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Death to the Bradford pear

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Bradford pear trees — an invasive species that chokes out native plants — are blooming all across Kansas and Missouri right now, so it’s the perfect time for biologists to track them down and kill them. Plus, why a Missouri prison is training incarcerated men in computer programming.

Invasive plants such as Bradford pear trees, which you might recognize from the white flowers blooming this time of year, are spreading like weeds across Kansas and Missouri. And they're wiping out food for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Kansas News Service reporters Celia Llopis-Jepsen and Blaise Mesa explain what's being done to solve the problem.

Almost half of all people released from prison in Missouri return within five years. But research shows prison education can help break this cycle. As St. Louis Public Radio’s Shahla Farzan reports, one nonprofit is betting on this approach by training the next generation of computer programmers while they’re incarcerated at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love with Trevor Grandin and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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