Cody Newill

General Assignment Reporter

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 helms the Sunday morning newscasts and produces digital content for the station's website.

Ways To Connect

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Even if you don't pay attention to sports, social media or Kansas City, you probably saw something about the Royals winning their first playoff game in 29 years Tuesday

Fans were left stunned after what was arguably the most intense game in Royals history. But what about people who generally don't follow baseball and want in on the excitement? What about those who don't know a bunt from bean? 

Michael Price / KCPT

The state of Kansas City's mental health care services is dire, according to a new documentary.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis focuses on the growing number of fraught confrontations between severely mentally ill people and police on Kansas City's streets. The locally produced documentary airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KCPT. 

SungWoo Lee - Twitter

The Kansas City Royals clinched their spot in the American League wild card game last week, taking the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1985. 

With the team's World Series hopes hinging on their performance against the Oakland A's Tuesday, Royals fans in Kansas City and around the world are showing their support for the boys in blue. 

Allen Brewer / Flickr-CC

Kansas City is the most up-and-coming city in the country, according to a new ranking list.

The Huffington Post ranked Kansas City as the most exciting, "it" city in the United States. The food, Midwestern hospitality and music were all highlighted as reasons to visit the metro area.

Kansas City cuisine may be best known for the smoky taste of barbecue, but the earthy goodness of smoke isn't limited to pulled pork and brisket. 

From rich, smoked Gouda, to smoke-infused cocktails, adding smoke to a dish can add another layer of complexity to its taste. 

Central Standard food critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris and callers gave us their picks for the best smoked foods and drinks in Kansas City:

BTC Keychain / Flickr-CC

A federal commission has shut down Leawood, Kan., based company Butterfly Labs Inc., for failing to deliver high-powered Bitcoin mining equipment to customers on time. 

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission believes Butterfly Labs took between $20 million and $50 million in specially designed computer orders from customers. Many of those orders didn't get delivered on time, or at all. 

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service / University of Virginia

The Kansas City metropolitan area is steeped in state line rivalry.

University of Kansas Jayhawks and University of Missouri Tigers have grudges dating back to the pre-Civil War years. Jackson County, Mo., and Johnson County, Kan., are politically divided, and we even have a road called 'State Line Road' to mark which side is which. 

Walnut Valley Music Festival

Since 1972, bluegrass, country and even Irish orchestral music have sounded from stages and campsites at the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, Kan. 

In a conversation with Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann, longtime festival goers Lowen Millspaugh and Kasey Rausch called in from Winfield where the 2014 festival is taking place right now.

Tumblr - SubTropolis / Hunt Midwest

You'd never find it by just looking around, but beneath the grounds of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun is one of the largest systems of underground businesses in the country. 

Skånska Matupplevelser / Flickr-CC

As temperatures start to drop and fall begins, it's time to start thinking about culinary standbys that characterize the season.

From root vegetables to fresh apple cider, there are plenty of seasonal ingredients and dishes in the Kansas City area to get you in a fall mindset. 

Here are Central Standard's Food Critics' and local callers' choices for good seasonal dishes in the Kansas City metro:

Wikimedia - CC

Eds note: This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism. 

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

Michael Zupon / Flickr-CC

There's good reason to be excited about the Kansas City Royals right now. The team is in a pennant race for the playoffs for the first time since 1985, and it actually looks like they have a good chance to move on.

The Daily Beast

News site The Daily Beast released an extensive review of United States high schools, and two of Kansas City's were ranked as "Doing the Most With the Least."

Out of 25 schools, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Mo., ranked 17th and 18th, respectively. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

In light of protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the police shooting of Michael Brown, Kansas City leaders held a panel Saturday centered around a big question for people of color: What should I do when I am stopped by the police?

Western Historical Manuscript Collection

The social unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of Michael Brown has sparked national conversations about issues stemming from racial and socioeconomic tension. But this isn't the first time these issues have reached a fever pitch.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to help restore order in Ferguson, Mo., as protests and sometimes violent confrontations continue.

KCUR's Frank Morris is reporting from Ferguson, and talked with us about his experience there.

Interview highlights:

On whether media coverage has accurately reflected the reality in Ferguson

Missouri Valley Special Collections / Kansas City Public Library

Within the old bones of big brick buildings like the Columbia Burlap & Bag Co., in Kansas City's West Bottoms, new businesses, artist studios and restaurants are finding success in an area that still looks like it belongs in the late 1800s.

One spot that's finding particular success is the 12th Street Bridge and the surrounding buildings. First Friday "Warehouse Weekends" and antique shops bring in thousands of visitors each month.

But it wasn't always this way. In fact, parts of the West Bottoms were practically deserted for nearly 40 years.

For the uninitiated, IKEA is just a big furniture store.

But for those in the Kansas City area who have been to IKEA before, the grand opening of a new store in Merriam, Kan., on Sept. 10 is a big deal. The Swedish furniture chain is allowing people to line up 48 hours before the Merriam store opens. And they will.

Why? Well, because of all the possibilities.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A new push for residential development in Kansas City's West Bottoms has some strong support and strong opposition.

Rancher and real estate developer Bill Haw started construction on a new apartment building at 1515 Genessee St., in July. The goal for the 11 unit complex is to draw families into the West Bottoms.

"There haven't been many families with young children moving back to the central core," Haw said. "I think that's an essential part of the transition to rebuilding the core of the city."

When World War I broke out in Europe a century ago, more than one in 10 Missourians was German-American. Host Monroe Dodd is joined by Petra DeWitt, author of a book about the struggles that Missouri's German population faced during the war.

Guest:

  • Petra DeWitt, Assistant Teaching Professor at Missouri S&T and author of Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri's German-American Community during World War I.
Laura Spencer / KCUR

Voters in Missouri went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the Nov. 4 general election and to decide on five ballot measures that would amend the state's Constitution. Kansas City voters south of the river voted to decide whether or not to create a tax district to fund the city's streetcar.

Below are results for a selection of those races and measures, you can see complete election results at the Secretary of State website.

Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Voters in Kansas went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the Nov. 4 general election. Below are results for a selection of those races, you can see complete election results at the Secretary of State website.

Unofficial election results will be updated below as precincts across the state report results. 

Updated: 6:05 a.m., Wednesday

UNITED STATES SENATE - REPUBLICAN
Precincts reporting: 3,487 of 3,487

Evan P. Cordes / Flickr-CC

From Southwest Boulevard to 7th Street Trafficway, it's hard to go anywhere in the Kansas City metro without running into delicious taquerias and Mexican restaurants.

On Friday's Central Standard, host Charles Ferruzza and the rest of the Food Critics came up with a large list of some of the best tacos in Kansas City.

Here are the Critics' and callers' picks:

scottmorgansos.com / Wikimedia Commons -- CC

The Republican primary for Kansas secretary of state has been interesting to say the least. 

Incumbent Kris Kobach has been criticized by his opponent Scott Morgan for associating with rock 'n' roller Ted Nugent, drumming up too much media attention with national immigration issues and continuing to practice law while in office.

Kobach maintains that Kansans share his political ideals. In turn, he suggests that Morgan is too liberal to even be considered a Republican; he points to Morgan's support of abortion rights and his stance against concealed-carry firearms.

NextRailKC

A measure on the Aug. 5 ballot for Kansas City residents living south of the Missouri River will help decide if the downtown streetcar will expand beyond its current line.

Kansas City Question A seeks to create a larger transportation development district that would allow Kansas Citians the chance to vote for streetcar and bus expansion taxes in the November election. 

The proposed district is bounded north by the river, west by State Line Road, east by I-435, and south by the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

Ballot language:

Ken Banks / Flickr-CC

A measure on the Aug. 5 primary ballot in Missouri seeks to amend the state constitution to protect data and electronic communications from unreasonable search and seizure. 

Ballot language

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?

State and local governmental entities expect no significant costs or savings.

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

If you've ever seen the large murals or spray paint writing on the sides of buildings along Southwest Boulevard, you've probably seen some of Kansas City based graffiti writer Gear's work.

On Monday's Central Standard, Gina Kaufmann sat down with Gear in studio to discuss the nuances of graffiti and street art. 

Gina also went out into the field and took photos of just a few of Gear's writings that can be found around Kansas City. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

The tree and shrub population in the Kansas City metropolitan area saves residents nearly $14 million a year, according to a new study.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Northern Research Station (NRS) examined plant life in nine counties in the Kansas City metro area.

The NRS found that by blocking winds in the winter, shading buildings in the summer, and providing natural evaporative cooling all throughout the year, trees and shrubs significantly cut down residential energy costs.

file photo

Sen. Pat Roberts has represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate since 1997, but one man is trying to end that reign. Dr. Milton Wolf is one of four contenders in the Kansas Republican primary for U.S. Senate. A Tea Party darling, Wolf has taken a hard line against tax increases, government spending and says he would adhere to a strict two term limit. 

And he's also President Obama's second cousin, once removed.

Missouri Valley Special Collections / Kansas City Public Library

It's easy to forget about Kemper Arena.

Nestled down in the south end of the West Bottoms in Kansas City, Mo., the aging arena has seen better days. Since 2007, the Sprint Center has hosted virtually all the big-name events coming through town, leaving Kemper nearly inactive for long periods of time.

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