Community

Kansas City Star
1:58 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Scam Targets 'The Kansas City Star' And Dozens Of Other Publications

A new mail-based subscription scam is targeting The Kansas City Star among dozens of other newspapers around the country.
Credit Judith E. Bell / Flickr-CC

The Kansas City Star has been targeted by a nationwide billing scam, according to Star editors.

The paper has been publishing a warning box in its print edition cautioning readers to disregard any renewal notices asking for money to be sent to Oregon or Nevada.

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Tell KCUR
1:52 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Kansas Citians Recap 2014 In Haiku

If inspiration strikes, you can still send us your 2014 haikus. Tweet them with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

We asked for haikus/ to sum up 2014/ Thanks, Kansas City.

That is our thank you poem to everyone who obliged us and answered this week’s Tell KCUR question: What are your most important memories of 2014 in haiku?

The three-line, five-seven-five-syllable formula proved most effective in conveying 2014, with muses ranging from sports, to engagements, to family and public tragedies — plus one of KCUR's transmission hiccups.

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Central Standard
12:30 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Biggest Kansas City Stories Of 2014, According To Hyperlocal Newspaper Editors

A memorial service just days after the shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom convened hundreds of mourners in the very place where one of the incidents took place.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

When national news editors review the top stories of 2014, Ebola, Isis and the World Cup might top the list.

But when we talk to editors of some hyper-local Kansas City papers, very different stories emerge.

Joe Jarosz, managing editor, Northeast News:

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Community
12:21 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Story Behind the Kansas City Fairy Princess Tradition

Kansas City resident Denise Hughey is pictured here in 1961 visiting the Fairy Princess at Kline's Department Store.
Kansas City Museum KCUR

For millions of children in the United States, the holidays mean a visit to Santa Claus. The ritual is alive and well in the Kansas City area, but many families have another holiday icon, one specific to the region: The Fairy Princess.

The Fairy Princess is as much a part of the Kansas City holiday tradition as the Plaza lights, and has endured for more than eighty years.

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Community
10:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Kansas City's Suburbs Are Growing, And Other Facts About How Our Region Moves

The Kansas-Missouri state line divides the Kansas City metro geographically and splits the near 2 million residents in half.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

About 2 million people live in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The region is almost equally divided by the Kansas-Missouri state line geographically (land that is considered the metro) and by population. But that line doesn’t keep us from moving around a bit.

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Community
7:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Complex Phenomenon Of Being A Kansan Or Missourian In Kansas City

This Kansas City, Mo., symbol is often found throughout the metro on shirts and hats. This is part of a window display at the Bunker, a retail store in Westport.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

The Kansas City metropolitan area is almost equally divided geographically and population-wise between two states —Missouri and Kansas.

But how does this state-divide define us as individuals within the community?

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What is that?
4:26 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

The Fate And Future Of Wyandotte County's Sauer Castle

Sauer Castle sits on top of a hill in the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
Christina Lieffring KCUR

You’re driving uphill along winding roads in Wyandotte County, Kan.

You turn the corner and see a high chain-link fence surrounding a foreboding house out of a ghost story: it’s a three-story, red-brick, Victorian home with a high tower at the top and carved lions framing the doorway. That's Sauer Castle.

As a child, Patricia Schurkamp of the Wyandotte County Museum would regularly go up the hill to see the house. As an adult, she finally got to see the inside.

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Crime
10:11 am
Tue December 16, 2014

FBI Investigating Dionte Greene Murder For Possible Civil Rights Violation

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

The FBI is investigating the murder of a 22-year-old black man who may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Dionte Greene, who identified as gay, was found shot to death in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning.

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Tell KCUR
4:54 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tell Us About Your Most Important 2014 Memories In Haiku

We want your haikus, describing your most important memories of 2014. Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Courtesy photo / KCUR

The past year was an eventful one in the Kansas City area, marked by big moments in sports, politics and high-profile tragedies.

We want to know what memories you think of when you ponder 2014.

But this week's Tell KCUR question isn't that simple. We want you to use a little poetry, too.

Tell KCUR:  What are your most important memories of 2014 in haiku?

To put it another way, "KC, what’s your fave/ 2014 memory/Haikus only please."

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Body Cameras
7:33 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Police Chief Forté Says Body Cameras Highly Likely For Kansas City Police

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté said that Kansas City officers will most likely end up using body cameras at some point in the near future.
Credit KMBC

At a Kansas City Police Department community listening session Saturday, Chief Darryl Forté said it’s “highly likely” that officers will wear body cameras soon.

Forté has called together a community work group to gather information on what camera services are best for the department, but said he doesn’t have a specific schedule at this time.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:45 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Executive Action On Immigration Gives Kansas City Hispanic Communities Hope

El Torito II is located on Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. It started as a Hispanic supermarket, added a taco stand and now is one of the neighborhood's most popular restaurants, complete with an ice cream shop. It's one example of Central Avenue's growth in the past 20 years, when a wave of Latino immigrants came to the area.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

In November, President Obama announced sweeping changes to immigration policy via executive action.

The action, which protects about 4.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States from deportation, has been met with controversy nationwide.

But Hispanic communities in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., say the measure is a step in the right direction.

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Tell KCUR
3:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

What Podcasts Kansas Citians Are Downloading

What podcasts are you listening to? Why? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Mingo Hagen / Flickr--CC

As podcasts pick up in popularity across the country, we wanted to see what Kansas Citians were choosing for their earbuds.

This week, we asked: What podcasts are you listening to? Why?

The question came as we prepared for our event, “Serial: The Listening Party,” set for Thursday night in Westport.  

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Community
9:33 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Kansas City's Owls Get All The Help They Need At Lakeside Nature Center

Kimberly Hess, Director at Lakeside Nature Center with Hooty the owl. Hooty is a 19 year old barred owl who came to the center after his nest was destroyed. He was malnourished, and developed cataracts. He cannot survive in the wild.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas City, Mo., is a place where people can get an up-close look at wild animals and plants that surround the area. It’s also one of the largest animal rehabilitation centers in Missouri.

Wild animals are brought in when they lose their habitat, are injured or abandoned. Humans are animal’s biggest threat, but the center is a place where humans are trying to help them out.

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Community
3:41 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas City Response To Ferguson Calm But Tensions Simmer

Students and civil rights leaders marching the day after the Ferguson decision was released.
Credit Laura Ziegler / K

Kansas City, like many cities across the world, saw a public outcry to what many felt was an injustice in the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

As anticipated, the decision set off immediate violence in the St. Louis suburb. The ruling reverberated with demonstrations and protests from New York to San Diego, and as far away as Sydney, Australia.

Here in Kansas City, the response was quick and vocal, but mostly peaceful.

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Community
3:03 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Body-Mounted Cameras Have Been A Useful Tool For Lenexa Police Despite Complications

Officer Dawn Layman is a Major with the Lenexa Police Department.
Credit Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In the wake of the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama earlier this month called for $75 million to provide 50,000 body-mounted cameras to police departments across the nation. 

Several Missouri police departments have recently started using the devices, and more will likely follow if the federal funds move forward.

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Community
1:53 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Concern Over Firefighter Suicides Prompts KCFD To Seek Resources, Help

Firefighter Kimble Cowan sits with station dog Lucky as they head to refuel their fire truck.
Esther Honig KCUR

Sirens flash and wail as the 17-ton fire engine barrels down Independence Avenue in Kansas City's Historic Northeast. The four firefighters on board gear up in their flame retardant boots and jackets as they rush to the scene of a call.

“After 25 years I’ve seen just about everything you can image,” says firefighter Dan Utt, shouting over the blaring sirens. “Probably more than I’d like to recall to be honest.”

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90.9 The Bridge
1:47 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas City Music Guy Chris Haghirian To Host All Local Radio Show

90.9FM The Bridge's new music show "Eight One Sixty" is set to launch this January and focus on all things local in Kansas City's music scene.
Credit 90.9FM The Bridge

Kansas City community radio station The Bridge is launching a new hour-long music program this January hosted by local music aficionado Chris Haghirian.

"Eight One Sixty" will debut on Jan. 6 and air weekly on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. The show will play all local music and feature interviews, news and live performances from Kansas City-based artists. 

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Community
7:42 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Nixon Promotes Tolls Along Interstate 70 To Pay For Improvements

A section of Interstate 70 in mid-Missouri

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:15 pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is calling for state highway officials to examine the possibility of imposing tolls on parts of Interstate 70 – and to report back to him before the end of this month.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the governor told the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that he wanted them to report by Dec. 31 on “analyzing and providing options for utilizing tolls to improve and expand I-70 and to free up resources for road and bridge projects throughout the state.”

Nixon noted that the newest parts of I-70 in Missouri “are 50 years old.”

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Community
4:24 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

University of Kansas Announces $58 Million Gift From Estate Of Al And Lila Self

The University of Kansas has received its largest private donation ever. The $58 million gift from the estate of Madison "Al" and Lila Self was announced by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little at an event on Tuesday.

"This gift, in combination with what they've given before, totals $106 million," Gray-Little said.

Al and Lila Self died last year, both at the age of 91.  They were both KU alums, having met as students at the university. Al Self graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1943; they were married that summer.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:32 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

For Neighbors, Construction On Kansas City Church Is Good News

Ivanhoe resident Mrs. Martha Tolbert welcomes construction at the Linwood Presbyterian Church and community center.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Martha Tolbert has lived directly across from the Linwood Presbyterian Church and adjacent Harold Thomas Center for more than 50 years.

The massive complex at Linwood Boulevard and U.S. Highway 71 has been an architectural icon in the Ivanhoe neighborhood since its construction around the turn of the century.  

But for decades, the buildings have been vacant, the majestic bell tower crumbling and the brick walls  increasingly dilapidated.

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Community
7:50 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Hundreds Attend Memorial Service For Slain Kansas City Teen

Hundreds of members of the Islamic Somali community and other faith organizations came to honor the memory of Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

Several hundred people packed into the Somali Center of Kansas City Sunday to honor the memory of the teenager who was killed in a hit and run last week.

More than a dozen faith-based organizations and some civic leaders attended the memorial service for Abdisamad "Adam" Sheikh-Hussein to show their solidarity with his family and the Somali community.

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Community
10:07 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In Kansas City's Racially Divided LGBT Community, Few Mourn Black Murder Victim

Dionte Greene, 22, was murdered in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 31. His family and friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.
Credit courtesy of Coshelle Greene

Dionte Greene's friends remember a sweet kid, a devoted son, a loving father – memories they're struggling to rectify with the 22-year-old's shooting death on Oct. 31.

Greene was found in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning. His killer hasn't been identified. And his friends believe he was targeted because he was gay.

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Arts & Culture
8:24 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Intimates Store For Transgender People To Open In Kansas City's Crossroads District

Danielle Meister and Peregrine Honig announce their next business venture.
Credit Paul Andrews

Peregrine Honig and Danielle Meister, the co-owners of Birdie's Panties in Kansas City, Mo., plan to open a second store catering specifically to transgender shoppers in 2015.

The store, to be called All Is Fair, will open in the Bauer Building on West 18th Street in the Crossroads Arts District.

Honig announced the plans on KCUR's Central Standard during a conversation about her work and her art.

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Crime
6:14 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

FBI Investigating Death Of Kansas City Teenager As Possible Hate Crime

Muslim community members gather for prayer at the Somali Center in Kansas City Friday.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The FBI is investigating the death of a 15-year-old Muslim boy who was run down with a SUV outside the Somali center in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday night.

He later died of his injuries.

The center doubles as a mosque where the teen’s father is a teacher.

The FBI is looking into the death as a possible hate crime, but the suspect was well known to the those Kansas City’s Somali community. Ahmed H. Aden, 34, of Kansas City was charged with the crime Friday. Prosecutors are requesting a $250,000 bail.

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Women's Rights
3:00 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

New Study Shows Deep Gender Inequalities In Missouri

This map from the National Women's Law Center showed that Missouri women make around 77 cents per dollar that a man does. A new study is showing that they actually make around 71 cents per dollar.
Credit National Women's Law Center

A new study on gender inequality in Missouri has identified five major areas where women are treated unfairly: income, child care, health insurance, poverty and elected offices.

That’s where women face a significant disparity compared to men, according to the Women’s Foundation and the University of Missouri. At a preview conference on Friday in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the groups shared key findings.

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Central Standard
2:18 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Attorneys In Missouri Debate Role Of Grand Jury

A grand jury's recent decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has thrown a spotlight on the legal institution of the grand jury:

What’s the prosecutor’s role in grand jury proceedings? Who brings the charges? What are the standards of proof?

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Community
10:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Muslim Groups Call For Hate Crimes Investigation In Somali Center Death

Muslim groups are calling for federal and investigations into what police says is the intentional hit and run death of a Kansas City teen outside the Somali Center at Admiral and Paseo.

Police say a man in an SUV intentionally struck the teen while he was getting into a car, nearly severing his legs.  The teen died at the hospital.

Police say a 30-year-old suspect was arrested after he tried to flee on foot.

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Community
3:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Gas Station Attendants, Retail Workers Join Kansas City Fast-Food Strike

Fast-food workers march along Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday to call for a $15 minimum wage.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

About 150 Kansas City workers walked off the job Thursday to demand higher wages and better benefits.

Fast-food workers across the country have been calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage for two years. 

"Each strike we get bigger," says Dana Wittman, a 38-year-old Subway worker. "This strike includes retail workers, gas stations – we're expanding, and these companies are noticing it."

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Community
1:01 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Wristwatch Store In Parkville Shows Even Older 'Wearables' Are Still In Style

Jim Summers has been a watchmaker for 55 years. He has such a large collection of watches that he doesn't even know how many he owns. He shows off the watch he's wearing today, a 1970s Seiko Skindivers watch.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

One of the latest trends in fashion and technology is based on a very old technology.

Even as cellphone manufacturers and other tech companies are trying to pack every possible gadget into a "wearable" device, some people, young and old, are opting to wear old-fashioned wristwatches.

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Community
8:27 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Despite State Law, Police Departments In Missouri Still Struggle With Bias In Policing

Rich Anderson (left) with one of his Speed Factory Athletics runners at a 2013 competition

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:23 pm

Since 2000, police departments in the state of Missouri have been required by law to report information about their traffic stops – including the race of the person pulled over. 

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