Overland Park Kansas | KCUR

Overland Park Kansas

courtesy of the artist

In the art world, what makes regular abstraction different from "queer abstraction"?

Unlike LGBTQ artists who explore identity through representational images that make clear statements, the 20 artists in "queer abstraction" at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art are expressing themselves through color, shape and form.

But as with non-queer abstract art, what they're expressing is not always easy to discern.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It had not been a good day for John Albers. The 17-year-old Overland Park teen had ADHD, and occasionally went through extreme ups and downs. It was January 20, 2018, and he told his parents he didn’t want to go out to dinner with the family that night.

“So we left the house and John obviously went to a really dark place very, very quickly,” his mom, Sheila Albers, said.

Segment 1: Continuing developments still don't seal the deal for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile

Last month the Justice Department gave final approval to the $26-billion deal between the communications companies. This week the Federal Communications Commission chair recommended going ahead with it. In the way is a lawsuit brought by 16 attorneys general looking to derail the proposed union. Learn what the success or failure of the merger could mean for Sprint and T-Mobile, urban and rural consumers and company employees.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

More than a year after announcing the proposed $26 billion deal, Sprint and T-Mobile won final federal clearance on Friday when the U.S. Department of Justice announced it had settled anti-trust concerns.

The combined company will be called “the New T-Mobile.”

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.

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Sprint Corp. has an agreement to sell its Overland Park headquarters campus to a Wichita company, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Sprint announced Friday morning that it has an agreement to sell the massive property to Occidental Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sprint CEO Michel Combes told employees in an email that he expects the deal to close "in the coming months."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Sen. Tim Kaine last called Kansas City home in the 1970s, but he says he still relies on his Midwestern values to guide his politics.

Kaine is Virginia's junior U.S. Senator and was Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential running mate in 2016. But Kaine grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and this week returned to stump for his old friend from Rockhurst High School, Steve Miller, who is running for Kansas City mayor.

"It was a delightful place to grow up," Kaine says of Kansas City.

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University

Segment 1: Municipal lawmakers from both sides of the state line discuss the hurdles facing their cities.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The executive building on the sprawling Sprint campus in Overland Park, Kansas, used to look like a bank: wood-paneled walls, heavy drapes, elaborate light sconces, lots of offices and a huge board room.

"It represents a company formerly known as Sprint," said Tyler Pittenger, Sprint's corporate real estate portfolio manager.

Anne Kniggendorf

Artist Hasna Sal, a Muslim, did something radical for someone of her faith: She created a 600-pound nativity scene. A nativity triptych, to be more precise, meaning the work consists of three panels — in this case, one two by nine-foot panel for each Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Sales tax collections for the early part of this year’s holiday season are down across Kansas, and that includes Johnson, Wyandotte and Douglas counties. But some local shops are having a great year, by selling experience as well as stuff.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

It's Nutcracker season, and ballet dancers everywhere are preparing for the biggest performances of the year. But their productions also rely on colorful backgrounds onstage, which is where Kenmark Scenic Backdrops of downtown Overland Park comes in.

ALLISON LONG / POOL/THE KANSAS CITY STAR

If you want to know how a felon buys a gun, think about how a teenager might buy alcohol.

First, find a willing friend or family member, or maybe even a stranger at a liquor store who wants to make a quick buck. Then give this person some cash, tell them your drink of choice, and wait.

If you’re careful, this transaction — called a “straw purchase” — is impossible to detect. Clerks don’t often hassle a person over 21 who walks alone into a liquor store.

Strawberry Swing

There’s no reason to just give a gift this holiday season when you can give the gift of Kansas City. These holiday craft and art sales will make shopping thoughtfully, and locally, simple.

Kelly Downs Photography

If there were something like a Chinatown for Cherokee people, says author Traci Sorell, it would be easier for non-Native American people to know more about these indigenous people.

“They are your neighbors, they’re the children in your classroom, they’re the people walking into your library, they’re your colleagues at work,” says Sorell, a registered member of the Cherokee Nation.

Courtesy of the LaManno family

The family of a woman killed in 2014 outside the Village Shalom retirement community in Overland Park has settled a lawsuit against Walmart, which sold one of the guns used in the shooting.

Terri LaManno, a 53-year-old occupational therapist, was shot outside the facility by Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., the man who killed three people in an attack that began at a nearby Jewish Community Center.

LaManno’s family filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2016 after a Missouri man who purchased the gun admitted he bought it for Cross in what is known as a straw purchase.

Marilyn Maye

To be human is to pretend.

If you don’t pretend enough, life can seem boring. But pretend too much and you might get hauled away for fraud – which definitely isn’t dull, but what a hassle.

So try pretending just the right amount at weekend events that will let you make-believe without the risk of mayhem. Well, not much. Uh, let’s pretend I didn’t say that.

1. Marilyn Maye with Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Saturday morning Shabbat at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park typically draws about 30 worshippers. But this Saturday saw a crowd at least four times that number show up, drawn to this white stone synagogue along 127th Street wanting to show solidarity against hate and anti-Semitism.

@SPN_Sherry / Twitter

You may have noticed, but this fall in Kansas City has been especially colorful. As November approaches, trees around the metro have exploded into a dazzling array of reds, oranges, yellows, and even purples.

Jonathan Tasler is a semi-professional photographer who regularly shoots landscape scenes around town. He recently noted the autumnal brilliance he was seeing.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

The parking lot filled fast at Kehilath Israel Synagogue. More than 1,300 people turned out Monday night for a diverse vigil in Overland Park supporting the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.

“Our hearts go out to the people in Pittsburgh, because we know what that’s like,” said Janee Hanzlick on her way into the building.

Joni Kabana

Cheryl Strayed knows the power of a story and that repetition ups the voltage.

Strayed is best known for her 2012 memoir “Wild” — made into a movie of the same name — about her solo hike up the West Coast of the United States, and her more recent advice column and podcast “Dear Sugar.”

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

We hardly knew ye

Well, we do know Steve Watkins is a veteran.

But much of the rest of the biography he’s touted in his race for Congress has come under question.

Last week, The Kansas City Star tore down his claims of building a tiny business into something massive.

Big Stock

This story was updated at 9:11 a.m. Wednesday to add the comments of a spokeswoman for Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

A Jackson County jury has awarded nearly $29 million to a physician who claimed he was wrongfully terminated by the emergency room staffing companies that employed him.

Never2Late Productions

“It’s so silly. Who’s not getting a day older?”

That’s more than a rhetorical question from Joicie Appell, the actress who plays an elderly Kansas woman in a new movie called “The Tree.”

“You have this chance in life to be uniquely you. Nobody else has that chance. Be as good as you can, make the best of it, do what’s right and you forget about aging,” Appell told Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard, in a conversation about “The Tree.”

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

In the new young adult novel “A Blade So Black,” the main character, Alice, doesn't have long blonde hair, and the other side of the looking glass isn't a place full of innocently quirky tea parties.

Latrice "Elle" McKinney, a Kansas resident who writes under the name L. L. McKinney, has created a  fantasy world full of adventure and imagination but infused with real-world issues and black girl magic.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

All four major political ratings organizations currently consider the race for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District a toss-up.

FiveThirtyEight moved the race Saturday from "leans Republican" to a "toss-up" between incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder and Democrat Sharice Davids.

It comes on the heels of two pieces of good news for Davids, a lawyer who is making her first run for office, though she still lags behind Yoder, the incumbent, in fundraising.

William Burkle Photography

A legitimate rock star is leading a life of quiet anonymity in Johnson County.

As front man for the abrasive rock band Sevendust, Lajon Witherspoon has spent decades cultivating a rebellious image. When he’s not on stage, though, he embraces tranquil suburban domesticity.

“I've been wanting to be a part of this Kansas City lifestyle for a long time,” he insists. “I don't think people know that I even lived here.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

It was back to school Friday for some Johnson County students.

For many years now, the Shawnee Mission School District has had a transition day for students moving into a new school building. According to Shawnee Mission West Principal Steve Loe, having just ninth graders on the first day lets new high school students meet their teachers and get acquainted with the building before they have to share the halls with upperclassmen.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

One thousand new jobs with an average salary of $56,000 could be coming to Overland Park, Kansas, over the next five years.

Shamrock Trading Company promised the paychecks Tuesday with the expansion of its national headquarters at 95th Street across Metcalf Avenue.

But specifics in state and local tax incentives remain to be settled. To help lure the project, officials have offered tax breaks they didn't make public at a press conference about the expansion.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Overland Park has dismissed 200 traffic tickets and refunded $4,000 in fines over an unusual traffic ticket scandal. As a result, three police officers resigned last week, according to Chief Frank Donchez.

What the officers did is a little hard to understand.

“They were writing seatbelt tickets instead of other tickets,” says Donchez.

So even if a driver was speeding or ran a red light, these three officers would just write a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

Why?

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