News | KCUR

News

AP Photo/CHarlie Riedel

Your soundtrack for getting ready for Super Bowl LIV could start with tight end Travis Kelce's pick, "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)" by the Beastie Boys, which he sang (or, rather, screamed) at fans after Kansas City's win in the AFC Championship game.

Or the stadium rock anthem and Queen classic, "We Are The Champions."

But it might be a little early for that...

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Commuters interested in conspiracy theories about George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the Republican National Committee have a new option, courtesy of the Russian government.

Early this month, a radio station based in Liberty, Missouri, signed a three-year deal to broadcast Radio Sputnik across Kansas City.

The English-language programming airs for three hours each morning and again in the evening on three frequencies controlled by KCXL: 1140 AM, 102.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas —Vegetarian meat alternatives are growing in popularity, with “Chick’n Strips” and “Porkless Bites” filling freezer cases in some Kansas grocery stores.

But following a handful of states, a bill in the Kansas Statehouse would clamp down on how meatless-meat products are labeled. Backed by the Kansas Livestock Association, the bill would require more specific labeling for meat substitutes, with words such as “imitation” included in front of phrases like “meatballs.”

Courtesy of the Hartsfield family

Rev. Wallace S. Hartsfield Sr., a spiritual and civil rights leader in Kansas City for more than 40 years, died Thursday. He was 90.

Hartsfield served as senior pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, one of Kansas City’s largest black churches, from 1962 to 1968 and again from 1972 until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2007.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Kansas City metro area, and a couple of cities just outside of it, will soon have 45 medical marijuana dispensaries. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services issued dispensary licenses Thursday, marking a major milepost since voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2018 that legalized medical marijuana. 

Brynn Anderson / AP

The Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in fifty years. That’s prompting many fans to consider a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Miami to see their team play in person at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2.

Thinking of going to Miami for the big game? Here are some numbers you may want to consider.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

What if you accidentally cut off a piece of your finger, and two weeks later that piece grew into your clone? Tiny creatures with that ability are swimming in tanks at Kansas City's Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and they've inspired a new collaboration between scientists and artists.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City voters will decide in April whether to increase the city sales tax to help maintain buildings and buy new vehicles for the fire department.

The City Council voted 10-2 on Thursday to place the issue on the ballot in April. Councilmembers Melissa Robinson and Eric Bunch voted against the measure. Mayor Quinton Lucas was absent.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas schools had 800 vacant positions last year, and the lack of certified teachers has some districts trying to get people who want to change careers into the classroom.

Breanna Lovett got her bachelor’s degree in forensic biology, but she didn’t love working overnight in a lab. So when she learned the Kansas City, Kansas, Public, Schools had a fellowship program that would let her teach while she earned a master’s degree, she decided to apply.

After six weeks of training, she was in her own classroom at Washington High School.

KCUR 89.3

Bill Shapiro, a Kansas City tax attorney by day who spent more than four decades hosting a Saturday-night radio program devoted to rock-and-roll, died on Tuesday. He was 82.

"The name of the program is Cyprus Avenue, and I’m Bill Shapiro," he said each week in a deep, gravelly voice over the show's opening music, which was not Van Morrison's "Cyprus Avenue" but rather Matthew Fisher's "Interlude."

Daniel Caudill / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas ⁠— Lawmakers are fast-tracking a push to amend the state constitution and undo a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said women have the right to abortion.

The goal, with voters’ approval in August, is to add a line to the state bill of rights saying abortion isn’t constitutionally protected ⁠— and that legislators can regulate abortions, including when a pregnancy results from rape or incest or threatens a woman’s life.

The proposal already is awaiting floor votes in both chambers, just over a week after the 2020 session began. 

Jaclyn Driscoll / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers are at odds on how to solve the spike in gun violence and gun deaths in urban areas across the state, discussing it this week in the wake of one of Kansas City’s worst shootings in recent memory. 

Daniel Caudill / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — Medicaid expansion is a done deal, right?

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and Jim Denning, the second most powerful Republican in the Kansas Senate, have compromised on a plan. Together, they bring a majority of lawmakers with them. So, game over.

Sure, the deal still needs to clear the Legislature and get the blessing of federal regulators. But the hard part — breaking an almost decade-long stalemate on the issue — looks done.

Associated Press

Not since Len Dawson guided the Kansas City Chiefs to the Super Bowl IV title has the team had such an elite quarterback at the centerpiece of the offense and the team. 

But even Patrick Mahomes, who’s been the starting QB since 2018, knows he’s not the sum of all the parts on offense and defense. Here are five guys not named Mahomes who also bring something special to the Chiefs:

Kansas News Service file photo

TOPEKA, Kansas — The same kids who end up in trouble with the law often come from families in disarray.

Those families, in turn, regularly turn to the state for food assistance, foster care or mental health care.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

The posthumous resurgence of interest in Kansas City artist Arthur Kraft, who died in 1977, continues to gain momentum.

Eric Stonestreet / Twitter

Kansas City Chiefs fans weren't the only ones showering their team with love on Sunday after the team beat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 to win the AFC Championship game. 

Turns out, making your first Super Bowl in a half-century makes you pretty popular. 

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and rocker Melissa Etheridge chimed in with congratulatory takes on Sunday. Even Missouri-native Brad Pitt got in on the action. 

File photo by Lisa Dunn / Guns and America/WAMU

KCUR 89.3 will adjust afternoon newscast and Up to Date schedules to coincide with NPR’s live coverage of the U.S. Senate impeachment trial.

Watch the floor action live.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Updated at 5 p.m. Monday

Two people died and 15 were injured in a shooting late Sunday outside of a nightclub near U.S. 40 and Noland Road in Kansas City.

Ed Zurga / AP

For the first time in half a century, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl. 

The Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday to win the AFC Championship, a year after falling just short in a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New England Patriots.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Mark Powell of Raymore, Missouri, was raised a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs by his father, who was stationed at the Fort Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma. That was even before his junior high school classmate in Lawton, Will Shields, went off to play college football at Nebraska and later had a 14-year Pro Football Hall of Fame career with the Chiefs.

Being accustomed to the military life, Powell found it easy to get up before dawn Sunday and says he arrived at the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot for the AFC Championship game at 4:45 a.m. 

Paul Andrews / KCUR 89.3

Caitlin Corcoran has been a fixture in Kansas City's hospitality industry for about 20 years. She started as a barista on the Plaza as a 15-year-old and went on to tend bar, serve, manage and finally own a restaurant, Ça Va in Westport.

Now she's taking a break — possibly a long or permanent break — from this city's restaurant scene.

For a good chunk of her career, she figured, as many women do, that a hostile work environment came with the territory.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Lots of people in Kansas City are ramping up for the AFC Championship game on Sunday. If the Chiefs win, they’ll play in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Some area business are betting on a win, one they hope will trigger a shopping frenzy.

It’s easy to spot team logos around town. Season ticket-holder Greg O’Neal has about a dozen of them on his SUV alone.

“I’ve got six Chiefs flags, I got three Chiefs arrows, Chief’s name and another helmet,” chuckles O’Neal, who’s also wearing a Chiefs cap. “You can see me coming a mile away.”

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, is internationally recognized as one of the cradles of  jazz and nationally known for its barbecue and its sports teams. 

But late last year, it earned national headlines as the city that waited until 2019 to name a street after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., only to have voters reverse that decision ten months later.

Colin Braley / AP

David Glass, the former owner of the Kansas City Royals who sold the club late last year, has died.

The team announced his death Friday, saying he "passed away last week." Glass was 84 years old.

Glass bought the Royals in 2000. Before that, he had served as the team's chairman of the board after the death in 1993 of the team's founder, Ewing Kauffman.

Jenna and Martin / Facebook

Jenna Rae and Martin Farrell both grew up in cities. But when the two got serious about playing music together as the folk duo Jenna & Martin, they ended up living the life they were singing about.

Rae is from Merriam, Kansas, and Farrell is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. The two met four years ago on the sprawling campgrounds of the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas. They soon started performing together, and onstage, they’re young and carefree with a chemistry that’s easy to see and hear.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

While we’re glued to the news gushing daily out of Washington — impeachment, immigration, health care — the truth is we should be paying just as close attention to what local governments are up to.

Google Maps

This week's closure of Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, Missouri, caps a year of worse financial troubles than were previously known.

Over the last year, the hospital has been sued by vendors for nonpayment, by the Missouri Division of Employment Security for failing to pay into the state’s unemployment insurance program and, most recently, by employees for failing to pay their health insurance premiums.

“There’s considerably more to this story than what’s currently in the public domain,” said an attorney for the employees, North Kansas City lawyer Blake Green.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s budget wish list is long: boosting spending on higher education, public safety and human services. She'd aim to cut some taxes, but look to add new ones for streaming video and music services.

Not surprisingly, the $7.8 billion plan is getting a mixed response from the Republicans who control the Legislature.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Chiefs playing Sunday in the AFC Championship game, it is easy to forget there is another huge sporting event looming on the horizon.

Will Kansas City host some matches in the 2026 World Cup? Efforts to start answering that question are picking up steam.

Last Friday, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Kansas City Sports Commission got a letter from U.S. Soccer saying the 2026 site selection process will resume next month.

Pages