Danny Wood

Kansas City Zoo

For the first time, the Kansas City Zoo’s baby chimpanzee has enjoyed being on public display with her twelve companion chimps. Baby Ruw was born at the zoo in April last year but rejected by her mother.

The 10-month-old spent Sunday morning touring her open habitat, clinging to the backs of older chimps. The zoo's senior director of zoological operations, Sean Putney, says Ruw’s reintroduction is going well.

Bill Tice

Gladstone residents are carrying out a citizen led strategic plan that will decide which city projects take priority for the next ten years.

The “Gladstone: Shaping Our Future” strategic planning process is unique in the metro area: it’s entirely led by the residents themselves.  

More than 100 volunteers met for over a year to brainstorm the sort of projects they’d like to see carried out in their community. Thursday night, a ten member committee started choosing which ones will make the cut.

Among the volunteers, Tina Spallo co-chairs the planning process.

Danny Wood/KCUR 89-3

The latest attempt to get a minimum wage proposal on the Kansas City ballot in April continued in front of a judge today.

The petitioners want Kansas Citians to vote in April on their proposal calling for a minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2021. But despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in their favor, last month Kansas City council members refused to put the issue on the April ballot.

The petitioners, including Pastor Lloyd Fields, appealed to a Jackson County Circuit Court Judge today.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration were the focus of a panel discussion at the Manual Career Technical Center in Kansas City, Missouri Saturday. More than 700 people, the majority of whom appeared to be supporters and friends of immigrants, packed the auditorium to ask questions about the government's restrictive immigration policies.

Clean Line Energy Partners website

For the second time in three years, a massive electricity line project is back in Missouri seeking approval. 

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line would connect Kansas wind turbines to the eastern states with an 800-mile-long overhead transmission line. The company running the $2 billion project says it has approvals from three of the four states in its path, only Missouri stands in the way.

The transmission line is supported by  utility companies and unlikely bedfellows such as the Sierra Club and Walmart.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Tuesday is this year's open enrollment deadline for buying health coverage through the insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

According to local health insurance brokers, the Trump administration's push to repeal or replace the ACA, has not impacted the number of people calling to sign up for Obamacare health coverage.

However, people are expressing anger about the cost of plans.

Danny Wood/KCUR 89-3

After his application for a commercial development was rejected by the city, former Lawrence mayor Bob Schumm, is trying a different approach: asking the Douglas County authorities to re-zone the plot of land on Vermont Street for agricultural use.

KC Streetcar Authority

Over the icy weekend, Kansas City’s downtown streetcar service not only kept to schedule, it ran after-hours to stop ice build-up on overhead lines.

After the last passengers disembarked, up to two streetcars were kept running overnight to keep power-lines ice-free.

Donna Mandelbaum, communications manager for the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, says the trolley cars can run continuously if necessary.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

The controversial $1.8 billion Brookridge redevelopment proposal in Overland Park is a step closer to being subsidized with help from taxpayer funds. A special committee told the Shawnee Mission Board of Education Wednesday that it should not use its veto power to stop the creation of a tax increment financing district (TIF).

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Bird watchers in the Kansas City area and across the United States are finalizing their annual Christmas Bird Count tallies. The census, run by the National Audubon Society, ends Thursday and provides a snapshot of bird species and populations.                               

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

According to statistics sourced from local police departments, the total number of homicides in the Kansas City metropolitan area reached 200 in 2016, the highest for nearly ten years. As many Kansas Citians prepared to welcome in 2017, community organization, AdHoc Group Against Crime, held a vigil Saturday morning to remember these victims and support their families.

Danny Wood/KCUR 89-3

City Union Mission, a Christian charity, says it distributed nearly 20,000 gifts to struggling Kansas Citians this Christmas, more than ever before.

The Rev. Dan Doty says during 40 years of its Christmas program, City Union Mission has never received more requests for help or given out more gifts. One-thousand twenty-one families, or a total of about 5,000 people, received presents, up 20 percent over 2015.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Shoppers looking for a cell phone at the Sprint store on the Country Club Plaza on Saturday got more than they bargained for: the CEO of the company wanted to listen to them.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure became a salesman again as he met customers on the shop floor at a new outlet on the Plaza.

Claure says he wants to understand what he described as “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the sales experience. By late morning Claure had a few tips.

“I’ve learned that I’d love to make this process a little simpler and less time consuming," he says.

Ervins Strauhmanis / Flikr -- CC

The Midwest is generally not renowned for the beauty of its town planning. Acres of concrete strip malls with  barren parking lots indicate a lack of aesthetic concerns. However, one Kansas mayor wants to protect his city’s aesthetics from telecommunications infrastructure.

City of Overland Park, Kansas

The Overland Park City Council has unanimously approved LANE4 Property Group’s final plan for redevelopment of the corner of 95th Street and Metcalf Avenue. The green light clears the way for the developer to apply for permits before starting demolition and site work.

The $80 million project is less ambitious than an earlier proposal worth several hundred million that called for a more urban style and help from city funds.  That plan included residential units, outdoor gathering areas and walking trails.

Daniel Wood / KCUR 89.3

As part of events marking  the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the city of Mission, Kansas, hosted a memorial at the Sylvester Powell Junior Community Center. About 70 local residents, including a number of veterans and current servicemen and women, attended. Among them, one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Dorwin Lamkin, a 94-year-old Shawnee resident,  was a hospital corpsman in the USS Nevada’s sickbay when the battleship was hit by a Japanese torpedo and started to sink.