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Digital Post

Nicolas Telep / KCUR 89.3

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States opened its 119th National Convention in Kansas City Saturday morning. President Donald Trump will address the gathering early next week.

The convention runs through Wednesday at the Kansas City Convention Center. 10,000 members of the VFW and VFW Auxilary — family members of veterans — are expected to attend.  President Trump is set to appear Tuesday.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated Saturday at 11:55 a.m.

In a room where it was hotter inside than outside, several thousand people stood shoulder-to-shoulder Friday evening to hear two progressive stars.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to Kansas City, Kansas, Friday to boost the congressional campaign of Brent Welder. He's one of six Democrats fighting it out to face incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November.

BigStock

A lawsuit charging Missouri officials have failed to properly oversee the administration of psychotropic medications to children in foster care was certified Thursday as a class action.

'Duck Boats' Have A History Of Fatal Accidents

Jul 20, 2018
Josh Miller/Flickr

The death toll from the capsized tourist "duck boat" in Branson, Missouri, has risen to 17, making it the deadliest accident involving a duck boat in North America.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The defendant in a murder and arson trial was involved in five other fires for which she collected insurance money, an expert witness testified Thursday.

FILE PHOTO/KCUR 89.3

Six Democrats are lining up for a chance to unseat Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in the November general election. While the primary isn't until next month, the 3rd District race in Kansas has already attracted outside money, brought in national political figures and cost one state senator her leadership position.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his endorsement of Yoder Wednesday night.

Chris Isaak / CC BY 2.0

Want to get weird?

Tapping into the offbeat is a snap this weekend with peculiarly appealing events that include bizarre musicals, a campy retro sci-fi spectacle and a crowd of creative local teenagers boldly exploring their artistic selves for public consumption.

Should you brace yourself or just let it all flow over you? Where there’s a weird, there’s a way!

1. Daryl Hall & John Oates

Westar has reached an agreement with staff of the Kansas Corporation Commission and several other interested parties that would reduce Westar’s annual revenue by $66 million.

For the average residential customer, that will mean a decrease of about $3.50 a month.

Westar's original request was for a $52 million increase.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

A new system for hiring agencies to coordinate adoptions and foster care placements in Kansas will continue to let some groups cite religious beliefs to exclude some prospective parents — including gay couples.

The Department for Children and Families earlier this week had left lawmakers confused about whether a new grant system would extend those religious protections to the agencies taking over statewide foster care and family preservation contracts.

A federal judge has frozen the assets  of 10 Kansas City-area companies that allegedly ran phony sweepstakes contests, preying mainly on the elderly.

U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Tuesday also ordered the appointment of a temporary receiver to take charge of the businesses and imposed conditions on their operation.

Food Critics: The Best Tacos In Kansas City In 2018

Jul 17, 2018
A pile of soft corn tortilla tacos on a bright blue plate.
Ricos Tacos "Lupe" / Facebook

A decade ago, when Guadalupe Marcela Banuelos moved her taco operation to Southwest Boulevard, her grandmother was worried that the authentic, soft shell street tacos Banuelos planned to serve at Rico's Tacos "Lupe" would be too different from the  hard shell tacos many people in the region were used to eating. 

Her response?

"You know grandma, they're going to have to get used to it."

And, they did. These days, Banuelos has a loyal following, especially from those who crowd into her restaurant on Tuesdays for the $1 taco special. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The historic Savoy Hotel in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, re-opened Tuesday with a new name: 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City.

“We never dreamed that there’d be more than one when we started,” says founder Steve Wilson, who launched the first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2006, with his wife, Laura Lee Brown. 

There are now eight boutique hotels in the chain, and each includes curated gallery spaces and site-specific installations of 21st century art.

Luke X. Martin / Senator Claire McCaskill / KCUR 89.3 / Flickr - CC

Update: This article has been updated to include Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's comment after President Trump's remarks on Tuesday. 

The reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin from both Republicans and Democrats has been largely, although not exclusively, negative. The same goes for members of and candidates for  Congress from the Kansas and Missouri sides of the metro area. Here's what some of them are saying:

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Tooling through parades in a flag-themed Jeep with a faux machine gun mounted on the back apparently wasn’t enough for Secretary of State Kris Kobach to win over the National Rifle Association in the Kansas governor’s race

The country’s largest and most influential gun lobby on Monday instead endorsed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer in his Republican primary. That left Kobach claiming that he still has the backing of grassroots gun rights voters.

The NRA said its endorsement reflected Colyer’s “strong support for the Second Amendment and the hunting heritage of Kansas.”

This story has been updated. An earlier version listed incorrect fundraising totals for two candidates.

Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s most recent campaign finance report shows him far ahead of challengers in raising funds to hold the seat representing Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

In the race to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in a district covering Topeka, Lawrence and much of the rest of eastern Kansas, the lone Democrat enjoys a money advantage over Republicans who first must elbow past each other.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith identified the suspect who died after a violent spree of gunfire in two different locations on Sunday as 25-year-old Marlin Mack.

Smith said officers had identified Mack as a person of interest in last week’s killing of Sarath Koppu, a native of India who was an engineering student at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Minda Haas Kuhlmann / Flickr - CC

Here’s a newsflash: It’s hot. The sky is blue. The grass is brown. And the Kansas City Royals are really, really bad. Commentator Victor Wishna doesn’t need to elaborate, but he does in this July edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Ah, the dog days of summer. The heat. The humidity. The sense of powerlessness and impending doom. And that’s just for local sports fans.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A revival of rural Kansas can come from drawing businesses and housing to the centers of small cities and by building better highways, gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly said Monday.

In a plan she says could invigorate rural areas, the Democrat also calls for propping up small grocery stores, expanding Medicaid coverage, reopening state offices closed in recent years and fixing deteriorating housing in those areas.

file photo / Kansas News Service

A restructuring of how Kansas hires agencies to manage foster care and adoptions could allow widespread exclusion of placements with gay parents — a revelation Monday that prompted objections from some lawmakers.

Kevin Collison

The long-vacant Wheatley-Provident Hospital, an important landmark in the Kansas City African-American community, has been purchased by a development group with plans to renovate it as offices.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The deadline to register before the Aug. 7 primaries is Tuesday, July 17. Fear not, registering is easy.

So is finding your polling location, or voting in advance. Read on.

Got a criminal record? Seriously, read on.

First, check if you’re already registered and have a party affiliation

All you need is your birth date, county of residence and full name to check online.

Easy, right?

Netflix

Updated 3:55 p.m., Friday, July 13

Wonder no more: Netflix’s “Queer Eye” is coming to Kansas City, Missouri, and will start shooting Monday.

Nicholas Prakas/Creative Time

The Spencer Museum of Art and The Commons at the University of Kansas in Lawrence released a joint statement Friday supporting freedom of expression after a piece of art depicting the U.S. flag with black marks on it was moved inside the museum.

More than a century of newspaper history ends today when The Kansas City Star staff moves from its historic quarters at 1729 Grand into new space in the Press Pavilion across McGee Street.

Courtesy of Lucky Garcia

Two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, gun control remains in the headlines. But the conversation surrounding race, sexuality, and privilege has faded, something that a Kansas City-area collective of queer poets of color is working to change.

Philip Taylor / Creative Commons-Flickr

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Thursday that will cut the state's top individual income tax rate to 5.4 percent next year.

Dave von Fintel / Vimeo

Superstition is absolutely ridiculous. Unless it’s not.

So you might as well cover your keister this entire Friday the 13th weekend with totally luck-centric events that will leave you feeling fortunate no matter what the calendar says.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Update: Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Kris Kobach called for the controversial flag artwork be removed from public display at the Spencer Museum of Art altogether. Gov. Jeff Colyer was the first to raise the issue in opening remarks during a gubernatorial debate Thursday evening, saying the artwork should be "sent back to sender" and that taxpayer-funded institutions, such as KU, should not be used as a venue to "desecrate our flag." 

Responding to criticism from elected officials and political candidates, University of Kansas officials have taken down an altered American flag displayed on campus as part of a nationwide art project.

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod issued the order late Wednesday after Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer learned of the flag exhibit and demanded its removal.

“The disrespectful display of a desecrated American flag on the KU campus is absolutely unacceptable,” Colyer said in a news release earlier in the day. “I demand that it be taken down immediately.”

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Vice President Mike Pence came to Kansas City Wednesday, where he touted Republicans running for office on both sides of the state line and tried to ease concerns about the Trump administration’s expanding trade war.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Nearly a year after Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway released a scathing audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Missouri, the tiny hospital is still struggling to recover from a lab billing scheme that's now the subject of criminal investigations. 

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