Maria Carter

Newscaster, News Director

Maria Carter grew up in a small town in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated from Reed College in Portland, Ore. with a degree in economics. After a year off, she returned to her home state to study journalism at the University of Missouri, receiving her Master’s degree in 2004.

Maria started working at KCUR as an intern and was later hired as a general assignment reporter. She covers local politics and anything else happening in the Kansas City area. In 2006, she spent a month in northern Louisiana, lending a hand at the local public radio station and covering the thousands of evacuees temporarily in the area.


9:26 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Winter Weather Closes Schools And Cancels Activities

Updated 3:04 p.m.

Rain is expected to continue this afternoon with snow tonight and overnight, according to an update from the National Weather Service.

In the latest report, NWS forecasters say: "Light snow accumulations will be possible with a dusting to 3" in the local area. Snow will end by daybreak Saturday, with a chilly day anticipated."

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the metro area through 9 a.m. on Saturday.

School and community closings (Saturday)

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8:52 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Kansas City Company Pushes Holiday Light Recycling

Miles of Christmas lights could be headed out the door as more consumers look at switching from traditional holiday lights to their LED counterparts. Kansas City-based Southeast Enterprises is looking to keep the discarded strands out of landfills.

Southeast Enterprises Business Director Megan Gurera says they accept any unused or broken strands of lights.

“You know the ones you pullout, get ready to put up, and half of it works,” says Gurera.

Southeast Enterprises is a sheltered workshop, employing 160 people with development or intellectual disabilities.

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7:46 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Kansas Agency Encourages A New Black Friday Tradition

A Kansas agency is urging black families talk to sit down and interview their family members on Friday. The Kansas African American Affairs Commission is calling the oral history project called “New Black Friday.”

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11:07 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Kansas City Council Weighs Split Between Museum And Union Station

The Kansas City council is looking at a proposal for the city to take control of the Kansas City Museum and its collection. The move would cut the strained ties between the museum and Union Station, which has managed the museum since 2000.

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7:34 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

November 5 Election Results, By The Numbers

Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Updated 5:36 a.m.

The ballot issues Tuesday were on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area, including the largest tax increase in Jackson County in more than two decades. Voter turnout was, as expected, light.

The results below are unofficial until certified.

Here are the latest numbers:

Blue Springs, Mo. Parks Sales Tax:
In Blue Springs, voters defeated a permanent half-cent sales tax that would have raised $3 million a year for parks-related projects, including community recreation centers.

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11:21 am
Mon November 4, 2013

5 Issues Being Decided By KC Area Voters

A proposed half-cent sales tax would raise $800 million over the next 20 years to be divided among Children’s Mercy Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
Credit Mrd7b2 / Wikipedia

Voters around the Kansas City metro head to the polls Tuesday. Here's an overview of some of the issues on ballots in the area:

Jackson County

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Business & Tech
8:47 am
Thu October 31, 2013

United Terminal Change At KCI Delayed

United Airlines and Air Canada were supposed to move Wednesday night from Terminal A to Terminal C at Kansas City International Airport, but those plans got delayed. 

KCI spokesman Joe McBride says technical issues were to blame.

“As they were getting into the eleventh hour of the move, the computer technology was not all coming on line,” said McBride. “So it looked like the airline was not going to have the ability to check people in be it at the ticket counter or the kiosk.”

McBride says he expects the terminal change will take place early next week. 

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7:15 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Kansas City Public Schools Denied Provisional Accreditation

KCPS Superintendent Green on Tuesday said the district will continue "full throttle" in its efforts to regain accreditation.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Public schools in Kansas City, Mo. will remain unaccredited.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday chose to take no action on a request by Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green to grant provisional accreditation, based on this year's assessment scores in which the district placed within the provisional range. But State Board President Peter Herschend says there hasn't been sufficient improvement sustained over a period of time.

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Cops & Crime
8:36 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Court Asked To Appoint Special Prosecutor In Maryville Sexual Assault Case

A Missouri prosecutor who dropped charges in an alleged sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old girl in Maryville, Mo. says he's asking a court to appoint a special prosecutor to look at the case.

Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice said in light of the attention the case has generated this week he was asking for a special prosecutor in order to uphold the public confidence in the justice system. But he also continued to insist that the charges were dropped because the Coleman family stopped cooperating and chose not to be deposed.

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10:30 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Rape Case Outrage Focuses On Maryville

Daisy Coleman poses in her bedroom next to her dresser adorned with trophies and ribbons won in beauty pageants, dance and sports.
Credit Peggy Lowe/KCUR

Online outrage is focusing on a central Missouri town and its top law enforcement officers after news of the alleged rape of two teenage girls garnered national attention.

As first reported by KCUR, a 17-year-old football player, Matthew Barnett, was charged with raping Daisy Coleman, 14, after a drunken night at the Barnett home in January 2012. Another boy, Jordan Zech, then 17, was also charged in the case, accused of videotaping Barnett and Coleman on his iPhone.

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8:36 am
Mon September 30, 2013

New Shawnee Mission Superintendent Wraps Up 'Listening Tour'

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson wrapped up his 87 day listening tour last week. Hinson took over the helm of the Shawnee Mission District on July 1.

The listening tour was part of an effort to get to know the area. Hinson met with everyone from parents and students to business owners and higher education officials.

District spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal says people overwhelmingly want to make sure Shawnee Mission Schools retain their strong academic tradition.

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6:36 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Kansas City School Officials Plead For Provisional Accreditation

The superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools went to Jefferson City Tuesday to make his case that the district should regain provisional accreditation early. Superintendent Steve Green pointed to a dramatic improvement in school performance reports and an audit that found no issues.

Green says a policy that would allow students to transfer out of unaccredited schools would harm the district’s progress.

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8:44 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Kansas Citians Tell Cleaver To Reject Striking Syria

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver hosted a forum to hear constituents views on Syria.
Dan Verbeck KCUR

At a town hall meeting, most Kansas Citians urged Congressman Emanuel Cleaver to vote 'no' on a military intervention in Syria. Cleaver and much of the local Missouri Congressional delegation has not taken a position on Syria, but in Kansas most will be voting against authorizing military strikes.

Most tell Cleaver to vote 'no'

More than 200 people crowded into a room at Metropolitan Community College and nearly all stayed on topic about Syria.

Steven Platt was worried the United States cannot afford more military action.

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10:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Hall Family Foundation To Give $75M To Children's Mercy, Maybe

Children's Mercy Hospital would receive $75 million from the Hall Family Foundation if Jackson County voters approve a half-cent sales tax for medical research.
Wikipedia Commons

The Hall Family Foundation is pledging $75 million to build a research building at Children’s Mercy Hospital, but only if Jackson County voters pass a half-cent medical research sales tax. 

At the hospital Wednesday, foundation president Bill Hall said the tax offers Kansas City a big opportunity.

"We recognize it is asking a great deal of the voters of Jackson County," he said. "However, we believe this is a moment we must seize. The tax is transformational."

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6:34 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Prairie Village Council Rejects Mission Chateau Proposal

The proposed Mission Chateau senior living development would have replaced a former middle school at 8500 Mission Rd.
The Tutera Group via

The controversial Mission Chateau project failed to win approval by the Prairie Village City Council in a meeting that lasted until 1 a.m. Monday. 

The Prairie Village Planning Commission had recommended a special permit for the proposed senior living community at the site of the former Mission Valley Middle School.

Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer says Mission Chateau stirred community sentiments because of strong feelings about the middle school

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1:33 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Kansas City School District Celebrates Good Evaluation

Kansas City Superintendent Stephen Green and school board president Airick Leonard West celebrated the district's score on a state evaluation.
Maria Carter KCUR

Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) leaders are celebrating.  They got a 60 percent on a state evaluation.  That’s 10 percentage points more than needed to get to provisional accreditation, although whether and when that gets restored is up to the state education officials. 

When Superintendent Stephen Green first got the district’s numbers under a new evaluation system in December, they were dismal.

Moments like that either they break you or they make you stronger for having persevered through the break,” said Green.

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1:47 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Cleaver And Yoder Talk About Congressional Gridlock

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Rep. Kevin Yoder joined Steve Kraske on Up to Date.

Congress has several large issues on its agenda including the Farm Bill, the federal debt ceiling, and immigration reform, but the U.S. House is largely at a standstill. 

Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder said on Up to Date this morning that there’s not a lot getting done on Capitol Hill but different parties doesn’t have to mean gridlock.

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7:23 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: August 16, 2013

A contractor drilling before the JJ’s blast denies OSHA allegations. A new race comes to Kansas Speedway.  The Kansas City Baroque Consortium heads from the church to a bar. 

Charges Are Leveled, Denied 6 Months After Deadly JJ’s Blast

The contract drilling company suspected of opening a gas line before JJ’s Restaurant blew up in February will fight OSHA sanctions and fines.  One woman was killed in the explosion at the edge of Country Club Plaza.

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7:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: August 15, 2013

A redevelopment plan for the Bannister mall site moves ahead.  The immigration debate heats up in Topeka at a forum hosted by Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins.  A new fund aims to increase digital literacy in Kansas City.

Bannister Redevelopment Continues To Advance

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6:46 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: August 2, 2013

The Kansas City, Missouri council votes to join the race for the GOP convention. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is looking at separate rules for voting in state and federal regulations. Missouri is letting people choose to ban themselves from winning the lottery.

Kobach Considering Rule To Create Two Classes Of Voters

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8:25 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: August 1, 2013

The Major League Soccer All Stars fall to AS Roma 3-1 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. A crowd packs a hearing in southern Mo. over the federal Blueways designation.  The Kansas City council passes a bullying ordinance.

Roma Defeats MLS All-Stars, But Kansas City Still Wins

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7:08 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 31, 2013

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says it’s unlikely that they will attempt to override a veto of a tax bill.  On the day of the Major League Soccer all-star game, Sporting Kansas City is prepared for more growth in local soccer.  Three children were hurt after a vehicle crashed into a daycare building.

Missouri Speaker Says Tax Veto Override Unlikely

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6:48 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 30, 2013

Wells are running dry in western Kansas as the drought enters its third year. Some 150 fast food workers kicked off a two-day strike Monday. Major League Soccer All Stars arrived in Kansas City for the All Star game.

Rural Kansas Wells Run Dry As Aquifer Dwindles

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6:58 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 29, 2013

The Kansas City Charter Review Commission turns to former mayors for advice.  Farmers struggle with a depleted aquifer in Kansas.  Drought still threatens the Kansas City area.

Commission Seeks Out Advice Of Former Mayors

The panel looking at how Kansas City should alter its basic operating doctrine hopes to get suggestions from all living ex-mayors, but the Charter Review Commission is having spotty success.

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7:27 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 26, 2013

The Kansas City council votes to prevent the city pension funds from investing in gun manufacturers.  George Brett steps down as hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals but will keep his position in the team’s front office.  A Shakespeare Camp encourages girls to find their own voice the help of the Bard and swords.

Council Votes To Restrict Investments In Firearm Companies

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Central Standard
5:44 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

A New Portrait Of Karl Marx

Credit Kansas City Public Library

Writer Jonathan Sperber, History Professor at MU and Author of Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life, reveals a new and nuanced portrait of the man who introduced the world to an entirely new way of organizing society and the economy.  Sperber approaches the life of Marx with curiosity, exploring how the historical, political, social and economic environment shaped a man who who has been revered and despised.

Sperber will be at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Branch on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 6:30pm to discuss his work.

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Central Standard
5:26 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Man Who Helped Put America On Everest

Credit Kansas City Public Library

When Nawang Gombu reached the top of Mount Everest, he was only 17 years old. Many people talk about the beauty and the majesty of seeing the world beneath your feet. But, his first thought was, “How do I get down?” Film maker and former Kansas City television reporter, Bev Chapman,  who recently completed a documentary on Gombu, shares the story of this extraordinary man.  Nawang's inspiring story begins when he escaped from a Buddhist monastery when he was only 11. Punishments were very strict for children who didn’t excel academically, so Gombu felt he had no choice but to escape.

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7:32 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 23, 2013

The Kansas City Museum Advisory Board is asking for the city to sever the museum’s tie to Union Station and to reinstate the museum’s director.  Prairie plants are being used to help restore farm soil.  U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging Congress to get the farm bill to the president’s desk soon.

Museum Advisory Board Asks City To Reinstate Director

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7:22 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 22, 2013

Some bakers and candy makers are saying the government gives too much of a subsidy to U.S. sugar beet and sugar cane growers. Last week’s high temperatures are gone for now, replaced by temperatures hovering around 90 degrees.

Does The Government Give Too Much Support To Sugar Growers?

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7:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Top Of The Morning News: July 19, 2013

The Kansas City council votes to keep some traffic lights on and to toughen an animal abuse ordinance.  A grant from the EPA will help clean up blighted areas on both sides of the state line.  A Senate Committee approves NBAF funding.

Council Votes On Traffic Lights, Chickens, Animal Abuse

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