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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. 

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.

For many immigrants, art is a comfort — a home no one can take away. On this episode, we hear the immigration stories, filled with triumph and heartbreak, from the local arts community. 

File photo / Kansas News Service

Stories of small-town Kansas usually deal with issues like population decline, the brain drain or boarded up downtowns and food deserts. A different story played out last year in Tonganoxie, a growing town of about 5,000 people that rejected a proposal for a chicken plant that would offer more than 1,000 jobs. On this episode, we dig into Tonganoxie, a town where the population is changing and where the controversy over a poultry plant has raised questions about what that change will look like in the future.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In the early 2000s, Tim Finn was raising two young daughters while working as The Kansas City Star's full-time pop music critic. His wife, Lauren Chapin, was the paper's food critic. They were eating in restaurants, bringing home tons of free music and going to shows all the time. He still wonders whether his daughters thought that was just how people lived.

"They must have thought, 'Wow, this is ... you know, what a glorious life.' And it was."

Segment 1: Poetry Editor for The New Yorker was influenced by childhood in Topeka.

Kevin Young's latest collection of poems Brown reminisces about his childhood in Kansas and how figures like Linda Brown, James Brown and John Brown have made an impact on both a historic and personal level.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

This spring marks 25 years since 23rd Street in the Westside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, was named after civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

The efforts the community went through echo the current attempt by a coalition of black leaders to rename Paseo Boulevard after Martin Luther King Jr.

Segment 1: How will automation affect the future of work?

Self-driving cars, ATMs and self-checkouts ... many fields have been affected by technology. And studies project that half our current work activities could be automated by 2055. What kind of work will we do — and will there be enough of it?

Segment 1: A local dance troupe performs an original piece based on people's experience with cancer.

The Owen/Cox Dance Group has collaborated with Gilda's Club Kansas City and will perform a piece about how people's lives are impacted by cancer. We talk to the choreographer, and we hear from patients, survivors and caregivers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It took Sandra Allen a few years but when she finally read the 60-page autobiographical manuscript her paranoid schizophrenic uncle Bob sent her, she found a lens into his creative, curious and sometimes discombobulating mind. Today, Allen reflects on what her uncle's life reveals about mental health in America.

Across America, gentrification is pricing people out of the communities they grew up in. Today, we look at alternatives to avoid raising the cost of living in existing neighborhoods.

Then, we learn how Jamie Sanders, the lead actor in the KC Rep's latest play about a young boy with autism, forged a connection with his character through his own experience with Tourette syndrome. 

Guests:

Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

Today, we speak with a University of Kansas student who won an international competition focused on designing a spacecraft capable of reaching Mars and returning to Earth.

Then: James Baldwin's legacy still resonates with today's thinkers on race in Kansas City. We discuss how his ideas still relate with the current social climate.

Guests:

Mike Mozart / Flickr-CC

Today, we meet two high school students from Kansas City's Central Academy of Excellence who are using art to tell stories about gun violence. 

Plus, find out how communities, both rural and urban, are affected by the expansion of dollar stores such as Dollar General.

Guests:

Jake William Heckey / Pixabay-CC

Looking back, this year was slammed with national news: tropical storms, wildfires, protests and even Twitter wars. But plenty happened here in Kansas City, too! So before entering a new year, we check in with community newspapers to learn about the important local stories of 2017.

Guests: