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Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — Kansas schools will require two new vaccines come August, including one against a virus that’s hospitalized 13,000 people and killed 200 across the country since 2016.

Christina Elias / KCUR 89.3

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said the Kansas City-based Veterans Community Project is “deeply impressive” during a campaign visit Wednesday morning. The nonprofit offers a range of veteran services, including temporary housing assistance.

“I’m going to be sharing this story everywhere I go,” he said after touring the VCP Village, where homeless veterans can live temporarily in a “tiny house.”

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Thousands of kids in Missouri's foster care system are likely to benefit from a first-of-its-kind legal settlement under which state officials have agreed to strict limits on how and when kids can be given psychotropic drugs.

The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit charging that Missouri foster care officials failed to safeguard the conditions under which the powerful medications are dispensed. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey gave preliminary approval to the agreement on Monday. 

Woman poses in front of backdrop in KCUR studio
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Every woman who gives birth has the possibility of developing postpartum depression. That includes nearly one in seven mothers in Missouri, which ranks 11th in the nation for those who experience the condition, according to the the United Health Foundation.

Laura Robeson quit her job as a fourth-grade teacher to care for her son, who has cerebral palsy and other health problems. But as politicians considered cuts to various health care programs, she felt compelled to become an activist, working with others to speak out for families like hers.

That culminated at the State of the Union Address in February. Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids chose Robeson to attend as her guest, providing a real-world example of the role federal healthcare policies play in a citizen's life.

Courtesy of Wasiba Hamad

Monday evening, three years after the killing of Southwest high school senior Daizsa Bausby, a Jackson County jury found her father guilty of her murder. 

In March 2016, Daizsa, 18, was found dead in a South Kansas City motel room. Her body also had multiple scrapes to the forehead, neck, lips and nose, and was "improperly dressed" as though she someone else had put clothes on the body, according to the medical examiner. That medical examiner also performed a sexual assault forensic exam, or "rape kit."

Arts Fox1Fire/Flickr

Children are more likely to die of firearm-related injuries in states with looser gun laws, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.

Firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States.

Jackson County Detention Center

David Jungerman, an 81-year-old Raytown man accused of killing a Kansas City lawyer in broad daylight, says he should be released from jail while he waits for his trial because he “has never killed anyone” and is not a flight risk.

In a rambling, hand-printed motion, Jungerman also appears to incriminate himself, admitting that it was his voice on a digital recorder police recovered, saying “it’s a shame I don’t have a .17 from a distance we could take ‘em out.”

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Every Wednesday night, 20 or so pinball enthusiasts gather at The 403 Club in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, to play a weekly tournament. 

Nearly a dozen pinball machines line one wall with themes like Deadpool, Metallica and The Twilight Zone. The place buzzes and blinks with energy as players clatter away on the machines' buttons, frantically trying to keep their games alive.

Amid this jangling hubbub, Keri Wing stands out. She's the one the other players call "champ."

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James doesn’t officially hand over the keys to his office until the end of July, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying a victory lap of sorts Sunday afternoon.

Speaking at an event dubbed “Sly’s Farewell Cookout,” the outgoing mayor told supporters that Kansas City “used to be the city that always wanted to be like Denver or St. Louis, or someplace else.” 

“Those cities now want to be like us,” James said. “Take it to the bank.”

Public Domain

Vegetarians have their reasons for not eating meat. But "I am an optimist" doesn't have a regular spot on lists more typically focused on health and environmental benefits.

Optimism was, however, the Englishman Henry Clubb's rationale more than 100 years ago, when he enticed dozens of people to move to the radical territory of Kansas to start a vegetarian settlement in what is now Allen County.

It didn't go well.

Food Critics: The Best Patios In Kansas City In 2019

Jul 13, 2019
Tribe Street Kitchen / Facebook

Summer is the time to enjoy food and drinks outside on the patio for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

When it comes to eating outdoors, Kansas City area restaurants have a different atmosphere than traditional sidewalk cafes in Europe, says Jenny Vergara of Feast Magazine.

“We have much more of a patio party thing happening in Kansas City,” Vergara says. 

Kansas City area restaurants have their own atmospheres when it comes to patios. Some boast views of downtown, others have rooftop games and some are suitable for the kids. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

After her underwire bra set off the metal detector at the Jackson County Detention Center one morning, jail employee Charlotte Hardin removed it and sent it through the X-ray machine. Four weeks ago, she was put on leave after being told she wasn’t allowed to place undergarments in the X-ray machine.

The veteran employee of the jail has not been given a return date.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — They’re here in Kansas. CBD products with a bit of that oh-so-taboo THC in them. To vape, to put under your tongue.

Some retailers argue those products became legal on July 1 because of tweaks to state regulation of cannabis-related substances in a bill supporting the state’s fledgling industrial hemp program.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Anyone who has been to Kansas City's Country Club Plaza has likely seen the work of Arthur Kraft, who sculpted the trio of bronze penguins near the corner of Pennsylvania and Jefferson streets. Even though his name has largely been lost to history, his work is still all over town.

Some Kansas Citians who do remember Kraft's significance argue that he should be as well known as the famous hometown painter Thomas Hart Benton.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Beyoncé tickets. Pricey steak dinners. Royals games. 

Lobbyists used to be able to spend thousands in an effort to influence Missouri lawmakers. Voters approved a $5 dollar limit on gifts for lawmakers in November. A KCUR analysis of data released this month by the Missouri Ethics Commission shows there’s been a 94% decrease in spending from the 2019 to 2018 legislative session. 

In this year’s session, lobbyists spent less than $17,000 on lawmakers. That’s a significant drop from the about $300,000 spent in the 2018 session. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Across Missouri, hundreds of people have applied to grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana. On Thursday, the Kansas City Council decided how far the businesses can be from schools, churches and day cares.

Under the constitutional amendment Missouri voters approved in November, the buffer zone for cannabis cultivation farms, testing sites and dispensaries can be no greater than 1,000 feet.

“When you close down such a large part of the city with the distances, you have almost no landlords left to lease to. And the ones that want to, want to charge $30- to $40,000 nonrefundable,” said Bianca Sullivan, an attorney looking to get into the medical cannabis business.

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Two Johnson County chiropractors accused by the federal government of defrauding Medicare have settled the case for $350,000.

The payment ends a civil lawsuit alleging that Ryan Schell and Tyler Schell, who are brothers, billed Medicare for peripheral neuropathy treatments not covered by the program or for treatments they did not provide at all.

Mark Davis / KCUR 89.3

Little Caesars pizza is returning quietly to the Kansas City area less than a year after the market’s longtime franchisee closed his last store and declared, “We’re done.”

Previous franchise owner Alan Knox of Utah had uttered that two-word epitaph after operating Little Caesars stores for 30 years. He had bought 16 Kansas City area stores nine years ago and owned 21 at one point.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

When Porter Hall of Raymore, Missouri, was a year old, he broke out in hives after eating a spoonful of peanut butter. It led to a scary night in the emergency room and a diagnosis of peanut allergy.

But today, Porter, who’s now five, is giving peanuts another shot with the help of Kansas City doctors, who have been giving him tiny doses of peanuts over the course of months.

This oral immunotherapy treatment isn’t a cure, but doctors say these tiny exposures may help to reduce or prevent severe reactions – although some critics are warning families to consider the risks. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Many people figure vaping spares their health because it lets them inhale nicotine in aerosols instead of sucking in smoke from burning cigarettes.

New research from the University of Kansas casts doubt on that, raising the specter that vaping nicotine may cause some of the same respiratory problems that plague and even kill smokers today.

“Vaping is just considered not harmful, even though there are no data to support that statement,” researcher Matthias Salathe said. “There are more and more data to actually oppose that statement.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Crews are hard at work at Kansas City International Airport tearing down Terminal A and recycling its components to make way for a new, greener single terminal.

There have been no explosions, no big building collapse — and for good reason, says deputy director Justin Meyer.

Sam Zeff

In a move that caught the Jackson County Board of Equalization (BOE) off guard, one member proposed Monday that the entire reassessment should be tossed out.

“It’s essentially a do-over,” said Preston Smith who represents Blue Springs schools on the BOE.

Under Smith's plan any property whose market value increased by more than 200 percent would see a hike in valuation of 14 percent.

If the property jumped 100 percent to 200 percent, the valuation would increase 13 percent.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

(This story was updated at 2:15 p.m.)

LEAVENWORTH, Kansas — Republican former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced Monday that he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts.

Kobach beat then-Gov. Jeff Colyer in the primary election last year — helped partly by a last-minute endorsement from President Donald Trump — but ultimately lost the governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

In baseball circles, the St. Louis Cardinals organization is known for its so-called “The Cardinal Way,” a manual of sorts that players and managers adhere to in the quest for consistency. 

Since August 2018, Missouri state government has been teaching “The Missouri Way,” a leadership training program that’s already indoctrinated more than 1,000 employees from the 16 executive departments. Statewide-elected officials like the secretary of state, auditor and attorney general are not required to take the training, and neither is their staff. 

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

For many in the transgender community, use of their birth name to refer to them after they have transitioned is a no-no, a sign of disrespect.

But Merrique Jenson, a transgender woman working in the LGBTQ community, knows she is in a unique situation. She started her transition in October, but she is best known, both in Kansas City and nationally, as Randall Jenson.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Supporters from across the state gathered Sunday for events aimed at gathering signatures to halt Missouri’s law banning abortion after eight weeks of gestation. 

The law, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, is set to take effect on Aug. 28.

In Kansas City, the event at Sidekicks Saloon, which was sponsored by the ACLU-Missouri, drew dozens of supporters and organizers. Community organizer Al Cousineau said the goal was to gather 100,000 signatures statewide.

Daryl Howard turns 65 in October. He has a Glock .45-caliber handgun stored in his desk at home, but hopes never to use it.

“It’s not something that’s taken lightly,” Howard says on a weekday afternoon, in his second-floor Dallas apartment. “For me, there was no second option. It was something I felt was really necessary for me to be safe.”

Howard, who says he owns his gun for protection, is in good health. Getting a handgun license 15 years ago did not raise much of a fuss for his children, or son-in-law, Justin Allen.

Savannah Meyer

A 17-year-old Lee's Summit artist is among those in the Kansas City area who now have something in common with Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and Lena Dunham: a national medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The list of past winners indicates the caliber of work a student must produce to win, and the possibility of winners' future influence on high and pop culture.

courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

The new $1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport will be the largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history. And that construction budget translates to a lot of money for public art.

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