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Seg. 1: Jackson County Executive Candidate Matthew Merryman. Seg. 2: Why We Love Romance Novels.

Rachel Guthrie
Matthew Merryman's campaign is focusing on the environmental attorney's pledges to ensure safe and successful schools, develop a regional green transportation policy, and solve the county's detention center woes.

Segment 1: Matthew Merryman wants to be the next Jackson County executive.

A former public defender and political newcomer from Kansas City is challenging incumbent Frank White for Jackson County executive. Today, he shared his reasons for running, and discussed his plans to address a crumbling county jail, keep guns out of schools and forge good relationships with county legislators.

Segment 2, beginning at 20:16: A deeper look into the literary genre of romance.

In the estimation of many readers, romance novels sit somewhere between erotica and dime-store pulp, but it has always been (and remains) the most popular type of fiction. These days, though, the stories and characters are evolving to appeal to the interests of new readers. We dissected the romance genre and covered some of the ways contemporary authors elevate stories and characters.

Sherry Thomas and Janna MacGregor will take part in Romance GenreCon, which runs from Friday, August 3, to Saturday, August 4, at Mid-Continent Public Library's Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64157. Ror more information visit MyMCPL.org.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.