Community

Community
3:52 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Federal Judge Says Kansas Must Allow Same-Sex Marriages, Puts Order On Hold

Donna DiTrani (left) and Kerry Wilks, a Sedgwick County couple who were denied a marriage license, are plaintiffs in a federal case.
Credit CJ Janovy / KCUR

A federal judge today struck down Kansas’ law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, ruling they violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and handing a major victory to same-sex marriage proponents.

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Beyond Our Borders
2:25 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

How The Hispanic Vote Is Playing Out On Both Sides Of The State Line In Kansas City

It was standing room only at a 'Get out the Vote' rally last week hosted by Kansas People's Action, an advocacy group for black and Hispanic voters in Wichita, Kan.
Credit kpapower / Flickr

The 87-year-old president of La Raza political club in Kansas City, Mo., has been working the same poll in her neighborhood near the Kansas-Missouri state line every Election Day for more than 50 years.

Rafaela "Lali" García has devoted most of her life trying to get Kansas City's Hispanic community in Missouri more involved in local government. She says she proudly has registered hundreds of voters in the Show-Me State in the past few years. 

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Central Standard
1:10 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

On Halloween, A Lawrence Writer Reminds Us That Ghosts Have Feelings Too

According to writer Mick Cottin, ghosts have feelings too.
Credit Pedro Moura Pinheiro / Flickr--CC

Dressing up as a ghost tonight? Or communing with one? Ghost Feelings, by Lawrence writer Mick Cottin, shares insight into that whole haunting thing — from a ghost's perspective. It might help you get in character.

The story is one of three ghost stories that aired on Central Standard, during an exploration of scary stories and why we tell them. It is pretty short (5 minutes), and not too scary — in fact you may even laugh.

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Ferguson
7:55 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Ferguson Officials Deny Any Plans To Change Police Operations

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:40 pm

Thursday turned into a day of denials, as Ferguson officials denied national reports that the police chief is out, and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch denied that the grand jury had leaked details about its probe into the Ferguson police shooting.

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Environment
8:32 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Missouri Environmental Group Sues Over Long-Term Risks Of Nuclear Waste

Ameren's Callaway Nuclear Reactor is the only commercial nuclear power plant in Missouri.

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:46 pm

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is one of several groups filing suit against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to try to get the agency to address the long-term storage of nuclear waste.

That suit follows similar cases filed by the states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.

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History
12:58 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Story Behind The Historic American Indian Cemetery In Downtown KCK

The sign leading up to the driveway of the Huron Indian Cemetery, formally known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Right in the center of downtown Kansas City, Kan., between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, is a little two-acre cemetery.

The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. Over the years this place has been a gathering spot and a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation, but it has also been the site of controversy, confusion and a curse.

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KCI
10:50 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Kansas City International In Running For 'America's Worst Airport'

The new one terminal KCI plan, which was recommended by a city hall appointed task force, will likely take at least another year before it appears on the ballot.
Credit Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

You may not be shocked to hear that Kansas City International Airport is in the running for "worst airport in America."

A poll being conducted by design and technology blog Gizmodo lists eight airports in contention for the title. The list of candidates was gleaned from nominations they solicited from more than 600 disgruntled travelers.

Currently, New York's LaGuardia Airport leads the poll with more than 24 percent of the 5,775 total votes. KCI has 6.4 percent.

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Beyond Our Borders
12:27 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Timeline: Events That Shaped Kansas City's Hispanic Commmunities In Missouri, Kansas

Railroad companies in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., brought many Mexican workers to the Kansas City area in search of labor. This view of the rail yards in Kansas City, Mo., as seen from the site of Union Station, is from 1910, which was a period of great Hispanic migration to the Kansas City area.
Credit Missouri Valley Collections / Kansas City Public Library

In our investigation of the Missouri-Kansas state line, we found that many of the Hispanic communities on both sides in the Kansas City area have a long history, dating back to the mid-1800s.

These communities have undergone huge changes — economic, geographic and demographic — throughout the past century that have shaped who the communities are today.

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Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

State Line Hispanic Communities Have Deep Roots In Kansas City History

This is an aerial view of the Armourdale neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan. Armourdale's proximity to the railroads made it one of the first Hispanic communities to form in the Kansas City area in the late 1800s.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

Students from the Armourdale community of Kansas City, Kan., refer to their neighborhood as the barrio.

Today the neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic, but it wasn’t always this way. Armourdale, which was one of the first Hispanic communities to form in Kansas City, Kan., in 1886, went through an era when Hispanics were a minority. 

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Central Standard
5:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Some Like It Hot: Kansas City's Coffee Connoisseurs

A barista at Oddly Correct uses the pour-over method to brew three different coffees. This is standard operating procedure at the storefront tasting room.
Credit Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Knowing the story behind your digestibles is a popular trend in the food world, and coffee is no exception.

The roasters, shop owners and baristas who subscribe to the idea that coffee is a delicacy to be handled with precision, ritual and care are participating in a wave of coffee culture known as the "third wave."

The first wave in coffee is the vacuum-sealed tin-can variety from a large factory, for anyone to brew in any old coffee machine. The second wave is characterized by Starbucks, which many credit with introducing the idea of coffee as a specialty item.

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Hotel Savoy
2:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Fire Heavily Damages Historic Hotel Savoy In Downtown Kansas City

The Hotel Savoy as it stood in 1950, already 62 years old by then.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collection / Kansas City Public Library

A fire at the historic Hotel Savoy in downtown Kansas City, Mo., late Thursday damaged several floors of the building, which used to be known as a frequent stop for several U.S. presidents.

Firefighters told KSHB 41 Action News that the fire started due to "inattentive cooking" in the Savoy Grill. There were no customers in the restaurant at the time. Residents of the apartments above evacuated without injury. 

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Food Critics
12:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Coffee Shops In Kansas City

For many, a morning cup of coffee is just the boost needed to start the day.
Credit madame.furie / Flickr-CC

For some, coffee is simply a quick way to perk up and start the work day. But for others, a lovingly roasted coffee with steamed milk and all the accoutrements is the source of near-religious worship. 

On this week's Food Critics, Charles Ferruzza, Emily Farris, Jenny Vergera and some callers helped narrow down which coffee houses and shops have the best cup of Joe in the Kansas City metro.

Here are their picks: 

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community
11:36 am
Wed October 22, 2014

For Ukrainians In Kansas City, Conflict Hits Close To Home

Alexey Ladokhin wearing a Ukrainian embroidered shirt with his daughter, Anna.
Credit Alexey Ladokhin

Kansas City’s Ukrainian community is small but active, regularly hosting events and get-togethers. Many came during the fallout of the Soviet Union and still have direct ties to their homeland. So for them, this tumultuous year of protest, violence, annexation and war has taken its toll.

Here is a look into the lives of three Kansas City-area Ukrainians and how they manage being so far away from a country and family close to their hearts.

Alexey Ladokhin

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Beyond Our Borders
4:03 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

State Line Living From Volker’s View In Kansas City, Missouri

Jim Peters, board member of the Volker Neighborhood Association
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Living near State Line Road in the Volker neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., means getting used to worn-out sneakers, lots of local cuisine and “old hippies.”

That’s according to Volker fans who attended a recent community forum that KCUR hosted to get a glimpse at state line living from real Kansas Citians — part of our Beyond Our Borders project taking a look at state line through the end of the year.

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Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Why Missouri Doesn't Offer Angel Tax Credits To Startup Investors

KCUR's Beyond Our Borders project will examine the Missouri-Kansas state line in the Kansas City metropolitan area through the end of 2014.
Credit Courtesy photo / KCUR

Thinking about launching your own technology startup in the Kansas City metro?  

Greg Kratofil, a technology attorney with Polsinelli law firm, has some advice.

"Incorporate in Kansas," Kratofil says. "Almost every company that we work with is thinking about accessing capital, some kind of round of financing to help them grow their business. You want to be in a place where you have tools that help your raise that money."

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Community
8:20 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Campus Sexual Violence A Problem Nationwide And In Our Own Backyard

An increasing number of universities are bringing in consultants to teach students what sexual violence is.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.,  Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo., Kansas State University, and Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., are all on a list of over 70 colleges and universities under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for violations of sex discrimination.

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Community
2:17 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Kansas City Middle Easterners Come Together To Seek Out News From Home

Fariz Turkmani streams videos from Arab news sites for information from his home in Syria.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

For the last few weeks the American public has been inundated with news about Ebola, leaving other news — like the ongoing crisis in Syria and the Middle East — in the background. But for many Middle Easterners in Kansas City, news from home remains important, and they often struggle to find information.

As a result, many Kansas Citians who have family afar have turned to each other for support, crossing  religious and political boundaries that may have divided them at home.

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Central Standard
7:54 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Kansas City’s West Africans Fight Ebola In Their Home Countries And Stigma Here

Liberians worship at the Konobo language service at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Kansas City's historic northeast neighborhood.
Sylvia Maria Gross KCUR

Djenabou Balde has been calling her daughter in Guinea every day to plead with her not to leave the house.

“I always say, ‘Keep the kids in the house. Make sure they are clean. Do not go to any function.’” Balde says. “She can hear me maybe today and tomorrow, forget, so I keep on calling every day.”

Balde moved to Kansas City 10 years ago from Guinea, where the recent Ebola outbreak began. Members of her family are either in quarantine, or just staying home to be safe.

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Tell KCUR
3:49 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

How Kansas City Opinions Have Changed On Same-Sex Marriage

Margo Lauer, right, went with her partner, Sheila Hafner, and their son, Thomas Miller, to apply for a marriage license in Johnson County on Oct. 9. The Merriam couple held a commitment ceremony 11 years ago.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

As public opinion changes and support for same-sex marriage increases across the United States, we reached out to Kansas Citians to see whether their views had taken a turn.

Our curiosity comes as the state of Kansas is making moves toward and away from making gay unions legal in the Sunflower State.  

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Central Standard
1:37 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

The Story Behind The 'Royal' Newspaper Every Kansas Citian Will Save

Charles Gooch waits for the game to end and photos to start coming in before he can start designing page one of the Kansas City Star.

Kansas City Star designer Charles Gooch sits in the center of the newsroom, surrounded by televisions. He knows that this is going to be one of the front pages that people save for posterity.

“A lot of my friends on Twitter tell me no pressure, that they want to see the definitive A1 that they can put in their files and hang up on their walls,” Gooch says.

It’s the bottom of the 8th, Royals are winning 2-1, and Gooch is staring at a blank page with just the masthead. He’s getting the rest of the paper designed, so he’s ready as soon as the game ends.

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Beyond Our Borders
8:28 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Legally, What Can Happen When You Commit A Crime And Cross State Line?

Credit Creative Commons

As we explore the state line in our ongoing project looking at borders that unite and divide the metro, we’ve heard a number of times about the question of law enforcement.

How does the state line affect it?

Well, it depends.

In all cases, law enforcement departments say they collaborate closely across jurisdictions. When a crime occurs on or near the state line, dispatch officers from the city where the crime occurred immediately get in touch with dispatch across state line.

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Environment
8:22 am
Wed October 15, 2014

All The Coal Freight Running Through Kansas City May Leave Residents At Risk

The view from Union Station's pedestrian bridge as two trains pass by.
Danny Wood for KCUR

Rail hobbyist, Jeff Van Leuvan is on the pedestrian bridge at Kansas City’s Union Station watching the trains.

“This is a Union Pacific train. It is a coal train and it is probably going toward the St. Louis area,” he comments as another train passes by. Van Leuvan says you can watch up to 120 freight trains pass by this bridge daily.

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Community
8:17 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Colleague Remembers Kansas City Community Activist As Mentor And Friend

Longtime Westside activist Lynda Callon died Sunday after a short illness.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Lynda Callon, longtime director of the Community Action Center in Kansas City's Westside died Sunday after a very short illness.

Callon was a fierce advocate for Latino day workers and others in the community. She pushed to create a haven where day workers could get food and clothing as they gathered under the I-35 bridge waiting for work.

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Tell KCUR
4:16 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Tell KCUR: Have Your Views On Same-Sex Marriage Evolved Over The Past 10 Years?

Have your views on same-sex marriage evolved over the past 10 years? Why or why not? Tweet your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened up the question of gay-marriage in many more states reverberated in Kansas last week.

In Johnson County, a judge allowed clerks to accept applications for marriage licenses. But couples were soon disappointed when the Kansas Supreme Court put a temporary halt to those licenses Friday.

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Royals
11:44 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Baltimore NPR Station Makes Wager With KCUR Over ALCS Championship

Call it a public radio-baseball throwdown.

Last week our reporter Cody Newill wrote a piece comparing our city to Baltimore, in an attempt to playfully compare the two cities with teams playing for the ALCS Championship.

Well, before long the staff at Baltimore's public radio station WYPR got wind of the article and responded with their own comparison. But they didn't stop there.

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Community
12:42 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

LISTEN: How Kansas City Barbecue Became Famous, Explained In 90 Seconds

Gate's Bar-B-Q is famous in Kansas City for their iconic welcome: 'Hi! May I Help You?'
Credit Briana O'Higgins / KCUR

Kansas City barbecue — we know you've heard of it.

The president eats it when he visits, and Anthony Bourdain said Kansas City barbecue is the best in the world.

But how did it all get started? And who made Kansas City barbecue famous?

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Central Standard
12:21 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Food Critics: The 'Nuttiest' Dishes In Kansas City

Black walnut pie was among the most talked about nutty dishes available in the Kansas City metro.
Credit Mindmatrix / Wikimedia-CC

Nuts — they are in so many dishes, but they are hardly ever the star of the show. Without them so many of our favorite dishes would fall flat, but when we talk about food they rarely get their due recognition.

This week, Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Jen Chen and Mary Bloch give nuts their moment in the spotlight and pick out the 'nuttiest' dishes available in and around the Kansas City area.

Here are the Critics' favorite 'nutty' dishes:

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Going to KC
10:15 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Going To Kansas City: A City In A Renaissance

Sasha Victorine stands in front of Kansas City's skyline overlooking the Power and Light District. When Victorine first got here about 10 years ago, this area was under construction and the nightlife scene was nearly non-existent. Now the area has completely changed as there are more events and young people making the city vibrant and fun.
Credit Sasha Victorine

  “Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Sasha Victorine was playing Major League Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy when he got traded to what was the Kansas City Wizards nine years ago. Victorine is originally from the Southern California area. He says moving far away from his family was at first tough for him and his wife, but they grew to love Kansas City.

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St. Louis
7:50 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Protesters Clash With Police In St. Louis' Shaw Neighborhood

Police stand in a skirmish line at the intersection of South Grand Avenue and Arsenal Street, in St. Louis on Oct. 9.
Credit Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

A candlelight vigil for an 18-year-old shooting victim turned into a protest march through the Shaw neighborhood in south St. Louis late Thursday.

The protesters were mostly peaceful as they marched up and down residential streets in the neighborhood. But things turned uneasy as the evening wore on. A group of about 40 people blocked traffic at major intersections along South Grand Blvd. Later, some of the protesters broke windows of police cars.

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Community
2:44 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Kansas City Grocery Store Provides A Piece Of Home To Middle Eastern Community

Ahmad Alhabashi is the manager of Al-Habashi Mart in the River Market, located in Kansas City, Mo.
Lisa Rodriguez KCUR

As the crisis in Syria and the Middle East persists, local grocer Ahmad Alhabashi works to make his store a place where the local Arab community can feel closer to home, despite being thousands of miles away.

Upon entering the Al-Habashi Mart in the River Market in Kansas City, Mo., guests are greeted with Arabic music playing over the radio, sharp smells of curry and cayenne waft through the air as they weave through rows and rows of the vibrant spices. Brightly colored products line the walls, many of the labels in Arabic.

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