Briana O'Higgins

Digital Content Editor

A California native, Briana comes to KCUR by way of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. and KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.

She started working in public radio as an intern at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio to fulfill a degree requirement while studying at Antioch College.

She has a graduate certificate from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and a Master of Arts in Journalism and Documentary Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 


1:05 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Your Guide To Getting On The Sporting Kansas City Bandwagon

Sporting KC fans hold up scarves in "The Cauldron" at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit ryanknapp / Flickr--Creative Commons

You've probably heard by now that our very own Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, has made it to the MLS championship game, called the MLS Cup. The game will be played against Real  Salt Lake (pronounced ree-AL) at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday afternoon.

Sporting KC last played in a MLS final in 2004, losing to D.C. United. Kansas City, then known as the Wizards, won the MLS Cup in 2000.

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Cops & Crime
9:20 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Bomb Threat Reported At KCMO City Hall

Updated, 12:33 p.m.

The city has announced that they expect to be able to reopen City Hall aound 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Until then, police officers will continue to search the building floor by floor to determine if a threat still exists.

The original story starts below:

Multiple news organizations are reporting a bomb threat was called into Kansas City, Mo., City Hall Tuesday morning. KCTV5 reports the call was made to 911 at 8:04 a.m. 

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9:20 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Your Guide To Interviewing Loved Ones On The 'National Day Of Listening'

Credit StoryCorps

Since November 2008, the public radio community has been celebrating the day after Thanksgiving as a National Day of Listening.

The holiday is the brain child of StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay, and urges people to take advantage of time with friends and family and record interviews with loved ones.

You don't need to be a radio professional or have a studio to participate, but these tips should help you get started:

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2:57 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Kansas City Scores Best And Worst On LGBT Equality Index

Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Kansas City has simultaneously achieved the lowest and highest scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index scorecard.

Kansas City, Kan., earned a zero on the scorecard, which ranks city laws, policies, benefits and services that work to positively impact residents in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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6:00 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Get Out Your Camera, The Word Of The Year Is 'Selfie'

KCUR staffers, in all their selfie glory.
Credit Briana O'Higgins + staff / KCUR

The word of the year, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is selfie. The company announced the 2013 selection on Monday in a press release.

According to the release, selfie can be tracked to 2002, where it was used in an Australian online forum.

Oxford claims the word's linguistic productivity is already evident by numerous spin-offs, like welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunk selfie).

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10:28 am
Thu November 14, 2013

WATCH LIVE: Obama To Address Nation On Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation at 10:45 a.m. 

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1:16 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

WATCH: Welders Begin Work On Kansas City's Streetcar Line

Workers began laying track in the Crossroads district of Kansas City.
Credit Streetcar Neighbors / Facebook page

Kansas City, Mo. resident David Johnson on Tuesday posted a video that he believes is the first weld of the city's new streetcar tracks. The video was taken just north of 16th and Main streets in the Crossroads.

The streetcar will eventually run down Main Street from Union Station to the River Market when it is completed, which is expected by mid-2015.

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2:26 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Chiefs Star Player Arrested For Marijuana Possession

Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, was arrested Sunday in Riverside, Mo. 

Riverside police pulled over a black Audi A8 for going 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. When the officer approached the vehicle he said he could smell marijuana.

A release from the Riverside Police Department says the officer was part of a K-9 unit and a dog was able to lead the officer to a black backpack that contained a substance that looked like marijuana. Along with the substance was the wallet of vehicle owner and Chiefs player, Dwayne Bowe.

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10:03 am
Thu November 7, 2013

See Which Missouri Legislators Took Gifts From Lobbyists

Credit St. Louis Public Radio/NPR

In partnership with NPR, St. Louis Public Radio has created a new website to keep track of all the gifts Missouri state lawmakers have been receiving from companies and organizations that have lobbyists at the capitol in Jefferson City. And, the information is searchable and downloadable. 

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7:34 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

November 5 Election Results, By The Numbers

Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Updated 5:36 a.m.

The ballot issues Tuesday were on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area, including the largest tax increase in Jackson County in more than two decades. Voter turnout was, as expected, light.

The results below are unofficial until certified.

Here are the latest numbers:

Blue Springs, Mo. Parks Sales Tax:
In Blue Springs, voters defeated a permanent half-cent sales tax that would have raised $3 million a year for parks-related projects, including community recreation centers.

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Business & Tech
2:07 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Boulevard President Sells Majority Of Company To Belgian Brewery

Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR-FM

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that Kansas City-based CEO of Boulevard Brewing Co., John

McDonald has sold the majority interest in the company to Belgian brewery Duvel Moortagat.

McDonald started Boulevard in 1989 and brought the company to national acclaim. McDonald told the Kansas City Business journal that he turned 60 this year and needed to figure out what he was going to do with the brewery.

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KC Currents
11:11 am
Thu September 5, 2013

157 Years After The Steamboat Arabia Sank, Museum Of Cargo Thrives

Firearms recovered from the steamboat Arabia on display in the museum.
Credit Courtesy / Arabia Steamboat Museum

One hundred fifty-seven years ago Thursday the Arabia, a steamboat traveling the Missouri River westward from St. Louis, sank. The actual event was relatively minor, the only casualty was an mule that was tied to the deck — all 130 passengers were able to make it ashore safely.

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2:36 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

$20 Million Grant Announced For Kansas City Streetcar

U.S. Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, announced Friday that Kansas City will receive a $20 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the streetcar project.

In a release, McCaskill said it is fantastic news for families and businesses in Kansas City.

"This streetcar project will encourage housing, construction and business development in the city — and that will mean more jobs across the region," she said.

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Music Shows
9:32 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Cyprus Avenue 35th Anniversary At The Folly Theater

Credit Folly Theater

KCUR and the Folly Theater will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Cyprus Avenue with a live event at the Folly on Saturday, September 28.

The celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. with a music performance by Sam Baker at 8:00 p.m.

You can find out more about the show and buy tickets at the Folly Theater website.

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6:27 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Roma Defeats MLS All-Stars, But Kansas City Still Wins

The opening ceremony at the MLS All-Star game Wednesday included audience participation with signs and flags.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

AS Roma defeated the MLS All-Star team Wednesday night 3-1 in the MLS All-Star game at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

The MLS team included three players from Sporting Kansas City, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. Their opponent from Italy included United States National Team center midfielder Michael Bradley who received high praise during from stadium fans on his announcement onto the field.

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9:29 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Kansas' Flint Hills Considered One Of '10 Iconic US Drives'

A drive through the Flint hills tallgrass prairie is among a list of 10 iconic U.S. drives compiled by Smarter Travel.
Credit USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr--Creative Commons

A drive through the Flint Hills in Kansas is one of the 10 iconic U.S. drives, according to Smarter Travel.

Route 177 from Cassoday, Kan. to Manhattan, Kan. runs 87 miles through the last of the rolling tallgrass prairie lands. Along the route are many small towns, including Cottonwood Falls and Council Grove.

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2:36 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

What The White House Has To Say About Westboro Baptist Church

The White House GIF shows the concentration of people who signed one of the petitions regarding Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.
Credit Mick Thompson / Where The People

The White House has formally responded to five petitions that request Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. have their non-profit status revoked and that they be federally recognized as a hate group.

Nearly 700,000 people have signed the petitions since December 2012 when they were created.

In a post on the White House website the administration says while they do not maintain a list of hate groups, they agree that the practices of Westboro Baptist are "reprehensible."

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Central Standard
8:58 am
Mon July 1, 2013

11 Places To Watch Fireworks In The Kansas City Area

Credit Anthony Cramp / Wikimedia--CC

From its inception, Americans have celebrated the Fourth of July with grand fireworks displays.

John Adams envisioned fireworks as part of the festivities before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, and the first commemorative Fourth of July featured a display that began and ended with 13 rockets.

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Business & Tech
10:21 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Sprint Shareholders Approve $21.6 Billion Deal With SoftBank

Shareholders in Sprint Nextel Corp. have approved a $21.6 billion sale of 78 percent of the company to Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp.

The vote in Overland Park, Kan. Tuesday comes at the end of months of negotiations that originally included a $25.5 billion offer to buy all of Sprint from Dish Network. Dish Network has since retreated from that offer, but may still pursue shares of Sprint network provider, Clearwire.

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3:11 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

What The Transfer Ruling Means For Accredited MO School Districts

Westport High School was once part of KCPS, it closed due to low enrollment.
Credit KCUR

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidelines Wednesday regarding student transfers between unaccredited and accredited school districts.

Among other things the guidelines urge accredited districts that border those without accreditation to adopt and publish policy on class size and teacher ratios by August 1.

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5:00 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Health story

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says gaps in mental health care could be addressed if every state-including Kansas-would expand Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act.

Rick Cagan, who heads NAMI Kansas, says the state’s system of community mental health centers is supposed to provide help for Kansans with mental illness, regardless of their ability to pay. But budget cuts have left public mental health providers unable to meet the needs.

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5:00 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Health story

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says gaps in mental health care could be addressed if every state-including Kansas-would expand Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act.

Rick Cagan, who heads NAMI Kansas, says the state’s system of community mental health centers is supposed to provide help for Kansans with mental illness, regardless of their ability to pay. But budget cuts have left public mental health providers unable to meet the needs.

Read more
11:25 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Heavy Rains Cause Flooding In Multiple Areas Across Metro

Officials taped off the banks of Indian Creek Friday due to flooding.
Steve Bell KCUR

UPDATE 11:51 a.m. Storm Water Withdrawing:

The heavy rain and thunderstorms across the Kansas City area Friday are receding.

According to Chris Bowman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, the main event appears to be over.

"It's just really kind of cleaning up from the morning's heavy rain," Bowman said.

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10:14 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Power Outages Diminish As Crews Labor Into Monday

Kansas City Power & Light worked overnight Sunday and early Monday to reconnect lines to homes and businesses.
Credit Theodore Scott/Flickr--Creative Commons

Updated 10:15 a.m Storms Aftermath Shows Power Restoration:

Utility troubleshooters from KCP&L have restored a large portion of service to harder hit areas. The utility’s web site indicated the Raytown area had 237 outages just after 10 a.m.

Six hours earlier there were 4500 without electricity. Missouri outages of more than one hundred customers in other area districts and cities include:

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6:06 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Spring Storm Brings High Wind, Heavy Rain

Severe weather is expected across the Kansas City area Sunday night.
Credit National Weather Service

Update 8:33 p.m. Spring Storms Move East Out Of Metro:

The spring storm system that rolled through the Kansas City area Sunday evening brought heavy rain and high winds, but had dissipated enough to spare the region from the large hail and tornado-producing conditions that racked parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Still, thousands of homes and businesses were without power Sunday night and there were numerous reports of downed trees.

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Community Stories
11:59 am
Thu May 9, 2013

And The Most Popular Cat Name In Kansas Is... Kitty

Data compiled by Banfield Pet Hospitals indicates the most common cat name in Kansas (and the US) is Kitty.
Credit hoangnam_nguyen/Flickr -- Creative Commons

Kansans are rather unoriginal when it comes to naming their cats, the most popular name for felines in the state is Kitty.

Missourians are slightly more creative, and prideful. According to a report out Wednesday the most popular name for cats in the Show-Me state is Tiger.

The most popular name for dogs in both states is Bella, which is the most popular dog name in the country. Bella is most likely a Labrador Retriever or Chihuahua. 

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11:39 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Tornado Watch Issued For Eastern Kansas, Missouri

A tornado watch was issued Wednesday morning for eastern Kansas and most of Missouri.
Credit National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the Kansas City area, eastern Kansas and most of Missouri. 

The watch was issued late Wednesday morning and is expected to last until at least 10 pm CDT. The storm could bring several intense tornados, hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter, and wind up to 70 mph.

A flood warning has been issued for Jackson county.

You can follow storm at the National Weather Service website.

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