Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) | KCUR

Kansas City Missouri (KCMO)

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Late at night in February 2017, Samuel Gillis Jr. drove his SUV to Hope City, a community center at East 24th and Quincy that feeds the homeless and provides services for drug addicts.

Gillis was drunk, so he doesn’t remember what happened next. But according to Kansas City, Missouri, police, Gillis got out of his SUV and punched a man who worked there three times, breaking his nose badly enough to require two surgeries.

Montgomery City Division of Solid Waste Services / Flickr - CC

Kansas City recyclers take heart, for now.

Despite reports that some waste companies in the U.S. are burning recycled paper and plastic or sending it to landfills, processors in the metro are still finding ways to market recycled material.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Roger Shimomura says he's found "the deeper meaning of life in Pop Art."

Shimomura is one of the area's most esteemed painters. He taught for decades at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and his work is in the permanent collections of more than 100 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Water is still on the mind of many Missourians right about now. As floodwaters crept their way down the Missouri River in recent weeks, questions outnumbered answers about how to best control future inundations.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Judging by the results of Tuesday’s election, in which Kansas City, Missouri, voters rejected a universal pre-K plan by a nearly 2-1 margin, some might think there's little interest in early childhood education.

But Annie Watson doesn't see it that way. She spent hours on the phone talking to voters on behalf of her employer, Turn The Page KC, the child literacy organization that was founded by Mayor Sly James. 

Vashti Kern

David Bird never gets bored with his plants. Orchids, he notes, are the largest family of blooming plants on Earth, with almost 30,000 species. He's been hooked ever since a family trip to Hawaii in 1978, when he bought five Dendrobium orchids.

In 2001, he began growing orchids in a cave on East 23rd Street near I-435 at the Interstate Underground Warehouse. Bird's Botanicals had 10,000 plants in five rooms.

Poetic Kinetic

Union Station is set to add a shape-shifting display to the downtown skyline this summer with a huge floating sculpture described as jaw-dropping by one observer who knows a bit about art.

"When you see this sculpture fly, you’ll believe in magic," said Tony Jones, the president of the Kansas City Art Institute, who saw a similar work by the artist in downtown Los Angeles.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Kansas City voters have rejected Mayor Sly James’ plan to pay for universal pre-K for 4-year-olds with a three-eighth-cent sales tax.

Kansas City Primary Election Results 2019

Apr 2, 2019

Tuesday's primary election asked voters to narrow a slate of candidates for Kansas City mayor and city council ahead of the general election on June 18. Residents also voted for school board candidates, and were asked to weigh in on a plan proposed by outgoing Mayor Sly James to fund pre-kindergarten education with a ⅜ cents sales tax that would generate $30 million a year for the next ten years.

StoryCorps / KCUR 89.3

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Joanna Berkebile and Stacey Todd have lived very different lives. Berkebile intentionally set down roots in Kansas City, working as a realtor. She's also active in the city's arts scene and has found a strong sense of community there.

"I'm not super politically active, but I'm active in my community," Berkebile saidto Todd. "[But I'm] not afraid to speak my mind wherever I am. That has ripples and reverberations around me."

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

In the final days before Kansas City voters decide on new leadership, a recently-formed advocacy group is making a push to highlight the priorities of property renters.

On Saturday, about 60 organizers and volunteers with KC Tenants in Action gathered at a training event and canvased neighborhoods in a door-to-door campaign with a goal of reaching 3000 households.

Mike Strong

Creating high quality art for kids is no easy task. As an audience, they’re pure in their responses: If the work engages them, they’ll roar in approval; if not, they’ll (at best) stare glaze-eyed or (at worst) rumble with disinterest as they turn their attention elsewhere.

The 800 middle- and high school students who whooped and chattered excitedly at the world premiere of a sophisticated new dance theater concept apparently approved of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey's performances at the Folly Theater on Wednesday and Thursday.

Missouri State Historical Society

Kansas City, Missouri, is the only major city in the country that does not control its own police department. Regaining that control from the state may be a big issue for Kansas City’s next mayor — if they decide it’s worth the effort.

The city lost control of its police department because of rampant corruption. In 1932, boss Tom Pendergast’s political machine challenged Missouri law to regain local control of the police department. It only lasted seven years.

Jeff Roberts / O'Neill Marketing

Ready to meet the commander of the Starship Enterprise? Scream like a maniac for a Sweet Sixteen college basketball team? Participate in a preserved dead animal parade?

Take it easy, there’s plenty of time to tackle all of that and more in what’s shaping up to be a big weekend for spectacular stuff to do.

What, not up for the taxidermy cavalcade? How unspectacular of you!

1. Planet Comicon

Platte County

Platte County residents on Tuesday will vote on a half-cent sales tax that would fund an expansion of the county’s 180-bed jail. The tax would raise $65 million and run until 2025.

The expansion would include about 200 additional beds as well as space for the prosecutor’s office and an additional courtroom.

Platte County Undersheriff Erik Holland said the building’s deteriorating conditions and overcrowding have made it unsafe for staff.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite rain showers that delayed the start of the game by two hours, thousands of baseball fans turned out at Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day of the Kansas City Royals' 2019 season.

It was the first opportunity for fans to see this year's team in action, but Royals staff have been preparing for months.

"As soon as one season ends," says Nicole Averso, "we're getting ready for the next."

Kansas City Neighborhood Academy

Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, the only charter school sponsored by the Kansas City Public Schools, will close at the end of the school year, leaving 140 students and their families to find seats at other schools.

Parent Elizabeth Behrens said there were no warning signs that the school was in trouble until this week, when a letter went home saying that the board would vote Wednesday on the future of the school.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

No silver bullets. A political hot potato. A whack-a-mole approach. These are some of the ways the city’s affordable housing policies have been described at recent public hearings.

These hearings are part of a newly energized conversation about affordable housing in Kansas City, inspired by a comprehensive, five-year proposal presented to the council last fall.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

The first pieces of Terminal A came down Monday as officials broke ground on a new, $1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International airport.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James delivered the first few blows to the old building before a crowd of hundreds.

He told the group that in 2023, when the new terminal is set to open, visitors will be greeted by a new Kansas City — one drastically different from when he entered office eight years ago.

Segment 1: Response and recovery to flooding in the Midwest.

We hear regional reactions to the devastating flood waters now making their way through Missouri, and learn about the recovery effort and how the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for the possibilty of more flooding this spring.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

For 15 years, travelers in each of the three terminals at the Kansas City International Airport have walked on the sparkly deep blue art installation "Polarities" by New York artists Andrew Ginzel and Kristin Jones. Parking garage customers have stared up at stair-tower installations by various artists.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Some of the pieces in Clarissa Knighten's jewelry lines are over the top, and she knows it. But over-the-top is good for a couple of things: the runway, which she’ll hit during Kansas City Fashion Week, and temporarily taking on a new persona.

"Sometimes — I know from battling depression and bulimia — you have to step out of who you normally are, change things up," Knighten says.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

When it comes to acting ill, Diane Bulan is a veteran.

"I've been sick for quite some time," jokes Bulan, a perfectly healthy Kansas City actor who has worked as a "standardized patient" for about 15 years.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council on Thursday passed a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year that adds more police and funds to fix the city’s roads.

The entire city budget is about $1.7 billion.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

Run and Shoot Freelance Collective

Not to knock cold and miserable – everything has its fans – but the differential between soul-sucking winter and inspiring spring is ridiculous. From godforsaken “brr” to giddy “ahh,” right?

Fortunately, all it takes is a warm gust of wind and a bit of hope to turn it all around, including this weekend’s cache of fresh springtime events and activities designed to more than mitigate the “meh.”

Inspired? Then spring into action! Yes, even you winter people.

Duane Cunningham / Inkwell KC

Before you hire someone for a position, you need at least two things: a job description and what qualifies someone to perform that job. Those two pieces of information should also be at the forefront of a voter's mind while reviewing a slate of candidates.

Eleven candidates are running for mayor of Kansas City, but what is that actual job?

Eleven candidates are running for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

Residents will cast their votes in the primary on April 2, narrowing the field to two candidates ahead of the general election on June 18. Residents will also be asked to vote for city council members, and to weigh in on a plan proposed by outgoing Mayor Sly James to fund pre-kindergarten education with a ⅜ cents sales tax that would generate $30 million a year for the next ten years.

Kansas City Symphony Hires New Executive Director

Mar 19, 2019
Randall Baughn

The Kansas City Symphony wrapped up its seven-month national search for a new executive director and hired Daniel Beckley, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Beckley most recently was vice president and general manager of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Beckley succeeds Frank Byrne, who's retiring this year after a 19-year tenure.

The Up To Date Guide To Kansas City's Mayoral Election

Mar 18, 2019

On April 2, residents of Kansas City, Missouri, will cast their votes on a slate of candidates in the mayoral primary, narrowing the field to two candidates ahead of the general election on June 18.

Residents will also be asked to vote for city council members, and to weigh in on a plan proposed by outgoing Mayor Sly James to fund pre-kindergarten education with a ⅜ cents sales tax that would generate $30 million a year for the next ten years.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

You might not know it from looking at her business card, but MacKenzie Mallon is a detective of sorts.

Mallon is The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's specialist in provenance, which means she researches the records of ownership for works in the museum's collection.

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