Stories From Prison, Cakewalker Doc Brown
The show for May 20, 2012. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories:
In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That's 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors at Missouri state prisons with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children's books.
What will it take for Kansas City, Missouri to finally fix its streets and sewer system? Earlier this year, Mayor Sly James announced a bold plan for improving Kansas City's infrastructure that would involve spending $1 billion over the next 10 years. He's scaled back that plan a bit since then, and his most recent proposal goes before the council this week, and if approved, to voters. Get the details on how the new plan would affect the taxes of Kansas City residents.
Despite years of various programs to reduce violence in Kansas City, the first five months of 2012 have seen more violent crime than there has been in recent years. A new program focused on the social networks of violent criminals aims to change that. It’s called KC NoVA, short for the No Violence Alliance. UMKC criminal justice professor Dr. Ken Novak discusses the program.
Every month, the staff of the Kansas City Museum asks an expert in the community to talk about a piece from the museum's collection. It's called the Community Curator Program. This month's talk, coming up on Tuesday, is by Glenn North, the poet-in-residence at the American Jazz Museum. North will discuss a painting that made him a little uncomfortable: a depiction of KC's champion cakewalker "Doc Brown." Hear about the link between the dance called "cakewalking", ragtime and Missouri's slave history.
While much of the rural Midwest is hollowing out – some small regions are actually growing. That's largely due to immigration populations taking ag-related jobs that otherwise employers cannot fill. Melding cultures is never easy, but in communities like Sioux County, Iowa, members of the Latino community are slowly changing the landscape of the rural Midwest.
For the past quarter century, one person has been a constant at KCUR, General Manager Patty Cahill. That’s going to change later this summer when she retires. Her replacement will be Nico Leone. He’s served for the past 5 years as co-executive director of KDHX, a community radio station in St. Louis. In that role, he’s been the public face of the station, which is primarily a music station, focusing on fundraising, marketing, programming, and community outreach.