News from the local region for a station

Courtesy Aimee Larabee

The Hippocratic Oath that's guided doctors for centuries asks them to "remember that there is art to medicine as well as science." The late cardiac surgeon Jeffrey Piehler and Prairie Village filmmaker Aimee Larrabee shared that sentiment, and the result is her documentary Patient: A Surgeon's Journey, making its one-night local premiere October 1 at the Tivoli Cinema in Westport.


Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Nilvio Aquino weaves through a tangled jungle of marijuana plants at an indoor grow facility in Denver.

“Throw your nose in there. It’s nice and pungent,” he said, pulling a seven-foot tall plant down to nose height at one of the company’s grow facilities.

Aquino, the lead grower for Sticky Buds, a chain of marijuana shops in Denver, is in his element among the plants. He’s like a proud gardener showing off blue ribbon varieties, bustling from plant to plant, picking out his favorites.

Maria Carter / KCUR

A 72-bed, private behavioral health hospital opens its doors this week in Olathe amid growing demand for mental health and substance abuse services in an era of uncertain government support.  

Cottonwood Springs Hospital is the 12th behavioral health hospital built or under construction by Springstone Inc., a for-profit company founded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2010 and backed by venture capital.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Jeremy LaFaver from District 025 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss legislative term limits, Planned Parenthood, and Medicaid.


  • Jeremy LaFaver, Rep. from District 025, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Meredith Adams, Citizen
  • Cody Newill, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR

The Royals won the division title, and are looking forward to the postseason, still riding high on last year's World Series appearance. Up to Date host Steve Kraske talks with KCUR's Greg Echlin about the team's performance so far and if the boys in blue are ready for another run to win it all.

After the mortgage meltdown and bank bailouts that kicked off the Great Recession, many were pointing fingers at those who were supposed to foresee these catastrophes, economists. Steve Kraske talks with one who defends his profession, saying economists' ideas have contributed $1 trillion to this country’s economy.


  • Robert Litan, author of "Trillion Dollar Economists: How Economists and Their Ideas Have Transformed Business"
Susie Fagan / Heartland Health Monitor

Los Angeles-based actor David Dastmalchian returned to Kansas with a message he said should transcend politics: We can’t give up on people who struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.

Dastmalchian is now a budding Hollywood star, with roles in blockbusters like 2008’s “The Dark Knight” and 2015’s “Ant-Man.” But 15 years ago he was a self-proclaimed “full-time heroin addict” living out of a car near Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Kansas Board of Regents

An improving economy may be affecting enrollment numbers of Kansas community colleges.

The Board of Regents released enrollment numbers for its six universities, plus Kansas community colleges and technical schools Friday — and the results are mixed.

Overall enrollment at the state’s 19 community colleges is down 2.9 percent.

That’s probably due to an improving economy and people no longer scrambling to improve their education to land a job.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library

An infectious disease that typically affects about 10 people in Kansas City annually has already spread to more than 14 times that number this year, health officials said Friday.

Shigella is spread by direct or indirect fecal-oral contact. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting, among other symptoms. It may also cause convulsions in young children.

The Kansas City Health Department has investigated more than 143 cases of the disease since the start of the year, officials said.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Parade Park in Kansas City’s 18th and Vine District will soon be the home of Major League Baseball’s newest Urban Youth Academy.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday fundraising for the first phase of the project – which will include two full-size baseball diamonds, two youth fields, a walking trail, a playground, park upgrades and, ultimately, an indoor training facility – is complete. The outdoor fields are slated to open next fall.

Revitalizing the historic jazz district and former site of Municipal Stadium has long been one of James' goals.

Frank Morris / KCUR

A taskforce aimed at addressing an alleged pattern of abuse by guards at the Jackson County Detention Center heard accusations of violence from a former inmate Thursday.

Terry Coleman is part of an ongoing FBI investigation at the jail that came to light in August, when the county acknowledged allegations of several beatings at the facility.

On Thursday, the taskforce held a public forum, where Coleman explained how he'd been transferred to the detention center on a snowy day in February 2013 on a drug possession charge.  

It's just the second network TV show that features an Asian-American family. We invite our resident film critic, a lawyer and an actress to review Fresh Off the Boat — and to share their perspectives on Asian-American life in Kansas City.


Julie Denesha / KCUR

As a young child, Helen Keller lost her vision, hearing, and ability to speak. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan, gave her the tools to communicate with the world. Theirs was a friendship that lasted for five decades – and the play about that relationship, The Miracle Worker, opens this week at the Coterie Theatre. 

As part of our monthly series Actors Off-Script, Vanessa Severo (Annie) and Josephine Pellow (Helen) talked about some of the challenges of bringing this story to the stage. 

Adolfo Gustavo Martinez

When Kansas City artist Adolfo Gustavo Martinez lived in Edinburg, Texas, in the 1980s, he spent most Sundays at bars in the border towns listening to live Tex-Mex music.

He recalls with fondness being able to see people grilling and partying just across the Rio Grande River  in Mexico.

“The Rio Grande Valley isn’t very wide, probably like a street,” Martinez says. “You could see them right there, right across the river.”

Michael Zupon / Flickr--CC

The Kansas City Royals pulled away in the late innings in their 10-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners Thursday.

The win was a key milestone for the ball club, as the Royals haven’t won a division title since they won the 1985 World Series.

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain says it’s an important first step this season.

“We definitely set a goal to win our division this year,” Cain said. “We accomplished that. But our next goal is to get back to the World Series and hopefully win. We have a lot of unfinished business.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee Syria for Europe, an Overland Park, Kansas, nonprofit that provides humanitarian aid continues its work to stabilize the situation inside the war-torn country.

The number of asylum-seeking Syrians in the United States is small – just 1,500 since the conflict began four years ago – and pressure is mounting to accept more refugees.

But Syrian-born Kansas Citians aren’t sure it’s the best way to help.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Cynthia Lane has spent half of her career in public education in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. On Thursday she ascended to the top of her profession in the state when she was named superintendent of the year by the Kansas School Superintendents' Association (KSSA).

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this award,” Lane said in a statement. “I accept it on behalf of the Board of Education and the team of people in the district and in the community who work tirelessly to graduate each student prepared for college and careers in a global society."


Results are in for the recent 48-hour filmmaking contest between gigabit-fueled Kansas City and Chattanooga: Kansas City won.

Chronicle Books

Up to Date host Steve Kraske makes no bones about it, he does not like cats. Find out if Francesco Marciuliano and KCUR staffers can change his mind as they explore Marciuliano's humorous book, You Need More Sleep: Advice From Cats.

They were not the best of friends but, as the two first female Supreme Court Justices, Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were allies on key cases affecting the rights of women. Linda Hirshman, author of Sisters in Law, describes the lives and relationship of these two remarkable women.

Ernest James Zydeco combines the funky styles of the bandleader’s native Louisiana with the good-time blues and swing of Kansas City. Local Listen features “Tough Times Waltz,” a selection from the band’s new album “Automatic Harvester.”

Ernest James Zydeco performs Friday, September 25, at BB’s Lawnside BBQ and Saturday, September 26, at Llywelyn’s Pub.


Jonathan Richard of Brookside recalls being a homesick undergraduate student at Drake University in Iowa in the mid 1990s.

Joining Sigma Chi fraternity made him feel like he was part of a family, even though his real family was in Boston.

“The secret rituals and camaraderie immediately created a special and altogether unique sense of pride and belonging,” Richard wrote us in an email.

“There were certainly stupid antics and drunken parties — but no more so than the typical experience of a college student.”

The University of Missouri–Kansas City on Thursday said it's launching a program aimed at bringing more high school students into  science, engineering, technology and math.

The university said its School of Nursing and Health Studies and its School of Computing and Engineering had received a five-year, $2.5 million dollar grant to fund the program, called KC HealthTracks.

Allison Long / POOL/Kansas City Star

Convicted Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. wants a new trial.

He filed a motion Wednesday demanding a retrial for a variety of reasons, most of which stemmed from Cross’ decision to represent himself.

Cross argues he did not have adequate help from the three defense attorneys appointed to serve as standby counsel.

Catholic Church England / Flickr--CC

Pope Francis is expected to address the United Nations at 9 a.m. Friday.

City of Kansas City, Missouri

An effort to put a downtown convention hotel up for a public vote took another official step forward Thursday.

But where it goes from here remains unclear. 

Officials with the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners say they have counted and validated signatures on a petition filed this week by a group seeking to challenge a recently inked deal to develop an 800-room Hyatt Hotel next to Bartle Hall

How do artists sell their art — at art fairs, galleries or online? We explore the arts economy in Kansas City with two local artists and a gallery director. Plus, Adolfo Gustavo Martinez discusses his painting, El Sacrificio, which is on display at The Late Show.


A panel of local journalists discusses the history of women in media and challenges that they've faced.


Laura Ziegler / KCUR

As the nation's Capitol was humming with activity around the pope's visit, Catholics in Kansas City came together Thursday at Rockhurst University to watch the historic address to a joint session of Congress. 

A large crowd gathered in the auditorium of Pedre Arrupe, S.J. Hall on the Rockhurst campus. Students, faculty and staff, and members of the community watched the pope on two large screens at the front of the hall, applauding vigorously almost every time they saw Congress clap. There was also a giant screen feeding live tweets from around the country.

Courtesy photo / Volkswagen of America Inc.

This story was updated at 1:21 p.m. and at 3:16 p.m.

As Volkswagen’s problems mount over its diesel-emissions deception, class action complaints by irate customers are multiplying like vehicles at rush hour.

One of the latest was filed Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, by Jared Bustamante and Jessie Fox, Kansas City residents, who say they purchased a 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI at Bud Brown Volkswagen less than a month ago.