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.

Ways to Connect

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A plan to turn Kemper Arena into a youth sports complex received a warm reception Wednesday at a city council committee meeting held at the facility.

Large, framed photos from soccer games, livestock shows and concerts line the walls – a glimpse of what the old West Bottoms arena used to be.

But with its only tenant, the American Royal, seemingly poised to move to Kansas, Kemper has sat largely empty in recent years.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

For Michelle Rice’s son, the problems started when he was in fourth grade at a Kansas City charter school.

“He was under the supervision of a teacher who was Caucasian,” Rice says, “and regularly, he was either in the principal’s office or sent to the computer lab.”

The more time Marquelle spent out of class, the further behind he fell, and his behavior problems escalated. Soon, he was receiving out-of-school suspensions for what Rice describes as minor infractions.

Missouri Department of Transportation

The aging Grand Avenue bridge over Interstate 670 will have to be replaced, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced Friday.

The bridge has been closed since May 6, when small pieces of concrete started falling off of it, District Engineer Dan Niec says.

It cannot be repaired.

“The current design of that bridge was modern for that time, for that era, when it was built back in the ’60s,” Niec says. “Those types of bridges are no longer built.”

Cody Newill / KCUR

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue is moving to the Kansas Speedway.

The annual barbecue contest was held last year at the Truman Sports Complex after it outgrew the West Bottoms, its home for 36 years.

Carolyn Wells with the Kansas City Barbecue Society says having enough space to accommodate everyone is the most important consideration.

“Accommodate them, and accommodate them well. Barbecue teams need electricity, they need water, and they need real estate,” Wells says.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Wyandotte County prosecutors filed charges Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of Kansas City, Kansas Det. Brad Lancaster.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman charged Curtis Ayers of Tonganoxie, Kansas with capital murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and burglary, two counts of kidnapping, aggravated battery and criminal possession of a firearm.

At a press conference, Gorman said Ayers' bond was set at $10 million. He also said the case could be prolonged if Ayers fights extradition from Jackson County back to Wyandotte County.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

An Oskaloosa man imprisoned for a crime his brother committed is suing the Jefferson County law enforcement officials and others who pursued his wrongful conviction.

“You go from being Floyd Scott Bledsoe to Bledsoe 70545,” said Floyd Bledsoe, who spent 15 years in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Camille Arfmann in 1999.

Bledsoe’s brother, Tom Bledsoe, first confessed to the murder, then later recanted. In a November 2015 suicide note, Tom Bledsoe again confessed to raping and murdering Arfmann.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders looks at 17.7 miles of old Union Pacific train tracks and sees the future.

“It has the potential to change the entire way our community works, the entire way our community lives and the entire way we move for generations to come,” Sanders said of the Rock Island Corridor, which Jackson County officially acquired Monday after years of back-and-forth with the railroad.

With the backing of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Jackson County struck a $52 million deal to buy the corridor from Union Pacific last fall.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The father of a toddler who died last week after accidentally shooting herself with his gun has been charged with second degree murder, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday.

Courtenay Block, 24, told police he was sleeping when his 2-year-old daughter shot herself in the head April 21.

“Children are not responsible for their own safety,” Baker said at a news conference. “That’s our job. Your job and mine.”

Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The airlines that use Kansas City International Airport want to take their plan for a single terminal to voters in August.

Steve Sisneros with Southwest Airlines says waiting any longer could drive up costs on the proposed $964 million project.

“The airlines have agreed to new terminal concept,” Sisneros told the Airport Committee Tuesday. “The airlines have agreed to take financial risk for the project. The airlines have agreed to back the debt.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Speaking Monday at an event to raise awareness about child abuse, Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté brought a prop to prove his point.

“This is an extension cord,” Forté says. “People actually get so-called ‘disciplined’ with extension cords. Some of the people I was raised with, they still think it’s OK.”

That’s a problem, Forté says. When abuse is normalized, kids who were abused grow up to be abusers.

“If I beat you with this and I do other things with this over and over again, I can predict the outcome,” says Forté. “I can write the end of that story.”

Daniel Orth / Flickr--CC

Updated 5:30 p.m. Friday:

Olathe city officials say tests conducted yesterday conclusively rule out elevated lead levels in the Ridgeview South neighborhood.

A release Friday afternoon says that tests of dozens of water samples have yet to be fully completed, but enough have been cleared to confirm the water system is not contaminated with lead.

Calah D. Johnson, 35, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of a woman shot while driving her family home from Starlight Theatre on July 17, 2009.

For years, police weren’t sure who murdered 45-year-old Deanna Lieber, the top attorney for the Kansas Department of Education. Lieber’s daughter, then 13, and mother-in-law were also in the car, which was traveling south on U.S. 71 near 59th Street when a stray bullet struck Lieber. The family was headed home to Lawrence.

bigstock.com

The Johnson County Election Office is coming up short on polling places to use come November.

Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker says he’s anticipating record-high turnout, possibly with more Kansans voting than in 2008.

“We would like to have 285 polling locations throughout our county,” Metsker says. “Right now we’re at about 195.”

Metsker says concerns about safety and security have crossed many places off his list.

Neerav Bhatt / Flickr--CC

Google got permission from the Kansas City Council Thursday to venture into high-speed wireless, building on the success of its Kansas City, Missouri, fiber optic network.

The Internet giant asked council members for permission to mount antennas on city-owned light poles to see if it could bounce connectivity off of them.

Though the ordinance ultimately passed, there was heated discussion about whether Google has kept its promises so far in Kansas City.

Councilman Dan Fowler doesn’t think so.

When I'm 64: Peggy Pape

Apr 13, 2016
Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

This profile is part of KCUR’s occasional series, Aging in Place. We’re showcasing the many different faces of 64 in metro Kansas City. 

Name: Peggy Pape

Residence: Kansas City, Missouri

Occupation: Office manager at Parkville Presbyterian Church for 26 years

When I'm 64: Sly James

Apr 13, 2016
Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

This profile is part of KCUR’s occasional series, Aging in Place. We’re showcasing the many different faces of 64 in metro Kansas City. 

Name: Sly James

Residence: Kansas City, Missouri

Occupation: Mayor

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

This profile is part of KCUR’s occasional series, Aging in Place. We’re showcasing the many different faces of 64 in metro Kansas City. 

Name: Marc Inzerillo

Residence: Kansas City, Missouri

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

This profile is part of KCUR’s occasional series, Aging in Place. We’re showcasing the many different faces of 64 in metro Kansas City. 

Name: Jon R. Gray

Residence: Kansas City, Missouri

Occupation: Lawyer for Shook, Hardy & Bacon

What does 64 feel like? “Feels great. It beats the alternative. The alternative would be to not be 64 and be dead somewhere. What I can honestly say is I am truly living the best time of my life.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

This profile is part of KCUR’s occasional series, Aging in Place. We’re showcasing the many different faces of 64 in metro Kansas City. 

Name: Linda Salvay

Residence: Overland Park, Kansas

Occupation: “I’m discovering my next career as we speak because for most of my career I’ve been in corporate communications and recently left that. I’m trying to make a career about all the other things I love to do but didn’t have time for.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated on Wednesday at 9:59 a.m.

Two years after an avowed anti-Semite killed three people outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, a memorial has been dedicated in their honor.

Artist Jesse Small sculpted the three stainless ripples to represent the three lives cut short on April 13, 2014, at the two Overland Park, Kansas, Jewish sites.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A correctional officer stands accused of smuggling tobacco, drugs and other contraband into the Leavenworth Detention Center, U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom announced Monday.

“Inmates could have their choice of vices,” Grissom said at a news conference. “Everything from methamphetamine to tobacco.”

Anthon Aiono, 28, of Platte City, Missouri, has been charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, providing methamphetamine to inmates, providing synthetic marijuana to inmates and providing tobacco products to inmates.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City’s economy hasn’t bounced back as quickly from the recession as similar U.S. cities.

Many metro-area businesses are unaware of global export opportunities in their own backyards.

Those findings and others from a 2014 report commissioned by the Mid-America Regional Council startled Kansas City’s business community into action.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The unfolding lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, has put tap water in the spotlight.

Unlike Flint, Kansas City has few lead pipes. But it has its share of aging infrastructure.

“Well, our first sewer dates back to the Civil War,” says Terry Leeds, director of KC Water Services. “Our oldest water mains that we think we have in service date back to 1874 in the City Market.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City voters have again renewed the 1 percent earnings tax.

Unofficial results had the earnings tax passing with 77 percent of the vote. All precincts in Clay, Jackson and Platte counties were reporting as of 10 p.m. Tuesday.

“By the vote tonight, the business community and the citizens have said the quality of life in this city is what we want it to be, and we want to keep making it stronger,” said Mayor Sly James at a watch party in the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board Room at Union Station.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Against the backdrop of a city-wide campaign to keep Kansas City’s 1 percent earnings tax, Mayor Sly James delivered his fifth State of the City address Tuesday at the Uptown Theater.

He highlighted Kansas City’s accomplishments in recent years, ending with a clip from the Royals' championship parade downtown last fall.

“Like our World Series Champion Royals, we’ve got momentum, and we’re keeping the line moving,” James said in his speech. “We’re able to do so in part because of leaders who made tough decisions a generation or more ago.”

Courtesy Barbara Shelly

More veteran journalists are leaving The Kansas City Star in the latest round of buyouts and layoffs.

Among those departing is Steve Paul, who for the past several years has overseen The Star’s editorial pages.

Paul says The Star plans to replace him and fellow editorial page writer Barbara Shelly, who also took a voluntary buyout. His immediate plans for retirement include finishing a book he's worked on for a while, about Ernest Hemingway's Kansas City.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City Council committee ended in a shouting match Wednesday after about 30 people showed up to protest police brutality.

Melissa Stiehler told the Neighborhood and Public Safety Committee police used excessive force to disperse a crowd that gathered outside the Midland Theater March 12 to protest Donald Trump. She said she was pepper sprayed across the chest.

“The way that not only the Kansas City police acted at the Trump rally but the response from our mayor and Chief Forte sets a really dangerous precedent,” Stiehler said.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The first time Kansas City Mayor Sly James says something to me about the earnings tax, it’s right after Thanksgiving.

I’ve already turned off my recorder, and we’re chatting as I pack up my equipment. I ask if he has plans for birthday (he turned 64 on Dec. 9).

"Oh," he tells me, "I have to go to a fundraiser for the earnings tax campaign."

"Gee, you sure know how to party," I reply.

In the months since, I’ve talked to James about the earnings tax probably a dozen times.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A plan to redevelop the former Westport High School into a co-working space might never get off the ground if the developers can’t get permission to add more parking.

Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners, which already owns Westport Middle School, has asked the school district to lift a restriction that requires they maintain the track and field for community use.

If the Kansas City Schools Board of Trustees doesn’t, architect Bob Berkebile says the partners won’t be able to add enough parking to satisfy lenders and would pull out of the project.

Nightryder84 / Wikimedia--CC

The Kansas City Star laid off five more newsroom employees Monday.

Alan Bavley, Brian Burnes, James Fussell, Greg Hack and Mary Schulte were all let go.

Bavley reported on health care. Burnes is a metro desk reporter who often wrote about Kansas City history. Fussell is a features reporter. Hack is a reporter and former assistant business editor. Schulte is a longtime photo editor.

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