Susan B. Wilson

Host of KC Currents

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood.  However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.)  In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”

Wilson has a passion for people and wide ranging interests in world cultures, sports, the arts, science and politics.  She serves as the Associate Dean at the UMKC School of Medicine. She is also a treating clinician and consultant to the National Football League. A mother of two, in her free time Wilson enjoys gardening, traveling, drawing and live music. Wilson is a member of Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, the American Psychological Association and Delta Sigma Theta, a national public service sorority. 

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KC Currents
12:33 pm
Tue June 8, 2010

Pitch Editor CJ Janovy Steps Down

Kansas City, Mo. – Change is good. So says the outgoing editor of the Pitch, which bills itself as "definitive source of information for news, music, movies, restaurants, reviews, and events in Kansas City." The Pitch celebrates its 30th birthday in July, and C.J. Janovy, has worked for the paper for over twenty of those years. She's been the editor since the year 2000. Janovy is moving on to work as Director of Communications at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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KC Currents
10:38 am
Tue May 18, 2010

Native American Perspective On Climate Change

Kansas City, Mo. – For thousands of years, human societies were shaped by their environment, and through that relationship, we developed survival methods that were both healthy and sustainable. Today, as people try to shape the environment to fit our needs, we not only damage the planet, but we lose our hard-won indigenous knowledge just when we need it most.

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KC Currents
12:08 pm
Mon April 19, 2010

Teens Weigh In On Plaza Ruckus

Marcus Garlington and Adriona Thurman were both on the Plaza last Saturday night. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – "There's nothing for us to do!" That's the age-old cry that parents have heard from teenagers for generations. But on the County Club Plaza last weekend, boredom apparently turned into mayhem.

An estimated crowd of 500 to 1000 youth, mostly African American, gathered at various Plaza locations. Fights broke out, and police reported assaults, vandalism and theft. Paying customers fled Plaza restaurants to avoid the trouble.

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KC Currents
12:59 pm
Mon April 12, 2010

UMKC Physicist Uses Hubble Images To Study Galaxies

Kansas City, Mo. – Galaxies, black holes and supernova: for most of us, they are the mysteries of our universe. For UMKC physics professor Daniel McIntosh, it's his life's work. He is part of a team of over 100 scientists, led by University of California scientist Sandra Faber, who will be using the newest and most advanced version of the Hubble Space Telescope to survey the heavens during a three year period.

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Jazz/Blues
11:01 am
Mon April 12, 2010

Fans Remember Scamps Bass Player Oscar "Lucky" Wesley

Kansas City recently lost one of the pillars of the jazz community. Oscar "Lucky" Wesley died on March 27, 2010, at the age of 82.

Kansas City, MO – Known by all as "Lucky," Wesley was a bass player and vocalist with the Scamps for almost forty years.

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Jazz/Blues
3:17 pm
Mon April 5, 2010

Interview with Oleta Adams

Photo by Kenneth Hieber, courtesy of oletaadams.com.

One of Kansas City's favorite daughters Oleta Adams was back in town recently for a performance on 18th and Vine.

The singer and songwriter grew up in the Pacific Northwest. She was the daughter of a minister, and a piano prodigy who was directing choirs by the age of eleven.

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KC Currents
2:22 pm
Mon April 5, 2010

Earthquake Transforms Lives Of Stilwell Sisters

Amanda and Natasha Rae Taylor, with their friend Jean Junior Javin. In Amanda's arms is her newly adopted son, Isaac. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – Two and a half months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, many people around that country, and the US, found their lives were changed by the disaster.

Sisters Natasha Rae and Amanda Taylor are originally from Stilwell, Kansas. They've made regular mission trips to Haiti over the past 8 years, and were both there, together, when the earthquake hit.

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KC Currents
10:08 am
Tue March 30, 2010

Auto Shop Spans Generations

Kansas City, Mo. – Last month on KC Currents, Wesley Lona talked about his life and history in Kansas City, just after he turned 100 years old. Lona was a mechanic, and founded an automotive business on the Westside more than 65 years ago.

After we aired this interview with Wesley Lona, Susan became curious about visiting the next generation of his automotive shop.

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KC Currents
12:31 pm
Mon March 8, 2010

African-Centered Schools Fight To Maintain Autonomy

Photo by Laura Ziegler / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – Chick Elementary School opened in 1991 as the district's first African Centered Education school. Three years ago, the program expanded to include a 6th grade, and a 7th through 11th grade program on what's known as the ACE Collegium Campus.

Recently, the schools have been in the news because the district wants to combine the 786 students into one building, as part of is "right-sizing" plan, which parents and the school's administrators vehemently oppose.

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KC Currents
8:36 am
Mon February 22, 2010

Bob Kendrick Leaves The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Bob Kendrick at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Kansas City, Mo. – For the past twelve years, Bob Kendrick has been a passionate voice on behalf of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine. As marketing director, Kendrick worked closely with the late Buck O'Neil to promote the legacy of black baseball. But last year, in a controversial move by the museum's board, he was passed over when they selected a new president.

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KCUR News
2:53 pm
Mon February 15, 2010

West Side Business Owner Turns 100

Kansas City, Mo. – Recently, West Side businessman Wesley Lona celebrated his 100th birthday. Lona moved to Kansas City from Oklahoma when he was a young boy and his life spans many eras of the city's history. To hear a few of Wesley Lona's stories, and maybe find out the secret to his longevity, KCUR's Susan Wilson paid a visit to his home, still on the West Side.

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KCUR News
10:41 am
Tue February 2, 2010

Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee

Kansas City, Mo. – Imagine facing enemy fire at wartime, at the same time as facing the humiliation of discrimination. That's the story of the all-black Flying Class 43-G, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. These men took part in an Air Force experiment to find out if blacks could be competent aviators.

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KCUR News
1:14 pm
Mon January 25, 2010

New Health Concerns About Bannister Federal Complex

Kansas City, Mo. – The Honeywell Plant has produced parts for nuclear weapons at the Bannister Federal Complex in South Kansas City for about 60 years. Plans to construct a $650 million new plant near the Richards Gebaur Air Force Base are awaiting final approval of a tax abatement from the Kansas City, Missouri's city council. The 10-building complex not only houses the plant, which produces non-nuclear components for weapons, but also the General Services Administration and the Department of Energy.

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KCUR News
4:08 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

KC Star Reporter Works In Africa

Kansas City, Mo. – It's easy to become accustomed to the American brand of journalism, with its steady diet of 24/7 news, and newspapers competing with the web for readers. Kansas City Star wire editor Greg Moore recently got a taste of another culture of journalism. He spent several weeks in Kenya and Uganda, working with local reporters there.

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KCUR News
1:01 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Local Haitians Pray, Respond To Earthquake

Cousins Victoria Blaise and Ginette Pittman are still waiting to hear from some family members in Haiti. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – Food, medical supplies and rescue crews continue to make their way towards Haiti, in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. And Kansas City is home to several thousand people from Haiti.

This weekend, some gathered at church services to seek comfort in the face of tragedy, and look to each other, and God, for support.

KCUR's Susan B. Wilson and Sylvia Maria Gross were at the First Haitian Baptist Church on the East side this morning (Sunday, January 17, 2010) to hear from people there.

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KCUR News
12:21 pm
Mon January 11, 2010

Earnings Tax Debated In KC

Kansas City, Mo. – If you live or work in Kansas City, Missouri a 1% earnings tax takes a bite out of your paycheck. The tax has been around for over forty years. But a petition will soon begin circulating around the state, to bring the "e-tax" before all Missouri voters, and possibility outlaw Kansas City, and St. Louis from collecting that type of tax.

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KCUR News
11:03 am
Sun January 10, 2010

Winter Storm's Reach Is Wide

Greater Kansas City – We've had an extended period of bad weather in the Kansas City area, with historic amounts of snow, record low temperatures, and school cancellations - almost everyone's life has been disrupted.

Some are getting a little cabin fever -- like Joyce Lucas, a Kansas City woman who (as of January 6th) had only left her house once since Christmas.

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KCUR News
4:00 pm
Mon January 4, 2010

Incoming KCK Superintendent Cynthia Lane

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Kansas school board recently selected a new superintendent by unanimous vote. They decided to promote from within the district, and chose Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Business Cynthia Lane. The current superintendent, Jill Shackleford, will retire in July.

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KCUR News
10:00 am
Mon January 4, 2010

KCK Lawyer has Royal Lineage

Kansas City, MO – What if you had a chance at being royalty, would you leave life as you know it behind?

That's the decision Kansas City Kansas lawyer Adebayo Ogunmeno is contemplating. The Washburn University graduate came to the United States to study 26 years ago. But because he is a prince in his homeland in Southwest Nigeria, he's potentially in line to become the next king.

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KCUR News
12:15 pm
Mon December 21, 2009

Local Group Offers Support For Families Of Incarcerated

Kansas City, MO – When we hear about crimes that land someone in jail, our minds tends to go to the victim, or the victim's family. They're the ones who've been wronged; they're the ones who are suffering. We don't think so much about those the convicted leave behind: the mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings, and kids of incarcerated individuals.

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KCUR News
3:33 pm
Mon December 14, 2009

Mother Turns Personal Tragedy Into Suicide Awareness

Kansas City, MO – The holidays can be a difficult time for Bonnie Swade. Eight years ago this month, her son took his own life. Since then, Swade has founded the Suicide Awareness Survivor Support group of Missouri and Kansas, or SASS Mo-Kan. Swade, who's a retired high school counselor, also teaches suicide awareness sessions in classrooms throughout the area.

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KCUR News
2:49 pm
Tue November 3, 2009

The Science Behind Kansas City's Brilliant Autumn

Fall foliage scene at Kansas City cemetary
Photo by Sara Jane Crane

Kansas City, MO – In case you haven't noticed, the leaves around Kansas City seem to be especially vibrant this year. Trees are ablaze in brilliant red, gold and orange. But are the trees especially colorful this year? To get some answers, KCUR's Susan Wilson stopped by the Linda Hall Library to consult with groundskeeper Scott Reiter about the science behind this year's fall foliage.

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KCUR News
1:57 pm
Mon October 26, 2009

Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project

Topeka, KS – Since the start of the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project, expressive therapy has become a widely accepted method of dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The project is now reaching out to a new generation of vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Samuel Bradshaw is the retired chief of psychiatry at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Topeka.

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Visual Arts
10:24 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Photographer Tries to 'Change the Truth'

Gloria Baker Feinstein originally traveled to East Africa in 2006 to photograph children whose parents had died of AIDS. During the three week project, she says she encountered children who radiated hope, even in desperate circumstances. So when she returned home, Feinstein began a different kind of project.

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KCUR News
1:36 pm
Mon October 5, 2009

Young Offenders Try Art Lessons

Kansas City, MO – How do you rehabilitate young people who break the law? More and more, juvenile justice experts believe that just locking up young people is not the answer. Instead, they believe it's important to teach kids ways to manage the emotions that get them in trouble, especially anger. But traditional methods, like talk therapy, sometimes don't reach youth with emotions locked deep inside.

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KCUR News
11:36 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Texas Woman Shares Story Of Wrongful Incarceration

Kansas City, MO – Nearly three decades ago, Joyce Ann Brown's life changed suddenly. She was accused of murdering the owner of a Texas fur store. There was no physical evidence that linked her to the crime, but the store owner's wife mistakenly identified her.

Brown was convicted after an inmate, whom she didn't know, gave false testimony in exchange for release from prison. She was sentenced to life.

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KCUR News
12:14 pm
Mon September 14, 2009

Spanish Radio Host Mixes Racy Talk With Health Messages

Kansas City, MO – Mario Canedo is a radio host on the Spanish-language station La Super X, or 1250-AM. His show A La Cama con Canedo, or "to bed with Canedo" is on every weeknight between 9PM and midnight. Listeners might at first tune in for the racy conversation, but Canedo is trying to do much more than that.

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KCUR News
11:37 am
Mon September 14, 2009

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Kansas City, KS – In May, the University of Kansas Board of Regents named KU's 17th Chancellor, replacing Robert Hemenway, who had served in that role for 14 years. It turned out to be a history-making choice.

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KCUR News
12:32 pm
Tue September 8, 2009

Merriam Teacher Corinthian Nutter Became 1940s Civil Rights Leader

Picture of Corinthian Nutter with her class, courtesy of Shawnee Town Museum.

Kansas City, MO – In the 1940's, Corinthian Nutter worked with the NAACP to improve education for black children in Merriam, Kansas. Nutter was outraged by the deplorable conditions at the two-room schoolhouse where she taught, Walker Elementary School. Nutter ended up testifying in a lawsuit and five years before the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students' rights to attend an all-white, modern school.

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