News

Pages

Harvest Public Media
3:12 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

What Does The ‘Right To Farm’ Mean In Missouri?

Rep. Vicki Hartzler of Missouri supports a proposed "right to farm" amendment to the state's Constitution.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Congress members are throwing their support behind a proposed “right to farm” amendment in Missouri’s constitution. But critics are pointing to the measure’s ambiguous language as problematic.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from the central part of the state, is one of several U.S. representatives pushing for Missouri voters to approve the amendment in a state-wide primary election Aug. 5.

Read more
Government
2:46 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Kansas City Leaders Hoping To Woo Republican Convention Scouts

Kansas City Bid Task Force Co-Chairman Troy Stremming, left, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, RNC Site Selection Committee Chairwoman Enid Mickelson and Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James speak at a press conference Thursday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

City leaders spent Thursday courting a delegation from the Republican National Committee in hopes of a securing a bid for the 2016 convention.

So far, the RNC is impressed.

"We've had children out to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. We had the high school band out on the tarmac to greet us. We had another young lady who just sang beautifully for us," says former Utah Congresswoman Enid Mickelson, the chairwoman of the site selection committee. "Those are the kind of traditional values clearly you have in Kansas City, and we think are important to spotlight."

Read more
Central Standard
2:42 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

The Best Eats In Kansas City's Historic Northeast

Authentic tacos, African cuisine, and pastries are just some of the diverse food options available in Northeast Kansas City.
Credit Russell Mondy / Flickr-CC

This year, KCUR is embarking on a project called "Beyond Our Borders," an attempt to take a closer look at the cultural and geographical borders in Kansas City.

The first border we are examining is Troost Avenue, which acts as a racial and socioeconomic diving line in Kansas City's urban core. 

Read more
Business
9:59 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Reports: Sprint Works Out $32 Billion Deal With T-Mobile

Sprint Corp. has worked out a $32 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile US Inc., according to reports Wednesday.

The deal was reported by varying media outlets, including the Kansas City Star, but no sources were identified. Sprint has not confirmed the reports and a spokesman for the company declined to comment to The Star.

Read more
Government
8:55 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Missouri Reaches Agreement With Walgreens Over Deceptive Pricing

The State of Missouri has reached an agreement with Walgreens over what Attorney General Chris Koster had called deceptive retail pricing.

Speaking Wednesday in Springfield, Mo., Koster says the settlement requires Walgreens to pay for an independent auditor, selected with the approval of the AG’s Office.

"This independent auditor will visit 25 percent of Missouri's Walgreens stores every quarter to verify that prices advertised on the shelves match the prices that consumers are paying at the register," he said.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
8:04 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Kauffman Charter School Sets High Bar, But Can It Be Replicated?

A student at the Kauffman School shows his work to Principal Hannah Lofthus. Lofthus, who has been principal for three years, will transition to the school's chief executive officer this summer.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

It’s a lofty goal for any charter – be the premiere public school in Missouri and a model for the rest of the country.

And for a new school, it’s especially bold. Yet that’s been the vision of the Kauffman School since before it opened.

This week while other metro-area kids were enjoying that first taste of summer, sixth graders at the Kauffman School were sitting in science class. It's quiet except for the scratch of pencil on paper.

Read more
Johnson County
8:01 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Johnson County Commissioners Plan Small Property Tax Rate Hike

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners has announced that it plans to raise property taxes in the 2015 budget. But, if the increase is implemented, it will be far from staggering.

Board of Commissioners chairman Ed Eilert says the recommended increase likely won’t mean a large burden for homeowners. Under the recommended increase revealed Wednesday, owners of properties valued at $249,000 would pay about $2 more per month. The increase would cover an anticipated $45 million budget shortfall over five years.

Arts & Culture
7:58 am
Thu June 5, 2014

KC Rep Receives Lead Gift For Renovation Project

In this conceptual sketch, the renovated lobby is envisioned as a "central living room" for theater patrons, as well as UMKC students.
Credit Helix Architecture + Design

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre on Wednesday announced $3 million from the Hall Family Foundation, the largest gift in the company's history. The funds will support the renovations of the Spencer Theatre and its lobby in James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the UMKC campus.

The center was completed in 1979. The Rep's artistic director, Eric Rosen, said the stage is ready for an upgrade as the company marks its 50th year.

Read more
Health
6:21 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Planned Parenthood Of Kansas And Mid-Missouri Chooses New CEO

Laura McQuade will head Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri starting July 1.
Credit Courtesy / Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has chosen a new president and chief executive officer to succeed Peter Brownlie, who retired two months ago.

Laura McQuade has served for the past six years as chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, based in New York. The organization more than doubled its budget and staff during her tenure, according to a news release announcing her appointment.

Read more
Health
4:20 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

One In Eight Kansas Pregnancies In 2013 Involved Women Who Smoked

 In Kansas last year, more than 4,800 women smoked cigarettes during their pregnancies, according to a preliminary summary of birth statistics released Tuesday by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The finding means that in 2013, about one in every eight births - 12.5 percent - involved mothers who smoked for at least three months shortly before or during their pregnancies.

Read more
Health
3:38 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Data Show Vast Disparities In Kansas City Area Hospital Charges

New figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show large disparities between medical charges in Kansas City hospitals.
Credit Mercy Health / Flickr-CC

Considering a major joint replacement?

If you check into the University of Kansas Hospital, you might be charged more than $115,000. But if you go to Olathe Medical Center just 22 miles down the road, you’re apt to be billed just over $50,000.

Coping with renal failure? At Truman Medical Center, the bill is likely to add up to more than $14,000. But at Research Medical Center, a mere six miles distant, it’s more likely to come to $48,000.

Read more
Government
2:22 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Reps. Cleaver, Yoder Encourage Civil Political Discourse

Kansas Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder, left, teases Missouri Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver about almost missing a flight home. The two were promoting a new group that encourages people from different political parties to meet.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder and Missouri Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver were in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday to promote a new political discussion group.

The group – called the Village Square – encourages people to meet across party lines to talk about political topics with civility and respect.

Read more
Central Standard
2:09 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

LISTEN: Upcoming Lawrence Poet Reads Her 'Boundaryless' Prose

Lawrence, Kan. poet Patricia Lockwood is becoming well known for her off-the-wall poetry.
Credit Grep Hoax

The following content may be offensive to some. Discretion is advised.

In the world of poetry, Patricia Lockwood is the "it girl" right now. The Lawrence, Kan., resident's poem "Rape Joke" went viral last summer, pushing her Twitter following to more than 40,000.

Read more
Performance
1:54 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Kansas City Theater Scene Celebrates 50 Years

Dr. Patricia McIlrath founded the KC Rep in 1964. She died in 1999.

The 1960s marked “the second golden age” in Kansas City’s theater history, according to historian Felicia Hardison Londré. It was a time of transition from touring companies providing entertainment to the city creating its own.

For Kansas City, this meant the creation of the first resident professional theater company since the 1930s: the Missouri Repertory Theatre, now known as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The “solid foundation” of the Rep, said Londré, led to the thriving theater scene across the Kansas City metro today.

Read more
Central Standard
1:17 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

What People Are 3-D Printing At The Johnson County Public Library

The 3-D printer is one of many high-tech gadgets available at the Johnson County Library's Maker Space.
Esther Honig KCUR

Libraries have long been a place where new technologies can be seen and interacted with for the first time. In the 1980s, it was the personal computer. In the 1990s, the World Wide Web. Now, 3-D printers are becoming increasingly available in libraries across the country, and they are part of the transformation of the role of the institution. 

Read more
Health
9:45 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Wichita VA Hospital Had Secret Waiting List For Patients

The director of the VA hospital in Wichita said Friday that they kept a secret waiting list for patients.
Credit Jeffery Beall / CC

Despite assurances to the contrary, the VA hospital in Wichita kept a secret waiting list for patients. The hospital's director revealed that information Friday in a message to Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran.

Roberts told the Wichita Eagle he was not happy to see that message just hours after he’d met with officials of the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, who assured him the hospital was doing just fine. But one patient of the Wichita VA facility says the news is no surprise.

Read more
Health
9:44 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Brownback Discusses Opposition To Medicaid Expansion in Heritage Foundation Interview

Gov. Sam Brownback
Credit file photo

The inaugural edition of a Heritage Foundation news site features an interview with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback explaining “how Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion hurts states.”

The interview is featured in the Daily Signal, a new online publication “supported by the resources and intellectual firepower” of the foundation, which describes its mission as promoting “conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.”

Read more
Government
8:30 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Kansas City FBI Posts Rewards For Laser-Pointer Violators

Children's Mercy Hospital trotted out its helicopter to emphasize the dangers of laser-beaming aircraft.
Credit Kansas City, MO Aviation Department

Children's Mercy Hospital joined with federal and local law enforcement Tuesday at Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Mo., to promote a 90-day crackdown on people who point hand-held lasers at flying aircraft.

Children's Mercy displayed its “Just for Kids” helicopter as an example of the kind of aircraft that could be downed by a misplaced laser beam in a pilot's eyes. 

Kansas City police helicopter pilot Cord Laws said he could recount five times when the police chopper has been lasered, including during one difficult landing on a helipad. 

Read more
Health
5:43 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Grant Aims To Cure Kidney Patients’ Failure To Stick To Medication Routine

UMKC Professor Cindy Russell studies medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients.
Credit University of Missouri - Kansas City

About 75 percent of kidney transplant recipients fail to properly take the medications they need to stay healthy, says Cynthia Russell, a professor at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies.

After receiving a transplant, patients - many of whom previously needed kidney dialysis – typically feel healthy and often simply forget to take medications as needed twice a day.

“They are active. They are feeling good. They are just living normal lives,” Russell says.

Read more
Health
2:39 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Robot Helps Save The Day At Rural Hospital

Sophisticated medical robots like these are being used at a growing number of hospitals in Kansas and elsewhere, including small, rural facilities such as Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse. Chief executive Bryan Coffey credits a robot with helping turn around the hospital's troubled finances while saving residents long drives to big-city medical centers for specialty care.
Credit Hamilton County Hospital

Some small, rural Kansas hospitals are using highly sophisticated medical robots in ways that are helping ease the shortage of specialists in their areas and - in at least one instance - boosting the bottom line.

Hamilton County Hospital, in Syracuse, Kan., was on the brink of closing little more than a year ago because of financial and staffing problems, but use of a robot has been a key factor in the facility’s dramatic turnaround, according to chief executive Bryan Coffey.

Read more
Health
9:46 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Chronic Pain Expert To Speak In Kansas City Tonight

Judy Foreman

Judy Foreman, a nationally recognized expert on chronic pain and its effect on the nation’s health care system, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

Foreman, a Boston-based science writer and a nationally syndicated health columnist, is the author of the book “A Nation in Pain,” an in-depth look at how pain is perceived – and misperceived - and treated in the United States.

Read more
Community
5:30 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Highway 71 And The Road To Compromise

Mamie Hughes in May took a walk on the Mamie Hughes Bridge at Meyer Boulevard and looked down on Highway 71.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Mamie Hughes, 85, stands in the middle of a bridge that’s named after her, and she marvels at the power of the road below. The power of Highway 71.

“Sometimes I just like to stand here and look and watch the traffic,” she says as cars and semis zoom underneath. “Seeing how much goes, and it’s just kind of fun.”

The Mamie Hughes Bridge crosses Highway 71, or Bruce R. Watkins Drive as it’s also known, at Meyer Boulevard.

Read more
Courts
3:46 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Insurance Company Files Suit Against Catholic Diocese

Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph Bishop Robert Finn oversees Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The company that provided the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph its liability insurance in the 1970s says it shouldn't have to defend the church or pay damages in a litany of sexual abuse cases.

The U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Co. filed suit in federal court Friday against the diocese, which has been sued by more than a dozen plaintiffs who say they were victims of sexual abuse in the '60s and '70s. In the majority of those cases, the court has dismissed all claims against the diocese except the intentional failure to supervise clergy.

Read more
Road Work
12:01 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Emergency Repairs To Slow I-435 Southbound Traffic

Expect long delays Monday and Tuesday on southbound Interstate 435 at 87th Street.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has reduced traffic flow to one lane while work crews complete an emergency pavement repair on southbound I-435. Additional lanes were already closed at 87th Street to accommodate bridge work.

"As part of the lane restrictions, traffic was shifted partly onto the right southbound shoulder and the shoulder pavement has not held up to the increased traffic," KDOT spokeswoman Kimberly Qualls said in a written statement.

Agriculture
10:47 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Miscanthus: A Growing Energy Crop

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are all working on a project to plant, study and harvest miscanthus for biofuel.
Credit (Rick Fredericksen for Harvest Public Media)

Miscanthus, a relative of sugar cane that looks like bamboo, could be the Midwest’s next energy crop. But in a region dominated by corn and soybeans, it has yet to fully catch on.

Read more
Central Standard
9:42 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Food Critics: Best Cheese Spots In Kansas City

Food critic Emily Farris believes choosing a cheese plate as a dessert is always the best choice.
Credit Chris Buecheler / Flickr--CC

It’s difficult to imagine a life without cheese.

We eat our cheese grilled, deep-fried, cubed, shredded, baked in pastry and whipped into a tiramisu. 

On Friday's Central Standard, the food critics explored the cheeses of the Kansas City region, from Asiago to Velveeta and everything in between.

Here are their recommendations:

Read more
Health
4:38 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Supporters Stage Kansas Statehouse Rally

Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, spoke on Friday to supporters of Medicaid expansion in front of the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

Supporters of expanding Kansas Medicaid eligibility to more low-income adults rallied Friday at the Statehouse to call attention to the issue as legislators formally ended the 2014 session.

The federal health reform law initially required states to expand Medicaid eligibility. But the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2012 that upheld the law made expansion optional for states.

Read more
Safety
4:03 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Kansas City Jewish Organizations Participate In Active Shooter Training

Mourners left flowers at the Jewish Community Center in Johnson County, Kan., after shootings took the lives of three people on April 13.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Jewish organizations in the Kansas City area spent Friday learning what to do if ever again faced with a threat like the shootings last month that left three people dead.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City organized the workshop, during which about 150 people received safety training from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement.

Read more
Government
3:41 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

New Acting Veterans Affairs Chief Has Kansas City Ties

Sloan Gibson
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

The new acting secretary of Veterans Affairs is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Sloan Gibson IV graduated from UMKC in 1979 with a master's degree in economics, according to a release from the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Gibson became acting secretary following the resignation of retired U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki on Friday.

Read more
Tell KCUR
3:24 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Why Kansas Citians Are Fed Up With Highway 71

How has U.S. Highway 71 helped or hurt Kansas City, Mo.? Chime in on Twitter with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

U.S. Highway 71 in Kansas City, Mo., is here to stay.

But that doesn’t mean Kansas Citians are happy about it.

When we asked this week: “How has Highway 71 helped or hurt Kansas City?” some listeners, tweeters, Facebookers and callers praised the highway’s convenience for being a main north-south thoroughfare in the metropolitan area.

Read more

Pages