KCUR
UMKC Conservatory

Kansas City Gets A 'Once In A Lifetime' Immersion In An Influential Composer's Singular World

American composer Harry Partch lived an unconventional life. A dreamer and a traveler, he devised an original system for making music and built dozens of instruments to bring that dream to reality. “My music and my instruments are an expression of an ancient tradition in which sight and sound unite toward the achievement of a single dramatic purpose,” Partch said in the documentary “ Music Studio .”

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Former KSHB-TV Channel 41 reporter Lisa Benson says her race discrimination and retaliation case against the station where she’d worked for 14 years was a trial in more ways than one.

“In opening statements, they described me as an angry black, violent woman and that was very hurtful, considering those would be the same people who would have sent flowers to the maternity ward when I gave birth,” says Benson, a mother of two boys. “So … I learned a lot going through this process.”

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Before Laura Kelly took over as governor, the Kansas Department for Children and Families overhauled which private companies would manage its child welfare system, and how the department would oversee their work.

Kelly put the brakes on that whole plan in December.

On Thursday, she announced she’d be rolling back major parts of the changes. She canceled grants with two companies and said the state would renegotiate grants with three companies.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated to include Sen. Jim Denning's comments.

The Kansas City Star came out swinging Friday in response to a defamation lawsuit filed last month by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning.

The newspaper asked a Johnson County court judge to strike the lawsuit and penalize Denning, his attorney and the attorney’s law firm for violating the Kansas Public Speech Protection Act.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The push to enroll more students in classes that will prepare them for college and careers could create new opportunities for young people with special needs.

Jackson Barber has an intellectual disability. He started working at Antioch Urban Growers while enrolled in the work experience program through North Kansas City Schools.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Tuesday night, 15-year-old An'Janique Wright was shot and killed outside of Central Academy of Excellence during a basketball game. Two women have been charged with her murder.

Though Wright was not a student at Central, her killing hit hard — especially because this week marks one year after 17 teenagers were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  in Parkland, Florida.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The Kansas City Council on Thursday fast-tracked a proposal to enact height restrictions on the Country Club Plaza.

The new rules, approved unanimously by the council, would limit building heights to 45 feet in certain parts of the Plaza as part of the “bowl” plan that designates shorter buildings in the center of the entertainment district and taller ones on the edges. Before, such restrictions were only recommended.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The proposed Kansas City budget throws a lot more money at fixing up the city's roads. 

The 2019-20 budget, totaling more than $1.7 billion, was presented Thursday to the city council.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

City Manager Troy Schulte says that is a new consideration.

“Given that we're being besieged with pothole requests, that’s a direct result of that,” Schulte said.

The budget won’t be adopted until March – so that extra cash won’t help fix current potholes.

Melissa Martin

Michael Wheeler, known to strangers all over town as KC Superman, hasn't always run in a cape.

The 67-year-old has run regularly for more than 40 years. Initially he ran from bullies and depression. It wasn't until 2011 that he added the bright blue T-shirt and a shiny cape.

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This story was updated to add the comments of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Oswego Community Hospital, a 12-bed critical access hospital in southeast Kansas, abruptly closed down on Thursday, citing insufficient revenue to cover its operating expenses.

The hospital’s board released a statement saying the hospital had “weathered low patient volumes; high number of uninsured patients; low reimbursement rates; difficulty in getting payment from private insurance providers; low Medicaid and Medicare rates; and the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid.”

Linh Do / Flickr

Instead of keeping folks at arm’s length, try meeting them at the elbows this weekend.

Which is to say, let’s mingle. It might mean yee-hawing, speed-dating, cosplaying, beer-drinking or sharing a spontaneous laugh, perhaps even at your own expense.

If you find yourself giving more than receiving, there’s nothing wrong with making someone else happy. Keep mingling and you may be next!

1. Blake Shelton

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Union Membership On The Rise In Missouri

The numbers paint a complicated picture of organized labor in the state; we dig into why that is, and how Kansas City union families feel about it.

A Kansas City Activist Takes The Minimum-Wage Fight To Washington

With Democrats now steering House committees, progressive activists and causes are experiencing renewed interest in Congress.