Alex Smith

Health Reporter

Alex Smith began working in radio as an intern at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. A few years and a couple of radio jobs later, he became the assistant producer of KCUR's magazine show, KC Currents. In January 2014 he became KCUR's health reporter.
 

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KC Currents
10:51 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Shawnee Mission District Announces Lobbying Plan

Shawnee Mission East High School.
Alex Smith KCUR

The news is filled with stories about the success and struggles of the Kansas City, Missouri School District, but the metro area contains dozens of districts, each with its own story to tell.

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KC Currents
5:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

KCMO City Hall Turns 75, What Triggers Murder-Suicides, Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission

The 29-story Beaux-Arts skyscraper was built in 1937 during the Pendergast era.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR
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KC Currents
2:22 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Hickman Mills District Struggles Through Tough Year

Outside Hickman Mills Junior High.
Alex Smith KCUR

The Kansas City, Missouri school district gets all the press, but school districts all over the metro area deal with big challenges. This year has been one of the toughest ever for Missouri’s very first school district, Hickman Mills.

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KC Currents
3:58 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Local Artifacts From The Atomic Era, KC's Fado Novato Songs Of Heartache And Struggle

A photograph from the exhibit 'Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow' at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

12-02-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

Local Artifacts
From The Atomic Era
Once upon a time, youth in the 50s and 60s lived in fear. They practiced going to “fallout” shelters to escape the atomic bomb. Independence resident Michael Scheibach has studied this period of American history extensively. In addition to combing through school newspapers, Sheibach’s collection of photographs, posters and other artifacts from Kansas City high schools tells the story of an America trying its best to prepare for the possibility of annihilation.

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KC Currents
10:57 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Local Artist's Drawings Help Solve Crimes, Rural Post Office Reduce Hours In MO

Artist Lee Hammond's age progression sketches commissioned by America's Most Wanted of Alcatraz prisoners.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

11-25-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

Local Artist's Drawings Help Solve Crimes
You’ve probably seen crime shows like CSI and America’s Most Wanted, where artists work with victims to create a drawing that helps identify a criminal. This job is performed by a forensic illustrator.  If you’ve seen one of these drawings on the news in Kansas City, then you’ve seen the work of artist and author Lee Hammond, who lives in Overland Park.

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KC Currents
11:08 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez, Study Sheds Light On Texting And Driving

Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez
Credit Kevin Anderson Photography
  • 11-18-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

 Audio File11-18-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories belowEdit | Remove

Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez
For the past several years, the numbers of nontraditional college students have been increasing. But last Monday, as part of a Veterans Day observance, the University of Kansas awarded a degree to one of its least traditional graduates ever: a 91-year-old former Navajo Code Talker.

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KC Currents
3:57 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Kenyan Journalist Recalls Dangerous Career, Nerd Nite KC On Cryptozoology

Kenyan journalist Peter Makori came to the Kansas City Star in 2005 as part of a Friendly Press fellowship. He talked to Susan Wilson at KCUR studios about surviving as a journalist in Kenya.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

11-11-12 KC Currents Full Show

 Kenyan Journalist Recalls Dangerous Career
A free press tends to be something journalists take for granted as a part of American democracy. But around the world, journalism can have life-threatening occupational hazards. Before coming to the U.S., UMKC communication studies major Peter Makori faced down death as he worked as journalist for The Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper. After surviving ten years of intimidation, brutal beatings and imprisonment, a Friendly Press fellowship landed him at The Kansas City Star in 2005.

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KC Currents
11:35 am
Mon November 5, 2012

KC Currents' Election Special

Missouri considers cigarette sales tax increase.
Credit Elana Gordon

Kansas Voter ID Law Faces Biggest Test

Requiring voters to show a photo ID has been a controversial issue in recent years with many states considering the requirement. A photo ID law got vetoed last year in Missouri, but Kansas lawmakers passed a measure last year requiring a photo ID when voting.  That law got its first test in August.

Farmers Put Aside Differences, Push For Farm Bill

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KC Currents
11:08 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Altar Celebrates Life In Day Of The Dead Celebration, How A Bike Trip Grew To Help Orphans In KC

Glowing lanterns in Kirkwood Hall hang from the skylight trailing ribbons at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

 Audio FileKC Currents 10/28/12Edit | Remove

Altar Celebrates Life In Day Of The Dead Tradition
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday of remembrance and celebration for friends and family members who have died. Traditionally, families build private altars honoring the dead using skulls, flowers, and the favorite food and drink of the departed. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting its second annual Day of the Dead Celebration November 4th. Mexican Artist Betsabeé Romero and area artists have come together to create a special altar installation for the event. 

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KC Currents
5:07 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Jazz Singer Deborah Brown's New CD, Plan To Remove Traffic Lights Is On Hold For Now

Jazz singer Deborah Brown at KCUR studios.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Jazz Singer Deborah Brown’s New CD And International Attention
Kansas City-based singer Deborah Brown says her new CD, All Too Soon, explores hidden gems of jazz songs. Like most of her music, the disc delivers a no-nonsense, romantic sound to fans of classic, swinging jazz. For much of her career, the singer has found those classic jazz fans at nightclubs, concerts and festivals in Europe.  She’s spent the last couple of decades living and teaching off and on in Europe, and she also performs regularly in Russia.

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KC Currents
1:31 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Atheists Shed Stereotypes

Dr. Darrell Ray leads workshop at atheist convention.
Alex Smith

In Kansas and Missouri, it’s now common for a lot of to politicians to not just proclaim their faith, but to openly push a pro-religious agenda.

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KC Currents
12:26 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Atheists Shed Stereotypes, Suicide Rates Are Up In Kansas

Atheists Shed Stereotypes
In Kansas and Missouri, it’s now common for a lot of politicians to not just proclaim their faith, but to openly push a pro-religious agenda. But for the past year, a Kansas City-based group has been trying to push back, although in a friendly way. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition tries to shake off the stereotypes of bitter, angry atheism while they talk to the public about the value of a secular society and government.

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KC Currents
1:49 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Parents Push For New Public School, Discriminatory Real Estate Practices And Segregation

Outside of Hale Cook Elementary in Waldo, Kansas City.
Alex Smith KCUR

Concerned Parents Push For New Public School
A group of concerned parents have been gathering at a coffeehouse in Waldo. The cause for concern is the state of public schools in Kansas City, MO. Rather than moving across the state line to Kansas, or to another district, these parents have decided to get a little more proactive—they want to open up a neighborhood school. 

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KC Currents
10:52 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Concerned Parents Push For New Public School

Parents and their children gather at a coffee house in Waldo to discuss education.
Alex Smith/KC Currents

For the past several months, a group of mostly 30-something parents have gathered at a coffee shop in Waldo with plenty of babies and toddlers in tow. 

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KC Currents
1:10 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

A Tale Of Short Cow Tails, Launch KC Hopes To Attract IT Startups

Here a cow with docked tail stands alongside a cow with a tail whose switch has been trimmed at Foremost Dairy in Columbia, Mo. The dairy, which does not dock tails, acquired several cows with docked tails for a research project.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

The show for Sunday, September 23, and Monday, September 24:

Here’s The Short Story On Cow Tails
Many people who haven’t stepped foot on a dairy might think milking a cow is a sort of Emersonian back-to-the land moment, where a milker bonds with his or her cow while communing with nature. Just milk her for a while and voilà: fresh, creamy milk. But the truth is, milking can be a very dirty job.

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KC Currents
11:55 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Launch KC Hopes To Attract IT Startups

Mike Burke (left) and Mayor Sly James announce Launch KC.
Frank Morris

Part of the hype that’s come with Google Fiber is how great the super-fast internet speed could be for IT businesses.

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KC Currents
2:22 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Mo. Farmers Recovering From Flood Hit With Drought, Nerd Nite KC: Erin Dahl Talks Silk Worms

After the Birds Point Levee breach last year, water coursed through farmland, leaving debris and destruction in it wake.
Samantha Powers Harvest Public Media
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KC Currents
10:04 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Bridging The Digital Divide In Kansas City, Live Music For A Living

KC Currents host Susan Wilson talking to Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Deputy Executive Director of the Kansas City Public Library, Michael Liimatta , co-founder of Connecting for Good and Donovan Mouton, local real estate developer.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Roundtable Discussion: Bridging The Digital Divide In Kansas City
Studies from Google indicated that 42 percent of lower income areas in Kansas City didn’t have access to Internet. Google Fiber has plans to address that with super high-speed Internet service. But not so fast—there have been issues with getting the community connected. KC Currents hosted a roundtable discussion to break down the digital divide.

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KC Currents
9:43 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Live Music For A Living

KC Star pop music editor Tim Finn
Kansas City Star

If you spend any amount of time going to concerts or music shows in Kansas City, you’ve probably seen a tall, thin man with a shock of grey hair usually standing by himself, often near the back of the club.

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KC Currents
11:46 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Healthy Hip Hop With Local Rapper Roy Scott, Inside The Studio & Documentary Of Artist Jim Leedy

Roy Scott is a local rapper and founder of Lend A Hand Family Foundation. He also does outreach for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR
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KC Currents
3:59 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

KC Currents Is Up All Night

Jeremy Soucy of the Missouri Department of Conservation holds up a small bull frog.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

What are you up after midnight and before sunrise? What are you thinking about? Doing? Eating?  Explore the region between the hours of midnight and 5 am.

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KC Currents
4:01 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Archive Collects KC's Gay And Lesbian History, Reform Proposal For Foreign Student Entrepreneurs

Map of gay-friendly businesses in KC.
Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America

The show for Sunday, August 19 and Monday, August 20:

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KC Currents
10:05 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Archive Collects KC's Gay And Lesbian History

Map of gay-friendly businesses in KC.
Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America

Back in 1966, Drew Schaeffer started a small group in Kansas City called the Phoenix society. 

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KC Currents
3:25 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Kansas City Sikhs Seek Tolerance, Local Reaction To Joplin Mosque Burning

Sikh hold vigil in Shawnee Mission Park.
Alex Smith KCUR

The show for Sunday, August 12 and Monday, August 13:

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KC Currents
12:19 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Kansas City Sikhs Seek Tolerance

Sikhs hold a vigil in Shawnee Mission Park.
Alex Smith KCUR

While the Wisconsin shooting that took place on August 5th is the most dramatic attack on Sikhs in recent memory, members of the faith often experience harassment and discrimination.

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KC Currents
4:03 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Recently Retired KC Fire Chief Smokey Dyer, Ranchers Battle Suffocating Drought

Smokey Dyer post-retirement at KCUR studios.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

The show for Sunday, August 5, and Monday, August 6:

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KC Currents
3:02 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Ballot Measures Would Fund Sewers, Parks, Streets

A measure on Tuesday's ballot proposes a sales tax that would go towards funding Kansas City's parks.
riebschlager flickr

On Tuesday, Kansas City, Mo. voters will get the chance to decide on two measures which would give the city more money for maintenance and upgrades.

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KC Currents
3:06 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Raytown Runner Goes To The Olympics, Breaking Down The Kansas School Finance Lawsuit

"Awesome Joolie" Flickr

The show for Sunday, July 22, and Monday, July 23:

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Education
12:11 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Breaking It Down: Kansas School Funding Lawsuit

city-data

In Kansas, 54 school districts are currently suing the state for cutting their funding. The state has budgeted $3,800 per student for the coming school year. 

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