Lisa Rodriguez | KCUR

Lisa Rodriguez

Afternoon Newscaster, Reporter

Lisa Rodriguez is KCUR's afternoon newscaster. 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Lisa loves traveling and lived abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before moving back to Kansas City in 2011 (she grew up in Overland Park.) She graduated with degrees in journalism and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. 

Before joining KCUR, Lisa kept busy waiting tables and tending bar at some of Kansas City's best restaurants, which taught her how to deal with just about every kind of person. Talking to people and hearing their stories is what continues to drive her today.  Years of late nights closing up dining rooms also explains her aversion to mornings. 

Lisa is loving living in Kansas City at a time when the city seems to really like itself. She's a Royals fan and a Chiefs fan and is also pretty into pro-wrestling. 

Updated at 10:45 a.m., October 2, 2018: The election is nine months away, but candidates have lined up to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019. 

James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends next year.

Jolie Justus

Kansas City councilwoman Jolie Justus has re-entered the race for Kansas City mayor in 2019.

The announcement comes one week after Jason Kander withdrew from the race citing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

In a video announcing the news, Justus first thanked Kander.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Residents of the poorest parts of Kansas City are tired of city leaders making promises about investing in the city's east side.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

As the rain fell steadily outside Tuesday morning, a maintenance worker was trying to dry out the carpet in the children’s corner of the Waldo branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

“Water seeping through here is a regular occurrence,” said deputy library director Joel Jones.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

At more than 60 years old, Kansas City’s Buck O’Neil bridge is nearing the end of its useful life. And it’s one of thousands across Missouri that the state Department of Transportation can’t afford to replace.

In 2017, MoDOT gave the city two options: It could make major repairs, which would mean closing the bridge for two years. Or the city could make smaller repairs but keep it open to limited traffic.

File Photo / KCUR 89.3

Missouri now has until August 2019 to fall in line with federal ID requirements, as the Department of Homeland Security on Monday extended the deadline.

The so-called Real ID law is meant to prevent terrorist attacks and fraud by heightening security standards.

Missouri is among 16 states that have not yet fully complied and if it doesn’t update IDs, residents eventually will have to present a passport to board a domestic flight.

The extension means residents can still fly using their current Missouri driver’s license.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Standing on the I-70 exit ramp at Independence Avenue on a cool fall morning is a thin guy, possibly in his late 30s or early 40s, his face weathered by the sun. He’s standing next to a backpack and holding a cardboard sign that says “anything helps.”

Further south, on the western edge of the Country Club Plaza a man in his 50’s wearing a tie-dye shirt carries a sign that says, “Broke as F---.”

K. Trimble / Wikimedia Commons

Updated Sept. 14, 2018, with court ruling — The wide-ranging initiative petition that would change how Missouri draws its legislative districts and effectively ban lobbyist gifts won't be on the Nov. 6 ballot, a judge ruled Friday.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, has long prided itself as an affordable place to live. But a new study commissioned by the city paints a different picture.

The study, commissioned a year ago by the city council, shows that affordable housing options exist for people of high or moderate incomes. But for people who make less than $30,000 a year, options are scarce. 

Big Stock

Kansas City’s rental inspection program officially went live on Tuesday, a month after voters approved its creation.

Under the new rules, all landlords must pay $20 to register for a permit. They will also be charged an annual fee of $20 per unit so the health department can hire inspectors to respond to tenant complaints. Additional fees would apply if inspectors have to return to the same property to address unresolved issues.

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. 

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.  

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. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Developers of the new terminal at Kansas City International airport may not be able to follow through on a promise to help fund initiatives for minorities and disadvantaged parts of the city.

The so-called Community Benefits Agreement is a package of initiatives that include free or subsidized transportation options and licensed childcare for workers, as well as an on-site health clinic, expedited payment and workforce training during the project.

Big Stock

A measure that would allow alcohol to be delivered to your door was well received by a city council committee Wednesday.

The proposal would allow a person to order and pay for alcohol through an online app. Licensed liquor retailers that partner with the app would process the transaction, fill the order and deliver the booze to the front door.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Performance space, more check-in areas and restroom doors that swing out — those are some of the concepts incorporated into the latest design renderings for the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Caroline Kull

A sweeping proposal to revive the eastern side of Kansas City, Missouri, received support and skepticism from neighbors Wednesday at a public hearing.

Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office

A former Leavenworth, Kansas, police officer has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a man last year, the county prosecutor announced on Monday.

Matthew Harrington, 25, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 47-year-old Antonio Garcia, Jr.. Harrington shot Garcia last year while responding to a domestic dispute call. Harrington was fired in January for violating the police department’s use of deadly force policy. 

Bird App

Just over a week after Kansas City officials reached an agreement with California-based company Bird Rides Inc. to allow up to 500 of their dockless, motorized scooters on city streets, a popular retail district has banned them.

Bird officials confirm the Country Club Plaza is now a “no-ride zone.” 

In an e-mailed statement, a Bird spokesperson tells KCUR that company officials are in touch with the city “and are working together to ensure Bird is operating in accordance with city guidelines.” 

Missouri Voters Reject Right To Work, Set Up Hawley Vs. McCaskill And Other Races

Aug 7, 2018
Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

A Republican-backed push to change the ways private-sector unions collect dues or fees failed Tuesday, and Missouri's midterm U.S. Senate election will pit Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

There's a proposed rental inspection program on Tuesday's primary ballot in Kansas City, Missouri, something supporters say would hold landlords accountable but that opponents warn could have negative consequences down the line.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson arrived in Kansas City on Thursday for what he said was a commitment to working with the state's two biggest cities. He was joined by Democrats Kansas City Mayor Sly James and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson on a multistop tour of the city.

Diane Krauthamer / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, residents north of the Missouri River say they are sick of delays in their trash and recycling pick-up.

Councilwoman Heather Hall, who represents part of Kansas City North, says she’s received thousands of complaints and is suffering right along with her constituents. 

"I've lived in my house 19 years, and (for) 18 years and three months, my trash was picked up every single day like clockwork — exact same time... no problems at all. In the last eight months it's been random to say the least," Hall says. 

Barbara Shelly / KCUR 89.3

Lora McDonald says she had to live with mold in her Kansas City, Missouri, apartment for six months before her landlord took any action.

“It is a long time to live with mold outside my son’s bedroom,” McDonald says.

McDonald, executive director of More2 and an advocate for equitable housing, says she took her concerns all the way to the director of the Kansas City health department, who told her that aside from testing for mold and advising the landlord to fix it, there was nothing the city could do.

Netflix

Updated 3:55 p.m., Friday, July 13

Wonder no more: Netflix’s “Queer Eye” is coming to Kansas City, Missouri, and will start shooting Monday.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Council is considering a measure to increase transparency in city government.

The measure, introduced by councilman Scott Taylor, would limit lobbyist gifts and meals to city councilmembers to $5, require city officials to wait two years after leaving office before lobbying or doing business in front of the city and limit taxpayer-funded travel for members of the city council.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m. June 28 with a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Maria remembers the fear she felt last month at the moment she found out her son, daughter and 6-year-old grandson were planning on coming to the United States.

"They called me from the border," she said in Spanish. "I panicked because I know how dangerous that is."

Lucas for KC

Third District Councilman Quinton Lucas is entering the crowded race to be Kansas City, Missouri’s, next mayor.

Lucas is the sixth current city council member to announce a mayoral bid, and the ninth person to enter the race.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

The developer of the One Light and Two Light luxury high rises in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, will get tax breaks to build a third luxury apartment tower, Three Light, at 14th and Main streets.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council in an 8 to 4 vote authorized a 100 percent tax abatement for 23 years to Cordish. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Updated 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21.

The estimated cost of the new, single-terminal KCI Airport is $300 million more than previously thought, officials said Thursday.

In addition to four more gates, the terminal building itself will be bigger, causing the cost to rise to between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.

Aviation director Pat Klein assured the city council during an update that the airlines who use the airport —and who will ultimately be on the hook for the cost — support the increase.

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