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StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

John Mendoza graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, in 1967, excited to take on a job at NASA as an aerospace engineer. 

"I always wanted to be a figher pilot because of movies and space programs, outer space movies," John told his daughter, Valerie M. Mendoza.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

An aviator falls to earth and is marooned with his downed biplane in the Sahara. In the desert, he meets a mysterious prince who’s traveled to earth from a distant asteroid.

Finley Facebook Page

Updated, 4:56 p.m. Monday

On a six-three vote Monday the Jackson County Legislature approved the pension change.

Lawmakers in favor said it was unfair to deny someone money they had already earned.

The county Pension Board asked the Legislature to not change the rules citing potential problems with the IRS and the fact that the ordinance appears to benefit only income legislator Ron Finley.

Jackson County Executive Frank White could veto the ordinance. His office said he will examine the legislation before making a decision.

Succotash / Facebook

Kansas City chef Beth Barden just finished a job she never anticipated having: food-stylist for the new coffee table book "Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life."

Like the "Queer Eye" television show, which recently wrapped filming its third season in Kansas City, the book is full of lifestyle advice, with pearls of widsom ranging from how to select the right cut of denim to what your go-to meal says about you.  

File photo by Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

A petition asking Kansas City voters to limit property tax abatements has been certified by the City Clerk’s office and had a first read before the City Council on Thursday, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The clerk's office certified 2,321 valid signatures on a petition sponsored by the Coalition for Kansas City Economic Development Reform. That well exceeds the 1,708 signatures required to force a vote.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. with comments from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner — Four St. Louis police officers were indicted on federal charges Thursday in connection with the assault of an undercover officer during protests related to the Jason Stockley court ruling in 2017.

The four St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers named in the indictment are Dustin Boone, 35, Bailey Colletta, 25, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27. All have been suspended without pay.

Paul Andrews

Artist and pastor Dylan Mortimer had just moved with his family from Kansas City to Brooklyn, New York, for an adventure the last time he spoke to KCUR. Mortimer, who was born with cystic fibrosis, said he had never had so much freedom of movement.

“I feel the best I’ve felt in my life,” he said in an August conversation about his installation at the Open Spaces arts festival. He was happy to be travelling, riding bikes and climbing mountains with his sons.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB

Tyler Tiller and his 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, sit perched on a log overlooking a fog-encased forest below. They're just off a mountainous dirt road in western Oregon. The sun is setting and with it, their last chance to shoot a doe this season.

Neither seems to care much. Their excursions aren’t really about hunting.

Far more important Tyler says is “just spending that time with each other in the outdoors and just really being able to have an opportunity away from everything to bond on a different level."

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The phone scam that has ensnared the Kansas City Police Department has spread nationwide.

“What we’ve found is that the phone calls coming into our police department have increased and the locations have increased across the nation as well,” said KCPD spokesman Capt. Lionel Colon. "Most of the individuals targeted are from southern regions in the United States."

Dante

Variety shows aren’t all gongs and spangles.

Besides simply being entertaining, such shows are ways for artists to help build their fan bases by “cross-pollinating audiences,” says Stephanie Roberts, a theater professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

She first saw this work when she lived in Seattle and was part of a company called Annex Theatre, which hosted a variety show called “Spin the Bottle.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Joining the state legislature for the first time can be a lot like going off to college. There are orientations, new people to meet, room and board to sort out — comedians might say the jokes practically write themselves.

But for freshmen state legislators, just getting ready to do the work they were elected to do can be a full-time job, with a real cost.

David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Since the end of the 2018 election season, Missouri lawmakers from both parties have openly discussed trying to alter ballot items that voters approved this month — especially a constitutional amendment overhauling state legislative redistricting.

But legislators appear to have little appetite to revisit right to work, which voters overwhelmingly repealed during the August primary.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The blizzard only lasted a few hours, but it dropped inches of snow and wreaked plenty of havoc Sunday, closing 235 miles of Interstate 70 in Kansas for several hours and playing a role in accidents in Kansas and Missouri.

School cancellations started to pile up Sunday night, including the University of Kansas and UMKC.

Deer hunters are helping out Missouri families again this year.

Since 1992, the Share the Harvest Program has collected more than 3.5 million pounds of venison from deer hunters across the state.

The program aims to lessen the burden of food insecurity for people by distributing deer meat to hundreds of food banks throughout the St. Louis region and statewide. It’s a collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, meat processors, hunters and local organizations.

The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court on Friday to bypass lower courts and rule quickly on its ban of most transgender military members.

Climate change is already causing more frequent and severe weather across the U.S., and the country is poised to suffer massive damage to infrastructure, ecosystems, health and the economy if global warming is allowed to continue, according to the most comprehensive federal climate report to date.

Crumbling sidewalks, peeling ceilings and outdated classrooms are some of the challenges facing Missouri’s public colleges and universities.

A campus review by the Missouri Department of Higher Education tallied up a $1.4 billion deferred maintenance backlog across the state’s two- and four-year campuses. This is the first review of its type in a decade.

One key responsibility of being Missouri governor is getting to fill vacancies in state and local governments — including times when there’s an opening at a coveted statewide office.

So after appointing a lieutenant governor and attorney general, Gov. Mike Parson will get yet another chance to fill a statewide vacancy. That’s because he picked state Treasurer Eric Schmitt to replace soon-to-be former Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Last year’s Black Friday set the single-day record for gun background checks run — 203,086.

When you buy a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer, they’re required to run a background check.

While there is no tally of guns sold in the U.S., there is a daily count of background check requests from the FBI and it’s generally considered the best way to measure gun sales.

Courtesy The Rainmakers

Family comes first at Thanksgiving, including finding things to do with – or without – family members.

Let’s talk turkey: Entertainments and activities that can distract from mom’s tragically burnt stuffing or a visiting relative’s relentless political opinions can be especially helpful during the gathering season, including this weekend’s handy batch of go-and-dos to thankfully share – or not – with those we hold dear.

Anyway, be sure to count your blessings. However you do the math!

Allison Long / Courtesy of The Kansas City Star

Updated, 5:07 p.m. Nov. 21: This story as been updated to include comments from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official and Abdoulie Fatajo's attorney.

Abdoulie Fatajo, a Shawnee, Kansas, philanthropist and community leader from Gambia, was arrested and detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on November 9. He’s being held at the Morgan County Detention Center in Versailles, Missouri.

He’s had limited access to a phone and has relied on a friend to spread the word of his arrest, though his family is being careful about who hears.

Bigstock

Kansas has agreed to cover the cost of drugs to treat Medicaid patients with chronic hepatitis C without subjecting them to a lengthy list of requirements.

A legal settlement, which awaits final court approval, resolves a class action lawsuit alleging the state made it too difficult for hepatitis C patients to receive the potentially life-saving treatments.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Well, fellow Kansans, it’s over.

Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly, running as the “fix-it” candidate on the premise that Kansas had gone off the rails, beat “full-throttle conservative” Kris Kobach in the race for governor.

Her win signaled Kansans’ desire to, if not reverse the state’s turn to the right, at least turn down the political rhetoric and focus on the basics.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

Joseph and Elaine Chow first met as teenagers in the 1950s. In those days, it was rare for any young adult to have a car. So the fact that Joseph had one immediately stood out.

Strawberry Swing

There’s no reason to just give a gift this holiday season when you can give the gift of Kansas City. These holiday craft and art sales will make shopping thoughtfully, and locally, simple.

Eric Frommer / Flickr — CC 2.0

Cover your eyes if you must, but this weekend portends some pretty revealing stuff, including: Legendary songwriter insights! Exposed garage rock! Pulchritudinous prestidigitation!

Sure, it could get heavy. But at least take a peek.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council approved a sweeping proposal Thursday to revitalize some of the poorest parts of eastern Kansas City, Missouri.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

More than 1,000 people packed the grand first floor of the Kansas City Public Library's downtown branch Wednesday night to see the cast of Netflix's "Queer Eye."  

It was the biggest crowd the library has had for an event, spokeswoman Courtney Lewis said of the Fab Five's book launch.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

While property crime has mostly been going down over the last decade, one kind has spiked in Missouri.

Auto thefts are up. Way up. “Missouri is a leader, unfortunately in the nation in terms of auto theft,” says Cpl. Nate Bradley with the Missouri Highway Patrol.

How bad is it?

In Kansas City, police say, auto thefts are up 20 percent in the last year and up by a third over the last six.

NormanCorwin.com

A new concert at the Lyric Opera recalls the Golden Age of radio, when anything was possible.

Evolving from the technology of World War I, broadcasts reached into millions of homes, filling billions of minds with the culture and news of the day.

One of the leading dramatists of radio’s heyday in the 1930s and 40s was Norman Corwin. Using only voices, sound effects and the occasional full orchestra, he invited listeners into worlds conjured entirely of suggestion and imagination.

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