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The University of Missouri System Board of Curators met on Thursday and Friday in Columbia, Missouri, to review and vote on a $200 million 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A proposed $227 million extension of Kansas City’s streetcar line could add nearly four miles to the current route.

The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance – a citizens’ group not affiliated with the city or the KC Streetcar Authority – filed a petition in Jackson County Court Wednesday to fund an expansion of the current line with a new taxing district along Main Street.

“You think about the shops we have here,” UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton said Thursday morning outside the Colonial Shops on 51st Street. “You think about the Plaza. You think about the Nelson art gallery.”

As NPR's first African-American female host, Michele Norris is no stranger to having tough, meaningful conversations. As curator of The Race Card Project, Norris asks people to express their thoughts about race and identity in six words, which turn out to be more powerful than she expected.

There's always that one friend whose obsession leaks into every conversation. Wendy Perron, dancer, choreographer, and writer, says, "I'd be talking about dance so much that friends would say, 'Just shut up already.'" Despite the advice, Perron has built a career around documenting changes in dance and choreography since the 1970s.

Friday was the fifth annual International Jazz Day, celebrated at the the White House with a star-studded event hosted by the Obamas. We talk with saxophonist and UMKC Jazz Director Bobby Watson about playing at the event and catching up with some musical friends.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

The wall outside the college counseling classroom at Kansas City's University Academy is adorned with dozens of college acceptance letters. Several of them are addressed to Jazmyne Smith. 

"Well, I’ve been accepted at KU, K-State, Missouri S&T, Coe College," Smith says, a smile playing across her face. "And I’m still waiting to hear back from some other places: Duke, Penn, Stanford. You know, shooting for the stars."

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

On a busy league night in a Raytown, Missouri, bowling alley, former auto worker Raymond Fowler keeps up his game playing alongside his wife and longtime teammates.

Fowler, who’s 67, stays busy in his retirement, but it’s not all fun and games. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and changed his diet and exercise routine, which now includes four bowling sessions a week.

His condition was severe enough that his doctor said he needed insulin shots, and that’s one change he’s found troubling.

KCPT Television / Heartland Health Monitor

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is a diverse, urban institution with around 1,200 full- and part-time faculty dispersed across dozens of academic areas.

As multifaceted as it is, academicians from the disparate fields of fine arts and medicine have found their way to Associate Professor Greg King in the School of Computing and Engineering.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation on Friday announced a fundraising boost of $4.5 million for the proposed downtown campus for the arts. The first phase of the project calls for re-locating the students, faculty and staff of the Conservatory of Music and Dance from the Volker campus to downtown.

But the clock is ticking.

Chiluba Musonda

Every year, thousands of young people leave their home countries to study in the United States. 

Some come here because they want to pursue opportunities they wouldn’t have at home, some are simply looking for adventure. And some wind up in Kansas City without even knowing where it is on a map.

Chiluba Musonda can thank the Yahoo search engine for his home in Kansas City.

When he was researching colleges from his home country of Zambia, he typed the following words into the search queue: mid-size colleges, affordable, in the U.S.

Sandwiched between bigger programs in Lawrence and Columbia, the UMKC men's basketball team can get lost. But the program is growing and thriving under head coach Kareem Richardson, who came to Kansas City three years ago after coaching at the University of Louisville. 

X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Missouri/M.Brodwin et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: JPL/CalTech

A team of astronomers led by a UMKC professor have nailed down more particulars about the most distant massive galaxy cluster ever discovered.

Galaxy cluster IDCS J1426.5+3508 was first formally discovered in 2012, though UMKC associate professor Dr. Mark Brodwin and astronomers from around the country have worked on projects since 2007 that led up to it.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Two classical music organizations, Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Chorale, will be vying for the Best Engineered Album, Classical, in the 58th annual Grammy awards. The nominees were announced Monday morning.

"I think it's excellent for Kansas City," says Kansas City Symphony's executive director Frank Byrne, "because it brings attention to the great work being done here and it gives our entire city a great deal of which we can be proud." 

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

Recent racially charged protests at the University of Missouri-Columbia have stirred up memories of the hostility toward blacks that Kwame Thompson says he saw and experienced at the university.

Thompson, a 1995 Mizzou graduate, describes his transfer to the University of Missouri as “culture shock,” explaining the campus had few black faculty members at the time.

“I can only remember ever being called (the N word) twice in my life,” Thompson tells us. “Both were at Mizzou.”

As students at the University of Missouri continue their drive to improve the racial culture in Columbia, UMKC students are eager to shine a light on concerns in Kansas City and push for changes that would improve racial tensions.  

Guests:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The first few days of this week brought the resignation of both the University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin in Columbia — and those events left staff and students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City asking questions about the racial climate on their campus.

In the wake of yesterday's events at the University of Missouri in Columbia, we ask, how does UMKC handle issues of race?

Guests:

In the immediate aftermath of Monday's events at the University of Missouri's Columbia campus, other local universities have taken notice — campus leadership needs to listen to student and faculty voice.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is starting that process now, mere hours after both UM System President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned, chastened by student-led protests and faculty complaints that they were insensitive to a tense and frequently racist campus climate. 

Maria Meyers
Julie Denesha / KCUR

Innovation, it is sometimes said, is finding a new way to solve a problem.

In 2003, would-be entrepreneurs in Kansas City had a problem, according to Maria Meyers. There were plenty of resources available to help with starting up a business—but nobody could find them. There was no central hub linking those resources together so that one could find idea incubators, funding sources, lending programs, patent attorneys, small business development centers in any sort of accessible and efficient way.

And so an innovation was born.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Downtown Kansas City, Mo., has a new outpatient surgical center and the University of Kansas School of Medicine has some local competition as it trains the next generation of KC doctors.

Leaders of Truman Medical Centers and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine last week celebrated the opening of University Health, an outpatient clinic on Hospital Hill.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Photographer Mike Strong has spent the past two decades capturing the movement of dancers on Kansas City stages. 

When Strong first became interested in dance, he says he couldn't find much information about metro-area dance events. So in 1997, he started his own website, KCDance.com and has published photographs of performances and rehearsals ever since. 

UMKC

A University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant basketball coach under fire for allegedly paying for strippers at another program has resigned.

A new report says five former players and recruits say McGee paid for strippers at on-campus parties.

This story was updated at 2:45 pm to include comments from UMKC officials.   

Right now, things don't look good for UMKC men's assistant basketball coach Andre McGee. 

A new report from ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' program corroborates allegations made by a self-described former escort that McGee paid her to provide strippers and sex for players and recruits. In the documentary, a portion of which aired Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America", Powell says McGee paid her $10,000 for "side deals", including sex with some players. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has exceeded a $250 million fundraising goal, a year early.

“Ladies and gentleman, we are already there,” Chancellor Leo Morton announced Thursday. “The campaign for UMKC has exceeded its goal and has done so a full year of schedule.”

But Morton added the university wouldn’t be calling it quits.

“Just because the goal has been reached, the campaign is not over,” Morton said. “We’re not done yet.”

Janet Rogers / UMKC

The National Institutes of Health has awarded up to $4.38 million in research money to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s dental and nursing schools to address disparities in oral health among Kansas schoolchildren.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Eighth Street Tap Room, a bar at 8th and New Hampshire in Lawrence, Kansas, hosts poetry readings each month in a dimly lit basement. As poets take the stage, they're cast in a reddish light, with gold streamers as backdrop.

Sunday's event started with a short open mic session, and then three featured poets. The final reader of the night: Hadara Bar-Nadav, an associate professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

On a recent summer morning, a dozen would-be teachers gathered outside Kansas City's Juvenile Justice Center, preparing to go inside. 

"This is a lockdown facility," cautioned Uzziel Pecina, the professor leading what was a rather unusual field trip. "Are there any questions before we enter?" 

Pecina teaches what he calls a "summer community immersion" course at University of Missouri-Kansas City's Institute for Urban Education. 

Emilian Robert Vicol -- Flickr/CC

In his book, Understanding Modern Money, Randall Wray wrote that the way the eurozone was structured would likely cause a financial crisis.

That was in 1998.

Wray, a professor of economics at UMKC, is just one of a handful of economists who predicted the current crisis in the eurozone (the countries in the European Union that use the euro as currency).

A Kansas Citian with ties to Greece shares his perspective on the financial crisis there, and a UMKC professor who predicted trouble in the Eurozone in 1998 discusses how it all came about — and how UMKC approaches economics in a radical way.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in July 2015.     

There are a few hundred college students in Missouri right now who are trying to figure out how to pay for a 300 percent tuition hike that they found out about two weeks ago.

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