Elle Moxley

General Assignment Reporter

Elle joined KCUR in 2014 as a general assignment reporter. Most recently, she covered Indiana schools as an education reporter for NPR’s StateImpact project.

Previously, she reported for The Examiner in Independence, Mo., and KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo.

She is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

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Government
1:17 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Independence, Missouri, Looks To Expand Renewable Energy Portfolio

The Independence, Mo., City Council wants to see a solar farm built in the northeast part of the city as part of its plan to decrease reliance on coal-fired power plants.

The city council passed a resolution this summer to have 10 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2018. Independence Power and Light Director Leon Daggett says the city-owned utility already gets about 5 percent of its power from a Salina, Kan., wind farm.

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Government
7:20 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Kansas City To Extend Pension Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Update, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11:

The Kansas City, Mo., City Council voted Thursday to extend city pension benefits currently offered to couples in conventional marriages to legally-married same-sex couples.

“So this is just one more example of our commitment to being inclusive to all of our citizens in Kansas City,” Councilwoman Jan Marcason said before the unanimous vote.

The original post continues below.

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Community
10:07 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In Kansas City's Racially Divided LGBT Community, Few Mourn Black Murder Victim

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

Dionte Greene's friends remember a sweet kid, a devoted son, a loving father – memories they're struggling to rectify with the 22-year-old's shooting death on Oct. 31.

Greene was found in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning. His killer hasn't been identified. And his friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.

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Community
3:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Gas Station Attendants, Retail Workers Join Kansas City Fast-Food Strike

Fast-food workers march along Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday to call for a $15 minimum wage.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

About 150 Kansas City workers walked off the job Thursday to demand higher wages and better benefits.

Fast-food workers across the country have been calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage for two years. 

"Each strike we get bigger," says Dana Wittman, a 38-year-old Subway worker. "This strike includes retail workers, gas stations – we're expanding, and these companies are noticing it."

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Government
2:06 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

New Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Named

Terry Zeigler, center, is the new police chief in Kansas City, Kan. Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach, right, and interim police chief Ellen Hanson, left, make the announcement.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Assistant Chief Terry Zeigler will take over the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, county officials announced Tuesday.

Zeigler, who joined the department in 1990, says he'll be continuing the work of interim police chief Ellen Hanson.

"We will continue using strategies like hotspot policing and intelligence-led policing to combat crime, but we will be open to new strategies if it will make our community safer," Zeigler said at a press conference at City Hall.

He beat out four other finalists for the job.

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Community
10:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Additional Murder Charges Filed In South Kansas City Shooting Spree

A man accused of killing five people in a south Kansas City, Mo., crime spree in early September now faces two additional charges of first degree murder.

Brandon Howell, 34, already faced three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of 63-year-old Darryl Hurst, 88-year-old Lorene Hurst and 69-year-old Susan Choucroun.

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Education
7:50 am
Mon November 24, 2014

How The Common Core Is Changing Math Instruction For Elementary Students

Fourth-grade teacher Emily Callahan at Ravenwood Elementary School in North Kansas City, Mo., talks to her students about the different strategies they could use to solve a math problem.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

  If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably seen parents complaining that the Common Core has ruined math for their kids.

They’ll share comedian Louis CK’s bit about the incompressible homework his kids are bringing home.

“‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?,’” he tells David Letterman. “Or something like that.”

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Community
12:35 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Nixon Says State Trying To Balance Speech, Safety In Ferguson Response

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, center, along with Lincoln Preparatory Academy Principal Joseph Hesman, left, and Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green, right, speaks to students about the National Blue Ribbon award.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the state's response to an upcoming grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown will focus on ensuring safety while protecting civil liberties.

"We want to make sure that people who want to speak, want to say things, march and protest, have the right to do so in a protected way," Nixon said. "Safety-wise, we want to make sure people are able to stay safe."

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Economy
3:21 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Technology Company Plans To Add 100 Jobs In Historic Western Union Building

Peter Fullerton, CEO of the Kansas City, Mo., Economic Development Council, announces The Nerdery will add 100 jobs in Kansas City. With him are Mike Downing of the Missouri Department of Economic Development and Mayor Sly James.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Nerdery, a Minneapolis-based technology company, will add 100 jobs in Kansas City, Mo., over the next five years, the Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday.

The company, which designs websites and mobile apps, will also invest $4.3 million in the historic Western Union building downtown. 

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Education
3:15 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Missouri Auditor Points Out Problems In Charter School Closures

The state auditor blasted two Kansas City, Mo., charter schools Tuesday for mishandling their 2012 closures.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich gave both the Urban Community Leadership Academy and the Renaissance Academy for Math and Sciences "poor" ratings for wasting money and failing to keep adequate records as the schools shut down.

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Community
12:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Victim Of Jerusalem Terror Attack Had Deep Roots In Kansas City

Rabbi Kalman "Cary" Levine grew up in Kansas City and attended the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. He died in a terror attack in Jerusalem Tuesday.
Credit Courtesy of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

Updated, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Two of the four rabbis killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday had deep ties to the Kansas City Jewish community. 

Rabbi Kalman Levine was part of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s first graduating class in 1976. And Rabbi Mosheh Twersky’s nephew teaches at the Jewish school in Overland Park, Kan. 

The two men died Tuesday in Jerusalem. 

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Community
1:48 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Forum Set For Missourians Facing Long Waits For Social Services

The Kansas City Workers' Rights Board will hold a community forum Wednesday evening to draw attention to long waits for programs the Missouri Department of Social Services administers.

Alice Kitchen, a steering committee member, says it's been more difficult to apply for Medicaid, food stamps and other programs since the department outsourced much of the Family Support Division's work to a third-party company.

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Community
11:53 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Victims' Families Plan Memorial As Alleged JCC Shooter Appears In Court

The Overland Park, Kan., Jewish Community Center hosts a memorial service for the three victims of April's shootings there and at nearby Village Shalom.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Updated, 4 p.m. Wednesday:

The families of the three people killed near Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan., in April are planning a week-long community event to memorialize their loved ones.

Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were killed in the shooting, says the families wanted to make the announcement Wednesday to coincide with the preliminary hearing of accused murderer Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., which was postponed earlier in the day.

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Community
9:33 am
Wed November 12, 2014

UPDATED: Man Killed In Shooting Near KCMO City Hall

Updated, 6:10 p.m. Wednesday:

The Jackson County prosecutor has charged a 24-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man with a deadly shooting Wednesday morning near City Hall.

Rickey C. Battee faces second degree murder charges in the death of Jai T. Scott, who was shot near a metro bus stop on Oak Street.

Battee is being held on a $250,000 bond.

The original post continues below.

A man shot near Kansas City, Mo., City Hall Wednesday morning has died.

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Community
1:59 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Missouri Leaders Thank Veterans At World War I Museum Ceremony

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill offers her remarks at a Veterans Day ceremony at the National World War I Museum Tuesday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill offered her condolences to an Iraq war veteran who died this week while speaking at a Veterans Day event at the National World War I Museum Tuesday morning.

Tomas Young, 34, who was paralyzed after being shot by a sniper in 2004, died from health complications Monday. He was an anti-war activist and  former Kansas City resident.

"He, along with many others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, are certainly deserving of our affection and  respect and deference on this day and every other day of the year," McCaskill says.

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Election 2014
7:49 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Kansas Rep. Yoder Applauds Republican Victories, Including His Own

In Johnson County, Republicans celebrated big wins Tuesday in Kansas and across the country.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder celebrated his victory just as news broke in Topeka about one of Kansas' big-ticket races.

“Today we have re-elected our United States Senator and statesmen in Washington D.C., Pat Roberts,” Yoder said. 

Yoder says Roberts’ win proves pundits were wrong about Independent Greg Orman. He says Kansas has done its part to ensure a Republican majority in both houses of Congress.

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Government
6:01 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Federal Goverment Pledges $10 Million Toward Jackson County Rail Project

Commuter rail to Kansas City from the eastern suburbs is one step closer to reality after Jackson County secured $10 million dollars in federal highway dollars for the purchase of old train tracks known as the Rock Island Corridor.

"I mean, that’s roughly 16 percent of the purchase price," says Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders. "That’s significant for the federal government to provide that for acquisition, which is fairly rare."

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Election 2014
5:12 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

U.S. Senate Candidate Greg Orman Outlines Plan To End Washington Gridlock

Greg Orman, who's running to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate as an independent, made a campaign stop at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Senate hopeful Greg Orman stopped at Fisher Electric in Kansas City, Kan., Friday to make a last-minute appeal before next Tuesday’s election.

Orman, who’s running as an independent, is touting his plan to end Washington, D.C., gridlock. He supports term limits for members of Congress and wants to end donations from lobbying groups while Congress is in session.

Orman says his opponent, GOP incumbent Pat Roberts, is too focused on opposing the president to be an effective leader.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

As Missouri Picks New Education Chief, Union Sees Opportunity For Diversity

Kansas City Public Schools Supt. Stephen Green announces the district has regained provisional accreditation from the state. Green has expressed his desire the State Board will select a new commissioner with more experience dealing with urban districts.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants to know what qualities the public values in its next education leader.

Current education commissioner Chris Nicastro plans to retire at the end of the year, leaving the State Board about two months to hire her replacement. The department released its criteria for selecting a new leader on Tuesday.

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Election 2014
8:57 am
Tue October 28, 2014

In Kansas, Moderate Republicans Could Face Tight Statehouse Races

Rep. Melissa Rooker, a Republican from Fairway, Kan., works out of her statehouse office. She's wrapping up her first term in office.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Most of the attention this election season has focused on the big Kansas state races — the governor’s seat and U.S. Senate. The latest polls put Democratic and independent candidates within striking distance of Republican incumbents, something that’s almost unheard of in this deep-red state.

In some parts of Kansas, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on discontent with incumbents at the top of the ticket and pick up a few more statehouse seats. Which brings us to the moderate District 25 in northeast Johnson County.

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Election 2014
5:21 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Big-Name Republicans Visit Kansas To Support Roberts

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, center, appeared at a campaign event Monday with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Senator Bob Dole.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

With a week to go before the mid-term election, Republican heavyweights were in town Monday to throw their support behind U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

Former GOP presidential candidates Bob Dole and Mitt Romney joined Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback at a campaign event in Overland Park, Kan.

Roberts, who's locked in a tight race with independent Greg Orman, told supporters he's who Kansas farmers and business owners can trust to safeguard their interests in Washington, D.C.

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Government
6:30 am
Sun October 26, 2014

Kansas Citians Say Council Is On The Right Track With 5-Year Business Plan

The Kansas City, Mo., City Council this week approved a 5-year business plan after soliciting generally positive feedback from citizens.

"People do feel we're headed in the right direction," says Ellen Belzer of the city's general services department. "They lauded the leadership of the city."

Though this is the second year the city council has put together a 5-year business plan, it's the first time the city has held citizen work sessions to ask Kansas Citians their feelings about the budgeting process. 

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Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Why Missouri Doesn't Offer Angel Tax Credits To Startup Investors

KCUR's Beyond Our Borders project will examine the Missouri-Kansas state line in the Kansas City metropolitan area through the end of 2014.
Credit Courtesy photo / KCUR

Thinking about launching your own technology startup in the Kansas City metro?  

Greg Kratofil, a technology attorney with Polsinelli law firm, has some advice.

"Incorporate in Kansas," Kratofil says. "Almost every company that we work with is thinking about accessing capital, some kind of round of financing to help them grow their business. You want to be in a place where you have tools that help your raise that money."

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Government
12:30 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Low-Income Property Developer Files Fair Housing Complaint Against Kansas City

A Maine-based development company that owns several low-income housing units in Kansas City, Mo., filed a federal fair housing complaint against the city Thursday.

The Eagle Point Companies alleges the city and various city officials intentionally discriminated "against African-Americans who reside and/or who seek to reside in Bainbridge, Georgian Court and Linda Vista Apartments located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri," according to the complaint.

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Kansas City Royals
3:32 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

LISTEN: What Winning Sounds Like In Kansas City

Finally, Kansas Citians can say they know what having a winning sports team is like.
Credit John Spertus / KCUR

It's been 29 years, so we almost forgot what it felt like, but on Wednesday Kansas Citians around the globe had a sweet sip of victory after sweeping the Baltimore Orioles to take the ALCS Championship.

We still have to prove we're the world's best — but for the time being, the sound of success is all you can hear in Kansas City.

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Election 2014
3:03 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Davis Takes Moderate Environmental Stance As Kansas Governor's Race Tightens

Democrat Paul Davis talks about his Kansas gubernatorial bid at the KCUR studio. GOP incumbent Sam Brownback declined an invitation.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis says if elected, he'll surround himself with the most bipartisan cabinet in the state's history.

"I want to try to bring the very best people we can into state government, and that's ultimately going to mean we're going to have roughly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans," said Davis, a Democrat.

His comments came during an appearance on KCUR's Up to Date with host Steve Kraske on Wednesday.

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Courts
8:35 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Kansas City Diocese Settles In Ongoing Civil Case, Resolves Other Abuse Claims

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will pay almost $10 million to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims filed since 2010.

The settlement, reached late Tuesday, includes 30 pending claims against the diocese and ends an ongoing civil trial in a case filed by former alter boy Jon David Couzens. Couzens, who alleges he was abused in the 1970s and '80s at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence, took the diocese to court last month. His case would have entered jury deliberations this week if not for the settlement.

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Health
2:19 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

Diapers Represent A Significant Need For Low-Income Families

An estimated 17,000 Kansas City kids don't have enough diapers.

Their families just can't afford them.

"Diapers and other hygiene products – including cleaning supplies – are not provided by any state or federal subsidy," says Joanne Goldblum, executive director of the National Diaper Bank Network.

And diapers, especially the disposable kind required by most childcare centers, are a significant expense, up to $100 a week.

If that amount seems high, Goldblum says it's because poor families don't have the same resources as wealthier ones.

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Community
12:42 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

LISTEN: How Kansas City Barbecue Became Famous, Explained In 90 Seconds

Gate's Bar-B-Q is famous in Kansas City for their iconic welcome: 'Hi! May I Help You?'
Credit Briana O'Higgins / KCUR

Kansas City barbecue — we know you've heard of it.

The president eats it when he visits, and Anthony Bourdain said Kansas City barbecue is the best in the world.

But how did it all get started? And who made Kansas City barbecue famous?

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Community
10:34 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In Johnson County

Margo Lauer, right, went with her partner, Sheila Hafner, and their son, Thomas Miller, to apply for a marriage license in Johnson County Thursday morning. The Merriam couple held a commitment ceremony 11 years ago.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Updated, 4:40 p.m. CST: Merriam, Kan., residents Margo Lauer and Sheila Hafner held a commitment ceremony at Unity Church of Overland Park 11 years ago.

They took the first step toward making their union legal in Kansas Thursday morning, applying for a marriage license at the Johnson County Courthouse.

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