Wyandotte County | KCUR

Wyandotte County

Courtesy Scott Hanson / The Family Conservancy

There aren’t enough licensed child care centers in Wyandotte County to serve all working families with young children, according to a community health assessment.

That’s why the Family Conservancy and other community groups are launching the Start Young initiative to improve access to high-quality child care for kids younger than 6.

Segment 1: First time voters share their thoughts on voting in the primary.

We visit with first time voters to find out what their experience voting in the primary elections was like and if the physical experience of voting met their expectations.

Theater League / Warner Brothers Theatricals

People all over the world are obsessed with “The Wizard of Oz." But there is no place in the world where it has as much cultural value as in Kansas, where "Somewhere over the Rainbow" can be considered as much the state song as "Home on the Range."

“It's become synonymous with ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” says Mark Edelman, head of Theater League, which produced this latest version of the iconic story that opened Wednesday at Providence Amphitheater (formerly known as Sandstone) in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

Segment 1: History of deaf discrimination in the United States.

Members of the hearing-impaired community oft face unique challenges when living in America. We discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in the United States as well as milestones alongside the path to equal rights. Also, meet the local instructor who teaches deaf refugees their first language: American Sign Language.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated at 3:40 p.m. to include additional details. 

Thousands of community members and city leaders joined families and law enforcement officials in Kansas City, Kansas, on Thursday morning for the funeral of two Wyandotte County sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty.

At the ceremony at Children's Mercy Park, Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash eulogized Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer.

Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department

Updated 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16.

Two Wyandotte County Sheriff's deputies died after being shot Friday behind the county courthouse by an inmate who was being transferred, police said. Patrick Rohrer, 35, and Theresa King, 44, both died at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Related: Slain Deputies Honored As Heroes At Ceremony In Kansas City, Kansas

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is investigating the shooting, and said that the deputies were wearing body cameras and there were lots of cameras in the gated area behind the courthouse, where two detainees were being transferred back into a van. 

FILE PHOTO/KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, is responding to a letter demanding he take action to end the Trump administration's policy of breaking up immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearly 60 elected officials from Johnson and Wyandotte Counties have called on Yoder to prevent immigrant children seeking asylum in the U.S. with their families from being separated from their parents at the border. Yoder is chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Lane attributes her three decade career in education to a frog.

Lane went to college to be a clinical psychologist but a required biology class asked her to insert a needle into a frog’s brain.

“It was a live animal that we were going to do an experiment on to see reactions,” Lane says. “I could not do that. So I left class, went down the hall and said, ‘I need to change my major.’”

Chris Moreland / Missouri House Communications

Segment 1: Kansas and Missouri "silence breakers" speak up about their own sexual harassment and assult. 

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, awareness of sexual misconduct in state government has increased steadily. Today, two women recalled their experiences of sexual harrassment while working in the Missouri and Kansas statehouses. They say speaking out about the misconduct will help other women avoid similar harrassment. 

Tony Vinh

Life in the Midwest might not seem to be particularly rich material for a comedian based in Los Angeles.

But for Tony Vinh, it’s his niche.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Steven Rios, a Kansas City, Kansas, police officer, has been charged with one count of sexual battery for touching a woman without her consent while on duty. 

The woman, a civilian employee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, reported the incident March 9.

Karen Almond / KC Rep/Facebook

In his new play, Nathan Louis Jackson draws on his own life to tackle the issue of gun violence.

Brother Toad” tells the story of two men who are related but going down different paths.

“Each path ends with the decision of ‘how do I protect myself and the ones I love?’” Jackson told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

Segment 1: A new play about gun violence in Kansas.

Nathan Louis Jackson's new play, "Brother Toad," is set in Wyandotte County and Johnson County. It's about two men who are going down different paths when it comes to protecting their families. Hear more about the play and about Jackson's changing views on guns.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Amazon celebrated the grand opening of its third "fulfillment center" in Kansas on Tuesday.

The new 850,000 square-foot Kansas City, Kansas, began operations on August 6, 2017; other facilities were already operating in Lenexa and Edgerton. The centers serve as the conduit between an online order on Amazon to the shipment to the customer. 

Hey Paul Studios / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: As rates increase among children in Kansas City, lead poisoning remains a persistent concern.

It's been decades since companies stopped adding lead to things like paint or gasoline, but the dangers posed by lead poisoning are still affecting thousands of lives throughout the metro area. We learned why it's so hard to get rid of lead contamination in old homes and businesses, and what you can do to minimize your risk.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Prosecutors on both sides of the state line that runs through Kansas City announced homicide and other charges Wednesday against a 30-year-old man who had walked free last year after two mistrials on a different murder charge.

Joe Carson

Segment 1: Local stories of Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Kansas in 1968.

Martin Luther King Jr. stopped by Kansas in January of 1968 to speak with a number of leaders from throughout Wyandotte County. Today, we hear from a couple of leaders about what that day was like and how meeting the civil rights activist influenced their lives.

  • Robert Hughes
  • Chester Owens Jr.

Segment 2, beginning at 34:49: Why we behave the way we do.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New mayor and CEO of Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, says he's tapped into family's "longstanding commitment to the community." 

file photo / KCUR

Schlitterbahn, the amusement park under indictment over the 2016 death of a lawmaker’s son on its signature waterslide, now finds itself subject to a full state audit.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Labor said Wednesday the audit is set to take place before the park’s scheduled opening for the summer season on May 25.

Schlitterbahn

A second indictment unsealed Tuesday charges two designers of the Schlitterbahn water slide that killed 10-year-old Caleb Schwab with reckless second-degree murder.

Jeffrey Wayne Henry, a co-owner of Schlitterbahn, and John Timothy Schooley, allegedly the lead designer of the slide, were named in the indictment unsealed in Wyandotte County. Henry was arrested on Monday in Cameron County, Texas, on a Kansas warrant and is being held in jail there. Schooley was not in custody.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Non-profit connects underserved Kansas City neighborhoods to fresh produce.

Food deserts are a big problem for many communities in the metro, but the remedy isn't always to build big grocery stores. Today, we talked with the founder of Kanbe's Markets to learn about his unique approach to connecting communities with fresh, healthy food.

Matt Kleinmann / Community Health Council of Wyandotte County

New county health rankings once again show Wyandotte County as one of the least healthy counties in Kansas. The good news: It’s no longer the worst.

Wikimedia

Celebrity, it seems, can be at least temporarily transferable.

Sit-com star and Kansas City, Kansas, native Eric Stonestreet has used  social media and the sort of disposable income that comes from his TV work  to direct cash and Twitter fame to a member of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas

A major project designed to help improve community health in Kansas City, Kansas, has been put on hold, and local leaders will meet Thursday evening to discuss its fate.

The Healthy Campus project envisions a grocery store, expanded YMCA, farmer’s market and additional housing in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and it was a top initiative of former Mayor Mark Holland.

Public Domain / Pixabay-CC

Alternative newspapers offer a unique perspective on the news, events and culture of a city. But how are they handling an era where print media struggles? Today, we look at the role alt-weeklies/monthlies play both here in Kansas City and across the nation. 

Then, we learn how small adjustments to neighborhood parks in Wyandotte have made a big impact on the community surrounding it.

Guests:

Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Today, Stuart Swetland is the president of Donnelly College, which U.S. News & World Report recently recognized as the most diverse college in the Midwest. But in 1985, when TWA Flight 847 was hijacked, he was a Navy officer who was called to participate in a rescue mission with grim chances for survival. Hear his story.

Guest:

  • Stuart Swetland, President, Donnelly College

Andrea Ramsey / Andrea Ramsey For Congress

Retired lawyer and former community health nonprofit executive Andrea Ramsey announced Friday that she is dropping out of the race for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District.

Ramsey is one of several Democrats challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder. 

Jules / Flickr -- CC

What's not to like about cheese? First of all, it's probably the one food item for which "ooey-gooey" was invented. (And if not, let's just say it was).

Whether you like it melted in a sandwich or by itself with a glass of wine or beer, cheese is having quite a moment in KC.

Courtesy of Crystal Hays and Shanta Barnett

In late August last year, Shanta Barnett got a call from her 15-year-old daughter Brannae Browne. 

“Momma, did you hear about what happened?”

Natasha Hays, the mom of one of Brannae’s friends, had been killed in a drive-by shooting, she told her mom.

Barnett warned her daughter to be careful.

“She was like, ‘Momma, we didn't do nothing so why we gotta be worried about it?’” Barnett remembers. “Something in my heart told her just to watch out, to be safe.”

Days later, on a Friday after school, Barnett dropped her daughter off at a cousin’s house in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas. About an hour later, Brannae was sitting on the porch when shots rang out from the street. With a bullet to the back, Brannae was soon dead.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As the race for the Unified Government's top job draws to a close, the two candidates for mayor/CEO are drawing distinctions between themselves and their proposed policies.

Mark Holland was elected mayor in 2013 and says his re-election would maintain the momentum that his administration has built in Wyandotte County, especially when it comes to job increases, low unemployment and growing household incomes.

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