Local

KC Currents
10:21 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Meet The Saddest Man In Kansas On Thanksgiving

A turkey pecks for food outside of Frank Reese's century-old farmhouse.
Esther Honig KCUR

For Kansas farmer Frank Reese, Thanksgiving is a sad holiday. He raises heritage turkeys, a breed very different than those you can buy at in a modern-day supermarket. Few farmers in this country are still raising that kind, and many breeds of the bird are endangered.

To finance his preservation efforts, Reese has to work two jobs, and sell hundreds of birds a year to slaughter.

On the farm

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Business & Tech
8:16 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Auto Manufacturing Expanding In Kansas City Area

The Kansas City city council is expected to approve tax incentives for an expansion of the area's automotive manufacturing industry this afternoon.

Wednesday, a council committee endorsed ten-year tax abatement and $10.5 million in industrial revenue bonds to help turn a building in the east bottoms into a manufacturing facility for auto interior components. Troy Curran of Grupo Anolin says the company already has 2700 people working n North America.

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Performance
7:51 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Hanukkah Celebrated By Paul Mesner Puppets At Jewish Community Center

'Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins" cast rehearse at Paul Mesner Puppets in Midtown.
Photo by Steve Walker KCUR News

On Kansas City stages during the holiday season, there's an abundance of shows with Christmas themes. Audiences can go from Kansas City Ballet's The Nutcracker to Kansas City Repertory Theatre's A Christmas Carol, with several other destinations in between.

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Government
4:33 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Sandy Praeger Declines Invitation To Meet With President Obama About ACA

The head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and two members met Wednesday with President Obama to discuss the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, a moderate Republican who has generally supported the law, was invited but chose not to attend. NAIC President Jim Donelon, Connecticut’s insurance commissioner, organized the meeting.

Praeger said she wasn’t trying to distance herself from the controversy surrounding the law’s problem-plagued rollout.

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90-Mile View
2:49 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

90-Mile View: Old Kansas City School Finds New Life As Housing

The Bancroft School
Chad Jackson Make It Right

As President of the Historic Manheim Park Association, Saundra Hayes has been witness to exciting changes in the 32-square block neighborhood nestled between Troost and The Paseo, and 39th and Brush Creek Blvd. 

On this edition of 90-Mile View Saundra shares with host Steve Kraske the latest events from the community including the recent ribbon-cutting that marked a new chapter for the neighborhood's Bancroft School.

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Up to Date
10:14 am
Wed November 20, 2013

A 20-Year View For MoDOT

Missouri's roads will need $70 billion in repairs and maintenance work over the next two decades, but the budget only allows for $17 billion of work.
Credit modot_stl_photos/Flickr-CC

The Missouri Department of Transportation just released its 20-year plan for the state’s roads and bridges. MoDOT expects it will have about $17 billion dollars to pay for the plan. However, if it completed all the maintenance and construction suggested by Missouri citizens in a recent survey, it would need a budget of $70 billion. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about the plan and how the state will prioritize its future projects.

Guest:

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Government
8:21 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Kansas Statehouse Renovation Drawing To A Close

The Kansas Statehouse has been under construction for more than a decade.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A project that has taken more than a decade and cost $300 million is drawing to a close.

The renovation of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka should be mostly finished next month, and, a state panel heard one of the final updates on the project Tuesday.

STD The project is in the home stretch, but the Statehouse grounds are very much still an active construction site. There's scaffolding on the building, fences block off large sections and construction equipment rumbles around the property.

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Lethal Injection
8:07 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Mo. Carries Out Execution After Court Vacates Stays

Joseph Paul Franklin.
(Missouri Department of Corrections)

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:10 pm

Update 7:52 a.m 11/20/13:

Missouri carried out the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin a little after 6 a.m. He was put to death after courts overturned Tuesday's stays of execution.

Yesterday, two federal judges issued stays of execution.

The judges took issue with how the state was getting its lethal injection drug from a secret source not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and questioned whether the inmate was mentally competent to be executed.

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Music
7:47 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Alexander Majors House Shows Off Restored Piano

Dr. Bruce Prince-Joseph has a passion for vintage instruments, including this grand box piano in the Alexander Majors House collection.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Alexander Majors House, a two-story white antebellum home, is a relic from the 1850's, and still stands at 82nd and State Line. It was built by one of the founders of the Pony Express, and it's tucked next to an office building, just north of Ward Parkway Shopping Center.

Inside the house, there’s historic furniture and fixtures, and also on the property, a blacksmith’s shop, carriages, and a barn – where, for now, there’s a newly restored piano. 

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Government
3:53 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Ground Broken On New Kansas City Crime Lab

Earth moving equipment is at idle as Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte' leads ground breaking for a new East Patrol Station and crime lab.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ground has been ceremonially broken for the already-in-progress East Patrol Police station/crime lab construction in Kansas City, Mo.

Chrome plated shovels were planted in dirt but it was obvious heavy equipment had been working for weeks. About 80 houses were torn down for the 17-acre, $74 million project.

Nearly every speaker talked about those who gave up property, some unwillingly. Though, there were no protestors visible at the gathering.

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Community
2:57 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Kansas City Scores Best And Worst On LGBT Equality Index

Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Kansas City has simultaneously achieved the lowest and highest scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index scorecard.

Kansas City, Kan., earned a zero on the scorecard, which ranks city laws, policies, benefits and services that work to positively impact residents in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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People
2:01 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

New Appointee At National WWI Museum To Spearhead Centennial Celebration

Linda Trout will move from the International Relations Council to the World War I Museum in December.
Credit International Relations Council

Linda Trout, long-time Executive Director of International Relations Council (IRC) in Kansas City, Mo. has been named Director of Strategic Engagement at the National World War I Museum.

In the new post for the museum, Trout will oversee planning and implementation of the centennial celebration of WWI, beginning next year.

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Up to Date
11:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Examining Technology's Effect On Early Pregnancy Detection

Technology has made it easier to detect pregnancy earlier.
Credit Rchristie/Flickr-CC

It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that expectant parents could see and hear their baby through means of ultrasound and Doppler. With those advances also came a dramatic change in how we view early pregnancy loss.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a historian of women’s health about the impact of technology on first trimester miscarriages and how what was once considered an abnormal period is now the lossof a baby.

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Up to Date
11:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Politics And Prose: Bob Woodward

Journalist Bob Woodward joins Steve Kraske to talk politics on Up to Date.

He's famous for his work in the Washington Post exposing the Watergate scandal, and journalist Bob Woodward is still addressing contentious issues. 

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we get his views on the Affordable Care Act and how Washington works today. 

Guest:

Bob Woodward, journalist. His latest book is The Price of Politics.

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Business & Tech
10:39 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Global Entrepreneurship Week Highlights Innovation In Kansas City

A kind of entrepreneurial love fest is happening across the world this week. Global entrepreneurship is being celebrated in Kansas City, across the United States and in 139 countries around the world.

The event, called 'Global Entrepreneurship Week,' is a mash up of events, workshops and competitions celebrating innovative startups.

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Government
8:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Brownback Rolls Out Controversial Kansas Reading Program

Credit U.S. Government / Wikimedia --CC

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is rolling out a program aimed at boosting reading proficiency among Kansas students. State reading scores are generally near the top of national rankings, but the administration believes Kansas can do better.

A child advocacy group says it's a laudable goal, but its members aren't happy that the initiative will be funded by taking $9 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF).

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Agriculture
8:04 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Organic Food Producers Struggle To Find Grains

James Frantzen, left, and his father Tom Frantzen run an organic farm in New Hampton, Iowa.
Credit Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

Organic food is a hot market in the U.S.—the Organic Trade Association says that sales over the past five years have grown 35 percent. But there’s a problem in the supply chain – not enough organic grain.

Many producers in the farm belt aren’t willing to take on organic production despite a hefty price premium. That has left organic food companies scrambling to find enough raw ingredients for the products that hit grocery store shelves. Just as corn and soybeans dominate conventional processed food and meat, these same grains are often key ingredients for organic foods.

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Language
6:00 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Get Out Your Camera, The Word Of The Year Is 'Selfie'

KCUR staffers, in all their selfie glory.
Credit Briana O'Higgins + staff / KCUR

The word of the year, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is selfie. The company announced the 2013 selection on Monday in a press release.

According to the release, selfie can be tracked to 2002, where it was used in an Australian online forum.

Oxford claims the word's linguistic productivity is already evident by numerous spin-offs, like welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunk selfie).

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Agriculture
9:21 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Schools In Missouri And Kansas Spending More On Local Food

School districts in both Kansas and Missouri spent more than ten percent of their food budget buying from local farms in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Census. That means efforts to fill cafeteria trays with local foods have plenty of room to grow.

Across the Midwest, most states report 25 to 50 percent of their school districts are buying from local farms, growing edible gardens or teaching nutrition—all parts of USDA’s Farm to School effort.

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Government
8:26 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Customer Advocates Upset As Utility Regulators Look At Changes

The Kansas Corporation Commission and an agency representing utility customers have been butting heads over comments made by a KCC commissioner.

The disagreement is over what the commissioner said about how the KCC decides rate increases for utility customers. In a recent filing, KCC Chair Mark Sievers endorsed a process that uses a formula to decide future rate increases.

The more common process is where advocates for utility customers and the utility make arguments before the KCC and then the KCC decides on the amount of the increase.

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Harvest Public Media
8:13 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Proposed Merger Could Create Wheat Milling Goliath

Farmers in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska harvest about one-third of the nation’s wheat acres, according to the most recent Agricultural Census.
Credit Ron Jones / KCUR

Fall is planting time for wheat across the Great Plains and this year’s crop went into the ground while big changes were underway in the wheat market. Some of the biggest players in the flour milling industry are joining forces to make the country’s largest miller even larger.

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Harvest Public Media
7:56 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Feds Propose To Reduce Ethanol Requirement In Gasoline

The federal government proposed Friday to cut the amount of corn-based ethanol oil companies have to put in the gasoline supply, by more than a billion gallons. Much of the corn used to make that ethanol is grown right here in the Midwest. 

Cutting the amount of corn ethanol required in the Renewable Fuel Standard essentially puts a cap on demand for corn from the Midwest.

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Headlines
7:35 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Top Stories Of The Week

Missouri to honor same-sex joint income tax returns

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that Missouri would honor joint tax returns of same-sex couples who married in states where those marriages are recognized.

Republican leadership in Jefferson City expressed outrage, accusing Nixon of ignoring the state constitution and the will of the voters.

Nixon calls for truce with Kansas on economic border war

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Up to Date
12:44 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List: November 15-17, 2013

Ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro performs Friday night at the Kauffman Center.

There are a ton of things to do in Kansas City this weekend, and Brian McTavish picked out some highlights as part of our Weekend To-Do List for November 15-17.

Selena Gomez: Pop hit sensation: 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sprint Center, 1409 Grand Tickets: $28.50-$99.50  

Jake ShimabukuroUkulele wizard. 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Tickets: $21-$59

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Up To Date
12:38 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Up to Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See," Nov. 15-17

Adèle Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux star in the much talked about film 'Blue is the Warmest Color.'

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of November 8-10? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Muscle Shoals
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Blue is the Warmest Color

Steve Walker

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Up to Date
12:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Local Listen: The Latenight Callers

The Latenight Callers perform this weekend in at the Record Bar's "Saturday Brunch."

Band The Latenight Callers describe their sultry, film-noir sound as that of “the house band at a David Lynch pool party.” Their latest album is called Songs for Stolen Moments.

In Friday's Local Listen, we hear “Red Bricks, White Ghosts.”

The Latenight Callers will be paying a midday call to The Record Bar for their first-ever Saturday Brunch, November 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at 1020 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo.

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Government
8:53 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Brownback Unveils Grade School Reading Program

Gov. Sam Brownback has unveiled an initiative aimed at improving reading proficiency in Kansas grade school students. The initiative will provide grant money for after-school reading programs. But the funding method is controversial.

The plan is to use $9 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), to fund the reading initiative. Gov. Brownback says focusing on reading in children can pay long-term dividends.

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Health
8:09 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Kansas Child Deaths Lowest On Record

A new report shows the number of child fatalities in Kansas in 2011 was the lowest on record. Those records date back to 1992, when the Child Death Review Board was established.

The annual report from the review board says 391 children died in Kansas in 2011. Of those deaths, 230 were due to natural causes. Almost two-thirds involved babies who died in their first month of life, most of those deaths were due to premature birth and congenital conditions.

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Sports
8:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Chiefs Face Uphill Battle, Starting With The Broncos

Credit Justin Morbeck/ Flickr-CC

In Kansas City, 1969 is remembered as the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl season. It’s also the last time when two stalwarts, one undefeated and the other with only one loss, butted heads this late in the season. The Minnesota Vikings were 10-and-1 when they squared off against the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

Sunday night’s game between the Chiefs and the Denver Broncos pits the league’s best defense against the most prolific offense. Taking the rivalry between the two teams to a different level.

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Film
6:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Film Review: A Love Affair Ebbs And Flows In Controversial 'Blue Is The Warmest Color'

Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) falls for Emma (Léa Seydoux) in 'Blue is the Warmest Color.'
Credit Sundance Selects

Blue is the Warmest Color, the winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is a frank and honest examination of a relationship from a heated first glance to its dying embers. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film rides waves of passion, bliss and anger in such truthful ways that anyone who’s been madly in love will identify with the couple, even if the parties happen to be two women. And to boot, the movie is wonderfully alive.

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