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The Villages, Inc. on Facebook

A Topeka shelter has been receiving children who were separated from their parents at the border for about two weeks, its executive director confirmed Friday.

The Topeka campus of The Villages, Inc. started accepting children who had entered the country without a parent or other relative last year. It’s been scaling up its capacity for migrant children since then, and can now house up to 50 of those kids.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Kansas received a passing grade for its highways earlier this week when the state’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers released its latest “infrastructure report card.” However, the engineers also warned that sweeping cuts to Kansas Department of Transportation funding are still causing roadways to suffer.

Burns and McDonnell

Copaken Brooks is proposing a 14-story apartment tower on the southwest corner of 18th and Walnut, a striking addition to the skyline that would replace a crumbling Crossroads parking lot with 132 residences.

The $40- to $50 million project would be the second residential tower developed by the firm in the Crossroads Arts District. The other is the 12-story ARTerra project going up at 2100 Wyandotte.

It’s also a half-block north of the firm’s Corrigan Station office development at 19th and Walnut.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Updated 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21.

The estimated cost of the new, single-terminal KCI Airport is $300 million more than previously thought, officials said Thursday.

In addition to four more gates, the terminal building itself will be bigger, causing the cost to rise to between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.

Aviation director Pat Klein assured the city council during an update that the airlines who use the airport —and who will ultimately be on the hook for the cost — support the increase.

Google

A Topeka shelter is housing children separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border.

The Villages, Inc. has a 50-year history of taking in troubled youth grappling with abuse, drug problems, or involvement in criminal activity, at its seven homes in Lawrence and Topeka.

It’s now taking in children in the custody of the U.S. government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, The Villages president Joseph Wittrock confirmed in a statement.

PoolSafely / Flickr — CC

Summer’s here and the time is right for … fun.

Bet you saw that coming. Yet here we are in the midst of the summer solstice, and I wonder: Have you truly gotten your summer on? If so, good for you and don’t forget the sunscreen. If not, it’s handy I’m here to give a nudge toward weekend music, theater and recreation embodying the season.

Summer-fun things won’t wait. Get ’em while they’re hot!

1. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl and Dwight Yoakam

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is looking to throw his hat into the race to be the next mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

A source told KCUR on Thursday morning that the Democrat is considering joining an already-crowded race for the 2019 election. U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's staff told KCUR in an email that Cleaver, a Democrat who was Kansas City's mayor from 1991 to 1999, "did speak with Jason Kander about his mayoral plans."

A Kander spokesman said in a statement only that Kander is "deciding how he can best serve."

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 3:40 p.m. to include additional details. 

Thousands of community members and city leaders joined families and law enforcement officials in Kansas City, Kansas, on Thursday morning for the funeral of two Wyandotte County sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty.

At the ceremony at Children's Mercy Park, Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash eulogized Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In the early 2000s, Tim Finn was raising two young daughters while working as The Kansas City Star's full-time pop music critic. His wife, Lauren Chapin, was the paper's food critic. They were eating in restaurants, bringing home tons of free music and going to shows all the time. He still wonders whether his daughters thought that was just how people lived.

"They must have thought, 'Wow, this is ... you know, what a glorious life.' And it was."

New Kansas City Public Schools Boundary Map Draws Criticism

Jun 20, 2018
Aviva Okeson-Haberman / 89.3

Kansas City Public Schools isn’t getting the new district boundary map it endorsed.

On Wednesday, the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners said it would instead go with a new boundry map drawn by consultants.

The school district has been in the process of complying with a state law that requires the nine-member board to eliminate one subdistrict and one at-large seat by next April.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A plan to build a strip mall on a vacant lot in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhood is drawing the ire of some community groups. 

The lot, at the corner of Independence and Prospect avenues, is on the site where a fire destroyed a building in 2015. Two Kansas City firefighters died when the building collapsed.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

So far this month, eastern Kansas foster care contractor KVC Kansas hasn’t had any kids sleep in its offices. St. Francis, the contractor for the rest of the state, has had four kids overnight, according to the latest update from the state child welfare agency.

In recent months, each of those contractors logged dozens of overnight stays per month.

FILE PHOTO / Reno County Fire District No. 6

A legislative audit released Tuesday concluded that while wildfires in Kansas are becoming more frequent, a lack of resources and coordination are hampering the state’s ability to fight them.

Firefighting duties and resources are spread across three separate agencies, which auditors said is complicating wildfire response and communication between state and local officials.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

A massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — which purports to help states keep voter rolls accurate — has halted operations over concerns about its own accuracy and security.

The Interstate Crosscheck system, which Kobach’s office promised would be working ahead of the 2018 elections, has been sidelined while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducts a security assessment following the unintended release of hundreds of voters’ private information.

Google Maps

The families of five patients who died under mysterious circumstances in 2002 at a Chillicothe, Missouri, hospital got some bad news three years ago.

The Missouri Supreme Court refused to allow their wrongful death lawsuits against the hospital to proceed. The court said the families had filed their lawsuits too late, five years after the three-year statute of limitations had run out.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Amid mounting public pressure over his administration's policy of separating childen and parents crossing the southern border, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the policy.

Among those applying pressure were about a hundred people who responded to a Facebook post calling on them to gather outside the office of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri.

Flickr user Chris Murphy

The Kansas City Police Department released a statement Wednesday with more details about the events on June 14, when police shot and killed three people in two different incidents. 

"These were outcomes no one wanted and were a tragedy for all involved," the KCPD said in a statement that included more information gathered by KCPD detectives for the initial investigation. 

Related: When is it acceptable for police to use lethal force? 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City streetcar advocates got a big win Wednesday, when election officials announced that the tax increase to help fund extending the line to the University of Missouri-Kansas City passed.

That means work on the $227 million project can begin in earnest.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

If you can imagine Las Vegas, a county fair and the TV show Hee Haw mashed up and spread out along an old Ozark highway, then you’ll have an idea of what the main strip of Branson in southern Missouri looks like.

Miles and miles of all the miniature golf, bumper cars, fudge shops, custard stands and music theaters that a vacationing family could hope for. 

Shannon works as a waitress in one of those places – a Branson restaurant – and says she loves being part of the action. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Ahead of a state-mandated redistricting of school board seats, the Kansas City Public Schools Board of Education has put forth its own map suggesting how the boundaries should be drawn.

The proposed map builds on the work of three consultants hired by the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners and incorporates community feedback, KCPS Board of Education Chair Melissa Robinson wrote in a letter to commissioners.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has taken a new step toward building a conservatory after a previous plan was halted last year, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Jackson County has hired one of the biggest providers of jail healthcare in the country to provide service at the downtown jail. However, the company has a history of being sued for poor care.

Over the past ten years, Advanced Correctional Healthcare (ACH) has been sued 108 times in 16 states, according to Justia.com which tracks federal cases online. Several of those lawsuits are in Missouri and Kansas.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Updated June 19, 2018 — Valley Oaks Steak Company obtained a necessary water permit to expand its cattle feedlot and meatpacking business from fewer than 1,000 cows to nearly 7,000 cows.

The feedlot is near the town of Lone Jack and Kansas City's closest botanical garden, Powell Gardens, and the proposed expansion has raised the ire of thousands of people in the area who are concerned about water and air quality issues.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Alfonzo King presided over Kansas City’s public golf courses in the 1960s and 1970s. That was especially true at Swope Park, where he’d regularly play 18 holes with barbeque icon Ollie Gates and civic leader Bruce Watkins.

“A lot of guys used to come down from L.A., Chicago,” the 73-year-old said. “Everybody wanted to come to Kansas City to beat me. I was the drawing card.”

LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library

Who in Kansas City remembers AIDS activists smashing vials of HIV-positive blood in City Hall, and abortion opponents trying to display fetuses in coffins at Planned Parenthood protests?

It was 25 years ago, so you’d have to be a certain age to remember. And you’d need to have been paying attention to the news.

KCUR 89.3 won a National Murrow Award Tuesday for excellence in journalism. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news.

KCUR's Frank Morris won the award for Excellence in Writing for his story about the life and legacy of Robert Craig Knievel, also known as Evel Knievel.

FILE PHOTO / KCUR 89.3

Kansas will no longer be allowed to block people from registering to vote if they don’t provide documents such as birth certificates or passports to prove their citizenship.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that doing so violates the U.S. Constitution and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

Read the complete ruling

“It's a 100 percent win,” said Mark Johnson, a Kansas City attorney who represented one of the plaintiffs, Parker Bednasek. “We got everything we asked for. Can't say that very often.”

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Tat Hidano still gets the usual questions when he’s overseas recruiting international students to Wichita State University. The big one: Where is Wichita?

But lately Hidano has been hearing another question: Will I be safe in the United States?

“The questions about safety in the United States have been dominant,” Hidano said. He says his job has begun to feel less like recruiting and more like diplomacy.

Sophie Tulp

As Cameron Kasky was living through the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, what scared him most wasn’t the confusion or the fear of losing his life.

“The most terrifying feeling was that I knew what was happening,” Kasky said.

“It was a mass school shooting. We had seen these,” he said. “People in my generation, we had grown up on them.”

File photo by Dan Verbeck / KCUR 89.3

The Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children who cross the border without legal permission has become a divisive issue across the United States and in Congress.

The policy spurred U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, to demand Monday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "take immediate action to end the practice" that's divided nearly 2,000 families since April. There's also a Senate bill, known as the Keep Families Together Act, that would ban the separation tactic and has only Democratic backing.

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