Community

Conservation
7:30 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Bald Eagles Migrate Into Missouri And Kansas

A nesting bald eagle in mid-flight at Longview Lake in Lee's Summit, Mo.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr-CC

For decades, the bald eagle was an endangered species, but conservation efforts bolstered populations, particularly in Missouri.

Conservationists point to the insecticide DDT, which was banned in the 1970s, as one of the main threats to bald eagles. But now, more than 2,000 of them migrate into Missouri alone during the winter to feed at the state’s abundant rivers and lakes.

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Ferguson
8:30 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Update: Ferguson Officials Respond To Darren Wilson's Resignation From Ferguson Police Department

Ferguson City Manager John Shaw, Mayor James Knowles and Police Chief Tom Jackson on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:11 pm

Updated 6:06 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, with a response from Ferguson city officials.

Ferguson city officials confirmed Sunday that Darren Wilson is no longer a member of the Ferguson Police Department.

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Roeland Park
9:00 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Roeland Park Cave Redevelopment Concept Presented To City Council

This concept for redeveloping the limestone caves at 48th Street and Roe Avenue in Roeland Park, Kan., seeks bars and restaurants to create a public gathering place.
Credit Joel Marquardt / City of Roeland Park

For more than 20 years, limestone caves and an old swimming pool at 48th Street and Roe Avenue in Roeland Park, Kan., have sat vacant.

But city officials are starting to float new ideas about how to use the space.

At a city council meeting earlier this month, Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt showed off conceptual drawings that would change the limestone cave formation into a hub for restaurants and bars. The concept is similar in design to Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

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Ferguson
8:47 am
Tue November 25, 2014

In Statement On Ferguson, Kansas City Mayor Says 'We All Feel Pain'

Mayor Sly James released a statement after a grand jury announced no charges would be brough against the police officer involved in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
Credit Courtesy / Facebook

Kansas City Mayor Sly James released a statement on Facebook Monday night after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.

"Many people are in pain this evening because of this decision," he wrote. "I encourage our community to take to prayer, reflection, and even peaceful protest."

James' statement went viral overnight — reaching more than 6,000 likes and 1,200 shares.

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Ferguson
7:42 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Peaceful Protests Slide Into Violence In Ferguson, Far Less Damage In Shaw

Tear gas was used in Ferguson.

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 8:27 pm

Protesters and law enforcement officersmay have hoped for calm. But reaction to news of the grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown ended in arson, looting and tear gas.

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Ferguson
8:35 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Grand Jury Declines To Charge Darren Wilson In The Death Of Michael Brown

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announces that the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson on any of five counts that were presented to it.

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:04 pm

A grand jury in St. Louis County has decided not to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with a crime for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man.

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Ferguson
5:23 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

LIVE UPDATES: Ferguson, Nation Reacts To Grand Jury Decision

A stream of protests followed the deadly shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed teenager, by officer Darren Wilson in August.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

This is where you can find the latest updates on the Ferguson grand jury decision from our colleagues over at St. Louis Public Radio.

Below is a mix of their reporting and reliable community sources on developments related to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 9.

Authorities will revel whether or not a grand jury has decided to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on charges tonight at 8 p.m.

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Community
4:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Ferguson Commission: Meet The Members

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, swears in the members of the commission.

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:29 pm

(Updated with new interviews)

Three hundred people answered Gov. Jay Nixon's call to apply for the Ferguson Commission. Of those applicants and others, the governor selected 16 and announced their names on Tuesday. The group includes teachers, attorneys, community organizers, law enforcement officials and protesters from across the region. It has nine blacks and seven whites; six women and 10 men.

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Community
10:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Additional Murder Charges Filed In South Kansas City Shooting Spree

A man accused of killing five people in a south Kansas City, Mo., crime spree in early September now faces two additional charges of first degree murder.

Brandon Howell, 34, already faced three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of 63-year-old Darryl Hurst, 88-year-old Lorene Hurst and 69-year-old Susan Choucroun.

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Tell KCUR
3:20 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

How Geography Plays Out In School Choice In Kansas City

How did you choose your child's school? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit alamosbasement / Flickr--CC

Geography plays a big role in how Kansas Citians decide where to send their kids to school.

At least that’s what we heard back from parents when we asked them this week about how they made the big decision.

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Community
12:35 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Nixon Says State Trying To Balance Speech, Safety In Ferguson Response

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, center, along with Lincoln Preparatory Academy Principal Joseph Hesman, left, and Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green, right, speaks to students about the National Blue Ribbon award.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the state's response to an upcoming grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown will focus on ensuring safety while protecting civil liberties.

"We want to make sure that people who want to speak, want to say things, march and protest, have the right to do so in a protected way," Nixon said. "Safety-wise, we want to make sure people are able to stay safe."

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Beyond Our Borders
12:52 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Kansas Stereotypes Turn Quickly To The Suburbs In Kansas City

Suburban life has become synonymous with parts of Johnson and Wyandotte counties in recent Kansas City history.
Credit futureatlas.com / Flickr--CC

Do you use the word, Kansas, as shorthand for the suburbs?

Our daily talk show Central Standard explored that question Wednesday.

There’s some truth to the perception that the Kansas side of the metropolitan area is way more suburban than the “real city” in the Show-Me-State, said Bill Coldiron.

Coldiron, of Overland Park, Kan., is a member of Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., where KCUR held a community forum last week as part of our Beyond Our Borders series.  

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Community
9:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Going To Kansas City: Finding More Room To Think, Literally

Chel O'Reilly stands in front of an open field in Kansas.
Credit Chel O'Reilly

Chel O’Reilly is what you might call a Kansas City super-fan.

She proudly wears a necklace with a Missouri pendant, a heart marks where Kansas City is. But all this Kansas City pride has been kind of new to O’Reilly.

Originally from the Northeast, O’Reilly was living happily in Brooklyn, N.Y., with no plans to leave. But one visit to hang out with friends in Kansas City three years ago changed her life.

During that trip, O’Reilly was offered a job, found a place to live and made tons of new friends, friends she now considers family.

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Community
12:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Victim Of Jerusalem Terror Attack Had Deep Roots In Kansas City

Rabbi Kalman "Cary" Levine grew up in Kansas City and attended the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. He died in a terror attack in Jerusalem Tuesday.
Credit Courtesy of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

Updated, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Two of the four rabbis killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday had deep ties to the Kansas City Jewish community. 

Rabbi Kalman Levine was part of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s first graduating class in 1976. And Rabbi Mosheh Twersky’s nephew teaches at the Jewish school in Overland Park, Kan. 

The two men died Tuesday in Jerusalem. 

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Tell KCUR
3:13 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

How Did You Decide Where To Send Your Kids To School In Kansas City?

How did you choose your child's school in the Kansas City area? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit File photo / KCUR

As we explore state line in the Kansas City area as a uniter and divider in our Beyond Our Borders series, this issue continues to crop up — schools.

Parents are very passionate about how and why they've chosen certain schools in the metropolitan area for their children. 

With charter schools, private schools, public schools and application-based specialized schools on both sides of the state line in the region, we're curious about how you reached your decision.

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Ferguson
2:55 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

With Grand Jury Decision Looming, Nixon Declares State Of Emergency

Gov. Jay Nixon announces his intention to use the National Guard to assist with protests in Ferguson on Nov. 11, 2014.

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 4:03 pm

(Updated at 9 p.m., Mon., Nov. 17)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard to protect “the two pillars: safety and speech’’ that he says could be tested in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision regarding the August police shooting that killed teenager Michael Brown. 

"Our goal is to keep the peace and allow folks' voices to be heard,'' Nixon said Monday night in a conference call with reporters.

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Community
9:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Mission's Johnson Drive Reconstruction Project Nears Completion

The Johnson Drive reconstruction project that started in mid-2013 in Mission, Kan., is finally coming to a close. 

For many business owners, having their parking blocked off by construction for so long dealt a major blow to their bottom line. Hershel Casey of the Casey Brothers service station said that he was surprised by just how much the construction hurt business.

"Well during the summer months, we were down about 45 to 60 percent on business," Casey said. "I think it took about twice as long as it should've."

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Community
11:20 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Jeff Piehler, Prairie Village Man Who Built His Own Coffin, Has Died

Jeff Piehler, seen sitting in the pine coffin that he built, has passed away.
Credit Shari Hartbauer / Lincoln Journal Star

Jeff Piehler, the retired Prairie Village thoracic surgeon who built his own coffin, died Friday after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 67.

In February, Piehler penned a New York Times op-ed about his decision to build his own coffin. Though his family believed it was morbid at first, building the coffin helped Piehler come to terms with his own mortality. 

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Beyond Our Borders
5:28 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kansas City, Missouri, Is A Model For Progressive LGBT Policy, Group Says

Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., each received vastly different marks on LGBT-friendliness in a recent report.
Credit Wikipedia -- Creative Commons

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, calls Kansas City, Mo., “a beacon of hope” for the LGBT community.

Kansas City, Kan., however, represents a city “at the opposite end of the spectrum” in terms of LGBT rights, according to a new report.

“The simple reality is LGBT people in Kansas City are living in two completely different worlds divided by a line,” the Washington-based group says in a statement.

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Tell KCUR
11:46 am
Fri November 14, 2014

The Triumphs And Failures Of Online Dating In Kansas City

What are your online dating success and horror stories? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Online dating doesn't seem any worse or fruitful than traditional dating, according to feedback we received this week from avid online daters in the Kansas City area.

Earlier this week, in anticipation of our storytelling event with NPR, "Storied: The Science of Online Dating," we asked our listeners: What are your online dating success and horror stories?

We heard a mix of recounts of dating mishaps and successful couplings.  

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Beyond Our Borders
9:22 am
Fri November 14, 2014

What Kansas City's Guilty Pleasures Cost On Both Sides Of The State Line

Asad Naseem is a clerk at a Sinclair gas station on 75th Street and State Line Road in Kansas City, Mo. He says many of his clients are Kansas residents who cross the state line to buy inexpensive cigarettes.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

If you're in the mood for booze, cigarettes or candy in the Kansas City area, consider taking the state line into account when you make your purchases.

That's because the Missouri-Kansas border definitely plays a role in what you will pay for life's guilty pleasures, KCUR found in its phone survey of prices across the metro.

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Community
1:48 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Forum Set For Missourians Facing Long Waits For Social Services

The Kansas City Workers' Rights Board will hold a community forum Wednesday evening to draw attention to long waits for programs the Missouri Department of Social Services administers.

Alice Kitchen, a steering committee member, says it's been more difficult to apply for Medicaid, food stamps and other programs since the department outsourced much of the Family Support Division's work to a third-party company.

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Community
11:53 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Victims' Families Plan Memorial As Alleged JCC Shooter Appears In Court

The Overland Park, Kan., Jewish Community Center hosts a memorial service for the three victims of April's shootings there and at nearby Village Shalom.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Updated, 4 p.m. Wednesday:

The families of the three people killed near Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan., in April are planning a week-long community event to memorialize their loved ones.

Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were killed in the shooting, says the families wanted to make the announcement Wednesday to coincide with the preliminary hearing of accused murderer Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., which was postponed earlier in the day.

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Community
9:33 am
Wed November 12, 2014

UPDATED: Man Killed In Shooting Near KCMO City Hall

Updated, 6:10 p.m. Wednesday:

The Jackson County prosecutor has charged a 24-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man with a deadly shooting Wednesday morning near City Hall.

Rickey C. Battee faces second degree murder charges in the death of Jai T. Scott, who was shot near a metro bus stop on Oak Street.

Battee is being held on a $250,000 bond.

The original post continues below.

A man shot near Kansas City, Mo., City Hall Wednesday morning has died.

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Community
8:23 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Tomas Young, Wounded Iraq War Vet And Antiwar Activist, Dies

Tomas Young and his wife Claudia Cuellar at home in Kansas City last year.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Tomas Young, an Iraq War veteran from Kansas City, Mo., who became a symbol of the anti-war movement, died peacefully in his sleep early Monday morning. He was 34.

Young joined the Army right after 9/11, wanting to take revenge on the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was shipped instead to Iraq, and within a week of landing there, he was shot in the spine and paralyzed below the chest. 

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Community
4:44 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Teens Gathering In Kansas City Hopeful About Reversing Young Voter Apathy

Zephanii Smith, Rose Smithson and Ricardo Gonzales hope to see more young people voting next election cycle.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

As the future of our country, millennials have not distinguished themselves as a group vitally enthusiastic about participating in the electoral process.

Last week's mid-term elections proved to be no exception with young people turning out in significantly lower numbers than older voters.

Seventeen-year-old Ricardo Gonzales, a senior at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kan., blames part of the apathy on grown-ups who talk down to teenagers.

He said he's been told not to take elections seriously until he's of voting age.  He believes that's a mistake.

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Community
1:59 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Missouri Leaders Thank Veterans At World War I Museum Ceremony

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill offers her remarks at a Veterans Day ceremony at the National World War I Museum Tuesday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill offered her condolences to an Iraq war veteran who died this week while speaking at a Veterans Day event at the National World War I Museum Tuesday morning.

Tomas Young, 34, who was paralyzed after being shot by a sniper in 2004, died from health complications Monday. He was an anti-war activist and  former Kansas City resident.

"He, along with many others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, are certainly deserving of our affection and  respect and deference on this day and every other day of the year," McCaskill says.

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Country Club Plaza
8:11 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Country Club Plaza Switches Lights To Environmentally Friendly LED Bulbs

This year, the Plaza's holiday light display will be 85 percent LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs.
Credit Highwoods Properties

When the Country Club Plaza's traditional holiday light display is switched on this Thanksgiving, nearly 85 percent of the bulbs will be new LEDs. 

LEDs typically cost more up front than regular incandescent bulbs, but they also consume anywhere from one-twentieth to one-tenth of the energy.

Gayle Terry, spokeswoman for Highwoods Properties, the company that owns the Plaza, said that the transition to LEDs was long expected.

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Tell KCUR
3:16 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

What Are Your Online Dating Success And Horror Stories?

What are your best and worst online dating stories? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit File photo / KCUR

Maybe the allegedly tall, dark  and handsome man you connected with online after hundreds of emails turned out to be a dud.

Or perhaps the woman who gave you a five-star rating on OKCupid.com was so wonderful, you ended up marrying her.

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Technology
7:44 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Overland Park To Get Cellphone Signal Boosters On Street Poles

These antennas on the tops of street poles in Overland Park are meant to boost cellphone signal coverage.
Credit Courtesy photo / The City of Overland Park, Kan.

People who live in Overland Park, Kan., should be getting more reliable cellphone signals by year’s end, thanks to some inconspicuous antenna installations. 

Chicago-based telecommunications contractor Extenet Systems installed a handful of cone-like cellphone signal boosters on top of light poles throughout Overland Park.

Overland Park Public Works city traffic engineer Brian Shields says that the additions are a good alternative to building large cellular towers.

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