Special Project


KCUR wants to know more about how Kansas Citians divide themselves and come together in a bi-state metropolitan area. So we're asking the question: How do geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City?

Our extensive Beyond Our Borders project is intended to spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.  We are exploring the history of four distinct lines - Troost Avenue, the State Line, the Wyandotte-Johnson county line, and the Missouri River - and how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE: Volunteer to host a community listening session with KCUR. We are looking for partners to help us run neighborhood forums that will fuel the stories for Beyond Our Borders. If you are interested in KCUR visiting your community or would like to help us coordinate one of these sessions, please email Ron Jones, KCUR community engagement director, at ron@kcur.org.

STORY IDEAS: If you have tips or story ideas for Beyond Our Borders, reach out to Laura Ziegler, community engagement reporter, lauraz@kcur.org, or Briana O’Higgins, digital content editor, at briana@kcur.org.

BE A PART OF THE DIALOGUE: Use the #KCborders hashtag on Twitter to ask us questions, share Beyond Our Borders stories with your networks, raise community concerns, tell us how we’re doing and suggest opportunities for coverage. We’re all ears.

FOLLOW THE CONVERSATION: Check back at kcur.org/beyondourborders for updates. Follow us on Twitter at @kcur and on Facebook to keep a pulse on the conversation.

Pages

Tell KCUR
3:13 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

How Did You Decide Where To Send Your Kids To School In Kansas City?

How did you choose your child's school in the Kansas City area? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit File photo / KCUR

As we explore state line in the Kansas City area as a uniter and divider in our Beyond Our Borders series, this issue continues to crop up — schools.

Parents are very passionate about how and why they've chosen certain schools in the metropolitan area for their children. 

With charter schools, private schools, public schools and application-based specialized schools on both sides of the state line in the region, we're curious about how you reached your decision.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
5:28 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kansas City, Missouri, Is A Model For Progressive LGBT Policy, Group Says

Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., each received vastly different marks on LGBT-friendliness in a recent report.
Credit Wikipedia -- Creative Commons

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, calls Kansas City, Mo., “a beacon of hope” for the LGBT community.

Kansas City, Kan., however, represents a city “at the opposite end of the spectrum” in terms of LGBT rights, according to a new report.

“The simple reality is LGBT people in Kansas City are living in two completely different worlds divided by a line,” the Washington-based group says in a statement.

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Beyond Our Borders
9:22 am
Fri November 14, 2014

What Kansas City's Guilty Pleasures Cost On Both Sides Of The State Line

Asad Naseem is a clerk at a Sinclair gas station on 75th Street and State Line Road in Kansas City, Mo. He says many of his clients are Kansas residents who cross the state line to buy inexpensive cigarettes.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

If you're in the mood for booze, cigarettes or candy in the Kansas City area, consider taking the state line into account when you make your purchases.

That's because the Missouri-Kansas border definitely plays a role in what you will pay for life's guilty pleasures, KCUR found in its phone survey of prices across the metro.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
2:25 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

How The Hispanic Vote Is Playing Out On Both Sides Of The State Line In Kansas City

It was standing room only at a 'Get out the Vote' rally last week hosted by Kansas People's Action, an advocacy group for black and Hispanic voters in Wichita, Kan.
Credit kpapower / Flickr

The 87-year-old president of La Raza political club in Kansas City, Mo., has been working the same poll in her neighborhood near the Kansas-Missouri state line every Election Day for more than 50 years.

Rafaela "Lali" García has devoted most of her life trying to get Kansas City's Hispanic community in Missouri more involved in local government. She says she proudly has registered hundreds of voters in the Show-Me State in the past few years. 

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
9:43 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Voting Can Be Challenging For People With Disabilities On Both Sides Of State Line

Credit BigStock image

Update: Nov. 4, 2014   2:30PM

On Election Day, respondents to a new Tell KC query told us their polling places were not well-equipped to help them vote.

Mary-Corinne Corely has cerebral-palsy-like symptoms in her legs due to an illness when she was an infant. Some days, she says, the symptoms make it impossible for her to do steps at all.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
12:27 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Timeline: Events That Shaped Kansas City's Hispanic Commmunities In Missouri, Kansas

Railroad companies in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., brought many Mexican workers to the Kansas City area in search of labor. This view of the rail yards in Kansas City, Mo., as seen from the site of Union Station, is from 1910, which was a period of great Hispanic migration to the Kansas City area.
Credit Missouri Valley Collections / Kansas City Public Library

In our investigation of the Missouri-Kansas state line, we found that many of the Hispanic communities on both sides in the Kansas City area have a long history, dating back to the mid-1800s.

These communities have undergone huge changes — economic, geographic and demographic — throughout the past century that have shaped who the communities are today.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

State Line Hispanic Communities Have Deep Roots In Kansas City History

This is an aerial view of the Armourdale neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan. Armourdale's proximity to the railroads made it one of the first Hispanic communities to form in the Kansas City area in the late 1800s.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

Students from the Armourdale community of Kansas City, Kan., refer to their neighborhood as the barrio.

Today the neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic, but it wasn’t always this way. Armourdale, which was one of the first Hispanic communities to form in Kansas City, Kan., in 1886, went through an era when Hispanics were a minority. 

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
2:41 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

PHOTOS: Kansas And Missouri's Nearly Identical Taste In Art

Big clown-like figures in 'Thinker'-like poses: 'Companion (Passing Through),' KAWS, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kan., and 'Crying Giant,' Tom Otterness, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.
Julie Denesha KCUR

In our Beyond Our Borders story on arts and the state line in the Kansas City area, artists and leaders of arts organizations said they believed that the boundary isn't much of a barrier when it comes to the metro's cultural landscape — artists and audiences enthusiastically cross the state line for all sorts of cultural events.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
4:03 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

State Line Living From Volker’s View In Kansas City, Missouri

Jim Peters, board member of the Volker Neighborhood Association
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Living near State Line Road in the Volker neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., means getting used to worn-out sneakers, lots of local cuisine and “old hippies.”

That’s according to Volker fans who attended a recent community forum that KCUR hosted to get a glimpse at state line living from real Kansas Citians — part of our Beyond Our Borders project taking a look at state line through the end of the year.

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Beyond Our Borders
12:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Why Missouri Doesn't Offer Angel Tax Credits To Startup Investors

KCUR's Beyond Our Borders project will examine the Missouri-Kansas state line in the Kansas City metropolitan area through the end of 2014.
Credit Courtesy photo / KCUR

Thinking about launching your own technology startup in the Kansas City metro?  

Greg Kratofil, a technology attorney with Polsinelli law firm, has some advice.

"Incorporate in Kansas," Kratofil says. "Almost every company that we work with is thinking about accessing capital, some kind of round of financing to help them grow their business. You want to be in a place where you have tools that help your raise that money."

Read more
Arts & Culture
6:51 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Arts Leaders Dream Of Erasing The Kansas-Missouri State Line; Artists Cross It

Two states, two major art museums with two dramatic buildings: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (top) is in Kansas City, Mo., and the Nerman Museum of Art is in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit Courtesy / Nelson-Atkins and Nerman Museum

Harlan Brownlee wishes he could just erase the state line dividing Missouri and Kansas.

In fact, Brownlee knows how he’d do it. He’s the president of ArtsKC, a non-profit that makes grants and provides other resources to artists throughout the five-county metropolitan region. So, in his vivid imagination, he gets his hands on one of the giant Typewriter Erasers by Shuttlecocks sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen and rolls it down State Line Road.

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Beyond Our Borders
8:28 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Legally, What Can Happen When You Commit A Crime And Cross State Line?

Credit Creative Commons

As we explore the state line in our ongoing project looking at borders that unite and divide the metro, we’ve heard a number of times about the question of law enforcement.

How does the state line affect it?

Well, it depends.

In all cases, law enforcement departments say they collaborate closely across jurisdictions. When a crime occurs on or near the state line, dispatch officers from the city where the crime occurred immediately get in touch with dispatch across state line.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
2:49 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

What Are You Doing On This Side Of The State Line In Kansas City?

Trell West lives on State Line Road.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

As KCUR looks at how the Kansas-Missouri border divides the Kansas City metropolitan area, we wanted to talk to locals about their daily experiences with State Line Road.

We spent some time on both sides this month, asking people: What are you doing on this side of the state line?

From shopping to jobs to restaurants, here’s what we heard back:

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
4:38 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Things You May Not Have Known About The Kansas-Missouri State Line

State Line Road heads south from the Missouri River in the West Bottoms.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Our research into State Line Road as part of our ongoing exploration for Beyond Our Borders turned up some interesting things about the dividing line between the two very different states in our metro.

We are pretty evenly divided as a population by the state line, and our political differences pre-date the Civil War.  

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
1:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Keep Your Leaves Off My Side — A Kansas City Cartoonist's Take On The Border Wars

Credit Charlie Podrebarac

Local cartoonist Charlie Podrebarac is familiar with the tensions that sometimes arise over the Kansas-Missouri state line.

He lives on the Kansas side, but has often highlighted the border conflict in his Cowtown Cartoons. He’s been penning Cowtown since 1984 for the Kansas City Star.

In his series, “soldiers” take the battlefield on State Line Road armed with leaf blowers and rakes in an ironic statement about the “border war” between Missouri and Kansas. It’s part of a series of cartoons about metropolitan Kansas City that use a leaf motif.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
9:21 am
Fri September 19, 2014

MAPS: Demographics Show State Line Is Not A Significant Border In Kansas City

State line from 75th Street north (left), and state line from 75th Street south (right).
Credit Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service / University of Virginia

The Kansas City metropolitan area is steeped in state line rivalry.

University of Kansas Jayhawks and University of Missouri Tigers have grudges dating back to the pre-Civil War years. Jackson County, Mo., and Johnson County, Kan., are politically divided, and we even have a road called 'State Line Road' to mark which side is which. 

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
11:27 am
Thu September 18, 2014

When It Comes To Kansas City's State Line, It's Complicated

State Line Road winds through the industrial west bottoms as it divides Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

I’m someone who simply will just say "I’m from Kansas City.” But, sometimes people will ask "Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri?"

Then I go into the convoluted explanation how I live in the suburbs of Kansas City, Mo., but in Kansas, not far from the state line. It gets kind of boring.

But State Line is anything but boring.

I recently found Blue Springs, Mo., resident D.J. Lee at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formally known as Oklahoma Joe's) in Kansas City, Kan.

"To cross the street and be in a different state ... pretty awesome!" says Lee.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
6:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

State Line Living From Rosedale's View In Kansas City, Kansas

Philip Gardos, an active member of the Rosedale Development Association, lives on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Residing on State Line Road in the Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood of Rosedale can be puzzling at times.

As a former postal worker and resident of Rosedale since 1970, Philip Gardos recalls State Line neighbors hauling their trash across the street to Missouri or Kansas to take advantage of the other side’s trash day.

He’s seen Missouri and Kansas roads just feet away from each other receive very different treatment on snow days.

Read more
Central Standard
12:40 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

We Walk The Line: What It Means To Live In A City On A State Line

This 1866 map shows the division between Kansas and Missouri at a time when western Kansas was still largely unknown to the map-makers.
Credit Johnson, A. J., Johnson's New Illustrated Family Atlas, (1864 Johnson and Ward edition) / public domain

Bistate tax proposals. Sports rivalries. Competing school districts and business poaching. So much of what happens in Kansas City comes down to our location on a state line. But we're not alone. Tune in for a roundtable of reporters from cities on state lines. 

Guests:

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
12:30 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

How The State Line Has Divided The Kansas City Metro

An aerial photograph of Kansas City, Kan. (foreground), the West Bottoms and Kaw Point (middle), and Kansas City, Mo., middle-right) taken in 2007.
Wikimedia - CC

Eds note: This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism. 

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
12:46 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

The Challenges Of Renovating Homes In Kansas City's Urban Core

Neil Rudsill and Lisa Hummel sit on the front porch of their renovated home at the corner of 36th Street and Woodland Avenue in Kansas City, Mo.
Cara McClain KCUR

Blanche Thomas wants neighbors. She has been living in the Ivanhoe neighborhood at 34th Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., since 1956.

Back then, there was a grocery store and dry cleaners across the street. Houses stood on either side of hers. But now, the block looks different.

“It has changed 100 percent because in the block that I live in there are no houses,” Thomas says. “There are no people living on my block, only my son and I.”

The two apartment buildings across the street stand empty. Thomas bought the two lots on either side of her house.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
11:11 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Troost Project Is A Walk Down Memory Lane

Ron Jones and his dad, George Jones.
Credit Courtesy / Ron Jones

KCUR’s Beyond Our Borders project has kicked off a year-long examination of the geographic lines that separate our region. 

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
7:43 am
Fri August 1, 2014

What Sidewalks In Troostwood Say About The Green Impact Zone

Troostwood Neighborhood Association president Wanda Taylor, pictured here with her dog Faith, says overall, the Green Impact Zone has had a positive impact on where she lives.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The sidewalk outside of Wanda Taylor's house on Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., is cracking – it's bad enough that her dog, Faith, steps gingerly around it during an evening walk.

All of the sidewalks in Troostwood, where Taylor is neighborhood association president, used to look like this. But two years ago, the sidewalks north of 51st Street were replaced as part of the Green Impact Zone project. The fresh, new concrete is stamped "GIZ 2012."

“Now see how nice sidewalks – the difference that they make?” asks Taylor.

Read more
Tell KCUR
4:03 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Worst Things About The State Line, According To Kansas Citians

How does the state line affect your life? Tweet us at #TellKCUR.
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

Having to file taxes in two states is the biggest drawback to the state line.

At least according to one Kansas Citian, Marge Gasnick (@gasnickmarge), who responded to our question of the week on Twitter: How does the state line affect your life?

As KCUR reporters begin to examine the state line for the next few months, part of our Beyond Our Borders project,  we wanted to hit up our audience for story ideas.

Read more
Central Standard
3:43 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

When We Talk About Troost, Are We Talking About Race?

Troost Avenue: Is it just a street like any other, or does it carry symbolic weight?
Credit Paul Sableman / Flickr, Creative Commons

To conclude KCUR's extended investigation of Troost Avenue as a border that Kansas Citians perceive as a dividing line, Central Standard asked a question that often goes unspoken. That is, when we talk about Troost, as a city, are we really talking about race?

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Central Standard
2:08 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Troost As A Meme

When we talk about Troost in Kansas City, are we really talking about race? A panel of people who live, work and think on the street discuss whether our Troost meme is useful, or causes further divisions.

Guests:

Read more
Tell KCUR
4:12 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Tell KCUR: How Does The State Line Affect Your Life?

How does the state line affect your life? Tweet us your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit KCUR

As KCUR prepares to spend a months-long examination on issues tied to the state line in the Kansas City metropolitan area, we’re curious about the significance of this north-south border in your world.

Maybe you lost or gained a job when a company headquarters moved across the metro to another state.

Perhaps the state line makes filing taxes more difficult or easier for you. Or crossing the Kansas-Missouri border gets you cheaper gas or sales taxes.

Tell KCUR: How does the state line affect your life?

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What Is That?
10:09 am
Thu July 24, 2014

What Is That? Kansas City's Vine Street Castle

Workhouse Castle located on 18th and Vine St.
Credit Esther Honig

If you’ve ever driven around the historic 18th & Vine neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, Mo., you might have noticed what looks like a castle. It appears as though it housed Missouri royalty, but in fact this four-story structure, chiseled out of yellow limestone, was originally designed as the city jail.

Built in 1897 with the title of “workhouse castle,” it held mostly petty offenders, vagrants and debtors. As a part of their sentence these inmates were required to work. Female prisoners sewed prison uniforms and the men labored for the city’s Public Works Department.

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Beyond Our Borders
9:32 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Black Churches In Kansas City Seek New Responses To Violence

St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo., is one of an increasing number of black churches bringing on professional counselors.
Credit St. James United Methodist Church

At a recent meeting of the Ad Hoc Group Against Violent Crime, founder Alvin Brooks had a panel of teenagers describe their experiences after a sibling had been murdered.

Read more
Beyond Our Borders
4:49 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Meet The Eyes And Ears Of Kansas City's Ivanhoe Neighborhood

Florence Hayden (left) and Ida Dockary have kept tabs on their block in the Ivanhoe neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., by meeting every month since 1980.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Ida Dockary and Florence Hayden have seen it all during the 55 years they’ve lived on the 3800 block of the Ivanhoe neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., just a few doors down from one another.

At 81 and 86 years old, respectively, they were there when Ivanhoe was a thriving residential and business community. They watched as U.S. Highway 71 bisected the neighborhood, eliminating whole blocks of homes. They saw their streets become infested with crime and blight, and change from a mix of races to mostly all black.

Read more

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