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Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Lee's Summit Teachers Union Wants Superintendent Out, Citing 'Controversial' Diversity Training

In a strongly worded email to the school board, the Lee's Summit teachers union urged the board not to extend Superintendent Dennis Carpenter's contract. In the email, the Lee's Summit chapter of the National Education Association (LS NEA) said Carpenter shouldn't have pushed for diversity training during a contentious boundary change process .

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File photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ new governor wants to fix the state’s foster care. Fast.

Laura Kelly isn’t the first governor to highlight a crisis in child welfare, or to inject cash into the Department for Children and Families.

Expectations run high for Kelly, who sat on a task force examining the child welfare system for more than a year. She’s made fixing foster care a high priority — it was one of just three topics she homed in on in her State of the State address last week.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Crestview Elementary third grader Hana Ismail is reading two books she picked out from her classroom library that feature Pakistani protagonists.

“Four Feet, Two Sandals,” by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Khadra Mohammed, tells the story of two girls who meet in a refugee camp. “Malala’s Magic Pencil,” by Malala Yousafzai, is about the young Nobel laureate, with illustrations by Kerascoët.

“I get to pick out all my favorite books,” Hana said. “They’re really fun to read for me, and they give me more information about everything.”

Alex Smith / KCUR

Despite bitterly cold temperatures, hundreds of people took to the streets of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City Saturday afternoon for the third annual Women’s March, a celebration of and rally for inclusiveness and women's empowerment.

Joining similar rallies across the country, marchers wearing woven pink hats carried signs in support of causes ranging from LGBTQ rights to expansion of Medicare. 

“Love, not hate, will make America great,” the Kansas City marchers shouted.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City pair skater John Coughlin was found dead Friday afternoon in a residence on the 10900 block of Washington Street, according to USA Today, which cited a Facebook post by his sister.

“My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today,” Angela Laune wrote on Facebook. “I have no words.”

Coughlin, 33, won the 2012 United States Figure Skating Championships with partner Caydee Denney and the 2011 championships with partner Caitlin Yankowskas.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In the 1950s, SuEllen Fried got a call asking if she'd like to teach the cha-cha to psychiatric patients at the Osawatomie State Hospital.

She'd danced in St. Louis's Muny Opera as a teen and she'd made plans to move to New York to pursue a career in dance on Broadway. But at the last minute, she fell in love, moved to Kansas City, got married and started a family instead.

File photo

A Marion County, Kansas, judge on Friday appointed a receiver to run Hillsboro Community Hospital after its lender moved to foreclose on the 15-bed facility earlier this month.

The judge found that “immediate and irreparable harm is likely to result if a receiver is not appointed to operate and manage the Hospital in order to ensure that it remains open and retains as much of its value as possible.”

File photo / Kansas News Service

Teachers fleeing the state? Promises to schools broken time and again?

Here’s some context for the statements you heard about Kansas education Wednesday night — both in Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s State of the State Speech and Republican Senate President Susan Wagle’s response.

Wikimedia-Creative Commons

While working as an orthopedic surgeon in Hawaii, Dr. Diane Payne had treated one person with a gunshot wound in three years. But when she moved to Atlanta in 2013, Payne said it was like treating gunshot victims was suddenly all she was doing.

“I was shocked by the number of gun-related injuries that we’re seeing and taking care of here,” said Payne, who works at Atlanta’s busy downtown trauma center, Grady Memorial Hospital.

In 2013, Grady treated more than 600 gunshot victims.

Congressional Leadership Fund

Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas' 3rd District had been in office for less than 24 hours when Republicans came out swinging with an attack ad.

"With her very first vote in Congress, Sharice Davids caved to the party bosses and voted to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker," says a female narrator, with chilling music in the background.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Artists Coalition, an organization of more than 400 artists, will leave the space at 2nd and Wyandotte where it's been since 1986.

In October, the building was sold to an outside investor who "is looking to utilize the space in a different way," said Executive Director Marissa Starke. "So we're looking at this point to take the organization and grow it in maybe a new and exciting space — that we have yet to find."

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Kansas City's World-Class Collection of Chinese Art

As the Nelson-Atkins gears up for a Chinese New Year celebration, we revisit our conversation about how a museum in the middle of America ended up with so much exceptional Chinese art.

CBD Regulations Lag Loosened Hemp Laws

Hemp-derived cannabidiol is now legal under the latest Farm Bill, but medical research and FDA regulators are still playing catch up.