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.

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KCUR Newscast
6:07 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

KCUR Evening News 1-3-11

Kansas City, MO –

  • KC police standoff ends, child hostage unhurt.
  • New move to oust new Cass County commissioner.
  • Zenger introduced as new KU athletics director.
  • Brownback names Moser to Health and Environment.

     

  • Read more
    KCUR Newscast
    5:21 pm
    Mon January 3, 2011

    KCUR Evening News 1-3-11

    Kansas City, MO –

  • KC police in standoff, child hostage involved.
  • Brownback names Moser to Health and Environment.
  • Zenger introduced as new KU athletics director.

     

  • Read more
    Headlines
    6:10 pm
    Fri December 31, 2010

    Mo. Tornadoes, A Cold Wave & More: The Evening News

    Kansas City, MO –

    • Three dead, scores injured in Missouri tornadoes.
    • Rescue crews search wrecked housing complex.
    • Icy cold wave follows severe weather system.
    • Martin questions "salute penalty" call.
    Read more
    Headlines
    1:59 pm
    Fri December 31, 2010

    The Top Stories Of 2010

    Missouri Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton concedes defeat on election night. (Click to enlarge.)
    Photo courtesy of TV-9 News.

    Kansas City, MO –

    Read more
    Headlines
    6:06 pm
    Thu December 30, 2010

    Water Loans Expire, Bremby Still On Payroll: The Evening News

    Kansas City, MO –

    • Kansas revenue collections $22 million short of estimate.
    • Bremby still on Kansas payroll after departaure.
    • Blunt forgives $300,000 Kinder campaign loan.
    • Fees that support MO water quality programs expire.
    • MoDot survey seeks input on master rail plan.
    Read more
    Headlines
    6:11 pm
    Wed December 29, 2010

    Coach Retires, Less Money For Schools: The Evening News

    Kansas City, MO –

    • Lower casino revenues mean less for schools.
    • Curls to be Democrat for Yvonne Wilson seat.
    • Kansas SRS taking applications for heat bill help.
    • More arrests coming in family retail theft ring.
    • Voter Photo ID bill resurfaces in MO legislature.
    • Championship NWMS football coach retires.
    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:35 am
    Wed December 15, 2010

    Shootout Interrupts Funeral

    Yellow tape marks the scene of a drive-by shooting as a funeral concluded at the Macedonia Baptist Church on Tuesday.
    Photo courtesy of KMBC, TV-9.

    Kansas City, MO – The incident mirrors one in St. Louis two weeks ago. The first mourners are leaving after the funeral of a young man when gunfire erupts from a passing car.

    In St. Louis, two people were killed. In Kansas City Tuesday no one was injured, though several vehicles were left with bullet holes.

    The funeral was for homicide victim Marion Denmon, who early reports had said was an innocent victim of gang-bang crossfire.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:29 am
    Thu December 9, 2010

    City Lax On Tax-Break Oversight

    Kansas City, MO – When someone gets tax abatement for a development project, they enter into a contract - they say how much the project will cost, how many jobs created, and often agree to pay the city back for work it has to do.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    3:40 pm
    Thu December 2, 2010

    Border Jobs War Not a Nixon Priority

    Kansas City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon touted his economic-development plan at Maple Woods Community College on Wednesday. Nixon wants to focus on targeted growth industries like advance manufacturing, animal health and life sciences.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:59 am
    Fri October 29, 2010

    Stimulus Improved KC Infrastructure, Services

    The distribution of federal stimulus grants to the city (click to enlarge)
    Graphic from K.C., MO web site.

    Kansas City, MO – Councilwoman Sharon Sanders-Brooks introduced the accounting of stimulus fund spending by saying,..."it was important to inform our constituents of how the city of Kansas City has used the stimulus funding. If you listen to commercials that are running currently, you would think that nothing has occurred with the stimulus program... and we here in the city have another story to tell."

    That story is one of $183 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants for the city and its partners.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    11:52 am
    Thu October 28, 2010

    Kansas City Gets Federal Weatherization Grant

    Kansas City, MO – With federal stimulus dollars becoming an endangered species, Kansas City gets a big performance-based addition to its housing weatherization program.

    The council housing committee was told yesterday that a lot more money is coming. The council just has to accept the grant and designate the money for homes that need weatherizing. The city is being rewarded for quick completion of 95 percent of the work involved in the first stimulus grant.

    Pat McNamara of the Housing department explained the largest of two packages.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    9:57 am
    Thu October 28, 2010

    State Lawmaker Pleads for Leniency for Fans Arrested on Faurot Field

    Kansas City, MO – They're calling them the Faurot Field 30 on Facebook - the thirty people that were arrested for storming the field despite advance warnings on the PA-system not to do so after Missouri beat Oklahoma 36-27 on Saturday.

    Thousands of fans came pouring out of the grandstands, tore down the goal-posts and generally went wild. One person suffered a broken leg.

    Police arrested 30 people and charged them with trespassing, a class-B misdemeanor. And that has parents and Mizzou fans up in arms, creating an internet campaign to get the charges dropped.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    11:54 am
    Tue October 26, 2010

    Proposition A Mimics Hancock Amendment

    Kansas City, MO – Anyone who watches local TV has seen the ads that say, ""Vote yes on A. Let voters decide."

    The TV ads are financed by St. Louis millionaire Rex Sinquefield, who has reportedly invested about five million dollars in the campaign. They emphasize giving voters a say and prohibiting "politicians" from imposing taxes on earnings in other Missouri cities.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    11:48 pm
    Thu October 21, 2010

    Council Reverses Decision on Reappointment

    Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council has reversed direction on its rejection of a reappointment to the TIF commission.

    Council members gave no reason last week when they voted against the mayor's proposal to reappoint Claudia Onate-Greim, chair of the city's TIF advisory commission. But when the mayor exercised his power to call for a second vote yesterday, they talked.

    Some "no" voters complained of poor communication from the mayor's office and a "closed-to-business" attitude on the part of the commission.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:05 am
    Thu October 21, 2010

    Pension Funding Plagues Council

    Kansas City, MO – Kansas City faces an additional 2012 budget expense of more than twenty million dollars. Pension experts recommend yesterday that the city pay in the extra money to bring the fund up to best practices.

    Councilman Ed Ford says that's one of many expenses that will make 2012 a tough budget year. He says there's already an expected $12 million shortfall.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:53 am
    Wed October 20, 2010

    Funkhouser Runs Again

    Kanas City mayor Mark Funkhouser announces his bid for reelection.
    Video frame courtesy of KMBC TV-9.

    Kansas City, MO – Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser made the formal announcement Tuesday: he's running for reelection.

    Funkhouser's told reporters his administration has put city finances in order, reined in lucrative development TIF deals that cost the city millions and gotten the metal plates off of the streets.

    nd He says controversies over his board appointments, rebuffs by the council and the lawsuit accusing his wife of discrimination at the office have simply primed him for a rugged campaign.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    12:14 am
    Tue October 19, 2010

    $4.2 Million Grant for Metro-Area Planning

    Kansas City, MO – Metropolitan planning gets a 4.2 million dollar assist from a grant announced yesterday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    The Kansas City area's Creating Sustainable Places proposal was coordinated by the Mid-America Regional Council, where Jody Ladd Craig explained what the program will do.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:57 am
    Fri October 15, 2010

    Council and Mayor Clash Again on Appointments

    Kansas City, MO – On the surface it seemed a simple request from the mayor -- the reappointment of two members of the commission that makes recommendations on proposed tax-increment-financing proposals.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    9:56 am
    Thu October 14, 2010

    Kansas City Council Eyes Trimming Next Year's Budget

    Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council has started the chore of Monday-morning-quarterbacking this year's budget - with an eye toward what it may face next year.

    The council had to make spending cuts after the budget was approved this year, so the finance committee was eager to hear the implications of the latest revenue collection report.

    Read more
    Redistricting
    12:59 pm
    Thu October 7, 2010

    City Council Endorses Redistricting Map

    A redistricting plan has been approved by the Kansas City, Missouri city council.

    The changes in council district boundary lines are in most cases very slight. But large enough to produce more than three hours of discussion and debate on the two final maps at City Hall today.

    Tthe map finally adopted splits the Brookside-Waldo area at 75th street, moves a two-block strip along Troost into the fifth district, and still splits the Hickman Mills-Ruskin area.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    7:04 pm
    Wed October 6, 2010

    New Public Safety Radio System On Schedule

    Kansas City, MO – Kansas City fire chief Smokey Dyer gave a progress report on the city's transition to a new public safety radio system Wednesday, and in the process put in a plug for renewing the sales tax that made it possible.

    Dyer told a council committee that the new radio system is on schedule, and will be the first of its kind. He says Kansas City is the first area to organize a communication system that will encompass the entire metropolitan area and eventually two states.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:28 pm
    Thu September 30, 2010

    Council Considers Some Privatization

    Kansas City, MO – As the recession continues to plague revenue collections, some Kansas City, Missouri city council members want to consider outsourcing management of some city assets to private companies.

    The idea was reborn when Black and Veatch expressed an interest in managing the Blue River Wastewater Treatment facility, but the resolution advanced yesterday by a 2 to 1 Finance Committee vote calls for the city manager to investigate involving the private sector in any city assets and services where there is an interest.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:46 am
    Fri September 10, 2010

    MAST Defended; Pension Upgrade on Hold

    Councilman Terry Riley tells colleagues that approving a MAST pension proposal without further study \"is not prudent.\"

    Kansas City, MO – A plan to give MAST ambulance employees better retirement benefits is on hold for at least another two weeks after four council members blocked a quick vote on it Thursday.

    The non-profit MAST ambulance service became part of the Fire Department this spring. And the plan finally proposed offered full retirement benefits and credit for previous years of service.

    The city manager said funding that could cost up to $40 million dollars that could be paid in over ten or more years and in the long run offset by savings.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:07 am
    Thu September 9, 2010

    MAST Pensions Could Cost $40 Million

    City Manager Troy Schulte explains the MAST pension plan.
    Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. (Click to enlarge.)

    Kansas City, MO – Ever since the city started talking about taking over the ambulance service about three years ago, it has promised MAST workers they would get a retirement system comparable to that of other public safety employees crediting the time they have worked for the non-profit ambulance service.

    With 320 of those employees now working for the city, City Manager Troy Schulte says it could cost the city up to $40 million to fund that pension plan.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:43 am
    Fri September 3, 2010

    Council Overrides Redistricting Veto

    Councilman Ed Ford argues in vain that sending the voters the charter change will be divisive and undermine efforts to renew the public safety sales tax.
    Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. Click to enlarge.

    Kansas City, MO – The mayor's veto did not stand. The Kansas City city council voted yesterday to put a measure changing the city's redistricting schedule on the November ballot.

    Northland members and the mayor who had opposed moving now to tie the redistricting schedule to the release of census data argued that the council was rushing to enact something that wouldn't make any difference for twenty years... and could undermine efforts to renew the public safety sales tax.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    12:18 am
    Tue August 31, 2010

    Funkhouser Vetoes Redistricting Change

    Kansas City, MO – For the second time in as many weeks, Mark Funkhouser has used his veto power - this time on a ballot measure to amend the city charter so council redistricting could possibly wait until after new census ethnic distribution data is released.

    The mayor says the the US Constitution mandates that redistricting must be done before the spring city election because Northland districts are underrepresented, and that the city will be found in violation of the constitution if it does not correct that situation.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    1:51 am
    Fri August 27, 2010

    Council Moves for Redistricting "Plan B"

    Councilman John Sharp holds one proposed redistricting map that he says would disenfranchise African-American voters.
    Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

    Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser came out on the losing side of two significant council votes yesterday.

    The first defeat for the mayor was the override of his veto of the council's renewing the appointment of the chairman of the Port Authority, which the mayor has said needs more of an "international flavor."

    Then the mayor voted with the four Northland council members on a move to send a charter amendment to voters that could delay redrawing council district boundaries if the council deadlocks on the issue.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    7:24 am
    Thu August 26, 2010

    Plaza Tower Survives in New Design

    Revised architectural rendering presented by Polsinelli Shugart law firm.

    Kansas City, MO – The historic Plaza "Balcony Building" at 47th and Broadway survives in a new design presented at this afternoon's city council business session. Spencer Thompson of the Polsinelli-Shughart law firm which is to occupy the building explained the new plan.

    Thompson said the final design will incorporate as much of the original architecture and Plaza streetscape as possible, and definitely will include the Spanish-style, red-tile roofed tower.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    2:08 am
    Fri August 20, 2010

    Sales Tax to Voters, But Not Charter Change

    Mayor Mark Funkhouser brandishes an agreement to add 80 police officers. The police chief and council rejected it.

    Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri will proceed with plans to put the public safety sales tax up for renewal in November. But the city won't change its redistricting plans despite pressure from civil rights leaders.

    The city council has voted to send voters a buildings and equipment only plan for the quarter-cent sales tax if they approve its extension. The project list includes two new police stations, a new CSI lab, and replacements for aging helicopters.

    Read more
    KCUR News
    4:59 pm
    Thu August 19, 2010

    Council Moves to Delay Redistricting

    Councilman Terry Riley warns the Finance and Audit Committee about redistricting without current racial and ethnic data.
    Click to enlarge.

    Kansas City, MO – The newly appointed panel charged with recommending a redistricting plan for Kansas City, Missouri held a lengthy first meeting yesterday, but it's possible the real decision making won't start until April.

    The city charter mandates that redistricting be in place by the March election, but that would require a second effort after new census data is released, probably in April.

    Read more

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