Local

Health
5:40 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Don't Buy Me Some Peanuts And Cracker Jack

Royals offer peanut-allergic fans a 'suite' view at select games this season.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

After announcing this season’s schedule of peanut allergy-friendly events, the Kansas City Royals saw several sell out, and the team soon added another to keep up with demand.

The announcement came after a campaign from some local fans, and it followed a growing trend of baseball teams working to be more accommodating to fans with allergies.

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Economy
4:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Aircraft Maintenance Company Opens Kansas City Hangar

Aviation Technical Services President and CEO Matt Yerbic, left, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cut the ribbon at the company's new hangar at Kansas City International Airport.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a state program that helps employers offset the cost of job training was instrumental in bringing aircraft maintenance company Aviation Technical Services to Kansas City.

The Washington state-based company has renovated a hangar at Kansas City International Airport and hired 70 employees so far.

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Health
10:24 am
Thu July 24, 2014

New Missouri Law Pays Dividends For Kansas City CARE Clinic

Thanks to a change in Missouri law, the Kansas City CARE Clinic, formerly the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, can now accept paying patients.
Credit Todd Feeback / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

 

A year and a half ago, a local safety-net clinic underwent one of the most significant changes in its more than four decades of serving the metropolitan area: It went from a purely free provider to one that also accepted paying patients covered by insurance.

Known for years as the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, the organization became the Kansas City CARE Clinic to reflect that its donation-based operation had evolved to a fee-based, sliding-scale system with a minimum payment of $10.

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Central Standard
10:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Wyandotte County Fair Connects Kids With Agricultural Roots

Allyson Billings relaxes with her pet rabbit.
Christina Lieffring KCUR

People usually associate state and county fairs with Ferris wheels and food on a stick. But in areas that have seen their demographics shift from rural to urban populations, these fairs are now serving a new role of connecting city folk to their country roots.

One way the Wyandotte County Fair, which runs July 22 to 26, does this is through its competitions in arts and crafts, food, agriculture and livestock, run by the local 4-H club.

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What Is That?
10:09 am
Thu July 24, 2014

What Is That? Kansas City's Vine Street Castle

Workhouse Castle located on 18th and Vine St.
Credit Esther Honig

If you’ve ever driven around the historic 18th & Vine neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, Mo., you might have noticed what looks like a castle. It appears as though it housed Missouri royalty, but in fact this four-story structure, chiseled out of yellow limestone, was originally designed as the city jail.

Built in 1897 with the title of “workhouse castle,” it held mostly petty offenders, vagrants and debtors. As a part of their sentence these inmates were required to work. Female prisoners sewed prison uniforms and the men labored for the city’s Public Works Department.

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Government
7:56 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Kansas City Council Committee Endorses Open Carry Ban

The public safety committee of the Kansas City city council unanimously endorsed Mayor Sly James's proposal to ban the open carry of firearms Wednesday.

Citing a recent move by the town of Lake Ozark, Mo., to ban open carry because of its negative effect on tourism, the mayor said that if a Missouri city makes its gun ordinances exactly mirror state law, there is no reason open carry can not be outlawed by a local community.

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Elections
5:57 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Ad Watch: Roberts And Wolf Attack Each Other's Voting Records

A Milton Wolf ad currently running in Kansas uses a Pat Roberts lookalike.
Credit Milton Wolf / YouTube

Throughout this election season, KCUR will bring you AdWatch, a series evaluating the words and images filling the airwaves aimed at Missouri and Kansas voters.

The hotly contested Republican race for U.S. Senator from Kansas, where incumbent Pat Roberts and challenger Milton Wolf have turned their sights squarely on one another, has brought a slew of ads to the Kansas airwaves.

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Health
12:01 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Health Insurance Enrollees In Missouri, Kansas To Get More Than $18 Million In Rebates

Health insurance policyholders in Missouri will receive $14.6 million in rebates from health insurers under a provision of the Affordable Care Act known as the Medical Loss Ratio rule. Kansas policyholders will receive $3.6 million.

The Medical Loss Ratio rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement, as opposed to administrative costs like salaries and marketing.

Insurers that don't meet that benchmark have to refund the difference to customers.

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Health
9:44 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Same-Sex Unions Pose Challenge To Hospitals

Some local hospitals have revised their policies to make them more LGBT friendly.
Credit guidestar.org

The absence of legal protections for same-sex couples made the news last year when a Kansas City hospital denied a man the right to stay by his male partner’s bedside.

Now many area hospitals are trying to make themselves more accommodating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families.  

Nearly two years ago, Kris Saim received some harrowing news.  He was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. But the diagnosis wasn’t the only thing he was worried about.

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Economy
9:24 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Sporting Announces New Facility, Makes Kansas City Indisputable 'Soccer Town'

A rendering on display at the announcement at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., shows what the facility may look like.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Much like the winning drivers at Kansas Speedway next door, Sporting Kansas City is taking a victory lap.

Firmly planted in Kansas City with a state-of-the-art soccer venue and a first class practice facility and fields, Sporting Kansas City steered the area to another level with an announcement Wednesday of a proposed National Training and Coaching Development Facility in Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was on hand for the formal announcement at Sporting Park before Sporting KC took the field for an international friendly match against Manchester City FC.

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Health
5:30 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Judge To Rule In Breach Of Contract Suit Against Diocese

A Jackson County judge heard arguments Wednesday on whether the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph should pay a $1.1 million arbitration award for breach of contract in its ongoing litigation over clergy sex abuse.

The diocese contends the arbitrator, Kansas City lawyer Hollis Hanover, exceeded his authority when he made the award after finding the diocese had violated the terms of a $10 million settlement it reached with 47 sex abuse victims in 2008.

Under the terms of the settlement, the diocese pledged to adopt a variety of child safety measures.

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Education
4:17 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Another Kansas City For-Profit College Could Be Closing

For-profit Anthem College has told the state of Missouri it plans to lay off 67 employees in the next two months.

The school has put up a notice on its website that its campuses in Kansas City, Fenton and Maryland Heights are no longer enrolling new students but it hasn't confirmed the college is closing down.

The news comes just weeks after for-profit Corinthian College announced it would sell or close dozens of schools, including the Everest College campus in Kansas City. For now, that school continues to enroll new students.

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Health
3:57 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

UMKC Med School Chooses New Dean

Steven L. Kanter, a neurosurgeon and vice dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been named the new dean of UMKC School of Medicine.
Credit University of Missouri-Kansas City

Steven L. Kanter, a neurosurgeon and vice dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been named dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

(Note: KCUR is licensed by UMKC.)

Kanter succeeds Betty Drees, who led the medical school for 13 years and will remain on the faculty.

Kanter begins his work as dean on Oct. 1. He will also teach one of his specialties, medical informatics, which deals with the analysis of troves of medical data through the use of information technology.

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Central Standard
2:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas City Duo Victor & Penny Make Music On The Road

Erin McGrane and Jeff Freiling perform as Victor & Penny in KCUR's talk show studio.
Credit Alyson Raletz, KCUR

With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.

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Community
2:06 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Armadillos On The Rise In Missouri, Creeping Into Kansas City

This armadillo was caught hanging out in Holden, Mo. Armadillos use their claws and snouts to find insects and worms in the soil.
Credit Cindy Taylor

The nine-banded armadillo has been naturally expanding its habitat north from Central America since 1849. They're common in the southeastern part of the country, but throughout the century they’ve started to move further north and east.

Sightings in Missouri started about 40 years ago. They use to be rare, but now they’re a lot more common.

“Hundreds, we’ve had hundreds so far this year it’s safe to say," says James Dixon, a wildlife damage biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Rising numbers and rising frustration

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Architecture
10:02 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Prairie School Style Architecture In Kansas City

Hyde Park
Gina Kaufmann KCUR

Kansas City architect Clarence Shepard was deeply influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School Style when he designed more than 600 homes and churches in the region a century ago.

Shepard was a native of New York, grew up in Clay Center, Kan., and came to work in Kansas City at the beginning of the 20th century for the Kendall Co. and the J.C. Nichols Co., among others.

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Arts & Culture
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas And Missouri Artists Selected For 'State Of The Art' Exhibition At Crystal Bridges

Calder Kamin, Kansas City, Mo. 'Impact Proof: Arkansas Residents and Visitors' (2014).

In 2013, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., embarked on a project to discover “the most compelling American art being created today.”

Over a period of about 10 months, museum president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood crisscrossed the country. They traveled more than 100,000 miles — by plane and car — and stopped in the homes and studios of nearly 1,000 artists.

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Harvest Public Media
8:19 am
Wed July 23, 2014

My Farm Roots: Carrying On A Farm Family Legacy

For four generations, Riley Lewis’ family has farmed a plot of land near Forest City, Iowa. Lewis currently raises corn, soybeans and hogs.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

In his home in Forest City, Iowa, Riley Lewis has the original warranty deed for his farm, signed by President James Buchanan and issued to one Elias Gilbert, a soldier who served in the War of 1812.

“He moved here, northeast of Forest City, and lived there for one year,” Lewis said, which was the obligation veterans had if they homesteaded. “And then he sold it to Robert Clark, who was the founder of Forest City.”

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Community
8:08 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Interviews Provide Insight Into Bob Dole's Career

The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has made hours of interviews about Bob Dole's Senate career available online. The announcement coincides with the former Kansas senator's 91st birthday.

You can now go online for videos and audio of high-profile people talking about Bob Dole's nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate. Here's former president George H.W. Bush.

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Economy
8:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Announcement On National Soccer Training Center Expected Wednesday

Collaborative efforts between the Sporting Kansas City soccer club, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., and the state of Kansas for a national soccer training center appear to be complete.

A “major announcement” is set for Wednesday night at Sporting Park with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback expected to be in attendance, state officials said in a release Tuesday.

It will precede Sporting KC’s exhibition match against England’s Manchester City club.

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Health
5:21 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Child Well-Being Rankings Put Missouri In Middle, Kansas In Top Third

Kansas ranked 15th nationwide in the latest Kids Count assessment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Missouri ranked 29th.
Credit Ian D. Keating / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child advocacy group, released its annual Kids Count report on Tuesday, and Kansas ranked 15th overall and Missouri 29th. The report assesses overall child well-being based on four broad categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

Both Kansas and Missouri saw their indicators for education and health improve while their indicators for economic well-being and family and community mostly worsened.

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Health
3:41 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Ruling Could Make Health Insurance Unaffordable For Thousands Of Kansas, Missouri Consumers

Thousands of Missourians and Kansans could lose their health insurance subsidies if a federal appeals court ruling is allowed to stand.
Credit David Goehring / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 

Conflicting federal court rulings are raising questions about whether consumers in Kansas and Missouri will continue to be eligible for subsidies when purchasing private health insurance through the federal insurance exchange.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Tuesday that only consumers purchasing coverage through state-operated marketplaces are eligible for federal tax credits.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Missouri State Board Not Ready To Grant KCPS Accreditation Request

The Missouri State Board of Education says there's not enough data to approve Kansas City Public Schools' request for provisional accreditation.

The district says its test scores should be good enough to qualify for provisional accreditation next month when its annual performance review is released. But the district asked the State Board to act early, before the school year starts, so it won't lose more students to other districts.

As long as the district remains unaccredited, state law permits students to transfer to neighboring schools.

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Government
12:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obama Plans Trip To Kansas City

Obama in a 2008 appearance in Terre Haute, Ind.
Credit (flickr-BeckyF)

President Obama appears to be planning a visit to Kansas City next week.

KCUR’s Steve Kraske tweeted the news Tuesday that Obama will be here next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The White House said Obama will be speaking about the economy and will spend the night here before returning to Washington, D.C. Neither a time and location, nor any other details, have been announced.

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Community
9:32 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Black Churches In Kansas City Seek New Responses To Violence

St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo., is one of an increasing number of black churches bringing on professional counselors.
Credit St. James United Methodist Church

At a recent meeting of the Ad Hoc Group Against Violent Crime, founder Alvin Brooks had a panel of teenagers describe their experiences after a sibling had been murdered.

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Health
9:22 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Hub Key To Sustaining Local Food Movement In Northeast Kansas

Scott Thellman shares information about produce from Juniper Hill Farms during a visit to the Community Mercantile in Lawrence. Thellman and his staff grow organic vegetables and and hay, alfalfa and other grains at the farm north of Lawrence.
Credit Juniper Hill Farms

The now well-established local food movement in and around the university community of Lawrence is in danger of stalling unless a concerted effort is made to expand its reach beyond an already committed group of consumers and build more demand for locally grown or produced fruits, vegetables and meats.

RELATED: Local Food Movement Thriving On The High Plains Of Kansas 

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Health
8:54 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Food Movement Thriving On The High Plains Of Kansas

From left, Leon Atwell, Chris Schmidt, Chris Sramek and Jolene and Angela Singhateh of the High Plains Food Coop plan a delivery route from Becky’s Bierocks in St. Francis to a distribution site in Denver. The coop, which began taking orders in spring 2008, has seen a steady increase in sales and customers and the number of farmers in western Kansas and eastern Colorado who are members.
Credit High Plains Food Coop

 

Thanks to early interest shown by chefs and small-scale area farmers, Douglas County, home of the University of Kansas, developed into one of the pioneer locations for the U.S. local food movement, which has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past 15 to 20 years.

Interest in local food is now so entrenched there that a recent consultant’s report concluded that the movement was at risk of stalling as it has become “relatively mature” with “well-established demand across a fairly broad spectrum of markets.”

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Government
8:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Roeland Park City Council Votes Down Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

The Roeland Park City Council on Monday voted down an ordinance  that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The anti-discrimination ordinance had been a hotly debated issue in the Johnson County suburb and drew a crowd last night of about 150 people. Some members of the crowd wore blue shirts to show their support for the ordinance.

After hearing nearly 50 public comments, the council voted 4-3 against adding the ordinance. One council member was absent.

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Economy
8:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

What Would A Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Mean For Kansas City?

Speculation has been building over recent weeks about a possible deal between Sprint parent company SoftBank and T-Mobile to merge the two wireless carriers.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Talk of the proposed $32 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile continues to bubble, raising serious questions about the future health of the Kansas City regional economy. 

The deal is still just rumored – and it's unknown if federal regulators will approve it, how it will be structured and even whether Sprint or T-Mobile would be the lead company in the deal.

What is clear is that Sprint is a vital company to the Kansas City area, and that the proposed merger comes at a delicate time for the regional economy.

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Health
7:08 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

KU Docs Say Proposed Cure For Transplant Waits Would Make Local Patients Sicker

Dr. Timothy Schmitt, left, and Dr. Sean Kumer perform a liver transplant at KU Hospital.
Credit University of Kansas Hospital

When Steve Jobs needed a liver transplant in 2009, the Apple CEO left California and went to Memphis, Tenn. While his home state has some of the longest waiting lists in the country for donated livers, Tennessee has some of the shortest.

Many health advocates point to Jobs’ story as an example of the harsh disparities faced by those who need new livers in different parts of the country.

Plans are in the works to fix those disparities, but some Kansas City doctors worry about what a shake-up would mean for local hospitals and patients.

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