Steve Bell

News Reporter

Afternoon reporter Steve Bell brings more than 40 years of news experience to the KCUR newsroom. Fifteen of those years he served as a news or program director. His first newscast was at KANU in 1958. He has hosted news and talk programs on five Kansas city AM-FM stations and two commercial TV stations and was for many years the the signature voice of KCPT-19. Since joining KCUR in 2001, Steve has won two  first place awards from Public Radio News Directors International -- for best newscast and best feature reporting.  He has also received a number of awards from the Missouri Broadcasters Association and the Kansas City Society of Professional Journalists.  Steve  has a Ph.D. in psychology and dabbles in guitar and banjo playing.

Pages

Government
7:34 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Kansas City Streetcar Phase II: East, South Or Both?

Artist's rendering of proposed Main Street streetcar line
Credit Submitted photo / City of Kansas City, Mo.

Plans for Phase II of a streetcar system roll on. And though where the second stretch of track will be laid is not decided yet, the choices are narrowing.

The report the city council heard Thursday recommends one or more extensions of streetcar line, with the highest scores for routes south on Main to 51st Street, east on Linwood or 31st Street for several miles and/or east on Independence Avenue to Benton. Those selections rated highest on a combination of factors including potential economic development.

Read more
Business & Tech
5:17 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Hallmark Will Eliminate Up To 250 Jobs, Most In KC

Hallmark Cards has announced plans to eliminate as many as 250 positions, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The article says 100 of the job cuts will come this year.  The staff reductions involve "the greeting card development process" and an exit from the party goods market.

Headlines
7:05 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton died this week. He was 81.
Credit photo by dan verbeck.

A school funding lawsuit by Shawnee Mission District parents survived a dismissal attempt. Kansas City bought four streetcars. And former Congressman Ike Skelton died. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.

Long-time Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton dies

Read more
Government
6:36 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Kansas City Council Approves $17.9 Million Streetcar Purchase

Kansas City will purchase four streetcars like the ones pictured for $17.9 million.
Credit City of Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City councilman who has steered the city's streetcar project from its start says Thursday was probably the most significant mile post in the process. The city is ready to sign the contract for four streetcars.

Councilman Russ Johnson says the council's approval of the $17.9 million contract was the true “point of no return,” the day that the plan changed from a dream to a project underway.

“This is where you're really getting serious about building this project," Johnson told his colleagues. "We're going to go 'box it out' and buy something.”

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

The Chiefs were number one. And the Kansas City, Missouri School District got another accreditation disappointment. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.

KC schools lose out on accreditation bid

Read more
Government
7:32 am
Tue October 22, 2013

KC Charter Commission Recommends Stronger Mayor

The Kansas City Charter Review Commission has agreed on the basics of the proposal it will send the city council.

Most commission members agreed with Mayor Sly James that the mayor should have more power, including the authority to fire the city manager.

Commission member Jim Rice is a long-time area health executive and political observer. He says he doubts the issue of mayoral power will go to the voters.

Read more
Headlines
7:08 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

The Chiefs set a record. Phill Kline indefinitely lost his Kansas law license. And a Maryville rape case got national attention, thanks to Kansas City reporters. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories on this week's Saturday News Review.

Special prosecutor to reopen Maryville teen rape case

Read more
Government
12:52 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Kansas City Council Moves To Curb Car Shredding Thieves

Looks like a tow job. Could be a car theft.
Credit Wikipidia

Almost three-quarters of the more than 2500 vehicles stolen in Kansas City, Mo. this year are over ten years old and showing their age.

Sgt. Rod Gentry of the South Patrol says many of them are being towed away sold as scrap metal.

"Someone could run out of gas or have a flat tire and leave to seek assistance and return, really in thirty, forty minutes or an hour and find their car gone," says Gentry. "Not only gone but completely destroyed."

Read more
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.

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Kansas City, Missouri unveiled a new logo reminiscent of the KC Monarchs emblem this week.
Credit Emily Elmore / Single Wing Creative

The Kansas Supreme Court listened to arguments on school funding. Overland Park voters extended a sales tax. And tax incentives were approved for Kansas City's biggest office complex ever. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.

Council approves Bannister renewal incentives

Cerner estimates the cost of its Bannister Mall area redevelopment project at $4.3 billion, more than half of which is underwritten by tax breaks from Kansas City and the State of Missouri.

Read more
Government
2:01 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Bannister Mall Project To Get Combined $1.6 Billion In Incentives From City, State

Architects' concept of the proposed Bannister office complex
Credit Rendering by Gould Evans Architects

Big plans for the Bannister Mall area got final approval from the city council Thursday.

Cerner Corporation gets big incentives for its $4.5 billion Bannister area redevelopment project. Tax incentives from the city and the state of Missouri total $1.63 billion.

Too much in tax breaks? Councilman Scott Taylor didn't think so.

Read more
Government
11:31 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Committees Move On Pit Bulls, Bannister Redevelopment

The city of Kansas City, Mo. has received a grant to pay for spaying or neutering more than 800 pit bulls.  But at least for now, the free service will apply only in two zip codes.

Pit bull and pit bull mix owners in Kansas City have a choice: spay or neuter the dogs or pay a breeder's fee. Deletta Dean of the city's department of neighborhoods and housing services told a city council committee that a grant from PetSmart Charities would provide $100,000 for spay and neuter services in the 64130 and 64132 zip codes.

Read more
Headlines
7:26 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Artist's conception of the actual streetcars that will run on Main Street in downtown Kansas City, MO.
Credit City of Kansas City, Missouri

The Missouri Supreme Court looked at the state's school transfer law. Day traffic on the health insurance exchanges. And the shutdown idled thousands of Kansas City federal workers. Steve Bell recaps those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.

Shutdown furloughs most of KC's 27,000 federal employees

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Shawn Ratigan: sentenced to 50 years

The legislature overrode 10 Jay Nixon vetoes, but couldn't reverse the vetoes of tax cuts and gun rights bills. And sentencing day came for a former priest who took lurid pictures of little girls. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.

 

Former priest Ratigan gets 50 years

Defrocked priest Shawn Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.

Read more
Government
12:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Out Of Town Firms Prevail For Streetcar Construction Management

To the disappointment of some contractors' and labor organizations, two out-of-town firms will manage the construction of Kansas City's downtown streetcar line. The battle was over the process.

It wasn't the usual process of lowest price for the most product. Construction management was awarded on a point system with heavy weighting for experience with similar work.  And when the two out-of-town companies won, outcries began.

Read more
Cops & Crime
5:15 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Catholic Priest Sentenced To 50 Years For Child Pornography

A judge on Thursday sentenced Father Shawn Ratigan to 50 years in federal prison.

Shawn Ratigan, a 47-year-old Catholic priest convicted of making child pornography, was sentenced to 50 years by a Kansas City federal judge Thursday afternoon. 

Judge Gary Fenner labeled Ratigan a pedophile in serial fashion.

Minutes before, Ratigan choked back emotion as he told the judge, "Fifteen years is a lot of time, but fifty, come on."

Parents of the two-year-old girl photographed by Ratigan said they never want their child to see him again. The mother of the child said her daughter considered the priest her "best friend."

Read more
Government
11:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Area Organizations Join 'No Override' Coalition

Against the veto override: (left to right) REDiscover CEO Alan Flory, AARP Advocacy Director Norma Collins, Independence Schools Superintendent Dale Herl.
Credit Steve Bell

The AARP, Independence School District and mental health organization Re-discover have joined more than 40 others to form a coalition to quash the movement to override Gov. Nixon's veto of the GOP House Bill 253 tax cuts.

Representatives of the three organizations held a news conference at the AARP offices on Ward Parkway Monday.

Superintendent Dale Herl said the tax cut would likely cost Independence schools $5.8 million while saving middle class families very little. Herl said a family of four with an income of $48,000 would only end up with a $6 per year tax cut.

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

The Hall Family Foundation pledged a big grant with strings attached and leaders listened as area citizens spoke their mind on a WalMart, a retirement home and military involvement in Syria. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories on this week's Saturday News Review.

Forums find little support for air strike on SyriaAs Congress prepared for a vote on a limited air strike on Syria, it was a hot topic of conversation – with strongly divided opinions. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver held a public forum attended by about 200. Most, like opposed involvement.

Read more
Government
1:17 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Streetcar Contract Heads For Final Vote

Credit KCTRANSIT.com

The controversy over what contractors will supervise the construction of Kansas City's downtown streetcar line isn't over yet, but the city council has moved one step closer to choosing two out-of-town companies.

Plans to sign a construction management contract with two out-of-town firms have been on hold for several weeks after local contractors and building trades unions expressed concern that there wouldn't be enough Kansas City companies and workers on the job.

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Kansas City got a $20 million grant for the downtown streetcar system. And the Kansas City city council decided on a slightly scaled back new crime lab. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.

Council approves bonds for compromise-size crime lab

City council finance chair Jan Marcason said “the best minds in the city” tried and tried to figure out how to build the 71,000 square-foot crime lab Kansas City, Missouri police wanted, but just couldn't come up with an acceptable way to pay off the bonds.

Read more
Government
12:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kansas City Council Approves $78M Bond Package For Crime Lab

Kansas City's new crime lab won't be as big as the Police department hoped, but the mayor is still calling it a victory.

The city council stopped about $6 million short of funding the construction of the full 71,000 square foot crime lab police wanted.

Read more
Headlines
8:05 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Governor Sam Brownback appointed an appellate court judge, but wouldn't identify the candidates he considered. And Kansas City schools got a much-improved report card. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week.

KC schools show gains; but no accreditation this time

Read more
Education
2:09 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Kansas City School District Shows Improvement, But Concerns Remain

Credit Kansas City< Missouri School Disrict

Kansas City public schools showed improvement in a preview of new Missouri school district ratings, but will not regain provisional accreditation at this time.

Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro said in a Thursday evening conference call that the district had improved proficiency ratings in science and social studies to on a par with its scores in English language arts and math, but with those only at 30 percent proficiency ratings, 7 out of 10 students were not achieving "at proficiency."

Read more
Government
1:40 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Council Passes Controversial Contract, Tables Crime Lab Bonds

A controversial $12 million contract won the approval of the Kansas City city council Thurday, but not without some spirited debate.

Read more
Education
12:21 am
Wed August 21, 2013

State Hires Consultant For Kansas City School District

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the statewide averages on MAP Test scores Tuesday, but the Kansas City district was more focused on another DESE announcement.

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

A city councilman fessed up to sexting. A rodeo clown sparked a nationwide controversy. And a federal agency blamed the JJ's Restaurant fire on a drilling contractor. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories.

Contractor Cited in Plaza Blast And Fire

OSHA fined the company that broke the gas line that led to the February Plaza explosion and fire $161,000 and put them on a list of severe safety violators.

Read more
Government
2:00 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Bonds Bogged In Crime Lab Conflict

The Kansas City city council postponed approving the sale of up to $85 million in bonds for construction of a new East Patrol complex Thursday.The difficulty was in deciding how much needs to be spent and how much the city can afford.

Read more
Government
1:47 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Bannister Redevelopment Continues To Advance

Credit bizjournals.com

Plans for redevelopment of the old Bannister Mall area are moving ahead. A City Council committee heard a very optimistic report Wednesday.

The committee that handles economic development approved the city's application for nearly $11 million in state tax breaks for the developer, Cerner Corporation.

Councilman John Sharp told the committee that the state development finance board has already approved the incentives and signs of activity will be seen soon.

Read more
Education
12:27 am
Wed August 14, 2013

KC Superintendent Expects Accreditation Return

Credit Kansas City< Missouri School Disrict

Kansas City, Missouri's superintendent of schools expects to break some good news to the community later this month.

Read more
Headlines
7:05 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Ford put another 900 workers on the Claycomo line. And challengers of Kansas City's downtown streetcar system were rebuffed by another court. KCUR's Steve Bell looks back at those and other top stories.

Judges reject streetcar tax challenge

Read more

Pages