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Harvest Public Media
7:28 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Why Cutting The Ethanol Mandate May Not Ruin The Rural Economy

Just outside of Central City, Neb., is the Green Plains Energy ethanol plant, a facility that can produce 100 million gallons of ethanol each year.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

The EPA wants to roll back the amount of ethanol mixed into the fuel supply for 2014, worrying farmers across the Corn Belt. Ethanol supporters warn that if the EPA follows through, the rural economy will take the fall. But many economists predict a soft landing.

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Health
5:04 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Snow Storm Means A Sleepover For Emergency Hospital Workers

Be grateful if your employer allows you to stay home on snow days. For hospital workers, they can mean days away from home.

University of Kansas doctors, nurses and other emergency health providers slept in cots at the hospital before and after the snow storm that pummeled Kansas City on Tuesday.

"We're operating like a hotel," says Jill Chadwick of KU Hospital.

KU Hospital's clinics were closed Tuesday, but the emergency room, as well as services like chemotherapy and organ transplants, continued operations as scheduled.

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Harvest Public Media
3:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Passes Farm Bill, Sends It To President

After more than two years of debate on Capitol Hill, a new farm bill is poised to become law after both the U.S. House and Senate approved it.
Credit greetarchurch / Flickr--CC

The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.

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Up to Date
2:35 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

No Business Like Snow Business

We want to know your favorite sledding hills.
Credit HubertK / Flickr-CC

Forget the responsibilities a snow day brings for a moment and embrace your inner child. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we want your suggestions for the best sledding hill in KC. Plus, we all grumble about shoveling snow, so what’s the best way to do it? We talk with an expert to get you some tips and recommend the best kind of shovel.

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Weather
1:15 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

PHOTOS: What Your Snow Day In Kansas City Looks Like

Reporter Peggy Lowe's dog, Harley, loves snow days too.
Peggy Lowe KCUR

Heavy snow blanketed the Kansas City metro Tuesday, bringing a snow day for most students and a holiday (or work-from-home day) for many adults.

We rounded up photos in the slideshow above from KCUR employees for a glimpse of what is going on across the metro.

We also compiled photos from social media users in the region, you can see their photos below:

Weather
12:09 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Kansas City School Closings For Wednesday

Around 5 inches of snow had accumulated in south Kansas City by 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Updated: Tuesday, 9:34 p.m.

A winter storm moved across the Kansas City metro Tuesday bringing heavy snow to the region. Forecasters expect snow to stop falling by early Wednesday, but the amount of snow will close some schools for the second consecutive day.

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Up to Date
11:53 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Top Sledding Hills In Kansas City

We're looking for the best sledding hills in Kansas City on Up to Date.
Credit adwriter / Flickr-CC

If you're itching to get out there today with your saucer or sled and cruise down some hills, we've got recommendations for the best sledding hill in the metro area.

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Up to Date
10:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

An African-American Veteran Reflects On Coming Out

Rob Smith is the author of Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming of Age as a Gay Man in the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Army.

It's not easy to come out of the closet, but imagine doing that when you're in the Army.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with an African-American veteran about the challenges he faced and the added difficulties of navigating the now-defunct Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Guest: 

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Missouri Statehouse
7:17 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Paycheck Protection Bill Scrutinized During Missouri House Hearing

Republican lawmakers in Missouri are again trying to pass so-called "paycheck protection" legislation that would bar some unions from automatically withholding dues from employees.

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Weather
6:47 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Kansas City Invention Makes Snow Removal Easier Across The Country

A tow-plow removes snow on a Missouri highway.
Credit Courtesy / MoDOT

Kansas City area drivers may not love multi-inch snowfalls but since 2005 they have stood a better chance of getting through it. That was the first time something called a “tow-plow” showed up on highways and it was created in Kansas City as one-of-kind. Since those days, its use has spread to other parts of the county. 

The contraption is pulled behind a truck instead of pushed from the front.

Efficiency of the 'tow-plow'

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Arts and Culture
6:28 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Union Station Will Be First To Display King Tut's 'Moment Of Discovery'

A reproduction of Tutankhamun's golden mask. The original was made of 11 kg of solid gold.
Courtesy Union Station Kansas City, Inc. and Premier Exhibitions, Inc.

In April, Union Station will be the first venue in North America to host The Discovery of King Tut. The exhibition marks Union Station's largest to date, and includes 1,000 reproductions of artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.

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Government
6:16 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

State And City Officials Encourage Residents To Stay Home

The snow storm approaching the Kansas City metro area could deliver the deepest blanket of white this year.  The storm is prompting calls for people to stay off the streets Tuesday – when the heaviest snowfall is expected between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

The prospect of further clogged highways and streets in and around Kansas City has brought pleas from both the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

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Health
3:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Sebelius Pushes Health Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion In Kansas City

Sly James, mayor of Kansas City, Mo., introduces Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged the uninsured to enroll on the federal health exchange at a press conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday.

At the Full Employment Council near 18th and Vine streets, Sebelius touted the benefits of the health exchange for both the uninsured and for the Kansas City metropolitan area.

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Weather
2:57 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

MoDOT Urges People To Stay Off Roads And Highways Tuesday

A winter storm that is expected to move across the Kansas City metro area Tuesday has prompted the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot) to urge people to stay home, if possible.

"This storm is forecast to shape up much like the heavy snow we faced nearly a year ago," said MoDOT engineer Dan Niec, in a release Monday.

Niec said in February 2013 many employers sent workers home midday after they realized how heavy the snow was falling, clogging highways and interstates and bringing snow removal efforts to a standstill.

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Weather
2:42 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Kansas City Area School Closings On Tuesday

Credit KCUR

Updated: Tuesday, 7:18 a.m.

A storm is expected to move across the Kansas City area Tuesday bringing moderate to heavy snowfall.

A winter storm warning has been issued for 6 a.m. Tuesday until at least 9 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters expect 6-10 inches of snow, with the heaviest accumulations across the Kansas City metro and the northern part of Missouri.

Due to the severe weather, the following schools have canceled classes:

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Up to Date
10:32 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Saving Art From War: The Monuments Men

Laurence Sickman, Paul Gardner and James Reeds were all Kansas City Monuments Men.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and The James A. Reeds Family

They were a group of soldiers with something in common — a knowledge of art and how to preserve it.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the Monuments Men, a special division from the Allied forces during World War II who braved the battlefields to save priceless art and architecture from the ravages of war.

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Kansas Statehouse
8:13 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Committee To Debate Kansas Religious Freedom Bill

A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a controversial religious freedom bill. It says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage and provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.

Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He uses the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

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Harvest Public Media
8:05 am
Mon February 3, 2014

2014 Farm Bill Would Change U.S. Ag Policy

More than two years in the making, the farm bill process has been a long slog for lawmakers on Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill and farmers alike.
Credit greetarchurch / Flickr--CC

It’s getting so close now … Last week the U.S. House passed the Agriculture Act of 2014, the new farm bill. The Senate is expected to take it up Monday. President Obama’s signature could be on it in the coming days and then … boom!

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Harvest Public Media
7:57 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Senate To Consider Farm Bill

The U.S. Senate is set to take up the long overdue farm bill Monday.

The bill passed the U.S. House last week and if it makes it through the Senate, many Midwest farmers will be taking a close look at how they spread the risk of growing commodities. Sstarting immediately, direct payments would not be available to prop up the bottom line.

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Weather
5:21 am
Mon February 3, 2014

School Closings On Monday, February 3

The following schools are closed on Monday, February 3:

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Up To Date
1:27 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Local Listen: Drew Black And Dirty Electric

Drew Black And Dirty Electric perform this weekend in Kansas City.

Drew Black and Dirty Electric is a Kansas City four-piece that takes glam rock to a very dark and edgy place - and yet it’s a sound that’s loaded with hooks and easy to dance to as well.

In this week’s Local Listen, we hear Curio Doll from the group's debut album “Dead Kings and Queens.”

Hear More:

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Government
1:26 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Federal Belt Tightening May Threaten Missouri Disaster Relief

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City won’t be getting the volume of federal funding it’s been accustomed to  for preparation against terrorist attacks and natural disasters, said Sen. Claire McCaskill, meeting with Kansas City reporters.

The Senator said the mood toward smaller government will work against paying for disaster aid the way it has been since Sept. 11.

Kansas City has been excluded from a list of to 25 cities to get  public safety and disaster aid. 

McCaskill doubts funding will return for what many consider municipal responsibilities.

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Up to Date
2:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

From Slavery To Higher Ed

James Johnston is the author of From Slave Ship to Harvard.

He had his portrait painted by artist Charles Willson Peale, and he was a literate man—in short, Yarrow Mamout was unusual for an 18th-century slave in America.

On Friday's Up to Date, we look at his legacy over six generations and how his family moved from a life of slavery to producing a Harvard graduate in 1927.

Guest: 

  • James Johnston, author of From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family
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Up to Date
11:52 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Greg Brown: Midwestern Folk Staple

Singer-songwriter Greg Brown joins Steve Kraske to talk about his long career.
Credit gregbrownmusic.org

Critic Josh Kun once called singer-songwriter Greg Brown, "A Midwestern existentialist hobo with a quick-draw heart, a bloodied heart, and bourbon on his breath." If there's one thing Kun left out, it's Brown's growling tones, which have gotten deeper and more soulful after nearly 50 years of performing.

On Friday's Up to Date, we sit down with musician Greg Brown and discuss his long career and continued success as a Midwestern folk staple.

Guests:

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Government
11:14 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Hands Up, Missouri! The High-Five May Soon Be The Official State Greeting

A new bill in the House could designate the high-five as the official greeting in the state of Missouri.
Credit Hello Turkey Toe / Flickr--CC

A freshman state representative from the St. Louis area has introduced a bill in the House that would make the high-five the official greeting in the state of Missouri.

Democratic Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, of Berkeley, introduced House Bill 1624 earlier this week.

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Tell KCUR
10:16 am
Fri January 31, 2014

How You Get Out Of Speeding Tickets In Kansas City

Have you ever tried to get out of a speeding ticket? What worked? What didn't? Tweet us your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Getting out of a speeding ticket in Kansas City comes down to lying, being honest and Bazooka bubble gum, according to feedback from our listeners.

While we don’t condone speeding, a current proposal in the Missouri House of Representatives to increase the interstate speed limit to 75 mph made us curious about your speeding experiences.  

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Performance
8:29 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Meet The Mean Girls From Salem, Massachusetts, Circa 1692

Alisha Espinosa (as Tituba), Emily Phillips (Mercy Lewis), Nicole Greenberg (as Abigail Williams), Emily Shackelford (as Ann Putnam), Jessica Jensen (as Mary Warren) & Hannah Thompson (as Betty Parris) in 'Afflicted.'
Credit J. Robert Schraeder / Courtesy the Coterie Theatre

For more than three centuries, Salem, Mass., has been linked to the infamous witch trials. In 1692, at least 20 men and women died after being convicted of witchcraft; it was then considered a crime punishable by death. Hundreds more faced accusations.

A new production at the Coterie Theatre, Afflicted: Daughters of Salem, provides the story behind the girls — the accusers, who started it all.

Afflicted is written by Laurie Brooks, a longtime Coterie collaborator. She says the play is "not easy. It’s subtle, it’s complex. It's about relationships."

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Business & Tech
8:24 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kansas City’s Enormous Airline Overhaul Base Full Again

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke at the overhaul base Thursday.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City can finally hang a “no vacancy” sign on one of its largest and most important industrial buildings.  

In its heyday some 6000 people worked in the TWA overhaul base at KCI. The place is massive, a million square feet, more room than all three terminals combined. When American Airlines pulled out a few years ago, the place was empty. Now, after an intensive marketing campaign Mark VanLoh, Kansas City’s Aviation director says, it’s just the reverse.

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Education
8:14 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Missouri Chamber Of Commerce Says Students Are 'Falling Behind' Digitally

A study released Thursday by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry states that Missouri is, quote, “falling behind” when it comes to providing digital learning for K-12 students.

Missouri Chamber CEO Dan Mehan says although online learning options are available in the Show-Me state, most require tuition, while those that don’t are limited geographically.

“If we hope to keep pace with the changing landscape in education, we need to start by opening up virtual pathways to give our students more options for learning and success,”said Mehan. 

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Kansas Statehouse
7:55 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kansas Bill Would Bar Local Governments From Restricting Firearms

A bill in a Kansas Statehouse committee would bar local governments from restricting the open carry of firearms in public.The bill would also invalidate any current rules regulating open carry.

In Kansas, local governments are already banned from regulating firearms in many ways, but they can still pass rules regulating open carry.

Representative Jim Howell, a Derby Republican, says the goal of the bill is to create consistency across Kansas when it comes to open carry.

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