Sylvia Maria Gross

Reporter, Producer & Co-Host of KC Currents

Sylvia Maria Gross co-hosts and produces KC Currents, an award-winning weekly news magazine that covers news and culture in Kansas City’s diverse communities. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, The World and Studio 360. Gross grew up in New York City, Brazil and the suburbs of Washington, DC. She studied English at Yale University, and then spent a year researching arts education in Brazil on a Fulbright grant. When she returned from Brazil, she taught middle school math and English while completing a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University in New York City. She reported in New York about education and culture before moving to Kansas City in 2004.

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KC Currents
1:36 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Kan. Legislature, The Wires, Music Writer Tim Finn

De Barker teaches line dance and two-step.
Susan Wilson

The show for March 10, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
4:42 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Hire Bilinguals, Making Movies, Urban Crows

The show for March 3, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

    

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KC Currents
11:10 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Website Helps Companies Find Bilingual Employees

hirebilinguals.com

As Kansas City’s Spanish-speaking population increases, many industries are adapting by hiring more bilingual employees.  But how can they tell when someone is truly bilingual?  Gabe Munoz, and his partner Raul Duran launched a website late last year to assess the language abilities of bilingual job applicants, and help match them with employers.  So far, about 300 job seekers have signed on.  

Munoz spoke to KC Currents’ Susan Wilson about his start-up company, HireBilinguals.com.

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KC Currents
5:09 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Preventing Roof Collapses

The heavy snow last week caused several roof collapses around the Kansas City area. And several more buildings were evacuated for fear of a collapse, including a Macy’s in Overland Park.  KCUR’s Dan Verbeck sat down with Overland Park Code Administrator, Tim Ryan, to find out more about addressing and preventing roof collapses.

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KC Currents
11:10 am
Wed February 27, 2013

WyCo Elections, Plaza Fire, KCPS Opens School

JJ's restaurant co-owner Jimmy Frantze on the day after the gas explosion.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

The show for February 24, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Weather
3:46 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Snow Update: Power Still Out For Many

Matthew Long-Middleton KCUR

"Snowpocalypse 2" brought upwards of a foot of snow to some parts of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The storm shut down schools and businesses, and knocked out power to tens of thousands of residents.

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Weather
7:56 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Elections Still On: Hours Extended, Polling Places Changed

KCUR

Update Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. Due to the weather, polling places have been consolidated in both Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. Find polling places for Wyandotte County here and Johnson County here

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Plaza Fire
12:03 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Wine, Shrimp, Camaraderie: Food Critic Remembers JJ’s Restaurant

Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Local and federal officials are trying to piece together exactly what happened last Tuesday evening, when a natural gas leak led to an explosion just west of the Country Club Plaza. The explosion and resulting fire at JJ’s restaurant killed one woman, and injured 15.

The victim is presumed to be 46-year-old Megan Cramer, a native of Springfield, and a longtime resident of the Plaza. Staff and regulars of JJ’s are not only mourning her loss, but the loss of a community that had formed around drinks and meals at the restaurant. 

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KC Currents
12:22 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Preventing Child Abuse, Kansas Taxes, Ash Wednesday Drive-Through

Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The show for February 17, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
3:12 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Walmart Wars, Self-Realization Fellowship, KC Board of Trade

The vacated Bingham Junior High School property is the site for the proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in Waldo.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

The show for February 10, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
11:35 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Proposed Waldo Walmart Sparks Community Response

Bingham Junior High School sits vacated east of 77th and Wornall, abutting the Trolley Track Trail in Waldo.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

The redevelopment of each closed school building in Kansas City, Mo. tends to draw a small group of concerned residents.  And that was the case for the old Bingham Junior High School property, at 77th and Wyandotte in Waldo. Until Walmart came knocking.

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Government
11:33 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Proposed Walmart Supercenter Draws Debate In Lee's Summit

Across the Kansas City area, communities are debating the drawbacks and benefits of having the world's largest retailer as a neighbor: Walmart. In Lee’s Summit, a group of residents showed up at a recent city council meeting wearing red, to oppose the construction of a $25 million dollar Walmart Supercenter.

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KC Currents
5:45 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

KU Changes Core Curriculum, Bishop vs. NCR, Medicine Museum

Senior Aaron Ellis majors in aerospace engineering at KU.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

The show for February 3, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
5:35 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

University Of Kansas Changes Core Curriculum

Provost Jeffrey Vitter
Monica Sandreczki

Starting this fall, basic curriculum requirements will change for undergraduates at the University of Kansas.  As of now, each school – whether it is the School of Health Professions or the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – sets its own requirements.  Some are pretty extensive and specific. Each student might have to take the same basic math, or western civilization class, for example.

Some question the relevance of classes that aren't connected to their major.

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KC Currents
4:36 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

IHOP In Grandview, Vintage Postcards, Symphonic Pictures

The show for January 27, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Neighborhoods
4:51 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Initiative Aims To Improve Neighborhoods Along Troost

Saundra Hayes is president of the Manheim Park Neighborhood Association. She stands in front of the Bancroft School, which is being converted into apartments.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

Two years ago, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce led a community-wide brainstorming session to generate five "big ideas" for improving our metropolitan area. One of those "big ideas" is to revitalize our urban neighborhoods. 

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KC Currents
10:57 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Urban Neighborhoods Initiative, Evan Connell

The Bancroft School in Manheim Park is being converted into affordable housing and a community meeting spot.
Credit Monica Sandreczki / KCUR

This audio is pending

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KC Currents
4:41 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Book Explores Life And Legacy Of Pioneering Political Leader Leon Jordan

Credit Courtesy of LaBudde Special Collections, UMKC.

Three years ago, Kansas City police re-opened one of the most vexing cold cases in local history. It was the 1970 murder of politician and civil rights leader Leon Jordan. The case was re-opened after an investigation by Kansas City Star reporters Mike McGraw and Glenn Rice.  McGraw told us what one of the original detectives told him about the 40-year-old case.

“'I can’t remember a case with less info, more blind alleys, more possible motives, and more possible suspects than the Leon Jordan murder,'” said McGraw, quoting detective Lloyd DeGraffenreid. 

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KC Currents
4:49 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Kancare, Leon Jordan Biography, Eddie Saunders Remembrance

Credit Courtesy of LaBudde Special Collections, UMKC.

The show for January 13,2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
12:44 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Marva Whitney Remembered, Heartland Virus, Benedictines of Mary

The show for January 6,2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Queen of Funk
10:56 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Marva Whitney Remembered In Kansas City

Used by permission of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections.

An extended story about Marva Whitney's life, including archival interviews and music, ending with a gospel song she recorded in 2006.

Iconic funk and soul singer Marva Whitney will be buried Saturday in Kansas City. She died two weeks ago at the age of 68, just six years after the passing of James Brown, who catapulted her to national stardom.

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KC Currents
1:15 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Custom Brass Instruments Made In Olathe, Petty Theft Not So Petty To Area Businesses

Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Made In Olathe: Custom Brass Instruments
Mike Corrigan calls himself the Horn Doctor. He knows the physics, chemistry and geometry behind making music, from the unique properties of brass, copper and silver to the angle of a bend on a horn bell.

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KC Currents
11:52 am
Mon December 24, 2012

8-Year-Old's Mission To Help South Sudan, Stephanie Mott On Transgender Issues & Her Journey

Rebecca Mabior, Atem Akuei, John Akuei
Alex Smith KCUR

12-23-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

8-Year-Old’s Mission To Help South Sudan
In 2001, when the Lost Boys of Sudan came to the United States, most of the young refugees brought painful memories of war as well as a deep desire to help their home country. Now, over a decade later, many of them have families and children of their own. A former Lost Boy living in Kansas City recently found out that his devotion to Sudan doesn’t end with him. John Akuei was as surprised as anyone when his son decided he wanted to collect school supplies for children in South Sudan.

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KC Currents
5:01 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Handmade Marbles Inspire Memories, Big Tuba Turnout At KC's Tuba Xmas

Handmade 'Moons And Stars' marble by artisan and owner of Moon Marble Company, Bruce Breslow.
Credit www.moonmarble.com

Local Handmade Marbles Inspire Memories From A Simpler Playtime
As the winter holidays approach, toys are on the minds of children and parents alike. So this week we take you to a unique place—The Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs Kansas, where toys and of course, marbles draw crowds from all over.

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KC Currents
5:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

KCMO City Hall Turns 75, What Triggers Murder-Suicides, Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission

The 29-story Beaux-Arts skyscraper was built in 1937 during the Pendergast era.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR
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KC Currents
3:58 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Local Artifacts From The Atomic Era, KC's Fado Novato Songs Of Heartache And Struggle

A photograph from the exhibit 'Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow' at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

12-02-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

Local Artifacts
From The Atomic Era
Once upon a time, youth in the 50s and 60s lived in fear. They practiced going to “fallout” shelters to escape the atomic bomb. Independence resident Michael Scheibach has studied this period of American history extensively. In addition to combing through school newspapers, Sheibach’s collection of photographs, posters and other artifacts from Kansas City high schools tells the story of an America trying its best to prepare for the possibility of annihilation.

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KC Currents
10:57 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Local Artist's Drawings Help Solve Crimes, Rural Post Office Reduce Hours In MO

Artist Lee Hammond's age progression sketches commissioned by America's Most Wanted of Alcatraz prisoners.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

11-25-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below

Local Artist's Drawings Help Solve Crimes
You’ve probably seen crime shows like CSI and America’s Most Wanted, where artists work with victims to create a drawing that helps identify a criminal. This job is performed by a forensic illustrator.  If you’ve seen one of these drawings on the news in Kansas City, then you’ve seen the work of artist and author Lee Hammond, who lives in Overland Park.

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KC Currents
3:57 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Kenyan Journalist Recalls Dangerous Career, Nerd Nite KC On Cryptozoology

Kenyan journalist Peter Makori came to the Kansas City Star in 2005 as part of a Friendly Press fellowship. He talked to Susan Wilson at KCUR studios about surviving as a journalist in Kenya.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

11-11-12 KC Currents Full Show

 Kenyan Journalist Recalls Dangerous Career
A free press tends to be something journalists take for granted as a part of American democracy. But around the world, journalism can have life-threatening occupational hazards. Before coming to the U.S., UMKC communication studies major Peter Makori faced down death as he worked as journalist for The Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper. After surviving ten years of intimidation, brutal beatings and imprisonment, a Friendly Press fellowship landed him at The Kansas City Star in 2005.

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KC Currents
11:35 am
Mon November 5, 2012

KC Currents' Election Special

Missouri considers cigarette sales tax increase.
Credit Elana Gordon

Kansas Voter ID Law Faces Biggest Test

Requiring voters to show a photo ID has been a controversial issue in recent years with many states considering the requirement. A photo ID law got vetoed last year in Missouri, but Kansas lawmakers passed a measure last year requiring a photo ID when voting.  That law got its first test in August.

Farmers Put Aside Differences, Push For Farm Bill

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KC Currents
11:08 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Altar Celebrates Life In Day Of The Dead Celebration, How A Bike Trip Grew To Help Orphans In KC

Glowing lanterns in Kirkwood Hall hang from the skylight trailing ribbons at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

 Audio FileKC Currents 10/28/12Edit | Remove

Altar Celebrates Life In Day Of The Dead Tradition
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday of remembrance and celebration for friends and family members who have died. Traditionally, families build private altars honoring the dead using skulls, flowers, and the favorite food and drink of the departed. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting its second annual Day of the Dead Celebration November 4th. Mexican Artist Betsabeé Romero and area artists have come together to create a special altar installation for the event. 

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