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Feliphe Schiarolli
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Not sure how to talk to your kids about the novel coronavirus?

You’re not alone, says Christina Low Kapalu, a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Mercy. “It comes up with a lot of things that we’ve encountered, like mass shootings and terrorism events. Anytime there’s a big media event that causes a lot of worry, parents ask about how they can talk to their kids in developmentally appropriate ways.”

Segment 1: A Kansas native moderated the last Democratic debate in Iowa.

Brianne Pfannenstiel grew up in Lawrence and got her first job in journalism at the Kansas City Star. Now that she's in a state with a huge voice in this year's election, we wanted to know: How does she feel the Midwest is represented in national discourse today? What does she think of Iowa's role specifically? And, what is it like to moderate a national debate?

Segment 1: Where do efforts towards improving pre-K access and quality in Kansas City stand?

In early 2019, a big controversy was Mayor Sly James' push for universal pre-K through a sales tax. Kansas City voters didn't go for the plan on the ballot, but a year later, many people still want something to fill in the gap.

There are hundreds of thousands of Missouri families that don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 

Despite progress, the state is still higher than the national average for food insecurity. 

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Missouri has improved hunger levels throughout the state. Compared to one year ago, levels are down almost one full percentage point. However, 11.7% is the national average of food insecurity, and Missouri sits at 12%

Segment 1: Some survivors of sex trafficking in Kansas recieve prison sentences rather than support.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS — Preschool was a logistical boon for Delice Downing and an educational bonanza for her son, Adrian.

The head volleyball coach and director of student life at Coffeyville Community College had ruled out day care when she heard the price: several hundred dollars a week.

Then Adrian reached preschool age. Coffeyville offers something most Kansas communities don’t: free attendance at a preschool with room for nearly all kids in town whose parents want it.

Walter / Creative Commons 2.0

TOPEKA — Courtney Train spends her days going to nail salons, the pool and the dog park.

As a paid mentor and advocate for children ages 8 to 18 who’ve seen domestic violence at home or experienced it while dating, Train knows quality time — and fun — with a trusted adult can be in short supply for her clients.

Bigstock

Thousands of kids in Missouri's foster care system are likely to benefit from a first-of-its-kind legal settlement under which state officials have agreed to strict limits on how and when kids can be given psychotropic drugs.

The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit charging that Missouri foster care officials failed to safeguard the conditions under which the powerful medications are dispensed. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey gave preliminary approval to the agreement on Monday. 

Arts Fox1Fire/Flickr

Children are more likely to die of firearm-related injuries in states with looser gun laws, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.

Firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Setting children up for academic success is Annie Watson’s driving passion.

The Kansas City, Missouri, native is the director of early education and parent success at Turn the Page KC, a non-profit that aims to have all children reading at grade level by third grade.

Segment 1: Kansas City urban core program fills vital role of mentorship.

Kansas City's Henry Wash gives much credit to his mentor Henry Bloch for seeing him as a social entrepreneur and inspiring his nonprofit organization High Aspirations. Wash discussed the significant problems black boys face, the importance of them having consistent guidance, and the opening of his new facility. 

Segment 1: Getting more women in the male-dominated world of sports management and media. 

Women have made great advances as coaches, managers, and sportscasters, but still rarely hold the same top spots as their male counterparts. So what would it take to get more women involved? We ask a panel of sports journalists what is needed to give women a better opportunity to secure some these coveted positions.

Segment 1: Party that made gains in 2018 elections will have to find balance of personality, politics and policies for the next election cycle.

There's a large field of aspiring Democratic candidates who believe now is the best time to run for the White House. Our political panel gave us their take for sorting through the many presidential hopefuls, how a shared opposition can keep the party's factions together, and which issues are likely to resonate best with voters.

Many Kansas families may not be following safe sleep practices meant to cut down the risk that infants could die in their sleep.

The first survey of its kind in the state found four in five new mothers said their babies sleep primarily on their backs.

Rachel Sisson, the director of the Bureau of Family Health at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, wants to make it five out of five.

Segment 1: Cycling, Class, and Race

Bike-friendly cities shouldn't be designed for one particular demographic or social class in mind. On this episode, we explore the question: how can Kansas City provide a bike-able city for everyone?

MH Cameron Barrett

Children's book author Jenn Bailey wonders whether her middle son would have had an easier childhood if his classmates had a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder.

"He was frequently labeled by his peers as, well, 'He's the weird kid,' 'He's the shy kid,'" she remembers.

Seg. 1: 3.2 Beer | Seg. 2: A Friend For Henry

Apr 3, 2019

Segment 1: 3.2 Beer.

As of April 1, grocery and convenience stores in Kansas are permitted to sell full-alcohol beer. In this conversation, we find out why the 3.2 alcohol limit was instituted in the first place and share memories of the infamous brew.

Segment 1: The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is four years behind schedule and $800 million over budget estimates.

The 47-acre facility in Manhattan, Kansas, will work to detect, diagnose and vaccinate against deadly animal diseases that could be part of a bio-terrorism attack. We find out what's behind redesigns of some aspects of the facility, costly delays and a revised 2022 opening date.

Segment 1: How to make compost.

Composting is one of those things that sounds easy — but is it? A local farming instructor explains what compost is, how to make it and why worms are so important.

  • Loretta Craig, compost class instructor

The KC Farm School at Gibbs Road will teach a class about making compost on Friday, April 5 from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Segment 1: Secretary of the Department for Children and Families discussed plans to address challenges within the department.

Among the challenges facing the Kansas Department for Children and Families are too many kids in the foster care system, unfilled positions and double the number of abuse and neglect cases of other states. Secretary Laura Howard shared her plan to hire additional social workers and have more accountability for foster care contractors.

file photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly named former Republican Rep. Melissa Rooker on Thursday to help lead one of her signature initiatives.

Kelly chose Rooker to head the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, a 15-member group created in the late 1990s to guide state investments in early childhood programs.

Rooker, a moderate Republican, represented a Johnson County district in the Kansas House for six years before narrowly losing last year to Democrat Rui Xu. While in the Legislature, Rooker played a leadership role on education issues.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Farm filming

Nearly two decades ago, Kansas became the first state to outlaw the unauthorized filming of farms, animal research labs or meatpacking plants.

The law came from a push by ag groups trying to fend off guerilla documentaries by groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals collecting gritty footage of all it takes to make a steer into hamburger.

Segment 1: Teaching kids about identity.

Concepts like race, gender and social class can be difficult concepts to address — even for adults. So how do you talk to children about those ideas?

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Falling through the cracks

At best, from 2016 to 2017, states kept the number of children without insurance stable.

Most did worse than that.

Kansas saw 5,000 more kids fall into the uninsured category in that year.

Madeline Fox reports that researchers at Georgetown University say the increases in uninsured rates across the country reflected uncertainty about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (aka CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Will redevelopment on a single block of Troost be the bellweather for how the city revitalizes other neighborhoods?

file photo / Kansas News Service

In the wake of rape charge filed in an attack on a 13-year-old girl in the office of a foster care contractor, Kansas lawmakers said Tuesday they’ll investigate what went wrong.

One legislator said state officials and the contractor responsible for watching over the alleged victim will face tough questions later this month.

Charlie's House

A Kansas City nonprofit group is building a house that its leaders hope will help save the lives of young children.

The Charlie’s House Safety Demonstration Home on Hospital Hill aims to provide a model for making a home safe for young children – everything from securing furniture to storing firearms.

“We believe that people learn by seeing and learn by first-hand,” says Cindy Mense, a board member of Charlie’s House, which is based in Kansas City.

Jeanette Jones wearing headphones and seated at a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: American Public Square panelists agree on securing firearms in the home and little else during conversation on ways to prevent children dying from gun violence. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Local reactions to Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

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