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. 

Doctors don't know what caused a severe neurologic condition to manifest itself a few months ago in three patients, including a 13-year-old from Joplin, Mo. On this edition of Up To Date, we try to understand this mysterious condition, and learn how doctors investigate unknown diseases.

Guests:

  • Dr. Mary Anne Jackson is the Division Chief of Infectious Disease at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Dan Margolies is the health editor at KCUR.

http://eddiemooreandtheoutercircle.bandcamp.com/

Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle have become esteemed insiders in Kansas City’s music community. While based in jazz, the group’s music contains appealing elements of hip-hop and R&B.

This edition of Local Listen features Lesson, a track from the band’s 2013 album The Freedom of Expression.

HEAR MORE: Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle will play Thursday, January 29, at the recordBar.

February 2 will see the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day. On this Up To Date, guest host Stephen Steigman takes a peek at the life of the marmot, the animal we all know as a groundhog, with an expert who has been studying the animal for more than 40 years.

Guest:

Her powerful words were enough for the government of Saddam Hussein to declare her an enemy.  For Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail, poetry has charted and changed the course of her life in significant ways. On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss the experience of relaying her personal experiences  into verse and hear some of her stark and poignant poetry.

Courtesy Photo / The Lean Lab

Last weekend, innovative minds from all over the Kansas City area competed in Kansas City Startup Weekend EDU.

More than 22 teams pitched their ideas for improving education through technology, and from those, nine were selected to work with mentors and turn them into real-life applications.

The winning team, MYLearningKC is developing an app that will teach Japanese though a game.

Hamed Saber / Flickr-CC

  When it comes to your pet's health, its dental hygiene is just as important as your own.  Brushing your pet's teeth can prevent disease, and perhaps more importantly...bad breath.

We talk about keeping your pet's pearly whites sparkling, from dental-specific kibble design, to brushing techniques, and pet oral rinses. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

On this edition of Up to Date, poet Nikki Giovanni talks about Ferguson, Bill Cosby, and reflects on the terrible incident that occurred on her campus at Virginia Tech in 2007. On the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr., she told Steve Kraske, "That voice has carried across the earth." 

After spending his childhood in abject poverty, Dr. William Reed eventually climbed his way to director of Cardiac Surgery at KU Medical Center. In his new book, The Pulse of Hope: A Surgeon's Memoirs from Poverty to Prosperity, Reed reflects on his long journey.

HEAR MORE: Dr. Reed will speak Tuesday Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For information on the event, click here.

Between 1890 and 1915,  Kansas City's parks and boulevards rescued the city from the title of "filthiest city in America."  On this Up To Date, we talk about the city's transformation.

Guests:

  • Dona Boley, co-author, Kansas City’s Parks and Boulevards.
  • Mark McHenry, Director of Parks and Recreation for Kansas City, Mo.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon laid out his budget plans in his State of the State address. On this edition of Up To Date, a panel of state senators from the Kansas City area discuss the Governor's requests and look ahead to the legislative year.

Guests:

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, talks honestly with Steve Kraske about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and offers her opinion on Governor Brownback's vision for Kansas.

Restaurant Week in Kansas City is a great opportunity to try new menus all over the city at a great price, but for those behind the scenes preparing and serving those meals, it can be the most exhausting week of the year. Steve Kraske talks to restaurant industry professionals about the unique challenges they face during the week. 

Guests:

Courtesy Photo / Le Fou Frog

Kansas City’s sixth annual restaurant week is in full swing, and diners are able to sample menus at restaurants across the city at a great price. 

This is really exciting for a lot of people.

In today's hectic world, teaching kids to organize their schedules can be a parent's biggest challenge. On this edition of Up To Date, Wes Crenshaw joins us to offer advice on how young people can manage their time and energy.

Guests:

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback addressed a wide array of issues in his ambitious State of the State address. On this edition of Up To Date, three Kansas lawmakers give their reactions to the governor's speech. 

Guests:

  • Rep. Tom Burroughs (D), House Minority Leader, District 33.
  • Rep. Stephanie Clayton (R), District 19.
  • Rep. John Rubin (R), District 18.

Paramount Pictures

The Academy has announced it's picks for this year's Oscars. Now, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary critics announce their picks to see this weekend. Drumroll please...

Cynthia Haines:

  • Selma
  • Wild
  • American Sniper

Steve Walker:

Freelance Exchange of KC

America's 53 million freelancers are their own bosses, but face not having health insurance and job security. Up to Date looks at the pros and cons of freelance work and organizations that provide support for independent workers. 

Guests:

A recent scandal at the University of North Carolina involved academic fraud within the athletic department. In this edition of Up To Date, we examine the causes and solutions for the challenges facing today's student athletes. 

Guests:

For parents, whether to let your children sleep with you is a big decision. On Wednesday's Up to Date, two pediatricians address some of the controversy surrounding co-sleeping. Plus, they give advice on how to acclimate your kids to sleeping alone. 

Guests:

  • Dr. Natasha Bergert, pediatrician, Pediatric Associates on the Plaza.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, pediatrician, Children's Mercy Hospital.

Kansas City Missouri Public Library

    

A portrait from the early days of Harry S. Truman's presidency goes on display Wednesday at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. A reproduction of the 1945 original, the painting is the latest addition to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

NPR / Invisibilia

NPR's newest show, Invisibilia, combines narrative storytelling and scientific research to address the intangible forces that affect our lives, like our thoughts, our emotions, and our ideas.  

On Tuesdays's Up To Date, the show's hosts talk about the making of Invisibilia, and the stories they hope to tell. 

Guests:

Reverend Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson, one of Kansas City’s leading civil rights leaders, died last weekend. Thompson was a long time president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. For years, he helped stage the annual citywide commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the largest such celebrations in the nation.

The federal government's General Services Administration is moving from South Kansas City to an office building near Union Station. On Monday's Up To Date, GSA's regional administrator talks about the details of moving more than 1,000 employees across the city. 

U.S. Senate

On Monday's Up To Date, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announces she will not run for governor in 2016. The Missouri Democrat also talks with Steve Kraske about campaign finances, her future in the senate, and her upcoming trip to Cuba. 

It's controversial, it has the nation talking, but is it good? 

On Friday's Up To Date, the indie, foreign and documentary film critics discuss the controversy surrounding The Interview and weigh in on its quality. Plus, they review  Paul Thomas Anderson's new film Inherent Vice, and check out the story of the terrifying monster of a boy's dream come to life. 

Fox Searchlight

From a thousand-mile journey of self-exploration to a raunchy bromance that has the nation talking, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics suggest some films they think are worth heading to the theaters this weekend:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Boyhood
  • The Interview
  • Whiplash 

Steve Walker:

Calumet Editions

Kansas City's Steven Jacques has more than 35 years of experience in national politics. He's worked on hundreds of White House advance teams, and even more presidential campaigns.

On this edition of Up To Date, he speaks with Steve Kraske about his new novel,  Advance Man: A Presidential Campaign Adventure and what the life of a White House advance man is really like. 

Guest:

Tax cuts, toll roads, public schools, what will affect Missourians most this year?

The Missouri Legislature began its 2015 session on Wednesday. On Thursday's Up To Date, a panel of journalists discusses what may become the biggest issues of the coming year. 

Guests: 

Wiley Rein LLP

Former Kansas congressman Jim Slattery believes that a nuclear deal with Iran is possible after speaking with officials during a visit to Tehran December.

He says he was told by Iranians that it was the first time a current or former United States elected official has been invited to speak in the country since 1979.

Slattery had the opportunity to speak with Iranian officials during the International Conference on World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) in December. It was his first trip to the country.

From the world's fascination with Pope Francis to the rise of ISIS overseas, religion played a significant role in some of the biggest headlines of 2014.

On Wednesday's Up To Date guest host Brian Ellison speaks with Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service, and Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, executive religion editor of the Huffington Post, on the top religion stories last year, and religion's rising profile in the news. 

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