Kyle Palmer | KCUR

Kyle Palmer

Morning Newscaster, Reporter

Kyle Palmer is KCUR’s morning newscaster. He’s a former teacher, so getting up early is nothing for him. Before moving to the classroom, Kyle earned a Journalism degree from Mizzou and worked as a reporter for Columbia’s NPR affiliate KBIA. He also did play-by-play for the Jefferson City High School football and basketball teams. He earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a radio documentary about Missouri’s New Madrid fault (it’s still there, people, and ready to blow!).

He’s lived in Texas, California, and India, and also earned a Master’s degree in Education Policy from Stanford University, where he was also the PA announcer for the women’s and men’s volleyball team. (Ask him anything about volleyball.) 

He now lives in Kansas with his wife. And they agree: of all the places they’ve lived, Kansas is the most…interesting.

Ways to Connect

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Streetcar officials say they are still investigating what caused a streetcar to go slightly off its rails near Union Station Monday, but they admit rain might have contributed to the car shunting off its track. 

Speaking on KCUR's Up To Date Tuesday morning, Donna Mandelbaum with the Kansas City Streetcar Authority said the problem originated at the track-switch area near Union Station, where streetcars turn back north on the 2.2-mile line. 

KCK Police

A Kansas City, Kansas, police detective is being remembered Tuesday morning as a loving family man and dedicated public servant.

Nine-year veteran Brad Lancaster was shot and killed Monday afternoon near the Kansas Speedway after responding to a suspicious person report. He was shot multiple times before the suspect fled in Lancaster's unmarked car. Lancaster later underwent surgery at the University of Kansas Hospital but died of his wounds.

KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler confirmed the news on Twitter Monday. 

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

After months (some would say decades) of anticipation, Kansas City will once again have a downtown streetcar line. It opens Friday. You may have heard the buzz and the hype. You might have read about the delays and labor disputes. But now, really, all you care about is this question: when can I ride it? 

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."

@TwistedSkiesWx

Tuesday promises to be a wild day for weather in and around the Kansas City metro. But breathless TV forecasts and an endless social media stream of predictions and warnings may have you confused. 

This graphic produced by the National Weather Service in Kansas City sums up neatly both when and where you should be looking for severe weather: 

HHI

A three-member team from Lenexa-based medical nonprofit Heart to Heart International arrived in Ecuador Sunday night, less than 24 hours after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Central American nation.

As of Monday morning, international news organizations were reporting at least 272 people had died and more than 2,500 had been injured. 

Wikimedia Commons - CC

Did U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Brian Newby's recently unearthed emails with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violate federal rules? 

The Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Allied Progress alleges they did and now wants the EAC's Inspector General to dig further into the matter. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Brittany admits this is a risk: telling her story, being so public. As a nod to that risk, she only wants her first name used. But along with her fear, there's something else: anger. 

"I want to be as honest as possible," she says. "It's what I'm going through, what many other kids like me [in Kansas City] are going through, and it's something we don't talk about: it's ignored, it's in the shadows, and it shouldn't be like that." 

A graduating high school senior without US citizenship reflects on her journey so far. With several college options to choose from, how does this accomplished student's immigration status influence the decision about where to go?

Guest:

www.fundforteachers.org

In the ongoing conversation about what constitutes effective discipline in schools, Independence, Missouri, poses an interesting case study. 

In January, the district briefly came under fire from a group of agitated parents over the use of the ominous-sounding "isolation rooms." In the resulting furor, several child development experts questioned the practice of isolating students as a way to control their behavior. 

Meg Hilling / Twitter

Missouri Journalism student Meg Hilling didn't hear the explosion Tuesday morning at Brussels' Maelbeek metro station. But by the time she got to the office of Politico, where she is interning this semester, she saw "tons of police officers and ambulances" streaming toward the station just a few blocks away. 

"It's very surreal," Hilling says. "You see events like this on TV. All morning long all we've heard are sirens and police whistles." 

kcirishparade.com

Kansas City officials are warning motorists Thursday that streets downtown will begin closing at least two hours before the start of the 44th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. 

This map outlines the parade route and key street closures. 

The parade will start at Linwood Boulevard at 11 a.m. Thursday and head south along Broadway to 43rd Street.  

Broadway between 31st and 47th will be shut down, beginning at about 8 a.m. Linwood between Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue will also be closed at that time. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made a splash this month when he announced he would fund all Missouri teachers' projects on the education crowd-funding site DonorsChoose.org. The gift bought classroom supplies — everything from Chromebooks to crayons— for about 600 educators statewide. 

First-generation college students head to campus saddled with hopes and dreams, but not necessarily the same resources as their peers. With rigorous academic demands, resposibilities to families, rising tuition and increased focus on experiences like study abroad, students breaking through the higher-ed barrier face a unique set of challenges. 

Guests:

Netflix

Both the podcast Serial and Netflix documentary Making a Murderer have brought unprecedented attention to the work of organizations like the Kansas City-based Midwest Innocence Project.

Founded more than a decade ago at the UMKC Law School, the Project works to exonerate those people its staff believe have been wrongly convicted. 

MINDDRIVE

 If you go to the 2016 Kansas City Auto Show at Bartle Hall, you may spot among the shiny new SUVs and tricked-out sports cars something more incongruous. It's squat and narrow, resembling a more advanced version of a Soapbox Derby car. 

Look again: that car was printed by a 3-D printer and designed by high school kids in Kansas City. 

Just a few weeks ago, three district seats remained open on the Kansas City Schools Board. Now, a competitive field of at least five write-in candidates has coalesced. KCUR’s Kyle Palmer sat down with Kansas City Mayor Sly James to discuss the elections, the district’s new superintendent and master plan and and challenges facing the district and the city.

University of Kansas Hospital

The University of Kansas and KU Medical Center stand to lose the most from $17 million worth of cuts announced by Gov. Sam Brownback Tuesday. 

The state Board of Regents itemized those across-the-board cuts Wednesday.

Courtesy photo / Kansas City Public Schools

At first, there seemed to be nobody ready to run on the April 5 ballot for three open seats on the Kansas City Public Schools board. Now that's changed dramatically. 

A total of five people have publicly declared write-in candidacies, several coming in the past week. And now two of the races have multiple candidates, lending a sense of belated competition to a campaign that some had feared would be uncontested and, as a result, overlooked. 

A race in Sub-District 5 : Ajia Morris and Catina Taylor

bigstock

Remember the water cycle? 

It's typically first learned in elementary school, around third grade. You know, precipitation, evaporation, condensation? Many readers may remember filling out a graphic organizer to help them memorize the steps. Others may recall having to answer a question about the water cycle on a standardized test. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Natalie Lewis is eligible to be a candidate for the Kansas City Public School Board. There is no doubt, she says, after a critical deadline was deleted sometime Friday from the district's election notice online. 

"Because of that information, I almost walked away twice. But I knew in the gut of guts and in talking to people that that information was not accurate," she says. 

Courtesy photo / Kansas City Public Schools

Natalie Lewis really wants to be on the Kansas City Public School board. How much? Last week she moved into the district to an apartment just off the Plaza for the express purpose of running for the open seat in Sub-District 1, which covers much of downtown. 

"Yes, it was drastic. But that fact that we had no one on the ballot required a drastic reaction," she says.

Adam_Procter400 / Flickr - CC

For a small group of high school seniors in the metro, their college options are narrowing because of a law passed last year in Jefferson City. 

Once-affordable options like Metropolitan Community College now seem like iffy bets. UMKC and Northwest Missouri State are a stretch. Mizzou? Forget about it.  

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

On a Saturday afternoon, four female students from Kansas City's Alta Vista Charter High School are making a three-hour trip in a rented minivan to Omaha. As they get closer, they each practice their pitches for why they deserve a full-ride scholarship to college. 

Brittany emphasizes the long hours she puts into extracurricular work making an electric car.

Anahi lays out how she wants to be a lawyer to better "serve my community" as an adult.

Crossroads Academy

Dean Johnson, the executive director of the successful K-8 charter school, Crossroads Academy, in downtown Kansas City, says the most common question he gets from parents is: when are you going to open a high school?

Now, he has an answer. 

Courtesy photo / Cerner Corp.

Neal Patterson, the CEO and co-founder of health technology giant Cerner Corp., says he has cancer.

He made the announcement Monday in a letter to shareholders and employees, which the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Volunteers began gathering early Monday morning at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. 

They braved icy roads and single-digit temperatures but none doubted the reason they were there. 

"This is one of the biggest celebrations of the year," said Frank Lavender, a lead organizer for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Motorcade/March for Hunger. "It gives us the opportunity to make the community aware of the all the people who need food. We use this day to get the word out."

KCPD

UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): Police confirm that Gavin Perez-Settgast was found Thursday morning safe at a resident's home in Independence. 

Kansas City Police are asking for the public's help Thursday in searching for an 11-year old boy who was last seen in north Kansas City Wednesday night. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Updated, 11:15 a.m. Friday. About 30 people are displaced after an early morning fire that completely engulfed an apartment building and forced the evacuation of the one next door.

Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Cashen says firefighters entered the six-plex at 2660 Lockridge Avenue but were forced to evacuate due to the risk of collapse.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Did Kansas lawmakers know about the state's controversial decision to lift the borrowing limit for the Department of Transportation? 

This PowerPoint slide seems to suggest they did, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle along with transportation insiders whom KCUR has talked to all say they were surprised to see KDOT borrowing at record levels in December. 

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