Local

Elections
11:47 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Kansas City To Vote On Water Improvement Bonds

Credit Creative Commons

Kansas Citians go to the polls Tuesday and one of the things they will be deciding is whether to update an aging network of underground water pipes.

Backers of the water revenue bonds say it’s critical to maintaining the city’s infrastructure.

Kansas City’s underground pipes, along with some fire hydrants and other facilities, date back to the Civil War years, say water department officials.

And, they say, the system is breaking down. Officials report there were more than 1,000 water main breaks just last year.

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Missouri Statehouse
7:59 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Missouri Senate Committee Begins Reviewing State Budget Passed By House

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 7:49 pm

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have begun their review of the state's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015.

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Education
7:56 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Districts, Advocates See Shortcomings In Kansas School Funding Plan

Attorneys for the group that sued Kansas over school funding have issued a statement critical of the plan the Legislature sent to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Sunday.

Attorney John Robb expressed concerns that the plan shifts money from some programs for at-risk students, allows more well-to-do districts to increase local funding, and reduces revenues that could go for schools by offering tax credits for private school scholarships.

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Arts & Culture
3:00 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

ArtsKC Announces Move To Crossroads

ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council will be relocating this summer to the Crossroads Arts District, near a cluster of restaurants, shops and galleries, such as Hammerpress, Town Topic, and Kemper at the Crossroads.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

ArtsKC, the arts council for the Kansas City metro area, announced a move Monday from downtown to the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Mo.

The new location, at the corner of Southwest Boulevard and Baltimore, places the 15-year-old organization squarely in the center of a thriving arts and cultural scene.

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Harvest Public Media
8:32 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Corn Farmers Fight Rootworm Resistance

New research confirms what many Midwest farmers have already suspected: The corn rootworm can develop resistance to varieties genetically modified to thwart the pest. Here, rootworm damage in an Iowa field ruined a corn crop.
Credit Courtesy / Aaron Gassmann

After a long battle with corn rootworm, Midwest farmers thought they’d found relief in genetically modified seeds engineered to produce toxins deadly to the pest. But recent research confirms what farmers have been noticing for several years: the western corn rootworm has been evolving to outwit the technology.

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Government
6:20 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Autism Insurance Bill Heads To Kansas Governor

A bill awaiting Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s signature would require health insurance sold in the state to include coverage for autism services--at least in a limited fashion. 

The bill sent to the governor last week includes coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis. 

Representative John Rubin, of Shawnee, guided the bill through the House.  He says research shows ABA is the most effective form of therapy for a majority of kids with autism, but it needs to start in the preschool years…

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Kansas Statehouse
6:15 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Cut Tenure For Teachers

Kansas lawmakers have given final approval to a plan that would increase aid to poor school districts and eliminate tenure for public school teachers.

The provision to make it easier to fire teachers was included in an education funding bill designed to comply with a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The bill passed both the House and Senate.

Some lawmakers supporting the measure say schools need to be run more like private sector businesses, where people can be hired and fired more easily. Representative Allan Rothlisberg is a Grandview Plaza Republican.

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Kansas Statehouse
6:30 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Kansas House Passes Education Bill

The Kansas House has passed an education spending bill on a bipartisan 91-31 vote. The measure includes around $100 million in additional education funding. The bill would create an education study committee and would change teacher certification rules.

"This is a very good combination of strong policy that will help our schools use money efficiently or give us ideas. And it's a strong policy in meeting the court's test that they want us to equalize our funding here in the state," says Rep. Marvin Kleeb, a Republican from Overland Park.

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Government
6:23 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Judge Denies Attempt to Stop Gay Couples Joint Taxes

Gay couples in Missouri who were married in other states may still file their taxes jointly.

On Friday, a judge denied a conservative group in its attempt to immediately bar same-sex couples from filing their state tax returns together, a right granted by Gov. Jay Nixon’s executive order issued last year.

Kyle Piccola of PROMO, a state gay rights group, said he wasn’t surprised by the ruling.

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Up to Date
5:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Local Listen: Scruffy And The Janitors

Scruffy and the Janitors play the Middle of the Map festival Saturday, April 5, on the back patio of the Riot Room at 6:15 p.m.
Credit Middle of the Map Fest

 

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival began Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at  locations in and around Westport.

Our “Local Listen” segment focuses on musicians from the Kansas City area that will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  

Today, we travel up I-29 a bit and give a listen to one of the newest bands to come out of St. Joseph: Scruffy and the Janitors. Here is “Shake it Off.”

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Beyond Our Borders
12:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

We Want Your Photos Of Awesome Things East Of Troost

This plate at a popular breakfast spot on Troost Avenue is featured on KCUR's new Tumblr, Awesome Things East of Troost.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

We’re finding lots of cool things on and east of Troost Avenue in Kansas City. And we know you are, too.

As KCUR continues its look at Troost as a dividing line in Kansas City — part of our Beyond Our Borders project  — we’re posting photos of our cool finds on a new Tumblr site called Awesome Things East of Troost.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Middle Of The Map Fest Hits Kansas City With Music, Technology And More

Ferociously pounding the drums with her feet Molly Gene, of One Whoaman Band, performs at the fourth annual Middle of the Map festival.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On Thursday night at the Westport Saloon in Kansas City, Mo., a circle of men holding bottles of beer surrounded Molly Gene wearing fishnet stockings and cowboy boots as she ferociously pounded her custom set of foot drums. Gene, of her so-called ‘One Whoaman Band,’ was in town for the 4th annual Middle of the Map Fest. 

As The Star's Tim Finn puts it, "There are at least 100 good reasons to attend Ink's Middle of the Map Fest this weekend." Out of 120 bands in the lineup - 100 are performing at the festival for the first time.

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Kansas Statehouse
8:24 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Kansas Senate Advances Education Funding Bill

The Kansas Senate has advanced a plan to respond to a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding.

The court said lawmakers created inequalities between school districts by cutting certain types of education funds. The bill would shift money into funds aimed at reducing those disparities. Dollars would be moved from school transportation as well as other areas of the budget.

Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, said they are prioritizing spending.

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Government
8:08 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Kansas City Council Moves To Replace 19th Century Sewer Pipe

Sewer pipe dated 1874 was recently dug up near the Kansas City, Mo., City Hall.
Credit City of Kansas City, Mo.

The Kansas City city council was in an infrastructure-improving mood Thursday — some of its very old infrastructure.  The city council took several steps toward replacing crumbling sewer and water lines.

The full council gave its approval to rehabilitation of sewer lines around 22nd and Paseo. Infrastructure chair Russ Johnson emphasized how old they were.

"That was constructed in 1890," he said. "It's time to rehab it.”

The other council members agreed, and approved spending $1.48 million in existing bond money to do the job.

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Arts & Culture
8:05 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Take A Sneak Peek Of The New King Tut Exhibit At Union Station

"The Discovery of King Tut" displays a replica of Tutankhamun's golden mask. It's a representation of the king as everlasting, and not a portrait.
Laura Spencer KCUR

The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut, has been a subject of fascination ever since his tomb was discovered in 1922. The young king, who died at the age of 19, and his golden treasures have inspired films, fashion, music, travel and exhibitions. The Discovery of King Tut, has toured 20 cities since 2008, and it makes its first stop in North America at Union Station on Friday.

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Arts and Culture
7:40 am
Fri April 4, 2014

WATCH: Toy Museum Staff Tackle Daunting Task Of Packing Up Giant Dollhouse

The stately Coleman dollhouse is taken apart to make way for renovations at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, Mo., houses one of the largest toy collections on public display in the United States. In January, the museum closed its doors for a yearlong renovation, but the work inside continues. 

One of the star attractions of the collection is the Coleman dollhouse. The largest dollhouse in the museum's collection, it measures 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide and once belonged to the wealthy Coleman family from Lebanon, Pa.

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Up To Date
7:39 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Live From The Royals Home Opener

The Royals play the White Sox in their home opener.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

  

    

Last year was arguably the best year for the Kansas City Royals in recent memory - 86 wins put the boys in blue above .500, but just short of the playoffs.

For this hour of Up to Date we take you out to the ballpark for the Royal’s home opener and Steve Kraske introduces you to some of the people who keep the team running.
 

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Up To Date
3:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Ethics Professors: Who Should Get Organ Donations?

UNOS works to advance organ availability and transplantation.
Credit United Network for Organ Sharing

In the Midwest, the supply of organs for patients who need transplants to live is relatively strong.  But, that’s not the case in many locations across the country.

Currently, donated organs are distributed through local and regional networks, but there is talk of changing that system to one that basically puts everyone on equal footing.

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Tell KCUR
3:13 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Royals Fans Are Cautiously Optimistic About 2014 Season

The 2014 baseball season is giving the Kansas City Royals and fans a reason to look up on Friday, the day of the team's home opener.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

 

Social media in Kansas City is abuzz this week with excitement over the Royals’ home opener on Friday.

Diehard fans are swapping predictions on Twitter for the new season via #Royals, #BeRoyalKC, #Royalsnation and other hashtags.

After the success of 2013’s season, KCUR’s Greg Echlin reports that players have high hopes for this season.

Fans do, too, according to our informal Tell KCUR poll on social media this week.

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Community
3:01 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

KCUR And KCPT Announce Regional Public Media Collaboration

Credit Courtesy / KCPT

KCUR and Kansas City public television station KCPT announced a news collaboration on Thursday.

The collaboration is not a merger, the two public media stations said in a statement, but rather a pooling of resources and a commitment to partner on reporting and engagement projects.

The initial focus will be on health and agriculture reporting, along with a Kansas City launch of the Public Insight Network (PIN), a nationwide database that helps connect journalists to sources. 

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Up To Date
12:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: April 4-6, 2014

More than 120 bands will be playing this weekend for Ink's Middle of the Map Fest.
Credit middleofthemapfest.com

Wash away the recent rainy weather with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 4-6.

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest Music festival with more that 120 bands at six venues.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Gary Numan performs at 11 p.m. Thursday at Ernie Biggs Piano Bar. Country Club Plaza and Westport area. Tickets: $55 three-day-pass

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Kansas City Royals
7:48 am
Thu April 3, 2014

On The Eve Of The Royals Home Opener, Fans Have High Hopes

The Kansas City Royals play their home opener Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

With the series finale set in Detroit for Thursday afternoon, the Kansas City Royals will head home afterward and play their home opener Friday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Coming off the success of last season, the Royals have high hopes this season. Not only on the field but, at the gate as well.

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Arts & Culture
7:38 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Development Of A Regional Cultural Plan Underway

Over the last decade, an estimated $1.57 billion has been invested in arts, cultural and entertainment infrastructure. This includes the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2011.
Credit courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Plans are in the works to create a regional cultural plan to establish a shared vision for the Kansas City metro.

In recent years, Kansas City has gained a national reputation as a "culturally rich metropolis." In the five-county metro area, including Kansas and Missouri, there are over 6,000 artists, writers and performers, 250 arts and cultural non-profits, and 360 for-profits. 

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Community
4:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Where Women Entrepreneurs Can Find Support in Kansas City

The Kauffman Foundation held a Global Women's Summit in 2011 where women entrepreneurs gathered to network and get advice on growing their businesses.
Credit Kauffman Foundation

A recent Forbes.com article headline touted “11 Reasons 2014 Will Be A Breakout Year For Women Entrepreneurs.” 

And, indeed, the statistics are looking good.

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History
2:19 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Scientists Discover Remnants Of St. Louis' French Colonial Past

A piece of tin-enameled ceramic found at what archaeologists say is the site of a former French colony in St. Louis.
Steph Zimmerman St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

Archaeologists in St. Louis are ecstatic over what they say is an astonishing discovery in a most unlikely place.

Under a highway overpass just south of the city's famed arch, researchers have uncovered the first evidence of French settlement there 250 years ago. The findings will help shed new light on how settlers lived in the city back then.

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Community
1:07 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Kansas City Makes Latest Cut For Republican National Convention

Credit Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

Kansas City made the next cut in the running for the 2016 Republican National Convention, the GOP announced Wednesday.

Denver, Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Cleveland are also still contenders for the convention. Pheonix and Columbus were eliminated.

Shortly after the announcement, Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James said the city would have no problem accommodating the expected 40 thousand conventioneers.

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Four Penetrating Documentaries Highlighted At 2014 Kansas City FilmFest

Writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal in "Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia," spotlighted at 2014 Kansas City FilmFest.
Credit Courtesy gorevidaldocumentary.com

Film festival curators work diligently to give audiences an eclectic menu with as much breadth and depth as possible. The 2014 edition of the Kansas City FilmFest offers dozens of experimental, animated, and even “Afrofuturist” short films, as well as narrative comedies and dramas hoping to generate buzz. But from the offerings previewed by this writer, the strength of this year’s festival rests on its documentaries.

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

How Corporate Giants Are Dominating Online Commerce

Robert McChesney is the author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.

You can post just about anything you want on the internet, but when it comes to e-commerce, the online world is dominated by a few major players.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the corporate giants that control the online marketplace and discuss how consumers might revolt against their monopolies.

Guest: 

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

Haroon Ullah is the author of The Bargain From the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore.

Haroon Ullah knows the pace and color of daily life in Pakistan and the delicate balance between secular and religious culture.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about the struggles of an ordinary middle-class family just trying to live life in a region that's seen constant upheaval.

Guest:

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Arts & Culture
9:38 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Teen Poets Compete In 'Louder Than A Bomb'

A semifinal competition in March at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit courtesy: Louder Than A Bomb-KC

The spoken word competition called Louder Than A Bomb, named after the Public Enemy song, started in Chicago, Ill. in 2001. It's now considered one of the largest youth poetry festivals.

Cities across the country, including Kansas City, are launching their own Louder Than A Bomb programs.

A program bridging divides in Kansas City

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