KC Currents

KCUR is no longer broadcasting the newsmagazine KC Currents, but you can listen to past episodes in  KC Currents audio archives.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

What Does The Kansas City Dialect Sound Like?

There is a general myth that Midwesterners, or even Kansas Citians specifically, speak without an accent. But that is not the case. Linguistic distinctions in Midland speech exist, and have been changing, perhaps without us even noticing, over the past 50 years.

TALK: Understanding Regional Accents

Courtesy of Mariachi Estrella

Food Hubs Try To Grow Local Farms

Restaurants across the country have jumped on the local food bandwagon. They’re trying to source more of their produce from nearby farms, but it's not easy. As a potential solution, “food hubs” are popping up across the country. These food processing and distribution centers make it easier for restaurants, grocery stores and others to buy local food.

A Look At The Food Hub Trend In Kansas City

Frank Morris / KCUR

KCUR's Top Stories Of 2013

KCUR’s afternoon newsman Steve Bell gives us a preview of his 2013 Year in Review, in which he goes over the most significant local stories of 2013: from the gas explosion on the Country Club Plaza to the unexpected prowess of KC’s sports teams.

National Attention Turns To Maryville

Courtesy of Phil Dixon

Hallmark Cookie Exchang Feeds Artistic Community

Since the mid-1960's, Hallmark employees, past and present, and their spouses, have gathered each year - not for an exchange of greeting cards, but of cookies. KCUR’s Julie Denesha stopped by this year’s cookie exchange to bring us this audio postcard.

As Greeting Card Sales Decline, What Is The Future Of Hallmark?

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Keeping Kids Safe And Engaged On School Buses

We discuss what it takes to be a school bus driver, how safe buses really are, and some innovative new programs to keep kids engaged while they're on the bus, and make the most of what’s usually down time.

Tell KCUR: Sporting KC Fans Get A Kick Out Of Connection To Team

Esther Honig / KCUR

KanCare Means Big Medicaid Cuts For Prairie Village Man

Finn Buller was born with a rare degenerative disease that has required a lot of complicated medical care including 24/7 in-home care. Now, as Kansas privatizes the state's Medicaid, Buller has found the services he depends on may be getting cut back.

Is KanCare Working?

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media / KCUR

Chasing The American Dream In Rural Kansas And Missouri

For many generations, meatpacking plants in Kansas City were a place where immigrants found a foothold in U.S. society. Now, these plants have moved to rural areas, and the children of immigrant and refugee workers face more challenges in getting an education and pursuing their dreams. Harvest Public Media asked young people in Noel, Mo. and Garden City, Kan. about their aspirations.

Shane Linden / P.S. Linden Photography

How Haunted Houses Helped Develop The West Bottoms

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, thousands of people flocked to the historic West Bottoms neighborhood to tour Kansas City’s haunted houses. And while these houses are known as some of the oldest and most terrifying attractions in the country, you might not know that they’ve also been major contributors to the development of the former stockyards district. But not everyone thinks they should be part of the future of the West Bottoms.

Esther Honig / KCUR

Bistate Conversation About Youth Mental Health

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama called for a national conversation on mental health. Kansas City was chosen as one of ten cities to host a dialog in a program called Creating Community Solutions. On Saturday,  September 21,  two mayors and some 360 participants spent the day discussing how to improve mental health in metro Kansas City, particularly among young people. Hear voices of young people at the event.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

How One Kansas City Public School Is Improving Scores And Making Change

Visit James Elementary School, in Kansas City's historic Northeast neighborhood, which has seen substantial improvement in student test scores. So much so that the school recently landed on Missouri’s list of most-improved low-income schools. 

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

21,000 Voter Registrations Stalled In Kansas

More than 20,000 people in Kansas have their voter registrations on hold, which means their vote won't count until the situation is resolved. About 80 percent of these stalled registrations happened at driver’s license offices and stem from a new law requiring people to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote. 

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Citizen Group Reviews KC Government Charter

Kansas City is known as a “weak mayor” town. That’s no slight on Mayor Sly James, it’s the way the city charter sets up our government, where the mayor is a glorified city council member, and the city manager really runs the town. Since June, citizens in the Charter Review Commission has been meeting to make recommendations to revise the charter. Two major issues are the role of the mayor and the composition of the city council.  

Julie Denesha / KCUR


Kansas City School District Celebrates Good Evaluation

On Friday morning at Paseo Academy, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green made a big announcement about the district's accreditation status.  It had leaped more than 40 points in the new state assessment system. KCUR’s Maria Carter was there and talked to us about what happened.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Union Station Issues Statement On Museum Agreement With City

It came as a shock to a lot of people when Kansas City Museum director Christopher Leitch was let go last month by the management of Union Station. The two institutions merged back in 2000, but have had a rocky relationship ever since.  And now it’s really unclear what the future will be for both institutions.  KCUR arts reporter Laura Spencer has been following the fall-out from the departure of the museum’s director.

Women In Soccer, Paseo YMCA, KC Creative Couples

Jul 31, 2013
Sangeeta Shastry / KCUR

President Obama Visits UCM, Lauds Missouri College Cost Cut Program

A western Missouri-based educational program was the lure to bring President Obama to speak in Warrensburg last week. The President said so, directly, in his address at the University of Central Missouri. Hear from some originators of what's known as the Missouri Innovation Campus.

Paddlefish Caviar, Frida & Diego, Rural Librarian

Jul 15, 2013
Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

KC Regional Health Assessment Finds Rising Rates of Obesity, Poverty

Since 2000, poverty in the metro area has increased by 75 percent. A quarter of the population is currently uninsured or on Medicaid.  And the number of elderly people in the area will double in the next three decades. Those are just a few of findings in a new regional health assessment produced by the Mid-America Regional Council.

Treece, Kan., Fast Pitch Softball, Grand Marquis

Jul 8, 2013
Zack Lewandowski / KCUR

Kansas City International Airport Weighs Proposed Changes

Kansas City International Airport is looking at a potentially major change: tearing down the current three terminals and moving to a single, new terminal on the site of the current terminal A. The one terminal idea came to a head in 2008 when the Master Plan called for a new, central terminal south of the current airport. That came just four years after the airport wrapped up nearly $260 million in renovations.

Abortion Lawsuit, Sprint Deal, Gordon Parks School

Jul 1, 2013
Payne Roberts / KCUR

Planned Parenthood Sues Kan. Over Free Speech Violation

This month, two different lawsuits were filed in Kansas over a new state abortion law. But the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed on June 20 isn’t about the freedom to perform abortions. It’s about freedom of speech. 

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

KC Shopping, Wiccans on Solstice, Bloodstone

Jun 25, 2013
Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

Courtesy of Opal Jaquess