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Election 2014
10:00 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Voter Guide To Missouri Amendment 3 On Teacher Tenure

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would make teacher tenure and pay reliant on student evaluation data.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot seeks to drastically revamp teacher tenure based on student performance. 

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would require that teachers' continued employment and pay be based on student performance evaluations and would change teacher contract lengths.

Ballot language:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

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Central Standard
5:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Some Like It Hot: Kansas City's Coffee Connoisseurs

A barista at Oddly Correct uses the pour-over method to brew three different coffees. This is standard operating procedure at the storefront tasting room.
Credit Gina Kaufmann

Knowing the story behind your digestibles is a popular trend in the food world, and coffee is no exception. The roasters, shop owners and baristas who subscribe to the idea that coffee is a delicacy to be handled with precision, ritual and care are participating in a wave of coffee culture known as the "third wave."

The first wave in coffee is the vacuum-sealed tin-can variety from a large factory, for anyone to brew in any old coffee machine. The second wave is characterized by Starbucks, which many credit with introducing the idea of coffee as a specialty item.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:58 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Missouri Lawmaker Hopeful About Medicaid Expansion

Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, believes he has the votes to expand Medicaid in the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Missouri News Horizon / Flickr--CC

Medicaid expansion may yet happen in Missouri, according to state Sen. Ryan Silvey.

The Kansas City Republican said on Friday that he believes he has the support he needs to pass a Medicaid expansion bill that addresses the concerns of his more conservative colleagues.

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Election 2014
3:25 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Recall Sought For Kansas Judge Who Allowed Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty
Credit Johnson County District Court

The Johnson County, Kan., judge who approved the issuing of marriage licenses for same-sex couples is now the subject of a recall.

Bruce Baumgardner, a physiology professor at Johnson County Community College, on Friday announced that he is trying to oust Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty by urging people to vote against him in the November election, according to the Kansas City Star.

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Tell KCUR
3:06 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

If The Royals Win The World Series, Kansas City Wants Chocolate

Kansas Citians want San Francisco to send Ghirardelli chocolate if the Giants lose the World Series. This photo of melted chocolate was taken at a Ghirardelli chocolate factory and shop in San Francisco.
Credit Atomic Hot Links / Flickr--CC

The mayors of Kansas City, Mo., and San Francisco may really be betting honorable things like feeding the homeless and reading to children if their teams win the World Series.

But if the Royals triumph over the San Francisco giants, Kansas City wants something sweeter — chocolate.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:04 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Few Adults Taking Advantage Of New KanCare Dental Coverage

Only about 6 percent of eligible adults took advantage of new dental coverage offered under KanCare in the first year of the managed care Medicaid program.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

 

About 6 percent of eligible adults took advantage of new dental coverage offered under KanCare in the first year of the managed care Medicaid program.

The switch to managed care Medicaid administered by three private companies extended basic dental cleanings to more than 130,000 adults ages 19 to 64.

According to Kansas Department of Health and Environment statistics, about 7,600 adults had a cleaning paid for by one of the managed care companies in 2013.

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Hotel Savoy
2:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Fire Heavily Damages Historic Hotel Savoy In Downtown Kansas City

The Hotel Savoy as it stood in 1950, already 62 years old by then.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collection / Kansas City Public Library

A fire at the historic Hotel Savoy in downtown Kansas City, Mo., late Thursday damaged several floors of the building, which used to be known as a frequent stop for several U.S. presidents.

Firefighters told KSHB 41 Action News that the fire started due to "inattentive cooking" in the Savoy Grill. There were no customers in the restaurant at the time. Residents of the apartments above evacuated without injury. 

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Food Critics
12:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Coffee Shops In Kansas City

For many, a morning cup of coffee is just the boost needed to start the day.
Credit madame.furie / Flickr-CC

For some, coffee is simply a quick way to perk up and start the work day. But for others, a lovingly roasted coffee with steamed milk and all the accoutrements is the source of near-religious worship. 

On this week's Food Critics, Charles Ferruzza, Emily Farris, Jenny Vergera and some callers helped narrow down which coffee houses and shops have the best cup of Joe in the Kansas City metro.

Here are their picks: 

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Heartland Health Monitor
11:10 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Sidelined Player Steps Up Game In Concussion Awareness Effort

Kylee Bliss, 18, has formed a nonprofit foundation to raise awareness about and spur research into post-concussion syndrome after sustaining life-altering concussions herself.
Credit Mike Sherry / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

 

 

A talented athlete, Kylee Bliss might have been a scholarship basketball player at a small college.

As a sophomore point guard at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kan., she practiced hard and had a real feel for the game. That changed after she sustained two concussions on the court in the span of eight weeks nearly three years ago.

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Election 2014
10:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Voter Guide To Missouri Amendment 2 On Sex Crimes

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2 would make it easier for prosecutors to bring evidence of sexual crimes against minors to court.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could change the way sexual crimes are prosecuted in Missouri.

Constitutional Amendment 2 would allow previous relevant criminal activities to be admissible in court for crimes of a sexual nature against a minor. 

Ballot language:

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Heartland Health Monitor
9:47 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Affordable Care Act Gets Mixed Reviews At Kansas Economic Conference

Former Kansas Medicaid official Andy Allison spearheaded the expansion effort in Arkansas as director of that state’s program. He says an infusion of young and relatively healthy Medicaid recipients into Arkansas’ private insurance market is pushing down rates for everyone else.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

 

     

Which of the following is true?

  • The Affordable Care Act has provided thousands of low-income Kansas with greater access to affordable health insurance.
  • A looming ACA mandate has caused some Kansas employers to hire fewer full-time workers and instead fill positions with part-time employees.
  • The combination of reductions in Medicare rates and the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility has put Kansas hospitals in a financial bind.

The correct answer is “all of the above.”

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Arts & Culture
9:15 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Naughty-Word Alert: The Unicorn's Cynthia Levin On Problematic Play Names

Cynthia Levin, the Unicorn Theatre's producing artistic director.
Credit Unicorn Theatre

Bad Jews, which opened this week at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., is a comedy.

Still, some potential funders weren’t amused. Cynthia Levin, the Unicorn’s producing artistic director, says some philanthropic organizations that have sponsored the Unicorn’s shows declined this time because of the show’s title.

“I understand that,” Levin says. Arts philanthropy is a competitive arena with intensely interested boards of directors, so the name of a production can sometimes work in the Unicorn’s favor – or not.

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Kansas Governor Race
8:56 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Kansas Highway Patrol Backs Davis In Governor Race

Another law enforcement group is backing Paul Davis over incumbent Sam Brownback for Kansas Governor.

The Kansas Highway Patrol's PAC says that they decided to back Davis because he fought consistently for laws that hold criminals accountable for their actions when he served in the Kansas House. 

The Kansas Paternal Order of Police publicly backed Davis over the summer. Davis supporters say that these endorsements show that he is hard on crime.

Kansas City Royals
8:43 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Royals Hope To Keep Up Offense With Butler On Bench

Royals designated hitter Billy Butler will be on the bench during game three of the World Series as a pinch hitter.
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

During the regular season, the Royals were accustomed to adjusting their lineup when they played in a National League city. There was no designated hitter during many of those games.

So that means Kansas City's DH deluxe, Billy Butler, will begin Friday's game on the bench when game three of the World Series gets underway in San Francisco. Teammate Alex Gordon tried to see the bright side of the situation.

"The good thing is he's a great pinch-hitter," Gordon said. "So he comes of the bench and can cause some damage." 

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Arts & Culture
8:33 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Artists As Parents Inspired By Choices

"The Big Hug" by Jason Needham is featured on one side of a billboard, an ARTBOARD, atop Missouri Bank in the Crossroads. It's on display through November.
courtesy: the artist

Making art requires dedication and time – lots of it. Add a child to the mix and having a career as an artist can be a challenge. Some put their art practice on hold to raise a family; others adapt to making art when they can. And, sometimes, a child can lead to inspiration. 

Artwork changes from edgy to uplifting 

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Government
8:16 am
Fri October 24, 2014

City Council Reacts To Developer's Federal Fair Housing Complaint

Kansas City is offering some assurances to a developer who filed a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Eagle Point Development is charging the city with attempting to force low-income African-American tenants out of their apartments on East Armour Boulevard.

The City Council has made no public comment.  But the full body and the Housing Committee spent several hours in closed session this week, presumably discussing the legal issues. 

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Sports
5:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Kansas City Is Baseball Crazy Now, But You Should've Seen 1955

The Kansas City Athletics competed at Kansas City Municipal Stadium, located at 22nd Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Wikipedia -- Creative Commons

    

With the Royals in the World Series you might think that Kansas City has never been quite this excited about anything.

Everywhere you look there’s Royals blue.

But if you think Kansas City is baseball crazy now, you should have seen 1955 when the Athletics arrived from Philadelphia.

Jeff Logan, president of the Kansas City Baseball Historical Society says the whole city turned out when the team flew in from its spring training site in Florida.

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Up To Date
4:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Kansas City Millennials Talk Politics At First Generation Listen KC Event

Up To Date's Steve Kraske asked the crowd at Generation Listen KC's inaugural event this question about the massive amounts of student loan debt piling up in the United States: "Why are you putting up with it?"
Alyson Raletz KCUR

Generation Listen KC is a new networking group through KCUR aimed at engaging and connecting with millennial public radio listeners in the Kansas City area.

As part of its Forward Promote series, Generation Listen KC invited Up to Date's Steve Kraske to speak with young voters about the upcoming elections at the group's inaugural event on Wednesday night.

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Heartland Health Monitor
1:56 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Groups Agree Overuse Of Antipsychotic Drugs An Issue In Kansas Nursing Homes

The Kansas Health Care Association and Kansas Advocates for Better Care don’t usually see eye to eye on much.

KHCA, which represents the state’s for-profit nursing homes, is quick to argue against passing laws that might increase their costs or add to their regulatory burden.

KABC typically says the state doesn’t do enough to improve conditions in poor-performing nursing homes and advocates for tighter regulation.

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Sports
1:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Fans From Afar Cheer On Kansas City Royals Despite Some Odd Looks

Bill Fischer, a retired family physician living in Schenectady, N.Y., shows his Royals pride amid memorabilia on display at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady. The Kansas City native has been watching this year's playoffs "intently" with his wife, a Red Sox fan.
Credit Bill Fischer

Enough with the pity!

For Kansas City Royals fans who live outside the region, it’s a brand new world.

“The last lot of years, I have gotten a lot of pity looks and sympathy whenever I wear my gear or say I'm a Royals fan,” says Tara reid-O’Brien, who lives in Las Vegas. “And I have just told people ‘just you wait.’”

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McTavish Weekend Extra
10:56 am
Thu October 23, 2014

7 Scary Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

This archway entrance takes visitors into "The Beast," one of the haunted houses in Kansas City's West Bottoms.
Credit Chris Murphy / Flickr--CC

What’s scarier than Halloween?

Actually, the macabre cluster of events taking place the weekend before All Hallows’ Eve might put more hair on your chest – which is great, especially if you’re the ghost of Lon Chaney, Jr. (And if you are the ghost of Lon Chaney Jr., please keep it to yourself, because that’s too scary.)

The spooky bottom line: Why put all of your Halloween frights into Oct. 31, when you can frontload a quality howl at the moon this weekend? Sound good? Hey, just going my job. You don’t have to fang me for it.

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Election 2014
9:59 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Voter Guide To Missouri Amendment 6 On Early Voting

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 6 would create an early voting period of six days for voters.
Credit Ken Zirkel / Flickr-CC

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could give Missouri voters access to early voting for the first time.

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 6 seeks to establish a six-day early voting period statewide. The period would not include weekends or time outside of normal business hours for polling places. 

Ballot language: 

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Election 2014
7:08 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Kansas Governor Candidates Touch On Same Sex Marriage Battle

Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis disagree on the role of politicians in a battle over same sex marriage in Kansas. The comments came during a debate this week in Wichita.

Davis says he originally opposed the state's same sex marriage ban because it creates an unwelcoming image for Kansas. He says the issue will be handled by the courts.

"The fact of the matter is this issue is out of the hands of politicians. There's nothing that I can do, there's nothing that Governor Brownback can do to change this issue. The courts will decide it," says Davis.

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Kansas City Royals
6:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Former Royals Talk About Kansas City Spirit And The World Series

Royals fans took a hit Tuesday with a 7—1 loss against the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series, but ahead of the win in Game 2 Wednesday, a rally with former Royals who won the World Series focused on the positive.

Sportswriter Joe Posnanski led a panel of 1985 Royals Willie Wilson, Frank White and Danny Jackson at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. White said he sees similarities between the 2014 Royals and the 1985 Royals, but the fan support has been much different.

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Government
6:46 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Consultant says Kemper Youth-Sports Plan Is Sound But Ambitious

Credit CC: SA2.5

A consultant hired by the Kansas City council to analyze whether a plan to convert Kemper arena into a youth sports and fitness complex has told a council committee the plan has great opportunities for exciting success, but Dale Neuberger of TSE Consulting also added a caveat.

"The plan is sound – albeit one that you take a ... a big gulp when you think about the monthly revenue and the monthly members. It's a lot of people and it's a lot of money. And that's somewhat the reality of doing business in this field,” Newberger said.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Missouri’s State Senate Race Pits Doctor Versus Doctor

Dr. Bob Stuber, a Republican-turned-Democrat, is challenging incumbent Missouri Senator Rob Schaaf, also a physician, saying Schaaf has done things that are "downright irresponsible."
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

 

Sunrise is just starting to break over the skies of St. Joseph, but Dr. Bob Stuber is busy under fluorescent lights, examining a patient inside the hundred-year-old building that houses the Social Welfare Board. After decades heading an internal medicine practice, working at a charity clinic is a big change for Stuber. But it’s not the only post-retirement shift for a doctor who voted Republican for most of his 75 years.

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Sports
10:34 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Royals Tie Up The Series With Game 2 Win In Kansas City

The crowd at Lew's in Waldo celebrates as the Royals take the lead over the San Francisco Giants in Wednesday night's game.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The Kansas City Royals tied up the World Series Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants with a 7-2 win in Kansas City. Each team has one win in the best-of-seven Series.

The teams will now travel to San Francisco and face-off in Game 3 on Friday night at AT&T Park. The Royals will need to win at least one game in San Francisco to bring the 2014 Series back to Kauffman Stadium.

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Election 2014
7:46 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Orman Says He Won't Be 'Silent Soldier' For Either Party

Greg Orman, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate, delivered his closing speech at the Lenexa, Kan., warehouse of Combat Brands, one of the companies he owns.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Vowing he won’t be a “silent soldier” for either party, Greg Orman, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas, called on others Wednesday to declare their own independence from partisan gridlock.

Trying to close out a campaign in a race where he was once ahead in the polls, Orman addressed the many negative ads his opponent, GOP incumbent Pat Roberts, and other groups have launched as “not about me.”

The attacks from Roberts, who Orman called a “47-year resident of Virginia,” and others in Washington are “the fury of the broken system lashing back,” he said.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Royals Fan All The Way From Korea Can’t Pull Team From Defeat

SunWoo Lee of Seoul, South Korea became a Royals fan while following the MLB to learn English.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

SungWoo Lee, super-fan of the Kansas City Royals, traveled all the way from Seoul, South Korea, arriving at Kansas City International Airport on Monday to cheering fellow-fans.

His presence wasn't the World Series good luck charm he'd hoped it would be.

As the first game of the series got off to a shaky start for the Royals, Lee told USA Today, he was “a little bit down because of San Francisco's 3-0 lead." Lee was among the thousands at Kauffman Stadium who watched that lead grow to seven home runs. Eventually, the Royals scored one run.

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Beyond Our Borders
2:41 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

PHOTOS: Kansas And Missouri's Nearly Identical Taste In Art

Big clown-like figures in 'Thinker'-like poses: 'Companion (Passing Through),' KAWS, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kan., and 'Crying Giant,' Tom Otterness, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.
Julie Denesha KCUR

In our Beyond Our Borders story on arts and the state line in the Kansas City area, artists and leaders of arts organizations said they believed that the boundary isn't much of a barrier when it comes to the metro's cultural landscape — artists and audiences enthusiastically cross the state line for all sorts of cultural events.

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