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Seg. 1: New Leader Of Jackson County's Anti-Drug Task Force. Seg. 2: History Of Haskell University.

A man with dark hair and a goatee wearing headphones and a charcoal jacket sits behind a microphone in a radio studio.
Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3
Vince Ortega was appointed in October by the Jackson County prosecutor to head up the COMBAT program. He spent 9 years as the group's deputy director, and was previously a deputy chief with the Kansas City Police Department.

Segment 1: Vince Ortega has a long history working with COMBAT and the Kansas City Police Department.

It's been 29 years since Jackson County voters first approved the Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax, or COMBAT, aimed at funding drug prevention, treatment and criminal justice programs. After turbulent times over the last two years, which saw oversight of the program shift from the county executive's office to the county prosecutor, the task force has a new leader. Today, he shared his priorities for the organization and explained the interplay between drug use, violent crime and mental health in Kansas City.

Segment 2, beginning at 21:00: The contradictory origin story of Haskell Indian Nations University.

Founded in 1884, Lawrence's Haskell Institute began with just 22 students and a pedagogy now largely considered misguided. Despite its previous assimilationist curriculum, very harsh treatment of students, and a tiny budget, the school eventually became a place where native youths could explore and preserve their indigenous cultures, and contributed to an unintendent growth of pan-tribal identity.

Anderson will discuss the first 25 years of Haskell's history at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Kansas City Public Library's Central location, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Missouri 64105. To RSVP, go to

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Luke X. Martin is associate producer of KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at or on Twitter, @lukexmartin.