Community

Central Standard
4:29 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Meet The Teachers Of Some Unusual Classes At UMKC's Communiversity

Cathy Cowger is an EAGALA certified equine specialist.
Credit Patrick Quick / KCUR

The fall semester of Communiversity is getting underway at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This all-volunteer adult education program allows Kansas Citians to take and teach a collection of esoteric classes that you may not find anywhere else. 

Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann talked to a few of the instructors, everyday folks with unusual skills to teach.

Let Horses Help You With Your Life Transition

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Kansas City
10:20 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Huffington Post Names Kansas City 'Coolest' City In America

Kansas City is the "coolest [city] to visit right now" according to the Huffington Post.
Credit Allen Brewer / Flickr-CC

Kansas City is the most up-and-coming city in the country, according to a new ranking list.

The Huffington Post ranked Kansas City as the most exciting, "it" city in the United States. The food, Midwestern hospitality and music were all highlighted as reasons to visit the metro area.

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Beyond Our Borders
4:38 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Things You May Not Have Known About The Kansas-Missouri State Line

State Line Road heads south from the Missouri River in the West Bottoms.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Our research into State Line Road as part of our ongoing exploration for Beyond Our Borders turned up some interesting things about the dividing line between the two very different states in our metro.

We are pretty evenly divided as a population by the state line, and our political differences pre-date the Civil War.  

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Community
4:28 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

KCATA To Manage Johnson County Transit Starting Next Year

Johnson County Commissioners want KCATA to take over management of the JO as a cost-cutting measure.
Credit Photo courtesy of the JO

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will take over management of the JO in early 2015, the Johnson County Commissioners agreed Thursday.

Dick Jarrold, vice president of regional planning for KCATA, says the consolidation shouldn't impact riders because routes and schedules won't change.

"Johnson County will still be making all policy and budget decisions, so for the customer, they won't see an immediate change," says Jarrold.

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Food Critics
12:31 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Smoked Foods In Kansas City

Kansas City cuisine may be best known for the smoky taste of barbecue, but the earthy goodness of smoke isn't limited to pulled pork and brisket. 

From rich, smoked Gouda, to smoke-infused cocktails, adding smoke to a dish can add another layer of complexity to its taste. 

Central Standard food critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris and callers gave us their picks for the best smoked foods and drinks in Kansas City:

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Ferguson
8:08 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Ferguson Chief's Attempt To Meet With Crowd Leads To Scuffle And Arrests

Ferguson police chief, Tom Jackson, at the microphone

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 2:31 pm

During a tense Thursday night, demonstrators returned to the area outside the Ferguson police department  and held a quick march or two. Even though the verbal exchanges were intense, control was maintained – until the police chief tried to improve the situation. 

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Ferguson
7:55 am
Wed September 24, 2014

After A Tense Day In Ferguson, Protests Flare On West Florissant

Protestors return to West Florissant Avenue on Tuesday night.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Police forcibly dispersed dozens of protestors in Ferguson early Wednesday morning after hours of confrontation and the smashing of a window at the Beauty Town shop. Tensions had been running high since Tuesday morning when a memorial for Michael Brown burned down close to where he was killed.

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Community
1:35 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Report: Climate Change Threatens Dozens of Missouri Birds

The White-Throated Sparrow is commonly seen in the St. Louis area during fall and winter, but a new report says climate change could reduce its breeding habitat.

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 2:23 pm

A recent report finds climate change is threatening dozens of birds that call Missouri home.

The National Audubon Society says more than half of the 588 North American bird species studied over the course of seven years are at risk. About 50 species common to Missouri are identified in the report as being threatened.

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Community
1:30 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Wyandotte County Opens New Urban Hiking And Biking Trail

(Left to right) Wyandotte County Commissioner Brian McKiernan, Kaw Valley Drainage District Board Chair Bundy Jenkins and Wyandotte County Mayor/CEO Mark Holland praised the opening of the new path Saturday morning.
Credit Ben Palosaari

The beginning of the new Armourdale Hike and Bike – Island View Loop trail doesn’t look much like the gateway to urban nature oasis.

It’s adjacent to an industrial park and underneath the 18th Street Expressway Bridge, next to unused railroad tracks. There’s a fair amount of broken glass and other debris littering the ground around the trail.

But on Saturday morning, jubilant city officials in workout clothes opened the trail to the public, and the talk was largely of turkeys, deer and bald eagles that live near the trail.

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Up to Date
1:21 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Kansas Citians Take Volunteering To The Extreme

Kirsty Morgan, of Lee's Summit, bundles up in Kazakhstan for what is known as extreme volunteering.
Credit Courtesy of Kirsty Morgan

Most people have spent time at a local soup kitchen or sorted cans for food banks, but others take an entirely different approach to donating their time. 

But an extreme volunteer commitment can mean you’re giving weeks, or even years, of your life to help others. And sometimes you'll get into some pretty hairy situations as a result.

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Community
9:40 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Panel Focuses On Sexual Assault at University Of Kansas

Critics of how the University of Kansas deals with sexual assault cases are using this T-shirt to raise awareness.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

Concerns about the way the University of Kansas handles sexual assault cases have been boiling over in recent weeks.

Reports of alleged sexual assaults garnering minor punishments have prompted protests and even a video produced by students telling others not to attend KU. Thursday night, university officials held a panel discussion where they answered questions, took suggestions and explained university policies surrounding sexual assault.

More than 100 people gathered for the discussion. Those who spoke expressed concerns about the process and suggested improvements.

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Beyond Our Borders
9:21 am
Fri September 19, 2014

MAPS: Demographics Show State Line Is Not A Significant Border In Kansas City

State line from 75th Street north (left), and state line from 75th Street south (right).
Credit Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service / University of Virginia

The Kansas City metropolitan area is steeped in state line rivalry.

University of Kansas Jayhawks and University of Missouri Tigers have grudges dating back to the pre-Civil War years. Jackson County, Mo., and Johnson County, Kan., are politically divided, and we even have a road called 'State Line Road' to mark which side is which. 

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Beyond Our Borders
11:27 am
Thu September 18, 2014

When It Comes To Kansas City's State Line, It's Complicated

State Line Road winds through the industrial west bottoms as it divides Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

I’m someone who simply will just say "I’m from Kansas City.” But, sometimes people will ask "Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri?"

Then I go into the convoluted explanation how I live in the suburbs of Kansas City, Mo., but in Kansas, not far from the state line. It gets kind of boring.

But State Line is anything but boring.

I recently found Blue Springs, Mo., resident D.J. Lee at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formally known as Oklahoma Joe's) in Kansas City, Kan.

"To cross the street and be in a different state ... pretty awesome!" says Lee.

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Crime
10:54 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Charges Filed In Attempted Firebombing Of Cleaver's Office

A 28-year-old Kansas City man has been charged in connection with the vandalism of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II's Kansas City office earlier this month.

The U.S. Attorney' Office for the Western District of Missouri filed criminal charges against Eric G. King Wednesday. King allegedly threw a hammer through the window of the congressman's office and attempted to throw two Molotov cocktails through the broken window in the early morning hours of Sept. 11.

No fire damage was reported, and no one was in the office at the time.

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Kansas City History
2:28 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

The Types Of Things Lurking Underground In Kansas City's Caves

This addition to the already enormous 6 million plus square foot SubTropolis underground complex in Kansas City, Mo., is currently under construction.
Tumblr - SubTropolis Hunt Midwest

You'd never find it by just looking around, but beneath the grounds of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun is one of the largest systems of underground businesses in the country. 

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Ferguson
8:41 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Women Interfaith Leaders Call On Mothers To Promote Peace Post-Ferguson

Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon speaks at a prayer service for mothers who've been impacted by homicide and violence.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A group of Kansas City women clergy called for healing in Ferguson, Mo., during an interfaith service and prayer vigil Tuesday night.

Volunteers with the faith-based Communities Creating Opportunity went to Ferguson last month after the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown to help register voters and train community leaders.

"The African Methodist Episcopal Church has as a part of its motto that we are a liberating and reconciling church," says Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, whose church hosted the service. "So we are more involved in justice activities."

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Beyond Our Borders
6:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

State Line Living From Rosedale's View In Kansas City, Kansas

Philip Gardos, an active member of the Rosedale Development Association, lives on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Residing on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood of Rosedale can be puzzling at times.

As a former postal worker and resident of Rosedale since 1970, Philip Gardos recalls State Line neighbors hauling their trash across the street to Missouri or Kansas to take advantage of the other side’s trash day.

He’s seen Missouri and Kansas roads just feet away from each other receive very different treatment on snow days.

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Community
2:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

PHOTOS: Remembering The Beatles Concert In Kansas City 50 Years Ago

The Beatles played a show in Kansas City in 1964 after Charlie O Finley paid them $150,000, around $100,000 more than cities that were on the original tour schedule.
Dave E. Dexter, Jr. Collection LaBudde Special Collections Department - UMKC

Fifty years ago Wednesday, The Beatles played a concert at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

The concert was not originally part of the band's first cross-country U.S. tour, but business man and owner of the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, Charlie O. Finley, managed to bring them to Kansas City.

Finley flew to San Francisco to talk to the band's manager, Brian Epstein, and offered $50,000 to bring The Beatles to Kansas City. They finally agreed on $150,000, and the Fab Four flew into Kansas City to play a show on one of their only days off from the tour.

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Education
4:56 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Central Middle School Gets High-Tech Overhaul

Central Middle School math teacher Stacy Gilson says the school's focus on the 7th 8th grades will help students form a good relationship with education.
Credit Ben Palosaari

"That's the boys' restroom," Central Middle School 7th grader Camryn Jones says as she gives her family a tour of her brand-new school. 

"Is it different than the girls' bathroom?" her grandmother asks as she pokes her head through the door.

Camryn keeps walking. What she really wants to show off to her family is her math classroom at the end of the hall. 

“I can learn a lot from this room, because math’s my favorite subject," she says standing by her desk. 

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Community
3:16 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

What It Takes To Bring The Circus To Kansas City

A miniature horse in a temporary enclosure at the Sprint Center chews hay on Friday morning. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performs in Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

How do you get 18 tigers, 20 horses, 16 poodles and a half-dozen Asian elephants to downtown Kansas City, Mo.?

By circus train, of course.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Assistant Animal Superintendent Ryan Henning says the logistics of bringing so many animals to town are almost as interesting as the show itself.

Henning answered a few of our questions while showing us around the temporary horse enclosures at the Sprint Center.

How do you get that many animals to town?

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Food Critics
12:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Seasonal Dishes In Kansas City

Root vegetables are just some of seasonal ingredients to be found in Kansas City metro restaurants this fall.
Credit Skånska Matupplevelser / Flickr-CC

As temperatures start to drop and fall begins, it's time to start thinking about culinary standbys that characterize the season.

From root vegetables to fresh apple cider, there are plenty of seasonal ingredients and dishes in the Kansas City area to get you in a fall mindset. 

Here are Central Standard's Food Critics' and local callers' choices for good seasonal dishes in the Kansas City metro:

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Tell KCUR
1:00 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Kansas Citians More Worried About Local Violence Than International Terrorists

Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. This 9/11 tribute appeared in New York on the anniversary in 2010.
Credit A. Strakey / Flickr--CC

In the days leading up to the 13-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Thursday, Kansas Citians took to Twitter, speculating about whether the day would bring more violence, given recent anti-American killings in the Middle East.

We decided to ask our listeners, “How safe do you feel in Kansas City, 13 years after 9/11?”  

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Crime
8:09 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Capital Murder Charge Filed Over Topeka Officer's Killing

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor says he is filing a capital murder charge and will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a Topeka Police officer. Taylor says Ross Preston Lane is charged with shooting Topeka Police Corporal Jason Harwood during a traffic stop Sunday. Taylor says under state law, the premeditated killing of a police officer is one of the scenarios justifying a capital murder charge.

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Central Standard
3:55 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

The Man Behind "The Worst" Shopping Mall Commercial Speaks

When Chris Fleck began working on a commercial for the East Hills mall, he knew he wanted to go "different." He succeeded. The commercial has gone viral, generating more than two million hits on YouTube. The bait getting people to watch it? Suggestions that it may well be the worst shopping mall commercial of all time.

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Community
3:37 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Developer Hoping To Save Kemper Touts Two Arenas For West Bottoms

The American Royal has a long-term lease on Kemper Arena and the surrounding complex, but the building is used most heavily during the annual barbecue contest.
Credit J.S. Clark / Flickr--CC

The developer who wants to rehab Kemper Arena and turn it into a youth sports complex made a pitch for his company's plan to a downtown lunch club Wednesday afternoon.

Steve Foutch told the Kansas City Downtowners it's possible city council members could move forward with a plan that both preserves Kemper and gives the American Royal the new arena it wants.

"Our designs show both buildings can co-exist in the location," Foutch says. "It's all about the logistics of the operation."

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Beyond Our Borders
12:30 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

How The State Line Has Divided The Kansas City Metro

An aerial photograph of Kansas City, Kan. (foreground), the West Bottoms and Kaw Point (middle), and Kansas City, Mo., middle-right) taken in 2007.
Wikimedia - CC

Eds note: This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism. 

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

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What Is That?
9:58 am
Wed September 10, 2014

The Story Behind The Giant Fiberglass Penguin At Kansas City's Penguin Park

The penguin at Penguin Park is made out of fiberglass, stands 25 feet tall and is almost 50 years old.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Driving around Kansas City’s Northland on Vivion Road, it’s kind of hard to miss Penguin Park. It has a way of sticking out – there’s a giant penguin standing in the center of it. But why is the penguin there? And where did it come from? 

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Community
4:18 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

IKEA Traffic Likely To Slow Wednesday Commute

The opening of a new IKEA in Merriam, Kan., Wednesday, is expected to create traffic jams along Johnson Drive, Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 35.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

If your morning commute takes you through Merriam, Kan., expect delays Wednesday as IKEA opens and draws additional traffic to the area.

Merriam Police will be routing customers in along Johnson Drive and out on Shawnee Mission Parkway for the next several days, which will likely slow traffic along both roads and Interstate 35.

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Community
1:38 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Meet The People Waiting In Line For The IKEA Opening

Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA opens in Merriam, Kan., at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and a line has been forming outside of the store since Monday.

IKEA's promotion for the grand opening includes giving away free furniture to people who start standing in line up to 48 hours in advance of the opening. The first 40 people in line will get a free couch worth $399, the next 100 people will get a $69 chair. On Thursday, the second day the store will be open to the public, IKEA will give the first 40 people a $299 mattress and the next 100 people $59 towards home delivery.

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Crime
1:35 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

South Kansas City Crime Spree Claims Two More Victims

Updated, 2:03 p.m. Tuesday:

The Kansas City Police Department says two more people have died after last week's crime spree in South Kansas City, Mo., bringing the total number of victims to five.

The police department tweeted that Ann Taylor, 86, and George Taylor, 80, died Tuesday of injuries allegedly sustained when Brandon B. Howell, 34, broke into their home.

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