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Segment 1: "Our infrastructure isn't an asset, it's a liability," said architect Dennis Strait.

In recent years many cities, including our own, have become seemingly unaffordable, not just for the people responsible for running and operating them, but for those who live and work in them as well. So what can be done to make Kansas City a more budget-friendly place?

Segment 1: President of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City optimistic for 2020 but  keeping an eye out for what's ahead

Playing the long game with the economy is a crucial part of Esther George's job as a Federal Reserve Bank president, but she knows she can't lose sight of how people make financial decisions in real-time.  Plus, in an economy that seems to be doing well, George still has to do a balancing act between the positives and pitfalls that exist no matter how well the current situation looks. 

Segment 1: Who gets to tell what stories? 

Controversy over a novel called “American Dirt” led to a canceled book tour—a week before author Jeanine Cummins was set to come to Kansas City. Critics have a problem with the fact that Cummins is white, yet wrote a book about a Mexican family trying to make it across the US-Mexico border.

Segment 1: A new book from an MU professor says hidden fees are chipping away at the middle class.

A professor of History, Black Studies, and Public Affairs at Mizzou says banking fees, mortgage fees, student loan fees, and payday loan fees disproportionately affect people, with the wealthy being able to largely avoid them. 

Segment 1: Annual Kansas City event encourages musicians to eat better and focus on their health.

Segment 1: Congressman for Missouri's 5th district shares his stance on the current  impeachment inquiry.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver said constituents in Missouri's 5th District have mixed feelings on impeaching the president. Cleaver has been cautious in his calls for impeachment, but is now certain a crime was committed. Learn why he said, "It's not so much a political crime as it is a civil crime." 

Segment 1: The financial stress of college causes some students to struggle.

For college students who don't come from financial means, it can be difficult to survive on a college campus. We hear about how they try to stay afloat while also staying on top of classes.

Segment 1: A memo from journalists in the Midwest: Stop calling us flyover country

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: Ryana Parks-Shaw and Edward Bell II discuss their plans to take over Kansas City's 5th District Council seat. 

Continuing our Kansas City Council debate series, the 5th District candidates discussed new policing strategies, the addition of pocket parks and how to minimize violent crime.

Segment 1: The voter ID laws enacted in 35 states are inefficient and have little to no impact.

Segment 1: There is one month left in the 2019 filing season.

After being told to expect smaller refunds, new IRS data is now showing the average refund is greater than it was at this point in 2018. Two tax experts helped clear the confusion as they discussed withholding changes, eliminated tax breaks, and new caps on itemized deductions. 

Segment 1: President Trump's budget proposal cuts $3.6 billion from the Department of Agriculture.

If passed as proposed, the president's budget would decrease the department's funds by 15 percent through limits on who could get crop insurance and how much,  a plan to "streamline conservation programs" and changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Reporter Madelyn Beck explained how these cuts would affect food producers and which have a chance of making it into the final version fo the 2020 budget.

Andrew Kline / For KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Appeals by big-box retailers to have property assessed as though it is vacant could mean big revenue loss for local governments.

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."

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

A change is gonna come

A new governor. Some fresh faces in the Legislature. A long-awaited task force report. An expanded stable of private contractors. The coming fallout from a class-action lawsuit.

The Kansas foster care system is getting a makeover. The people running the troubled Department for Children and Families hope that by shaking up the system, they can spare added grief for children already in crisis.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown's lifestyle acutely changed when her two young children were diagnosed with severe food allergies.

“For kids and individuals living with food allergies, it can be isolating. You are reminded every time you sit at the table that you can’t have something," said Brown. "We tend to celebrate with food in our society, so food is everywhere — for the holiday, the birthday, celebrations at work and school.”

The Mission Continues

Segment 1: After a year of controversy, how is the former governor's nonprofit bouncing back?

Before he was Missouri's governor, Eric Greitens founded The Mission Continues to help veterans reintegrate in and improve the communities where they lived. After he became governor and was accused of using the nonprofit's donor list to raise campaign funds, the charity came under intense scrutiny. Now that the dust is starting to settle, we spoke with the organization's leader and a volunteer to see how the group is moving beyond the scandal.

A picture of a woman with dark hair, left, next to a picture of a man with white hair. Both subjects are visible from the chest up.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: A former White House fellow and a small business owner are just two of the Democrats looking to take on Kevin Yoder in November.

When it comes to U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder's job, lots of people want it. In the second of three segments featuring the Democratic challengers vying for the opportunity to take Yoder on in November, we met Sharice Davids and Jay Sidie. We talked to them about their stances on immigration, gun reform and how President Trump's trade policy is impacting Kansas farmers.

Shane Adams / Flcikr - CC

Segment 1: Adidas and KU have been implicated in an FBI investigation of collegiate basketball.

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Our panel of financial planners explain healthy spending routines and investing in stocks

As we inch closer to the April 15 deadline, you may be putting off filing your tax returns for as long as possible. Our Smart Money experts advise otherwise. Today, they outlined what you can do to leave fiscal irresponsibility in your past, and how you can invest wisely in the stock market.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr - CC

Maintaining a healthy personal financial situation can sometimes feel constraining, but the pay-offs are many. Today, the Smart Money Experts are back to discuss the benefits of putting your money toward physical assets. We also discuss the ramifications of GOP tax reform, which has jumped its hurdles in Congress and is en route to the president's desk.

WhiteHouse.gov

While an official tax bill hasn't been presented, Republicans last month outlined a framework for a new tax code. Today, the Smart Money Experts explain the key takeaways from the plan and how it could affect what you owe the government come April 2018. They also share end of the year money-management tips, including how to create a holiday spending strategy, evaluate insurance options and develop plans for retirement.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr - CC

The American family unit these days is way more varied than in decades past. Whether you're in a same-sex relationship, part of a cohabitating couple, or a senior who's just not interested in marriage, financial planning can present unique obstacles. Today, the Smart Money Experts are back with advice for non-traditional couples. They also discuss the latest financial headlines, including the growth in U.S.

Mark Moz / Flickr - CC

Is gold always a safe investment? Is getting a big tax return necessarily a good thing? Can money really buy happiness? Today, our Smart Money Experts answer those questions and more as they separate financial facts from fiction. They also discuss how President Donald Trump's tweets impact the stock prices of the companies, like Nordstrom and Ford, that catch his ire.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with Kansas City Star receiving comment from Chambers — Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has his hands in a lot of important legislation this session, yet he’s still made time to criticize Republican Gov. Eric Greitens over his new nonprofit.

A New Missouri Inc., which isn’t beholden to campaign finance laws and doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is fighting back, publishing a digital ad this week that says the St. Joseph Republican is “siding with liberals” and “playing personal political games.”

Dave Dugdale / Flickr - CC

Several factors influence a person's financial health: age, career choice, dependents ... but gender? According to a 2016 report by Financial Finesse, a firm that manages financial wellness programs for employers, women are not as financially secure in the long-term when compared to their male counterparts, especially among millennials. Today, the Smart Money Experts discuss methods of closing that gap and suggest budget workouts to help achieve fiscal fitness.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr - CC

Whether or not you enjoy your career, you likely plan on permanently leaving the workforce at some point. With longer life expectancy rates, and shrinking stability in government pension programs, hopeful retirees are right to be concerned about the financial viability of doing so. Today, Up To Date's Smart Money Experts detail pragmatic planning tactics and crisis control for those currently in danger of outliving their assets.

Sam Valadi / Flickr - CC

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average edges closer to 20,000 points, the Smart Money Experts share advice on how to respond to record highs in all three major stock indices.

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