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

The Kansas City Council passed an ordinance Thursday raising the city's minimum wage. 

Cheers rang out in chamber after the council approved the new ordinance 12 - 1. It will bump wages up to $8.50 an hour by August 24, and will eventually cap at $13 an hour by Jan. 1, 2020. 

But Mayor Sly James made it clear that the ordinance could be found to violate state law, and that legislators are unlikely to simply let it stand.

Stand Up KC

The Kansas City Council is poised to take action Thursday on an ordinance that would raise the city's minimum wage well above state levels.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A group of Web developers from across the globe gathered in Lawrence's Liberty Hall over the weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Django," a Web application framework with Kansas roots.

In 2005, Web developers at the Lawrence Journal World created Django to help journalists put stories on the Web quickly. Now, it's used in a wide variety of websites and apps, such as Instagram, Pinterest and the Washington Times. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

The Kansas City Council will continue to discuss an ordinance that would raise the city's minimum wage. 

Dozens of activists from Stand Up KC, a group focused on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, filled the council chamber Thursday during a two-hour session of expert testimony. 

As it currently stands, the measure would increase the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2023. That's $2 an hour less than what advocates want, and takes an extra three years.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Activists and low-wage workers gathered on the steps of the Kansas City's City Hall Thursday to start what they say will be a week-long fast in support of a minimum-wage increase.

Members of Stand Up KC crowded the steps shortly after dawn to support an ordinance that would raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

More than 4,000 members of the Mennonite Church USA gathered in downtown Kansas City July 2 to meet, worship and pass church-wide resolutions together at their biennial convention. But congregations are bitterly divided over two resolutions passed dealing with same-sex marriage.

The first resolution passed by nearly 1,000 delegates from congregations all over the country allows same-sex marriage if that congregation is within a regional conference that allows it. It calls for "Christian forbearance" and tolerance. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

A Lee's Summit fireworks stand that was blown over by a tornado has reopened just before the Fourth of July. 

High winds caused the tent to collapse Wednesday evening, ruining at least $20,000 worth of fireworks. The stand is run by volunteer students and Parent Teacher Student Association members at Lee's Summit North High School.

PTSA member Rebecca Fisher said there was a little grumbling, but the students got the tent back up and running within 24 hours.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A new emergency shelter for children in Wyandotte County opening up this summer got a little help from the community Saturday.

The proceeds from the "Luau with Love" at St. Patrick Catholic Church will help fund Robert's Place, a shelter where children in abusive homes can be taken after police have intervened.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

Marriage equality advocates in Missouri and Kansas rejoiced Friday as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states are not allowed to place bans on unions by same-sex couples.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James floated to an easy victory over opponent Vincent Lee in Tuesday's municipal election, while Katheryn Shields beat out Councilman Jim Glover in a tight race for the 4th District seat. 

James won with 87 percent of votes, according to unofficial election board results. Despite thoughts that a June election might increase turnout, the opposite turned out to be true: only 13 percent of registered voters in Jackson County cast a vote.

Turnout was even lower in Clay and Platte counties, both of which saw just 8 percent of voters show up to the polls.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In the aftermath of the shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, faith leaders in Kansas City are focused on moving forward.

At Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church,  the message during Sunday's Father's Day service was simple: the church will continue to welcome members and visitors regardless of the tragedy.

Martin Cathrae / Flickr-CC

During the summer months in Kansas City, it's common for the sweet scent of fresh-cut grass to waft through the muggy air.

And while that smell might be pleasing to some of us humans, two University of Missouri researchers say the newly shorn grass blades are none too pleased about it.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In 2014, more Kansas City voters over the age of 90 showed up to the polls than those under the age of 30 did, according to a voter analysis by civic engagement group mySidewalk. But there are a few groups in town that are trying to change those numbers.

The Raucous Caucus event at the Barney Allis Plaza Friday brought together city council members, hopeful candidates and dozens of millennials to talk about the issues in the coming municipal election. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

The 2nd Annual American Jazz Walk of Fame honored six jazz musicians with medallions on the sidewalk in front of the Gem Theater off 18th and Vine in Kansas City Saturday.

Jazz figures like Coleman Hawkins, Myra Taylor and Lester Young were honored posthumously, but longtime Kansas City jazz-organist Everette DeVan was there in person to receive the honor.

Briana O'Higgins / KCUR

The thought of being locked in a small room with a bunch of math and logic problems might trigger some uncomfortable flashbacks to a 7th grade math test, but for two new businesses in Kansas City's River Market, that's the whole point.

Breakout Kansas City and Escape Room Kansas City both opened up within a few weeks of each other, and they're bringing an unusual experience to the metro area.

Cody Newill / KCUR

The Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri participated in a national event Saturday to get area residents interested in their family history.

The Global Family Reunion is based in New York City, but satellite events were held all over the country. The Genealogy center had music, crafts and introductory steps for amateur genealogists to find out more about their ancestry.  

Cody Newill / KCUR

A new exhibit in Kansas City Crossroads district takes the city's data and turns it into visual art.

"The Art of Data" made its grand opening at ArtsKC Friday after months of planning. Dozens of First Friday patrons came to see the pieces, which are based on statistics like life expectancy by zip code and the city's homicide rate.

Timo Newton-Syms / Flickr-CC

Older drivers often face a difficult decision on whether to continue driving or not as they move into their twilight years, but an expo Wednesday seeks to help them stay safe and find alternatives.

The Get Up And Go Older Adult Driving Expo is meant to give aging adults information about a wide range of transportation options.

The Kansas City Star / Google Creative Commons

Despite coming off a nearly 50 year, record-low homicide rate in 2014, Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Darryl Forté isn't content to just rest on his laurels.

Amid unrest from protests over police killings of unarmed African Americans in the United States, Forté has promised a renewed focus on deescalating situations and training officers to retreat from potentially lethal situations.

The Kansas City Council delayed a vote Thursday on raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

The council came to an agreement after nearly four hours of public testimony in committee. Petitioners in favor of raising the minimum wage had submitted a ballot initiative in conjunction with Councilman Jermaine Reed introducing an identical ordinance.

The issue is complicated by an Aug. 28 deadline for a bill on Gov. Jay Nixon's desk that would prohibit cities from raising the minimum wage. Mayor Sly James summed up the council's difficulty with the measures.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A Kansas City Council committee gave initial approval to a plan for a new downtown convention hotel Wednesday.

The city's Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee approved an outline for a $300 million, 800-room Hyatt hotel. The plan puts the city on the hook for $35 million, which would come from the city's existing tourism funds that currently go to Kemper Arena.

Allagash Brewing / Flickr-CC

Craft breweries and distilleries in the Kansas City area could soon have a new venue to sell their libations.

The Kansas City council's Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee advanced an ordinance Wednesday that expands liquor sales in the City Market area near downtown Kansas City.

Currently, only wineries can bring their products to the farmer's market, but the new ordinance would allow state-licensed breweries and distilleries to do the same.

Cody Newill / KCUR

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City officials are pushing for teens and young adults to join Mayor Sly James' Club KC and Mayor's Nights events during the summer.

The initiative is meant to keep kids from causing trouble at places like the Plaza by hosting parties and sports tournaments at various community centers across the city.

Mayor James and several city council members were on the Plaza Saturday handing out fliers for the programs. James says that attendance is expected to match last year, which means less problems for law enforcement.

Cody Newill / KCUR

The 11th annual Troost Festival brought together hundreds of community members, artists and businesses Saturday for a one-day celebration of the culture of Troost Avenue.

Dozens of booths and pavilions lined the street from Linwood to 31st Street, with groups like the Harry Potter Alliance sitting next to Black Lives Matter activists.  

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City's downtown streetcar line is on schedule for its tracks to be fully laid out by mid-summer, according to streetcar officials.

KC Streetcar spokeswoman Donna Mandelbaum says that construction is coming to a head just under a year after the city officially broke ground on the project.

"This summer we'll see the completion of track construction, we'll be finished up on the electrical systems and our station stop construction," Mandelbaum said. "We really are in the home stretch now."

Cody Newill / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon stopped by the recently closed Missouri River bridge on Highway 291 in Sugar Creek, Missouri Thursday to call on state lawmakers to pass a fuel tax hike for transportation funding.

The northbound bridge was closed Wedensday when a Missouri Department of Transportation inspection found a rusted hole through a support strut. 

Nixon said the bridge is indicative of a larger problem with state transportation funding.

Tim / Flickr-CC

What were you doing in 1998? Getting down to the Top 40 chart-topper "Too Close"? Showing outrage over President Bill Clinton's adulterous proclivities? Perhaps still dealing with 56k modems to check your America Online email?

Cody Newill / KCUR

Medical marijuana activists from Kansas and Missouri met at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain Saturday to rally for expanded medical marijuana legalization.

Activist groups Bleeding Kansas and Sensible Missouri organized the rally. Sensible Missouri founder Nick Raines says that lawmakers should allow citizens who are suffering from chronic illnesses the choice of medical marijuana.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In the wake of unrest in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri, the Kansas City Police Department held a community peace rally at Linwood and Prospect Saturday morning.

Mayor Sly James told the crowd of several dozen police officers, community members and city council members that keeping the city peaceful will require a continued cooperative effort.

"The issues that arose in Ferguson are not unique to Ferguson," James said. "The issues can arise here just as easily, just as quickly, if we are not vigilant."

Matteo Merzi / Flickr-CC

Kansas City isn't exactly known for being a pedestrian friendly city. Downtown is overcrowded by parking lots, there have been books written about the city's automobile obsession, and it still only has a "bronze" rating from the League of American Bicyclists for its cycling friendliness.

But there are still Kansas Citians who go against the grain and make it a point to walk. In a conversation with Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann Wednesday, Pedestrian Path blogger Rhianna Weilert said her breaking point came after her car was totaled in a hit-and-run accident.

Pages