Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) | KCUR

Kansas City Missouri (KCMO)

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

At the end of last year, most telecom analysts thought the proposed $26 billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile was coasting towards an easy approval from the federal government.

But since then, opposition forces have surfaced, prominent Democrats are taking it on as a cause, and the deal’s approval chances now appear to be at 50-50. An analysis by Bloomberg called it "anybody's guess."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Tara Raghuveer wants to raise the alarm.

"The national housing crisis has not skipped over Kansas City," she says. "Half the people in this city are tenants and many of them have issues with their housing."

Raghuveer is the woman behind the Kansas City Eviction Project, which has analyzed 18 years of eviction filings in Jackson County.

Kansas City Public Schools / Twitter

It feels like it hasn’t stopped snowing since Thanksgiving weekend, and school’s being called off frequently. That may have parents wondering exactly how many days their kids will have to make up.

The answer: It depends.

Kansas City Public Schools are currently scheduled to end May 31 — already a week later than originally planned. If another school day is cancelled, kids will be in classrooms in June.

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Former KSHB-TV Channel 41 reporter Lisa Benson says her race discrimination and retaliation case against the station where she’d worked for 14 years was a trial in more ways than one.

“In opening statements, they described me as an angry black, violent woman and that was very hurtful, considering those would be the same people who would have sent flowers to the maternity ward when I gave birth,” says Benson, a mother of two boys. “So … I learned a lot going through this process.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: We hear from the man responsible for getting stuff done in Kansas City.

From the future of a downtown ballpark to "pothole management" to streetcar expansion, we talked with the city manager about several big issues on the minds of Kansas Citians. Schulte also addressed caller questions, and says of rising water costs in Kansas City, "we're hopeful we can get a new environmental agreement done for the next 17 years of the plan, and the days of double-digit rate increases are over."

UMKC Conservatory

American composer Harry Partch lived an unconventional life. A dreamer and a traveler, he devised an original system for making music and built dozens of instruments to bring that dream to reality.

“My music and my instruments are an expression of an ancient tradition in which sight and sound unite toward the achievement of a single dramatic purpose,” Partch said in the documentary “Music Studio.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Tuesday night, 15-year-old An'Janique Wright was shot and killed outside of Central Academy of Excellence during a basketball game. Two women have been charged with her murder.

Though Wright was not a student at Central, her killing hit hard — especially because this week marks one year after 17 teenagers were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  in Parkland, Florida.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The Kansas City Council on Thursday fast-tracked a proposal to enact height restrictions on the Country Club Plaza.

The new rules, approved unanimously by the council, would limit building heights to 45 feet in certain parts of the Plaza as part of the “bowl” plan that designates shorter buildings in the center of the entertainment district and taller ones on the edges. Before, such restrictions were only recommended.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The proposed Kansas City budget throws a lot more money at fixing up the city's roads. 

The 2019-20 budget, totaling more than $1.7 billion, was presented Thursday to the city council.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

City Manager Troy Schulte says that is a new consideration.

“Given that we're being besieged with pothole requests, that’s a direct result of that,” Schulte said.

The budget won’t be adopted until March – so that extra cash won’t help fix current potholes.

Melissa Martin

Michael Wheeler, known to strangers all over town as KC Superman, hasn't always run in a cape.

The 67-year-old has run regularly for more than 40 years. Initially he ran from bullies and depression. It wasn't until 2011 that he added the bright blue T-shirt and a shiny cape.

Linh Do / Flickr

Instead of keeping folks at arm’s length, try meeting them at the elbows this weekend.

Which is to say, let’s mingle. It might mean yee-hawing, speed-dating, cosplaying, beer-drinking or sharing a spontaneous laugh, perhaps even at your own expense.

If you find yourself giving more than receiving, there’s nothing wrong with making someone else happy. Keep mingling and you may be next!

1. Blake Shelton

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

Kansas City's debate about whether to limit the height of new buildings on the Country Club Plaza escalated on Wednesday.

Members of the city's Planning, Zoning & Economic Development committee considered a proposal to restrict building heights to 45 feet in certain parts of the Plaza as part of the “bowl” plan that designates shorter buildings in the center of the entertainment district and taller ones on the edges. Currently, such restrictions are recommended but not mandated.

Zach Baumann

If you want to get drunk and try to pick up a stranger, don't plan on doing that at Ça Va in Westport. Co-owner Caitlin Corcoran won’t tolerate behavior that makes a customer or employee uncomfortable.

"I can create whatever kind of culture I want, and I don't want to be that boss that is unsupportive," Corcoran told Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann. "I don’t want my employees to feel like they're just a cog in the machine, and I’m taking advantage of them."

She knows how that feels.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

The cozy dining room at the corner of 36th and Broadway was buzzing on Friday night — servers darted from kitchen to table and a pink-haired bartender attended to a full bar.

The scene was a welcome change for the owners of Krokstrum Klubb & Market, who earlier in the day posted on Facebook that they were on the verge of closing for good.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Mayor Sly James celebrated a milestone Thursday in the journey to a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

After months of back and forth, the airlines that fly out of KCI — and will ultimately pay for the construction — have coalesced around a $1.5 billion price for the terminal.

“We are at a point now where we have never been before,” James said.

The city has been waiting for the airlines to agree to a price before they can approve a development agreement. Until then, no significant design or construction work can begin.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Seg. 1: The councilwoman is a front runner in the Kansas City mayoral race, in spite of having withdrawn and renentered the race.

With the experience and reputation she brings from her time as a state senator, Jolie Justus believes she has the skills that are "incredibly neccessary to keep our city moving forward." Today, Justus told us why finding common ground is crucial to crafting solutions on several issues Kansas City now faces. "We need a mayor, who can be a collaborator, who can get things done and work with people," she said.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City used to be considered an affordable place to live.

Now that some downtown rents are reaching $1,500 a month for a single unit, that’s no longer true, and city leaders are wrangling with how to change that.

Missouri Valley Special Collections / Kansas City Public Library

Lincoln Cemetery. Western Baptist Bible College. Wheatley-Provident Hospital.

Compared to the 18th and Vine area, these are among the little-known locations important to Kansas City’s African American history. But they may be better known by summer.

They are among some of the more 130 suggested sites for the proposed African American Heritage Trail. The trail will have a map, an interactive website and informational markers at the sites.

Burns & McDonnell / Copaken Brooks

Segment 1: Commercial real estate projects are surging throughout the metro.

Major developments popping up in the Plaza, Crossroads, and downtown may not be changing the skyline (yet), but they are making Kansas City "taller." Today, the city's foremost reporter on downtown development shared details on new and in-the-works office buildings, apartments, and hotels, and discussed how "downtown is becoming a more dense and vibrant place."

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A new $20 million scholarship program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City will help around 800 students over the next decade. 

Bloch Family Scholarships will bring two new scholarships to UMKC, and expand the existing Henry W. Bloch Scholars program, which aims to serve students from urban neighborhoods who may not be considered for scholarships due to past academic performance.

Brian Ramirez is one of those scholars at UMKC. He said he was a good student in high school but always struggled with standardized testing.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: This is the bank manager's third time running for Kansas City mayor. 

Could this time be the charm for Henry Klein? Though he has never served in public office, Klein says his current job allows him to help people everyday. Today, he discussed how he would continue to lend that helping hand as mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, including his ideas to improve public schools and eliminate earning taxes on small business.

Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

In the back of Waldo Thai Place on Wornall Road, behind a metal gray door, oil sizzles with the aroma of frying meat. Near the back of the kitchen and taking command over a line of large, hot woks is executive chef Pam Liberda.

Liberda and her husband Ted opened Waldo Thai Place last summer after closing down Thai Place in Westport in 2015. Since then, Waldo Thai Place has garnered attention from food critics and lovers for offering a selection of regional Thai dishes that stand out from others in the Kansas City area.

Erica Hunzinger / KCUR 89.3

One of Kansas City, Missouri's major thoroughfares will undergo a significant name change from Paseo Boulevard to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Centric Projects/Kansas City Repertory Theatre

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has selected a site for a new facility for the school's long-anticipated Conservatory of Music and Dance — right next door to its current location.

UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal made the announcement late Thursday afternoon in an email to faculty, staff and students.

"The new home is now planned for a site immediately adjacent to the existing Olson Performing Arts Center and will face Volker Boulevard," Agrawal wrote.

Plans for a new conservatory have been discussed for nearly a decade. 

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Spring is on the way. Some bands never die. Civilization endures.

Those are just a few of the awesome truths behind awesome weekend events devoted to spreading awesomeness to one and all.

Hey, did I just give myself goosebumps? Double awesome!

1. Royals Fanfest

J. Robert Schraeder

Say a woman wants to serve in the United States Army. No problem, right? Women are eligible. But, dial it back 160 years to the Civil War, and consider that women couldn’t just pop into a recruiting station and sign up.

"We know that about 250 (women) were documented as fighting in the U.S. Army, but those are only the ones who were discovered. Historians think it's over 2,000 women," says Boston playwright Wendy Lement.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

New data from the Washington Post suggests the Kansas City area is missing out on $10 million a week from government contracts as the shutdown stretches on. That’s in addition to the thousands of federal workers not getting paid. Those missed paychecks for contractors and employees alike have placed a heavy burden on both budgets and families.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Artists Coalition, an organization of more than 400 artists, will leave the space at 2nd and Wyandotte where it's been since 1986.

In October, the building was sold to an outside investor who "is looking to utilize the space in a different way," said Executive Director Marissa Starke. "So we're looking at this point to take the organization and grow it in maybe a new and exciting space — that we have yet to find."

Harpers470 / Flickr CC 2.0

Want to have fun, but don’t want to leave the house because it’s so cold? Well, that’s no way to have fun.

Surrender this weekend to the wintry weather and its attendant attributes. The heartiest among us will endeavor to linger at special outdoor events (BRRR), while others may merely dart from home to car to indoor entertainment destination (brrr).

One way or the other, kiss off cabin fever and embrace the freezin’ season!

1. AFC Championship: Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots

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