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Death

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: "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: Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro died at the age of 82.

On Saturday nights for more than 40 years, Bill Shapiro hosted Cyprus Avenue, a music show that gave context to songs and artists all over the pop music spectrum. Today, we sat down with two of Shapiro's good friends to remember his life, and celebrate the memory he left behind.

Segment 1: While the rest of the nation has seen a decrease in the number of drug overdose deaths, Missouri and Kansas have seen a rise.

In 2018 death by drug overdose declined 4.2% in the United States, but Missouri saw an increase of 17% while Kansas saw a 5.6% rise. Public health officials from each side of the state line offer their thoughts on what was behind the respective upswings.

Segment 1: A former Lenexa principal wants others suffering from mental illness to learn from the mistakes he made trying to handle his depression.

Diagnosed with major depressive disorder, Cory Strathman resigned from his job as an elementary school principal following a DUI arrest. Now receiving mental health care services, Strathman is sharing his battle in hopes to eliminate the social stigma that kept him from receiving care.

Segment 1: The author of "One by One" shares his battle with opioid addiction.

Nicholas Bush found himself hiding from police for crimes related to his to an opioid addiction. After 10 years of drug abuse and the loss of two siblings, Bush was finally able to kick his habit after a dream involving his deceased sister.

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.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It has been eight months since 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth collapsed and died after a football workout at Garden City Community College (GCCC).

Since then, the college has said little about the teen's death from exertional heat stroke after a grueling practice.

But that wall of silence may be breaking. "Kansas, can you hear me now?" the family's lawyer Jill Greene asked during a town hall meeting Thursday night at Friendship Baptist Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey. "Maybe we have a bad connection. We need to fix that."

Segment 1: Architects need to change the way they design buildings to adapt to the complex changes in our environment.

The benefits outweigh the costs when designing architecture that can withstand the effects of climate change, says one leading voice on the matter. Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and recent flooding throughout the Midwest show why cities need resilient design that also makes them quicker to recover.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How newly-elected lawmakers get up to speed before taking office.

There's new staff to meet, colleagues to greet, committee assignments, and dorms to move into — well, that last one might not apply, but becoming a new state lawmaker can be a lot like going off to college. We spoke with two freshman lawmakers from the Kansas City area about making the transition to the statehouse.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: After a failed gas tax proposal, how does the Missouri Department of Transportation continue to keep roads and bridges safe?

Two lines of forward-facing trucks with a man walking away between them.
Tech Sgt. Larry E. Reid, Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Segment 1: As crashes involving large trucks continue to increase, resistance to crash avoidance and mitigation technology remains.

When a tractor-trailer truck runs into the back end of a passenger vehicle at highway speed, there's a good chance that people will die. Today, jumping off an recent Kansas City Star investigation, we talked about collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, the number of resulting deaths and potential preventive measures.

Young, Healthy And Planning For Death

Nov 15, 2017

I’m 25. Most people my age don’t think about death, let alone how they would like to die. Except for the occasional bag of M&Ms I consume, I’m mostly healthy.


Hear the stories behind this year's Day of the Dead altars at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery, then meet a local spoken word poet/minister.

Guests:

Before she accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award in Bioethics, we talk with Myra Christopher about what it's been like to spend decades at the center of the debate on the dignity of death. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On average, men live significantly shorter lives than women, frequent the doctor less, and die at higher rates in nine of the top ten causes of death. Today, we find out how masculinity is related to men's health.

Baylor University

Not every undocumented migrant crossing our southern border makes it. Remains of those who die in the attempt are found in the open and in unmarked graves. Meet the anthropologist using forensics to return skeletal remains to waiting families. Then KU's Lisa McLendon says "it's all about attitude" when it comes to grammar. Her passion for sentence structure and punctuation led her to write a workbook about it.

Kevin Marsh

Members of Kansas City's service industry and restaurant community are mourning the death of Jennifer Maloney, long-time executive chef of Cafe Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Maloney died Christmas Day at North Kansas City Hospital after a short, sudden illness. The cause of death is still unclear.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City artist and writer José Faus was getting ready for bed when he first saw the video of Philando Castile's death at the hands of a police officer in Minnesota.

"There's sun coming in the car window," he remembers. "I see the glare, to the left the open window, the sky, the trees, the [gun] ... and then, the wound."

Potter's Field

Jun 30, 2016
Anna Sturla / KCUR 89.3

Leeds Cemetery, which is out by I-435, near the stadiums, is a potter's field. Underneath the empty, grassy field are the bodies of people whose families were too poor to pay for funerals.

We explore what happens to unclaimed bodies in Kansas City.

Guests:

  • Gloria Lundy, local resident whose grandfather is buried at Leeds
  • Bridget Anaya, manager, Charter Funerals

 

 

  

Attitudes about hospice and palliative care have changed dramatically over the last 40 years, and the number of patients who receive this type of treatment has expanded. Two longtime leaders in the field, though, acknowledge that more work is needed to ease the pain and suffering of the most ailing patients.

Guests:

Courtesy Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care

Elaine McIntosh, president and CEO of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care, says she’s stepping down after 24 years at the helm of the area’s largest nonprofit hospice organization.

McIntosh, 66, will stay on until a successor is found. The hospice’s board has formed a committee to lead a national search.

McIntosh said in a telephone interview that she was leaving the organization in “very strong shape” and decided now was an opportune time to leave.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

On a recent episode of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, Peter Sagal and his guests joked about a new opportunity afforded to those near death.

Thanks to AIM Holographics, you can now leave behind a holographic eulogy for your loved ones.

You can now, effectively, speak at your own funeral. 

This isn't the only development transforming death and the death care industry. Over the past few decades, the trend of "green burials" has been picking up all across the nation.

Fading Light

Oct 13, 2015

The national death industry has seen a shift toward green options when it comes to laying a loved one to rest. And this is the first year that the number of cremations has surpassed the number of burials nationwide. Is Kansas City adopting new trends? And if not, why not?

Guests:

Courtesy Photo / Books by Ace

You may not know her name, but she’s brushed shoulders with Margaret Thatcher, worked on Wall Street, and shattered records raising money for George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign.

There's a better way to prepare  your loved ones for your death. Local author Annie Presley sits down with Steve Kraske to discuss her workbook Read This... When I'm Dead: A Guide to Getting Your Stuff Together for Your Loved Ones.  They also look back on some of her more memorable moments as a political fundraiser. 

Guests:

Financial Planners: Tackling Death & Taxes

Apr 20, 2015

You can’t avoid death and taxes, but you can -- and should -- plan for them. The financial planners return on Monday's Up to Date to discuss how you can do that successfully.

Guests:

Teens process and express grief in very particular ways. In the aftermath of two suicides at an Olathe high school, and while the shooting of Michael Brown is still a recent memory, experts shed light on how people at this sensitive developmental stage cope with profound loss. Plus, information on how adults in their lives can help.

Guests:

Mortician Encourages Embracing Our Mortality

Nov 4, 2014
W.W. Norton & Co

Death may be inevitable, but that does not lessen our fear of it. Mortician and author, Caitlin Doughty, looks to transform our fears of our own mortality.  On this edition of Up to Date, Doughty talks with  Steve Kraske about what it's like to work with the dead, how our culture has chosen to hide death, and why understanding the funeral business can lead us to embrace our own mortality. 

Guest:

Mike Sherry / Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT

 

Olathe Medical Center officials say they have added a building block to their vision of providing cradle-to-grave care.

On Wednesday, in front of a crowd of about 300 donors, employees and other well-wishers, the hospital officially opened a freestanding inpatient hospice on its land at Interstate 35 and 151st Street.

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