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Heartland Health Monitor
3:05 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Salina, Kan., To Vote On Taking Fluoride Out Of Its Water

Orthodontists Cindy and Alan Reed are working with others in Salina’s medical community to rally support for maintaining fluoride in the public water supply. Voters will decide the issue Tuesday.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

When Alan and Cindy Reed started devoting their evenings and weekends to going door-to-door to talk with their Salina neighbors about an upcoming vote on water fluoridation, they considered avoiding houses with the blue “Stop Fluoride” signs.

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Beyond Our Borders
2:25 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

How The Hispanic Vote Is Playing Out On Both Sides Of The State Line In Kansas City

It was standing room only at a 'Get out the Vote' rally last week hosted by Kansas People's Action, an advocacy group for black and Hispanic voters in Wichita, Kan.
Credit kpapower / Flickr

The 87-year-old president of La Raza political club in Kansas City, Mo., has been working the same poll in her neighborhood near the Kansas-Missouri state line every Election Day for more than 50 years.

Rafaela "Lali" García has devoted most of her life trying to get Kansas City's Hispanic community in Missouri more involved in local government. She says she proudly has registered hundreds of voters in the Show-Me State in the past few years. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
11:41 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Brownback Policies Cutting Welfare Rolls But Not Poverty Rate

Poverty is a political issue in Kansas.

Gov. Sam Brownback campaigned in 2010 on a platform that included as one of its main goals reducing childhood poverty.  And since taking office, he has aggressively pursued that goal. But he’s done it his way.

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Central Standard
9:44 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Writing Across The Class Line In Kansas

Sarah Smarsh likes the construction of good writing.
Credit Paul Andrews

Portrait Sessions are intimate conversations with the compelling personalities who populate our area. Each conversational portrait is paired with a photographic portrait by Paul Andrews.

"I am the bone of the bone of them that live in trailer homes."

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Beyond Our Borders
9:43 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Voting Can Be Challenging For People With Disabilities On Both Sides Of State Line

Credit BigStock image

Update: Nov. 4, 2014   2:30PM

On Election Day, respondents to a new Tell KC query told us their polling places were not well-equipped to help them vote.

Mary-Corinne Corely has cerebral-palsy-like symptoms in her legs due to an illness when she was an infant. Some days, she says, the symptoms make it impossible for her to do steps at all.

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Harvest Public Media
8:03 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Young Immigrants Search For Home On The Farm

At Bear Creek Dairy, 15-year-old Teun Boelen works closely with the calves, helping with difficult births, feeding the young animals and raising them until they join the herd of milk cows.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Bear Creek Dairy in Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to more than 1,100 cows, who provide about 100,000 pounds of milk each day. The 15-year-old farmer who works closely with the farm’s calves comes from a long line of dairymen – in Europe.

Five years ago, Teun Boelen’s parents sold their farm in the Netherlands and bought a dairy in southeast Iowa because, as his mother explains it, there was no room for their old farm to grow.  

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Arts & Culture
7:49 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Johnson County Library Examines Issues Relating To Race In 'Beyond Skin'

The "Beyond Skin" group exhibition at the Central Resource Library is one of eight current library exhibitions.
courtesy: Johnson County Public Library

Johnson County is the largest and fastest-growing county in Kansas.

And it’s becoming more diverse. But if you take a quick look at the latest census numbers, the population is still more than 80 percent white. It’s also about 7 percent Hispanic or Latino, 5 percent Asian, and 5 percent African-American.

This fall, the library launched a series of programs called Beyond Skin

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Election 2014
8:35 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Rep. Cleaver Encourages Voter Turnout At Kansas Democratic Rally

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver speaks at a Democratic rally in Kansas.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

As Election Day approaches fast, Democrats in Kansas are bringing politicians across the state line to inspire voter turnout.

At a "Get Out the Vote" rally in Kansas City, Kansas Saturday, Missouri U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver toed a delicate political line. At no point did he directly endorse any of the Democratic candidates for political offices in Kansas, instead focusing on inspiring Democratic voters.

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Election 2014
8:34 am
Sun November 2, 2014

K-State Coach Embarrassed By Roberts Senate Campaign Ad

A screenshot from the controversial ad shows Senator Pat Roberts and Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder.
Credit Pat Roberts campaign.

Kansas State University is being drawn into the Senate campaign for Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, despite protests from the university.   

Longtime K-State Football coach Bill Snyder seems to endorse Roberts in a new campaign ad. 

The problem? Political endorsements aren't allowed by university policy.

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Politics/Elections
5:57 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Gay Couple Says Marriage Decision Delay Is Election-Year Politics

Donna DiTrani (left) and Kerry Wilks, a Sedgwick County couple who were denied a marriage license, are now plaintiffs in a federal case.
Credit CJ Janovy / KCUR

A federal judge on Friday did not rule on a case filed by two gay couples who want marriage licenses in Kansas. One of the couples blamed the state's delay on election-year politics.

The case, originally filed Oct. 10, was heard in open court by U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, who did not say when he would announce a decision.  The couples are seeking marriage licenses, which would, in effect, overturn the Kansas gay marriage ban.

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Election 2014
5:12 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

U.S. Senate Candidate Greg Orman Outlines Plan To End Washington Gridlock

Greg Orman, who's running to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate as an independent, made a campaign stop at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Senate hopeful Greg Orman stopped at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday to make a last-minute appeal before next Tuesday’s election.

Orman, who’s running as an independent, is touting his plan to end Washington, D.C., gridlock. He supports term limits for members of Congress and wants to end donations from lobbying groups while Congress is in session.

Orman says his opponent, GOP incumbent Pat Roberts, is too focused on opposing the president to be an effective leader.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:43 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Most Kansas City-Area Hospitals Ranked Near Middle On Patient Safety Measures

Only three Kansas City area hospitals received grades of A in the latest hospital safety report card issued by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group founded by large employers that aims to improve hospital quality and safety.

The three — Belton Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Shawnee Mission Medical Center — were among 19 area hospitals surveyed by Leapfrog. Five of the hospitals received grades of B and the rest got C’s.

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Central Standard
1:10 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

On Halloween, A Lawrence Writer Reminds Us That Ghosts Have Feelings Too

According to writer Mick Cottin, ghosts have feelings too.
Credit Pedro Moura Pinheiro / Flickr--CC

Dressing up as a ghost tonight? Or communing with one? Ghost Feelings, by Lawrence writer Mick Cottin, shares insight into that whole haunting thing — from a ghost's perspective. It might help you get in character.

The story is one of three ghost stories that aired on Central Standard, during an exploration of scary stories and why we tell them. It is pretty short (5 minutes), and not too scary — in fact you may even laugh.

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Election 2014
11:13 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Will Voting Problems Give Kansas An Election Night Limbo?

Beth Hiller (left), and her daughter, Cheryl Logan at Brewster Place, a retirement home in Topeka.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Beth Hiller has been a member of the GOP since back when it really was the Grand Old Party, as her daughter says.

Hiller is 97-years-old, born and raised on a Kansas dairy farm, and a lifelong Republican. Her mother and father were Republican. Her husband, John Hiller, was the Shawnee County GOP chair, as well as the Kansas delegate to the U.S. Electoral College.

“Voting in our family was always a big deal,” said Cheryl Logan, Hiller’s daughter. “It was an event. We all hopped in the car, we got to the polling place and it was kind of a social event, too.”

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McTavish Weekend Extra
10:59 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Six Theatrical Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

The Kansas City Zoo's Great Pumpkin Smash is just one of the theatrical events going on in Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Greg Boege / Flickr-CC

“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote William Shakespeare, suggesting that life may be a theatrical work in progress.

Whether humanity comprises the cast of a cosmic play – heavy stuff – this weekend does offer genuine opportunities to embrace the drama, both onstage and off.

But wait: If the entire planet is really a proscenium arch, how can anyone ever be truly offstage? Oh, Shakespeare, you rascal!

1. Union Station’s Open House Celebration

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Heartland Health Monitor
9:50 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Health Care Compact Gains Attention As Campaign Issue

A once-obscure effort by a group of states to get out from under federal health care regulations has become an issue in the final days of the Kansas governor’s race.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Film Review: Danger Looks Good In 'The Two Faces of January'

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in 'The Two Faces of January.'
Credit Magnolia Pictures

In the sordid world of cult novelist Patricia Highsmith, everyone who isn’t an outright villain still manages to harbor dark secrets. Movies made from her books include Alfred Hitchcock’s twisted and campy Strangers on a Train and Anthony Minghella’s gloriously decadent The Talented Mr. Ripley. The latest is called The Two Faces of January. Though it's not as successful as its predecessors, it is stylish, suspenseful and awfully pretty to look at.

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Tell KCUR
5:12 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Kansas Governor’s Race Has Kansas City’s Attention

Supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback and opponent Paul Davis gather at the state fair in Hutchinson, Kan.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

A Kansas race that is catching attention from political junkies around the country has Kansas City-area voters captivated, too.

That’s according to feedback we heard on social media in response to our Tell KCUR question of the week. We asked, “What’s the most important political race to you in election 2014? Why?

“KS Gov race for sure! Need child advocates,” Alexis Ceule (@AlexisCeule) tells us on Twitter.

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Up To Date
4:04 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Writes A Poem For The Kansas City Royals

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-2003, joined Steve Kraske in-studio Thursday.
Credit Bill Anderson / KCUR

When Up To Date host Steve Kraske was joined in studio by Billy Collins, he wasn't expecting the former U.S. Poet Laureate to have scribed a few lines a la Casey at the Bat as he waited in the green room.

But, impressed by the Royals and their fans, Collins offered this tribute.

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Royals
3:59 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

PHOTOS: Royals Fans Flock To The K For One More Celebration

Mike Arnott, right, and his son Dillon were teary-eyed as they watched the celebration from the stands.
Frank Morris KCUR

About 6,000 fans Thursday made one more trip to Kauffman Stadium, just to celebrate the 2014 Kansas City Royals.

It was cloudy and threatening rain as fans filed into Kauffman Stadium. Almost on cue, the sun came out when the celebration started. 

Fans chanted “Thank you, Royals,” with the familiar cadence. Many were smiling. It was festive. There were little kids dressed as baseball players, cheerleaders, and Sluggerrr, the Royals’ mascot.

Most were smiling, but Mike Arnott stood with eyes puffy from crying. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:50 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

KDHE Surveyors Sent To Osawatomie State Hospital

State officials on Wednesday confirmed reports that surveyors with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment were dispatched last week to Osawatomie State Hospital, and that the surveyors in turn summoned the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Sara Belfry, a KDHE spokesperson, said the nature of the surveyors’ concerns will not be made public until after survey findings are reviewed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a process that’s likely to take several days.

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Arts & Culture
9:49 am
Thu October 30, 2014

PHOTOS: Peregrine Honig's New Paintings Encourage Selfie-Indulgence

Ryan Brown was riding around the West Bottoms on his bicycle when he heard about the show. He decided to stop by and take a selfie.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Camera phones were snapping Friday night with the opening of Peregrine Honig's latest exhibition at Haw Contemporary, a gallery in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo. While many artists discourage photographs of their work, Honig openly invited viewers to use her large-scale oil paintings as backdrops for selfies, or self-portraits. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
8:59 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Lawsuit Against KanCare Company Puts Program In Spotlight Again

A lawsuit alleging that one of the for-profit companies running KanCare ordered employees to shift KanCare members away from high-cost providers has put a renewed spotlight on the program, one of the Brownback administration’s signature achievements.

In the lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., a former official of the company, Sunflower State Health Plan Inc., claimed she was fired after she objected to the directive, saying it was unethical and possibly illegal.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Ron Rowe

Ron Rowe is vice president of sales for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The open enrollment period for 2015 health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act is coming up on Nov. 15 and extends to Feb. 15.

The federal health reform law has changed the way many consumers buy and use insurance. For insurance companies, it has transformed their entire way of doing business.

For this month’s KC Checkup, Heartland Health Monitor talks with Ron Rowe, vice president of sales for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which provides insurance to more than a million customers.

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Sports
10:25 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Royals Fall Just Short, Drop Game 7

The Kansas City Royals fell just one game win of a World Series title.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Just two hours before midnight Wednesday, autumn magic ran out of juice. The coach turned into a pumpkin. The Kansas City Royals’ magical postseason run ended a win shy of a championship.

Behind a dominating relief appearance by usual starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants beat the Royals 3-2 to win Game 7 and capture the crown.

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Government
5:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Foutch Withdraws Proposal To Convert Kemper For Youth Sports

Kemper Arena
Credit Flickr, Creative Commons

A big surprise in a city council committee meeting Wednesday afternoon:

After weeks of discussions about the future of Kemper Arena and the American Royal Complex, Foutch Brothers Developers sent a statement to the council that, due to circumstances beyond its control, it no longer was able to pursue a plan to convert the aging arena into a youth sports facility.

But it's not an automatic win for an American Royal plan to tear down Kemper and replace it with a new, smaller arena, according to committee chair Ed Ford.

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Kansas City Royals
3:34 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Mayor Sly James Shows Royals Pride Before World Series Game 7

Kansas City Mayor Sly James showed his support for the Royals by wearing a Royals cap, blue bowtie and blue pocket square.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

In an appearance at Union Station Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Sly James showed up decked out in a blue bowtie and matching Kansas City Royals hat to show support for the boys in blue as the team headed into the final game of the World Series.

James said the excitement Kansas Citians have shown during the World Series has been long overdue.

"You can't buy this kind of pride," James said. "It's about time that we had something like [the World Series] where we can say, 'This is ours, we did it, we showed the rest of you, and this is something we're going to cherish.'"

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Arts & Culture
3:32 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

For Poet Alice Friman, Kansas City Is An Unexpected Mecca

Poet Alice Friman returns to Kansas City for a reading at Rockhurst University for its Midwest Poets Series.
Credit Lillian Elaine Wilson

Kansas City can be inspiring in surprising ways. A walk in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art did the trick for Georgia College’s poet-in-residence, Alice Friman, who reads Thursday evening at Rockhurst University. 

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History
12:58 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Story Behind The Historic American Indian Cemetery In Downtown KCK

The sign leading up to the driveway of the Huron Indian Cemetery, formally known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Right in the center of downtown Kansas City, Kan., between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, is a little two-acre cemetery.

The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. Over the years this place has been a gathering spot and a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation, but it has also been the site of controversy, confusion and a curse.

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Up To Date
12:57 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

DiDonato Invites 40,000 Fans To Sing With Her At Kauffman Stadium

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, a Royals fan for decades, sings the National Anthem on Wednesday.
Credit courtesy: Joyce DiDonato

After a social media campaign with the twitter hashtag #LetJoyceSing, a Change.org petition, an invitation from Major League Baseball to sing in Game 7 of the World Series -- and the Royals victory that assured there would be a Game 7, Prairie Village, Kan. native Joyce DiDonato is ready to sing the National Anthem in the final game.

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