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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.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Luke X. Martin is a reporter focusing on race, culture and ethnicity for KCUR 89.3. Contact him at or on Twitter, @lukexmartin.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
Mackenzie Martin is a producer for Up To Date, Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann, and other podcasts at KCUR Studios. Reach out to her at or on Twitter @_macmartin.