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KCMO City Hall Turns 75, What Triggers Murder-Suicides, Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission

Julie Denesha

City Hall At 75
City Hallin downtown Kansas City, Missouri, turns 75 this year. It’s one of several city landmarks, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, designed by the architecture firm, Wight and Wight.  On a recent windy afternoon, Dr. Bill Worley stood on the front steps of City Hall. Worley explained that the building was one of the projects created during a Depression-era public works program called The Ten-Year Plan- the brainchild of political boss Tom Pendergast, City Manager Henry McElroy, and then-Judge Harry Truman. The idea: to create jobs during the Depression.

A Look At What Triggers Murder-Suicides
Murder suicide is rare, but on the rise across the country. Missouri is in the top ten for women killed by intimate partners, and murder-suicide has increased in Kansas.  When murder-suicide occurs, it leaves loved ones and friends with many unanswered questions. Amid the shock, anger and grief, people ask themselves, “Why?”  They wonder, “What did we miss?” Or, “What could we have done?”  For answers, we turned to Overland Park Forensic Psychologist Dan Claiborn.

KC Currents Suburban School Series: Shawnee Mission School District
In recent years, the very conservative Kansas legislature has taken a hard line strategy to cut taxes and limit spending. This frugality and lower state revenue has resulted in less funding for schools. In the past 4 years, the Shawnee Mission District has seen budget reductions of 25 million dollars. The district has responded by closing 6 schools since 2007, and laying off 400 staff members since 2009. But things aren’t about to get easier anytime soon.

Small Natural Food Store In The Ozarks Weathers Recession Gracefully
On East Main Street in West Plains, a stone’s throw away from the quaint town square, Meadowbrook Natural Foods sits sandwiched between an insurance agency and a title company. When you step inside, the aroma of spices, herbs, and vitamins hits you. Owners say while they saw a dip in profits initially, overall it has been a steady stream of business since 2008.

Ron Simonian Takes Leap Of Faith With ‘The Soul Collector’
Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian had his first play produced in 1992 in a warehouse in the Crossroads District. When it moved to an Off-Broadway house in New York, Simonian assumed he had the world on a string. But as the world premiere of a new plays opens this weekend, he reflects on how his career hasn't always progressed in traditional ways.

Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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