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1:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Missouri Governor Talks Youth Unemployment In Wake Of Ferguson Report

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a summer jobs program will help disadvantaged youth gain the soft skills they need for future employment.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A day after a Department of Justice report called out the Ferguson, Mo., police department for racial bias, Gov. Jay Nixon was in Kansas City to tout a summer jobs program he says will help low-income young adults land their first job.

"It's where you first learn the value of a hard day's work, the pride that comes with earning your own paycheck and the liberty of spending it how you want to," says Nixon, "but for too many kids in low-income and minority communities, these opportunities just are not available."

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St. Joseph School District
1:30 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

The House Cleaning In The St. Joseph School District Continues

Dan Colgan resigned Thursday from the St. Joseph Board of Education.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

In a surprise move, a St. Joseph School District board member resigned Thursday morning.

Dr. Dan Colgan is a former board president and was superintendent for 14 years in the district before retiring in 2006 and getting elected to the school board.

In a terse letter to school board president Brad Haggard, Colgan said this was a difficult decision because he "dearly" loves the district. Colgan went on to write that "...it is best for me to step down for the sake of mending the District for for my own health and wellbeing."

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Heartland Health Monitor
12:39 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Bills Would Further Restrict Kansas Welfare Eligibility

Bills that would further tighten eligibility for public assistance programs will be among the first that Kansas lawmakers consider this week when they return to the Capitol from a short mid-session break.

The bills — House Bill 2381 — and Senate Bill 256 ­— would write into state law several controversial administrative changes made in recent years as part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s efforts to move people from welfare to work.

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Heartland Health Monitor
10:03 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Kansas Bill Would Give Parents More Leeway To Refuse Medication For Kids

Credit BigStock

A 14-year-old Washington boy died of leukemia in 2007 after a judge ruled the state could not compel him or his legal guardian to accept blood transfusions that ran counter to their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses .

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Sports
8:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Central Missouri Begins Defense Of Its Basketball National Championship

Post-season men’s college basketball gets underway Thursday at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City.

The MIAA tournament for Division II teams was the start of a national championship run a year ago.

Central Missouri’s march to the national championship last year was the fourth in the school’s history and the first under Coach Kim Anderson before he moved on to take over the Missouri Tigers.

After winning the championship, Anderson said other parts of the country probably don’t know how good the quality of Division II basketball is in this region.

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Arts & Culture
7:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

National Storytelling Network Moves To Town, Adds Characters To Kansas City's Scene

A storyteller named Jo Ho was a featured presenter during Metropolitan Community College's Storytelling Celebration 2014 at the Woodneath Library.

There’s a storytelling renaissance going on, and Kansas City’s about to be at the heart of it.

To understand what's happening, the first thing you need to know is this: There is such a thing as an official storyteller. We’re not talking about your average barstool raconteur. We’re talking about people who hone a craft. Who practice an art. Who carefully structure their yarns with slow reveals and escalating tension, all in an effort to convey deep meaning. For many of these people, it's a career.

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Government
7:40 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Budget Panel Proposes Funding Cuts For KU, K-State

A budget-writing subcommittee in the Kansas Senate has proposed cutting millions of dollars from the University of Kansas and shifting that money to the KU Medical Center. The plan would also cut Kansas State University.

The proposal from Republican Sen. Tom Arpke would cut KU’s main campus by more than $9 million over the next two years. Arpke says there would be a similar funding increase for KU Med, with the goal of training more doctors for rural areas.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:54 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Olathe Student Confirmed With Case Of Tuberculosis

An Olathe high school student has contracted tuberculosis and is being treated, state and local health officials said Wednesday.

The student, who was not identified, attends Olathe Northwest High School. Health officials said in a news release that the student was complying with isolation procedures.

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School Funding
3:28 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Kansas Governor Says School Budget Cuts Still Coming

Kansas Gov. Brownback says education cuts are coming despite higher tax collections in February.
Credit Brad Wilson / Flickr-CC

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is not planning to back off budget cuts to public schools even though tax collections were better than expected last month.

As those reductions approach, districts are trying to figure out where to cut. 

There was some hope that the governor would back away from $28 million in K-12 cuts he announced in early February if revenue rebounded a bit.

After revenues fell short of expectations in December and January, the state collected $22 million more in taxes than expected in February.

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Community
3:22 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

KCK Police Investigate Overnight Shooting Of Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputy

A manhunt continues in Kansas City, Kan., for a suspect or suspects who wounded a Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy early Wednesday morning.

The deputy stopped at a gas station in the 4400 block of Shawnee Drive around 1 a.m. His shift had just ended, and he was in uniform when he was shot during an apparent robbery attempt.

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Up To Date
3:20 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach On New Development Projects And Challenges In OP

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach gave his annual State of the City address at the Overland Park Convention Center on Tuesday.
Credit Overland Park Kansas

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach is beginning his 10th year in office, and this year looks to be a busy one, with plenty of development going on in the city. 

Gerlach spoke about some of those development projects, including an indoor skydiving facility he is excited to try out, in his State of the City address on Tuesday

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:21 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Thousands Of Kansans, Missourians Could Lose Health Coverage If Court Erases Subsidies

More than 300,000 consumers in Kansas and Missouri have a stake in the case argued Wednesday in the U.S. Supreme Court over a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

The vast majority of people who purchased Affordable Care Act coverage in both states qualified for federal tax credits. But they could lose those credits if the court rules that only consumers using state-based marketplaces are entitled to them.

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McTavish Weekend Extra
12:18 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

6 Alternative Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

The Real Deal Tattoo Convention at the Uptown Theater is one alternative activity to do in Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Tony Alter / Flickr-CC

Eschew the same ole same ole this weekend by embracing an alternative. You can begin by saying “eschew” with me. Ooh, that was different.

Try something novel, such as exploring the fascinating artistic world of tattoo culture, viewing female Hamlets in existential action or appreciating this month’s full moon in a whole new way.

You don’t have to reinvent your leisure-time wheel. Just steer it in a new direction. The unusually rewarding is right around the corner.

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Community
11:15 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Why KCUR Refers To The Accused JCC Shooter As Frazier Glenn Cross

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. is charged with capital murder in the deaths of three people at Overland Park, Kan., Jewish sites in April 2014.
Credit Johnson County District Attorney

The man accused of killing three people last spring at two Overland Park, Kan., Jewish sites has two names.

There's the name he was born with, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., which he used to build a following of like-minded anti-Semites and radical extremists in the 1980s.

And then there's the name he was given after turning state's evidence, Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., which remains his legal name.

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Kansas City
10:51 am
Wed March 4, 2015

WATCH: Two Time-Lapse Videos That May Make Kansas City Lovers Cry

A still of Union Station from one of two time-lapse videos of Kansas City's sights.
Credit Dan Wood / Vimeo-CC

A wise man once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 

Luckily, there are two time-lapse videos of Kansas City's sights that will help you stop and look around our beautiful city. The first came out late last year, and the second just a few days ago.

Be sure to keep some tissues handy if you're the sentimental type:

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Government
7:51 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Kansas Senate Committee To Begin Hearings On Court Nominee

A Kansas Senate committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to study the governor’s choice to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Gov. Sam Brownback has picked Topeka attorney Kathryn Gardner to fill the open seat.

During the hearing, senators will hear from any supporters and opponents of Gardner’s nomination. Then, senators will have a chance to pepper Gardner with questions about her experience and qualifications.

When Brownback announced that Gardner would be his pick, he said she meets the standards Kansans set for judges.

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Sports
7:48 am
Wed March 4, 2015

KU Clinches Big 12 Title In Overtime Win

In dramatic fashion, the Kansas Jayhawks clinched their 11th straight men’s basketball title in the Big 12 Wednesday.

At one point in the game, the ninth-ranked Jayhawks trailed 20th-ranked West Virginia by 18, but KU came back in the second half and forced overtime before pulling out the victory 76-69.

West Virginia played without two starters, but coach Bob Huggins was irked when asked about them.

“I’m not worried about those two guys. If they play, they play. If they don’t play, they don’t play,” Huggins said.

Education
5:35 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Two Kansas City Metro Schools Moving To Year-Round Calendar

Crestview Elementary School in the North Kansas City School District will add 31 days to the school year.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

Most educators believe that American students aren’t in school enough.

Ask teachers what would improve academics and most would say more time with their kids — and there’s plenty of research to back that up.

Starting in June students in two metro elementary schools will be seeing their teachers a whole lot more and summer a whole lot less.

Winnwood and Crestview elementary schools in the North Kansas City School District will be adding 31 days to their academic calendars. They are the first two schools in Missouri to, essentially, go year-round. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:36 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Group Vows To Improve Conditions At Osawatomie State Hospital

Kansas Sen. Molly Baumgardner thought it’d be great if a dozen — maybe two dozen — people showed up for a town hall meeting she’d convened in Osawatomie to talk about conditions at the state mental health hospital.

“There’s a lot of fear and anxiety, I know,” she said. “People are afraid they’ll lose their jobs if they say anything.”

So it was “wonderful,” Baumgardner said, when nearly 100 people — current and former hospital employees, mostly — turned out for the 90-minute discussion Monday evening in Memorial Hall near the city’s historic John Brown Memorial Park.

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Community
2:33 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Accused Jewish Community Center Shooter Will Stand Trial

Police tow a car belonging to Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., the man accused of killing three people at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom. Four weapons were confiscated from Cross' vehicle.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The man accused of killing three people at two Overland Park, Kan., Jewish sites last spring will stand trial for capital murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges stemming from the shootings.

Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan found the state had established probable cause in its case against Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74. The judge agreed with a request from Cross' legal team to postpone arraignment.

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Arts & Culture
1:59 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

High School Violinist From Prairie Village To Tour China With National Youth Orchestra

Violinist Akshay Dinakar
Credit courtesy: Akshay Dinakar

Akshay Dinakar, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kan., has been invited to play with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).

Carnegie Hall on Tuesday announced the 144 musicians, ages 16-19, chosen after an extensive audition process. They're considered to be some of the finest players in the country. 

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Education
7:54 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Kansas City Public Schools Expand Summer School For Marketing, Safety

Attucks Elementary School in the Kansas City Public School district will hold summer school again this year.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

It’s time to rethink summer.

At least that’s what educators are now telling parents and students. And academics, it turns out, is just one part of the new plan.

Here’s what’s true about summer, especially in the Kansas City, Mo., public schools: Students slip academically, they eat awful food and they often get in trouble.

But there’s a solution, says Kansas City Superintendent Steve Green. Just keep kids in school.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:07 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Proviso Delays Kansas Health Home Expansion

The Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee has adopted a budget proviso that’s expected to delay the implementation of “health homes” for KanCare patients with chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.

The proviso, drafted by Sen. Jim Denning, a Republican from Overland Park, stipulates that no state money shall be spent on KanCare health homes for chronic conditions without the Legislature’s explicit consent in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 — through June 30, 2017.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:19 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Cerner Wins $170M Contract In Australia

Cerner's headquarters in North Kansas City.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Kansas City-based health IT giant Cerner Corp. has won a $170 million, 10-year contract to provide its medications management system to hospitals in New South Wales, Australia.

The winning bid was first reported last week by Pulse+IT magazine, a health IT publication in Australia.

The magazine said that, while the value of the contract was not disclosed, the New South Wales government had allocated $170 million for the program. It said the aim was to improve medication safety from supply through prescribing and administration.

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Economy
11:47 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Kansas City Startup To Offer Its Technology On Millions Of Chinese Smartphones

EyeVerify technology will soon be included on some smartphones available in China.
Credit Courtesy / EyeVerify

Kansas City-based tech firm EyeVerify announced a major deal Sunday, one that will put its technology on millions of Chinese smart phones.  

EyeVerify develops mobile technology that can recognize the unique veins in a person’s eye in a fraction of a second. Users just have to look at their phone cameras to unlock the device, or open a password-protected site. EyeVerify founder Toby Rush says it’s more secure than a password, and easier.

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Community
10:57 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Preliminary Hearing For Man Charged In Jewish Site Shootings

Updated, 2:35 p.m. Monday:

An eyewitness to the shootings last spring at Overland Park, Kan., Jewish sites told a Johnson County judge Monday she feared for her life when the defendant asked if she was a Jew.

"I knew if I gave the wrong answer, he would shoot me," Maggie Hunker testified.

Hunker had just finished eating lunch with a friend at Village Shalom on April 13, 2014, when she saw a man gun down a woman in the retirement home's parking lot.

That woman was later identified as Terri LaManno.

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Harvest Public Media
8:41 am
Mon March 2, 2015

U.S. Ranchers Counting On Labels To Stand Apart From Global Competition

Country of origin labels on packages of beef, pork, chicken and other meat are supposed to list where a harvested animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

You’ve probably seen, but may not have noticed, labels on the meat at your grocery store that say something like “Born, Raised, & Harvest in the U.S.A.” or “Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.”

These country of origin labels, as they are known, are part of an ongoing international trade dispute that has swept up Midwest ranchers. And they may not be long for store shelves.

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Community
8:15 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Long Abandoned Railway To Connect Kansas City To The Katy Trail

The Rock Island Railroad trail will provide a direct connection between the Kansas City metro and the Katy Trail.
Credit MoBikeFed / Flickr-CC

A recent federal ruling will help connect the Kansas City metro to the Katy Trail. 

The Surface Transportation Board issued its decision Thursday to allow 144 miles of the Rock Island Railroad tracks to be used as a bike trail. The railroad hasn't been used for more than 30 years.

Once completed, it will create one of the longest cycling trail networks in the country. 

Eric Bunch of BikeWalkKC says the connection will be a boon for both Kansas City and the entire state. 

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Community
8:15 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Citizens Speak Out Against Cuts At Kansas City Budget Hearing

Kansas City, Mo., residents had one of their last chances to speak out about the city's proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year Saturday.

The biggest issues were incoming cuts to cultural facilities like the American Jazz Museum and safety net health clinics. The Jazz Museum alone stands to lose $125,000 in funding.

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Arts & Culture
7:50 am
Sun March 1, 2015

LISTEN: Fiction Writer Catherine Browder Pays Homage To Chekhov

Catherine Browder is an associate in the Creative Writing program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, whose one-act and full-length plays have been produced regionally and in New York City. She is the author of three fiction collections.

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