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Up To Date

Back To School | How Images Shape Us | Kansas City Oddities

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Independence School District
Independence, Missouri, has had in-person classes for three weeks now, without any major problems, the district's superintendent said.

A check-in with the superintendent of one of the first local districts to have students back in classrooms, how powerful images shape important moments in society, and a selection of weird and wonderful things in "Secret Kansas City."

Segment 1, beginning at 4:09: How back-to-school is going in Independence, Missouri.

Independence was one of the first local school districts to have kids fully back in the classroom. Three weeks in, all seems to be going according to plan. Middle- and high-school students are using a hybrid model. Elementary students are going to school in-person five days a week.

Segment 2, beginning at 26:06: How images shape our memories of important events.

It's been 19 years since planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City, more than three months since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and about six months since the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the Kansas City area. For many people, it's images from these events that will stick with us, not the facts.

  • Roxane Cohen Silver, professor of psychological science, medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine
  • Carlos Moreno, visual and multimedia journalist at KCUR

Segment 3, beginning at 44:03: A new book delves into 83 weird places and stories in Kansas City.

Did you know that Kansas City is home to the world’s longest snake living in captivity? Or that Bonnie and Clyde had one of their most famous battles here? A new book highlights these and other interesting tales from the city we call home.

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
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.
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 or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.