Sly James | KCUR

Sly James

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Most people agree access to pre-K needs to be expanded. Not everyone agrees on how to pay for and oversee it.

Days after Kansas City Mayor Sly James made public the particulars of his plan to fund expanded early childhood education, opposition to the proposal is piping up. Today, we heard educators and community organizers explain why they think the mayor's scheme to get more 4-year-olds into pre-K needs work.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday he will temporarily table his plans to fund pre-K education with a 3/8-cent sales tax, a quick reversal of his impassioned push to get the issue on the November ballot.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Mayor Sly James is ready to fight for a 3/8-cent sales tax to improve access to quality preschool in Kansas City.

“Only 35 percent of the kids in this city are engaged in quality pre-K. We have 40 percent of zip codes in deserts where there is no quality pre-K,” James said Monday on KCUR’s Up To Date.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James sits behind a microphone. He is wearing headphones.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: If approved, the proposed 3/8-cent sales tax to fund expanded early childhood education in Kansas City will be on the November ballot.

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.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has begun demolition of a long-vacant, one-story building on the southeast corner of 27th and Prospect that residents consider a blight on the neighborhood.

It’s part of a larger economic stimulus for the area, including a $74 million police station across the street built a couple of years ago and a 1/8th-cent sales tax to spur economic development along the Prospect Avenue corridor.

NICOLAS TELEP/KCUR 89.3

Kay Barnes served as Mayor of Kansas City for two terms, from 1999-2007. Her name is now affixed to the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The convention center sits between the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Municipal Auditorum, spanning Interstate 635 near Downtown Kansas City. In a ceremony Friday morning, the ballroom's new name was unveiled along with a bronze statue titled "Woman Walking Tall," by metro-area artist Tom Corbin.

Cskiran / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: The latest in state and Kansas City politics.

Jason Kander announced on Monday his candidacy for mayor of Kansas City, making him the ninth person to enter what's sure to be a closely-watched race. Today, our panel of pundits shared their take on the coming mayoral elections, the Kansas primaries, and the Missouri Senate race that is garnering national attention.

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Kansas City, Missouri, residents could be asked to vote on a sales tax increase in November to help make early childhood education more affordable for area children.

Mayor Sly James is working with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce on a plan that would offset pre-K costs for families of eligible 4-year-olds. A three-eighths of a cent sales tax would raise more than $30 million a year, making early childhood education more accessible in Kansas City, where the need for these services surpasses their availability.

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Segment 1: Proposed 3/8th-cent sales tax could expand early childhood education.

In an effort to provide quality education to more of Kansas City's youth, Mayor Sly James has proposed a new sales tax that would fund pre-K schools. While almost everyone can agree access to pre-K education should be expanded, some residents have reservations about where the money to pay for it comes from and how it's collected.

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The election is still a year away, but people are lining 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. Eight people so far have thrown their hats in the ring, including five current city council members. Others are rumored to be considering a run.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A committee has narrowed the list of what might be renamed in Kansas City to honor Martin Luther King Jr. 

The advisory committee, named by Mayor Sly James, said it will vote on its recommendation Sunday.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A few conservative legislators in Jefferson City want to limit how much cities and counties can raise with locally imposed sales taxes.

Under a bill (HB 2168), which is moving slowly through the General Assembly, local governments could not impose a sales tax over 12 percent.

“It’s shortsighted and it’s non-productive," says Kansas City Mayor Sly James. "There is no good that comes out of weakening us.”

Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy

Kansas City’s first single-gender charter school has found its founding principal.

Tara Haskins will lead Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, which will serve predominantly young women of color in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

There seem to be two competing groups in Kansas City when it comes to deciding how to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A petition drive, backed by Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, seeks to rename The Paseo, an iconic Kansas City boulevard, after the slain civil rights leader.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, city leaders on Thursday celebrated what they called major improvements to the urban core: $8 million spent over two years on a program to sell abandoned or dangerous houses for $1 each.

The program, designed to not just clean up neighborhoods but to cut down on crime, showcased one of its first graduates.

Laurie Schwab bought a home on East 29th Terrace in 2016 during the Kansas City, Missouri, Land Bank's $1 sale and has poured $21,000 into it so she can operate it as a transitional living stop for homeless people.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

To many the new  Kansas City Urban Youth Academy near 18th and Vine in Kansas City is more than just a place for kids to play baseball and softball.

Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed calls it "a sacred place for everyone in Kansas City."

"This is where it should be," says Tony Reagins, who is head of youth sports for  Major League Baseball.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Coming off of a weekend where gun violence dominated headlines, Mayor Sly James didn't shy away from the topic at his seventh "State of the City" address Tuesday at Westport's Plexpod.

James touted the city's progress on infrastructure over the past year, including groundbreakings for both the new airport and new convention hotel and plans for a new Buck O'Neil Bridge underway.

Cooper Carry

Kansas City's long quest to build a downtown convention hotel entered its final stretch on Thursday at a groundbreaking event next to the construction site at 17th and Baltimore.

Work actually began a month ago at the 3-acre site, which is across Wyandotte Street from the Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom. A tower crane loomed above a white tent where more than 200 people celebrated what will be the Loews Kansas City Convention Center Hotel, a $322.7 million project expected to be completed by late April 2020.

Segment 1: Kansas City's mayor believes students are essential to the debate on guns.

After the shooting in Parkland, Fla., Mayor Sly James invites students to take action against gun violence. He also shares his perspective on why the threat youth face today relates to his experience growing up during the Vietnam War. 

  • Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City

Segment 2, beginning at 29:40: How to find work with purpose.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Operation Breakthrough, a beloved early education center in Kansas City for more than four decades, announced Thursday a $17 million expansion that will reach across Troost Ave.

The organization's leaders said they had hopes of literally bridging the city’s historic racial divide.

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. 

National Archives and Records Administration

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James is a pretty colorful character, but did you know he wears a magical bow tie that lets him travel through time? Today, the authors of a new children's book tell how they chose the mayor and his neckwear to recount Kansas City's history.

Mayor Sly James' Office

Along with dozens of other cities across North America, Kansas City officially delivered its proposal for Amazon HQ2 to the company's headquarters in Seattle, Washington, on Thursday. 

Last month, Amazon announced plans to plow more $5 billion into building another headquarters that will be an equal to the current one in Seattle. The internet retailer plans to employ some 50,000 people with average salaries topping $100,000 at what it is calling “HQ2.” 

Mayor Sly James' Office

Updated Wednesday, 3:15 p.m.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Wednesday a new online campaign to attract Amazon's $5 billion second headquarters project to KC. His plan? Reviewing products on Amazon with Kansas City twists.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Two prominent leaders in Kansas City called on Congress today to pass legislation that would continue to protect from deportation those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, or DACA. 

Ana Jimenez, a graduate student at the University of Kansas, says her parents brought her to America when she was just ten and sacrificed everything so she could go to college. DACA allowed her to get a social security number and a drivers license.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

In a milestone for the future of Kansas City International Airport, the Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a team led by Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to design, build and finance a new terminal. 

Tory Garcia / Courtesy of Kemet Coleman

The Phantastics describe themselves as “dance floor activators.”

For the last six years, they’ve been activating local dance floors with songs that meld rap, jazz, gospel, funk and more.

“We definitely try to incorporate as many genres as possible to create not chaos, but a winding river of music,” rapper Kemet Coleman told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite a drop in murder rates at the national level, homicides in Kansas City are on the rise.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council put off a decision Thursday to finalize ballot language for a vote on a new airport.

The council split seven to six in favor of the delay.

Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed argued the council should delay the vote until more of the members could agree on how it should read.

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