Matt Hodapp

Intern, Central Standard
Kansas Legislature

Republican Kansas Rep. Barbara Bollier from Mission Hills, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


Republican Kansas Rep. Lane Hemsley from Topeka, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. Marci Francisco from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


Republican Kansas Sen. Jeff Melcher from Leawood, Ks. joins Statehouse Blend to talk policy, politics, and his personal life.

This is an excerpt from an episode of Statehouse Blend. You can hear the full version here.


  • Jeff Melcher, Senator for the 11th District, Kansas Legislature
  • Carson Tappan, Citizen voice and documentary film maker
  • Steve Vockrodt, Reporter, The Pitch
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In 2014, Kansas City, Mo., officials began the process of rewriting its taxi code, citing public safety concerns about ride-hiring companies such as Uber and Lyft, and a conflict concerning fairness in the cab industry. The response to a draft of the proposed changes has been mixed.

City permits

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Jeff Melcher from Leawood, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democratic Kansas Sen. Pat Pettey from Kansas City, Kan., provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. David Haley from Wyandotte County provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Heartland Health Editor, Dan Margolies, fills in for host Sam Zeff.

(Disclaimer: We apologize for any clicks in the audio file. Our recording equipment has been experiencing some technical difficulties.)


A proposal presented to the Kansas City, Mo. City Council Thursday would make it easier for ride-hiring services like Uber and Lyft.

It would require drivers that work for the companies to get city permits. Also, it lowers the cost of the permits from $300 to $250.

CJ Janovy / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Linda Gallagher from Lenexa provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.


  • Linda Gallagher, Representative for the 23rd District, Kansas Legislature
  • Bruce Smith, citizen voice
  • CJ Janovy​, Arts Reporter, KCUR
Kansas Legislature

Kansas Rep. Melissa Rooker joined KCUR reporter Sam Zeff for the inaugural episode of Statehouse Blend to talk about her experience in the Kansas Legislature and her decision to move back to Kansas from Los Angeles. 

The Catholic Church is located in Vatican City, an ocean away and then some. But what happens in Rome affects the lives of Catholics living in Kansas City, and what happens here reverberates all the way up to the top. This conversation explores whether a perceived shift in the Catholic Church affects the priorities and attitudes of Catholics in our region. 


Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Melissa Rooker provides an insider perspective on the historic legislative session underway in Topeka.


  • Melissa Rooker, Representative for the 25th District, Kansas Legislature
  • Brian Schmid​, citizen voice
  • Matthew Long-Middleton, producer, Central Standard
Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Water levels within the Ogallala Aquifer, a wide source of groundwater in western Kansas, have been declining to dangerously low levels for the past few years. 

The Verge

"Science fiction is a laboratory for experimenting with ideas," says Chris McKitterick.

The film Interstellar stretches scientific knowledge to spark our imaginations and address not-so-fictional problems. What were the dynamic take-aways for an astrophysicist, a science fiction expert, and a movie critic?

The hardest part of asking for financial assistance is often recognizing that your own hard work and resources may not be enough to turn the situation around. In Kansas City, multiple agencies provide services, from meeting immediate needs to addressing chronic poverty. 

Here is a list of agencies you can reach out to if you need help:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In the wake of the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama earlier this month called for $75 million to provide 50,000 body-mounted cameras to police departments across the nation. 

Several Missouri police departments have recently started using the devices, and more will likely follow if the federal funds move forward.

A grand jury's recent decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has thrown a spotlight on the legal institution of the grand jury:

What’s the prosecutor’s role in grand jury proceedings? Who brings the charges? What are the standards of proof?

Kansas is ranked in the top ten most charitable states in the country, according to a study released by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Kansas tied narrowly with Idaho to rank third in the nation. Utah came in first place and South Dakota came in second.

According to the publishers, the purpose of the study was to foster holiday competition between the states to increase their charitable activities.

WalletHub ranked the states using eight criteria:

Big questions are being asked about the recent grand jury hearing about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, for example, whether justice was served. But there are simpler questions, too: When and why is a grand jury called? What's the prosecutor's role, in a grand jury hearing and otherwise? Who are the jurors, and why is their selection process a secret?


After gaining independence, the people of Ireland used pageantry to express their heritage. These thematic recreations of historical and mythical events were subversive acts of forging a new national identity. In All Dressed Up: Modern Irish Historical Pageantry, Joan Dean explores the public imagination of history.


Found Footage Festival

An earnest woman in a peach blazer teaches you how to facercise, or exercise your face, in a truly bizarre VHS recording. Where did this video come from? A thrift store in Kansas City. It's part of a curated, touring collection of found video footage, originating mostly from the 1980s and 1990s.


Kate Hiscock / Flickr, Creative Commons

With eaters taking an interest in food extending beyond recipes, food writing is gaining a voracious audience. Food can be a character, or a source of potent metaphor. It can also tell us something important about ourselves and our society. Kansas City experts offer insights and recommendations.

Guests and their recommendations:

Cat Neville, founder, Feast Magazine

MattysFlicks / Flickr, Creative Commons

When storms roll in, some people rush to the window to watch, while others are rushing to the basement. What is the difference between a healthy fear of weather and out-of-proportion anxiety? A mother and daughter professor duo have combined their expertise in the separate fields of geography and psychology to investigate severe weather phobias.


Matt Hodapp / KCUR

The chestnut harvest in Kansas ends during the first few weeks of October, and every year around that time 40 to 50 workers pick pounds of nuts from 1,500 chestnut trees on an orchard right outside of downtown Lawrence.

Since 1995, Charlie NovoGradac, also known as "Chestnut Charlie," and Deborah Milks have been cultivating, collecting and distributing chestnuts.

When the harvest is over, the orchard is covered in gigantic thorny cockleburs. As they ripen during the season, these prickly husks open and release the chestnuts.

Lady Dragonfly CC - >;< / Flickr, Creative Commons

Little-known fact: It's chestnut harvesting season in Kansas. So what's the scene at the local chestnut orchard? And how are chefs using the overall nut bounty in area kitchens?


Tristan Bowersox / Flickr, Creative Commons

California just passed a law establishing "yes means yes" as the statewide standard for consent, and President Obama recently issued a message to the nation calling assault on campus "an affront to our basic humanity." In the wake of some controversial local cases, where do local universities stand on this issue, and what are students saying?


Patrick Quick / KCUR

The fall semester of Communiversity is getting underway at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This all-volunteer adult education program allows Kansas Citians to take and teach a collection of esoteric classes that you may not find anywhere else. 

Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann talked to a few of the instructors, everyday folks with unusual skills to teach.

Let Horses Help You With Your Life Transition

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

For the first time since 1985, the Royals have made the playoffs, finally putting an end to the longest post-season drought in professional baseball history. How are fans and city officials adjusting to the possibility of winning?


  • Greg Echlin, freelance sports reporter, KCUR
  • Mark McHenry, Kansas City Parks and Recreation
Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Pork butts to the left of us, briskets to the right: that's one way of describing Kansas City's culinary geography. Join us on a visit to a Kansas City home with a smoker out back, and a chat with a food photographer who traced Calvin Trillin's famous footsteps with his own burnt-end odyssey