Local

Government
7:57 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Kansas City Council Approves Zoning For Plaza Office High-Rise

New high-rise office building proposed for north edge of Country Club Plaza
Credit Courtesy: Hoefer Wysocki Architecture

A Kansas City council committee approved zoning changes for a 14-story office tower on the north edge of the Country Club Plaza on Wednesday. There appears to be no organized effort to stop its construction.

In recent years, plans for a North-Plaza law office high-rise and a luxury hotel were derailed by opposition. But this time there is no business opposition and Dan Cofran of Friends of the Plaza says his group does not want to stop or delay the Block Real Estate project.

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Government
8:04 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Mayor Discusses 2016 Convention Odds At Young Republicans Meeting

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James, left, speaks at the Kansas City Young Republicans' monthly meeting about the odds of securing the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Credit Elle / KCUR

It'll be at least two more months before city officials learn if Kansas City has impressed the right people and secured a bid for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The RNC site selection committee wrapped up its tour of top contenders last week – Cleveland, Dallas and Denver are also still in the running – and is giving the cities a chance to respond to any questions that came up during the visits.

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Higher Education
5:17 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Kansas Board Of Regents Approves Tuition Increase

College students in Kansas will see their tuition bills increase next year after the Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to raise rates. 

The overall tuition and fee increases for undergraduate resident students in Kansas range from 2.5 percent at Fort Hays State University to more than 5 percent at Kansas State. Regents Chairman Fred Logan says this is the lowest increase in 13 years.

"It's always a tough job balancing access and excellence and I think we've done a pretty nice job of that here," says Logan.

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Health
2:28 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Former Kansas Family Still Hopeful Medical Marijuana Will Help Their Epileptic Son

Ryan and Kathy Reed recently moved from Kansas to Colorado hoping that a marijuana extract legally available in there will help control their son Otis' epileptic seizures.
Credit Trevor Graff / KHI News Service

Ryan and Kathy Reed celebrated their son Otis’ third birthday last week, hoping that better days are ahead for him in the family’s new Colorado home.

Otis suffers from uncontrollable epileptic seizures. His body stiffens with them hundreds of times each day.

The Reeds left Kansas for Colorado in early May to gain access to medical marijuana for Otis. He received his first dose of non-psychotropic marijuana extract – known as Charlotte’s Web – on May 8. In the weeks since, steady increases in the dosage have helped Otis to sleep better but haven’t reduced his seizures.

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Arts & Culture
1:12 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Take A Look At The World Cup Stadium Designed In Kansas City

The facade and roof of Arena das Dunas include 20 petal-shaped modules. These appear to move, like the nearby dunes.
courtesy of Populous

While watching the FIFA World Cup match between the United States and Ghana on Monday night, perhaps you noticed the venue.

The 42,000-seat stadium, called Arena das Dunas or The Stadium of the Dunes, has a petal-shaped canopy and was designed by Populous, a sports architecture firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the firm, the challenge was to create a "grand space" for the people of Natal, Brazil. Architects drew inspiration from the flowing sand dunes that dominate the city.

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Health
11:16 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Obamacare Enrollees In Missouri And Kansas Pay Less Than $100 A Month With Tax Credits

A new report analyzing health plan enrollment through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace shows that most people who signed up — about 70 percent — are paying less than $100 a month for coverage after their advance tax credits are accounted for and nearly half those who enrolled are paying less than $50 per month.

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Health
8:49 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Say What? Many Patients Struggling To Learn The Foreign Language Of Health Insurance

Jessie Yuan, physician at the Eisner Pediatric and Family Health Center in Los Angeles, treats diabetic patient Oscar Gonzales. Gonzalez was unaware he had been switched to Medi-Cal until Yuan informed him about the change.
Credit Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News

As soon as Deb Emerson, a former high school teacher from Oroville, Calif., bought a health plan in January through the state’s insurance exchange, she felt overwhelmed.

She couldn’t figure out what was covered and what wasn’t. Why weren’t her anti-depressant medications included?  Why did she have to pay $60 to see a doctor? The insurance jargon - deductible, co-pay, premium, co-insurance - was like a foreign language. What did it mean?

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Beyond Our Borders
7:39 am
Wed June 18, 2014

KC Anti-Crime Leader Says The Black Church Needs New Message For Grieving Teens

Anti-crime activist and minister Alvin Brooks at a recent meeting on how the church can better serve siblings of murder victims.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The homicide epidemic among young black men on Kansas City’s east side is leaving a generation of grieving teens in its wake, and some in the crime-fighting community feel black churches need to change their message to better help these young people deal with their loss.

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Sports
7:37 am
Wed June 18, 2014

'Dynamic Pricing' May Be To Blame For Empty Seats At Kauffman Stadium

Empty seats at recent Royals games are a sign of the teams records, and dynamic pricing practices.
Credit Valerie / Flickr--CC

After stagnating for a month in the American League Central standings, the Royals have taken off in the last two weeks. But when the last homestand concluded with two of the Royals’ most traditional draws, their attendance didn’t take off as they hoped.

New York Yankee fan Mo Moffitt, recently moved to Shawnee, Kan., from The Bronx, found a way to attend a Yankees game in Kansas City.

“If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game.

But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not.

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Arts & Culture
4:29 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas City Cartoonist Charles Barsotti Dies

A cartoon Charles Barsotti penned for KCUR.
Credit Charles Barsotti

Kansas City-based cartoonist Charles Barsotti died Monday, according to The Kansas City Star.

Barsotti, 80, was a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic and USA Today. He published more than 1,300 cartoons during his career.

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Arts & Culture
4:17 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

A New President And CEO For The Kauffman Center

The Kauffman Center Board of Directors named Paul J. Schofer as president and CEO.
Credit Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Paul J. Schofer was announced Tuesday as the new leader of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Since March 2012, Schofer has served as the Kauffman Center's vice president of operations and chief financial officer.

Schofer will replace outgoing president and CEO Jane Chu, who's leaving to take on a new post as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Education
3:16 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Regents To Vote On Tuition Increases

The Kansas Board of Regents will consider proposed tuition increases at a meeting this week. Breeze Richardson with the board, says this will be the final step in the process. Universities have spent the last few months developing and submitting their proposals.

"Those proposals were brought forth at last months meeting, and then the final proposals will be presented [Wedesnday] and voted upon" Richardson said.

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Mental Health
3:07 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Report: Farmer Suicide Rate Higher Than All Other Workers

A new study shows that agricultural workers have unusually high suicide rates compared to other workers.
Credit Harvest Public Media

U.S. farmers are more than three times more likely to commit suicide than other workers, a new study has found.

University of Iowa researcher Wendy Ringgenberg compiled a study based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration farm death statistics from 1992 to 2010. In a recent interview with Iowa Public Radio, Ringgenberg said suicide rates have likely been underestimated and underreported. 

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Beyond Our Borders
2:11 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Three Prized Possessions From Kansas City's Black Archives

A bumper sticker advertising the first documented Juneteenth celebration in Kansas City is a part of the collection honoring the 40th anniversary of the Black Archives of Mid-America. Juneteenth celebrations remember June 19, 1865, the day the last slaves heard about the Emancipation Proclamation.
Credit The Black Archives of Mid-America

The Black Archives of Mid-America has provided a place to learn about African-American history in Kansas City, Mo., for the past four decades.  

And during that time, it has amassed a vast collection of papers, photographs and even physical structures to show what life was like as a black Kansas Citian. 

As the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary this week, we wanted to know more about the types of materials in the collection that started in 1974, when Horace Peterson III founded the Black Archives.

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Health
11:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Saint Luke's Plans To Build 60-Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

Saint Luke’s Health System says it plans to build a 60-bed rehabilitation hospital in the Kansas City area in partnership with Nashville, Tenn.-based Centerre Healthcare Corp.

The hospital network says it has not selected a site for the proposed 60,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to open in 2016.

The rehab hospital will offer programs for stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and other major medical conditions, Saint Luke’s said in a news release.

Harvest Public Media
9:43 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Agritourism A Growing Opportunity On The Farm

Many states have been making it easier to run agritourism operations by passing laws limiting farmers’ liability.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Farms aren’t just for food any more. With the local food movement growing, more savvy farmers are putting a price tag on more than those organic tomatoes. They are instead marketing and selling the “farm experience” in the form of agritourism attractions.

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Health
8:44 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Hospitals Crafting Medicaid Expansion Proposal

Tom Bell, chief executive of the Kansas Hospital Association, says the group plans to submit proposed legislation to expand Medicaid in Kansas.
Credit Kansas Hospital Association

It’s make-or-break time for advocates of Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

Fearing that political events may be conspiring to foreclose the opportunity to use mostly federal dollars to extend coverage to thousands of uninsured poor adults, the Kansas Hospital Association is preparing to shift its lobbying campaign into high gear.

The first step, says Tom Bell, the association’s chief executive, will be to craft an expansion proposal for lawmakers to consider in the 2015 session.

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Health
8:38 am
Tue June 17, 2014

VA Rural Health Care Pilot Under The Gun In Kansas

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says a Veterans Administration pilot program offering timely quality health care to rural veterans is being allowed to expire in a few months, even though VA officials tell members of Congress no decision has been made.

Moran and four of his colleagues sent a letter to the VA Secretary seeking an explanation. 

The pilot program, called Access Received Closer to Home, or ARCH, is offered through five pilot sites across the country, including one in Pratt, Kan.

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World Cup KC
8:37 am
Tue June 17, 2014

What Kansas City Sounds Like When The U.S. Team Scores In The World Cup

Kansas City soccer fans gathered in the Power & Light District Monday night to watch the U.S. men's team in their World Cup opening game.
Credit Sporting KC / YouTube

Even if you missed the game Monday night, you probably know by now that the U.S. men's soccer team defeated Ghana in their opener at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The win was sweet revenge after losing to Ghana in the last two World Cups.

Winning always sounds good, but it sounded especially good coming from Kansas City's Power & Light District where fans cheered on local players, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi:

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Health
8:17 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Sees Significant Increase In Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment

Unlike its neighboring states of Missouri and Nebraska, where significant decreases have been reported, Kansas has seen a significant jump in the number of people enrolled in its Medicaid/CHIP programs, even without loosening its relatively tight eligibility standards.

According to a new report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, enrollment in the programs — together branded as KanCare — rose in April to a historic high of 426,642 people, or roughly one in seven Kansans. That’s up from 396,374 in April 2013.

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Sports
7:49 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas City Soccer Fans Celebrate U.S. Victory Over Ghana

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in last night’s World Cup match.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District Monday to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in the U.S. team's first World Cup match.

The KC Live Stage was filled to the brim of fans wearing red white and blue, chanting U.S.A., and S.K.C. to cheer for the two Sporting KC players on the team, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Kansas City native, Matt Besler played in the first half but had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Graham Zusi was brought in at the 77th minute, and assisted in scoring the second goal that brought the team to victory.

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College Sports
1:56 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Mizzou Basketball Returning To Sprint Center For Oklahoma State Match-Up

Kansas City Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson, MU Athletics Director Mike Alden and men's basketball coach Kim Anderson announce a match-up between Mizzou and Oklahoma State Dec. 30.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The University of Missouri athletics department announced Monday the men's basketball team will play Oklahoma State on Dec. 30 at the Sprint Center.

The match-up demonstrates the university's commitment to play in Kansas City and recruit from the metro area, says MU athletics director Mike Alden. He praised head coach Kim Anderson's willingness to put a tough non-conference team on the schedule.

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Harvest Public Media
7:58 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Midwest A Cattle Paradise As Drought Stretches Beef Country

Cattle come to Van Housen Feed Yard to be fattened up before heading to one of the nearby meat packing plants. Drought in beef states like Texas and Oklahoma has led to growth feedlots in Nebraska.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

Drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving herds from California to Colorado and from Texas to Nebraska seeking refuge from dry weather. And cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

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Education
7:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Fellowship Encourages Startup Thinking Around Kansas City Education

If figuring out how to fix education in Kansas City is a puzzle, then the founders of The Lean Lab say their fellowships should provide the pieces.

"Each fellow has to commit to impacting 500 students over the course of five years," says Carrie Markel, the group's chief operating officer. "If we incubate 20 fellows a year, in less than 20 years we would impact all 70,000 students in the Kansas City city limits."

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Arts & Culture
3:18 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Heartland Men’s Chorus Brings Vegas Strip To Folly Stage

Todd Jordan Green sings 'Don't Be Cruel' during rehearsal for the closing show of the 28th season of the Heartland Men's Chorus. The tribute to Las Vegas features magicians, showgirls and aerial acrobatics.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Kicking off the summer with a trip to the Vegas strip, Heartland Men’s Chorus is bringing “Vegas Baby” to the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo., in what's envisioned as a lavish spectacle. The chorus, with 150 singers, will be joined by magicians, showgirls and aerial acrobatics.

Guest conductor Anthony T. Edwards says one of the highlights for him will be seeing Quixotic perform onstage as the chorus sings Cirque du Soleil’s Let Me Fall.

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Arts & Culture
2:35 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

LISTEN: Ben Folds Bridges Pop And Classical Music

Ben Folds performed and answered questions at a matinee performance on Wednesday, conducted by the Symphony's associate conductor Aram Demirjian.
Credit Beth Buchanan / Kansas City Symphony

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds had a strongly worded message for an audience at a sold-out Kansas City Symphony concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this week: "Cities without symphony orchestras are crap."

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Health
2:22 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Lawmakers: Vets Complain Topeka VA Canceled Or Rescheduled Appointments

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran
Credit file photo

The Topeka Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center has not been implicated in the waiting-list scandal unfolding across the country.

But on Friday, two Republican members of the Kansas congressional delegation, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, said their offices have fielded numerous complaints from veterans in recent months about long-standing appointments being canceled or rescheduled at the last minute.

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Entrepreneurship
2:06 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Kansas City's Entrepreneurship Scene?

Kate Weinstock
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

Entrepreneurship group 1Week KC wants to make Kansas City a top destination for innovative businesses and start-ups, a goal they're promoting with a week-long celebration that began Monday.

The obstacles and challenges that entrepreneurs face are wide and varied, but here is what some of the people who attended this week's events had to say about the climate in Kansas City:

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Central Standard
12:02 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Cocktails In Kansas City

Both the Food Critics and several listeners picked the Moscow Mule as one of their favorite cocktails.
Credit Edsel Little / Flickr-CC

Many people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer to loosen up, but sometimes those just don't quite do the trick. From Moscow Mules to Brandy Alexanders, a good cocktail can be a great companion to a nice meal or a casual social event.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best cocktails in Kansas City are.

Here are their picks for cocktails at restaurants and bars:

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Arts & Culture
8:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

From Page To Park: Controlling The Chaos And Finding A Rhythm

Actor Bruce Roach (at left) and choreographer and movement coach Tracy Terstriep take a closer look at a three-dimensional model of the set on the first day of rehearsal.
Julie Denesha KCUR

For more than two decades, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has turned Southmoreland Park into a place where Hamlet posed questions, Macbeth’s witches toiled and troubled, and Romeo and Juliet professed their love. This year’s production of The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, will come to life thanks to like-minded artists whose collective goal is to make the play leap effortlessly From Page To Park.

Getting started

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