Local

Health
2:53 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

CDC report: Alcohol Accounts For One In 10 Deaths Of Working-age Adults

Excessive alcohol use accounts for almost one in 10 deaths among working-age adults in the United States, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, released late last week, found that from 2006 to 2010 excessive use of alcohol killed nearly 88,000 Americans each year. In 2001, the last time CDC researchers reviewed the data, alcohol was blamed for almost 75,800 deaths.

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NPR Story
8:23 am
Mon June 30, 2014

St. Louis' Newly Wed Gay Couples Reflect On Why Attitudes On Gay Marriage Have Shifted

Tod Martin, left, and David Gray speak at a press conference last week. St. Louis officials married the couple last week, sparking a challenge -- and public reflection -- of the state's gay marraige ban.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 10:07 pm

Tod Martin wasn’t going to let 20 words keep him from marrying David Gray.

While it took more than 20 years, St. Louis officials last week issued Martin and Gray a marriage license. They’re among eight people who are testing the state’s nearly 10-year-old, 20-word ban on gay marriage.

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Sports
8:19 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Local American Indians On The Chiefs' Name

Credit Flickr, .sanden.

The U.S. Patent Office revoked the Washington Redskins’ trademark, which has some Kansas City sports fans concerned about the fate of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year the National Congress of American Indians released a report that included the Chiefs in a list of sports teams they said profited from harmful stereotypes.

Richard Lanoue, President of the Indian Council of Many Nations which is based in Kansas City, doesn’t see it that way. Lanoue says the term “redskins” is racially disparaging but "chief" is different.

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Agriculture
1:05 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Feed The Future Seeks Hunger Solutions From The Heartland

Kurt Rosentrater, center, and Mamun Ur Rashid, in blue shirt, meet with workers at a feed mill in Bangladesh as part of a project designed to improve fish feed in the developing world.
Credit Courtesy Kurt Rosentrater

  Global hunger has no easy answer.

But as part of a partnership with the federal government called Feed the Future, researchers at land-grant universities are trying new approaches to the decades-old dilemma.

“The world’s poorest people, and hungriest people, generally, the majority of them are small farmers living in rural areas,” said Tjada D’oyen McKenna, deputy coordinator for development for Feed the Future. “And agriculture is the most effective means of bringing them out of poverty and under-nutrition.”

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Tell KCUR
4:39 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Kansas Citians: Keep The Chiefs Name, But Ditch The Tomahawk Chop

Many Kansas Citians defended the Chiefs name, but said fan rituals and clothing tied to American Indians, such as headdresses and the tomahawk chop, were offensive.
Credit Jeremy Brooks / Flickr--CC

 As controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins’ name shines a light on Kansas City’s professional football team, many Kansas Citians are sticking by the Chiefs.

The Tomahawk Chop, a popular fan ritual at games, is another matter, however.

When the Redskins lost their trademark because of American Indian claims that the name disparages them, the debate tied to the appropriateness of the Chiefs came back to life.  

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Up To Date
3:32 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Best Music of 2014 — So Far

Sylvan Esso, pictured here, is just one of the groups that our music lovers picked as one of the best of 2014 so far.
Credit Ross Grady / Flickr-CC

We're almost halfway through 2014 and there's already been great music on the local, national and international stages.

From jazz to experimental ambient music, there's been something for pretty much everyone this year. 

On Friday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske was joined by a panel of music lovers to find the best bands, albums, and tracks so far in 2014. 

Here are our guests' picks:

Local/Regional

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Health
2:01 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Truman Med Breaks Ground On New Hospital Hill Outpatient Center

Business and civic leaders break ground for the new Truman outpatient center on Hospital Hill.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Truman Medical Centers' new outpatient center will provide a range of medical services beyond the acute care for which the system is best known.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday morning, Truman President and CEO John Bluford said the center — a four-story, 90,0000-square-foot building at Truman's Hospital Hill campus costing $29 million — was a symbol of the alliance between Truman and its physician partners.

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Central Standard
1:52 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Food Critics: Best Unleaded Drinks In Kansas City

The Food Critics have plenty of favorite refreshing summer drinks in the Kansas City area.
Credit Mitch Altman / Flickr-CC

The dog days of summer are upon us and everyone is looking for good ways to keep cool. Though cocktails might do the trick, not everyone wants to get intoxicated while they sip a cold drink.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best refreshing non-alcoholic drinks in the Kansas City area are. 

Here are their picks:

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Arts & Culture
12:05 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Film Review: To Woo A Big Factory, Tiny Village Plots 'The Grand Seduction'

Brendan Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch work out some father-son issues in Newfoundland in "The Grand Seduction."
Credit 2014 Entertainment One Films

When independent films feature a small town and a huge corporation at their core, they are usually depicted as foes like David and Goliath – the good and the average against the lumbering giant.

"Local Hero" from 1983 comes to mind, as does "Promised Land," the recent movie about fracking in the Midwest. "The Grand Seduction," however, reverses that formula, proving that the battle lines aren’t always drawn that cleanly.

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Government
11:36 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Kansas City Loosens Liquor License Rules For Some Felony Offenders

Finding a job may be getting a little easier in Kansas City, Mo., for some people convicted of crimes.

Some of them will no longer have to wait four years to get a “liquor card.”

In Kansas City, all people involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants, bars and retail stores have to be licensed by the city.

People convicted of violent crimes are not eligible.  And until now, those with nonviolent felony convictions, including drunk driving, had a four-year wait after they had served any time involved.

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Community
11:28 am
Fri June 27, 2014

KCUR To Expand News Coverage With Kauffman Grant

Nico Leone, KCUR general manager
Credit File photo

KCUR plans to ramp up its coverage of education and entrepreneurship after a financial boost from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced Friday.

The $100,000 grant from the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation will help KCUR increase the number of in-depth stories it produces “on two important topics, which touch the majority of Kansas City-area residents,” KCUR General Manager Nico Leone said in a written statement.

Leone said KCUR plans to hire at least one additional reporter as a result of the grant.

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Health
11:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Cerner Teams Up To Bid On $11 Billion Defense Department Contract

Cerner's headquarters in North Kansas City
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Cerner Corp. has teamed up with two other government contractors to bid on an estimated $11 billion electronic health-record system for the Defense Department, according to Modern Healthcare magazine.

The publication reports that the Kansas City-based healthcare information technology company has formed an alliance with Leidos and Accenture Federal Services to bid on the 10-year contract for the department’s health system.

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Business
11:02 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Burns & McDonnell Breaks Ground on Headquarters Expansion

Missouri politicians – including Gov. Jay Nixon and Kansas City Mayor Sly James — were joined by more than 100 Burns & McDonnell employees in the engineering firm’s parking lot Thursday for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the company’s headquarter expansion.

The firm’s plans call for two building near its current Ward Parkway world headquarter site, adding an additional 450,000 square feet of office space.

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Beyond Our Borders
10:37 am
Fri June 27, 2014

School Slated For Demolition In The Historic Northeast Gets Community Support

Community leaders in the Historic Northeast want to preserve the 115-year-old Thacher School off Independence Avenue. But the district is ready to demolish the school, which closed in 2009.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A rusted metal "No Trespassing" sign hangs on a post outside the boarded-up Thacher School in the Historic Northeast in Kansas City, Mo.

On the other side of the tall fence, the grass is neatly trimmed and the empty parking lot is litter-free. The brick exterior, once a popular canvas for graffiti artists, has been scrubbed mostly clean. A single blue doodle is the only evidence of vandalism neighbors say was once common at the vacant school.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Missouri's Rekindled Same-Sex Marriage Fight Highlights Political Shifts

Chris Koster pressed for gay rights at state Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Dinner this month

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 5:44 am

(Updated 11:40 a.m. Friday, June 27)

Just a few weeks ago, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster  was publicly exhorting Missouri Republicans to change their party’s platform, which endorses the state’s 10-year-old constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Beyond Our Borders
9:52 am
Fri June 27, 2014

How School And District Boundaries Shaped Education In Kansas City

Street map of Kansas City showing grade school and high school districts as well as the locations of schools. "Red Lines Indicate High School Boundaries" and "Colored School Districts" are marked in green.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library / Kansas City, Mo.

Earlier this year, we embarked on a year-long investigation of the lines that divide and unite us — starting with a look at Troost Avenue.

The road has been used as a border for many things, including neighborhood associations, census tracts, political districts and public schools. 

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Arts & Culture
9:51 am
Fri June 27, 2014

From Page To Park: Focus And Anticipation At A Tech Rehearsal

Walking through a scene during a tech rehearsal for “The Winter’s Tale” Jan Rogge (Paulina) listens for instructions from director Sidonie Garrett on stage in Southmoreland Park.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s production of "The Winter’s Tale" is well underway. But it takes a lot of time and effort – and people — to put the show together. For our series, From Page to Park, we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

About two weeks ago in Southmoreland Park in Kansas City, Mo., actors, musicians, designers and directors were working through perhaps the most intricate part of staging a play, a rehearsal called tech.

Breaking it down and putting it back together

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Sports
9:42 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Jayhawk Makes Top NBA Draft Pick

For the first time since 1988, a member of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team was the overall No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins Thursday night with that top pick.  Teammate Joel Embiid went third overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Though some feel Wiggins disappeared in KU’s last game of the season against Stanford in the NCAA tournament, he was clearly visible when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced him as the top pick.

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Health
8:30 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Online Tool Helps Match Foster Children, Families

The University of Kansas and a child advocacy group have developed an online tool that helps social workers match adoptive families with children in foster care.

The tool, called Every Child a Priority, or ECAP, uses statistical analysis and technology to figure out which families are most likely to meet a child’s needs.

“Essentially, ECAP is an enhanced matchmaking service for children and families,” Mike Patrick, chief executive at TFI Family Services Inc., said in a prepared statement.

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Community
4:21 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas City Woman's Project On Beauty Standards Goes Viral

Argentina
Esther Honig estherhonig.com

This week, KCUR freelancer Esther Honig had a giant shock when her project Before & After, a cross-cultural examination of beauty, went viral.

Honig sent an unaltered image of herself to freelance graphic artists in more than 25 countries and asked them to perform one task: make her beautiful. The result is more than 40 images that together tell a complex story of global standards of beauty. And the response has been enormous.

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Community
4:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Going To Kansas City: Retiring As A Chief

Credit file photo

Wide receiver Eddie Kennison played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos before ending up as free agent for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001. This move upset many Broncos fans who are division rivals with the Chiefs, but Kennison says that when he moved to Kansas City he felt right at home. Kennison signed a ceremonial contract with The Chiefs in 2010 so he could retire as a member of the team.

Here is more about Kennison and his "Going to Kansas City" story:

Name: Eddie Kennison

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Health
3:08 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

KC-Area Project Uses Churches For TIPS On Addressing AIDS Among Blacks

LaTrischa Miles (left) and Yvonne Richmond were two of the women who organized the Taking it to the Pews AIDS-awareness project at Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

When activists worldwide marked three decades since the emergence of a mysterious immune disease, Kansas City, Kan., participants posted a timeline of key events in the fight against the AIDS pandemic in a building foyer in their community.

Yet this was no ordinary foyer; it was the main entrance to Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ at 2025 N. 12th St. Not only that, but the display in the African American church went up right around Christmastime to coincide with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:56 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Cliff Drive Began With Aristocratic Kansas City Family

This 1903 photo shows a portion of Cliff Drive near an overhang.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library / Kansas City, Mo.

Cliff Drive in Kansas City, Mo., hugs the limestone bluffs that separate the stately turn-of-the-century mansions in the Historic Northeast neighborhood from the industry and train tracks of the Missouri River bottoms.

The road was purchased from the estate of Reverend Nathan Scarritt around 1900.

Scarritt and his family were early settlers in Illinois, and moved to Missouri in the mid-1820s as pioneers.

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Government
1:55 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Kansas City Unlikely To Join St. Louis In Granting Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

City officials in St. Louis mounted a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban on Wednesday when they allowed four gay couples to wed at City Hall.

But on the other side of the state, it's unlikely Kansas City Mayor Sly James will follow suit. James tweeted Thursday that due to differences in the two cities' charters, he is unable to issue marriage licenses: 

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Economy
12:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Johnson County Ranked One Of The 'Easiest' Places To Live In U.S.

This map from The New York Times ranks counties based on quality of life indicators such as median household income and obesity rate.
Credit The Upshot / The New York Times

Johnson County, Kan., is one of the easiest places to live in the United States, according to a new study by The New York Times

The New York Times ranked counties based on six criteria: education, unemployment rate, median household income, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate.

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Health
9:50 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Colyer Urges Public To Report Adult Abuse

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer urged Kansans to report instances of adult abuse during a Wednesday event in Topeka.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer on Wednesday urged Kansans to be quick in letting state officials know when they suspect an older adult is being abused or neglected.

“Elder abuse is something that should not be tolerated,” he said, addressing an early afternoon rally in a parking lot next to the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging.

About 50 people — a mix of state employees and agency case workers — attended the 40-minute rally, one of several events being staged to highlight policy initiatives of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration prior to the upcoming primary and general elections.

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Health
9:24 am
Thu June 26, 2014

KC Chamber To Tackle Health Issues

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is asking the public what its priorities should be as the first step in a new health initiative.

Healthy KC is a collaboration introduced Wednesday by the Chamber, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and local health leaders. The group will focus on improving health throughout the metro area.

“The message behind the new Healthy KC Commission is, ‘We’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired,’” Chamber CEO Jim Heeter said in a statement Wednesday.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Students Lose Seats At Allen Fieldhouse After Vote To Cut Athletics Fee

Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas
Credit Jonnybsay / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month the University of Kansas athletics department announced that Section U, a 120-seat area of Allen Fieldhouse previously reserved for students, would be reallocated to donor seating. The decision was a direct response to an attempt by the Student Senate to cut the mandatory athletics fee charged to all KU students.

On Thursday's, Up to Date, we talk with student reporter Ben Carroll for a look at the timeline of events leading up to the decision and how it's being perceived by Jayhawk fans.

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Health
8:19 am
Thu June 26, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Scott Lakin

Scott Lakin
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Kansas City is known for lots of things: barbecue, the Country Club Plaza, broad boulevards, the place where Walt Disney grew up.

Less flatteringly, Kansas Citians are fatter, exercise less and smoke more than most of the rest of the country.

As leader of the Mid-America Regional Coalition’s Regional Health Care Initiative, Scott Lakin works to address those unhealthy distinctions. Lakin is a former Missouri state representative and one-time director of the Missouri Department of Insurance.

He answered five questions as part of our monthly series, KC Checkup:

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Sports
6:54 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Major League All-Star Game Benefits Are Still Being Felt In Kansas City

Nearly two years after Major League Baseball All-Star activities took place in Kansas City, the impact of the event has had a residual effect.

In 2012, the only thing on the mind of the fans was the distance of the homers for the Homerun Derby at Kauffman Stadium. But after a portion of the money from that day’s All-Star activities was devoted to the construction of baseball fields for people with disabilities, families of the kids with disabilities feel that the community has hit a homerun.

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