Up To Date | KCUR

Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up To Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and culture — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.

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Coming up the week of November 18, 2019:

  • Monday: The State of Black Kansas City / KU's Million-Dollar Ticket Scandal
  • Tuesday: Special Programming: Impeaching Hearings
  • Wednesday: Special Programming: Impeaching Hearings
  • Thursday: Special Programming: Impeaching Hearings
  • Friday: Independent, Foreign and Documentary Film Critics

Segment 1: Former U.S. ambassador thinks "the diplomatic corps is having a very good moment."

Allan Katz was appointed as the ambassador to Portugal and held the post from 2010 to 2013.  When it comes to events surrounding Ukraine Katz said, "I think the biggest problem here was is that these were acts that were contrary to the policy of the United States government." The president's conduct toward Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Katz feels, has made the foreign service less attractive to potential diplomats. 

Segment 1: 2019 report shows black Kansas Citians are still separate and unequal.

By comparing things like poverty and homeownership rates by race, a report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City found black people are only 73% as equal as whites in Kansas City. The report is released every few years, and is used to educate community members and elected oficials about progress in economics, education and social justice. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Black residents of Kansas City are still "separate and unequal," according to the latest report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

The 2019 State of Black Kansas City, from the Urban League in collaboration with local law, policy, health and education experts, measures the racial gap in areas such as economics, criminal justice and education. Based on statistical analyses of factors such as the median net worth for black versus white households and the rate of homeownership, the report found the equality index for black Kansas Citians is only 73% of their white counterparts.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's Municipal Court has a perception problem. Courts are not generally a place where good things happen to people, and few would go by choice. 

"Municipal court is where most people are going to encounter the judicial system," said court spokesperson Benita Jones. "Almost everyone will get a traffic ticket and some people have other minor brushes with the law."

Segment 1: Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court is working to improve the judicial experience.

Kansas City's Municipal Court is participating in a pilot project to improve trust between courts and the communities they serve. Through dialogue sessions, it hopes to tackle problems like its high failure-to-appear rate. Because citizens often face confusion and intimidation within the judicial system, personnel "want to demystify the courts," Benita Jones, the court's public information officer  said. 

Segment 1: Chief Smith speaks to 'disheartening' amount of violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas

Nov 11, 2019

With more than 100 days in office, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews his progress and future challenges.

Policing gets a lot of attention, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says addressing violent crime requires a holistic approach. To help find solutions and opportunities for the region's youths, Lucas says he's working closely with many local school districts. On the subject of tax incentives for property developers, the mayor who campaigned on reducing them says he's not "torpedoing every project," but they can't all be on the backs of taxpayers.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The massacre at Columbine High School in April 1999 wasn't the first mass shooting in a U.S. school. But at the time, the 13 deaths and more than 20 injuries were the worst in history. 

Since then, the country's 11 most deadly school shootings have claimed more than 125 lives. With no signs of slowing down, there's an unsettling fear in the mind of many: Which school will be the next to mourn victims of a campus shooting? And that poses another question: How can schools better train and protect students? 

Segment 1: Two area schools discuss their approach to preventing on-campus shootings, and protecting students

Students across the country live in fear that the next mass shooting might happen on their campus. Today, we hear how two school jurisdictions think about the safety and security of their students, and what steps they can and can't take to keep the next tragedy from happening on their watch.

Segment 1: Congressman for Missouri's 5th district shares his stance on the current  impeachment inquiry.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver said constituents in Missouri's 5th District have mixed feelings on impeaching the president. Cleaver has been cautious in his calls for impeachment, but is now certain a crime was committed. Learn why he said, "It's not so much a political crime as it is a civil crime." 

Segment 1: The former U.S. Senator from Missouri says, "traditional qualifications for president are on life support."

Well, from what we understand, another World Series is set to start next week. However, fans of the Kansas City Royals are looking ahead…a little further than that. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in this October edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

Oh, somewhere in this favored land…the playoffs are still going on. But for baseball fans in Kansas City, the calendar has already turned to that mythical time of the year when anything is possible. Not the postseason. Not the preseason. The offseason.

Segment 1: The Unified Government's chief executive discusses violent crime, economic development and local elections.

Segment 1: The new structures and businesses making news in Downtown Kansas City.

Some of the more noteworthy announcements in recent downtown development projects include the United States Department of Agriculture relocation and Waddell & Reed's move from Overland Park. We learn about these and other projects, and discuss the use of property tax abatements to attract new growth.

Segment 1: One professor's move from New York City to rural North Carolina taught him lessons in bridging America's partisan divide.

Segment 1: Missouri's new schools performance report is confusing parents and administrators alike.

Two years of identical tests should have provided educators an apples-to-apples comparison, but Missouri's new scoring system is more of an "apples to rainbows" look at progress. The state's move away from easy-to-read percentile scoring was intended to provide more in-depth information, but the result has been hard-to-interpret colorful graphs. Education reporter Elle Moxley translated this latest format and what it means for Kansas City area schools.

Segment 1: The annual influenza vaccination is still considered the best way to protect against the virus and its complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend that everyone six months and older get a yearly flu shot, yet the CDC estimates only about 45% of American adults got it during the prior flu season. Two public health professionals address the misconceptions and myths that keep people from getting vaccinated.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's most prominent renters rights group was set to gather Wednesday on the south steps of City Hall to rally support for a newly drafted tenant bill of rights package.

The measure would reinforce and expand protections for low-income renters in Kansas City, Missouri, and would create a tenant advocate's office with authority to investigate suspect property owners and revoke landlord permits.

Segment 1: KC Tenants will introduce a set of guidelines and protections for tenant-landlord disputes.

Since February, a Kansas City tenants group has been pushing for safe, fair, affordable housing for all. Their latest efforts have been drafting and garnering support for a tenant bill of rights, which they will present to City Council on Thursday.

Segment 1: One oncologist says cancer research is not progressing, and she offers new ideas.

Dr. Azra Raza says the public believes cancer research and treatments are advancing, but that's not the case. The death rate from the most common cancers is no lower now than it was 5o years ago. She suggests an alternative to radition and chemotherapy and says more interdisciplinary collaboration could advance the cause.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As nonbinary people gain more recognition, with Merriam-Webster adding "they/them" pronouns to its dictionary and celebrities like Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness coming out as nonbinary, members of Kansas City's nonbinary community hope to educate more people about their lives.

Segment 1: Republicans in Missouri say gun control is not the answer to gun violence.

Avery Gott / KCUR 89.3

Voters throughout Kansas City, Missouri, are being asked to decide whether to reverse a city council decision from earlier this year and change the name of what is now Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard back to Paseo Boulevard.

Segment 1: Voters will next month determine the fate of the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard name.

Residents displeased with the process of renaming The Paseo petitioned to restore its original name, leaving a heated debate to be settled by voters on November 5. The Rev. Vernon Howard Jr., an advocate for renaming the boulevard after the civil rights leader, says "this issue is also about race," but the group that collected more than 2,000 signatures says they reflect people of all backgrounds who want their voices heard.

Segment 1: Why and when high school athletes should be getting physicals

Instead of every year, high school athletes in Missouri are now required to get physical exams every other. It's a rule change that has some pediatricians worried, but may come as a relief for parents and student-athletes who are ultimately on the hook for paying for the exam.

Segment 1: Gender-nonconforming people share their experience living as nonbinary.

The pronouns "they" and "them" have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to describe nonbinary individuals, but the transition to gender-neutral terms can be difficult for some to figure out. "It is hard," admits Shallyn Ward, who is nonbinary, "but it's not impossible." Today, a conversation about understanding the changing language etiquette, and what it's like living as nonbinary.

Seg. 1: Medical Debt Collection | Seg. 2: Health Insurance Finance

Oct 21, 2019

Segment 1: Even though debtors prisons were outlawed in 1983, the threat of jail is being used to pursue unpaid medical bills.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Saxophonist Bobby Watson has loved teaching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City conservatory, but he is ready to concentrate on the touring and recording that have made him an international jazz legend.

“It’s been a great 20-year chapter,” Watson says of his two decades as the first endowed jazz studies professor at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. “I think life is divided like chapters, so I’m ready to fly again.”

Maria Carter / KCUR 89.3

Sandy Hook Elementary. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Las Vegas Strip. Tree of Life Synagogue. They’re all shorthand for mass casualty events that seem to get more frequent as time passes.

They also require hospitals to spring into action, and Kansas City area doctors and nurses are taking note. While it’s impossible to foresee every scenario, local doctors and hospitals are preparing for the unthinkable­ ­— whether it’s a mass shooting, hazardous chemical release or weather disaster such as a tornado.

Segment 1: Kansas voters will see a census-changing initiative on the November ballot.

The 2020 census is coming up, and Kansas is looking to change where some people are counted. For the past three decades, the state called individual college students and military members who don't live at their permanent address, and asking if they'd like to be counted at their permanent address or their temporary one. We learned why this census calculation method began, and why many in the state now want it to change. 

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