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Wyandotte County Elections | Hickman Mills Superintendent | Collaborative Pandemic Album

Yaw Obeng starts as superintendent in Hickman Mills on July 1. He describes himself as 'a little geeky' and says when his three sons were growing up, he often dragged them to visit school sites on vacation.
Courtesy of the Hickman Mills School District
Prior to becoming superintendent in Hickman Mills on July 1, Yaw Obeng spent five years in the same position at Burlington Public Schools in Vermont. He also oversaw the construction of new schools in a district in his native Canada.

Kristiane Bryant is challenging the incumbent district attorney for Wyandotte County in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary election, hurdles await the new superintendent of Hickman Mills schools, and 25 artists collaborate on a new album to support Kansas City tenants in need.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:28: The assistant prosecuting attorney in Jackson County, Missouri, is challenging Wyandotte County, Kansas, District Attorney Mark Dupree.

Citing problems with unequal sentencing, Kristiane Bryant aims to unseat the Wyandotte County district attorney. She said his lack of experience, an increase in plea deals, and a decrease in prosecutions of violent crime were reasons a change is needed.

Segment 2, beginning at 25:51: Hickman Mills welcomes a new superintendent in a time of uncertainty.

Balancing the needs of the south Kansas City community and the safety of students is no easy task, especially while budgets are shrinking and enrollment numbers are dropping. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Missouri, and schools are tasked with preparing to open in just five weeks.

Segment 3, beginning at 43:35: A new album from Kansas City artists showcases a variety of sounds.

Nineteen songs created during quarantine, and compiled on a new album, "Kansas City Syzygy," provide a snapshot of the social and cultural anxieties of 2020. Proceeds from the album's sales will be donated to KC Tenants, an organization which advocates for affordable housing in Kansas City.

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.
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 and reporter at KCUR Studios, 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.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.