Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) | KCUR

Kansas City Missouri (KCMO)

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As the homicide count in Kansas City continues to creep up and mass shootings happen regularly across the country, religious leaders from the suburbs to the city are finding it increasingly necessary to address the violence.

"We see a lot of memes, Facebook, and social media about 'thoughts and prayers are not going to take us much further' but, indeed, prayer is the foundation of the church," says the Rev. Laurie Anderson, minister of church life at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park.

Segment 1: Addressing gun violence from the pulpit

Local leaders looking for a fix to the gun violence problem in Kansas City have tried policy solutions of their own, and have begged for legislative action from the General Assembly in Jefferson City. Progress, though, has been limited. Will turning to a higher power help? We ask local faith leaders what role their churches have in curbing gun violence.

Segment 1: Davids discusses gun violence, antisemetism and hate, and "Sharice's Shifts"

The August break that federal legislators get is often called a recess, but Rep. Sharice Davids' schedule suggests it's anything but. While back in her home district, Davids shares the concerns she's been hearing from her constituents, and the issues she's focused on for the next session.

Prairie Fire Development Group

Addressing Kansas City’s shortage of affordable housing options was a main tenet of Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas’ campaign. On Monday, Lucas is set to announce a new affordable housing project geared specifically toward families who have survived domestic violence.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It's not often that a candidate quitting a local mayor's race would get national media attention, but that's exactly what happened last October when Jason Kander announced he was dropping his bid to be Kansas City's chief executive.

heathernewmanband.com

Powerful women have risen from Kansas City’s hard-driving blues scene in recent years. The latest to make her mark is Heather Newman, whose first record earned national attention three years ago and whose new release is even stronger.

After moving to Kansas City from Omaha five years ago, Newman has joined the ranks of Samantha Fish, Danielle Nicole Schnebelen, Katy Guillen and Amanda Fish, who have all earned a global base of fans.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

In 1996, Ricky Kidd was imprisoned for a double murder in Kansas City, Missouri, he didn't commit.

Now, after 23 years behind bars, Kidd is free.

He was released Thursday from the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri, one day after a DeKalb County judge determined his original trial was unfair, and further, that the evidence was "clear and convincing" Kidd was innocent.

Segment 1: 'We tend to feel like we're captives in our own homes and neighborhoods,' says one neighborhood leader.

Last weekend Brian Bartlett became the youngest victim of gun violence this year in Kansas City, Missouri. Today, neighborhood leaders east of Troost revealed how prevalent shootings have become, how residents are taking more action to record and report activitites in their neighborhoods, and the frustration in trying to find a solution to the gun violence.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City’s first charter school for girls only opens next week with a staff that reflects the diversity of its students and the community.

Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy is entering a crowded charter market, but school leaders are counting on a curriculum that highlights the contributions of women and people of color to attract and keep students.

Parent Monique Cannon decided to move her daughter, Dieerin Jamison, from another charter school so she could have more teachers of color.

The Midwest Innocence Project

After Ricky Kidd spent decades in prison for a 1996 double murder in Kansas City, Missouri, he says he didn't commit, a DeKalb County judge has found Kidd innocent and ordered that he be freed from prison unless prosecutors pursue a new trial within 30 days.

The ruling comes a few months after Kidd was finally granted a hearing for a civil lawsuit against the state, which claimed that Kidd's custody is illegal because his conviction was illegally obtained.

His lawyers told KCUR in May this was Kidd's last chance at freedom.

Segment 1: Application numbers for growing medical marijuana in Missouri are below expectations

With only a few days left to submit the required paperwork, there are less than 100 applicants for the 60 cultivator licenses Missouri is ready to award. A panel of those involved in working to supply medical marijuana dispensaries by spring 2020 explain what goes into creating the state's regulations and what hopeful cultivators have already done to be considered.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Some of the country's best gymnasts, along with their coaches, families and fans, have been in Kansas City this weekend for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. USA Gymnastics estimates the event will have a $5.6 million economic impact on the region, not including what visitors spend eating out or shopping for gifts to take home.

The competition is just one high-profile athletic event that Kansas City has recently snagged. The city will also host the 2023 NFL Draft, and is among the 17 United States finalists to host World Cup soccer games in 2026.

Segment 1: The Kansas City Public School Board prepares for a new school year

Both new and returning school board members are preparing for the start of the school year next week. They talked about the timeline for accreditation, the inefficiency of charter schools and how the Jackson County reassessment issues are making an impact on the district. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

People who live around Kessler Park, just a few blocks from the Kansas City Museum in the Historic Northeast neighborhood, say it's the city's biggest front porch for listening to music in Kansas City.

“We have a lovely view of this day after day," said David Joslyn, who has lived in the neighborhood with his wife Elaine for more than 30 years. "The beautiful Concourse, the Esplanade, the wonderful playground and the fountain. We’re very blessed.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Kansas City's Sondern-Adler Home went on the market last year for $1.65 million. No one bought it, so it's going up for a no-reserve auction, with no minimum starting bid, on August 12.

Knowing the challenges that lie ahead is important for any buyer, says John H. Waters, an architect and preservation programs manager at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Chicago.

Rebecca Hange / KCUR 89.3

Since Kansas City, Missouri, transferred its inmates from the Jackson County jail to the Heartland Center for Behavioral Change in late June, one inmate has died and two have escaped.

An inmate was found dead Tuesday at the facility at 15th and Campbell, according to police. They have not disclosed the inmate's identity or provided other details. The incident is under police investigation.

Another inmate escaped from the facility overnight Tuesday.

Segment 1: Creating a winning bid for major events

The U.S. Gymnastics Championship this weekend and the NFL Draft in 2023— what do they have in common? They will both take place in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit KC and the Kansas City Sports Commission played roles in bringing these events to town. The CEOs of both explained a process that can take years and described what they think makes the metro appealing to those looking for a host city. 

Bigstock

Kansas City's Truman Medical Centers was hit with a ransomware attack on Tuesday morning that locked the hospital out of parts of its computer system.

The attackers demanded money to unlock the data, and the safety net hospital agreed to pay a small amount, Truman said in a statement Wednesday.

“TMC worked with a third-party negotiator, its cyber insurance carrier and outside cyber counsel to pay a small amount of money, for which the medical center was insured,” the statement said.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Missouri workers providing care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities make less than a Walmart or Target worker, even after a pay increase that went into effect last month. 

The low pay is the main reason about half of Missouri workers quit each year, according to Missouri Developmental Disabilities Division Director Val Huhn.

Courtesy of Marvella Clark

A Jackson County judge on Tuesday railed about Kansas City’s decades of gun violence, state government’s “encouraging” the use of weapons, and his own futility in trying to bring justice to the “senseless, thoughtless and ultimately cruel” murder of a young mother.

Judge John Torrence sentenced Deandre “Day Day” Jackson to 26 years for the second-degree murder of Maryanna “Pretty” Pennington, 25, after a two-and-a-half hour emotional hearing where the victim’s family packed the room.

Segment 1: Weekend shootings in Kansas City spark concern about public events

This weekend saw multiple fatal shootings in Kansas City, one of them occurred shortly after First Friday in the Crossroads, where thousands of people had congregated. The incident has community members and leaders reconsidering Kansas City's violent crime problem, and how to rein it in. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

LaShanda Temple remembers how quiet the street was that night. It was about 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning this June, and she was leaving a gathering of friends near 31st Street and Benton Boulevard in Kansas City. 

"It was real mellow, you know. Not a lot going on. Not a lot of traffic," she says. 

LaShanda, 36, was about to get into the driver's side of a friend's car to go home when suddenly she heard the squeal of tires and saw headlights coming straight at her.

Kyle Plamer / KCUR 89.3

Updated 7:45 a.m. Aug. 4: When he was campaigning, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas often spoke of the need to fix the city's persistent problem with violent crime. Now, in the first days of his administration, he's facing the same stark reality that frustrated his predecessor, Sly James. 

"We've got a problem in Kansas City. I've been mayor for two full days, and we've got two homicides," Lucas said Saturday at a hastily called press conference that included Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Astry Sosa has a good job at Prier Products, a manufacturer of plumbing products, but she’s the first to admit that she’s never been able to save money.

“I could just never seem to make it stay in a single place, you know?” she says with a laugh. “I’d always talk myself into ‘Oh well, what’s $20 on something?’’”

So when the 25-year-old Sosa took over payments on a pickup truck her parents owned, it was tough.

Segment 1: A new program allows employees to get help with money through employers.

A new program available to Kansas City companies allows employees to use a benefits system that helps them save money, get access to low-interest loans and establish credit. It's offered in lieu of taking out payday loans, which can have high interest rates. 

Segment 1: Former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, can be remembered for more than brick-and-mortar accomplishments

With his successor officially sworn in as mayor, Sly James has ended his eight years  at City Hall. His legacy goes beyond a convention hotel, a single-terminal airport and the streetcar. A panel of non-profit representatives spotlighted James' fights for a higher minimum wage, women's equality and literacy in young children. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A new era of Kansas City, Missouri, government has officially begun.

Mayor Quinton Lucas and new city council members were sworn in on the 26th floor of City Hall on a gray, rainy Thursday morning. 

"For some people, clear blue skies are this beacon of good fortune, but for me rain is the thing I look for all the time," Lucas said, citing the downpour on the night he was elected in June.

file photo / Truman Medical Centers

Online medical shopping is now available in Missouri and Kansas, and it could be more affordable than going through insurance companies.

Launched in March, Sesame allows patients to search for medical care in the Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, areas. MediBid is an online portal that allows patients to make requests for care and doctors and hospitals to respond with an offer. 

Jim Lightfoot

Missy Koonce has figured out that "weird ages well."

For 30 years, the actor, writer and director has entertained Kansas City with her character acting, parodies of old shows like "Bonanza," and for a while, as owner of Bar Natasha.

That local legacy will be capped this fall when Koonce moves to Indianapolis, Indiana, where her partner has been transferred for work.

"I think what I'm most excited about, about going someplace new, is nobody knows me there," she said.

File photo / KCUR 89.3

Two healthcare giants are expanding a pilot program in the Kansas City area aimed at using their drug stores to provide primary care and other services to Medicare beneficiaries.

Humana and Walgreens announced on Tuesday that they plan to open two primary care centers in area Walgreens stores in addition to the two they opened last year.

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