Community

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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."

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.

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.

Central Middle School Gets High-Tech Overhaul

Sep 15, 2014
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. 

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?

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:

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?”  

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.

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.

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."

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.

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? 

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.

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.

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.

File photo / KCUR

As we approach the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, terrorism aimed at Americans is still at the forefront of international news.

In recent months, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, referred to as ISIL or ISIS, has released videos showing the beheadings of American journalists. The incidents follow threats of violence from ISIS if the United States didn’t cease air strikes and other military intervention in Iraq.

Paul Andrews / Courtesy photo

Just before her 40th birthday, Yolanda Commack found a lump in her breast. The day of the procedure to have it removed, she was explicitly told not to lift anything. She wasn't fazed. In fact, she went right back to work building trucks at a Ford plant.

When she went in for the results, her doctor asked her whether she wanted the good news or the bad news first. She asked for the good news. 

He said, "The good news is, your stitches are ready to come out."

That's how she found out she had breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer, to be specific.

Frank Morris / KCUR

On this edition of Up to Date, the Ethics Professors join Steve Kraske to examine questions raised by recent events making the news. Has the digital theft of female celebrities’ photos changed how we look at victim and perpetrator?  In Ferguson, Missouri, was it right for outside influences to come on the scene and add rhetorical fuel to the fire?  How much involvement should a college or university have in investigating a sexual assault on campus?  Find out what the Professors, and listeners, had to say.

Police evacuated the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Health Sciences Building Thursday morning after city crews working at 25th and Holmes reported a gas leak.  

A UMKC spokesman estimates some 200 faculty, staff and students were evacuated from the Health Sciences building. It houses the schools of pharmacy and nursing.

Hien Nguyen CC Flickr

   

At "cuddle houses," you can pay a stranger to cuddle with you--it's supposed to be a form of touch therapy. Professional cuddling has set up shop in Wisconsin, New York and has now come to Kansas City. How does touch affect our physical and psychological well-being?

Guests:

  • Anne Graham, ​former professional cuddler
  • Jason O’Brien, director, Cuddle: A Documentary
  • Carolyn Guenther Molloy,  infant touch therapist, Stress Free Start LLC
Elle Moxley / KCur

Update, 3:24 p.m. Wednesday: 

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has announced three first degree murder charges against Brandon B. Howell, 34, in Tuesday's triple homicide.

Peters Baker also charged Howell with two counts of assault in the first degree for causing serious injury to George and Anna Taylor.

Howell faces four additional counts of armed criminal action, one count of burglary in the first degree, one count of stealing a motor vehicle and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

The World's Work / Wikimedia Commons

One of the names most closely associated with Kansas City is J.C. Nichols-- for good or bad. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about this creator of the Country Club Plaza and what his critics say about him. We also examine what the city gained – and some say lost – due to the efforts of this one man.

Guest:

City of Lenexa / Facebook

As the summer winds down, area festivals ramp up. Celebrating everything from the Spanish and French influence to the pioneers to Popeye’s favorite vegetable, you can go to a different event every weekend now through October.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we look at the origins of fairs and festivals in our region. We learn about the earliest one in Kansas City then turn our attention to current ones, such as the Lenexa Spinach Festival, Santa-Cali-Gon and the Grand Fete du Chez le Canses.

City of Lenexa / Facebook

Fall festival season is upon us, and the Kansas City area is gearing up for a busy couple of months. We've gathered up a few of the many celebrations that focus on local history and harvest time.

Lenexa Spinach Festival, Sept. 6 at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa, Kan.
History exhibits, craft fair, massive spinach salad, cooking demos

Pages