Cody Newill

Intern, Digital

Born and raised in Independence, Mo. Cody is passionate about the Kansas City metro and its culture. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Cody has contributed to arts and culture publications such as The Bohemian zine and completed an internship with KCUR's "Up to Date." He currently works as a digital intern for the station.

When he isn’t writing or guzzling copious amounts of coffee, Cody can be found pedaling his bike like a madman around Westport.

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Higher Education
9:27 am
Wed July 9, 2014

KU's Edwards Campus To Add Five New Advanced Degree Options

Students sit in a lecture hall at the University of Kansas' Edwards campus. The Overland Park-based extension will be expanding its programs this fall.
Credit City of Overland Park, Kan. / Flickr-CC

Professionals seeking advanced degrees from the University of Kansas will have five new opportunities from the Overland Park-based Edwards campus starting this fall. 

The five new degree programs are for graduate students in education, business, accounting and international studies.

Christine Falk, Edwards campus marketing coordinator, says that new academic programs should help spur a sense of community and personal growth in the area. 

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Sports
9:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Missouri 340 Canoe Race Postponed Due To Flooding

Contestants at the 2007 Missouri 340 race cast off from Kansas City on a long journey to St. Charles.
Credit Marek Uliasz / Flickr-CC

For hundreds of paddlers, the Missouri 340 race is a true test of endurance, but flooding along the Missouri River has put the competition on hold.

The popular canoe race runs 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Charles. Organizers said they felt that heightened water levels would introduce too much debris and keep racers from being able to reach shore when they needed a break. 

Scott Mansker, race director, says postponing the race isn't ideal because people already have taken time off work to race. But the delay ultimately won't kill the competition, he says.

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Beyond Our Borders
3:45 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

How Residents Turned Things Around In Kansas City's Ivanhoe Neighborhood

Margaret May helped host KCUR's community listening session with the Ivanhoe neighborhood.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Few neighborhoods in Kansas City. Mo., have faced as many problems as the Ivanhoe neighborhood in the city's urban core.

Crime, drug houses, frequent vacancy, and trash buildup have plagued the area for decades, but neighborhood residents have been working towards change. 

Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council Executive Director Margaret May has worked in the neighborhood since 2001, and has seen it blossom as residents like Ida Dockery take ownership and responsibility for cleaning it up.

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Families
11:04 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Missouri And Kansas Among Worst States For New Parents

This map grades states based on their economic protections for new parents employed in both government and private-sector positions.
Credit www.nationalpartnership.org

A new study has rated Missouri and Kansas among the worst states in the country for new parents.

The National Partnership for Women & Families gave both states a failing grade in the third edition of "Expecting Better," an analysis of economic supports for state and private sector workers with new children.

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Public Schools
3:29 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

A Look Back At The Plan That Tried To Unify Kansas City Public Schools

The future of Kansas City and St. Louis public schools is uncertain, but unification could be a potential solution.
Credit Liz / Wikimedia Commons

In 1967, Missouri Rep. Jim Spainhower was tasked with creating a bill that would reorganize public school districts throughout the state.

Known as the Spainhower Commission, the plan would've cut the total number of school districts down to 20.

Reactions to the Spainhower Commission were almost uniformly negative at the time, as many Kansas City and St. Louis suburb residents thought it was a ploy for tax money and desegregation. 

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Holiday
12:26 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Your Guide To Fourth Of July Festivities In Kansas City

KC Riverfest fireworks light up the Missouri River next to the Christopher Bond Bridge to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Credit MoDOT Photos / Flickr-CC

Whether you're rocking a Stars and Stripes jumpsuit or merely soaking in the patriotic atmosphere, Independence Day is a time for celebration.

But with so many displays, parades, and other festivities, it can be a little daunting to decide just how to celebrate.

That is why we've decided to plan out your itinerary for the entire day. Here are some of the best places in the metro area to make your Fourth of July a real humdinger:

Morning activities

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LGBT Rights
2:59 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Douglas County Grants Same-Sex Divorces Despite State Ban On Same-Sex Marriages

A couple holds their marriage license in Iowa, a state where same-sex couples can go to get legally married.
Credit Alan C. / Flickr-CC

Kansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage hasn't stopped same-sex couples from getting divorced in Douglas County.  

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with David Brown, a family lawyer in Lawrence who has personally helped two same-sex couples divorce. 

Brown says that the Kansas state constitution has to do with public policy, not the court's legal recognition of gay marriage.

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Up To Date
3:32 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Best Music of 2014 — So Far

Sylvan Esso, pictured here, is just one of the groups that our music lovers picked as one of the best of 2014 so far.
Credit Ross Grady / Flickr-CC

We're almost halfway through 2014 and there's already been great music on the local, national and international stages.

From jazz to experimental ambient music, there's been something for pretty much everyone this year. 

On Friday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske was joined by a panel of music lovers to find the best bands, albums, and tracks so far in 2014. 

Here are our guests' picks:

Local/Regional

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Central Standard
1:52 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Food Critics: Best Unleaded Drinks In Kansas City

The Food Critics have plenty of favorite refreshing summer drinks in the Kansas City area.
Credit Mitch Altman / Flickr-CC

The dog days of summer are upon us and everyone is looking for good ways to keep cool. Though cocktails might do the trick, not everyone wants to get intoxicated while they sip a cold drink.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best refreshing non-alcoholic drinks in the Kansas City area are. 

Here are their picks:

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Economy
12:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Johnson County Ranked One Of The 'Easiest' Places To Live In U.S.

This map from The New York Times ranks counties based on quality of life indicators such as median household income and obesity rate.
Credit The Upshot / The New York Times

Johnson County, Kan., is one of the easiest places to live in the United States, according to a new study by The New York Times

The New York Times ranked counties based on six criteria: education, unemployment rate, median household income, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate.

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Central Standard
3:46 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KC Police Chief Darryl Forté On Response Times, His Faith And Social Media

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté visited with Gina Kaufmann about some of the problems that Kansas City faces.
Credit KMBC

When Darryl Forté was sworn in as Kansas City Police Department chief in 2011, it was a landmark moment. 

Forté is the first African American to lead the police department in the city's history.

Since then, Forté and the rest of the police department have had their hands full, with homicide rates that have routinely ranked within the top 10 worst cities in America

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Music
12:18 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

'American Idol' Bus Tour To Come To Kansas City

Hundreds of potential American Idol contestants wait for their chance to compete in Washington D.C.
Credit dbking / Flickr-CC

Popular singing competition show American Idol is coming to Kansas City this summer. On July 21, the Idol tour bus will pull into the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Volker campus to hold open auditions for the show's 14th season. 

In a press release, UMKC's Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mel Tyler says Kansas City will be a natural fit for the show. 

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History
3:20 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Then And Now: A Look Back At The Battle Of Westport

The Harris House Hotel that stood at Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue served as Union Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis' command post.
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library

If you've ever noticed plaques in Kansas City's Westport district describing Civil War-era events, then you have at least a little background on the Battle of Westport, a series of battles that ended in a decisive Union victory and emancipation for slaves in Missouri.

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Community
11:35 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Meet The Man Behind Kansas City's Pollen Count

Dr. Charles Barnes, director of research for Children's Mercy's allergy, asthma, and immunology department, is the man behind the pollen count for Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Every morning, Dr. Charles Barnes treks up to the roof of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to pull a collection slide out of the hospital's spore trap, a small machine consisting of a vacuum pump and wind main.

The little plastic slide may not look like much, but it provides an accurate pollen count for the entire Kansas City metro area.

"We've had this same technology and process for the last 24 years," Barnes says. "It's really pretty simple."

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Mental Health
3:07 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Report: Farmer Suicide Rate Higher Than All Other Workers

A new study shows that agricultural workers have unusually high suicide rates compared to other workers.
Credit Harvest Public Media

U.S. farmers are more than three times more likely to commit suicide than other workers, a new study has found.

University of Iowa researcher Wendy Ringgenberg compiled a study based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration farm death statistics from 1992 to 2010. In a recent interview with Iowa Public Radio, Ringgenberg said suicide rates have likely been underestimated and underreported. 

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Central Standard
12:02 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Cocktails In Kansas City

Both the Food Critics and several listeners picked the Moscow Mule as one of their favorite cocktails.
Credit Edsel Little / Flickr-CC

Many people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer to loosen up, but sometimes those just don't quite do the trick. From Moscow Mules to Brandy Alexanders, a good cocktail can be a great companion to a nice meal or a casual social event.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best cocktails in Kansas City are.

Here are their picks for cocktails at restaurants and bars:

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Central Standard
1:11 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Near Space Ballooners To Gather For Kansas 'Super Launch'

The Sangre de Cristo Range, as seen from John Flaig's near space balloon that he launched in Colorado last April.
Credit John Flaig

When most people pick a hobby, it's usually something simple like knitting or playing a sport recreationally. With John Flaig's hobby, it's a little more complicated.

Flaig and over 70 others like him will gather in Hutchinson, Kan., this weekend to practice "near space ballooning" or "ham ballooning."

The hobbyists send helium filled weather balloons into near space, which is between 60,000 and 328,000 feet above sea level.

Flaig's balloon has several cameras inside a Styrofoam payload box, taking pictures from all angles and altitudes along the way.

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Politics
11:31 am
Wed June 11, 2014

A Look Back At The 3 Times Kansas City Hosted National Political Conventions

State delegates, party members, and reporters filled nearly every seat in Convention Hall during the 1928 Republican National Convention.
State Historical Society of Missouri, Kansas City Convention Hall Records KO269

The Republican National Committee is eyeing Kansas City as a potential site for the 2016 Republican National Convention, and after a visit last week, the delegates’ first impressions seem positive.

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Sprint
3:19 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse On T-Mobile, HD Audio And Work-Life Balance

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse sat down with Steve Kraske to talk about the recent rumors and changes surrounding the company.
Credit John Taylor / Flickr-CC

When Sprint Corp. CEO Dan Hesse took the helm of an ailing telecommunications corporation seven years ago, he had his work cut out for him.

In the past year, things have moved very quickly for the company, with a majority buyout by Japan-based SoftBank Corp., layoffs and recent rumors of a merger deal with T-Mobile.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with Hesse to discuss the whirlwind of activity surrounding Sprint, and what it all means for consumers.

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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. 

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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.

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Central Standard
2:07 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Lawrence’s ‘Smutty Metaphor Queen’ On Her ‘Lawless’ Poetry

Patricia Lockwood is gaining notoriety for her poetry... and her disregard for social taboo.
Credit Grep Hoax

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

"Rape Joke," "Live Nude Dads Read The Sunday Paper," and "The Cum Queens of Hyatt Place" are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to poet Patricia Lockwood's absurdity.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

The Lessons We Learn From Our Children

Author Jennifer Senior stops by 'Up to Date' to discuss her new book about how children influence their parents' lives.
Credit Harper Collins

Parenting books often help new mothers and fathers to understand how they shape their children, but they rarely talk about how children shape their parents. 

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Central Standard
11:27 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Kansas City Artists Reflect On The Legacy Of Maya Angelou

Poet and author Maya Angelou passed away last week, but her influence on artists and writers around the world remains.
Credit York College ISLGP / Wikimedia Commons

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." For Maya Angelou, these words were a way of life. Her poetry and prose, even her off-the-cuff remarks during interviews, made people feel things deeply.

On Tuesday's Central Standard, local artist Peregrine Honig and writer Natasha Ria El-Scari join host Gina Kaufmann to share how Maya Angelou impacted their lives.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

America's Chronic Pain Problem

Credit vaXzine / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve got a shooting pain in your back that won’t quit or nagging, achy knees, you might be one of millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with Judy Foreman to discuss her new book, A Nation in Pain. We'll get to the bottom of why our society fails to fully treat nearly 100 million Americans who live with chronic pain.

Guest:

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

The CIA From The Cold War To Today

Historian and author of "National Insecurity" Mel Goodman visits with Steve Kraske about the changing role of the CIA.
Credit City Lights Publishers

Since its creation in the late 1940s, the CIA has changed from a relatively limited intelligence agency to a big player in America's military complex. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with ex-CIA analyst Mel Goodman to talk about the changing role of the CIA throughout history. We'll discuss how different presidents transformed the powers and operations of the agency during the Cold War, the War on Terror, and today.

Guest:

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Up To Date
9:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Development On The Rise In Kansas City

Cerner is just one of the organizations expanding development in the Kansas City metro.
Credit Cerner Corporation

Home construction skyrocketed 88% over last year's developments this April. In the second half of Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Kansas City Star development reporter Kevin Collison about the jump in growth in the metro area.

We'll look at Cerner's expanded office campus where the Bannister Mall once stood, a new $50 million River Market apartment complex, and UMKC's site near the Kauffman Center for the Conservatory of Music.

Guest:

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Up To Date
11:44 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Best Travel Apps For Your Summer Excursions

No matter where we go, our smartphones are a constant presence. Steve Kraske gets some good travel app recommendations on Friday's 'Up to Date.'
Credit David Goehring / Flickr-CC

The summer months are fast approaching, which means summer vacations are too. Whether you're taking a day trip or an international excursion, travel apps can take some of the burdens of planning, booking, even packing, off your shoulders.

In the first half of Friday's Up to Date, guest Dustin Jacobsen joins Steve Kraske with his recommendations for travel apps to help with everything from currency conversion to finding good hotel deals.

Guest:

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Up To Date
11:19 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Real Life 'Jerry Maguire'

Sports agent Leigh Steinberg joins 'Up to Date' host Steve Kraske to talk about his new memoir.
Credit Macmillan Publishers

For most of his 40-year career, sports representative Leigh Steinberg was on top. The inspiration for the film Jerry Maguire, Steinberg negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest names in sports: Lennox Lewis, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman just to name a few.

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Up To Date
11:35 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Former Royal Jason Kendall's Baseball Wisdom

Former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall joins Steve Kraske on Thursday's 'Up to Date.'
Credit Macmillan Publishers

There are secret rules and pieces of wisdom that most baseball fans don't even know exist. For example, don't ever look an umpire in the eye when you're arguing with him. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge to discuss Kendall's new memoir of baseball wisdom, Throwback

Guests:

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