Community

Kansas City, Mo., residents had one of their last chances to speak out about the city's proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year Saturday.

The biggest issues were incoming cuts to cultural facilities like the American Jazz Museum and safety net health clinics. The Jazz Museum alone stands to lose $125,000 in funding.

Bart Everson / Flickr-CC

What does Kansas City, Mo., have in common with fast-growing San Francisco, a city that's made headlines for its lack of affordable housing?

Rent is up here, too – about 8.5 percent over last year, according to a Zillow report that ranks Kansas City No. 4 on a list of cities that saw rental rates spike between 2013 and 2014.

Daniel Boothe / KCUR

The first thing you notice when you walk into Thou Mayest in the east Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo., is the eclectic décor. It’s got cozy corners with funky furniture. Exposed brick and recycled wooden tables. Fishing poles and Boy Scout badges from the 1950s. You feel like you are in a high-end flea market, inside a cabin in the woods, located in a bustling downtown neighborhood.

The whole place is one gigantic conversation starter. With coffee.

Humble beginnings and a chance meeting

Cody Newill / KCUR

The NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame will be moving a portion of its collection into Union Station this summer. 

The "Gridiron Glory" exhibit is a self described "best-of" collection of the full Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. More than 200 items like former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway's jersey and vintage film footage of Super Bowls past will fill the exhibition.

(Updated 5:10 p.m.)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, shocking the state’s political world and throwing turmoil into the state’s 2016 contest for governor.

c/o Kelly Sue DeConnick

“Leaving Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of why people decided to live somewhere else. It follows our series “Going to Kansas City.”

Kelly Sue DeConnick writes the comic books Pretty Deadly and Bitch Planet, and she writes for the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In 2014, Kansas City, Mo., officials began the process of rewriting its taxi code, citing public safety concerns about ride-hiring companies such as Uber and Lyft, and a conflict concerning fairness in the cab industry. The response to a draft of the proposed changes has been mixed.

City permits

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

As we continue our long-term exploration of lines that unite and divide our metro, a project we call Beyond our Borders, we’re turning an eye to the border between Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas.

Long noted for their differences (and rivalry), Wyandotte was at one time, at least in part, Johnson County.

The making of a state

Neil Nakahodo / for KCUR

As we embark on our next exploration for Beyond our Borders, our dive into lines that unite and divide our metro, we are now turning our attention to Wyandotte and Johnson counties.

As part of our Tell KCUR initiative, we recently asked: What do we get wrong about Wyandotte and/or Johnson Counties?

It's a crime in Kansas City, Mo., to leave your car running with a key in the ignition, though plenty of people do it when temperatures drop.

And it means a sharp uptick in car theft every winter – more than 600 cars stolen citywide in December and January.

That's why Sarah Boyd of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department Media Unit gets on Twitter and Facebook to remind people that leaving a key in the ignition is practically inviting thieves to steal their cars.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

You can’t miss the little parking lot in the heart of Westport – about 70 spaces at the corner of Westport Road and Mill Street right in front of Buzzard Beach, the Westport Saloon and Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar.

The lot's long occupied some of Westport's prime real estate. That's why it caused such a stir when owner Doug Weltner announced plans to build two buildings for three restaurants there earlier this month.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Members of Kansas City’s Ukrainian community gathered Sunday at an Overland Park church to collect coats for  friends and families in the war-ravaged Ukraine.

Although there are only a few hundred Ukrainians in the area, most have loved ones in parts of Ukraine where the fighting with pro-Russian rebels continues to be intense, in spite of a weekend truce.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists gathered outside the Kansas State Capitol Saturday to protest Gov. Sam Brownback's executive order rescinding sexual orientation and gender expression protections for state employees.

The rally was organized by LGBT activist group Equality Kansas. Executive Director Tom Witt says that, despite being frustrated with Brownback's order, he remains optimistic.

In The Book of Mormon, a young Mormon travels to Uganda on a mission. The hardships he encounters cause him to question not only the success of his mission, but also the very faith that sent him on it in the first place. 

As The Book of Mormon heads to Kansas City, Mo. for a limited run, we're sharing stories of tested faith from Kansas Citians.

This one comes to us from Jason Harper. It begins like this:

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Many of us tag along with Pitch restaurant critic Charles Ferruzza on his restaurant adventures, enjoying his witty asides as much as his souffle descriptions. He hints at his life story when it's relevant to what's happening at the table, but for the most part, the man behind the meals is a mystery.

When Ferruzza sat down with Central Standard’s Gina Kaufmann for a Portrait Session, he said one thing he’s not is a “foodie.”

MattysFlicks / Flickr--CC

It’s the season for romance.  If you are lucky, finding your soul mate can be simple, but more often than not it can be awkward, and downright tedious. 

Stop and think for a minute … how many hoops have you jumped through in an attempt to land your special Valentine?  In the digital age online dating and matchmaking sites have encouraged us to scrutinize profiles and backgrounds to find our ideal match. They are designed to make finding romance easier, but can algorithms really lead to finding meaningful relationships or nightmarish breakups? 

Even though both Wyandotte and Johnson Counties were founded with connections to Native American tribes, the two have evolved into dramatically different places.

As we pursue the next segment of our look into lines that unite and divide the metro, we're turning our attention the boundary between Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. What do you know to be true about these counties? What have you heard that isn't true? 

Tell KCUR: What do people get wrong about Wyandotte and/or Johnson Counties?

Wikimedia - CC

It's common knowledge among Kansas Citians that much of Johnson County, Kan., is suburban, while Kansas City, Kan., proper is an urban core.

What might not be common knowledge is that Overland Park, Kan., has a larger total population count and higher employment density than KCK. So is it still a suburb?

Ecjmartin1 / Wikimedia Commons

For nearly 200 years, Jackson County has been home to followers of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Today, thousands of members visit the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo., which is a sacred destination for the faithful.

But if you take a look back at the early days of Mormonism, peace and joy weren't in abundance, as militia forces, settlers and the state fought against the church for nearly a decade.

The beginnings of Mormonism

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

At two public meetings on Wednesday, officials with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority shared the latest work on a broad vision for transit in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

Around 60 downtown residents, business people, and commuters heard about changes to bus routes, efforts to beautify and fortify transit stations, and improved pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Last summer the public told the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority transit downtown is about much more than commuters now.

Frank Morris / KCUR

If you think of an illustration of Oklahoma, you may picture a pan-shaped state, with an oil derrick on it.  But Oklahoma is fast becoming famous for something else — earthquakes.  In 2014, it registered more perceptible tremors than anywhere else in the contiguous United States, and they seem to be getting stronger. The industry that has long sustained Oklahoma is likely the one now cracking its foundations.

Updated at 12:17 a.m., Wed., Feb. 11 -- Walter Storey's execution was carried out at 12:01 a.m. by lethal injection, according to a brief statement from the Missouri Department of Corrections.  His time of death is listed as 12:10 a.m.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Other cities are looking to Kansas City, Mo., as an example of how to curb violent crime after the city saw fewer homicides in 2014 than it had in four decades.

In fact, City of St. Louis officials will travel here in coming weeks to look at the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, a policing initiative run out of the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Ernesto and Lupe Arvizu didn't know they were living next door to a sacred burial ground when they first moved to the Argentine neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan., 20 years ago.

White Feather Spring is a national historic site that memorializes the lesser known Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa, who spent the last years of his life in KCK.

c/o Kansas State Historical Society

In the early 1800s, before the Shawnee Indians were relocated to Kansas and then Oklahoma, there was a powerful Shawnee spiritual leader at the center of American Indian resistance against white settlers. The Shawnee Prophet — Tenskwatawa — condemned inter-tribal violence and preached for all the tribes to come together as tribal land was threatened by settler expansion and the United States government.

Wikimedia Commons - CC

As legislators in Kansas and Missouri get back to work, we thought it a good time to ask you, the people of Kansas City, what you would like to ask them. Or tell them, if you're so inclined. 

We got an array of responses back.

@Mattk2 tweeted: if given the choice between funding education and cutting taxes, which would you choose and who (did you) listen to?

A number of you referred money in politics.

Kansas Historical Society

The Rev. Thomas Johnson was a character in history who had many friends and foes, and his murder 150 years ago remains unsolved to this day.

Johnson established the Shawnee Indian Mission, a now national historic site in modern day Fairway, Kan.

His legacy lives on, even though you have probably never heard of him — he is the namesake of Johnson County, Kansas.

Heather Prewitt / KCUR

The 2014-2015 winter season hasn't been particularly white in the Kansas City metro area, but Wednesday's expected 1-3 inch snow accumulation and early dismissals by some area schools has us wondering: will this be the last chance kids will get to go careening down (mostly) snow-covered hills?

National Weather Service forecaster Jared Leighton says probably not.

Here’s the thing about the Kansas-Missouri border:

When It's From Stuart Scott, A BooYah Can Matter

Feb 2, 2015
Deb Skodack

Stuart Scott, a sportscaster and anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter, died Jan. 4 at the age of 49. Here is one local woman's remembrance of a chance encounter.

Thank you, Mr. Scott. My kid listened to you.

Only once in my life have I ever sought a souvenir from a celebrity. It was in a Phoenix restaurant in 2004 where I was enjoying a girls’ weekend with my husband’s sisters.

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