News

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

A year ago there were almost 3,500 Kansans with physical disabilities awaiting Medicaid coverage for services to help them live in their homes and communities.

Much has changed in 12 months. The physical disability (PD) waiting list is down to fewer than 1,500 people, and Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, told members of the National Council on Disability who visited Topeka earlier this month that more reductions are coming.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Cara Smith didn't move to Parkville, Missouri, for the Missouri River.

But that's why she stayed.

Caroline Kull / KCUR

Pull in to the tiny Nelle Belle’s diner (pronounced “nell-ee bells”) on U.S. Highway 69 in Claycomo any weekday morning, and you’re likely to find the parking lot packed.

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Modernist architecture flourished in the Kansas City area in the period following World War II, particularly at the time that the Johnson County suburbs were developing in Kansas.

Poncie Rutsch / KUNC

Many of the more than 3 million migrant farm workers that plant and pick the fruits and vegetables we eat in the U.S. live on the farms they work for. But the rules that govern farmworker housing may be changing, worrying both farmers and migrant worker advocates.

Courtesy photo / Missouri Valley Special Collections -- Kansas City Public Library

What a lot of Kansas Citians love about Midtown is the historic character of the area.

Twenty-two distinct neighborhoods make up what Kansas Citians call Midtown, an area spanning from 31st to 55th streets, former KCUR news director Mary Jo Draper lays out in her book, Kansas City's Midtown Neighborhoods.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Monique Gabrielle Salazar is a writer, artist and musician. A member of the Latino Writers Collective, she’s also a self-described “collector of nostalgia.”

Here, she reads four poems in a series:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Democrat Katheryn Shields, who will take her seat on Kansas City Council on Aug. 1 after a close election win, didn't grow up dreaming of political campaigns, though the Parkville farm where she grew up as an only girl with four older brothers did teach her to be "a bit of a scrapper." 

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A nonpartisan, nonprofit group of more than 500 retired generals and admirals see school nutrition as an important factor in military readiness.

The group, Mission: Readiness, on Wednesday released the Kansas version of a report drawing a connection between healthier school meals and the pool of potential recruits for America’s armed forces.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Greg Carroll, CEO of the American Jazz Museum since 2007, has announced his resignation, effective immediately.

In a news release announcing Carroll's resignation, museum board officers praised Carroll's leadership but gave no explanation for his sudden departure.

Dave Burkhardt / The Hale Center for Journalism

After Ashley Anderson gave birth to her daughter, Jade Marie, the nurses placed the little girl on her mom’s chest.

She says she remembers her newborn looking serene, with delicate lashes, her eyes gently closed.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Ask Kansas Citians of a certain generation, “Where were you the night the skywalk collapsed?” and they will give you an immediate answer.

Thirty-four years on and the memories of that night are still fresh for many.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

One of the leading advocates for Medicaid expansion in Kansas says it’s time to change tactics.

This week Alaska became the 30th state to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Kansas is one of the remaining states where Republican legislators and governors remain resistant.

Caroline Kull / KCUR

  The Kansas City Council has endorsed a plan to make part of Troost Avenue more neighborhood friendly.

The plan, which received unanimous approval Thursday, lays out a set of design standards for commercial and residential development along the corridor — from 22nd Street to Brush Creek Boulevard.

BigStock

Missouri must disclose the names of the pharmacy from which it buys lethal injection drugs, a circuit court judge has ruled in yet another case challenging the Department of Corrections’ refusal to provide such information.

Courtesy photo / Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

Updated, 4:30 p.m., Friday:

A Johnson County judge won't let the accused Jewish Community Center shooter use his anti-Semitic world view to mount a legal defense at trial next month.

Jeff Church / The Coterie

Linda Ade Brand has been involved with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for decades, so she knows many of singers, actors composers, directors and teachers in town. About a year ago, she had a big idea that would put the work of high school students on stage. The result is a KC Fringe Festival show, "Words+Music," that turns short plays by high school students into a night of tiny operas.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The July meeting of the Olathe Public Schools usually has been pro forma, even a little boring, with election of board officers and some statutorily required actions.

But not Thursday night's meeting. The board, three of whom were just elected, got the news that the district has a $2 million deficit and up to 80 layoffs may be needed to close the gap.

The Kansas City Council passed an ordinance Thursday raising the city's minimum wage. 

Cheers rang out in chamber after the council approved the new ordinance 12 - 1. It will bump wages up to $8.50 an hour by August 24, and will eventually cap at $13 an hour by Jan. 1, 2020. 

But Mayor Sly James made it clear that the ordinance could be found to violate state law, and that legislators are unlikely to simply let it stand.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr--CC

KCUR Announcer Linda Sher's life changed when her high school French teacher challenged her.

Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann credits her love of literature to fond memories of listening to her elementary school teacher read out loud in class.

And I owe my career in journalism to my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Bentley, who turned my weakness in writing into a strength by paying me a little extra attention.

Bill Anderson / KCUR

There's a familiar saying in the Midwest when it comes to weather — if you don’t like it, wait five minutes.

Well, crazy Kansas City weather hasn’t let us down this year. Winter saw very little moisture, yet May was the the sixth wettest in Kansas City history and we’re right on track for record levels of precipitation as the summer continues.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A new transplant center at Children’s Mercy will foster collaboration between heart, kidney and liver specialists.

Executive Medical Director Charlie Roberts says bringing the three transplant teams together will allow Children’s Mercy to offer patients an even higher level of care.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

As a city ages, buildings and other structures can fall into disrepair and eventually end up abandoned and forgotten. 

In his book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences, photographer Matthew Christopher seeks out these places and tries to tell their stories through the lens of his camera.

Jon Sullivan--CC

The 11th annual Kansas City Fringe Festival kicks off this weekend offering various opportunities to experience edgy entertainment involving theater, comedy, music, dance and more.

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

A Kansas district court judge is raising concerns about reports that state officials are considering policy changes that would prohibit couples who aren’t married from being foster parents.

Neighbors and parishioners continued to do verbal battle with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as a Kansas City Council committee revisited the proposal to replace  the former St. Francis School with student apartments.

On Wednesday, the committee tossed the matter to the full City Council.

A guarantee of 55 more parking spaces for the St. Francis Xavier Church didn't appease opposition to the proposed 235-bedroom residential building. Neighborhood groups and church members have battled successive versions of the proposal for three years. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Fringe Festival brings an edgy mix of theater, music, dance and comedy to Kansas City audiences. One production, "Silver: A Noir Ballet," gives a jazzy new life to an epic Greek poem. 

MU System

College classes start in about a month but just this week a group of students in Missouri were told their tuition might double and some may lose scholarships.

It’s due to a rule change passed by state lawmakers and could affect hundreds of students.

The rule effects students brought to the U.S. as children and are undocumented because their parents entered the country illegally.

These are the so-called dream children who, in most cases, have spent nearly their entire life in the United States.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Low-income college students got some good news Wednesday from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

Nixon announced additional money will be directed toward the need-based Access Missouri scholarship program.

At a news conference on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, the governor said Access Missouri serves about 50,000 students at both two- year and four-year institutions.

Low-income residents in Kansas City soon will have access to high-speed broadband in public housing as part of a national initiative to improve Internet access.

“I think we have a real responsibility to make sure everyone has access to the Internet and the really life-changing capabilities it can bring,” says Rick Usher, assistant city manager.

Kansas City is one of 27 cities participating in the ConnectHome Initiative, which President Obama announced Wednesday in Durant, Oklahoma.

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