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Kansas City Crime | Face Mask Ordinance Fails | KC Bands Together | Graduates Exceed Expectations

Traffic cones and vehicles of the Kansas City Police Department block traffic in the intersection of Westport Road and Mill Street.
Jodi Fortino
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City police respond to a deadly shooting in Westport in February. The city saw 46 people shot in April, and 28 people hit by gunfire in the first two weeks of May, according to Deputy Chief Mark Francisco.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:20: As Kansas City, Missouri, waits for federal COVID-19 relief funding, gun crime surges.

Jackson County and Kansas City still haven't agreed how to distribute and spend the county's federal coronavirus funds. Meanwhile, violent crime is surging. We asked the city's mayor about his approach to each pressing problem.

Segment 2, beginning at 20:55: Prairie Village, Kansas, City Council says no to an ordinance that would have required face masks in public.

Public health officials across the country say wearing face masks in public cuts COVID-19 transmission rates, but elected officials in one Kansas suburb couldn't justify passing a law requiring the practice.

Segment 3, beginning at 40:25: Putting Kansas City musicians back in front of a live audience

The coronavirus pandemic has upset the age old relationship between musicians and the fans who show up to their live shows. In Kansas City, an effort to restore that link digitally was successful enough it became a two-day event.

Segment 4, beginning at 51:15: A virtual commencement speech

With graduation ceremonies across the metro cancelled, we're bringing you speeches from valedictorians in the Kansas City region. Expectations weren't high, says Ann Nguyen, but Ewing Marion Kauffman School's class of 2020 has it within themselves to affect great change.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.