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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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


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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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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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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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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Techsperts: Social Media and Home Technologies

Over the years, technology has slowly, but surely been taking over the home. Our Techsperts tell us automation systems could be next.
Credit Tom Taker - CC

Change your home thermostat setting while you’re shopping at the grocery store. Lock the back door after you’ve backed out of the driveway.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, our Techsperts return to talk with Steve Kraske about the future of home automation systems and how these new technologies will change daily life. 

And, did you just get used to Twitter? The tech gurus will also look at the growing rise of new, trendy social media platforms that have a photo and video emphasis. 

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Business & Tech
7:16 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Governor Attends Paris Airshow To Meet With Industry Officials

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says the state is serious about attracting investments from aircraft and aviation companies.

Brownback attended the Paris Air Show last month to meet with industry representatives. He says the air show, which bills itself as the world's largest, provides an opportunity to showcase Kansas as a place for aviation business.

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KC Currents
11:36 am
Mon July 1, 2013

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

Reporter Mark Davis covers Sprint and the wireless industry for the Kansas City Star. He sat down with KCUR's Susan Wilson to discuss the details of the Sprint-SoftBank deal, and what it means for Sprint customers and the Kansas City area at large.

Here are four major takeaways from the interview:

1. Sprint customers should see better service

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Business & Tech
9:32 am
Fri June 28, 2013

RIP Kansas City Board Of Trade

Credit goatling / Flickr--Creative Commons

The open pit trading of winter wheat at the Kansas City Board of Trade has quieted down during its 157 year history, not quite silenced from its loud, rowdy past, when one journalist wrote that traders were “yelling as if a panther were at them.”

But on Friday (June 28) it will go silent, with the final ring of the trading day at 1:15 p.m. Central time, ending an era when this city put its name on a crop that became the crucial piece of our daily bread.

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Central Standard
6:59 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Implications Of The Board Of Trade Closing

Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Some of the famous names Kansas City – Kemper, Latshaw, Ohlmann – were people who at one time were chairman of the Kansas City Board of Trade.  Since 1856 the KC Board of trade has been home for commodity trading, such as hard red winter wheat, and as that history comes to an end on Friday Michael Braude, former President & CEO of the KCBT and Frank Stone, Chairman in ‘07, President of Clearing Corporation in ‘88 & ‘04, explore the impact the board of trade has had on the region and what the implications are for its closing.

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Business & Tech
10:21 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Sprint Shareholders Approve $21.6 Billion Deal With SoftBank

Shareholders in Sprint Nextel Corp. have approved a $21.6 billion sale of 78 percent of the company to Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp.

The vote in Overland Park, Kan. Tuesday comes at the end of months of negotiations that originally included a $25.5 billion offer to buy all of Sprint from Dish Network. Dish Network has since retreated from that offer, but may still pursue shares of Sprint network provider, Clearwire.

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Business & Tech
8:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Kan. Delegation Visits Paris Air Show

A Learjet plane flies overhead. Learjet is part of Kansas' robust aviation industry.
Credit Josh Beasly/Flickr--CC

Gov. Sam Brownback is leading a trade delegation to the Paris Air Show this week. The trip to France is aimed at attracting aviation business to Kansas and drumming up sales for the aircraft industry in the state.

"You could travel all over the world for a month to try and get these meetings that you can get in three days at these major air shows, " says Brownback.

"And, it is such a major industry for us as a state that we need to push it and we need to make sure we're on everybody's front and center mind if they're looking to expand."

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Central Standard
6:51 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Sandwich Generation

Credit Vinoth Chandar / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The Sandwich Generation--it’s made up of people who are generally between the ages of 45 and 65. On one side of the sandwich is that college grad who came back home to live. On the other side are one’s aging parents.  The strains are not just in time and energy, but are most acutely financial.  Alex Petrovic, of Petrovic Financial Services; Sandi Weaver, of Financial Security Advisors  and Corey Rasmussen of the Rasmussen Law Firm discuss the financial and legal issues that surround the care of an aging parent.

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12:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Halls Plans To Close Plaza Location, Expand At Crown Center

The new 60,000 square-foot Crown Center location will open late next year.

Local retail icon Halls has announced it plans to close its Country Club Plaza store, coinciding with expansion at Crown Center.

The expansion, which Crown Center President Bill Lucas called “the latest step in Crown Center’s evolution” in a statement released Tuesday, includes a new 60,000 square-foot store that will take up the entire third floor of the Crown Center Shops.

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Up To Date
11:23 am
Tue May 28, 2013

K.C. To D.C., Driven By Social Media

MindDrive's converted 1967 Karmann Ghia

The goal: Have at-risk students take an old rundown car, restore it and convert it to run on electric power then drive it from K.C. to D.C.   If that's not enough, have it powered solely by social media interaction.

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Central Standard
2:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

After The Recession, What The Housing Market In KC Looks Like

The latest report from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors suggests that the average sales price of an existing home is up 15 percent from a year ago, and the average sales price of a new home is up about 16 percent from December 2011.  On the other hand 4% of homes currently on the market are in foreclosure.  As the housing market begins to recover from the Recession, those buying and selling houses are facing different issues. Mary Hutchison, a Kansas City relator and Mike Cash, Senior Loan Officer at a1 Mortgage talk about this shift on this Central Standard. 

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Business & Tech
4:03 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

K.C. Gas Price Leap Is Termed An Aberration

Credit kenteegardin

Gasoline prices may have leveled off in Kansas City, following a dramatic one-week leap in the cost of fuel.  

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Central Standard
7:51 am
Fri May 17, 2013

The Cash Money Crew On How To Handle Kids Moving Back Home

The recession and recovery have been hard on many.  But, among those most effected are those between 20-24, with an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent-  almost twice the national average

With these challenges to financial independence many young adults are returning to their parents for financial and housing assistance. 

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Business & Tech
4:56 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Truck Sales Tie To Home Building, Kansas City Jobs

"The Line" at Claycomo, Ford Pickups
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

In  announcing it would add 2,000 jobs to its Claycomo Assembly Plant, Ford Motor cited increased  sales tied to new stability in the home building market.   At the truck factory, Ford executives drew parallels that are being seen industry-wide.

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