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. 

  The Kansas House is looking at a bill that would make it a crime for attackers to try to strangle their victims, but just how strong the punishments will be is causing friction between those who work with the victims of domestic violence and lawmakers. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks to a forensic nurse examiner and a state legislator about how non-fatal strangulation will be handled in courts. 

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo.,  has seen a lot of development in the last few decades — downtown has a new entertainment district, a new arena and performing arts center, and the Crossroads has flourished with boutiques, restaurants, art studios and businesses.

But as the rest of Kansas City grows, the east side remains plagued by crumbling and abandoned homes, crime, and lack of access to grocery and retail.

On Thursday, The Village Square’s Kansas City group hosted a panel discussion on immigration titled, “Beyond the Melting Pot: Tossed Salad or Fortress America?” The public forum featured Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who’s made headlines around the country with his focus on illegal immigration. 

Also on the panel were:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Rita Coolidge is rock royalty in this country, performing with the likes of Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, not to mention her former husband, Kris Kristofferson, with whom she won two Grammy Awards. 

The Hot Sardines

Combine a bawdy brass line-up, Fats Waller style piano, a female lead with a voice from another era, and a tap dancer as percussion...and you have New York-based jazz band The Hot Sardines.  Band leaders Elizabeth Bougerol and Evan Palazzo join Steve Kraske from their tour bus to chat about their fairytale beginning and their unique style. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Legendary music critic Dave Marsh has been reviewing music since the '60s. On this edition of Up To Date, he talks about his love for Bruce Springsteen, and why he wasn't sold on the Fab Four until the The Beatles' Second Album.

Guest:

  • Dave Marsh has written and edited Rock and Rap Confidential for 25 years and is a Sirius XM host.

  Violence against women always has a profound effect, even on the men who witness it. V-men is a workshop where men examine abuse against women through the lens of their own experiences.

Guest:

  • Rodney Smith is the associate director of Student Support Services at UMKC.

EVENT INFO: The V-Men workshop will take place Wednesday, Feb 18 at 5 p.m. at UMKC Women's Center, 105 Haag Hall (5120 Rockhill Road).

Flicker-CC

From FitBits to Smart watches and Google Glass, tech developers want to incorporate their products into our everyday uniforms. But as the makers of Google Glass found out in January, creating wearable technology that people actually want to use is harder than they they thought. 

University of Missouri Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will open a food pantry at the end of March in a step to combat food insecurity among its students.

College is often associated with ‘the freshman fifteen’, but with tuition costs climbing each year, many students are finding themselves unable to pay for food.

Angela Cottrell is the director of the Office of Student Involvement at UMKC, which will be operating the food pantry. She says that many students ask themselves a difficult question every day, "Would I rather have a meal or do I need that money to pay my tuition?"

Kansas Geological Survey

Oklahoma is experiencing more earthquakes than ever before due to a process for disposing waste water, which has increased due to oil fracking.

In Kansas, earthquake activity in the last few months has also seen a dramatic increase.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed an executive order rescinding protected class status for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender state workers.  We talk to two local journalists about public reactions to the governor's move and what it means for the LGBT community in Kansas.

Guests:

  • Peggy Lowe is a reporter for Harvest Public Media based at KCUR.
  • Barb Shelly is a columnist for the Kansas City Star.

Kansas City native Kelley Hunt has been recording and performing for years. Her latest album Beautiful Bones has received some of the biggest accolades of her career. The Lawrence-based blues singer joins Steve Kraske to talk about her long career and upcoming performance at the Folly Theater. Also joining the conversation is Hunt's manager, co-producer, and husband, Al Berman.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

On this edition of Up To Date, we learn the latest on the proposed cultural district in Kansas City, after a three-day public planning charrette where community members offered ideas on how the district could be designed and operated. Joining us for the conversation is Julián Zugazagoitia, CEO and Director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Kansas City is beginning to catch up with the nation when it comes to employment growth, according to the director of research at the Mid-America Regional Council.

“The new data says that over the last year we actually grew at the same rate as the rest of the U.S., instead of lagging as we had for the last several years,” Frank Lenk told Up To Date host Steve Kraske on Monday.

UMKC’s Bloch School of Management has been under fire since being stripped of its top-25 Princeton Review ranking for fabricating data to boost the school’s standing. Now, the school’s No. 1 ranking of its entrepreneurship program is also being questioned. UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton apologizes to students, faculty, and staff and speaks with Steve Kraske about the impact on the university and where it goes from here.

One woman is given the weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses or lose her job, and another becomes obsessed with the suicide of a member in her support group. On Friday's Up To Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics discuss these films and other movies playing now, plus the Oscar nominated live action, documentary, and animated shorts.  Films opening today:

  • Two Days, One Night

Films already showing:

IFC Films

With the Academy Awards quickly approaching on Feb. 22, it may be just the weekend to head out to the theaters to see some of the nominees. Up To Date's Indie, Foreign, and Documentary film critics offer their Oscar nominated suggestions. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • Two Days, One Night
  • Oscar-Nominated Live Action Short Films
  • Boyhood 

Steve Walker:

  Vaccination is just one of many medical choices made for children. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske and guests talk about who gets to weigh in on those decisions: the parents, the doctors, the government?  And what input do children have regarding their own health care?

Guests:

Courtesy Photo / Dick Berkley

In his 12-year tenure as Kansas City mayor, Dick Berkley met hundreds of celebrities, sports stars, and political figures. Fortunately, he never went anywhere without his camera.

“I’m so lucky. I just can’t emphasize how fortunate I’ve been to have the ability travel and meet these people, and take a little opportunity when it was in front of me to take somebody’s picture,” Berkley told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

For adults with special needs, living independently is a challenge. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with the director of a local organization dedicated to helping adults with developmental disabilities live on their own. Also joining the conversation is the author of a cookbook specially designed for their needs.

Guests:

Lane4 Property Group

The new owners of the Metcalf South Shopping center have submitted plans for its redevelopment.

Last week, they announced their new, multi-purpose vision for the center incorporating luxury apartments, restaurants, shops and office space.

Kansas City’s Lane4 Property Group and The Kroenke Group of Columbia purchased the center in February, 2014. The same year the Metcalf South Mall, which has long been mostly vacant, officially closed.

News about legislative committee meetings at a Jefferson City country club have raised new questions about Missouri's ethics laws. State Representative Jeremy LaFaver and Missouri State University political scientist George Connor join Steve Kraske to discuss cleaning up ethics in the state. 

Guests:

  • Rep. Jeremy La Faver is a Democrat from Kansas City.
  • George Connor is a political Scientist at Missouri State University.

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.

Pages