The show for May 6, 2012. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories:
Foreclosures were down by about 25% in both Missouri and Kansas during the first quarter of 2012. But it’s still common for banks to take more than a year to even begin the foreclosure process. This leaves a lot of owners and tenants in a limbo without legal guidelines. Hear the story of a schoolteacher who’s using this state of limbo to create a haven for artists.
A Republican member of the Missouri House came out this week during a press conference on a bill that would limit public schools from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom. Kirksville Representative Zachary Wyatt of Kirksville told reporters he has deep regrets for not taking stands earlier against school bullying, and called for lawmakers to shelve the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin caught up with Rep. Wyatt just after the announcement.
Sitting on the Old Santa Fe Trail, Shawnee Mission was originally a mission for Native Americans. The story of these missions is a tale of clashing cultural perspectives. One side sees brave, compassionate missionaries who sacrificed to provide native people with a better life through Christianity. But in the eyes of many indigenous people, forcibly removing Native Americans from their land and resettling them in the Kansas colonies was a cultural genocide. Hear more from Tai Edwards, a professor at Johnson County Community College.
Speaking of the legislature, Missouri is the only state where someone could donate a million dollars to a political campaign, cover it up, and not have broken the law. It's one of only four states that have no limits on campaign contributions. There is no legal limit to the value of a gift that a lobbyist can give an elected official. Controlling the influence of money in Missouri politics has always been an elusive goal. The state's ratings for transparency in elections and government slipped a little in February. And as KCUR's Steve Bell reports, before that there was a lot of room for improvement.
Kansas City poet Xanath Caraza recites and talks about some of the poems in her bilingual chapbook, Corazon Pintado. It's a book of "ekphrastic poems" – or poems that respond to other works of art.