Lisa Rodriguez

Afternoon Newscaster, Reporter

Lisa Rodriguez is KCUR's afternoon newscaster. 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Lisa loves traveling and lived abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before moving back to Kansas City in 2011 (she grew up in Overland Park.) She graduated with degrees in journalism and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. 

Before joining KCUR, Lisa kept busy waiting tables and tending bar at some of Kansas City's best restaurants, which taught her how to deal with just about every kind of person. Talking to people and hearing their stories is what continues to drive her today.  Years of late nights closing up dining rooms also explains her aversion to mornings. 

Lisa is loving living in Kansas City at a time when the city seems to really like itself. She's a Royals fan and a Chiefs fan and is also pretty into pro-wrestling. 

Courtesy - Burns & McDonnell

The fight over who will build a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport just keeps going — and voters haven't even approved it yet. 

On Sept. 6, a six-person selection team chose the team led by Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate over Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell to design, build and privately finance a new terminal. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Updated at 4:25 with comments from Edgemoor Managing Director Geoff Stricker. 

A conglomeration of Kansas City civil rights groups and minority business organizations is calling on the city council to reject the selection of Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to build and finance a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport — unless they double their goals for minority business participation.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

For those excited to look at designs for what could potentially be Kansas City's new airport, you may be waiting a while. 

The team recommended by a selection committee to design, build and finance a new, single-terminal — led by Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate — says the design should come collaboratively, by engaging with the city and its residents. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

After weeks of deliberation, Kansas City officials have recommended Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to design, build and finance a new, single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Engineering firm Burns & McDonnell is calling on Kansas City officials to restart the selection process for a new, single-terminal Kansas City International Airport. 

Josh Henderson / Flickr-CC

Kansas City’s Animal Health and Public Safety Division needs better training and more oversight, according to an audit of the department. 

The audit was conducted at the direction of the city council. 

The report concluded that the focus on enforcement of code violations, rather than education or problem-resolution in the field, doesn’t result in improved animal welfare or public safety.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, will decide in November whether the city should construct a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport. 

The question remains, at least for now, who would build that terminal if voters approve. 

The Kansas City Council on Thursday unanimously approved language for the measure — the last possible day before the deadline for ballot language. 

Kansas City Police Department

A Kansas City teenager who was arrested and detained for three weeks for a crime he didn't commit is suing the Kansas City Police Department and the Board of Police Commissioners in federal court. 

Fifteen-year-old Tyree Bell was walking home from summer school on June 8, 2016 when he was stopped by an officer and arrested.

According to the lawsuit, another KCPD officer had wrongly identified him as a suspect who had run from officers a few blocks away. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

By a margin of fewer than 900 votes, residents of Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday acted to prohibit city officials from moving forward with any streetcar extension without first gaining citywide voter approval. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

A small group of Kansas City voters has approved the creation of a streetcar extension district.

Approximately 3,500 ballots were cast in the special mail-in election that was limited to people living within the boundaries of the proposed streetcar line, which would extend from downtown to UMKC. According to official election results, 2,458 voted for the creation of the district and 1,048 voted against it.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Missouri, Police department has too many people in management positions, and too many sworn officers in jobs that could be done by civilians. That’s according to a staffing study of the department presented to the Kansas City Council on Thursday.

Richard Brady, with Matrix Consulting Group, said KCPD needs to put more officers back on patrols and bulk up staffing in other areas.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

In the coming days, Kansas City will find out whether a small group of voters approved a special taxing district for a southern streetcar extension. 

Right now, the streetcar starts at the City Market and runs about two miles south. Whether the streetcar goes any farther, in part, lies in the hands of 5,752 Kansas City residents.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The future of the Kansas City International Airport has been talked about for years — in public hearings and forums, as well as meetings of the airport terminal advisory group, airport committee, and the Kansas City Council.

Thursday could mark a crucial turning point for what's expected to be a $1 billion project. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated with additional information at 1:32 p.m. 

Heavy rains overnight caused severe flooding in parts of the Kansas City metropolitan area. 

In some areas of downtown, the rain at times fell at a rate of 2.5 inches per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Southern Cass County and parts of Lafayette County saw up to nine inches. 

Flooding was still widespread Thursday afternoon across the metro area, especially across portions of Wyandotte, Johnson and Jackson counties. 

Kansas City, Missouri

Another apartment project in Westport moved forward Thursday after gaining approval from the Kansas City Council. 

The plan, which includes 215 apartment units, a 120 room hotel and retail and office space, sits on about 4 acres between Mill Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, north of Westport Road. 

The project would wrap around the existing Manor Square garage between Mill Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, and Char Bar at 4050 Pennsylvania.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr - CC

Hackers have been infiltrating the networks of companies that run nuclear plants in the United States, including in Kansas, since May.

The New York Times reports that U.S. officials suspect foreign governments, including Russia, are behind the attacks. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

After weeks of back and forth and lively discussion about what constitutes a "shovel-ready" project, the Kansas City Council on Thursday approved the first round of projects it will address with money from a massive, $800 million infrastructure bond package approved by voters in April. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

About 100 firefighters are battling a three-alarm fire at a warehouse on Southwest Boulevard.

Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi says they received calls reporting the fire at Friday’s Only Furniture Outlet at 29th and Southwest Boulevard around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.

He says by the time crews arrived on scene, the blaze was heavily involved. 

"I arrived on the scene just about seven or eight minutes after it was here, and it was already through the roof. So they knew that it was a defensive fire immediately," Berardi says.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Updated, 2:22 p.m. Tuesday: Kansas City is among 12 cities that will receive "significant assistance" from the Department of Justice to fight violent crime. 

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday morning at a national summit on violent crime reduction efforts. 

The cities will become part of the new National Public Safety Partnership, officially launched Tuesday.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City mayor, city manager and members of the city council on Tuesday put their heads together to finalize the request for proposals to build a new, single-terminal Kansas City International Airport.

Interested firms will now have until August 10 to submit proposals — including all design and financing details. Councilman Quinton Lucas  says he feels confident this plan is legally sound.

“It’s one that kind of cures any process concerns we had before, and I’m proud of what we’ve come up with for today,” Lucas says.

The City of Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar on Thursday fired back at people who say she's working against the interests of Kansas Citians. 

At the conclusion of Thursday's public hearing on a proposed single-terminal KCI, Loar defended comments she made in a guest column in the Kansas City Star. 

That commentary prompted Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO President Pat Dujakovich announced he would run for her 2nd District at-large council seat in 2019. 

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

In an effort to address crime in public parks, the Kansas City Council is proposing implementing park hours and developing a plan to make them safer. 

Recent murders near several Kansas City trails and parks have brought park safety to the forefront of conversations within the council and in neighborhood groups across the city. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City officials are trying to figure out how to proceed after receiving a letter from the nation's largest airport design firm saying it was interested in a new single-terminal deal at Kansas City International Airport. 

The Kansas City Star first reported the letter from AECOM, which Councilwoman Jolie Justus says she received about 2:30 Thursday afternoon — hours after a second public hearing to discuss a proposal put forth by Kansas City engineering firm Burns & McDonnell to design, build and privately finance a new terminal. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James last week unveiled a plan for a new terminal  at Kansas City International Airport funded privately by engineering firm Burns & McDonnell.

The firm proposes to foot the bill for the terminal in exchange for exclusive rights to design and construction. They’d be paid back over time with airport fees usually collected by the city. 

James and other city leaders hope to get the project approved by voters in November, and they're anxious to get moving. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

A highly-anticipated election will soon be underway in Kansas City, Missouri, but you might not know about it — and most Kansas City residents won't get to vote in it.  

In fact, the immediate future of the UMKC streetcar extension is in the hands of about 30,000 registered voters who live in the area roughly between the Missouri River and 53rd street, and State Line Road and Campbell. 

Tim Samoff / Flickr - CC

Water rates in Kansas City, Missouri, have soared over the last several years. The average water bill has gone from $48 in 2009 to more than $100 today. 

That's due, in part, to infrastructure upgrades mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Those mandatory upgrades were not accompanied by federal dollars, which means the cost fell to rate payers. 

Joseph Morris / Wikimedia Commons

This post was updated at 1:38 p.m. on Thursday.

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve the American Health Care Act, touted by the GOP and President Donald Trump as a better alternative to President Obama's signature health care effort, the Affordable Care Act. The final vote, 217 - 213. All 193 Democrats in the House, joined by 20 Republicans, opposed the bill. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

The Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education unanimously voted Wednesday night to name Dr. Kenny Southwick as interim superintendent for Shawnee Mission schools.

Jim Hinson, who has headed the district for the past four years, unexpectedly announced his retirement last week. His last day is June 30.

Sam Warlick / National League of Cities

Earlier this month Kansas City, Missouri, residents raised their own property taxes for 20 years in part to help pay for federally-required improvements to public buildings under the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Office of the Missouri State Auditor

Updated, 4:40 p.m. Thursday: The Missouri Department of Revenue has turned a stack of documents over to the State Auditor's Office, according to a news release.

Auditor Nicole Galloway took the unusual step of issuing a subpoena Wednesday after the Department of Revenue failed to comply with an earlier request.

Galloway initiated the audit six weeks ago to ensure Missourians owed tax refunds were being paid on time. State law requires returns not paid within 45 days be paid with interest, which Galloway says isn't good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

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