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Treatment over punishment in Johnson County

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Johnson County courts are expanding a program that focuses on treating individuals with mental illness or drug issues, instead of punishing them. Plus: Scientists are grappling with how to better define and predict extreme weather events causing havoc across the Midwest.

Many people end up in the justice system because of mental health issues, drugs or PTSD from serving in combat. But jails and prisons aren’t usually well-equipped to treat those underlying issues. As KCUR’s Noah Taborda reports, that’s why some Kansas City-area jurisdictions are setting up specialty courts.

People in the Midwest and High Plains are used to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. But there’s a weather phenomenon that’s becoming a more common part of their vocabulary: derechos.

A year ago, a derecho swept across the central U.S. including Kansas and Missouri, bringing widespread damaging winds, tornados and killing at least five people. As Harvest Public Media's Katie Peikes reports, scientists are grappling with what the future of derechos could look like.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios 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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