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. 

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.

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:

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