Kansas City, Missouri – By any measure Missouri's foster care system faces a series of daunting challenges. Applicants are down, funding is stagnant, costs are up, adoption rates have hit a five year low, subsidies are being cut and hardly a month passes without another headline detailing some abuse or neglect.
Kansas City, MO – The Department of Homeland Security has given a year-long extension to the Jefferson City teenager who was to be deported to Costa Rica on Tuesday. 19-year-old Marie Gonzalez's parents, however, must leave the country next week. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.
Kansas City, MO – Truman Medical Center announced substantial cuts in services. Faced with escalating costs and Medicaid cuts, the hospital board has decided to turn away 15,000 non-emergency patients who are not residents of Kansas City, Missouri or Jackson County unless they can pay 25% in advance or are covered by insurance. TMC will also end a pharmacy discount program and all adult dental services. KCUR's Steve Bell reports on what the cuts mean and who will end up hurting.
Kansas City, MO – In LaVeda Davis' family, drill teams are a tradition. She learned the rhythms and routines on her mom's team. As a mother, she started her own. Instead of cheering for a school, the Gateway High Steppers are a community team with more than 70 dancers and drummers who range in age between 3 and 17 years. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recorded this audio postcard in a church basement in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City, MO – Some 24-thousand low income Missouri parents who had Medicaid insurance coverage yesterday, woke up this morning uninsured, as a new round of Medicaid cuts took effect. The cuts will throw more of the burden for treating indigent patients onto public hospitals. Some activists in Kansas City want to make sure those institutions shoulder that load and have launched a push to codify the responsibility its members say hospitals have to treat the poor.
This week, a graffiti art show where the artists paint directly on the gallery walls; after 10 years, The Get Up Kids are performing their last shows this weekend; and the two brothers behind a Tony-nominated Broadway musical are putting their newest project together at The Coterie Theatre.
Kansas City, MO – Dick Kurtenbach, who has lead the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri for 20 years, retired Thursday. Under his leadership the ACLU fought to allow the Ku Klux Klan to broadcast on public access TV, to let Nancy Cruzan die, and recently for the rights of rural Missouri high school students to t-shirts bearing gay rights slogans. Now Kurtenbach says one of the biggest civil liberties issues facing the country, is the push to diminish the judiciary.
Kansas City, MO – When Uzziel Pecina began his band, people told him, "Well, it's better than nothing." Now, after 13 years, the Trio Aztlan just released a second album, called Peor es Nada - Spanish for better than nothing. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke with Uzziel Pecina and Jose Sustaita of Trio Aztlan.
Trio Aztlan performs every Saturday night at Manny's Restaurant on Southwest Boulevard.
The Get Up Kids have been together for a decade, but now the band is breaking up. The five members of the band grew up in the Kansas City area and say it's fitting to play their final shows where they got their start.
The Get Up Kids play their last shows in Lawrence and Kansas City this weekend.
Kansas City, MO – At news time, the Kansas Senate and House were still more than $20 million apart on what they would offer in response to a court order for more school funding. House leaders were still trying to force amending any proposal to be contingent on an amendment to limit court powers. As the chambers argued on, Attorney General Phill Kline asked the Kansas Supreme Court to extend the deadline.
The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey began its 17th summer camp recently. In the first of three parts, we'll talk to Ailey Camper Memory Brown. Brown is 14 years old and lives with her grandmother. She was ecstatic when she got accepted to Ailey camp.
By Laura Ziegler
Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey began its 17th summer camp recently.
Kansas City, MO – Schools across the country are grappling with the problem of childhood obesity. More than 9 million kids over the age of six are considered obese. Teachers from a Platte City elementary school are sharing their strategies at a regional conference to curb what some health official call an alarming trend. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.
After 13 years, the Trio Aztlan has just released a second album, called Peor es Nada (Spanish for better than nothing). KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke with Uzziel Pecina and Jose Sustaita of Trio Aztlan.
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, Missouri – When Uzziel Pecina began his band, people told him, "Well, it's better than nothing." Now, after 13 years, the Trio Aztlan just released a second album, called Peor es Nada - Spanish for better than nothing. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke with Uzziel Pecina and Jose Sustaita of Trio Aztlan.
Kansas City, MO – Reconstruction on Interstate 70 and other thoroughfares will affect traffic through Sunday night. Crews will close 670 through the downtown loop. Traffic will be rerouted to 70 on the north side of the downtown loop. Also, the westbound I-70 exit ramp to Little Blue Parkway will be closed. Starting Saturday morning, the Route 7 entrance ramp to westbound 70 will be closed through mid-October.
Kansas City, MO – With the final decision on some Missouri Medicaid cuts still to be made, the first batch of letters has been sent notifying some recipients of cuts, co-pays and other changes. The Blunt administration has made it clear that the cuts are not about a budget shortfall, but rather about a program that is "out of control" and needs reform. And the governor says he may make additional cuts to its funding that legislators were unwilling to make.
Kansas City, MO – The Pew Hispanic Center issued a new study this week documenting trends in undocumented immigration around the country. The report estimates about 10 million unauthorized immigrants are now in the US. Compared to 10 years ago, however, they are better educated and hold a wider range of jobs. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross talked to Latinos in Olathe about the growing immigrant community.
Kansas City, Missouri – This weekend, communities around the country celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery. It took a whole year and a half, until June 19, 1865, before news of the emancipation proclamation reached the town of Galveston, Texas. The holiday spread through Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It wasn't until the 1960s that it began to be celebrated in other parts of the country, including Kansas and Missouri. KC Currents' host Delores Jones recalls Juneteenth in Kansas City Kansas.
This week, the Unicorn Theatre stages a hit Off-Broadway play that could be one of the darkest plays in its history; a contemporary dance performance takes over the ground floor of the Boley, an Urban Culture Project space; and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents a romantic comedy.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Board of Education will hear Science standards highly critical of Evolution. Meanwhile, new fights loom for the cleanly divided board. Also today the board will receive recommendations on Sex Education that could lead to recommendations that districts abandon any instruction about contraception and move to a so-called Abstinence-Only model. The board also faces what could be a contentious process of hiring a new state Education Commissioner.
Kansas City, MO – Back in the 1920s and 30s, Kansas City was a lively mix of political wheeling-and-dealing, organized crime, and the hot sounds of jazz.
Chuck Haddix, long-time host of KCUR's The Fish Fry, has co-authored a new book on the subject - Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop. KCUR's Michael Byars recently sat down with Haddix to find out more about the corruption, the music, and their influence on Kansas City - and on each other.
A new production of the 30-year-old play by Ntozake Shange.
By Delores Jones (edited by Linda Sher)
Kansas City, MO – When the play came out 30 years ago, it was at the forefront of black feminist literature ? and thousands of women immediately identified with it. The InPlay Theater Company is now reviving For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf in Kansas City. KC Currents host Delores Jones spoke to director Jacquee Gafford about the new production.