Lisa Rodriguez | KCUR

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. 

Netflix

Updated 3:55 p.m., Friday, July 13

Wonder no more: Netflix’s “Queer Eye” is coming to Kansas City, Missouri, and will start shooting Monday.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Council is considering a measure to increase transparency in city government.

The measure, introduced by councilman Scott Taylor, would limit lobbyist gifts and meals to city councilmembers to $5, require city officials to wait two years after leaving office before lobbying or doing business in front of the city and limit taxpayer-funded travel for members of the city council.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m. June 28 with a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Maria remembers the fear she felt last month at the moment she found out her son, daughter and 6-year-old grandson were planning on coming to the United States.

"They called me from the border," she said in Spanish. "I panicked because I know how dangerous that is."

Lucas for KC

Third District Councilman Quinton Lucas is entering the crowded race to be Kansas City, Missouri’s, next mayor.

Lucas is the sixth current city council member to announce a mayoral bid, and the ninth person to enter the race.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

The developer of the One Light and Two Light luxury high rises in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, will get tax breaks to build a third luxury apartment tower, Three Light, at 14th and Main streets.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council in an 8 to 4 vote authorized a 100 percent tax abatement for 23 years to Cordish. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Updated 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21.

The estimated cost of the new, single-terminal KCI Airport is $300 million more than previously thought, officials said Thursday.

In addition to four more gates, the terminal building itself will be bigger, causing the cost to rise to between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.

Aviation director Pat Klein assured the city council during an update that the airlines who use the airport —and who will ultimately be on the hook for the cost — support the increase.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A plan to build a strip mall on a vacant lot in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhood is drawing the ire of some community groups. 

The lot, at the corner of Independence and Prospect avenues, is on the site where a fire destroyed a building in 2015. Two Kansas City firefighters died when the building collapsed.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City streetcar advocates got a big win Wednesday, when election officials announced that the tax increase to help fund extending the line to the University of Missouri-Kansas City passed.

That means work on the $227 million project can begin in earnest.

File Photos

The election is still a year away, but people are lining up to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019. 

James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends next year. Eight people so far have thrown their hats in the ring, including five current city council members. Others are rumored to be considering a run.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Another member of the Kansas City Council has entered the crowded race for mayor in 2019. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady, who represents the city’s 5th district, announced her mayoral bid in front of family and religious leaders Tuesday morning at Ilus Davis Park, just north of Kansas City, Missouri, city hall.  

Canady said she looks up to Ilus Davis, who was Kansas City mayor from 1963 to 1971.

“Mayor Davis … used his position both as mayor and lawyer to uplift Kansas Citians with diverse backgrounds, so I’m not alone in this undertaking,” Canady said.

Jen Houston got word back in January that Kansas City International airport was announcing its first-ever nonstop transatlantic flight.

"While I didn't know where it would be going, I knew that I would be on it. So when the announcement was made January 9, I booked my ticket," Houston says.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Developers who ask for tax incentives in Kansas City can claim an apartment that rents for $1,600 a month is affordable — and eligible for incentives.

An ordinance passed by the Kansas City Council on Thursday changes that.

Dank Depot / Flickr - CC

A measure that would have narrowly legalized medical marijuana died in the final week of Missouri’s legislative session, meaning the issue will be left entirely up to voters in November.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

The team behind a potential southern streetcar expansion has refined the proposed stops. 

Voters who live near the streetcar have yet to decide whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax and special property tax assessment to help fund the $230 million dollar project. Notarized ballots are due to the Jackson County courthouse by 5 p.m. June 12. 

Bigstock

Missouri would join a majority of U.S. states in raising the age someone can be tried as an adult in court to 18 under a bill passed by the legislature this session.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The ACLU of Missouri is suing Kansas City and the Board of Police Commissioners for what it calls “predatory” impound and towing practices.

The ACLU says their client, Dyanna Black, legally parked her car on a public street in February 2016. On returning to her spot, she discovered it had been towed. 

File Photo / Luke X. Martin KCUR 89.3

Kansas City residents will now be able to see more of how the city spends their money.  

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council voted unanimously to scale back the city manager's power to award contracts for city projects.

Councilman Quinton Lucas, who sponsored the ordinance, said it wasn't prompted by any single contract awarded by the city manager but rather a general effort to promote transparency. 

Before Thursday's vote, City Manager Troy Schulte could award construction contracts valued at more than a $1.3 million without public notice or council approval. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

The timeline for a new single terminal at Kansas City International airport has been slightly delayed because airport officials have determined it needs more gates than originally planned. 

Jackson County Detention Center

 Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:50 p.m. with additional details.

Nearly six months after the brazen shooting of a Kansas City attorney at his front door, Jackson County prosecutors on Wednesday charged the 80-year-old man who had long been suspected of the crime.

David Jungerman was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Thomas Pickert, who was shot in front of his Brookside home in October 2017, just moments after walking his children to school.

Tim Lair / Tim Lair Photography

Much of Kansas City’s economic development over the past few decades is thanks, in part, to tax breaks given to developers by the city.

 

The shops at Zona Rosa and Briarcliff in the Northland, the Power and Light District and Crossroads Arts District downtown, and the massive Cerner development in south Kansas City, just to name a few, all benefit from tax abatements.

 

But developers may have a tougher time getting those breaks under a bill making its way through the Missouri legislature.

americanjazzmuseum.com

The Kansas City council voted Thursday afternoon to allow more bars into the city's Historic 18th and Vine district. 

Councilman Jermaine Reed, who represents the district, sponsored the proposal, which makes it easier to obtain a liquor license in the historic district.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

With ballots devoid of hot-button issues, Tuesday was a quiet election day throughout the Kansas City area. 

Voter turnout was around 10 percent in Platte, Clay and Cass counties — Jackson County had the highest turnout at 15 percent.

In Kansas City, Missouri turnout was just shy of 8 percent. 

bigstock.com

It's election day in Missouri, but it's OK if you didn't know that. Compared to previous elections, this one is fairly low-key.

In Kansas City, voters will decide whether to renew a 1 percent sales tax for infrastructure maintenance, in addition to several school board races. And residents of several towns near the metro area will decide new mayors, including in Tracy, population 226, where no one filed to run for the job, so it'll come down to write-in votes. 

Want to know if you need to head to the polls? Here's a list: 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Last year was a busy one for elections in Kansas City, Missouri.

Between approving a new airport terminal, deciding the future of a streetcar extension, and agreeing to property tax hikes for a 20-year, $800 million infrastructure package, Kansas City voters made some big decisions about the city's future.

Next week's election is much more low-key. On Tuesday, voters will be asked to renew a one percent sales tax for 20 years to fund capital improvements across the city.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Time is running out for about 30,000 Kansas City, Missouri, voters who are eligible to vote on a southern streetcar extension.

Registered voters who live within the area roughly between the Missouri River and 53rd Street, and State Line Road and Campbell, have until April 3 to apply for a mail-in ballot.

Ballots will be sent to approved voters in May and due back on June 12.

This is the final step in a complicated three-election process that must be completed before any work on an expansion to the University of Missouri-Kansas City can begin.

Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation Kansas City

For most families in the United States, planning for a future without your parents is not something often talked about — at least, not until adulthood.

But for thousands of families with mixed immigration status in the metro, the sudden disappearance of a mother or father — or both — feels like a real possibility. An estimated 20,000 children of unauthorized immigrants live in the Kansas City area, according to 2014 census data analyzed by the Migration Policy Institute.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a $1.66 billion dollar budget for the coming fiscal year. 

As it did last year, the city boosted funding for public safety, which includes the police and fire departments and the municipal court, and which takes up more than three-quarters of the city's general fund. Most other city department budgets will remain flat next year.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a memorandum of understanding with Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate to build a billion-dollar new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. 

"This is where we were supposed to be," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James following the 8-5 vote.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Almost a month and a half ago, Edgemoor was on the verge of being dropped as the developer to build a new terminal at Kansas City International airport.

Nine city council members rejected a memorandum of understanding with the Maryland-based developer. A measure had been introduced to drop them from the billion-dollar project altogether and proceed with competitor AECOM.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, officials will continue to be part of the planning process for a southern streetcar extension, despite a citywide vote prohibiting them from doing so. 

On Aug. 4, 2017, Kansas City residents passed an ordinance, brought to the city through an initiative petition, that prohibits city officials from moving forward with any streetcar extension without first gaining citywide voter approval. That included any planning or preparation for construction. 

The vote complicated a process that was already underway to extend the current streetcar south to UMKC. 

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