Suzanne Hogan

Announcer/Producer/Reporter

Suzanne Hogan graduated from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, with degrees in Political Science and Documentary Studies. Her interests include Latin American politics, immigration and storytelling in a variety of mediums including photography, film/video and writing. 

After college, Suzanne moved back to her hometown, Kansas City and was the Producer for The Walt Bodine Show for about two years. Now she serves as a part-time announcer, producer, and contributing reporter, filling in around the station wherever she can. Suzanne is also a founding member of the 816 Bicycle Collective, a recycle a bicycle program in Kansas City.

In her spare time, Suzanne  plays bass in a punk rock band, enjoys spontaneous traveling, and riding her bicycle all around town.

Ways to Connect

Last year, we asked our listeners to solve the Kansas School Funding Formula. As news develops around a potential public education shutdown in Kansas, we break out our calculators and enter the Kansas school funding debate. When legislators go back to Topeka next week, what will go into solving the state's toughest math problem?

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 

Guests:

commons.wikimedia.org

1992 is calling and it wants its cassette tapes back: a local record store can't keep tapes in stock, a St. Joseph pawn shop sells tape decks as quickly as they come in, and a Springfield-based cassette manufacturer just had its best year since 1969. Sounds like a cassette-tape revival to us.

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

This spring, there's new life on the Missouri River - and it's more than buds on trees or fish in the water. 

Barge traffic may be on the verge of a renaissance.

At least that's the hope of Port KC, which reopened the Woodswether terminal in the West Bottoms last year. The facility, currently the only public port operating on the river, is receiving barges for the first time since 2007. 

Aubrey Fletcher knew she wanted to work on a dairy farm ever since she was a little girl.

"I do remember my mom asking, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' " Fletcher recalls. She knew the work would be tough — she grew up milking cows every day. But it's what she wanted.

So she and her husband's family collaborated to start Edgewood Creamery outside of Springfield, Mo., last August. They recently opened a storefront on the farm selling their milk and cheese.

Suzanne Hogan / For Harvest Public Media

Aubrey Fletcher knew she wanted to work on a dairy farm ever since she was a little girl.

“I do remember my mom asking, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’” Fletcher recalls.

Fletcher knew the work was tough, she grew up milking cows every day. After college she and her husband wanted to return to his family farm, but it wasn’t making financial sense.

“The farm couldn’t necessarily provide both of us with salaries,” says Fletcher. “So we thought, ‘Why not take our premium milk and take that a little further?’”

Now that simulated sky dives are a form of local entertainment, the time is right to ask: what's the difference between someone who jumps out of a plane for the joy of a free fall, and someone who considers that the opposite of fun? Sky-diving pros defend the appeal of their sport.

Guests:

iFLY

If you just want to watch the video: scroll down.

Like most people, I've had fun dreams about flying around through the air. But as a person who is generally scared of heights and gets nervous looking over the edges of balconies and roof tops, I never thought I'd actually want to jump out of an airplane and go sky diving. That is, until recently.

When I heard about the new iFLY facility in Overland Park, Kansas. I poked around on the internet and thought, Sky diving-lite? I can handle that.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

A hundred years ago, the North American Black Bear was thought to be completely wiped out of Missouri because of humans altering their habitat and over hunting for food and pelts.

But they've been making a comeback in Missouri. 

In 1958, something huge happened for black bears in our region. An Arkansas biologist made a deal with Minnesota and Canada, to trade wild turkeys for 254 black bears. Today, Arkansas has nearly 5,000 bears, and this has had an impact on Missouri.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

You may not think about where your chocolate comes from every time you take a bite, but one Missouri chocolate maker wants that to change.

Shawn Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri is a "bean to bar" chocolate maker. Meaning he processes cocoa beans in his factory to make his chocolate bars. There are a lot of steps involved to turn cocoa beans into chocolate candy, all steps that Askinosie knew nothing about until 10 years ago.

"I had no idea where chocolate came from," Askinosie recalls. "No idea." 

As the time comes for old suburban developments to reinvent themselves, one community after another has questioned the conventional wisdom that big box stores are desirable anchors for retail. Is Kansas City part of a trend?

Guests:

Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Photographer Gordon Parks was one of the first African Americans to show white America what discrimination looked like to people of color. But his story begins in poverty and obscurity, in Fort Scott, Kansas. A window into his life, his beliefs and his work, based on conversations with those who knew him.

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Story of a Song is a monthly segment on KCUR's Central Standard, in which local musicians tell the story behind a recent song, and explain how it was constructed musically.

Artist: Johnny Hamil of Mr. Marco's V7

Wikipedia

Eating locally during the summer is easy, but how do we eat local during a Midwestern winter?

Inspired by Harvest Public Media's series, Feasting on Fuel, we explore the history of eating locally when it's cold out, the environmental impact of obtaining fresh produce and why a grocer is stocking local products on his shelves.

Guests:

David DeHetre / Flickr

What is the Plaza worth to you? To the city on the whole? A conversation inspired by the retail district being up for sale.

Guests:

  • Monroe Dodd, local historian, KCUR's Central Standard
  • Susie Haake, lifelong Plaza resident
  • Celia Ruiz, activist, Una Lucha KC, lifelong Kansas Citian
Alex Smith / KCUR

In light of current debates about whether Kansas and Missouri should participate in the resettlement of Syrian refugees, we rebroadcast a recent conversation exploring Kansas City's role in the pipeline of refugees coming to the United States. Not just from Syria, but from around the world.

Guests:

Nic McPhee / Flickr

Crazy travel stories told live by Kansas Citians Marcel Des Marteau, Matthew Long-Middleton, Hector Casanova, Megan Coleman, Will Averill, Priscilla Howe and Barclay Martin, hosted by Gina Kaufmann. The event was a benefit for Generation Listen KC

Local musicians tell the story behind a song and explain how it was constructed musically in The Story of a Song, a monthly segment from KCUR's Central Standard.

Artist: Shy Boys

The Song: Trim

The story of Summer Farrar, an artist whose current project is exonerating the wrongly convicted using microscopic hair comparison analysis. How an artist ended up in the mix, and what she brings to the table.

Guest:

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. We share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. Since it was first reported in September, Sean Owens and his group of volunteers have uncovered the entire staircase. 

West Terrace Park sits on the edge of a bluff on the west end of Kansas City's Quality Hill neighborhood.

It offers a scenic overlook of the West Bottoms, the Kaw and Missouri rivers, and downtown Kansas City, Kansas. 

In the 1960s, parts of the park — including a road, a grotto, and a staircase, were demolished for the Interstate 35 extension. Over time, the history and grandeur of what was left of the park was covered by mud, graffiti, trash and invasive bush honeysuckle. 

But Kansas Citian Sean Owens, who has admired the park since he was a kid, wants to uncover, cleanup and restore this park to its original beauty.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Kansas City is a new destination for barge traffic again. For the first time since 2007, barges are docked and unloading cargo at the downtown terminal.

The port is in the West Bottoms near the confluence of the Missouri and Kaw River. Just a few weeks ago, it didn't look like there was any activity at the terminal. But today, it's busy with traffic as a crane steadily unloads mill scale, a steel byproduct  from the barge, and semi trucks pull in to load it up.

Humans and squirrels live side by side in urban and suburban neighborhoods. When humans observe and document these smaller animals in their yards and on their blocks, that isn't just a weird hobby; it informs science. 

Guest:

Kelsey Smith

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in August 2015.

Squirrels can be found just about anywhere in the Kansas City area, from the densest parts of the urban core, to rural prairie or forest settings.

They typically are a grayish color, brown or an orangey red, but recent black squirrels sightings in one Northland neighborhood have residents curious about the origins of their new dark furry neighbors.

Landon Vonderschmidt

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in June to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America.

Bernard Shondell and Ann Marie Pikus were best friends in high school. After college they were inseparable and decided to get married. They were married for 10 years and had three kids, then 14 years ago Ann Marie died of cancer. It was after her death, during a car ride with his three-year-old niece that Shondell had a profound realization about his sexuality.

“It was Christmas after Ann had passed away,” recalls Shondell. “And as we were driving around Colleen just blurts out, ‘When are you going to get a new mommy for Joey?’ That really kept me up.”

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in June to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America.

Scott Fieker says he realized at a very young age that he didn’t identify with the gender he was genetically born with.

Benjamin Smith Photography

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in June to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America.

Raymond Cattaneo and his husband Dustin Cates were together six years before they decided that they wanted to adopt a baby and build their family.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It doesn’t take long to drive a car across the Missouri River.

Depending on traffic, the roughly half-mile trek can take just one minute. But if you don’t have a car, the Missouri River can seem like a much larger obstacle.

According to the U.S. Census, about 84 percent of the Kansas City metro population drives alone to work. That leaves the other 16 percent commuting by other means, like carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or just working from home.

forbes.com/IRS

Moving to a new place can be hard and exciting. It can be a good decision — or the worst of your life.

Kansas City residents may love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, restaurants, the Royals, four distinct seasons and summer thunderstorms. But they may also resent the allergies, car culture, crime and the absence of mountains and a coast.

So what makes our city a place people want to live — or leave?

Courtesy of the Hands

“Leaving Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of why people decided to live somewhere else. It follows our series “Going to Kansas City.”

Gunnar Hand and his wife Ashley have lived in New York and Los Angeles. They moved to Kansas City five years ago to start a family in Gunnar’s childhood home in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood.

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