Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) | KCUR

Kansas City Missouri (KCMO)

More2

Faith-based advocacy group More2 is demanding justice from the Kansas City Police Department following the fatal police shooting of Terrence Bridges in May. The group is calling for an indictment of the officer who killed him.

The KCPD said on May 26, they responded to 911 calls about a domestic violence incident involving a firearm. When officers arrived, police said the woman in the home told them her car had been stolen and her husband kidnapped.

Segment 1: Heavy caseloads and long hours are taking a toll on Missouri's public defenders.

Officials say public defenders in Kansas City, Missouri, are sometimes handling more than 100 cases at a time, and staffing and workload situations have been dire for years. We speak with leaders of the public defender's office to find out how those pressures are affecting attorneys' mental health and the ability of clients to get a fair trial.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

 

A Jackson County jury found in favor of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph in a case brought by a Catholic school teacher who was fired after she got pregnant out of wedlock. 

Michelle Bolen’s 15-year career at St. Therese North Elementary ended abruptly two months after she told her pastor and boss, Father Joseph Cisetti, that she and her fiancé planned to keep the baby. 

BNIM and HOK

The future of a proposed downtown office tower is now in the hands of a new city council torn between fulfilling a 15-year-old contract and protecting taxpayer money. 

The 25-story tower would be the first multi-tenant, premium office building built downtown since 1991. It would be built on a speculative basis — meaning it has no tenants lined up — on the southwest corner of 13th and Main, above current retailers like Yard House. 

On Wednesday, 1st District councilwoman Heather Hall summed up what several councilmembers were feeling. 

Jen Harris

Kansas City poet Jen Harris has 2,200 followers on Facebook, and she's open with them about her sexuality and her relationships. So they didn't hesitate to let her know when they saw her fiancée with someone else.

"People were messaging me on Facebook saying, 'Do you know your partner is at this bar with this person? Look.' It was pretty brutal," Harris says.

Segment 1: A Missouri man is free after spending 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.

With his newfound freedom, Ricky Kidd said he's excited to be a "responsible citizen and embrace the freedom that should have never been taken away from me in the first place." The Midwest Innocence Project attributes part of the failed system to an overworked public defenders office, and it's costing people like Kidd their lives.

KCUR 89.3 / StoryCorps

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.

Kevin McEvoy, who describes himself as "very conservative," wants to make sure his children grow up without prejudice against people of color. But he's admittedly unsure about how best to guide them.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The results of global climate change are becoming readily apparent, and it’s affecting the younger generations inheriting a world of extreme weather.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A month after a Missouri judge found Ricky Kidd innocent of a 1996 double murder and released him from prison after 23 years, Kidd's case has officially been dismissed.

thesextetjazz.com

"Music is always evolving," says Robert Castillo, a Kansas City jazz-band leader who is broadening his city's signature sound.

It's not as if he doesn't know the rules. As a bass player, he's in demand all around town as a sideman in other people's bands, proving that he knows how to play by jazz's strictest conventions. Yet as the leader of his own band, The Sextet, Castillo is dedicated to expanding the art form's possibilities.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

When pioneers set off in covered wagons from Independence, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail for "The Great Migration of 1843," it was a 2,000-mile trek that would take an average of five months by covered wagon. Before the transcontinental railroad rendered the trail obsolete, at least 400,000 settlers are estimated to have used the Oregon Trail and its three offshoots — the California, Bozeman and Mormon Trails.

Now two professors at the Kansas City Art Institute, a printmaker and a musician, are using a historic map of the Oregon Trail as a jumping off point for their own work.

Segment 1: The most reliable source of qualified teachers now produces half the candidates it once did.

The number of undergraduate education degrees awarded every year peaked in the early 1970s at almost 194,000. Today that number is less than 92,000. Two college deans discuss the challenges of bringing future teachers into the education major, meeting the need for special education and bilingual educators, and graduating teachers more reflective of today's diverse communities.

ADWRITER / FLICKR-CC

When snow falls, the steep slope at 57th and Brookside, known for decades as Suicide Hill, is a favorite place for metro area kids to go sledding, but one neighborhood resident wants to change the name.

Alyvia Elliott lives at the bottom of that hill. She lost her husband to suicide in April. 

Segment 1: XP-1, a possible future mode of high-speed transportation, will be on display in Kansas City.

The Hyperloop test pod known as XP-1 is leaving its test site in Nevada and making a stop Kansas City. One expert said, rather than investing in additional lanes for I-70, the multi-billion-dollar hyperloop project could be a more effective use of land, money, and time for travelers between St. Louis and Kansas City. Learn more about the feasibility and funding of the future of transportation. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Mike Sims is a bit emotional. As he prepares to celebrate 40 years of working with an array of acclaimed artists, the master printer admits it's overwhelming.

"Huge memories, yeah," Sims says, shaking his head. "The biggest memories are the relationships with the artists, many of whom are dead and gone now.”

Since 1979, artists from around the United States have traveled to Lawrence, and then later to Kansas City, to work with Sims.

Segment 1: "All genocides ... begin with words," says one Emory professor concerned about a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric. 

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, concerning scholars and Jewish communities. Money that could be spent in programming and outreach is being redirected to security measures for area Jewish Centers. "The fear in the community is palpable," says Gavriela Geller, executive director for Jewish Commuity Relations Bureau-American Jewish Committee.

Segment 1: A new state system to determine Medicaid eligibility is under fire.

In Missouri this year, Medicaid enrollment numbers have dropped at more than twice the national rate, topping 7%. This means 120,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, have been dropped from the program. We heard answers as to why this is happening and how the state can and should respond.

File photo / Kansas City Business Journal

Cerner Corp. will lay off 255 of its U.S. employees in an effort to boost operating margins to 20% by the end of the year. Workers will be notified throughout the day on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

Segment 1: School across Kansas and Missouri struggle each year to fill teaching positions.

Having enough teachers to fill classrooms is a perennial problem for schools in all parts of the Kansas City metro. Raytown Schools has created a novel way to address the shortage in their district, but several factors, including pay, are working against Missouri and Kansas districts' efforts to attract and retain qualified talent.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Missouri law severely limits Kansas City’s gun-control powers. But three rookie city council members say there’s still a lot the city can do to combat its violent crime crisis.

Brandon Dahlquist

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre on Sunday announced that Stuart Carden will become its new artistic director. His first day in the office will be Tuesday, Sept. 3. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Port KC is one of Kansas City’s most powerful economic development agencies, often handing out lucrative tax breaks, but some critics say it has too much clout and reforms are needed to give elected leaders more oversight.

Segment 1: Council rookies relate what the first month on the job has been like.

In her first weeks on the Kansas City City Council Andrea Bough realized, "it puts you in the position of ... making a decision based upon what's good for the city as a whole." She and other fellow first-timers talk about learning how the council operates, and the urgent issues, like gun violence, that were waiting for them when they arrived.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City businessman will buy the Royals, the Major League Baseball team announced Friday.

John Sherman, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, is leading a group of local investors to buy the club from David Glass, 83, who has owned the Royals since 2000. 

Segment 1: Lawmakers from urban districts want their counterparts from rural Missouri to come witness the devestation guns create in their cities.

Members of Missouri's Legislative Black Caucus expressed frustration with Gov. Mike Parson for his unwillingness to take up gun violence in next month's special session. They say they're not shocked, but disheartened, by the lack of urgency to address the issue.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Eight-year-old Brian Bartlett was asleep in his home earlier this month when someone sprayed dozens of bullets into his bedroom. 

While his death was shocking, Kansas City is now four years into a wave of increased killings and officials are grasping for solutions.

Police quietly shifted their anti-violence strategy months ago. But it might not be the solution officials hope for.

Google Maps

The University of Missouri has settled two lawsuits brought by a UMKC professor who said he was the victim of retaliation after he reported alleged abuses by another professor, according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

The legal publication said the university has agreed to pay $360,000 to Mridul Mukherji to resolve the lawsuits. The publication said it obtained the information through a public records request.  

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

Update, August 29, 5:11 p.m.: The full Kansas City Council approved both ordinances on Thursday.

Kansas City, Missouri, could take a step toward stricter gun laws — despite loose state laws.

So far this year, there have been 99 homicides. Five victims were 16-years-old or younger and 29 were between the ages of 17 and 24.

On Wednesday, a Kansas City Council committee unanimously passed two ordinances which are aimed at keeping handguns and other firearms out of the hands of minors. Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced the measures earlier this month.

Segment 1: Port KC wields power beyond the banks of the Missouri River.

The goal of Port KC, is to drive economic development in Kansas City, Missouri, but many are questioning the agency's ability to act without answering to municipal voters or elected officials. Today, the organization's chief lends his perspective to the conversation, and defends their conduct when it comes to awarding tax incentives and taking on projects that are miles from the Port of Kansas City.

School of Economics

If you grew up in suburban Kansas City in the 1990s, you probably remember taking a field trip to Exchange City or the Blue Springs School of Economics, simulated towns run entirely by 10-year-olds.

Exchange City closed years ago, but the Blue Springs program still teaches 12,000 elementary students a year about money, scarcity, opportunity cost and supply and demand. And next month, the School of Economics is opening a new downtown location in the UMB bank building.

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