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Seg. 1: Progess In Fits & Starts At Kansas Child Welfare Agency. Seg. 2: How Stan Kessler Stays Hip.

Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3
Gina Meier-Hummel was appointed to lead Kansas' Department of Children and Families in November 2017.

Segment 1: Kansas' child welfare system was broken and neglected. A new leader is trying to change that.

Eleven months after new leadership was installed, Kansas' Department for Children and Families still has a laundry list of problems, including overloaded caseworkers, a child allegedly raped while in state custody — even one instance of a pit bull attacking a child in a foster home. A lengthy report released in July showed the department failed to meet 16 different national standards. We got an update on the changes that have been made so far, and what's left to be done.

Segment 2, beginning at 26:24: If you're a fan of Kansas City jazz, you're a fan of Stan Kessler.

For more than 40 years, Stan Kessler has made a living doing what he loves — pleasing jazz listeners in Kansas City and beyond. Today, the prolific performer sat down with Steve Kraske for the first time to tell tales of decades in the biz, to hear cuts off his latest album and to get his thoughts on the next generation of Kansas City jazz artists.

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.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.