Royals went on to win the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Government
3:27 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Christie Says Republicans Will Spend Big On Kansas Governor’s Race

Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Gov. Sam Brownback and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stop by Oklahoma Joe’s on their way to a Mission Hills fundraiser.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made another trip to Kansas City Wednesday to stump for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and attend a fundraiser in Mission Hills.

Christie heads the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

“Kansas is an important race for us in the country, and that’s why I’m here and told the governor I’ll be back between now and election day as well,” says Christie. “RGA is going to make a significant investment here in Kansas, because we believe in Sam.”

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Education
2:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Kansas, Missouri ACT Scores Up Slightly, But Not All Graduates Ready For College

Kansas students' scores on the ACT edged up slightly this year, with the statewide average outpacing scores nationally by about a point.

Missouri ACT scores also went up in 2014.

But even though the number of high school graduates who are ready for college has increased in recent years, less than a third of students in either state reached college benchmarks in the four subjects measured by the test.

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Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Nelson Responds To The Onion, 12 Picassos In Collection

A photograph of Pablo Picasso, taken in 1957 by David Douglas Duncan. In 2013, Duncan donated 161 inkjet prints of Picasso to the museum.
Credit Courtesy Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Gift of the artist

The parody news site, The Onion, targeted the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., last week in a story with this headline: "Museum Proudly Exhibits Picasso Shitty Enough To Be In Kansas City."

The article poked fun at the museum and its fictional acquisition of a Picasso pencil sketch, a "forgettable piece-of-shit doodle" filling up an entire wall. 

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Health
1:17 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Regulations Could End Dispute Over Kansas Coal-Fired Power Plant

The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed greenhouse gas regulations that could prevent construction of a 895-megawatt facility next to an existing coal-fired unit at Sunflower Electric Power Corp.’s generating station outside Holcomb, Kan.
Credit Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

 

The long-running legal battle over the construction of a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas continues.

Earlier this summer, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit challenging the latest construction permit to be issued by state health officials. The environmental group says the permit, issued by Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Robert Moser, doesn’t impose adequate limits on greenhouse gases and other pollutants. A KDHE spokesperson says otherwise.

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Health
8:02 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Northcentral Kansan Tests Positive For West Nile

State health officials say an adult from Republic County, in northcentral Kansas, has the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Kansas this year.

No information has been released as to the patient’s condition, or whether he or she has been hospitalized.

The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes, and is not contagious from person to person. KDHE spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow says this is the time of year when the species of mosquito that carries West Nile is most active.

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Education
7:57 am
Wed August 20, 2014

School Districts Arming Teachers In Rural Missouri

A dozen school districts in Missouri, including tiny Climax Springs in the Ozarks, are training teachers and arming them for the start of school.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

As the school year begins we're hearing a lot about accreditation, Common Core and teacher tenure. All important, but the issue that may worry educators the most is security. School officials spend a lot of time thinking about it and a huge amount of money trying to improve it.

Right now, about a third of all states allow teachers or staff with a conceal and carry permit to pack a gun in school as long as they have permission from the school board. Nowhere in America right now is the issue of armed teachers more complicated than in Missouri.

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Harvest Public Media
7:51 am
Wed August 20, 2014

My Farm Roots: Hard Work A Life Lesson

Thousands of miles, and years, away from his upbringing on a Kansas farm during the height of the Great Depression, Wilson O’Connell now lives in the Boston suburbs.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Every year on my birthday I know there’s a thin, flat package waiting for me to open. It’s wrapped with neat corner folds and held together perfectly with just three pieces of tape – nothing wasted.

I always knock on the front and hear the crisp, deep thud of a hardcover book. I know it’s a book. And I know who it’s from.

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Health
4:39 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Expanded Overland Park Regional Medical Center Opens

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, speaks at a ribbon-cutting for Overland Park Regional Medical Center's expansion.
Credit KCUR

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran on Tuesday helped celebrate the opening of a new patient tower and emergency department at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

The Kansas Republican, from Manhattan, Kan., praised local leaders for coming together to complete the project. He then took a jab at Congress' inability to do the same.

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Health
4:10 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Yoder Stresses Importance Of Federal Biomedical Research

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, center, speaking at a forum on federal biomedical research.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

 

A forum in Overland Park Tuesday morning drew attention to the importance of National Institutes of Health funding. U.S. Rep.  Kevin Yoder, NIH official Christopher Austin and University of Kansas officials spoke before an audience of about 150 at KU’s Edwards campus. Yoder, a Kansas Republican, said that while he’s concerned with the federal deficit and overspending, he supports NIH funding.

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Arts & Culture
3:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

HOK And 360 Architecture To Merge, Take Company Full Circle

Credit courtesy: 360 Architecture

Architecture, engineering and design company HOK announced Tuesday the acquisition of Kansas City-based 360 Architecture. The merger brings HOK, a St. Louis-based firm with offices around the country, back into the realm of sports architecture. 

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Ferguson
3:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

What Kansas City's Past Civil Rights Riots And Ferguson Have In Common

Kansas City residents march on City Hall to protest schools being open during Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral on April 9, 1968
Western Historical Manuscript Collection

The social unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of Michael Brown has sparked national conversations about issues stemming from racial and socioeconomic tension. But this isn't the first time these issues have reached a fever pitch.

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Ferguson Shooting
8:12 am
Tue August 19, 2014

After Cries Of 'Fergustan,' Scrutiny On Military Program

This Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, was obtained by the Clay County Sheriff's Department in April. Because of it's size, it's housed at the county's highway department, where snow plows and large mowers are parked.
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

Police dressed in full combat gear and gas masks, firing rifles directly at protestors as clouds of tear gas drifted up under street lights.

More cops, all in a line, marching behind huge armored tanks. Night sticks in hand, the police pressed protestors back, staying behind shields as people fled.

The images from Ferguson, Mo., last week were startling and cries of “Fergustan” rang from the streets and onto Twitter.

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Health
5:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Missouri Veto Lays Bare Growing Debate Over Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigarette retailer Aaron Todd says "vaping" helped him quit smoking.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Carlo Cavallaro pours a brown liquid into a device that looks a little like a Star Trek phaser. When it hits battery-heated coils, the liquid sizzles and turns into vapor. He takes a big draw and exhales a sugary-smelling cloud.

Cavallaro makes his own custom nicotine-infused e-cigarette juice.

“This one that I have here is a fudge brownie,” he says.

E-cigarettes have only been around the United States for about seven years, and during that time they have been left largely unregulated by the federal government or most state governments, including Missouri.

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Health
5:17 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Kansas Mental Health System Under Increasing Stress

The patient count at Osawatomie State Hospital is at its highest point in 10 years.
Credit www.kansasmemory.org / Kansas State Historical Society

 

One day last month, Osawatomie State Hospital had 254 patients in its care — almost 50 more than its optimal capacity.

The overcrowded conditions forced a few dozen patients, all of them coping with a serious mental illness and likely a danger to themselves or others, to be triple-bunked in rooms meant for two.

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Community
4:12 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Foo's Fighting To Keep Serving Custard At Brookside Shop

Betty Bremser has owned Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo., for 17 years.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A popular frozen custard shop in Kansas City, Mo., could close after an outside real estate company didn't renew its lease for its Brookside location.

Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard has been in the same storefront on Brookside Plaza for more than two decades. But owner Betty Bremser learned last week that First Washington Realty Inc. in Bethesda, Md., the company that owns much of the neighborhood shopping district, didn't plan to renew her lease at the end of this month.

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Health
12:09 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Kansas Cancer Consortium Receives Federal Funding

The National Cancer Institute has provided a five-year, $1.7 million grant to a Wichita-based partnership of cancer treatment and research specialists serving most of Kansas.

Wichita oncologist Shaker Dakhil, who heads the Cancer Center of Kansas, will remain the principal investigator for the community-based clinical trials and care delivery research. He says the NCI grant project will include fewer patients than the program it replaces, but it will furnish more funding per patient and deliver better results.

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Transportation
11:56 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Transit Benefits Could Become Condition For KC Companies Seeking Incentives

The Kansas City Council could rule to make public transit benefits a requirement for large companies seeking incentives from the city.
Credit Stephen Rees/Flickr-CC

The Kansas City city council is considering making group public transit benefit plans a requirement for companies to get economic development incentives. 

"UMKC —All the students have through their student ID a bus pass. That actually where this idea started," says transit chair Russ Johnson.

Johnson says companies with more than 100 employees would have to provide employee bus passes to get the incentives. The cost would be up to 0.1 percent of company payroll.

The plan, he says, would help support public transit, thereby boosting economic development.

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Ferguson Shooting
10:57 am
Mon August 18, 2014

What It Is Like Reporting On The Ground In Ferguson

Masked protesters stand in the streets of Ferguson, Mo., which has been a center of unrest since the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to help restore order in Ferguson, Mo., as protests and sometimes violent confrontations continue.

KCUR's Frank Morris is reporting from Ferguson, and talked with us about his experience there.

Interview highlights:

On whether media coverage has accurately reflected the reality in Ferguson

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Harvest Public Media
7:56 am
Mon August 18, 2014

What Goes Into The Price Of Your Tomato

Vegetable farmer Tom Goeke of St. Charles, Mo., sells his Red Deuce tomatoes wholesale at about $1.50 per pound.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, it’s time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.

While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.

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Economy
7:39 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Brownback Proposing Urban Opportunity Zones In Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback says he'll propose a plan to attract people to some urban areas of Kansas that are in decline.

The governor released few details on the so-called Urban Opportunity Zones, but he says they will likely include parts of Sedgwick, Wyandotte and Shawnee Counties. Brownback says the plan may include tax incentives to attract professionals from out-of-state to the areas.

"So it's getting individuals with — a lot of times — with some education, educated individuals, moving into an area and we hope creating growth," says Brownback.

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Ferguson Shooting
11:10 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder Orders Second Autopsy For Michael Brown

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that a second autopsy will be performed on Michael Brown as soon as possible.
Credit Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Sunday that he is ordering a second autopsy on Michael Brown, the unarmed team shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9.

In a statement authorizing the autopsy, Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon cited the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the case. Fallon also said that Brown’s family requested the additional autopsy. A federal medical examiner will conduct the procedure on the 18-year-old.

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Community
4:00 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Gov. Jay Nixon Declares State of Emergency in Ferguson

"The eyes of the world are watching," Nixon said of Ferguson.

One week after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, Gov. Jay Nixon announced Saturday that he declared a state of emergency for Ferguson, and put a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in place. The curfew follows another night of looting and damage to area storefronts.

Nixon praised 80 cities around the country that have held demonstrations to call for justice in the Brown investigation. But, he said that the world is now watching how Ferguson is handling the reaction to Brown’s death and the investigation into the shooting.

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Community
12:50 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Former UMKC Student Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking Charges

Haight faces five up to five years in prison for sending a UMKC instructor threatening emails.

A former University of Missouri-Kansas City student has pleaded guilty to charges that she cyberstalked her former instructor.

Authorities say Kenna Haight, 27, repeatedly sent an instructor threatening emails from October to December 2013. In announcing the plea, the FBI said that among the statements Haight sent her instructor were: 

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Arts & Culture
12:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Beep Goes The Weasel Combines Music, Vegetables And Drive-In Movies

Matt Hawkins and David Cedillo perform in Beep Goes The Weasel.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Most people go to Boulevard Drive-In in Kansas City, Kan., to watch what’s on the big screen, but this weekend they might stumble upon something a little strange on the way to the snack bar — a two-piece band accompanied by a half dozen or so kids playing music on fruits and vegetables. 

This weekend will be the second time the duo set up at the drive-in,

Earlier this summer, as Dave Cedillo started unloading computer equipment, amps, and vegetables, he explained his set up.

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Central Standard
11:21 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Food Critics: Best Brunch In Kansas City

Credit Erica Firment / Flickr--CC

Brunch. Sometimes it is leisurely and relaxing, sometimes after a long night, it is just necessary. 

From upscale to fresh and light to downright greasy, the Central Standard food critics have you covered for all your mid-morning needs in the Kansas City metro. 

Here are our food critics' recommendations:

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Health
9:34 am
Fri August 15, 2014

New Bus Route Addresses Health Needs Of KCK Residents

Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

It was nearly a decade ago that the Rosedale Development Association, a nonprofit community improvement corporation, identified lack of transportation as a significant barrier for neighborhood residents who wanted better access to medical care, grocery stores and other basic services.

The feedback came via a community-needs survey conducted by a volunteer working with the organization, said Erin Stryka, program manager of the association’s Rosedale Healthy Kids program.

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