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Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The seven-year quest to bring the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to downtown Kansas City ended abruptly Tuesday when university officials issued a statement rejecting any downtown location.

Instead, UMKC will consider sites either on or within a 2.5-mile radius of the Volker campus in the next round of considering proposals, according to a letter from UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal.

Though Lindsey Doolittle is an art teacher, she never imagined she’d have her own exhibition. Nor did she imagine writing a book that’s now on permanent display at the Van Gogh Museum Library in Amsterdam.

The public speaking tour has been a surprise, too.

But this is her new normal since her husband, Brett, killed himself in 2015.

Office of Senator Chuck Grassley

Opening statements are underway in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Watch the hearing live.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Kansas City audiences might have caught a performance of the aerial troupe Rachel McMeachin co-founded — Voler Thieves of Flight — at events such as the KC Fringe Festival, Dance in the Park or The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Party Arty.

When she heads home from those performances, or after one of her working trips to Costa Rica or Bali, she arrives on the steps of an onion-domed former church in the Russian Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's popular entertainment district looked a little different this weekend. 

Westport officials announced Friday that the promised gun screening checkpoints, which the City Council approved in December, would finally be active over Labor Day weekend, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Food Critics: The Best Pork Dishes In Kansas City In 2018

Sep 2, 2018
A sandwich with meat, cheese, pickles and mustard on a wooden surface.
Pigwich / Facebook

Located in the heart of the Midwest with some of the most famous barbecue joints in the world, it's no surprise there are lots of meaty meal options to be found in Kansas City. 

"Since the dawn of Kansas City I would say pork's been having a moment," KCUR Food Critic Jenny Vergara said. "It's definitely on the menu."

But what menus have the best pig dishes around?

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A Jackson County judge ruled Friday night that control of the violence prevention group COMBAT will fall to the county prosecutor -- a ruling that makes official what the county legislature first attempted to do last year.

In a statement, Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she was pleased with the ruling, which she hopes will mark the end of a "lack of certainty in recent months" that has "been difficult for COMBAT administration, grantees and the public."

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, approved $162,000 of funding for a conviction integrity unit, $155,000 of which will go toward the salaries of the unit's three staff members.

The unit will be responsible for investigating alleged wrongful conviction cases, a task which previously fell on the district attorney's desk. 

JOSH MILLER/FLICKR

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has filed a lawsuit against the companies that operate tourist duck boats. 

The suit comes after 17 people died when one of the boats sank near Branson on July 19.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Taney County, alleges that Branson Duck Vehicles and Ripley Entertainment had been on notice for decades of ongoing safety hazards that “posed a present and deadly danger to every person who boarded a duck boat.”  It says the companies put their own profit over the safety of the passengers. 

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In 2015, a woman donned a clown mask and slipped into a Dollar General Store in Wichita just before closing time.

In the final moments of the robbery that eventually got her three years in prison, she did something that could complicate her life for many more years to come.

She flashed a stun gun, stuffed the $3,400 in her coveralls and fled.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Some restaurants just have a corner on the market for a particular dish.

In this case, that would be Kitty’s Café and its pork tenderloin sandwich. The longtime Kansas City establishment is on 31st Street, just east of Martini Corner and just west of the longtime non-profit Operation Breakthrough on Troost Ave.

It's more diner than restaurant, with six stools tightly together at the counter tops. Outside, there's some patio seating, but Kitty’s is not a destination-stop kind of place. Most of the orders are take-out and you can only pay with cash.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Friday defended the state's decision to weigh in on a case that could limit transgender rights.

Asked by reporters about Kansas’ decision to join 15 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender, Schmidt noted that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Kansas, has taken that position.

Brian Rice

This weekend’s Kansas City Irish Fest, which kicks off Friday at Crown Center when The Maguire Brothers take the stage at 5 p.m., marks the end of an era in local music history.

One of the region’s most popular musical groups of any genre, The Elders, will take the stage for the last time after performing for 16 consecutive years at the annual Labor Day weekend festival. 

The musicians' ages have finally caught up with the name of their band. They've been on a farewell tour throughout 2018, and now it’s time for them to say good-bye to a festival that has done so much to fuel their success.

Coy Dugger / KCUR 89.3

Eric Rosen is saying goodbye to Kansas City. But not without a few sniffles first.

Rosen, who is moving to New York, began his role as artistic director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in May 2008. Rosen was 37 and, at the time, the youngest director to lead the organization.

“I found a community here. People I love, people I’ll miss dearly,” Rosen told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard. “I’m not going to cry.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Down a winding road in Swope Park, on the other end of a short walk through the grass, there's an old, abandoned pool where, in the days before penicillin, sick children came for hydrotherapy. In recent weeks it's been re-filled — not with water but with silk flowers, teddy bears and candles for Ebony Patterson’s art installation.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Kansas City Royals are on pace to break a team record. It’s not one they’ll be proud of.

In 2005, the team lost 106 games. There are 29 left this season, and whatever the Royals’ record is by then, it may not be the worst in baseball.

This weekend’s series between the Royals and Baltimore Orioles will have a say: Two teams mathematically eliminated only four years after they played each other in the American League Championship Series.

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Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday officially called for a special session of the Missouri General Assembly next month. Drug treatment courts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education will be among the items on the agenda.

“When I addressed the General Assembly nearly three months ago, I pledged that I would change the tone and work with the legislature,” Parson said in a statement. “This call is a step in delivering that promise. These two issues were a part of the General Assembly’s historic session as they passed a number of their priorities. By working together to come up with a more narrowly defined focus, we will have better served the people of Missouri.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A proposal aimed at reducing panhandling on city streets has hit a nerve in Kansas City, Missouri, so city officials are taking a step back and plan to rework it. 

On Thursday, more than 70 people packed a room at City Hall to testify both in support and against the measure. Proponents argue panhandling has gotten out of control in their neighborhoods, while opponents say the measure would punish homeless people.  

Donald and Laurie Draughon

When a federal judge decided in July that the Veterans Health Administration was liable for the death of an Iraq veteran who was treated at the VA and later killed himself, it was thought to be one of the few instances nationwide where the VA has been held directly responsible for a veteran’s suicide.

Now the federal government is appealing that verdict.

A notice of appeal filed Wednesday said the United States is seeking review of the judgment by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, as well as her findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Growing up in Uzbekistan, everything Bek Abdullayev knew about the United States he'd learned from pop culture and Hollywood movies.

"A lot of high rises, beautiful people," was what he imagined. "Michael Jordan, Madonna, whatever you see in the movies. You know, 'Home Alone,' so a big family home in a nice neighborhood."

As a teenager, Abdullayev got to experience the U.S. first-hand after he earned a spot in a competitive program called the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), funded by the U.S. Department of State.

file photo / Harvest Public Media

President Donald Trump has reached a tentative trade deal with Mexico, and now the focus of tariff talks shifts to Canada.

It’s a high-stakes situation for Kansas industry because Canada is the top export market for the state.

Kansas exports totaled more than $11 billion in 2017, led by agricultural products, aircraft and airplane parts. Nearly $2.5 billion of those exports went to Canada. The other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico, was the second biggest market for Kansas exports, at nearly $2 billion.

Burns and McDonnell

Saying it will hire around 1,200 employees this year, Burns & McDonnell announced that it is beginning work on a $42 million expansion of its Kansas City headquarters campus, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

There's a new sign glowing on the side of the Boone Theater at the corner of East 18th Street and Highland Avenue, next door to the Gem Theater in the 18th and Vine Historic District. "I Adore Your Every Move" is a neon work by Los Angeles artist Nikita Gale.

The work was commissioned as part of the city's new, two-month Open Spaces arts festival, which kicked off this past weekend. The sign commemorates a letter written by Charlie Parker to his common-law wife, Chan Richardson.

Kansas Attorney General's Office

Kansas has joined 15 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender.

Last week, the 16 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to overturn a federal appeals court's decision that it was illegal for a Michigan funeral home to terminate an employee who was transitioning from male to female. The appeals court ruled that Aimee Stephens’ firing violated Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Missouri health officials say they plan to renew the abortion license of Planned Parenthood’s midtown Kansas City clinic now that the clinic has secured an abortion provider.

The Department of Health and Senior Services had allowed the facility’s license to expire on Aug. 10 after its previous abortion physician left. The department said it was impossible to verify compliance with the state’s legal requirements without a physician on the premises.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 5:45 p.m. with remarks from Chiefs president Mark Donovan.

The Kansas City Chiefs announced changes to their tailgating policy this week, and it's left some fans as hot as their grills.  

Fans won't be able to tailgate in the parking lot after kickoff — they'll have to enter the stadium or leave, according to the Chiefs website.

It isn't clear whether it'll take effect for Thursday's preseason game against Green Bay, or whether it'll be on the Sept. 23 home game. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Business partners Ryan Maybee and Andy Rieger of J. Rieger & Co. announced Tuesday they are expanding their East Bottoms operations to the historic building next door. 

The Kansas City distilling company purchased the Ferd Heim Brewery Co. bottling facility last October, a building on the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1901, that long stood empty after Prohibition.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Jackson County legislators Monday overrode a veto by County Executive Frank White of sweeping changes proposed for  the county charter.

It was a six-to-three vote with the same old discussion and the same old division on the nine-member legislature.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A voting equipment vendor says a coding error is behind the delay in this year's primary election results in Johnson County, which left some statewide races undecided until the following morning earlier this month.

Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software (ES&S) issued an apology Monday, taking responsibility for the delay. Gary Weber, vice president of software development for ES&S, said it came down to a "non-performing" piece of software, which caused slow processing of the 192 encrypted master thumb drives that held the votes.

File photo / Kansas News Service

Kris Kobach lost his 2004 bid for Congress to Democrat Dennis Moore by a hefty margin — nearly 12 percentage points in a district that went Republican a few years later.

Ask Moore’s media consultant what turned that race, and he’ll point to allegations that Kobach took money from people with thinly veiled white supremacist agendas.

“It stopped his progress dead in the water,” recalls Martin Hamburger, who created a 2004 ad that hammered Kobach on that front.

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