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. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City streetcar advocates got a big win Wednesday, when election officials announced that the tax increase to help fund extending the line to the University of Missouri-Kansas City passed.

That means work on the $227 million project can begin in earnest.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Another member of the Kansas City Council has entered the crowded race for mayor in 2019. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady, who represents the city’s 5th district, announced her mayoral bid in front of family and religious leaders Tuesday morning at Ilus Davis Park, just north of Kansas City, Missouri, city hall.  

Canady said she looks up to Ilus Davis, who was Kansas City mayor from 1963 to 1971.

“Mayor Davis … used his position both as mayor and lawyer to uplift Kansas Citians with diverse backgrounds, so I’m not alone in this undertaking,” Canady said.

Jen Houston got word back in January that Kansas City International airport was announcing its first-ever nonstop transatlantic flight.

"While I didn't know where it would be going, I knew that I would be on it. So when the announcement was made January 9, I booked my ticket," Houston says.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Developers who ask for tax incentives in Kansas City can claim an apartment that rents for $1,600 a month is affordable — and eligible for incentives.

An ordinance passed by the Kansas City Council on Thursday changes that.

Dank Depot / Flickr - CC

A measure that would have narrowly legalized medical marijuana died in the final week of Missouri’s legislative session, meaning the issue will be left entirely up to voters in November.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

The team behind a potential southern streetcar expansion has refined the proposed stops. 

Voters who live near the streetcar have yet to decide whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax and special property tax assessment to help fund the $230 million dollar project. Notarized ballots are due to the Jackson County courthouse by 5 p.m. June 12. 

Bigstock

Missouri would join a majority of U.S. states in raising the age someone can be tried as an adult in court to 18 under a bill passed by the legislature this session.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The ACLU of Missouri is suing Kansas City and the Board of Police Commissioners for what it calls “predatory” impound and towing practices.

The ACLU says their client, Dyanna Black, legally parked her car on a public street in February 2016. On returning to her spot, she discovered it had been towed. 

File Photo / Luke X. Martin KCUR 89.3

Kansas City residents will now be able to see more of how the city spends their money.  

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council voted unanimously to scale back the city manager's power to award contracts for city projects.

Councilman Quinton Lucas, who sponsored the ordinance, said it wasn't prompted by any single contract awarded by the city manager but rather a general effort to promote transparency. 

Before Thursday's vote, City Manager Troy Schulte could award construction contracts valued at more than a $1.3 million without public notice or council approval. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

The timeline for a new single terminal at Kansas City International airport has been slightly delayed because airport officials have determined it needs more gates than originally planned. 

Jackson County Detention Center

 Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:50 p.m. with additional details.

Nearly six months after the brazen shooting of a Kansas City attorney at his front door, Jackson County prosecutors on Wednesday charged the 80-year-old man who had long been suspected of the crime.

David Jungerman was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Thomas Pickert, who was shot in front of his Brookside home in October 2017, just moments after walking his children to school.

Tim Lair / Tim Lair Photography

Much of Kansas City’s economic development over the past few decades is thanks, in part, to tax breaks given to developers by the city.

 

The shops at Zona Rosa and Briarcliff in the Northland, the Power and Light District and Crossroads Arts District downtown, and the massive Cerner development in south Kansas City, just to name a few, all benefit from tax abatements.

 

But developers may have a tougher time getting those breaks under a bill making its way through the Missouri legislature.

americanjazzmuseum.com

The Kansas City council voted Thursday afternoon to allow more bars into the city's Historic 18th and Vine district. 

Councilman Jermaine Reed, who represents the district, sponsored the proposal, which makes it easier to obtain a liquor license in the historic district.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

With ballots devoid of hot-button issues, Tuesday was a quiet election day throughout the Kansas City area. 

Voter turnout was around 10 percent in Platte, Clay and Cass counties — Jackson County had the highest turnout at 15 percent.

In Kansas City, Missouri turnout was just shy of 8 percent. 

bigstock.com

It's election day in Missouri, but it's OK if you didn't know that. Compared to previous elections, this one is fairly low-key.

In Kansas City, voters will decide whether to renew a 1 percent sales tax for infrastructure maintenance, in addition to several school board races. And residents of several towns near the metro area will decide new mayors, including in Tracy, population 226, where no one filed to run for the job, so it'll come down to write-in votes. 

Want to know if you need to head to the polls? Here's a list: 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Last year was a busy one for elections in Kansas City, Missouri.

Between approving a new airport terminal, deciding the future of a streetcar extension, and agreeing to property tax hikes for a 20-year, $800 million infrastructure package, Kansas City voters made some big decisions about the city's future.

Next week's election is much more low-key. On Tuesday, voters will be asked to renew a one percent sales tax for 20 years to fund capital improvements across the city.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Time is running out for about 30,000 Kansas City, Missouri, voters who are eligible to vote on a southern streetcar extension.

Registered voters who live within the area roughly between the Missouri River and 53rd Street, and State Line Road and Campbell, have until April 3 to apply for a mail-in ballot.

Ballots will be sent to approved voters in May and due back on June 12.

This is the final step in a complicated three-election process that must be completed before any work on an expansion to the University of Missouri-Kansas City can begin.

Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation Kansas City

For most families in the United States, planning for a future without your parents is not something often talked about — at least, not until adulthood.

But for thousands of families with mixed immigration status in the metro, the sudden disappearance of a mother or father — or both — feels like a real possibility. An estimated 20,000 children of unauthorized immigrants live in the Kansas City area, according to 2014 census data analyzed by the Migration Policy Institute.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a $1.66 billion dollar budget for the coming fiscal year. 

As it did last year, the city boosted funding for public safety, which includes the police and fire departments and the municipal court, and which takes up more than three-quarters of the city's general fund. Most other city department budgets will remain flat next year.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a memorandum of understanding with Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate to build a billion-dollar new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. 

"This is where we were supposed to be," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James following the 8-5 vote.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Almost a month and a half ago, Edgemoor was on the verge of being dropped as the developer to build a new terminal at Kansas City International airport.

Nine city council members rejected a memorandum of understanding with the Maryland-based developer. A measure had been introduced to drop them from the billion-dollar project altogether and proceed with competitor AECOM.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, officials will continue to be part of the planning process for a southern streetcar extension, despite a citywide vote prohibiting them from doing so. 

On Aug. 4, 2017, Kansas City residents passed an ordinance, brought to the city through an initiative petition, that prohibits city officials from moving forward with any streetcar extension without first gaining citywide voter approval. That included any planning or preparation for construction. 

The vote complicated a process that was already underway to extend the current streetcar south to UMKC. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Kansas City officials on Thursday weighed in on negotiations for an agreement with Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to build an estimated $1 billion new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. 

A skeptical city council heard the latest changes to the Memorandum of Understanding — a development agreement that sets out terms, guidelines and landmarks for the project. A previous version of the MOU was rejected by the council late last year and Edgemoor was nearly booted from the project altogether.

Icelandair

For the first time ever, Kansas City will have a regularly scheduled flight across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Starting May 26, Kansas City International airport will offer direct flights to Reykjavik, Iceland on Icelandair.

Deputy aviation director Justin Meyer says the new flight will bring down European fares, and allow for easy connections to other parts of Europe. 

The flight will be offered seasonally, from May to September three days a week. 

File Photo / KCUR 89.3

As the the winter holiday season comes to a close and friends and family fly back home, there may be a three-letter detail that you can't seem to reconcile while checking in for flights at Kansas City International Airport: KCI.

If the name of the airport is Kansas City International, shouldn't the code — which is actually MCI — reflect that? 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Updated 7 p.m. Dec. 21 to include additional reaction to the decisions: The Kansas City Council ended the year with two major decisions Thursday, deciding to stick with a Maryland-based developer for the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport and to allow for gun screenings in the Westport entertainment district late on the weekends.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Though it's not the final say, Kansas City officials decided Wednesday they'd be OK with privatizing some sidewalks in Westport so business owners can screen for guns at the entrance of the entertainment district . The measure now goes to the full City Council. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Updated at 2:30 p.m. to include response from Kansas City councilman Jermaine Reed. 

With the contract for a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport seemingly up for grabs, Los Angeles-based AECOM on Monday added local engineering firm Burns & McDonnell to its KCI Partnership team. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Updated Friday, 4:30 p.m.

A resolution to end negotiations with Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate on a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport and proceed with competitor AECOM has been assigned to Kansas City’s airport committee for discussion Thursday.

AECOM was the second-choice of the airport selection committee.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Westport has seen a major uptick in gun violence this year. 

According to stats collected by the Westport Regional Business League, there were 16 gun-related weapons offenses in the district in 2016. In 2017, there were 65 — and that's only through Oct. 31.

A Missouri law that took effect in January allows people to carry guns without a permit in nearly every public space, so there’s not much business owners or police can do to keep guns out.

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