Kansas City Kansas (KCK)

Cody Newill / KCUR

A new emergency shelter for children in Wyandotte County opening up this summer got a little help from the community Saturday.

The proceeds from the "Luau with Love" at St. Patrick Catholic Church will help fund Robert's Place, a shelter where children in abusive homes can be taken after police have intervened.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A committee in the Kansas House has dismissed a complaint against a Democratic lawmaker who made controversial comments earlier this year.

During a committee hearing in March, Rep. Valdenia Winn, of Kansas City, Kansas, said that “racist bigots” were supporting a bill to take away college tuition breaks for students who are in the country illegally.

During the Friday hearing, Republican Rep. Mark Kahrs moved to dismiss the complaint against Winn and the committee agreed unanimously.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

If you ask almost anyone from the community of Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas what to see in their neighborhood, they’ll tell you to go see the mural.

The landmark that stretches across a block of Metropolitan Avenue is a point of pride for the residents — it’s only been tagged with graffiti twice since it was painted 17 years ago.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Health advocates are partnering with students and faculty at the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design and Planning to help Wyandotte County residents make their communities more conducive to healthy living.

The Community Health Council of Wyandotte County (CHC) is leading the effort with a four-year, $1.6 million grant from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program aimed at reducing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke in communities across the country.

Connecting for Good

Connecting for Good, a Kansas City-area non-profit that’s working to provide digital literacy and computer access across the metro, established a computer lab last year across from the Juniper Gardens Housing Project in Kansas City, Kansas. The organization recently added 25 computers, because the lab became so popular.

Monroe Dodd

Ask people in Kansas City, Kansas what it means to have a unified government, and you’ll get some interesting answers.

“Kansas City is like Australia,” says Hannah Milner, a stay-at-home mom who has lived in KCK for seven years. “They’re a country and a continent. We’re a county and a city.”

Despite this strong metaphor, Milner admits, “I don’t really understand the government side of things.”

That’s a fairly common sentiment in the Kansas City area. So let’s go back in time to see how the unified government developed, and what it means for KCK today.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County

Since he was elected in 2013, Unified Government of Wyandotte County Mayor and CEO Mark Holland has been able to boast some impressive developments and job growth in the county.

Holland reiterated those successes in his State of the Government address Tuesday, making particular note of 4,000 new jobs created in 2014. He said that number represents about 30 percent of all new jobs in the state of Kansas.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

When they’re not talking about how to fund education in the Kansas Statehouse, they’re talking about how to change it. How to improve it. How to get better results with the same money.

Six school districts across the state are now rolling out something that may do all of that.

The school districts in Concordia, Marysville, McPherson, Blue Valley, Hugoton and Kansas City, Kan., are all part of something called the Coalition of Innovative School Districts and they all want, among other things, to license teachers differently. In a way, they say, that works best for them.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

The best way to visualize a school district’s Internet connection may be to compare it to a busy network of highways:

First, an Internet service provider, like Time Warner or Google Fiber, sends in the Internet on one big eight-lane freeway to a district’s main servers. Here, the Internet connection may meet some firewalls and content filters — think of these as tollbooths — and then, the Internet is streamed out to the district’s schools through fiber cable on what you might think of as two-lane country roads.

An offshoot of Kansas’ Rural Opportunity Zones program could be moving into Wyandotte County, pending approval from the state legislature.

Wyandotte County officials are optimistic that Gov. Sam Brownback will introduce the plan to the Kansas legislature soon. Brownback first debuted the idea for “Urban Opportunity Zones” on the campaign trail in August.

The zones would entice out-of-state residents to move into Kansas with a five-year income tax exemption, up to $15,000 in help for student loan payments, and significant property tax breaks for 15 years.

Courtesy Jim Mair

This week, the musicians in the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Ensemble travel to Cuba, where they’ve been invited to perform at the Havana International Jazz Festival. It’s a point of pride for a little-known, but stellar music program.

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

 

A multimillion-dollar plan to transform downtown Kansas City, Kan., into a national model is one step closer to reality.

The Unified Government Board of Commissioners last week unanimously approved a new master development plan designed to help improve the health of Kansas City and other Wyandotte County residents by providing a state-of-the-art community center, more green space in which to exercise and access to healthy foods at a 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot urban grocery store.

St. Louis Cardinals / San Francisco Giants / MLB

The Kansas City Royals clinched the American League Championship against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, and will move on to the World Series for the first time in 29 years. 

Fans are celebrating the historic moment, but the boys in blue aren't out of the woods just yet.

Now the question is which team will they face off against: the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants? And which would be a better matchup?

Cody Newill / KCUR

Royals fans don't get much more devoted than Andy Berry. A lifelong Kansas Citian, Berry attended the 1980 World Series when the Royals lost to the Phillies, and Game seven of the 1985 World Series when the Royals beat the Cardinals.

On that night when Missouri's two MLB teams clashed, Berry decided to sneak his way down onto the field after the final play. It was there that he got a special piece of memorabilia to remember that night: some dirt from the diamond.

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland on Thursday unveiled an initiative to ensure that all residents can use a proposed new community center regardless of their financial circumstances.

Holland announced the initiative as part of a community forum for a “healthy campus” proposed for an urban site just west of downtown Kansas City, Kan.

A proposal championed by Holland, the healthy campus is a proposed mixed-use development that would revolve around Big Eleven Lake, which is bounded by 10th and 11th streets between State Avenue and Washington Boulevard.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Even if you don't pay attention to sports, social media or Kansas City, you probably saw something about the Royals winning their first playoff game in 29 years Tuesday

Fans were left stunned after what was arguably the most intense game in Royals history. But what about people who generally don't follow baseball and want in on the excitement? What about those who don't know a bunt from bean? 

Allen Brewer / Flickr-CC

Kansas City is the most up-and-coming city in the country, according to a new ranking list.

The Huffington Post ranked Kansas City as the most exciting, "it" city in the United States. The food, Midwestern hospitality and music were all highlighted as reasons to visit the metro area.

The Daily Beast

News site The Daily Beast released an extensive review of United States high schools, and two of Kansas City's were ranked as "Doing the Most With the Least."

Out of 25 schools, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Mo., ranked 17th and 18th, respectively. 

Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

It was nearly a decade ago that the Rosedale Development Association, a nonprofit community improvement corporation, identified lack of transportation as a significant barrier for neighborhood residents who wanted better access to medical care, grocery stores and other basic services.

The feedback came via a community-needs survey conducted by a volunteer working with the organization, said Erin Stryka, program manager of the association’s Rosedale Healthy Kids program.

KCK Mayor Pushes Plan For 'Healthy Campus' Downtown

Mar 19, 2014
Mike Sherry / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

The southern vista from Big Eleven Lake — situated along one of the busiest streets in Kansas City, Kan. — features the crescent roof of a self-service car wash and the clutter of an auto body shop wedged onto a tiny corner lot.

On Tuesday, the litter along the lake’s muddy bank included an empty bottle of peach vodka and a crumpled pack of Pall Malls.

Down the hill was fisherman Alvin Suttington, a KCK native who said the park is a relaxing, convenient amenity for urban families. But, he said, “It would be better if (municipal officials) kept it up better.”

It’s been nearly a year since Mark Holland became mayor of Kansas City, Kan., and it’s time to see what influence he’s wielded in the city over that time.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Mayor Holland joins us in the studio to talk about the city’s economic development, public health programs and other issues.

Guest:

  • Mark Holland, mayor of the unified government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County

KCK Mayor's First State Of The Government Address

Feb 26, 2014

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., County needs to lower its taxes and drop its mill levy. That was part of the message on Tuesday for Mark Holland in his first term as chief executive of the Unified Government.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Two friends from Kansas City, Kan., are teaming up for a project called If Da Dirt Could Talk. It combines collaborative quilts with a performance in an historic graveyard in old Quindaro.

Quilting to share history

Artist Nedra Bonds started quilting at the age of six. "Yeah, I didn’t have a choice, I come from a family of quilters on both sides," she says. "So this was something that we did, based upon who we were, based on the needs of the family, and we just always have done it."

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

In 2006, an organization called Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Kansas City (LISC) identified six neighborhoods in the Kansas City area to target for improvements: Blue Hills, Douglass-Sumner, Ivanhoe Northwest, Downtown Kansas City, Kan., Scaritt Renaissance and St. Peter/ Waterway.

LISC is a national group that works with local organizations and communities, the Kansas City area initiative was called NeighborhoodsNOW.

Performer and KCK native, Janelle Monae, is known for her gender-bending clothing and futuristic soul-meets-funk music. Keeping in her style, Monae just released her latest music video, "Q.U.E.E.N.", featuring neo-soul singer, Erykah Badu.

It may take a week to ten days to learn how and why a woman fell from a party bus into I-35 traffic near the Kansas-Missouri state line and was killed Saturday night.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Wednesday was Joe Reardon’s last day in office.

The popular, 2-term head of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas says there were many things he was proud of accomplishing, and a few things he regretted not getting done.

Here are the things he was most proud of:

A Mayoral Summit

Apr 22, 2013
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It’s the end of an era for one city leader, while events march on for another.

KCK Mayoral Foes Battle By Substance And Style

Mar 29, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Wyandotte County voters on Tuesday will decide who holds the reins as Mayor/CEO of Unified Government.

KCUR’s Dan Verbeck has background on two candidates who bring distinctly different approaches to operating the post.

Each serves as a member of the local governing commission, survivors of a spirited primary campaign and election. The candidates appeared to answer questions posed by a panel in a forum at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Appearing in alphabetical order:

Join Up to Date at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 1, at the Kansas City, Kan., Main Library, 625 Minnesota Ave., for the final debate of the Kansas City, Kan., mayoral race. Candidates Mark Holland and Ann Murguia will discuss the hot issues of the campaign in a debate moderated by Steve Kraske.

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