News from the local region for a station

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Just a week after being served with a sixth federal grand jury subpoena, the embattled St. Joseph School District gave interim Superintendent Robert Newhart a vote of confidence by tacking two years onto his contract Monday night.

In addition to a little more job security and more money, the board of education also decided to drop interim from his title.

Newhart will continue to make his current salary of $174,500 through June 2017. His pay could then go as high as $181,480 for the 2017-2018 school year depending on how big a raise the board wants to give him.

Courtesy of psychowyco.com

Trail Runner magazine says Wyandotte County offers some of the most challenging and fun trails for running and hiking in the country.

In an upcoming issue, the magazine ranks Kansas City, Kansas as the third best trail running site in the country, saying "Kansas City is serious about its trail running."

Kansas City Power & Light wants to build a solar farm in southeastern Jackson County, near Greenwood.

If the Missouri Public Service Commission greenlights the application next month, the solar farm could be online as soon as April.

“The sun and sunshine is free, so to the extent we can harness that, there’s very little operational cost to running this solar farm,” says KCP&L spokesman Chuck Caisley.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Union workers at Ford’s truck assembly plant in Claycomo have dented the push to ratify the new labor agreement worked out between Ford and the UAW. 

The Los Angeles Times / Creative Commons

There's a federal surveillance file from the early 20th century that refers to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas during World War I as a "University of Radicalism."

"That's not hyperbole," said researcher Christina Heatherton of Trinity College in Connecticut during a conversation on Central Standard

Heatherton was writing a book on the Mexican Revolution.

Courtesy Photos / St. Louis Public Radio

For many former students of the University of Missouri-Columbia, events of recent weeks bring back memories. Some are good, but many are not. For those alums, racial bias has always been part of the sub-text of their Mizzou experience.

As students at the University of Missouri continue their drive to improve the racial culture in Columbia, UMKC students are eager to shine a light on concerns in Kansas City and push for changes that would improve racial tensions.  


Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham's new book on the first President Bush is generating attention for what he had to say about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, advisers to his son President George W. Bush. But there's a lot more inside the biography about the man Meacham describes as "the last moderate Republican."

Bob Dylan 1965-1966

16 hours ago

We all have the urge to peak behind the curtain...right?  Well, here's your opportunity for that rare exploration into Dylan's creative process in the studio.  Host Bill Shapiro provides a glimpse of Dylan's song-making genius from the latest release in the Bootleg series.

Track List:

"115th Dream”

“Subterranean Homesick Blues”

“If You Gotta Go Go Now”

“You Don’t Have To Do That”

“Mr. Tambourine Man”

“It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry”

“Like A Rolling Stone”  (rehersal version)

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Brandon Ellington from District 022 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss race relations at the University of Missouri in Columbia.


  • Brandon Ellington, Rep. from District 022, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Dan Curry, Citizen
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR
Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

The situation at Mizzou has brought a bunch of potentially unfamiliar terms together in one place. Systematic oppression and safe spaces: what they mean, and their relevance on college campuses today. Also, a little clarity on the first amendment. 


Mark Schierbecker / Wikipedia -- CC

This story was updated at 2:50 p.m. to include a response from the University of Missouri's spokesman.

Cerner Corp. is unhappy that the University of Missouri has given the former chancellor of its Columbia campus a supporting role in a partnership operated by MU and Cerner without Cerner’s prior knowledge or approval.

The governing body that represents all University of Kansas faculty, staff and students will be considering how to respond to claims of racism and discrimination at KU. The University Senate Executive Committee will look at changes to make the campus more inclusive.

Michael Williams is a journalism professor at KU and president of the University Senate. He says they take the concerns over racism and discrimination seriously. At the meeting, they’ll be ready to hear suggestions from student and faculty, and they’re going to be making some suggestions of their own.

Whitney Thouvenelle

Howard Iceberg & the Titanics
Smooth Sailing

Putting the name Howard Iceberg & the Titanics next to an image of a sinking ship on a CD cover creates an impression of doom-and-gloom, but in a hokey, cartoonish way. Add the title Smooth Sailing, and you get something else: irony, or at least smart-aleck cynicism.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

Walk into the courtroom of Wyandotte County District Judge Kathleen M. Lynch and you may be surprised to find lawyers who aren’t asked to stand up and a judge who prefers street dress to a judge’s robes. Lynch’s docket includes lots of cases involving mental illness or substance abuse and offenders needing institutional treatment. She’s become a big advocate for more social services in the area and for courtrooms more sensitive to people who have experienced trauma.

John Sleezer / The Kansas City Star

The roar of the fans, the daring runs on the field, and the click of camera shutters all go together at a major league sports event. When you're a photographer on the field, you get a different perspective of the game.

Photographers and Kansas City-area residents John Sleezer of the Kansas City Star and Denny Medley of USA Today Sports told Steve Kraske on Up to Date that being in the moment is crucial — the action can be fast and furious or few and far between.

On getting the shot 

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

These days, it’s hard to find someone who has stayed at one job longer than a decade. For many, exciting opportunities draw them to different companies and new careers.

But for Wendy Guillies, the last 15 years with the Kauffman Foundation have been anything but boring.

Kansas Supreme Court

While public schools in Kansas deal with frozen budgets and lawmakers prepare for another session dominated by fights over school funding, there is a small group of people profiting: lawyers representing the state and school districts in the case now before thes Kansas Supreme Court.

The Gannon case was filed in 2010 and since then both sides have incurred a total of more than $5.5 million in attorney fees, as well as travel, expert witness and lobbying costs.

To outsiders, last week's protests at the University of Missouri in Columbia were eye-opening first encounters with race at the school. For others, they were reminders. A nuanced look at the history of race on MU's Columbia campus, including past protests.


Witnessing the death of his brother, moving to Bleeding Kansas during the border war, losing his father and protecting his family. All of this happened in the life of Billy Cody before he ever turned into the legend known as "Buffalo Bill."


Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Signs of the toll amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has taken on Kelli Johnsen’s body are scattered throughout the living room of her Emporia, Kansas, home.

A wheelchair in one corner. A lift in another. A walker near the television.

Next to her chair there’s an Eyegaze system — a screen that tracks her eye movement and blinks — that she uses to control the TV, lights and other devices. She can still move her hands, but not much.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

The immigrant workers that pick crops like cotton and melons in the U.S. can have a tough time finding a place to live. The rural areas where they can find work often lack the social services and affordable housing. That means many farm worker families end up in dilapidated buildings, which can come with health risks.

Migrant workers planting roots

Angel Castro’s old road is muddy and covered with flooded potholes. He lived here during the 1990s just behind a large John Deere store in Kennett, Mo.

The University of Kansas Hospital

The University of Kansas Hospital has filed plans to expand its presence in Overland Park and build a 60-bed hospital there.

The Overland Park Planning Commission last week unanimously approved the request for a special use permit by The Winbury Group, the developer of the project. The request now goes to the City Council.

The hospital would be located on the southwest corner of 107th Street and Nall Avenue, near an inpatient surgical center operated by KU Hospital that was formerly known as Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital.  

Lynn Wilson / Washburn University

As a teenager in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson found solace from loss and loneliness in comic books, with a best friend named Stuart, and in putting his own pen to paper.

He captured those memories in a 2010 poetry collection called Missing You, Metropolis that won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first-book award for "exceptional manuscripts by black poets."

Cody Newill / KCUR

More than 100 Kansas Citians and French nationals joined in a gathering of solidarity at Liberty Memorial Sunday to show support for France after terrorist attacks killed more than 120 people in Paris.

Residents held French flags, signs and flowers of blue, white and red as Honorary Consul of the French Republic Cyprienne Simchowitz spoke over a microphone.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Brandon Ellington from District 022 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss race relations at the University of Missouri in Columbia.


  • Brandon Ellington, Rep. from District 022, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Dan Curry, Citizen
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR
Courtesy of mutigers.com

University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel says he will resign at the end of season.  The announcement is the latest twist in a dramatic week for the team.

On Friday, the 63-year-old Pinkel announced his resignation, effective at the end of this season.  Doctors have been treating Pinkel for lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, since May.  Pinkel says his health and not the turbulent week at MU drove his decision.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR 89.3

If you’ve ever wondered what food tasted like 100 years ago, Dixon’s Famous Chili on Highway 40 is like a culinary time capsule.

With its red décor, bar stools and historic photos, it looks like a 1960s-style diner, and that’s when this particular restaurant opened near the stadiums on U.S. Highway 40.

In 1919, Vergne Dixon opened the original location at 15th and Olive streets just east of downtown, which makes it one of the oldest family-run establishments in the Kansas City metro; Dixon’s Chili eventually became a chain of 13 restaurants, including one in Minnesota. 

Jeffreyw/Flickr --CC

Cold weather and chili go hand-in-hand.

Hot and hearty, and eminently customizable, it’s an American classic and a perfect winter meal.

But what is chili? There are many recipes that vary by region, including a Kansas City loose-meat assemble-it-yourself style of chili.

“I think it’s chili if you think it’s chili,” Food Critic Jill Silva told guest host Sylvia Maria Gross Friday on KCUR's Central Standard.

We visit Dixon's Famous Chili, a KC institution since 1919; a hot sauce expert recommends the best way to add heat to chili; then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best chili dishes in and around Kansas City.