Economy

Up to Date
4:00 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Looking Back At The Sunflower Ammunition Plant

The Sunflower Ammunition Plant is the focus of a new exhibit at the Johnson County Museum.
Credit Thomas Long/Flickr-CC

The Midwest is generally a calm place, but a new museum exhibit in Johnson County is recalling a place that was potentially explosive.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the history and development of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant. A former plant manager and the top government official both join us today to give an inside look at what it was like to work there.

Guests:

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KC Currents
11:19 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Sprint Pushes Medical App Development With KC Boot Camp

Sprint's Kevin McGinnis speaks at Accelerator launch.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

In his Overland Park, Kan. office, Dr. Rohit Krishna administers an eye test, but he isn't using big contraptions or wall charts. Krishna administers the entire test on his iPad using an app called The Eye Handbook. Krishna created The Eye Handbook about four years ago with other University of Missouri - Kansas City medical professors and residents. It is designed especially for use in countries that don't have a lot of medical services.

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Business & Tech
7:32 am
Thu October 10, 2013

St. Paul's Plans Sale To Social Service Organization

Sources affiliated with Saint Paul School of Theology say the school has negotiated a contract to sell its Truman Road campus to a prominent local social service agency. The seminary is negotiating with the Guadalupe Center’s Inc. to move into their old building.

The future of the Truman Road campus had become controversial after the  leader of a Washington D.C. coalition of social service agencies known as KC CASE filed for zoning changes in order to move into the seminary.

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KCUR
5:59 am
Sat September 28, 2013

It's Fall Membership Drive Time!

KCUR's Fall Membership Drive kicks off today and we are coming to YOU to ask for your support.

You are the one that powers KCUR. The support we get from you and other members makes up the largest source of revenue for the station. We cannot do it without you, so please make a pledge now.

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Central Standard
9:46 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Buying A Home In Today's Market

Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

It’s the most important investment—and the largest asset—that most people will ever make and own. It’s volatile in price, difficult to manage, and subject to sudden and total loss. For many, it’s also their hope of a secure future. 

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Central Standard
6:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

App Development In Kansas City

Credit Ilamont.com / Flickr - CC

Imagine you go to the doctor's office, and instead of being handed a clipboard with the usual paperwork, they hand you a tablet. You fill in all of the information digitally and send it via the tablet to their office database. Then, with that same tablet, you have a list of digital magazines to browse instead of making a trip to the magazine stand. Suddenly, the paper trail you used to leave during your doctor's visit has been made completely digital. With new app technology, this could become the norm in many business settings.

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Central Standard
6:08 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Practicality Of Personality Tests

Credit Victor1558 / Flickr - CC

    

There are multiple tests out there that reduce your personality to a number, a one-word description, or a series of letters. Some say they’ve helped match the right person to the right job—maybe even to the right colleagues or romantic partners. But is personality simple enough to fit in such a box, or could a personality label lead people to change it, or live into it?

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Central Standard
11:52 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Kansas City Prepares For The Baby Boomers

Credit Ethan Prater / Flickr - CC

We all know that the baby boomer generation is getting older. As the baby boomers enter into their  sixties and seventies, our population will experience a significant age shift. In fact, the number of residents over age 65 will double over the next 20 years, and community members over the age of 80 will be increasing at an even faster rate. But what happens when Grandma and Grandpa can no longer drive, or even live on their own?

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Central Standard
9:27 am
Tue September 17, 2013

What Is A Bitcoin?

While any computer can be used to "mine" BitCoins, some people make specially designed hardware to increase the efficiency of their effort.
Credit Gastev / Flickr - CC

In a society where we pay bills online, transfer money via the internet, and can buy virtually anything on the web, would you be surprised to know that a currency has been developed that only exists in digital form?

BitCoin is a currency invented not by a government, or a large bank, but by a person or perhaps few people, nobody actually knows exactly who.  It has no government backing, no tie to any precious metal and is entirely unregulated.  However, on the afternoon of Monday, September 16 the exchange rate for one Bitcoin was more than 126 dollars.

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Central Standard
5:09 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Four Strategies For Dealing With Bad Bosses

Credit Victor1588 / Flickr - CC

A boss can make or break a job. Lack of manager training, promoting for the wrong reasons, and even personal character flaws have resulted in multiple "bad bosses" making the work environment for many stressful, or even toxic. According to an American Psychological Association survey, three-fourths of Americans suffer from workplace stress. And that stress can take a toll.

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Up to Date
10:19 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Annual Zoo Conference Decends On KC, Examines New Challenges

Lions lounge at the Kansas City Zoo.
Credit Shawn Kinkade/ Flickr-CC

Lions, tigers and (panda) bears, oh my! Two thousand zoo and aquarium professionals are in Kansas City this week for the annual convention of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the challenges zoos face these days and how that's been affecting attendance. We also discuss what zoos are hoping their visitors get out of the experience. 

Guests: 

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Business & Tech
8:24 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Local Probiotics Company Is Missouri’s Exporter Of The Year

The Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in Missouri has named a Kansas City company its Exporter of the Year. SCD Probiotics makes products used for human health, agriculture, veterinary medicine and industry.   

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Business & Tech
4:48 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Blunt To Business: Invest In Science, Medicine

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt before Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt says advances in medical and food science are going to be among the great challenges of the next two decades.

The state’s junior Senator  drew parallels as he spoke to the greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in an address billed as “economic.”

The Republican Senator said medical advances go hand in hand with the agricultural economy, as the world’s food needs will double by 2050.

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Up To Date
5:05 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Social Entrepreneurship: Making Changes By Making Money

Red Dirt is a Kansas City-based social enterprise.
Credit reddirtshop.com

Imagine starting a business for any other reason but to make a profit. There is a subset of business owners who do just that ... social entrepreneurs.

These executives look to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change. On Friday's Up to Date we examine social enterprise: from what drives someone to start a business aimed at bettering the lives of others, to the process of taking an idea all the way to market, to how the funds find their way to worthwhile causes.

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:54 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Micro-Lending Around The World

Credit World Bank Photo Collection / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Micro-loans are becoming something of a trend now. Anyone can loan as little as $25 to $50 to someone across the globe they've never met. Bob Harris, a man who saw poverty in the world and pledged to himself to do something about it. 


Oftentimes these loans go to small businessman and businesswomen who need the money to get started or finish a project.  For instance, an individual may need a small loan to open up a new shop, or buy capital for a business they want to start, but they simply don't have the money.

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Business & Tech
6:18 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Roeland Park, Kan. Council Votes To Bring In Google Fiber

A screenshot, dated September 3, 2013, of the installation progress of Google Fiber in Kansas City, Kan.

The Roeland Park City Council Tuesday voted to bring Google Fiber, the high-speed Internet service, to the city. Spokeswoman Jenna Wandres says Roeland Park marks the "14th local Kansas City expansion (in addition to the original announcements in Kansas City, Kan.

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Business
8:26 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Kan. Increasing Awareness Of State Roofing Law

The state wants to crack down on fly-by-night roofers or scam artists, especially those that might visit an area after a storm.

There's a Kansas law on the books that took effect in July, requiring roofers to get a state license. But it looks like many companies may not be aware of the requirement, and state office is trying to get the word out.

The AG's office says they have not levied any fines against roofers for failure to comply with the new law, which the Kansas Attorney General’s Office administers.

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Business & Tech
8:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

GOP Convention Bid Backers Fave Kansas City

Director of K.C.s bid for the 2016 GOP Convention Cathy Nugent has told young partisans prospects look very good.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Chief organizer of the Kansas City bid to land the 2016 GOP National Convention has told the Young Republicans Club, prospects are bright.

Lack of a 1,000 room convention hotel is being discounted as a negative factor. Backers of the convention trade have complained for years that Kansas City doesn’t have a giant hotel.

Las Vegas as competitor?  Not much chance, said Greater Kansas City Young Republicans President Fred Buckley.  Not  a “sin City” for the Grand Old Party.

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Central Standard
5:19 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Launching A Small Business

Credit Metthileo / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Have you considered taking that passion or that one great idea and turning it into a living? Starting a small business is one of the riskiest things you can do.  Over 627,000 new small businesses were created last year, but only about half of those make it past the 5-year mark. So, why do people continue to take the plunge

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Central Standard
3:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

The Precarious State of Space Exploration And The Sale Of The Washington Post

An artists rendering of NASA's still developing Space Launch System (SLS). If completed it will be able to haul more payload into space.
Credit NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The Washington Post's Joel Achenbach joins Central Standard to discuss the precarious state of space exploration and the recent purchase of the Post by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

Guest:

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Business & Tech
1:40 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

New Fund Aims To Increase Digital Literacy In Kansas City

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation Wednesday afternoon announced it would manage a fund aimed at bridging the digital divide in Kansas City.

Recent studies of digital literacy in Kansas City have shown a quarter of our residents don’t have broadband at home.  Seventeen percent don’t use the internet at all.

Wednesday’s announcement of the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund is aimed at raising those percentages.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Construction Projects Growing In KC

Cerner's redevelopment of the old Bannister Mall may bring 15,000 jobs to the area.
Credit Mike Kalasnik/Flickr-CC

Kansas City seems to be building its way to an economic recovery. Take, for instance, Cerner's proposed redevelopment of the property that formerly housed Bannister Mall -- with office buildings that could potentially house 15,000 new jobs. 

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Business
9:57 am
Wed August 7, 2013

The Payday Playbook: How High Cost Lenders Fight To Stay Legal

Supporters of the ballot initiative to cap the annual rate of loans at 36 percent rally at the entrance of a Kansas City payday lender in September 2012.
Credit Communities Creating Opportunity

A version of this story was co-published with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As the Rev. Susan McCann stood outside a public library in Springfield, Mo., last year, she did her best to persuade passers-by to sign an initiative to ban high-cost payday loans. But it was difficult to keep her composure, she remembers. A man was shouting in her face.

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Business & Tech
4:21 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Job Market Slightly More Rosy At Home Than Around U.S.

Credit Photo Credit Purdue University

The Kansas City labor market deviates from the federal jobs picture in significant ways. That’s according to local and national reports released on August 2.     

Unemployment locally stayed stuck at 6.6 percent, where it’s been for some months, according to the Workforce Report by the Mid-America Regional Council.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported a slight drop in unemployment in July, but analysts were quick to point out most of the new jobs were either low paying or part-time.

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Central Standard
9:31 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Psychology Of Branding

The label for Boulevard Brewing Company's Tank 7 beer.
Credit Adam Barhan / Flickr

Logos and brands are all around us, and we probably recognize more of them than we think. But what goes into creating those familiar symbols? And how do they work to make us buy the products they represent? Today on Central Standard, we'll talk label design.

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Business
8:15 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Third Shift Workers Start At Claycomo Ford Plant

Ford F-150s roll out of an assembly line at the Claycomo Plant in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

As promised in May, Ford Motor Company began a third assembly line shift Monday at the Claycomo Plant.

The 900-worker expansion brings the total of rank and file UAW jobs to some 4,500. The emphasis of the additional team will be making the F-150 pickup.

Plant manager Dan Jowiski said potential workers went through pre-interview testing to see if they were qualified to do the job. That was in late April, just before Ford started beefing up the force.

Jowiski cited strong company ties to the area when the jobs were announced this spring. 

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Central Standard
6:16 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Interest Rates And How They Affect You

Historical 5 year nominal treasury rates (July 2005 to July 2013)
Credit US Department of the Treasury

When people say interest rates are at historic lows what does that even mean and more importantly what are the implications for our daily lives and in the long term? The Cash Money Crew with Alex Petrovic, of Petrovic services; David Jackson, from Waddell & Reed; and ​Lucas Bucl of KHC Wealth Managment, help us make sense of these questions and address how you can save when traditional instruments of savings are impacted by these low interest rates.

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Business & Tech
3:36 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

KCP&L: KC Would See No Pause In Solar Rebates

Kansas City Power and Light says it has tried to ease the sting of its request to Missouri regulators for suspension of some popular solar rebates.  The stated utility plan would keep the bulk of Kansas City inside payment territory.

The request to the Missouri Public Service Commission earlier this month asked some suspension of solar paybacks take effect September 3.   

There was a swift outcry over the payments mandated by law. The program grew out  of a 2008 statewide referendum.

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Business & Tech
4:52 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Protest Of Proposed Solar Rebate End By Kansas City Utility

Requested end to solar rebates are not expected to affect solarization of Kansas City church.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A Kansas City-based alternative energy company will protest a request by KCP&L to stop giving solar rebates in Missouri. The utility calculates the rebates are too costly.

The program is an outgrowth of 2008 passage of Proposition C to support a renewable energy standard. It required utilities to start offering solar rebates in 2010 and indefinitely.  

KCP&L argued funds have been depleted, and the utility has requested permission to stop offering solar rebates after September 3.

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Business & Tech
4:06 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Street naming Dispute Ends As IKEA Construction Begins In Merriam

Earth-moving equipment was more than window dressing at IKEA's newest job site in Merriam, KS.
Credit Dan Verbeck / kcur

The world’s largest furniture business group IKEA has started construction at its newest site, along the I-35 corridor in Merriam, Kan.

The Swedish retailer is billing itself as a destination attraction and promises 300 permanent jobs.

Five hundred construction jobs are expected in the 18 months to build the complex.

Company officials say further that retail employees working over 20 hours a week get full-time benefits, 401(k) matching and paid vacation.

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