Lisa Rodriguez | KCUR

Lisa Rodriguez

Afternoon Newscaster, Reporter

Lisa was born in Santiago, Chile, and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, before moving to Dallas, Texas, for school. After college, she spent time living in Buenos Aires, Argentina before returning to Kansas City in 2011. Lisa started at KCUR as an intern in 2014 and has worked at the station in several capacities before landing the gig as afternoon newscaster. Lisa's afternoon newscasts earned her a Missouri Broadcasters Association Award and a Kansas City Press Club award in 2018. A fluent Spanish-speaker, she’s had the opportunity to report on the Latino community in Kansas City, as well as tell the stories of immigrants fighting to stay in the United States. A former server and bartender, you can find Lisa out and about in Kansas City's restaurant scene, where she occasionally moonlights as a singing server. She lives in the West Plaza area.

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. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Mike Kane has been talking about a new fire station in the western Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood of Piper since he was elected to the Board of Commisioners 14 years ago.

But it was his own near-death experience two Halloweens ago that made building the station his mission.

“That lit the fire under me to put the fire under the rest of the community,” Kane said.

Lucas for KC

On Thursday morning, a Lawrence judge dropped DUI charges against Kansas City Councilman Quinton Lucas due to “insufficient evidence.”

Lucas is running for mayor against councilwoman Jolie Justus.

In a statement, Lucas said he was proud that he “made  the responsible choice not to drive that night.”

Lucas was arrested early in the morning on October 19th on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City voters may be staring down another tax hike come November — this time to try to address the city's lack of affordable housing.

Last year, Kansas City officials established a $75 million trust fund with the aim of creating or preserving 5,000 affordable housing units but didn't specify how it would be funded. On Wednesday, they learned that the city can only come up with about $30 million — enough for just more than 2,900 units. That's according to estimates from the Department of Neighborhood and Housing Services. 

Missouri Auditor's Office

A judge ruled Monday that the audit of Clay County's government, which was requested by residents, can proceed.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The next mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, will be either Jolie Justus or Quinton Lucas.

Out of 11 candidates, those two garnered enough votes Tuesday to advance to the June 18 general election. The final unofficial totals had Justus with 11,926 votes and Lucas with 9,820. Mayor Sly James is term-limited and cannot run again.

Missouri State Historical Society

Kansas City, Missouri, is the only major city in the country that does not control its own police department. Regaining that control from the state may be a big issue for Kansas City’s next mayor — if they decide it’s worth the effort.

The city lost control of its police department because of rampant corruption. In 1932, boss Tom Pendergast’s political machine challenged Missouri law to regain local control of the police department. It only lasted seven years.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

The first pieces of Terminal A came down Monday as officials broke ground on a new, $1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International airport.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James delivered the first few blows to the old building before a crowd of hundreds.

He told the group that in 2023, when the new terminal is set to open, visitors will be greeted by a new Kansas City — one drastically different from when he entered office eight years ago.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council on Thursday passed a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year that adds more police and funds to fix the city’s roads.

The entire city budget is about $1.7 billion.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Updated, 2:53 p.m. Thursday: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday, following flooding along the Missouri River.

Thursday morning the river breached a levee near Winthrop, Missouri, across from Atchison, Kansas. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

When Erin and Alex Olson moved to the Northland from midtown Kansas City a few years ago, their friends had some strong reactions. Many of them had never spent time north of the Missouri River. 

“It’s like the great unknown to a lot of people," Alex Olson says.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Say your final goodbye to the first horseshoe-shaped terminal at Kansas City International Airport. More than a year after Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approved construction of a single terminal at KCI, a groundbreaking has finally been scheduled.

A “groundbreaking celebration” for the $1.5 billion project is set for March 25, at 2 p.m. at Terminal A.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

The Kansas City Council on Thursday took a crucial step toward building a new terminal at Kansas City International airport.

By a vote of 11 to 1, the council approved a project agreement with developer Edgemoor, setting the stage for design and construction to begin in earnest. Edgemoor managing director Geoff Striker said he expects demolition of Terminal A to begin within four or five weeks.

“Clearly the council said, ‘We recognize how important this is to Kansas city,” and they put citizens first and moving forward with the project, so it’s a great day,” Stricker said.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Officials got some long-awaited airport news today — the Federal Aviation Administration has signed off on the environmental assessment, a crucial step before construction of a new terminal can begin.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The Kansas City Council on Thursday fast-tracked a proposal to enact height restrictions on the Country Club Plaza.

The new rules, approved unanimously by the council, would limit building heights to 45 feet in certain parts of the Plaza as part of the “bowl” plan that designates shorter buildings in the center of the entertainment district and taller ones on the edges. Before, such restrictions were only recommended.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The proposed Kansas City budget throws a lot more money at fixing up the city's roads. 

The 2019-20 budget, totaling more than $1.7 billion, was presented Thursday to the city council.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

City Manager Troy Schulte says that is a new consideration.

“Given that we're being besieged with pothole requests, that’s a direct result of that,” Schulte said.

The budget won’t be adopted until March – so that extra cash won’t help fix current potholes.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

The cozy dining room at the corner of 36th and Broadway was buzzing on Friday night — servers darted from kitchen to table and a pink-haired bartender attended to a full bar.

The scene was a welcome change for the owners of Krokstrum Klubb & Market, who earlier in the day posted on Facebook that they were on the verge of closing for good.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Mayor Sly James celebrated a milestone Thursday in the journey to a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

After months of back and forth, the airlines that fly out of KCI — and will ultimately pay for the construction — have coalesced around a $1.5 billion price for the terminal.

“We are at a point now where we have never been before,” James said.

The city has been waiting for the airlines to agree to a price before they can approve a development agreement. Until then, no significant design or construction work can begin.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City used to be considered an affordable place to live.

Now that some downtown rents are reaching $1,500 a month for a single unit, that’s no longer true, and city leaders are wrangling with how to change that.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The airlines that fly out of Kansas City International Airport reached a deal Wednesday on the price of the new, single terminal estimated to open in early 2023.  

Adam_Procter400 / Flickr - CC

The University of Missouri's football, baseball, and softball teams will be banned from the 2019 postseason as part of sanctions handed down by the NCAA on Thursday.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

There were visual aids and talk of a site visit on Thursday, but still no indication when the city can break ground on the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Instead, city councilmembers on the airport committee saw a few new images of concession and retail areas and an idea for how to incorporate some elements of the old terminals into the new one.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

Updated on February 1, 2019: Eleven candidates, including six current city council members, are in the race to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019. 

James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends this year.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Members of the Kansas City council hoped that the New Year would bring good news about the progress of the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

As it turned out, things are very much the same as when they left in December.

The airlines serving the airport still haven’t signed on to the final price of the terminal, nor have they agreed how to split fairly the $20 million annual cost of a shared baggage claim system.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. Thursday to reflect City Council actions.

The old Westport High School is a step closer to a new life as apartments, retail and maybe the future home of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s music and dance conservatory.  

Airbnb

Airbnb hosts brought in more than $48 million in 2018, a 67% increase over the previous year. The company notes rural areas had particularly strong growth.

Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said hosts welcomed 480,000 guests and earned an average of $5,500 a year. 

While the company grew in large cities, Breit said the strongest growth was in smaller towns.

He pointed to places like Barry County in southwest Missouri, which saw more than 2,000 Airbnb guests last year. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Depending on where you live in Missouri, the amount of sales tax you pay can vary widely.

Those discrepancies exist within Kansas City, where you could pay anywhere from 8.6 percent to 11.6 percent sales tax based on where you are.

St. Louis-area Senator Andrew Koenig wants to limit the total amount local governments can collect.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Updated 7 p.m. Dec. 20 to reflect the city council’s vote — The full Kansas City Council approved four proposals Thursday to address the lack of affordable housing in the city.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Kansas City officials got another look on Thursday at what a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport might look like, although the design is still in the early phase. 

Although the two-story fountain featured in the original conceptual design is still absent, the architect from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) assured city councilmembers that they’re working on one, possibly in the retail area.

The first thing that Kansas City residents will see approaching the airport is… the parking garage.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

People who have been convicted of certain felonies will soon have a chance to get a job serving alcohol in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Council approved changes to the liquor card program on Thursday, just a week after voting the proposal down.

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