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.

Given the circumstances surrounding coronavirus and KCUR's role in keeping the community as updated as possible with credible and consistent information, Central Standard and Up To Date are combining resources to bring you daily updated coverage beginning each weekday morning at 9.

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Coming up the week of April 6, 2020:

  • Monday: Talking to Kids About COVID-19 / Ask an Expert / KC's Asian American Community
  • Tuesday: Coronavirus Myths & Facts / Leadership in Crisis / Pandemic Gardening
  • Wednesday: U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler / Enforcing Stay-at-Home / David Von Drehle / Media Critics
  • Thursday: U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver / COVID-19 & Missouri Corrections / Friendship & Social Media During Coronavirus
  • Friday: Topeka Mayor De La Isla / Religious Leaders Respond

Segment 1: The Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods funds new initiative against violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Segment 1: A career change introduced one man to the hidden flaws of the American justice system.

Jason Hardy's time as a parole and probation officer in Louisiana revealed a system that makes a prisoner's re-entry into society difficult. Today, he describes the misinterpreted freedom of being released from incarceration and the unfavorable working conditions for officers.

Segment 1: A lack of funds will soon lead to the closing of a 90-bed emergency shelter for single adults in Kansas City, Missouri.

Segment 1: "Our infrastructure isn't an asset, it's a liability," said architect Dennis Strait.

In recent years many cities, including our own, have become seemingly unaffordable, not just for the people responsible for running and operating them, but for those who live and work in them as well. So what can be done to make Kansas City a more budget-friendly place?

Segment 1: Kansas State University could be a testing ground for rebranding white nationalism, a new report says.

A report from the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights concluded that white nationalists are attempting to mainstream their image and ideology, and they're using college campuses to do so. Not only are college campuses full of people ready to learn about different ideas, they're also notable platforms for protecting free speech.

Segment 1: Almost 35,000 Missourians have received medical marijuana ID cards but have nowhere to buy legally.

Despite being approved by voters in late 2018, state officials estimate that the earliest medical cannabis will be available for purchase will be this June or July. It could be a year for all 192 state-certified dispensaries to be up and running. Once open the price of products will be determined by market forces and competing with marijuana sold on the street.

Segment 1: Is it time for voters to select Johnson County's election commissioner? 

In the four most populous counties in Kansas voters do not select their election commissioner. Johnson County is one of those where the position is filled by appointment by the secretary of state. County commissioners explained why that is, whether that process should continue and what some alternatives would look like.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Chiefs are champions, and fans are still flying high. But now that the confetti has settled it’s time to confront a difficult question: What’s in a name? Commentator Victor Wishna offers a modest proposal in this post-Super Bowl edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Spring training is underway. March and its madness loom. But many of us are still stuck on our Chiefs. After 50 years, three weeks is hardly enough time to savor a Super Bowl championship.

Segment 1: The rise of mass media has changed a president's ability to communicate.

Advancements in technology have provided modern presidents a more direct means of communication with their countrymen. Today, a leading expert in presidential rhetoric explores the rise of mass media and how presidents have adapted to communication innovations.

Segment 1: What is a non-disclosure agreement? 

After Sen. Elizabeth Warren publicly questioned fellow Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's use of NDAs, these contractual documents made headlines around the country. Today, we discussed what the agreements are, how they are used and who they benefit.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

With less than four months remaining in the school year, a teary-eyed Amanda Coffman explained why she would no longer be in the hallways to greet students at the morning bell.

The Indian Woods Middle School teacher stood before the Shawnee Mission School Board and announced her resignation – effective immediately.

Coffman expected to receive feedback from her community and her parents in Michigan, but said she didn’t expect the video of the event to go farther than her parents' house.

Segment 1: Why one teacher decided to call it quits.

Amid much tension and back-and-forth between the Shawnee Mission School District and the teacher's union, one middle school teacher decided she could be a better advocate for her colleagues and students from outside the system. Her very public resignation unleashed a torrent of online and media attention.

  • Amanda Coffman, former Shawnee Mission School District teacher

Segment 2, beginning at 22:30: What's showing now in independent film

Segment 1: "We need to make sure that we're being responsible with every dollar," said Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to allocate $1.7 billion in the latest city budget, but key stakeholders worry it isn't enough to do everything that needs to be done. He's also catching heat for a proposed budget that cuts a great deal of funding to the arts.

Segment 1: Missouri looks to start opening medical marijuana dispensaries in June.

Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services has issued licenses for 192 medical marijuana dispensaries since a voter approved initiative for medical cannabis passed in 2018. Once patients are able to start purchasing, and in some cases growing, the product, the state could look to issue more dispensary licenses based on supply and demand.

leyla.a / Flickr - CC

If you placed a Super Bowl wager in Missouri or Kansas this year, chances are good it was probably illegal.

But in Missouri, the smart money is increasingly on legal sports betting. That might become a reality by the end of the year, thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court case that gave states the right to organize sports betting.

Segment 1: Odds are good that sports betting won't be illegal in Missouri for much longer.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that states have the power to legalize sports betting, and 2020 may be the year that the Missouri General Assembly gives it the green light. If new tax revenue from legalized sports gambling in Iowa is any indication, the initiative could be a moneymaker for the Show-Me State. 

Segment 1: Just because mental health services exist, doesn't mean that access to them is equitable.

As many as 56% of adults in the U.S. report that they are unable to receive the treatment they need for their mental illness, and there's no quick fix for the obstacles in their way. Organizations in Kansas City sare working to reach everyone who needs help, but they have a long way to go.

Gary Scott

Desperate for a better connection with his kids, writer and editor Dan Kois uprooted his family from their busy lives. Kois documents this journey in his book, "How To Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together.”

Before hitting the road, Kois said, his family was in "crisis." Though they lived under the same roof in Arlington, Virginia, everyone seemed to be living apart from one another.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

By some measures, the United States' economy is in great shape. President Donald Trump touts record low unemployment as evidence that things have never been better. His argument is bolstered by historic stock market increases over the last year.

And if Esther George has one word to describe her 2020 economic outlook, it would be "positive."

Segment 1: Can trust in the American electoral system be restored?

As the 2020 election season takes shape, the fairness and security of our electoral systems are being questioned by regular voters, politicians and the intelligence community alike. From voter supression to foreign influence campaigns, we get a threat assessment for electoral integrity in the U.S.

Segment 1: When it comes to what makes a president's speech memorable "ideas are the most important thing."

Rhetoric expert Robert Rowland acknowledged that not every U.S. president has produced a memorable speech like Lincoln's second inaugural address. Rowland laid out the ingredients found in the ones that have stood the test of time and gave examples of those which met or missed the criteria, including speeches by Reagan, Obama and Trump.

Segment 1: President of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City optimistic for 2020 but  keeping an eye out for what's ahead

Playing the long game with the economy is a crucial part of Esther George's job as a Federal Reserve Bank president, but she knows she can't lose sight of how people make financial decisions in real-time.  Plus, in an economy that seems to be doing well, George still has to do a balancing act between the positives and pitfalls that exist no matter how well the current situation looks. 

Segment 1: Weaving a memorable presidential speech is a difficult art.

A good speech can do wonders for a those who deliver them, but behind many famous orations are the writers who craft them. From George Washington's innaugural address, written by James Madison, to Richard Nixon's efforts to formalize the speechwriter position, the efforts of these writers have literally served to narrate history.

Segment 1: Missouri Republicans want to see a "Cleaner Missouri" version of an initiative voters passed in 2018.

Missouri Republicans argue that Amendment 1, also known as Clean Missouri, is biased when it comes to drawing legislative boundaries, and that the state's Democratic Party will get an unfair number of seats in the General Assembly. Now, a so-called "Cleaner Missouri" proposal has been introduced. Proponents say it will not only expand upon some of the original initiative's language, but it will also make redistricting more fair. 

Segment 1: Why the Shawnee Mission School Board authorized controversial teacher contract.

Failed contract negotiations between teachers and administrators in the Shawnee Mission School District resulted in the district's Board of Education unilaterally approving a three-year contract. Members of the school board explained some of the complexities of the situation and discussed what options remain for teachers.

Segment 1: "When the Chiefs needed to pick up the yards, Damien Williams was there," said sports reporter Kennetra Pulliams.

In the wake of an historic Chiefs Super Bowl win, we discussed what went right on Sunday, which players could have also been in the running for MVP, and what the future could hold for the team. Plus, what Kansas City learned from the 2015 World Series parade when it comes to port-a-potties and keeping track of children.

Segment 1: "Tough love, to me, means you love fiercely but not uncritically," said Susan Rice. 

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice recounted stories of her time as the 24th national security advisor, and what it was like to work so closely with President Barack Obama. Today, we take a second listen to a conversation on some of the best and worst things she saw during her time in Washington.

Segment 1: "Kansas City wants to end homelessness," said Josh Henges.

The Veterans Community Project gained national attention in 2018 by using tiny homes to help end veteran homelessness in Kansas City. Two years later and the initiative has expanded to several other states. 

Segment 2, beginning at 24:16: Can mushrooms save Earth?

Segment 1: The Media Critics discuss Pompeo, the Washington Post, impeachment and more.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's behavior towards NPR's Mary Louise Kelly was a hot topic in this discussion with the Media Critics. Plus, a journalist's suspension from the Washington Post raised a deeper question from one of our guests: Are journalists allowed to exist in spaces outside of the newsroom, including social media?

Segment 1: The link between sports and social justice is stronger than some people think.

The fight to end discrimination against black folks is ongoing, and Harry Edwards, who has spent the majority of his life as an activist and leader in the world of sports, says there are no final victories in such a dynamic struggle. From Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, he has played a role in some of the greatest stories in athletics and activism. 

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