News

Pages

Arts & Culture
2:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kansas City Streetcar System Now Officially Named ... KC Streetcar

Willoughby Design's KC Streetcar logo without text.
Credit Kansas City Streetcar Authority

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority has released the name and branding for the city's new downtown streetcar line.

Created by Willoughby Design, Inc., the package approved by the Authority on Thursday includes a name, icon, color palette and other branding elements.

The transit system's now-official name — KC Streetcar — is "simple, intuitive and universal, giving Kansas City a place among the best transit systems in the world, ” says Tom Trabon, chair of the Streetcar Authority Board.

Read more
Health
2:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New KDADS Chief To Focus On Home- And Community-Based Services

Kari Bruffett, the new secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

 

 

Kari Bruffett, who was confirmed Thursday as secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said one of her first goals will be to continue the transition away from institutional care for people with disabilities in favor of home- and community-based services.

The Legislature's Confirmation Oversight Committee approved Bruffett unanimously after she told committee members that her agency's mission fits neatly with a personal mission statement she formulated while working as a government affairs liaison at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Read more
Health
8:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

KanCare Payment Delays Threaten Rural Hospital

With 60 employees and a $3 million annual budget, Hanover Hospital is more vulnerable to cash flow issues, says Dr. Roger Warren. It's one of two hospitals in Washington County.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

The rural hospital that Dr. Roger Warren leads in Hanover, Kan., is owed about $140,000 by the three insurance companies the state contracted with to administer Medicaid. And as he walks the halls, Warren is able to point out exactly what that money means to his full-service medical clinic.

Read more
Politics
8:13 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Schodorf To Kobach: Release Tax Records

The Democrat running against Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has released her tax records to the media, and she says Kobach should do the same.

Kobach is occasionally in national headlines for his legal work on immigration. At issue is how much time he spends on that work outside his job as secretary of state.

Former state Senator Jean Schodorf from Wichita, has questioned if Kobach spends too much time working on immigration issues. She wants Kobach to provide his tax documents because she says that would prove how he spends his time.

Read more
Health
7:18 am
Thu August 28, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Jenny McKee

Jenny McKee is health educator and grant coordinator for the University of Kansas Student Health Services.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The University of Kansas fall semester started this week, and along with new classes comes a big change in lifestyle for thousands of students. Junk food, all-night study sessions, marathon parties – the college life has a reputation as being a less-than-healthy one.

For this month’s KC Checkup, KCUR’s Alex Smith spoke with KU health educator and grant coordinator Jenny McKee about the health of the latest generation of young scholars.  

Read more
Community
5:08 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Judge Throws Out Case Against Lawyer Suing Owners Of Power & Light For Discrimination

The Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., was at the center of multiple lawsuits.
Credit Missouri Dept. of Tourism / Flickr--CC

A federal judge has thrown out racketeering charges against the firm of Linda Dickens, the local attorney who is suing the owners of the Kansas City Power & Light District  for racial discrimination on behalf of African-American clients.

In a ruling handed down Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum said the allegations by The Cordish Companies Inc. did not amount to the kind of long-term criminal activity against which the racketeering law is aimed.

Read more
Government
4:53 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

McCaskill: Police Departments Need To Invest In Body-Mounted Cameras

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, was in Kansas City Wednesday touring a manufacturing company. She talked about the events in Ferguson, Mo., and how police can better serve their communities in the future.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says after what happened in Ferguson, Mo., more law enforcement agencies should be equipped with body-mounted cameras.

"I believe with today's technology, body cams on police officers not only protect members of the community from somebody who might be overreacting, but it really protects police officers, also," says McCaskill, who was in town Wednesday visiting a Kansas City manufacturing company.

McCaskill says she would support legislation requiring the cameras for all police departments that receive federal funding.

Read more
Northland Schools
4:48 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

New Way To Manage Northland Crime Tips

Credit Courtesy Crime Stoppers

Parents and students in Northland school districts  have a new, more efficient way to relay tips to Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers has promoted its 474-TIPS hotline number for 32 years. More recently, the organization started taking tips by texts. The Northland Safe School Task Force got so many texts that officials reached out to Kansas City Crime Stoppers to help manage the information from students and parents.

Read more
Government
3:27 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sen. McCaskill Says Not Reauthorizing Export-Import Bank Would Hurt Missouri Businesses

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, center, tours the Western Forms factory in Kansas City. The company, which makes aluminum models used to pour concrete houses, uses the United States Export-Import Bank to do business overseas.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill toured a Kansas City manufacturing company Wednesday before calling on Congress to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank.

The bank helps finance and insure overseas purchases of American-made goods.

According to McCaskill, 96 Missouri companies currently use the Export-Import Bank, including Western Forms. The Kansas City company sells aluminum molds to pour concrete houses and does about half of its business abroad.

Read more
Harvest Public Media
7:53 am
Wed August 27, 2014

USDA Predicts Drop In Farm Income

Farmers’ can anticipate a sharp drop in income this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In fact, the USDA predicts the $113 billion earned in 2014 will be the lowest amount of net farm income in five years. That’s equal to about a 14 percent fall from last year’s record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.

Read more
KCK School District
5:23 am
Wed August 27, 2014

In Wake Of Sandy Hook, KCK Public Schools Roll Out District Police

New Kansas City, Kansas School District police officers will be in all district high school and middle schools this year
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, a lot has changed in the way police respond to a school shooter.

Squads no longer wait for SWAT teams to arrive. Now, they rush in to try and stop the shooter as quickly as possible.

Read more
Health
5:14 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Push For Their Own Primary Care Practices

The lobbyist for a group of advanced practice Kansas nurses seeking a compromise with doctors on scope of practice legislation was not expecting much heading into the first round of talks.

But the marathon session held late last week changed Mary Ellen Conlee’s outlook.

“I’m much more optimistic,” Conlee says.

Read more
Health
4:11 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

KU Hospital Joins Forces To Oppose Liver Transplant Proposal

Dr. Timothy Schmitt, left, and Dr. Sean Kumer perform a liver transplant at KU Hospital.
Credit University of Kansas Hospital

 

Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital have teamed up with dozens of other transplant programs to urge delay of a proposal that would change how livers for transplant are distributed around the country.

The proposal, scheduled to be taken up in Chicago in mid-September, would have a profound impact on KU Hospital, which runs one of the top liver transplant programs by volume in the country, and other regional transplant centers.

Read more
Government
3:20 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

So Far This Year, Crime Is Down In Kansas City

Fewer violent crimes were reported in Kansas City, Mo., in the first half of 2014, down 7 percent compared to the same time last year.

"For example, homicides, we've had 42 this year, which is way too many," says Kansas City Police Captain Tye Grant. "But year-to-date, that's in comparison to 67 last year."

Mayor Sly James tweeted a copy of the police department's monthly crime summary Tuesday, calling the drop "good news" for Kansas City.

Read more
Harvest Public Media
8:17 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Marijuana Industry Faces Food Safety Test

Organic Alternatives Manager Maka Kalaí holds a card with cannabis safety tips. The cards were developed by the Cannabis Business Alliance and are handed out with every purchase at the Fort Collins, Colo., store.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

  When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened up the sale of food products infused with the drug to anyone over the age of 21. That means a whole set of bakers and food companies have to ensure their products aren’t contaminated with foodborne pathogens, and that they’re not falling in to the hands of children or too potent to eat.

Read more
Politics
8:14 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Brownback, Davis Clash Over Kansas Education Funding

Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has unveiled some education goals he'll push for if he's reelected to a second term in office. Brownback says he'll aim for 60 percent of Kansas adults to have a college degree or technical certificate.

At events in Topeka and the Kansas City area Brownback also hinted at a clash over education funding between himself and his Democratic challenger in the gubernatorial race, Rep. Paul Davis.

Brownback touted funding increases during his time in office, specifically money targeted at technical education programs.

Read more
Education
3:43 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Educators Meet In Kansas City For Early Childhood Education Summit

Educators are meeting in Kansas City to discuss the importance of pre-kindergarten education.
Credit CC: Lochoaymca

Educators, politicians, doctors and clergy all gathered in Kansas City Monday to discuss early childhood development.

Almost everyone agrees Pre-K education is crucial. The mantra for early educators is, "Talk, read, play."

Before they start kindergarten, teachers say, children need a lot of interaction with adults. Research shows that, on average, lower income children start school knowing 900 fewer words than more affluent children.

Read more
Health
3:13 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Kansas Ranks 47th Worst For Use Of Drugs To Control Dementia Patients

Jodi Buckmeier, a licensed practical nurse, checks medication information for residents at Brewster Place in Topeka. Brewster Place ranks among Kansas nursing homes with the lowest rates of use of antipsychotic medication for its residents - at 7.8 percent for the last quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014 - although the state's overall rate ranks 47th worst.
Credit Susie Fagan / KHI News Service

 

Experts say powerful antipsychotic drugs — sometimes given in combination — are used too much and often inappropriately as “chemical restraints” or sedatives to control the behavior of Kansas nursing home residents suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and that efforts to curb the practice so far are showing weak results compared with other states.

Read more
Ferguson
2:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Mayor Sly James On Ferguson, Profiling And Diversity

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James stopped by KCUR to talk about Ferguson and how Kansas City is similar and different from the St. Louis suburb.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

In light of protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the police shooting of Michael Brown, Kansas City leaders held a panel Saturday centered around a big question for people of color: What should I do when I am stopped by the police?

Read more
Agriculture
11:42 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Millions Lost In Grain Elevator Failure Prompts Talk Of Safety Net

Before it defaulted on loans and was shuttered by regulator, the Pierce Elevator was a major business in town.
Credit Bill Kelly / for Harvest Public Media

In Nebraska, farmers say they’re left with about $9 million in unpaid claims when a grain elevator failed in the town of Pierce. It looks as if farmers’ losses could eventually top $4 million.

Without a financial safety net to depend on, farmers are watching this case in eastern Nebraska. They’re looking for lessons in order to avoid another massive financial wreckage in the future.

Read more
Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Mon August 25, 2014

PHOTOS: Wiley's Kansas City Street Art Beautifies Utility Boxes

Corner of W. 45th St. and Belleview
C.J. Janovy KCUR

On Central Standard in July, host Gina Kaufmann asked the Kansas City graffiti artist known as Gear to explain his theory that graffiti is “the beautification of the city.”

Most graffiti artists choose areas that are run-down or buildings that haven’t been taken care of by their landlords, Gear said.

Read more
Literature
9:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Author Lois Lowry. Her 1993 children's novel, The Giver, has been turned into a film.
Credit courtesy: NEH

  Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a film. 

"The Giver was the first book that I wrote that veered out of the realistic, and tiptoed a bit into fantasy. Some people call it science fiction. I don't like to think of it that way," Lowry tells our New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

Read more
Ferguson Shooting
1:01 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Chris Koster To Host Two-Day Workshop To Discuss Minorities In Police Departments

Chris Koster will host a workshop in Kansas City and St. Louis to discuss increasing the number of minority police officers in police departments.
Credit Attorney General's Office

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Sunday that he will host a two-day workshop in Kansas City and St. Louis to discuss why so many cities in Missouri have low numbers of minorities in their police departments. Koster said in a release announcing the event that he wanted to talk with police chiefs, school administrators and community leaders to find out why many urban police forces around the state don't reflect the racial makeup of cities they serve. 

Read more
Chiefs
9:09 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Matt Cassel Makes Triumphant Return To Arrowhead Stadium

Matt Cassel enjoyed his return to Arrowhead Stadium with a 30-12 win Saturday night.
Credit Kyle Engman (Creative Commons)

Quarterback Matt Cassel returned to Arrowhead Stadium Saturday night for the first time since he played for the Kansas City Chiefs two years ago.  Cassel jump-started the Minnesota Vikings In their 30-12 exhibition win over the Chiefs.

Cassel was the focal point of the frustration that Chiefs fans felt two years ago when the team was 2-14.

When there were cheers after Matt Cassel was injured two years ago, it brought out the wrath at the time of his teammate Eric Winston.

Read more
Education
9:02 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Missouri School District MAP Scores To Be Released This Week

Credit Christopher Sessums / Flickr--CC

Later this week the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will release Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test scores for every school in the state.

The state already released preliminary results for Kansas City Public Schools on Aug. 6 when DESE announced the district had been provisionally accredited. At that time DESE said Kansas City received 86 out of a possible 140 points. Enough for the board to accredit the district for the first time in two years.

Read more
Community
4:08 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Mayor Sly James, Politicians Offer Young African-American Men Advice On Interacting With Police

Mayor Sly James and other officials offered advice on police interaction to African American men on Saturday.
Credit Ben Palosaari

Politicians, religious leaders and police hosted a town hall meeting Saturday at St. James United Methodist Church to help young African-American men be prepared for one question: What do I do when I am stopped by the police?

The nation and media continue to be focused on what happens next in Ferguson, Mo. after unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer two weeks ago. Local authorities wanted to take this chance to help avoid a Ferguson in Kansas City.

Read more
Arts & Culture
9:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Film Review: Anna Kendrick's Flakiness Complicates Her Family's 'Happy Christmas'

Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick attempt a babysitting job with Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas."
Credit Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The new dysfunctional family comedy Happy Christmas may have modest goals, but it makes an impact thanks to several lively and well-crafted performances. Chief among those is Anna Kendrick. The Oscar nominee from Up in the Air is delightfully scattered as Jenny, a young woman fresh off a break-up who retreats to her brother’s home in Chicago in hopes of reconnecting with old friends and sustaining a semi-permanent buzz.

Read more
Arts & Culture
7:45 am
Fri August 22, 2014

'Word Play' Exhibition At The Belger Explores Power And Humor In Text

The Belger Arts Center has collected the work of Renee Stout for decades, including 'Fatima's Sign.' Gallery assistant Mo Dickens describes it as a voodoo menu, lotions and potions you might find in a voodoo shop.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The experience of viewing a work of art often involves words — think of the neatly typed wall panels with an artist’s name and background, or details about the work itself. The written word — and its role in and on an artwork — is the focus of a Belger Arts Center exhibition in the Crossroads Arts District. 

"A couple of years ago, there were some visitors waiting for the elevator over there," says gallery assistant Mo Dickens, on the third floor of the Belger Arts Center. "And I heard one turn to the other and say, 'Hmm … I don’t know. I’ve never liked text on paintings.'" 

Read more
Government
12:32 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Kansas City Council Sidesteps Chastain Lawsuit Threat, Reaffirms Ballot Language

Legal maneuvering continued Thursday over a court order to put a Clay Chastain light rail proposal on the Kansas City ballot. The city still appeared to stay a step ahead of the perennial activist.

After the Kansas City Council voted to put the two sales taxes Clay Chastain proposed to pay for his light rail initiative on the ballot with no mention of the plan or light rail, Chastain threatened to sue charging that the council failed to give the public the required 24 hours notice of their final vote.

Read more
Arts & Culture
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.

Read more

Pages