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The parents of a Maryville, Missouri, teenager with autism have asked for a new trial after a jury declined to find the police officers who tased him liable for damages.

In a motion filed Friday, Ernest and Ella Kramer say the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence, “resulting in a miscarriage of justice.”

The motion states that the officers had no reasonable suspicion to stop then-18-year-old Christopher Kramer in the first place and that his detention was unconstitutional.

KSMU

In 2015, two members of the nonprofit organization Free the Nipple-Springfield Residents Promoting Equality went topless – although their nipples were covered – in Springfield’s town square to protest the city’s indecent exposure ordinance.

After the protest, the Springfield City Council enacted an even stricter ordinance, which Free the Nipple and the two members challenged in court.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

In the first of 12 forums before Election Day, Kansas City mayoral candidates Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas spent a mere 30 minutes covering a lot of ground: the city's economic incentive policy, violent crime and potholes. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR

Domestic violence in Kansas is on the rise.

According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, homicides related to domestic violence doubled in Kansas in 2017 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). Johnson County saw a 20-year high in cases that had deadly outcomes in 2017, yet the largest county in the state has just one domestic violence shelter.

“In 2018 we turned away 2,500 people,” says Desiree Long, director of grants, quality assurance and housing at Safehome. That's a 29% increase from 2017.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Parents in the Shawnee Mission School District say students are spending too much time on their iPads, and they don’t think administrators are taking their concerns seriously.

“We asked for a comprehensive review,” said Gretchen Shanahan, one of the parents who's serving on the district's digital learning task force. “We asked for data, and the response we got from administrators was that would be a step backward when we need to move forward.”

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

Douglas rattles around a collection of glass jars in the storage closet of his Denver apartment. They’re filled with a small grain, like barley, and covered in a soft white fungus — a mushroom spawn. Soon, he’ll transplant it in large plastic bins filled nutrients like dried manure and coconut fiber.

Over the course of two weeks, mushrooms that naturally contain psilocybin, a psychoactive ingredient, will sprout.

City of Shawnee

Last week, ballots started arriving in Shawnee mailboxes, asking voters to decide on a $38 million bond issue to build a new community center with a pool and fitness center in the city's growing western end.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Tony Ross lives in the small town of Peculiar, Missouri, now, but he was shopping at Leon’s Thriftway on East 39th Street days before the grocery business shut its doors for good.

Ross was shopping for his mother who lives in a nearby senior living facility.

“My mom is devastated. We all devastated,” Ross said. “There’s just a lot of history about this store."

After 51 years in business, Leon’s Thriftway closed over the weekend.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

In the waning days of the 2019 session, the conservative Republicans controlling the Kansas Legislature made one thing clear to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and her allies: They were ready for a fight against Medicaid expansion.  

The issue commanded the four-month session, which ended in the wee hours Sunday. The session was the first with the new Democratic governor in office, which gave people who wanted to expand health coverage for thousands of low-income Kansans the energy to push hard in the final days. Their efforts ultimately failed.
 


Macjohn4 / Public Domain

When George Kessler drafted plans in 1893 for a parks and boulevard system in Kansas City, he created a model for cities throughout the world. From Mexico City to Denver and Indianapolis, Kessler had a hand in hundreds of projects.

Anna Selle

Allison Gliesman studied singing in high school and a little in college and knew the technical ins and outs. It took some distance from those lessons and a little experimenting for Gliesman's voice to take shape.

Burns and McDonnell

A $30 million investment at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, will mean more classroom space and state-of-the-art technology for students.

“What we’re doing now is creating the first-rate education that our students are getting because we’ve always been in hand me downs,” Donnelly College President Monsignor Stuart Swetland said.

KC PrideFest

It’s time to lose that jacket and explore some of the cool outdoor activities that May has to offer.

The alfresco action ranges from art browsing to Maypole fun to a “Star Wars” lightsaber battle royal – and that’s only this weekend.

If May were any cooler, you might have to find that jacket!

2019 Brookside Art Annual

After decades of hearing the familiar theme of Morning Edition, listeners will awaken to a new sound beginning Monday, May 6. But don’t adjust your radio or smart speaker – it’s the same NPR you know and love, just with a fresh beat.

After forty years Morning Edition is getting a music theme “facelift” of sorts – with a composition that pays homage to BJ Leiderman’s original creation, and at the same time instills a sense of urgency in a time when breaking news is occurring with greater frequently.

Huascar Medina

Sometimes Kansas' new poet laureate feels isolated and in transition. Huascar Medina's mother is Panamanian and his father is Puerto Rican, but Medina was born at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Texas, and is an American.

"I'm no longer from Puerto Rico or Panama, but sometimes I don't feel I'm American enough either, you know? My Spanish isn't the best, and sometimes I struggle with my English, so I live in the in between," says Medina, who has lived in Topeka for almost two decades.

Joanne Atkins-Ingram

Garden City Community College has broken its silence and released a summary of an internal investigation into the death of a New Jersey football player after a practice in August 2018.

Braeden Bradforth died of exertional heat stroke, according to an autopsy, two days after arriving in Garden City from his home in Neptune, New Jersey. Former GCCC head coach Jeff Sims initially said the 19-year-old died from a blood clot.

Eric Borden

A construction worker from Drexel, Missouri, is using poetry to positively affect the perception of blue-collar trades.

Eric Borden's poem "Ditch Diggers" is up front about the negative perception he’s battling:

You say the world needs ditch diggers,
that statement's true enough.
But if you're saying it because you think you're better than us,
then with you've I've got a grudge.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Deniese Fahnbulleh was already taking honors classes at Winnetonka High School when she decided to challenge herself with three Advanced Placement courses.

“It was the next step,” said Fahnbulleh, a junior who participates in cheer, golf and student council. “My friend and I enrolled together because we thought it would be a great opportunity to get the feeling of college classes.”

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Supporters of expanding Medicaid in Kansas proved Wednesday they’ve got the votes in the Legislature — if they can get a vote.

But they lacked enough lawmakers on their side to bypass Republican leadership and force that vote.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Nina Littrell, a senior in the fiber department at the Kansas City Art Institute, says she wants to start a conversation about the fashion industry and its role in the growing environmental crisis.

In her work, Littrell combines traditional quilting and patchwork design to give discarded textiles a new life in the form of colorful jackets.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

A proposal for up to 658 miles of trails and lanes plus cycling programs at a cost of around $400 million looks like a Kansas City cyclist’s dream.

Its creators, however, insist it’s just a guidepost.

Maiestatis Pontificiae Dum in Capella Xisti Sacra Peraguntur Accurata Delineatio. Museum no. E. 2801-1991 / Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In search of gold, the first Spanish conquistadors arrived in Kansas in 1541. Though they were disappointed, the age of discovery is still alive and well for a Kansas State University scholar named Patrick Dittamo, who has recovered a treasure of the Renaissance.

It’s a piece of music that Kansas City audiences will be the first to hear in nearly 500 years, and the first to hear outside the Sistine Chapel.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City Democrat DaRon McGee resigned from his seat in the Missouri House on Monday night following allegations that he sought an unwanted relationship with an employee in his office for at least 10 months.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Latino community in Belton, Missouri, once a military and farming community, is growing.

Today, almost 10 percent of Belton’s 24,000 residents are Latino, with that number rising to about 18 percent in the Belton School District. And they have mixed reports about how included they feel in the community. Some believe non-Latinos are uncomfortable with demographic changes.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

When Viyolla Matok came out of her C-section at Research Hospital back in January, she heard something no new parent wants to hear. 

"They told me I couldn't take her home," Matok said.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Monday to advance a joint resolution that would have voters decide whether to make changes to the redistricting process outlined by Amendment 1, otherwise known as Clean Missouri. Voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment last November.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB

Standing in his office adjacent to the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct, Roy Moore is explaining how gentrification has escalated some instances of gang violence in the neighborhood.

“We kinda had territories and codes, so I’m not going to go over there unless it’s time to do something,” explained Moore. “Now, it might happen anywhere. Twelve in the morning, nine in the morning going to get my blunt paper, I need my pistol with me now because I don’t know who I’m going to run into.”

Hufft

The Kansas City Art Institute kicked off construction on Friday of a new liberal arts building, part of a $30 million campus building program that’s creating a new future for the 134 year-old school.

“This is a pivotal moment in our college’s history,” said Tony Jones, the Nerman Family President of KCAI. “This building will be transformative for our programs.

“It will be the heartbeat of the campus because everyone will be working here.”

Hutchinson Community College

Without fanfare, Kansas junior colleges have reinstated a cap on how many out-of-state scholarships they can offer in football.

Removing the cap was denounced by high school coaches and athletic directors around the state when the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) voted unanimously in 2015 to allow football and basketball programs to have as many out-of-state scholarship athletes as they wanted.

Joe Robertson / Local Investment Commission

Having a criminal record can make it hard to find a job, and a place to live. Missouri allows some offenses to be erased from a person’s record, or expunged, years after an offender has finished serving his or her sentence, but it’s a tricky process.

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