News

Pages

Heartland Health Monitor
5:08 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

KC-Area Hospitals Penalized For Infection Rates And Other Injuries

These 11 hospitals in the metropolitan area will have to forfeit 1 percent of their Medicare revenues in fiscal 2015 under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, which was established by the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Eleven Kansas City-area hospitals have been hit with penalties for hospital-acquired infections and other complications that Medicare deems avoidable.

The hospitals’ Medicare payments will be docked by 1 percent in the fiscal year that runs from October 2014 through September 2015.

Read more
Central Standard
4:59 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Musical Pair: Kasey Rausch And Mikal Shapiro

Kasey Rausch (left) and Mikal Shapiro (right) have been friends for 21 years, and collaborators for almost as long.
Credit Paul Andrews

It might be tempting to call Mikal Shapiro and Kasey Rausch two peas in a pod.

Read more
Kansas City Star
1:58 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Scam Targets 'The Kansas City Star' And Dozens Of Other Publications

A new mail-based subscription scam is targeting The Kansas City Star among dozens of other newspapers around the country.
Credit Judith E. Bell / Flickr-CC

The Kansas City Star has been targeted by a nationwide billing scam, according to Star editors.

The paper has been publishing a warning box in its print edition cautioning readers to disregard any renewal notices asking for money to be sent to Oregon or Nevada.

Read more
Education
11:31 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Lawmaker's Proposal Would Give Missouri Schools Letter Grades

Lamar Republican Sen. Ed Emery wants to give Missouri schools a report card – he's filed legislation to create an A-F letter grade system similar to those enacted in other states.

"I think if we can do this in Missouri, we'll have better informed parents and more involved parents, and as a result, we'll be moving toward an excellence in education that we all want," Emery said.

Florida was the first state to issue A-F letter grades to schools a decade ago under former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. Now, about a dozen states have similar systems in place.

Read more
Education
10:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Kansas State Tapped As Best University Marching Band In U.S.

Kansas State University has won the prestigious Sudler Trophy as the best university marching band in America
Credit Courtesy photo / Kansas State University

The Kansas State University marching band won one of the most prestigious music awards in the country Friday.

The Sudler Trophy is given every two years by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation to the university band with the highest musical standards, innovative routines and that's made contributions to the American way of life, according to the foundation website.

"It’s an award that people in the athletic band world covet. It’s really considered  sort of a lifetime achievement award in the marching band area," said Dr. Gary Mortenson, director of K-State's School of Music.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
10:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Civil War Origins Of The Kansas Jayhawk And Missouri Tiger

Avid college sports fans Evan and Kari Deude, of Prairie Village, Kan., made sure mascots from both the University of Kansas and University of Missouri made appearances on cakes at their wedding in 2011. Each of them roots for the opposite team.
Credit Courtesy photo / Kari Deude

For more than 100 years, the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the University of Missouri Tigers have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry.

It's a rivalry that's alive and well, even though the teams haven't played each other in two years.

RELATEDJayhawks and Tigers Love to Hate Each Other Across State Line

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
10:46 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Jayhawks and Tigers Love To Hate One Another Across State Line

Thousands of University of Kansas fans waited in line at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 13 to watch University of Kansas play the University of Utah.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

There was no shortage of Mizzou hate Dec. 13  when the University of Kansas played the University of Utah at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Thousands of Kansas fans gathered, ironically in Missouri, to watch the Jayhawks play.

Kansas and Missouri haven’t played one another since 2012, when Missouri left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference.

But just mention the University of Missouri to a die-hard Jayhawk and you’ll get a heated response. To fans, it’s more than just a sports rivalry. It's part of their identities.

Read more
Agriculture
10:27 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Golden Ox, A Piece of Kansas City's Cowtown Past, Set to Close

The Golden Ox, a steakhouse and one of the oldest restaurants in Kansas City, is closing Saturday.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The Golden Ox, once the center of the Kansas City Stockyards in Missouri and one of the oldest restaurants in the area, is set to close Saturday night.

The steakhouse, a kitschy mix of cowtown and commerce, has been busy for the past couple weeks, in response to word getting out that it was closing.

The West Bottoms restaurant has struggled attracting folks to the area, especially since Kemper Arena stopped holding events, said Mike Holland, the Golden Ox general manager.

Read more
Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Film Review: Reese Witherspoon Takes A Brutal Walk On The 'Wild' Side

Reese WItherspoon in 'Wild.'
Credit Fox Searchlight

Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail suggested to more than a million readers that the way to tame inner demons is to redefine what it means to navigate a wild life. Jean-Marc Vallee, the director of last year's Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club, has adapted Strayed's book into a beautiful and gritty film with a transformative performance by Reese Witherspoon at its core.

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Retiring A Classic, Todd Bolender's 'The Nutcracker' In Its Final Year

Dew Drop (Sarah Chun) dances in 'Waltz of the Flowers.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Nutcracker, with choreography by Todd Bolender, has played a role in the holiday season for Kansas City audiences since 1981. But, on Christmas Eve, the curtain falls for the last time on this version of the production.

The Sugar Plum Fairy lightly takes center stage in a gold tutu at the final dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  

Read more
Heartland Health Monitor
4:22 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Report: Kansas, Missouri Unprepared For Disease Outbreaks

Credit NIAID / National Institutes of Health

 

Kansas and Missouri rank in the bottom half of states in preparedness for potential outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola, Enterovirus and ‘superbugs,’ according to a report released Thursday.

Read more
Heartland Health Monitor
3:05 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Group Will Seek To Get Rid Of Kansas Sales Tax On Food

Ashley Jones-Wisner, state policy manager for KC Healthy Kids, says the Kansas budget crisis presents an opportunity to shine a spotlight on Kansas' sales tax on food.
Credit KC Healthy Kids

 

Led by KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit organization supported in part by the Kansas Health Foundation, a coalition is being formed to guide a legislative effort to exempt food from the state sales tax.

“Cutting the sales tax on food will make it more affordable for Kansans to eat healthier,” says Ashley Jones-Wisner, state policy manager for KC Healthy Kids.

Read more
Tell KCUR
1:52 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Kansas Citians Recap 2014 In Haiku

If inspiration strikes, you can still send us your 2014 haikus. Tweet them with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

We asked for haikus/ to sum up 2014/ Thanks, Kansas City.

That is our thank you poem to everyone who obliged us and answered this week’s Tell KCUR question: What are your most important memories of 2014 in haiku?

The three-line, five-seven-five-syllable formula proved most effective in conveying 2014, with muses ranging from sports, to engagements, to family and public tragedies — plus one of KCUR's transmission hiccups.

Read more
Central Standard
12:30 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Biggest Kansas City Stories Of 2014, According To Hyperlocal Newspaper Editors

A memorial service just days after the shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom convened hundreds of mourners in the very place where one of the incidents took place.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

When national news editors review the top stories of 2014, Ebola, Isis and the World Cup might top the list.

But when we talk to editors of some hyper-local Kansas City papers, very different stories emerge.

Joe Jarosz, managing editor, Northeast News:

Read more
Community
12:21 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Story Behind the Kansas City Fairy Princess Tradition

Kansas City resident Denise Hughey is pictured here in 1961 visiting the Fairy Princess at Kline's Department Store.
Kansas City Museum KCUR

For millions of children in the United States, the holidays mean a visit to Santa Claus. The ritual is alive and well in the Kansas City area, but many families have another holiday icon, one specific to the region: The Fairy Princess.

The Fairy Princess is as much a part of the Kansas City holiday tradition as the Plaza lights, and has endured for more than eighty years.

Read more
McTavish Weekend Extra
11:06 am
Thu December 18, 2014

9 Holiday Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

'Tis the season for viewing the lights on the Country Club Plaza.
Credit Franklin B Thompson / Flickr--CC

Blink and they’re gone. I’m not talking about your salad days – although, sure, those, too. I’m talking about the holidays.

For all the monumental buildup to the season, you better watch out or you’ll be looking back and crying – or at least pouting – at stuff you might have done when the halls were decked and bells were jingling and Santa Clause was still coming to town.

So be sure to share the spirit by getting out and grabbing some before next year. If that sounds a little nutty, well, it is the holidays. Here are some ideas. I’ll try to be quick about it.

Read more
Education
10:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Room And Board To Increase At Kansas Regent Universities

Faculty, staff, students and community members gather for the dedication of Wichita State University's new Shocker Hall.
Credit Sean Sandefur / KMUW - Wichita Public Radio

Room and board is going up at the six Regent universities in Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Regents unanimously approved the hike at its regular meeting Wednesday in Topeka. Next year students will be paying about 3 percent more for dorm rooms and meals.

Some schools are hiking the price a little more than others.

Read more
Community
10:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Kansas City's Suburbs Are Growing, And Other Facts About How Our Region Moves

The Kansas-Missouri state line divides the Kansas City metro geographically and splits the near 2 million residents in half.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

About 2 million people live in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The region is almost equally divided by the Kansas-Missouri state line geographically (land that is considered the metro) and by population. But that line doesn’t keep us from moving around a bit.

Read more
Education
10:08 am
Thu December 18, 2014

University Of Kansas Sanctions Kappa Sigma Fraternity For Alleged Sexual Assault

The University Of Kansas placed the Kappa Sigma fraternity on probation for two years on Wednesday because of violations of the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.

The sanctions are the result of an investigation of alleged sexual assault at the fraternity the weekend of Sept. 26.

According to a statement from the University, the sanctions against the Kappa Sigma fraternity include:

Read more
Community
7:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Complex Phenomenon Of Being A Kansan Or Missourian In Kansas City

This Kansas City, Mo., symbol is often found throughout the metro on shirts and hats. This is part of a window display at the Bunker, a retail store in Westport.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

The Kansas City metropolitan area is almost equally divided geographically and population-wise between two states —Missouri and Kansas.

But how does this state-divide define us as individuals within the community?

Read more
Weather
5:42 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Kansas City Area School Closings On Thursday, December 18

The following schools are closed, unless noted otherwise:

Read more
Heartland Health Monitor
5:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Why Are Minorities Diagnosed With Autism At Lower Rates Than Whites?

Wendy Santillan's 3-year-old son Raoul, who was diagnosed with autism, has found help for him through a training program geared toward families living in rural or remote areas.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Just after picking him up from day care, Wendy Santillan serves her son, Raoul, milk and cookies.

Raoul, a 3-year-old with a crew cut and big brown eyes, happily devours his snack. But Wendy says she noticed early on some unusual behavior in her son.

“When he was 18 months, he starts to play with the toys in a different way,” she says. “He used to pass the toy (along) the corner of his eye, and that wasn’t normal at all to me.”

Read more
What is that?
4:26 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

The Fate And Future Of Wyandotte County's Sauer Castle

Sauer Castle sits on top of a hill in the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
Christina Lieffring KCUR

You’re driving uphill along winding roads in Wyandotte County, Kan.

You turn the corner and see a high chain-link fence surrounding a foreboding house out of a ghost story: it’s a three-story, red-brick, Victorian home with a high tower at the top and carved lions framing the doorway. That's Sauer Castle.

As a child, Patricia Schurkamp of the Wyandotte County Museum would regularly go up the hill to see the house. As an adult, she finally got to see the inside.

Read more
Government
2:32 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Kansas City Councilman Resigns Amid Violence Accusations

Mayor Sly James says the Kansas City, Mo., City Council could have a new person in resigning Councilman Michael Brooks' seat by the end of January 2015.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Updated, 5 p.m. Wednesday:

In the wake of Kansas City, Mo., Councilman Michael Brooks' resignation, Mayor Sly James says his focus is on filling the empty 5th district seat. 

"We're not looking for someone who can warm a chair. We're going to look for someone who can do the job," James said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Read more
Education
11:21 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Missouri State Board Selects Vandeven As New Education Commissioner

The Missouri State Board of Education has named Dr. Margaret Vandeven as the state's next education commissioner. She starts in January.
Credit Courtesy photo / Missouri Department of Education

Update, 2:15 p.m. Wednesday:

Missouri's next education commissioner, Margaret Vandeven, says the provisionally-accredited Kansas City Public Schools will need to continue to make progress to regain full standing with the state.

"We're monitoring the situation," says Vandeven, a current deputy education commissioner who will take over as Missouri's schools chief early next year. "We certainly have our regional team working with the school district ... and we just need to continue to see improvement at the individual child level in that district."

Read more
Arts & Culture
8:03 am
Wed December 17, 2014

PHOTOS: A Few Teasers For The Kansas City Library's Folly Burlesque Collection

Ceil Von Dell. Eli Paul's research has yet to turn up any additional information about the beguiling performer.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

“Certain challenges arise when doing burlesque history research on a work computer,” says Eli Paul, the special collections manager at the Kansas City Public Library.

Read more
Education
7:56 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Koch Funding On Campus Raises Questions At University Of Kansas

Art Hall is the executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at KU, a nine-by-nine foot room on the third floor of the business school.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Charles and David Koch are well known for funding political campaigns, but the Kochs also donate tens of millions of dollars to colleges and universities.

Nothing unusual about wealthy people giving to higher education, but some professors warn that Koch funding can come with conditions that threaten academic freedom, and that has sparked a debate about the influence of big donors in an age of diminishing public university funding.

Nine-by-nine

Read more
Rock
5:36 am
Wed December 17, 2014

The Coolest Rock Concert In Kansas City You Never Knew About

The Who opened for the Buckinghams at Shawnee Mission South High School in November 1967
Credit Courtesy photo / Shawnee Mission South

There have been plenty of huge and even historic rock concerts in Kansas City: The Beatles at Municipal Stadium in 1964; the kick off of Michael Jackson’s Victory tour in 1984.

But how about The Who at Shawnee Mission South High School Nov. 17, 1967?

"People cannot believe that The Who was in a Kansas high school," says Vallie Hogan, a 1968 graduate of South. "They just don’t believe it."

The band opened with "Can’t Explain" and ended with "My Generation."

Read more
Crime
10:11 am
Tue December 16, 2014

FBI Investigating Dionte Greene Murder For Possible Civil Rights Violation

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

The FBI is investigating the murder of a 22-year-old black man who may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Dionte Greene, who identified as gay, was found shot to death in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning.

Read more
Harvest Public Media
8:24 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Midwest Recruiting California Dairies To Pump Up Rural Economy

Many California diaries are struggling through drought and feeling crowded by urbanization. Midwestern states are hoping to capitalize by offering abundant water, feed, and open spaces.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

As drought, feed costs, and urban development wear on West Coast milk producers, states like Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa are pitching themselves as a dairy heaven. Even in California, the nation’s No. 1 dairy state, many dairy farmers are listening.

For the Midwest, an influx of dairies isn’t just about milk. It’s about pumping dollars into the rural economy.

Read more

Pages