Quinton Lucas | KCUR

Quinton Lucas

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: "No one is immune" to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, said Mayor Carson Ross.

The spread of the new coronavirus has already delayed local elections in Blue Springs, Missouri, but the full extent of the damage is yet to be known. It will undoubtedly include hits to public health, residents' wallets, tax revenue and more, says the suburb's mayor.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: "No one is immune" to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, said Mayor Carson Ross.

The spread of the new coronavirus has already delayed local elections in Blue Springs, Missouri, but the full extent of the damage is yet to be known. It will undoubtedly include hits to public health, residents' wallets, tax revenue and more, says the suburb's mayor.

Courtesy of KMBC live stream

Although the number of cases of COVID-19 is growing in the Kansas City area, the rate of increase does not appear to be. Still, Kansas City Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer said we must be vigilant.

"Remember about half of folks can get this virus and not become ill enough to seek medical care," Archer said in a press conference Monday on the steps of City Hall. “We know we’ve had community spread without being able to track down somebody who is positive.”

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

The Kansas City Council passed a $1.7 billion budget Thursday even though the city does not yet know the full extent of the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the city’s revenues.

“We are in a most serious time,” Councilwoman Teresa Loar said during Thursday’s four-hour debate. “We should just pass a budget, see where we’re at, and then we will take care of things as we go.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1, beginning at 4:12: Current Washington debates revolve around who should get a bailout due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1, beginning at 4:12: Current Washington debates revolve around who should get a bailout due to the COVID-19 crisis.

File photo by Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: What Washington lawmakers are working on in response to the spread of COVID-19.

The federal response to the spread of coronavirus had "a clunky start," said Missouri's senior U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Since then federal decision-makers have enabled state leaders, he said, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has enabled county and local leaders to get things done.

File photo by Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: What Washington lawmakers are working on in response to the spread of COVID-19.

The federal response to the spread of coronavirus had "a clunky start," said Missouri's senior U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Since then federal decision-makers have enabled state leaders, he said, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has enabled county and local leaders to get things done.

Screenshot - Kansas City, Missouri

A Kansas City Council committee on Wednesday advanced a $1.7 billion city budget in a chaotic, difficult-to-follow meeting in which most of the committee was not physically present.

“Obviously this is unusual times, so we’re trying to continue the business of the people, but yet do it in a way that’s safe for all of us,” councilwoman Katheryn Shields said to begin the meeting.

DimitrI Karastelev / Unsplash

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Segment 1: Understanding the basics of what a virus is

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in this country, questions are swirling around the novel coronavirus. We thought this a good time for a Virology 101 primer. Gene Olinger described how viruses work, why they like humans, and why it is difficult to kill a virus once it enters our bodies.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Renters in Kansas City, Missouri, are giving Mayor Quinton Lucas a Friday deadline to find money to fund an office that would enforce tenants’ rights.

Members of the tenant’s rights organization KC Tenants also accused Lucas of “gaslighting” them for characterizing them as “crazy” or “entitled” for demanding the money.

The tenants’ bill of rights, which was drafted by KC Tenants alongside the mayor’s office, passed overwhelmingly in December. Among other things, the package codifies protections for renters and requires landlords to disclose information about utilities.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas made national headlines Tuesday when he tried to vote in Missouri’s presidential primary but was incorrectly told by an election worker that he wasn’t in the system.

Lucas initially attempted to vote on Tuesday morning using a utility bill as his identification, which is acceptable under Missouri law. He was eventually able to vote Tuesday evening using his passport as identification. He said his experience was part of a larger issue with voting and called on Missouri to increase funding for elections and offer mail-in voting.

Segment 1: A career change introduced one man to the hidden flaws of the American justice system.

Jason Hardy's time as a parole and probation officer in Louisiana revealed a system that makes a prisoner's re-entry into society difficult. Today, he describes the misinterpreted freedom of being released from incarceration and the unfavorable working conditions for officers.

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: "We need to make sure that we're being responsible with every dollar," said Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to allocate $1.7 billion in the latest city budget, but key stakeholders worry it isn't enough to do everything that needs to be done. He's also catching heat for a proposed budget that cuts a great deal of funding to the arts.

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Taxpayers in Kansas City, Missouri, have a chance between now and March 3 to influence how the city spends their money.

Mayor Quinton Lucas released his proposed budget last week. The budget prioritizes fighting violent crime, increasing the city’s stock of affordable housing and fixing potholes, but it falls roughly $3 million short of another of the mayor's priorities: eliminating bus fares.

KCUR 89.3 file photo

As city and state governments across the country legalize marijuana, Kansas City’s mayor wants to make it easier to clean the slate for people convicted of some cannabis-related offenses.

Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced an online system Tuesday afternoon that lets people convicted on municipal marijuana possession charges in Kansas City ask for pardons — free of charge.

“What I want to be able to do for these folks is to say, ‘You might’ve made a mistake at some point, but that we’re going to be fair in how we apply the law in Kansas City and in Missouri,’” Lucas said.

Courtesy Overland Park Historical Society

The Kansas City Star’s front page on December 7, 1997, made a big splash about the $500 million construction just starting in the southern metro area.  

“Sprint makes history with its headquarters,” the headline read, adding that it was “so big it will have its own ZIP code and power substation."

This week, two more headlines showed that the respective heydays for Sprint and the Star are now history, as Sprint lurches closer to a merger with a competitor and the Star announced the bankruptcy of its parent company.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says that without focusing on basic city services in 2020, any goodwill that’s been built up means nothing.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Jimenez Arms, the Nevada-based gun manufacturer that Kansas City sued last month, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada.

The company’s bankruptcy petition listed assets of less than $50,000. That, coupled with more than $1,000,000 in outstanding liabilities, may make it difficult for Kansas City,  should it prevail in its lawsuit, to recover compensation from the company.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

While we’re glued to the news gushing daily out of Washington — impeachment, immigration, health care — the truth is we should be paying just as close attention to what local governments are up to.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Chiefs playing Sunday in the AFC Championship game, it is easy to forget there is another huge sporting event looming on the horizon.

Will Kansas City host some matches in the 2026 World Cup? Efforts to start answering that question are picking up steam.

Last Friday, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Kansas City Sports Commission got a letter from U.S. Soccer saying the 2026 site selection process will resume next month.

Segment 1: Previewing 2020's public safety stories

Kansas City has been staring down a violent crime problem for years and officials at both the state and federal levels are primed to implement a myriad of solutions. But KCUR reporters said it could be months before we see any results.

  • Chris Haxel, Guns and America reporter at KCUR
  • Sam Zeff, metro reporter at KCUR

Segment 2, beginning at 25:56: Where fast food and black entrepreneuership meet

Segment 1: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews the year that was, and discusses his 2020 to-do list.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has only been in office for five months, and has been busy for the duration. He defended his record on curbing tax incentives, standing up for tenant's rights, and pushing to make bus service free in Kansas City. Lucas also answered questions on the city's soaring crime rate.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City officials agreed to a scaled-back tax incentive package Thursday for financial services firm Waddell & Reed to build a new $140 million headquarters in downtown.

It’s the second time in recent months the Kansas City Council has been able to renegotiate fewer incentives, and a sign it may approach economic development deals with higher scrutiny than councils in the past. The council also took action Thursday to curb the ability of the Kansas City Port Authority to grant incentives. 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council on Thursday resoundingly passed what advocates are calling a historic resolution, codifying protections for renters.

Mayor Quinton Lucas, who often talks about his lack of stable housing growing up in Kansas City, made affordable housing a flagship issue of his campaign.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Waddell & Reed will have a week to get city officials and Kansas City Public Schools on board with an incentive deal for its new headquarters.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday reduced the company's incentive package and delayed a vote on tax breaks for the project.

The financial services firm is seeking $40 million in incentives to move from its current headquarters in Overland Park to downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It  already has been awarded $62 million by the state of Missouri.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

The Prospect Avenue MAX bus line that begins running on Monday will charge no fares for the first three months. The $56 million system built with federal grants and local matching funds features faster, more comfortable buses with wifi, and heated concrete benches at the stops.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said making the service available at no charge is a step toward zero fare transit city-wide.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City is poised to become the largest city in the country to eliminate bus fares.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday enthusiastically endorsed the idea, voting unanimously to direct the city manager to identify up to $8 million from the city budget to fund free bus service.

Fourth District Councilman Eric Bunch, who co-sponsored the measure along with Mayor Quinton Lucas, acknowledged the importance of the change.

Segment 1: Mike Pompeo looks more likely to enter the race for Kansas' U.S. Senate seat.

When it comes to the race for president, The Call's Eric Wesson expects another four years of Trump. However, Mike Mahoney of KMBC sees U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar as the sleeper Democratic candidate while Caroline Sweeney is looking at Andrew Yang to gain ground. They also analyzed the U.S. Senate race in Kansas, the early days of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and former city manager Troy Schulte's shift to Jackson County government. 

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