Kansas City, MO – The Great Plains is not exactly the setting you might imagine for the continuation of a dynasty of tai chi masters. But when the descendant of the inventors of this martial art moved to KC, she brought with her a rich tradition that has been part of her family for centuries. KCUR's Alex Smith brings us to the Shawnee, Kansas studio where this master and her husband teach and practice.
Kansas City, MO – Dating violence among teenagers is a touchy and often overlooked subject. But a domestic violence shelter in Johnson County has developed a play to educate teenagers about the issue, and it's receiving some national attention.
The elaborately crafted Roxy Paine sculpture called Ferment resembles a 56-foot tall stainless steel tree. It's a new addition to the sculpture park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. KCUR's Laura Spencer takes a look at the New York-based artist's connections to Kansas City and the two-week installation process.
Kansas City, Mo. – Every New Year's Day, the 15-day Dakar race begins. The first race took place in 1979 and went from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. Today, it winds through 6000 miles of mostly deserts in Argentina, Chile and Peru, and it involves motorcycles, cars and trucks.
Belton, Mo. – Rod Richter has been interested in bees since his childhood. A firefighter by trade, Richter is a part time beekeeper, with emphasis on the word keeper. He is not a bee exterminator but a bee re-locator.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Spring is here, and Kansas City teens are gathering--once again--in large numbers on the Country Club Plaza. The Kansas City Police Department was hoping to prevent what happened last April, when some 700 to 900 teens were involved in what was called a "flash mob." Fights broke out, patrons were intimidated and one teen was beaten up.
The police formulated a crowd control plan, city officials met with teenagers to brainstorm activities.
Prairie Village, Kan. – Ever pass something that catches your eye while you're driving around or walking? Something that makes you turn you head in wonder as you pass by? It might an architectural anomaly, an unusual object, artwork, or a storefront?
KC Currents will be exploring these curiosities in a new occasional series we're calling "What IS That?" KCUR's Laura Ziegler has this first installment about a sacred space in the heart of Prairie Village, Kan. It's a shrine to the only horse bred in Kansas to win the Kentucky Derby.
St. Joseph, MO – Courtrooms around the country are teeming with women lawyers, women attorneys, active and aggressive in criminal, business, bankruptcy and family law. But it wasn't always so. Once upon a time in many of our lifetimes, they weren't there at all. A woman pioneer in the legal profession has been honored by colleagues. Grace Day of St. Joseph is linked to a time when women simply didn't do what she did. Grace Day recounts her career at the office where she practises, with the Polsinelli Shugart firm in St. Joseph, Mo.
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City's alterative weekly newspaper The Pitch recently changed owners. Village Voice Media sold the paper to the small newspaper chain SouthComm based in Nashville, Tenn. Last month, the paper named Scott Wilson, previously the paper's copy editor since 2001, as the new editor. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson sat down with Scott Wilson to talk about the recent changes.
KANSAS CITY, MO. – American history in the form of the Civil War has become immensely popular as a field of study since the sesquicentennial began this year. Missouri is in a unique position among states that fought over slavery and states' rights. It was a war-within-a-war. KCUR's Dan Verbeck has been told of a large array of factions within the State itself. And he filed this account.
Missouri did not secede, officially sided with the Union and recruited federal troops. But the Confederacy did the same. Recruited.
Kansas City, Kan. – Half of all Latino immigrants in the United States send money home. More than 20 billion dollars a year go to Mexico. Last week, the Mexican Consulate unveiled a new financial tool will make it easier for residents of Kansas City to send money to a small town in Michoacan, Mexico.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This past week, UMKC held a luncheon to honor some of its most accomplished alumni. Among the group was a man Kansas City hasn't seen much since he graduated over 40 years ago. Dr. Mutuku Mutinga has spent most of his life combating insect-borne diseases in his native Kenya, but he credits his years in Kansas City with giving him the tools he's needed to carry on the fight.
While he was in town, Dr. Mutinga told his story to KCUR's Alex Smith.
Kansas City, Mo. – America entered the war with a promise: As the famous WWI song said, "We won't be back till it's over, over there." Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired General Richard Myers said that was remarkably optimistic. "They went over thinking they could change the world, change the course of that war, and in fact they did!", said Myers speaking at the Liberty Memorial.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Recently, the Kansas City community came together to honor minister and long-time civil rights activist Reverend Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson. Since 1967, the Kansas City, Kan., native has been active in major human rights struggles for civil rights in the U.S. and abroad-- in South Africa, Nicaragua and Iran.
LAWRENCE, Ks. – Until recently, there were eight known species of Southeast Asian butterfly lizards. But a KU biology student has added another to the count, and he discovered the new species on the menu of a Vietnamese restaurant.
Kansas City, Kan. – General Vang Pao, a leader in the Hmong community, passed away in January. Some 400 people from the Hmong community gathered at the George Meyn Community Center in Kansas City, Kan., to remember Vang Pao.
Vang Pao led the CIA trained Hmong fighters in the 'secret war' during Vietnam. Later, Vang Pao moved to the U.S. to become a civic leader in the Hmong community.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In order to practice law in Missouri, law school graduates must take a test demonstrating their competence, and are then admitted to the Missouri Bar. But that's just the first step in launching a law career. For many, joining a local bar association is a next step.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This week, the Missouri Supreme Court restored parental rights to a Guatemalan immigrant whose son was adopted by an American couple. The court ruled that the adoption failed to follow proper legal procedures, and sent the case back for a new hearing. But the four-year-old boy will remain with his adoptive family until then.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Many people in Kansas City remember Lucile Bluford as the long-time managing editor of The Call, one of the nation's oldest African American newspapers. But some may not realize the role she played challenging segregation at the University of Missouri's Journalism School in 1939.
Kansas City, MO – Action movie fans may have noticed some different fight moves on the big screen in recent years. In the James Bond film Casino Royale and all three of the Bourne Identity movies, the good guys are using Filipino martial arts to bust up the bad guys.
Now, a former police trainer living in Prairie Village is adapting those moves to help women learn self-defense. KCUR's Alex Smith dropped in on a class to find out more.
Lawrence, KS – A prolonged touch, a coquettish smile, a throaty laugh: Flirting is a part of the age-old dating and mating ritual. You might think of it as a playful and seductive form of communication, verbal or non-verbal, aimed at getting the attention of a love interest.
Kansas City, Mo. – For years, Downtown Kansas City businesses hated the image of the throng of homeless walking the streets. It hurt attracting conventions. It kept away commerce. Until agencies got together to take daily needs of the desperate to the area where they spent their nights.