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Kansas City only has a handful of South American restaurants, but South American food has been appearing on menus all over town.

"You don't have to just be a South American restaurant to enjoy and have these dishes on your menu," Jenny Vergara told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR's Central Standard.

Vergara, along with fellow food critics Mary Bloch and Charles Ferruzza, searched out the best South American dishes in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Minerals, crystals and gems aplenty at the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show this weekend in Kansas City.
Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

What is truly free? Lunch? Hardly. Love? In theory.

Certainly, a great deal of advice is free, if you don’t count the price to be paid for following the lousy kind.

Here’s my gratis guidance: Do something more or less free this weekend – because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. You can look it up. Starting right here!

Jen Chen / KCUR 89.3

In her Twitter bio, Julia Good Fox says she’s “unapologetically tribalist.”

“I love tribalism, and that might be shocking,” she told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

People have been taught that it’s a negative word, she added, “which is very interesting, considering how many American Indian tribes we have here, and considering that this is an indigenous area.”

Sharon Harter

City of Fountains. Heart of the Nation.

For more than 25 years, those words and an illustration of a blue and fuchsia fountain have served as the official seal of Kansas City, Missouri. It's been such an enduring logo that its designer, Patrice Eilts Jobe, was honored with a proclamation from Mayor Sly James on March 2.

But the design almost didn’t happen.

Brewer and Shipley

The Midwestern natives Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley — known to rock fans of a certain age everywhere as Brewer & Shipley — relocated to Kansas City from Los Angeles in 1968, soon after their debut album "Down in L.A." was released by A&M Records in 1968.

The duo is best known for their 1970 hippie anthem “One Toke Over the Line.” It's an enduring cultural touchstone, as are Brewer and Shipley themselves, who celebrate their 50th anniversary with a concert at the Uptown Theater on Friday.

courtesy: Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart has nurtured a lot of up-and-coming writers over the decades he's spent as an editor at New Letters magazine and as a writing instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

In December, Stewart released a new book of his own poetry. He called it "Working Class" in recognition of his roots as well as the blue-collar ethos he brings to writing.  

Nelson Pereira

When two trained and industrious young artists, each exhibiting a set of arresting photos, understand themselves less as notable new photographers than as people with serious questions who happen to have cameras – just like everyone else with an iPhone and an Instagram – the message is a striking indication of where the form is headed now.

Jen Chen / KCUR 89.3

A new theater troupe in Kansas City is staging monthly play readings in an unlikely venue: a bar.

That’s part of the Kansas City Public Theatre’s mission. The group hopes to make theater more accessible by offering free shows in non-traditional venues.

Jackson County Detention Center.

Editor's note: Updated March 20 after charges were dropped against Landon Mikle — Four Lee's Summit men are in custody, charged with carrying a loaded weapon onto the campus of Lee's Summit High School after classes were dismissed on Wednesday. 

In a probable cause statement filed with the charge sheet, Lee's Summit Police describe a small arsenal found in the men's car, including an AR-15 style rifle, a shotgun, a loaded handgun, several gun magazines, and a box of shotgun shells. 

Dan Rest / Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Carmen, Mimi, Norma, Tosca, Violetta, Cio-Cio-San, Medea, Liù, Aida, Lulu: Being an opera heroine is harrowing work.

For hundreds of years, opera's women have suffered: on stage from dishonor, ruination, madness and death; off stage from harassment, abuse, degradation, threats, and coercion.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is launching one probe into Gov. Eric Greitens’ activities while clearing him in another.

Hawley’s deputy chief of staff said Thursday that it is looking into the charitable activities of a nonprofit called The Mission Continues, which was set up several years ago by Greitens – before he was a candidate – to help fellow military veterans.


www.ci.independence.mo.us

City Manager Zach Walker announced the news Wednesday and said the department’s functions would be transferred to other city departments.

Independence is facing a projected $3 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year. Walker said the move would save about $375,000 a year for the city’s general fund.

“This is certainly not a pleasant move, but it’s one that allows us to be innovative, to reduce our overhead associated with that operation, but still provide the core basic services associated with the health department,” Walker said.   

Bernard Spragg / Flickr — CC

A last chance can pass you by before you even knew you had a chance.

So as a public service — that's right, folks, I'm not only in this for the glory — allow me to share a weekend's worth of soon-to-be-here-and-gone attractions involving music, comedy, fast cars, fleeting celebrities and the tantalizing yet imperfect dream of eternal youth.

Look away if you dare. Going ... going ... grab on!

1. ‘Broadway's Next H!T Musical’

Bigstock

Two big box stores' announcements this week changing policies on gun sales will affect seven Dick's Sporting Goods stores and eight WalMarts in the Kansas City metro.

On Wednesday, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would end all sales of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, and raise the age limit to 21 for purchasing guns. Walmart also put similar new restrictions in place.

Khalif Ghillet

An emerging Kansas City director's travels in South America are influencing theater productions in Kansas City.

At the moment, that's most evident in the current production by the University of Missouri-Kansas City's graduate theater department. "The Storytelling Project," which runs through Sunday, mixes Andean mythology with the actors' personal stories.

Super/Typical

Everybody pees, but who spends time thinking about it?

Anyone who plans their outings in consideration of public restroom locations thinks about it. Wheelchair users, pregnant women, or parents of small children, for instance. And, of course, trans and gender noncomforming folks who are continually warned by policymakers to unzip it only in the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is due in a St. Louis court on May 14 to face trial on the felony invasion of privacy charge stemming from his 2015 affair.

But prosecutors admitted Wednesday that they don’t have one key piece of evidence: the photo Greitens allegedly took of the woman “in a state of full or partial nudity.”

file photo / Kansas News Service

Missouri and Kansas have joined 18 other states in seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional following Congress’ repeal last year of the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate.

In a lawsuit filed late Monday in federal court in Texas, the coalition of 20 mostly red states claimed that the elimination of the tax penalty for those who don’t buy health insurance renders the entire healthcare law unconstitutional.

Scott Stacy

It’s taken a long time for people to be able watch the documentary Kansas City filmmaker Kevin McKinney released in 2012. But he’s at peace with that.

After all, the problems he explored in "Corporate FM" – the corporatization and consolidation of local commercial radio – still exist. And he’s OK with the fact that audiences can watch it now because it’s streaming through Amazon Prime.

When it comes to Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal troubles, the split among Missouri Republicans was obvious Monday during back-to-back news conferences.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, a Republican from Poplar Bluff, announced that he has set up a bipartisan committee to investigate the issues surrounding the governor’s indictment Thursday for allegedly taking a photo of a partially nude woman without her consent.

Right after the speaker’s brief event, two St. Louis area lawmakers held a rival news conference that urged the governor to resign.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Can an all-girls charter school with a college prep curriculum help young women of color in Kansas City’s poorest neighborhoods succeed?

Tom Krebs thinks so, though he’s admittedly an odd champion for single-gender education.

“I’m a white guy from the East Coast. Why am I the leader of this effort?” Krebs, founding CEO of Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, said at a community meeting last week. “I’m hoping long term I won’t be.”

In fact, hiring someone to lead the charter school is “the biggest decision we’re going to make,” Krebs says.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Editor’s note and Feb. 28 update: One of the prosecutors in the invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric Greitens said they do not have the photo that he allegedly took of the woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

Media outlets reported that at a hearing on Wednesday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Robert Steele said prosecutors are hoping to obtain the photo, although one of Greitens’ lawyers said the photo “does not exist.”

The judge set a May 14 trial date for the case. That’s a few days before the end of the 2018 Missouri legislative session.

Jen Chen / KCUR 89.3

As you may have heard by now, Shake Shack is opening on the Plaza.

The New York-based burger chain has a devoted following, and the news of its fall opening sent many Kansas Citians into a tizzy. There’s been so much buzz about Shake Shack that the moderator of a local food group on Facebook had to tell people to stop posting about it.

“I can taste the Shake Shack burger without actually tasting it,” said Elizabeth Paradise. “I crave it that much.”

The DLC / Flickr -- CC

Burgers are a classic KC menu item.

"As a steak town, Kansas City has always had a lot of good burgers, too," Charles Ferruzza told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR's Central Standard.

Whether diners prefer a thin or thick patty — or something meatless — local menus have plenty of options.

Ferruzza, along with fellow Food Critics Mary Bloch and Jenny Vergara, searched out the best burgers in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Tamargo / U.S. Coast Guard

Missouri's political landscape has been shaken by a felony charge against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charges of felony invasion of privacy were announced Thursday by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, who has been investigating Greitens since last month's disclosure of a 2015 extramarital affair.

Fairfax Library Foundation / Flickr — CC

Is your first time the best time? I thought that might get your attention – at least at first.

Now it’s up to the weekend to deliver on a flurry of firsts as realized by stellar basketballers, accomplished musicians, an earnest explorer of the spirit world and curious kids interacting with encouraging canines.

If it’s the last thing you do, be part of the debut crew!

1. Harlem Globetrotters

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This is just not the kind of news Kansans want to hear, but: Four of the ten most isolated towns in the United States are in Kansas.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Leaders of the India Association of Kansas City were meeting at a Scooter's Coffee in south Overland Park Wednesday night to plan the first India Day celebration.

Most of these men did not know Srinivas Kutchibhotla, the 32 year old Garmin engineer and Indian immigrant who was shot and killed on Feb. 22, 2017, at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe. Nor did they know his best friend, Alok Madasini, or Ian Grillot, a bar patron who intervened.

Ten Kansas City-area companies and their owners ran a fraudulent sweepstakes operation that took in more than $110 million since 2013, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Kansas City, Missouri.

The suit, filed jointly by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of Missouri, charges that the companies sent out mailers to consumers in the United States and abroad falsely representing that they had won, or were likely to win, cash prizes of as much as $2 million. In return, the consumers were required to pay fees ranging from $9 to $139.99.

Ron Waddington/Flickr CC

As the nation watches a burgeoning children’s movement for gun control spring from Florida after last week’s mass killing, the odds of Kansas and Missouri rewriting their rules for firearms this year look slim.

Few parts of the country welcome guns, carried openly or tucked out of sight, as much as Kansas and Missouri.

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