Digital Post | KCUR

Digital Post

Heidi Van

Kansas City has a wide range of theater venues, from tiny spaces that seat only a couple dozen people to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. And now, two newcomers are opening another one.

LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / University of Missouri-Kansas City

He was murdered almost 50 years ago, so fewer Kansas Citians these days might know the name Leon Jordan. But he was one of Kansas City's most important civil rights leaders, and at one point his homicide was the Kansas City Police Department's oldest cold case.

Harvest Public Media

Since its inception over a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security has had authority over the $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, under construction on the campus of Kansas State University.

Paul Andrews / http://paulandrewsphotography.com/

Enrique Chi, frontman of the Kansas City-based band Making Movies, has had a busy year.

The band released its second album, “I Am Another You,” last spring. Produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, the record made it to #3 on Billboard's Latin Album chart.

Koreanet / Flickr - CC

The nations of the world are gathered once again for the Olympic Games and — wouldn’t you know it? — there still isn’t peace on earth. Yet as commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes,' in times like these, it really may be the thought that counts.

When the delegations of North and South Korea walked in to Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium this week as one team, was it a big deal or just a big show?

Ged-Carroll / Creative Commons-Flickr

It’s a standard practice in the confectionary industry: under-filling, or leaving empty space in, candy boxes.

And now a judge has ruled that a Columbia, Missouri, man’s claim that he was defrauded by the practice is just as empty.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey tossed Robert Bratton’s class-action lawsuit, saying Bratton knew the boxes of Reese’s Pieces and Whoppers he purchased had a lot of "slack-filled" space.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

About 300 alumni of North Kansas City High School, some of whom traveled hundreds of miles, gathered one last time Thursday night to pack themselves on wooden planks for the Hornets' final girls and boys basketball games at the facility that's been open since 1951.

These days, high school gymnasiums are usually built with retractable bleachers. But when the North Kansas City High School Fieldhouse is torn down and the wooden planked seats removed, the wrecking ball will drop on two giant slabs of staircased concrete.

change.org

While media attention has focused on the plight of Syed Jamal, the Lawrence chemistry professor whom immigration agents seized last month and tried to deport, another area immigrant is facing a similar predicament. 

James Cavallini / Science Source

The Kansas Medicaid program sets too many barriers for patients to receive a potentially life-saving, if extremely costly, drug regimen, a lawsuit filed Thursday contends.

The class action filed in federal court argues that KanCare should cover the cost of medications that have proven effective in treating hepatitis C without subjecting patients to a lengthy list of conditions.

Courtesy of Charles Xavier Conley / PlanetComicon.com

How big is too big? There's no such thing this weekend, with entertainments whose sheer size and/or towering reputation can’t help but elicit extraordinary appreciation.

From the awesomely planetary to the impressively encyclopedic, the intensely grand to the entirely over the top – here’s your list of lofty events to absolutely lose yourself in before life returns to normal on Monday.

Go big or go home? Nonsense. Just go bigger!

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Syed Jamal, the Lawrence resident detained by immigration authorities for overstaying his visa, was returned to the Kansas City area on Wednesday after the Board of Immigration Appeals in Virginia stayed his deportation.

Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

We know we need a good night's sleep. It’s good for our health, our cognition and productivity and our relationships.

It's so important that now, some Kansas City companies want to help their employees sleep better at night. The KC Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum on sleep for the business community on Thursday morning. (Alas, it starts at 7:30 a.m.)

Olivia Fox

Olivia Fox is the Kansas City-based folk-pop trio of Aubrey Callahan, Lauren Flynn and Tiffany Smith. Formed in 2016, it's one of the most fully realized musical acts in Kansas City. The polished group is radio-ready and eminently marketable.

That's clear on “Play the Game,” the lead track of the group’s self-titled 2017 EP. As synthetic beats contrast with traditional folk harmonies, the hushed song becomes a wondrous combination of tension and tranquility — as enticing as a romantic whisper.

Elizabeth Stehling / Kansas City Ballet

In an art form as brutal as it is beautiful, breaking through the tried-and-true blockbusters of classic ballet and strict company structure is difficult. New work and new talent is a risk. Creating new work not only requires learning new steps, but also changing perspectives, generating curiosity and challenging expectations.

Courtesy of Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law

Update Feb. 14, 12:55 p.m.: Jamal's attorneys say Immigration and Customs Enforcement is returning Jamal to Kansas City and he will arrive this afternoon.  

Chr. Barthelmess / Library of Congress

Anyone who has even a hazy memory of Bob Marley's song "Buffalo Soldier" knows the broad historical brush strokes of the African-American soldiers.

"Stolen from Africa, brought to America," the song goes. "Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival."

The full history is more complicated.

theNerdPatrol / Flickr — CC 2.0

Childhood and adolescence have their charms. But it’s only adults, despite being closer to the final exit than the fresh start, who get to call their own shots.

That's even truer on weekends, when most grown-ups have additional time to devote to non-essential stuff (a.k.a. fun). And this weekend is especially adult-friendly, with things that go "va-va-voom, "kerrang," "vroom," "smooch," "hic" and "whaaaaaattt." 

That's right, you can still be an adult and make as many silly sounds in public as you want. I should know!

 

Peggy Clark / Washburn University

Nell Johnson Doerr’s husband rolled her up in a carpet so she’d survive Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence. Lying alongside the limestone foundation of her house, she hears her husband’s murder but is powerless to help him.

Kansas writer Thomas Fox Averill’s entirely fictitious book, “Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr,” is rooted in the abolitionist movement, but the character of Nell begins to live and breathe while trapped in the carpet.Readers familiar with Averill’s work might recall that the protagonists of his novel “rode,” found a baby in a raided house near her dead parents. Nell Johnson Doerr is that baby.

J.E. Milles Studio, LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / UMKC

Kansas City blues and jazz lover Dawayne Gilley, who calls himself a "music activist," has some business he's needed to finish for almost a decade.

On Monday, when he gives away hundreds of posters at a free jam session, he hopes it’ll be the end of a long and tortured project that started with the best of intentions.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

Federal officials are moving to strip the naturalization of a U.S. citizen who pleaded guilty several years ago to sending more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Mubarak Ahmed Hamed, 61, was sentenced to 58 months in federal prison. He was released from a facility in Texarkana, Texas, in August 2016.

The Columbia, Missouri, resident and native of Sudan was executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), which was based in Columbia and served as the U.S. office of the Islamic Relief Agency based in Khartoum, Sudan.

James T. Lundie

Julia Othmer is an art-rock musician in the vein of Tori Amos and Peter Gabriel. Although she currently lives in Los Angeles, Othmer claims Kansas City as her hometown and returns to visit her parents and friends several times a year.

Othmer says she intends to "be on the road a lot" in 2018 to promote her forthcoming album "Sound. That includes a stop at Knuckleheads this weekend.

Kinsa

Area hospitals are continuing to see high numbers of influenza patients, suggesting that the flu season has yet to peak.

At the University of Kansas Health System, 913 patients have tested positive for the flu so far, 162 of them in the last week alone, according to spokeswoman Jill Chadwick. Seventeen patients currently remain hospitalized.

“This is going down as one of the more aggressive flu seasons in recent memory for us as well as the rest of the nation,” she says.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The attorney for the man whose ex-wife had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says his client has been subpoenaed by a grand jury.

Attorney Al Watkins said in a news release that the ex-husband who secretly recorded his wife's admission of the 2015 affair with Greitens had been asked Monday to testify. The release did not say when that testimony would happen.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

At the end of President Donald Trump's first year in office, KCUR wanted to know how his agenda was affecting the Kansas City metro, and how residents thought the president had been doing. 

We did a series of stories and talk show discussions on the topic, and spent time at sites around the region gathering people's thoughts. We plan to do more of this in the future, but for this first round of conversations we went to Parkville, Missouri; Midtown and Northeast Kansas City, Missouri; and Orrick, Missouri. 

Courtesy Jennifer Karady and Amparo Hoffman

Comedian George Burns had this to say about sincerity: “If you can fake that, you've got it made.”

Ah, but was he being sincere? No doubt, in his own amusing way.

However one approaches it, the act of being heartfelt can be observed and shared this weekend in a variety of ways, from the honest allures of traditional country music to the direct detection of the (pardon the expression) ideal female. I kid you not … well, not too much!

 

1. The Randy Rogers Band

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. to include comments from a spokewoman for Frank White and from Scott Burnett, the chairman of the Jackson County Legislature.

Jackson County Executive Frank White says an ordinance transferring control of the COMBAT anti-drug tax to the Jackson County prosecutor has sown chaos among county employees, and White has asked a judge to declare it illegal.

File photo and Office of the Attorney General

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, seen by many as a promising Republican challenger to Sen. Claire McCaskill, found himself in a defensive posture Wednesday after it was reported he drew links between the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and sex trafficking today. 

Courtesy of Shang Tea

On the first floor of Crown Center in Kansas City sits Shang Tea, a tea shop where teabags are frowned upon and traditional dried leaves applauded.

Courtesy of Rubeo

The Kansas City artist Joe Rubeo, whose stage name is simply Rubeo, began making music just five months ago. He's released only two songs, but says he has a couple albums' worth of material ready to record.

He uses a phone app called Auxy to produce his tracks.

“It’s definitely been a game-changer for me," Rubeo says, "and I feel like I’m just beginning to scratch the surface on its capabilities,” he says.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, which will be followed by a response from the Democratic Party. Journalists across the NPR newsroom will be annotating those remarks, adding fact-checks and analysis in real time.

The live stream starts at 9 p.m. ET.

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