Local

Performance
5:30 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Frida Kahlo Comes Alive In The Living Room's 'Frida...A Self Portrait'

The iconic artist Frida Kahlo as played by Vanessa Severo in 'Frida...A Self Portrait' at The Living Room May 8-18.
Credit Brian Paulette / The Living Room

Much like Vincent Van Gogh, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo wasn’t famous in her own lifetime. A new play at The Living Room examines the artist's trials and tribulations, especially a series of tragic events that would have daunted many people but actually motivated her to paint in the first place.

Kahlo had a look as distinctive as her art. In a series of self-portraits, she emits a piercing stare from beneath an arched unibrow and a crown of braids. And her work has found the acclaim that eluded her in life.

Picture perfect

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Harvest Public Media
2:36 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Climate Change Report: Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Worries For Farmers

Climate change has contributed to record corn yields, but over the long term it's likely to have a negative impact on agriculture.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The White House’s new climate change report predicts threats to agriculture, including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy.

The third National Climate Assessment is a summary of the current science about the nation’s climate and how it’s changing written by a panel of expert scientists.

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Health
9:51 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Study: Expanding Medicaid Would Prevent Cancer Deaths In Kansas

Dr. Edward Ellerbeck, director of the Cancer Control and Population Health Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center, examines a patient.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

The decision by state officials not to expand Medicaid eligibility could deny thousands of uninsured Kansans access to life-saving cancer treatments, according to a recent report by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Missouri Statehouse
7:55 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Missouri House Joins Senate To Override Veto Of Tax-Cut Bill

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 3:47 pm

The Missouri House acted quickly Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill that is estimated to cut the state's revenue by about $620 million a year when fully implemented.

The House obtained the exact number of votes needed — 109 — with the help of one Democrat, Rep. Keith English of Florissant.  He joined all of the chamber's 108 Republicans.

The House joined the Senate, which voted 23-8 on Monday to override the governor's veto, which he issued last week.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

National Geographic: 5 Steps To Feed The World

On the Vulgamore farm near Scott City, Kan., each combine can harvest up to 25 acres of wheat an hour — as well as provide real-time data on crop yields. Most of the food Americans eat is now produced on such large-scale, mechanized farms.
© George Steinmetz National Geographic

With the world’s population exploding, we’ll have many more mouths to feed in the near future. But agriculture already uses up tons of resources and land. So how can we grow more food and how can we limit its damage to the environment?

Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, wrote “A Five Step Plan to Feed the World,” in the May issue of National Geographic as an answer to those kinds of questions.

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JCC Shootings
2:31 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Overland Park JCC Flooded With Condolences

Cards have flooded the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., since the April 13 attack that took the lives of three people.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

In the weeks since a gunman shot and killed three people at Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan., hundreds of cards, letters and other expressions of sympathy have poured in.

Jacob Schreiber, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Center said a number of the written expressions are displayed on a bulletin board in the center’s lobby. Some of the expressions of sympathy include:

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Harvest Public Media
9:25 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Six Cool Maps From The Farm Census

Rural pockets of the country still lack internet connectivity, the agricultural census shows.

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:52 pm

Remember that scene from the 1979 movie The Jerk where Steve Martin’s character leaps with glee over the delivery of new phone books? That same sequence plays out every five years when the U.S. Department of Agriculture drops its agricultural census and ag data nerds everywhere rejoice.

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Harvest Public Media
8:08 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Brazil Beef Imports Too Risky, Farmers Worry

The U.S. hasn’t had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in more than 80 years. In Brazil, the latest recorded outbreak was in 2006, though it occurred in an area that would not be allowed to export to the U.S. under the proposed rule.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to green light a proposal that would allow imports of fresh beef from certain sections of Brazil, despite the South American country’s history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious pathogen that cripples cattle.

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Harvest Public Media
8:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Ag Census Points To Fewer U.S. Farms

Farmers raised $395 billion worth of goods in 2012, according to the latest Census of Agriculture.
Credit isnapshot / Flickr--CC

The number of farms in the U.S. is shrinking, according to the latest Census of Agriculture, released Friday. The census is taken every five years and shows the changing landscape for farmers.

Since 2007, the U.S. lost 95,000 farms, or about 4 percent. There was a similar drop in the number of farmers. But the number of Latino farmers grew by 20 percent, according to the Census. There are also more African American farmers.

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Sports
7:56 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Royals GM Fears Another 'Disastrous May'

With 30 games complete, there are ominous signs for the Kansas City Royals this season. The latest setback was a 9-4 loss against the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

When the stadium gates opened, more than 22,000 fans filed in for Sunday’s series finale against the Tigers, the American League Central Division leaders and the team the Royals hope to challenge. But the Tigers pounded a total of 42 hits in the series and outscored the Royals, 26-8, in the three games.

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Arts & Culture
9:07 am
Sat May 3, 2014

newEar Closes Season With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer

Evoking the sounds of nature, Lyra Pherigo plays the piccolo.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The contemporary chamber ensemble, newEar, brings its 21st season to a close with three pieces from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This including songbirdsongs, written between 1974 and 1980, by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. Adams recently won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

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Community
5:57 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Conservative Advocacy Group Draws Protesters To Downtown Kansas City

Protestors, like disabled veteran Sara Campbell (at right), held signs across the street from ALEC's meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Chuck and Tina Tribble (left, and center) planned to stay until the meeting "broke for dinner."
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, hosted two days of meetings on May 1 - 2, with about 600 legislative leaders at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City, Mo. The council is a conservative advocacy group.

On Friday, protesters gathered across the street for a Stand Up to ALEC event.

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Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

5 Questions For The Guys Reimagining Disney's Laugh-O-Gram Studio

Nelle Peters designed the Laugh-O-Gram building. She's considered one of Kansas City's most prolific architects.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Walt Disney opened his first animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram, on the second floor of a red-brick building near 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Mo. The business folded in 1923, and the building, due to deteriorating conditions, was almost torn down about a decade ago.

But now, plans are underway for the site to return as a center for animation, but one for the 21st century. This includes digital storytelling, experimental animation training labs, and a theater to showcase new work – as well as an upgrade, so the building is sustainable.

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Health
12:54 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Summit In KCK Takes Fighting Hunger Beyond The Food Drive

Oran Hesterman, CEO of the Fair Food Network in Ann Arbor, Mich., held up a miniature replica of a billboard his organization had throughout Detroit advertising its Double Up Food Bucks program for food stamp recipients. Hesterman was in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday for a food summit.
Credit KCPT

John Hornbeck came to a Thursday forum in Kansas City, Kan., with two cans of green beans.

His point was to illustrate that solving hunger isn’t as simple as merely providing someone something to eat — especially when health is thrown into the mix.

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Film
8:10 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Film Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier' Opens A Lens On Gifted And Mysterious Photographer

'Finding Vivian Maier' introduces the world to the greatest photographer they never knew existed.
Credit Courtesy Maloof Collection Ltd.

By their very nature, photographs are loaded with backstory. There's the image itself, deemed important in a moment that becomes frozen for eternity.

And there's the person who snapped the picture, for reasons that are as personal as they are mysterious.

In the fascinating new documentary Finding Vivian Maier, the title character's exceptional photographs are brought to light after years of being hidden away from any and all scrutiny.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:06 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Walt Disney's Role In Transforming Troost

A view looking west to Troost from the Laugh-O-Gram Studio at 31st and Forest, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

An attempt to breathe life into a building near Troost Avenue with ties to Walt Disney could help erase the corridor’s stigma as a key dividing line in Kansas City, says Butch Rigby.

Rigby, chairman of the non-profit Thank you Walt Disney, is behind an effort to revitalize Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which is just east of 31st Street and Troost.

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History of Sports
6:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

KU Breaks Ground On New Center To House Naismith’s Rules Of Basketball

The 1899 University of Kansas basketball team, with Dr. Naismith in the back, right.
Credit Wikimedia / CC

Construction begins Friday on the DeBruce Center, a three-story building that will house the original rules for basketball, typed up by the game’s inventor, James Naismith, in 1892.

 The DeBruce Center will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse by a second-story walkway.

University of Kansas associate athletics director Jim Marchiony says the rules will be part of a display that tells the story of the sport of basketball and KU’s connection to it.

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Health
4:34 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Health Enrollments Through Federal Exchange Double In Missouri And Kansas

Federal health exchange enrollments more than doubled in Missouri and nearly doubled in Kansas in the weeks leading up to the enrollment deadline, according to figures released by the government Thursday. 

In Missouri, enrollment through the federal marketplace shot up to 152,335 - a 105 percent increase over the number who selected a health plan by the end of February. In Kansas, enrollment increased to 57,013 - a 95 percent jump over February.

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Tell KCUR
3:46 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Things Kansas Citians Would Try To Save From A Tornado

What would you grab if a tornado was approaching? Tweet your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

What do rosaries, guitars and “Lord of the Rings” DVD box sets have in common?

They’re all objects that Kansas Citians said they would try to save if a tornado was on the way.

Given this week’s severe tornadoes across the United States, we used social media and the airwaves to ask you: What would you grab if a tornado was approaching?

We don’t advocate spending a lot of time scooping up material items if an incoming tornado is close to your home.

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Beyond Our Borders
11:09 am
Thu May 1, 2014

In Ivanhoe, Food Helping Neighborhood Rebuild

Terry Glenn re-stocks shelves at the Harvest Learning Center Market. The store is in the basement of the church where Glenn is pastor.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Terry Glenn’s neighborhood was hit hard by the recession, and it wasn’t booming before the rough times.

He saw houses crumble, get boarded up and left to rot. He saw neighbors moving away. And he worried that Ivanhoe, on Kansas City’s east side, was dying.

“We said, ‘We’ve got to look inside of this and see exactly what the problem is,’” Glenn said. “And once we did, we found out that the families were moving to try to find better schools, find healthier food, find different places that their family can go and have a good community.”

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Obituary
10:13 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Accordion Legend Don Lipovac Remembered In Kansas City

Credit Photo courtesy of Laura Krzyzanowski.

Musician Don Lipovac, internationally recognized for his prowess on the accordion, will be buried Thursday in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan.

The 79-year-old died on April 26.

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Arts & Culture
9:25 am
Thu May 1, 2014

A New Era For The Kansas City Museum

Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone, is the home of the Kansas City Museum.
Credit File: Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Thursday marks a new chapter for the Kansas City Museum. The city’s parks and recreation department takes over management – and a new executive director is on board. 

Since 2012, Anna Marie Tutera has served as executive director of the Wornall/Majors House Museums. Now, she’s taking over leadership of another historic home: Corinthian Hall.

The former residence of lumber baron R. A. Long and his family, Corinthian Hall is located in the city's historic northeast. It's housed the Kansas City Museum since 1940.

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Sports
7:48 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Anderson Hire May Mean A New Chapter For Mizzou Athletics

This week’s hiring of Kim Anderson as Missouri’s new men’s basketball coach doesn’t just signal a new era on the basketball court — it also raises hopes for a cleaner slate with issues surrounding Tiger athletics.

Lately for men’s basketball games at Mizzou Arena, there have been more open seats despite them being sold. Even newly-appointed head coach Kim Anderson recognizes that. He concluded his introductory news conference this week with a clamorous message.

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Government
7:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Streetcar Project May Prompt Kansas City Officials To Temporarily Move Bus Lines

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is thinking about temporarily moving some routes off Main Street in Kansas City, Mo., while streets are congested with construction.

While lower Main street is torn up as workers lay streetcar lines, it comes as no surprise to anyone moving around there that traffic is a mess. So Mark Huffer, General Manager of the ATA, says officials are thinking it may alleviate some of the congestion to move peak-time routes off Main to Grand for awhile.

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Performance
7:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Puerto Rican Characters Lend 'Water By The Spoonful' A Splash Of Diversity

Keenan Ramos and Dawnnie Mercado play part of a Puerto Rican family in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'Water by the Spoonful.'
Credit Cynthia Levin / Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre's production of Water by the Spoonful marks the local premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. But the play may be more noteworthy for its meaty, multi-layered characters of Puerto Rican heritage, and the fact that the actors playing them represent ethnic diversity that's rare to see on a Kansas City stage.

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Health
4:48 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

HCA To Make Additional $77 Million Payment To Kansas City Health Care Foundation

HCA Inc. on Wednesday agreed to pay $77 million to the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City on top of nearly $162 million it was ordered to pay last year. 

The payment averts a hearing in May in which a judge was to decide how much additional money, if any, HCA owed.

The payment stems from a lawsuit the foundation, which was created from the proceeds of the sale of Health Midwest to HCA in 2003, filed in 2009. The suit alleged that HCA Midwest Health System reneged on obligations it assumed when it bought Health Midwest.

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Health
3:24 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Nixon Proposes Health Insurance Subsidy For Low-Wage Workers

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon unveiled a proposal Wednesday to help low-wage workers get health care coverage.
Credit KCPT

 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing that the state use federal health dollars to subsidize health insurance for low-wage workers.

Under a program he is calling Missouri Health Works, Nixon wants the state pay a portion of employers’ health insurance costs for their employees who make below 138 percent of the poverty level, or $27,310 annually for a family of three.

The program would be open to businesses with fewer than 150 employees.

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Kansas Statehouse
3:17 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Consider Tossing Health Club Tax Break

A legislative conference committee is working to reconcile differing tax bills that passed the Kansas House and Senate. In the first round of negotiations Wednesday, House leaders suggested eliminating a proposed tax break for health clubs.

The measure would exempt health clubs from property taxes because some club owners say they face unfair competition from YMCAs, which are tax exempt nonprofit organizations.

Rep. Richard Carlson, a St. Marys Republican, is concerned that giving health clubs a tax break could lead to other businesses asking for a similar tax cut.

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Health
11:59 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Truman Medical Centers Names New CEO

Charles W. Shields has been named the new president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers.
Credit file photo

An executive with TMC Lakewood has been chosen to succeed John W. Bluford III as president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers.  

Charles W. "Charlie" Shields, currently the chief operating officer of TMC Lakewood, part of the TMC Health System,  will replace Bluford, who is retiring in July. 

Shields, a former Missouri state representative and senator, served as president pro tem of the Missouri Senate in 2009. Before joining the TMC system, he was with Heartland Health in St. Joseph. 

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Arts & Culture
10:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Kansas City Art Institute Students Interpret Lyric Opera's 'Die Fledermaus'

Costumes, props and other materials from 'Die Fledermaus (The Bat)' provide student inspiration.
Laura Spencer KCUR

It's a Thursday morning in the rehearsal space at the Lyric Opera Center in the Crossroads Arts District. About 20 students from the Kansas City Art Institute stand on either side of a long table covered with sketches, floor and building plans and colorful set drawings. They reach into pockets to snap photos with cell phones, or focus in with larger cameras.

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