Central Standard

Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.

Central Standard is a daily radio show that explores what really matters to the people in the Kansas City area. We tell the stories of our region from the bottom up and through the perspective of individuals. We are an inclusive forum that explores art, ideas and how the news affects lives and communities.

Coming up the week of October 17:

  • Monday: Long Shot Candidates
  • Tuesday: Hickman Mills District, Past And Future / Remembering Bob Smith
  • Wednesday: Wilderness And Technology
  • Thursday: Ex-Reporters And Opinion Pages / Question Quest: Black Angel Of Iowa City
  • Friday: Portrait Session: Jyoti Mukharji
Paul Andrews / http://paulandrewsphotography.com/

For the past six years, Jyoti Mukharji has opened her home kitchen to teach Kansas Citians about Indian cooking.

But to her fans, her classes are more than just about learning how to cook; she shares health tips and personal stories ... such as how she defied expectations on arranged marriage and on going to med school.


  • Jyoti Mukharji, local culinary instructor

It's not a new story: newspapers are in flux. Recently, Yael Abouhalkah, a longtime Kansas City Star journalist, was laid off; he was one of only two editorial writers at the paper.

What is the significance of the newspaper editorial — especially in a time when nearly everyone can broadcast their opinion online? And how are layoffs affecting newsrooms nationwide?

Plus, Question Quest sifts through the legend and superstition to find the true story behind the Black Angel in Iowa City, Iowa.

Is nature a place to unplug ... or is it a photo op for social media? (#nature #gettingoutthere)? The relationship between technology and the wilderness.

Plus, a look back at how Leon Jordan and others consolidated black political power in Kansas City.


Courtesy of Hollis Officer

Do you remember the man who took your tickets at the Tivoli for 17 years? With a recent photo display and theater dedication at the Tivoli, we reflect on the late Bob Smith, an international male model in his prime, who spent the end of his life in Kansas City.

But first, a check-in with the superintendent and a teacher in the Hickman Mills School District, as a part of KCUR's ongoing coverage of the district.


It happens every year — in fact, maybe more often than not: people run for office with almost no shot at winning. With the 2016 Election fast approaching, we reign in a few local candidates running with "no chance in hell." Why are they still in the race? 



There’s a pizza for everyone, from the picky toddler to the late-night reveler and the sophisticated gourmand.

From wood-fired to deep-dish, you can go traditional or dress it up with fancy toppings like fig jam. Get enough for a crowd or order individual pies that are made from scratch and baked in front of you.

On Central Standard’s annual pizza show, our Food Critics searched out the best pizza in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

A local chef recommends the best fall harvest toppings, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best pizza of 2016 in and around KC. Plus, is there anything that makes KC pizza unique?


Why We Love Our Gas Stations In Kansas City

Oct 13, 2016
Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Gas stations are normally supposed to blend into a city. They don’t appear in skylines, they rarely make headlines, and they typically aren’t the landmarks of any city. Usually, going to a gas station is chore, something you do quickly and without thinking too hard.

But in Kansas City, many have strong emotional attachments to their local gas stations and convenience stores.

When Donald Trump explained his remarks on grabbing women as "locker room talk," some women responded by sharing their own stories of survival. Has the conversation on sexual assault and the casual objectification of women reached a tipping point?

Plus, Question Quest finds out what's in the center of the United States.


Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

This story first appeared on KCUR's Question Quest. You can find the episode here or wherever you download podcasts.

Is the gas station central to the Midwestern experience? A look at the proposal that called for removing a street to expand a fuel stop in Westport, plus two bloggers who love QuikTrip so much that they've reviewed the food there.


What is it like to go viral? We check in with a few Kansas Citians whose projects lead them to reach "trending" status in the Interweb. 

Plus, East and West 18th Streets in downtown Kansas City can feel worlds apart ... even though they're not. How local groups are working to bridge that gap.


Kansas Citians love their Chiefs. But the game of football has been harshly criticized, for the slew of injuries and the enduring mentality that causes them. We hear from a few people working to change the game, including one UMKC professor who has designed a new football helmet.

Also, ahead of an event at the Black Archives of Mid-America, a local historical tour guide shares stories of the late Felix Payne, an influential man who transformed the political identity of black Kansas Citians in the early 20th-century.

The 2006 film Idiocracy has become shorthand for the dumbing down of American culture. What are we really saying when we reference the movie?


U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

If you are one of the many in Kansas City who has found themselves scratching at large, stubborn bug bites this autumn, you may think that you have encountered a spider or an enormous mosquito. But it’s likely that you have been bitten by the oak mite. 

Dr. Pavika Saripalli​, a physician at the University of Kansas Watkins Health Services, told Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann that the region is experiencing an “oak mite bloom right now.”

An interview with the political correspondent at NPR. How did her conservative Christian background and growing up in KC help her connect with people on the campaign trail?

Plus, Question Quest looks into a mysterious octagon in Belton.


In the U.S., tensions between communities and police seem to be at an all-time high. As we witness trust deteriorating and fear escalating on a national level, what is being done locally — or not being done — to make that relationship between police officers and communities work?


We're used to mosquito bites here in the Midwest, but if you've found yourself intensely scratching a single, long-lasting bite for weeks, you've probably been bitten by the oak mite. The science behind these pesky critters that have made Kansas City their home, plus, another peek into nature with a writer who sowed his ideas in his gardens.


When you imagine a library, you probably envision a calm space designed for quiet reflection, study and debate. Well, two incidents at Metro area libraries, in which two libraries found themselves at odds with police over freedom of expression, may have you thinking otherwise. What role do libraries play in social change and intellectual freedom?


Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Fall is upon us. And fall marks the arrival of the heralded, beloved pumpkin spice latte.


The pumpkin spice latte was born in 2003, when it made its first public debut in a Starbucks in D.C. It sure has grown up a lot since then. The Real PSL now has it’s own Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, where you can actually chat with it. 

Michael Allen Smith / Flickr --CC

It's officially fall on the calendar, and our mornings and nights are starting to cool down. Time to get out the sweaters and blankets and indulge in a hot drink.

From that morning cup of joe to more boozy concoctions, KCUR's Food Critics search out the best hot beverages in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Jenny Vergara, Feast Magazine:

A quest to find the pumpkin in pumpkin spice lattes, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best hot beverages in and around KC.


Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

He’s an internationally-known food writer and photographer, an attorney and a former Congressional aide to Sam Brownback.

She’s the communications director at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, and her career has also included time as a competitive figure skater and as a local TV news anchor.

And they also happen to be siblings.

Alissa Walker / Flickr - CC

Before LaCroix Sparking Water became a trendy drink, it was a favorite of Midwestern moms.

That’s according to Vox.com reporter Libby Nelson, author of "Why LaCroix Sparkling Water Is Suddenly Everywhere."

In her article, she traces how the bubbly drink  — which she remembers from her Kansas City childhood as “the pastel cases of tasteless soda that my Girl Scout leader packed into her minivan” — went from a Midwestern staple to a status symbol.

Are conversations about race actually changing things? Many people of color say that talking with white people about race and racism isn't getting anywhere.


Nels Olsen / Flickr -- CC

For decades, the trend in playground design in the United States has gone towards making them safer and more accessible. But a new trend is all about risk, exploration and building. From the old-school giant metal slides to fully-enclosed spaces, we take a look at playground design and how it shapes us.


Courtesy of Netflix

A Netflix documentary that debuted on Sept. 25 has reopened attention to a 2013 alleged rape case in Maryville that left one young woman's life changed and a community divided.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR 89.3

Students in the Hickman Mills School District face a lot of challenges, including poverty and a provisionally accredited district, as well as a high rate of mobility: 75 percent of students typically change classrooms, schools or districts within the course of one year.

Jessica Spengler / Flickr

The food of Kansas City has a life story to tell. Author Andrea Broomfield tells it. The origins of Kansas City chili, tamales and tailgating, an affinity for dining al fresco and cinnamon rolls, and what local beer has to do with our sports teams and stadiums. Every food tradition can be explained through the lens of history.


Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

They're a Northland brother and sister who have traveled the world — he as a food writer and photographer, she in a career that's included time as an Olympic figure skater and a local TV news anchor. We chat with Bonjwing and Bonyen Lee in a family Portrait Session show.