Maria Carter | KCUR

Maria Carter

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.

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Missouri issues guidelines for students in unaccredited districts wishing to transfer to accredited districts.  A commission is looking for ways to make the Kansas City, Mo. City government better.  An Overland Park-based cement company has been ordered to pay $30 million for violating the Clean Air Act.

Missouri Issues Guidelines For Transfers To Accredited Districts

A Kansas City man is tied to a New York bomb plot as part of government surveillance program.  Missouri Congressmen speak out about the House version of the Farm Bill. 

Kansas City Man Tied to New York Bomb Plot

The FBI alleges that a Kansas City man was involved in a fledgling plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange. The case came up as an example of effective the government surveillance programs have been at foiling some 50 terrorist plots.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Kansas City’s airport advisory panel met in Union Station Tuesday morning.  Kansas City is looking at moving from its current three terminal layout to a new, single terminal.  Supporters of the new design say it’s a needed update to the 40-year-old structure because of security concerns. Opponents of the single terminal say the current system works well for travelers. 

The panel's co-chair, Bob Berkebile, says he learned a couple of things from what the group was calling airport school, and he notes getting informed is an important first step.

UMKC begins accepting applications for its Physician Assistants program following a change in Missouri law. Former Missouri Governor Bob Holden comes to Kanas City to welcome Chinese students to Missouri Boys and Girls State conference.  A delegation from Kansas, including Governor Sam Brownback, heads to the Paris Air Show.

UMKC Starts Physician Assistant Program

The Kansas City council looks at how to pay for the bus service.  Governor Sam Brownback stopped in Overland Park to sign a tax bill.  High beef prices in the super market are the result of a multi-year drought.

Council Committee Studies Bus Funding And Role Of ATA Board

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signs eight bills into law.  The MU Chancellor announces he will retire in November.  Farmers find it hard to constantly switch between floods and drought,

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon campaigns against a tax credit bill which he vetoed last week.  Kansas educators say they are in favor of Common Core Standards.  Maggots are being used in Branson to heal wounds and reattach limbs.

Although he’s opposed to cutting the higher education budget, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has limited options. A non-profit is bringing photography and words to highlight sustainability.

Sustainability In Pictures And Words

Higher education officials in Kansas look at increasing tuition.  An EPA study finds water systems need more $4 billion in upgrades.  The Johnson County Elections Board is recognized for using technology at the polls.

Kansas Republican responds to Democrats claims about the tax plan approved by the legislature.  Advocates say children didn’t fare well in the Kansas budget.  Too much rain presents problems for farmers.

A Republican retains the 8th Congressional seat left open when Jo Ann Emerson resigned.  Missouri revenue growth is still up even as it slowed in May.  The farm crisis of the 1980s brought lessons for one farming family.

The St. Louis Zoo is working to restore and endangered beetle to a prairie in southwest Missouri.  Kansas lawmakers have approved a disabilities plan despite objections.

St. Louis Zoo Continues Efforts To Restore Endangered Beetle

A new system help keep cell phone users in the loop about tornadoes and other emergencies.  Kansas early childhood programs could face cuts under current budget plans being debated.  The Missouri House Speaker tours the state publicizing legislative accomplishments this year.

A proposed expansion of the Sunflower Electric power plant in southwest Kansas has ran into trouble in court.  Officials break ground on a power plant for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.  After promising start to the season, the Kansas City Royals have been faltering recently.

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka hoping to resolve differences in tax and budget bills.  Protestors gathered throughout the country objecting to use of genetically modified foods.

The USDA’s rural development program is threatened by potential cuts, and the agriculture department changes labeling rules to make it more clear where meat was grown and processed.

The Kansas City council votes to extend the red light program but puts off a vote on a new ethics code.  The Kansas City Ballet name Devon Carney as its new artistic director.  Officials will break ground for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility next week.

Missouri’s lobbying system is not as open as you think.  The Kansas City council will vote on extending red light cameras. An artist explore the city in a new exhibition.  Tom Watson sets his sights on another championship.

A site in Iola, Kansas is added to Superfund list.  Heart to Heart International, based in Olathe, helps out in Moore, Oklahoma.  A Lee’s Summit legislator will not resign despite two of his bills not making it through the House.

Gas prices jumped last week throughout the Kansas City area.  The Director of Missouri’s Department of Social Services resigns abruptly.  A bill would expand the role of the physician assistants in Missouri.

Gas Price Leap An Anomaly

Utility crews worked through the night and into the morning to restore electricity to some 77,000 customers in the Kansas City area.  Most Missourians with Hepatitis C don’t know they have the disease, but health officials and groups are working to change that.  After cantaloupe were determined to be responsible for a listeria outbreak, melon growers are making changes to prevent future outbreaks.

The nature of methamphetamine labs in the area is changing.  A council committee advances a proposal to update Kansas City’s ethics code.  Missouri’s Medicaid director leaves but no is saying whether he was fired or resigning.

Liberty Hospital will layoff more than a 100 workers.  Kansas City Mayor Sly James appoints an advisory group on the airport, including critics of  a one-terminal proposal. The Kansas Senate gives initial approval to bonds for NBAF.

St. Louis Public Radio

It appears that Democrats in the Missouri Senate have successfully stopped legislation that would have redefined what constitutes a maintenance project and exempted those being done on public property from the state's prevailing wage requirement.

More breweries look to the local food movement for inspiration.  A bill creating an exemption for maintenance work under Missouri’s prevailing wage law died after a Democratic filibuster in the state Senate.  A Missouri bill limiting labor unions’ ability to deduct dues and fees from public employees’ paycheck heads to Governor Nixon.

A new farm bill may lead to less money for a conservation program for farms.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon criticizes several bills passed by the Missouri General Assembly.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback raises awareness about foster care needs in the state.

A missing toddler is feared dead.  A Kansas House committee approves bonds for NBAF.  The Missouri General Assembly sends the governor a budget and  legislation cutting taxes.

Programs for HIV and AIDS face an uncertain future as the federal healthcare overhaul goes into effect.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon threatens layoffs over an ongoing dispute with the legislature about the DMV.  The mother of a missing toddler was identified as one of three murder victims found on a farm near Ottawa, Kansas.

Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Let the cat out of the bag.

The cat’s pajamas.

Cat got your tongue?

Curiosity killed the cat.

These are just a few of the saying about cats that show how entrenched they are in our everyday lives. But even as wonderful as cats may be sometimes the relationship between pet and human can be strained.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri Senate have scaled back a proposal to cut state taxes in order to emulate tax cuts in neighboring Kansas and Oklahoma.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has strongly objected to the bill's sales tax hike, saying it would hurt the poor and elderly the most.  That provision has been dropped.  

House Bill 253 would now cut the personal income tax rate by half a percentage point and the corporate rate by three points, and phase them both in over the next 10 years.