Kansas City, MO – A federal judge in Topeka dismissed a suit against the state of Kansas over a law allowing undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition discounts at state universities and colleges. Out-of-state students sued the state earlier this year, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. Earlier in this year on KC Currents, we heard from the lawyers on either side of this case. Although the judge threw out the case, KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports that the battle is likely to continue.
Kansas City, MO – So far 61 people have been murdered in Kansas City this year, 14 more than the same time last year. Police say the spike isn't like one in the early 1990s, when gang vengeance played an obvious role; they blame the violence on widespread sociological issues. The Mayor, City Manager and Police Chief say they're committed to taking a holistic approach to curb it. Some neighborhood activists aren't convinced. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.
Kansas City, Missouri – By any measure Missouri's foster care system faces a series of daunting challenges. Applicants are down, funding is stagnant, costs are up, adoption rates have hit a five year low, subsidies are being cut and hardly a month passes without another headline detailing some abuse or neglect.
Kansas City, MO – The Department of Homeland Security has given a year-long extension to the Jefferson City teenager who was to be deported to Costa Rica on Tuesday. 19-year-old Marie Gonzalez's parents, however, must leave the country next week. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.
Kansas City, MO – Truman Medical Center announced substantial cuts in services. Faced with escalating costs and Medicaid cuts, the hospital board has decided to turn away 15,000 non-emergency patients who are not residents of Kansas City, Missouri or Jackson County unless they can pay 25% in advance or are covered by insurance. TMC will also end a pharmacy discount program and all adult dental services. KCUR's Steve Bell reports on what the cuts mean and who will end up hurting.
Kansas City, MO – In LaVeda Davis' family, drill teams are a tradition. She learned the rhythms and routines on her mom's team. As a mother, she started her own. Instead of cheering for a school, the Gateway High Steppers are a community team with more than 70 dancers and drummers who range in age between 3 and 17 years. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recorded this audio postcard in a church basement in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City, MO – Some 24-thousand low income Missouri parents who had Medicaid insurance coverage yesterday, woke up this morning uninsured, as a new round of Medicaid cuts took effect. The cuts will throw more of the burden for treating indigent patients onto public hospitals. Some activists in Kansas City want to make sure those institutions shoulder that load and have launched a push to codify the responsibility its members say hospitals have to treat the poor.
Kansas City, MO – Dick Kurtenbach, who has lead the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri for 20 years, retired Thursday. Under his leadership the ACLU fought to allow the Ku Klux Klan to broadcast on public access TV, to let Nancy Cruzan die, and recently for the rights of rural Missouri high school students to t-shirts bearing gay rights slogans. Now Kurtenbach says one of the biggest civil liberties issues facing the country, is the push to diminish the judiciary.
Kansas City, MO – When Uzziel Pecina began his band, people told him, "Well, it's better than nothing." Now, after 13 years, the Trio Aztlan just released a second album, called Peor es Nada - Spanish for better than nothing. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke with Uzziel Pecina and Jose Sustaita of Trio Aztlan.
Trio Aztlan performs every Saturday night at Manny's Restaurant on Southwest Boulevard.
Kansas City, MO – Schools across the country are grappling with the problem of childhood obesity. More than 9 million kids over the age of six are considered obese. Teachers from a Platte City elementary school are sharing their strategies at a regional conference to curb what some health official call an alarming trend. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.
Kansas City, MO – With the final decision on some Missouri Medicaid cuts still to be made, the first batch of letters has been sent notifying some recipients of cuts, co-pays and other changes. The Blunt administration has made it clear that the cuts are not about a budget shortfall, but rather about a program that is "out of control" and needs reform. And the governor says he may make additional cuts to its funding that legislators were unwilling to make.
Kansas City, MO – The Pew Hispanic Center issued a new study this week documenting trends in undocumented immigration around the country. The report estimates about 10 million unauthorized immigrants are now in the US. Compared to 10 years ago, however, they are better educated and hold a wider range of jobs. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross talked to Latinos in Olathe about the growing immigrant community.
Kansas City, Missouri – This weekend, communities around the country celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery. It took a whole year and a half, until June 19, 1865, before news of the emancipation proclamation reached the town of Galveston, Texas. The holiday spread through Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It wasn't until the 1960s that it began to be celebrated in other parts of the country, including Kansas and Missouri. KC Currents' host Delores Jones recalls Juneteenth in Kansas City Kansas.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Board of Education will hear Science standards highly critical of Evolution. Meanwhile, new fights loom for the cleanly divided board. Also today the board will receive recommendations on Sex Education that could lead to recommendations that districts abandon any instruction about contraception and move to a so-called Abstinence-Only model. The board also faces what could be a contentious process of hiring a new state Education Commissioner.
Kansas City, MO – Back in the 1920s and 30s, Kansas City was a lively mix of political wheeling-and-dealing, organized crime, and the hot sounds of jazz.
Chuck Haddix, long-time host of KCUR's The Fish Fry, has co-authored a new book on the subject - Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop. KCUR's Michael Byars recently sat down with Haddix to find out more about the corruption, the music, and their influence on Kansas City - and on each other.
Kansas City, MO – A year ago, Marie Gonzalez was finishing up her senior year at Helias High School in Jefferson City and thinking about college. Now, she and her parents are packing up their house. They're about to be deported to Costa Rica, the country they left 14 years ago, as a result of over-staying their visas and living and working in the United States without government documentation.
Kansas City, MO – Recent KU graduate Travis Watkins distinguished himself as a poet, scholar and defensive tackle on the football team during the past four years. Last summer, he won a fellowship to study the experiences of black Vietnam veterans through oral histories and literary analysis. As he was packing up his apartment to leave Lawrence, he shared some of his observations on African Americans in the military with KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross.
Kansas City, MO – The impact of the death of community leader Rebecca Jaramillo will be felt in many Kansas City lives. Becky Jaramillo was born and raised in Parsons Kansas. She moved to Kansas City, became a writer and editor for the bilingual newspaper Dos Mundos, and a board member for the Guadalupe Centers. Jaramillo was a consistent advocate for the area's Latino community, and helped found the Fiesta Hispana. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke with her husband of 44 years, Joe Jaramillo.
Kansas City, MO – The Olathe school district boasts high test scores and a low student to teacher ration and is a place where many teachers want to work. The district is having trouble finding teachers with a certain skill set and it's looking to fill the void in what some might consider an unlikely place-Spain. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.
Medicaid will pay for a heart transplant for Jennifer Shuman, but Shuman will soon have to pay nearly half her family income for Medicaid. She's not sure how she and her husband will afford the increase.
Kansas City, MO – A Missouri budget that cuts more than 90-thousand people off of Medicaid is on Governor Matt Blunt's budget. The debate over Medicaid cuts this year has opened a moral schism, between service providers, patients and activists who deplore the cuts as cruel, and the governor who defends them as being morally correct.
Kansas City, MO – The SSION, a bizarre, arty, Kansas City punk rock band chantes it's style and line up and gets ready to relese another album. And a new play takes an unapologetically twisted look at 175 years of Kansas City History.