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Sprint

shortCHINESEguy / Flickr - CC

From biblical birthrights to the Belmont Stakes, people have always been obsessed with finishing first. Racing is the most fundamental form of sporting competition and, for better and for worse, a part of human nature. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in “A Fan’s Notes.”

You may not even know about it, but there is an earth-moving event happening right downtown. More than 3,000 tons of dirt is being hauled in to the Sprint Center, dumped on the floor, and bulldozed into a twisting track of moguls, ramps and jumps.

Professional Bull Riders (PBR)

Kansas City's microloan program has surpassed the $3-million mark. The funding focuses on business start-ups and expansion as explained by the lender involved and an entrepreneur who has benefited from one. Then, two of the top 45 international bull riders are Missouri-natives. Hear about their climb to the professional world and the techniques they use during those dangerous 8 seconds atop a bucking beast.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Sprint employees were at Central Academy of Excellence Wednesday to pass out free wireless hotspots to low-income high school students who don’t have internet access at home.

Freshman Nia Abson was one of the first students to receive a device with a data plan.

“Like, I couldn’t get my work done, and then I’d be failing classes,” Abson says. “I’d just be like, ‘Mom, I need internet.’”

Mark Bedell says he heard from countless Kansas City Public Schools students about the lack of connectivity when he visited schools during his first 100 days as superintendent.

Queen Yuna / Flickr - CC

Figure skating competitors are in Kansas City this week for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Sprint Center. It’s the first time the figure skating national championships are in Kansas City since 1985. That was a breakthrough year for diversity in the sport, the figure skating nationals have struggled since then to match that diversity.

Phil Hersh, a former writer for the Chicago Tribune who covered 30 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, calls Tiffany Chin’s performance at the 1985 championships an “absolute revelation.”

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Shoppers looking for a cell phone at the Sprint store on the Country Club Plaza on Saturday got more than they bargained for: the CEO of the company wanted to listen to them.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure became a salesman again as he met customers on the shop floor at a new outlet on the Plaza.

Claure says he wants to understand what he described as “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the sales experience. By late morning Claure had a few tips.

“I’ve learned that I’d love to make this process a little simpler and less time consuming," he says.

woodleywonderworks — Flickr CC

Students who don't have internet access at home are at risk of falling further behind at school as more teachers assign homework that requires web access. 

That trend has been called the "homework gap," and Sprint wants to help close it.

On Tuesday, the Overland Park-based company announced a new initiative, the 1Million Project, which will put mobile devices and free wireless service into the hands of one million students across the country. 

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint says it’s set a new record for wireless internet speed in Kansas City, using a technology called three-channel carrier aggregation.

The technology works by bundling data streams, and organizing them to work like one.  Creating one big pipe can handle a lot more information.

Dan Hesse on Up To Date
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Dan Hesse retired after seven years as CEO of Sprint in August 2014, he vowed to take at least a year "completely off."

The year has come and gone — and Hesse is busy again ... but it's a different kind of busy.

"I'd been accused by many people of being a serial workaholic," Hesse says. "I tried to have a balanced life, but I really focused on being the best leader and mentor I could be. I wanted to take some time to be the best father, husband, son and friend that I could be."

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Sprint Corp. is laying off more than 800 employees at its Overland Park headquarters.

The telecommunications company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, or WARN, notice with the state of Kansas late Friday. The firm said it's letting go a total of 829 workers.

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City and Independence will host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2017.

The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City will host the senior and junior championships, and the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence will host the novice, intermediate and juvenile level events.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says Kansas City area is a good fit for figure skating.

“Kansas City as you all know is a tremendous sports city,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “We have the best sports fans in the world in my personal opinion.”

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City area residents have joined a nationwide effort petitioning Sprint to keep offering internet for nonprofit organizations through its WiMax service.

WiMax provides low-cost, high-bandwidth internet access with no data caps through mobile hotspots. Providers Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen use the service to hook up schools and other nonprofits.

Sprint acquired WiMax along with telecommunications company Clearwire in 2013, and decided to shut down the service and migrate customers over to its LTE service instead.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Blue-clad and buzzing with 30 years' worth of pent up anticipation, Royals' fans began gathering in downtown Kansas City hours before the official start of Tuesday's World Series victory parade. 

Though they were here to cheer on the team that brought their city its first World Series title since the Reagan era, they also clearly drew a deeper meaning from the experience.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Sprint will move to cut up to $2.5 billion in operating costs over the next six months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal obtained an email detailing the move from the Overland Park-based telecommunications company's CFO Tarek Robbiati Thursday. So far, the company hasn't announced how they plan to cut the money, but layoffs are likely.

Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

If I asked you to imagine the next great tech mind, you might picture a 20-something man in Silicon Valley. But the 20 girls at Coding and Cupcakes at the Sprint Accelerator last Saturday don't have time for gender stereotypes. They've got a website to design. 

Like 8-year-old Kyanne Carlgren, who says she "just maked an account" — her first e-mail account.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons-Flickr

The University of Kansas Hospital is opening what hospital officials say is the first urgent care clinic in the downtown core of Kansas City, Mo.

Set to open on Monday, the clinic will be housed in the lobby of the Sprint Center, next to the College Basketball Experience.

In a news release, KU Hospital said the decision to open a clinic downtown was driven by the growing number of people working and living there.

Available to patients older than 6 months, the clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Additional hours might be added.

Mike Mozart / Flickr--CC

Sprint Corp. announced Monday that it would layoff at least 2,000 employees.

The cuts, which are expected to save Sprint around $400 million, are part of an aggressive cost-cutting package introduced by CEO Marcelo Claure, a Bolivian businessman who took over from ousted CEO Dan Hesse in August.

“The Sprint brand was weak," Claure told investors during an earnings call Monday. "We had no clear value proposition for consumers. The measure of our own customer’s willingness to recommend Sprint was the lowest among the four big wireless carriers.”

Sprint Begins Round Of Layoffs

Oct 3, 2014
Julie Denesha / KCUR

 

Overland Park-based Sprint Corp. has begun a series of workforce reductions, according to documents the Kansas telecommunications company filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing didn’t say how many employees would be affected by the layoffs, which the company began to implement on Tuesday.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Last week, Overland Park-based Sprint Corp. officials indicated job cuts were coming in the fall.  

The extent of the layoffs at the Kansas company, which employs roughly 7,000 people locally, hasn’t been divulged, but at least one Sprint worker is taking the news to heart.

“Personally, I am cleaning everything out of my cube,” said Peg McMahon, a Sprint employee who responded to our Tell KCUR question of the week.

Courtesy photo / KCUR

As one of the Kansas City area’s largest employers is bracing for another round of job cuts, the community is busy speculating on how large this wave will be.

Last week, Overland Park-based Sprint Corp.’s new CEO, Marcelo Claure, told investors that as the telecommunications company attempts to cut costs, the firm also would shed management employees, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.  

Elle Moxley / KCUR

How do you get 18 tigers, 20 horses, 16 poodles and a half-dozen Asian elephants to downtown Kansas City, Mo.?

By circus train, of course.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Assistant Animal Superintendent Ryan Henning says the logistics of bringing so many animals to town are almost as interesting as the show itself.

Henning answered a few of our questions while showing us around the temporary horse enclosures at the Sprint Center.

How do you get that many animals to town?

courtesy: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Update: Sprint's Cleyson Brown Unlimited won first place. The band was also recognized for Best Horns (David Freeland), Best Bass Player (Frank Minolfo), and Best Drummer (Jason Smith). 

Original post follows: 

Companies around the country will be in heavy competition this weekend - on stage, with musical instruments.

Lean Lab

The Sprint Accelerator, is a sleek, modern communal work space occupying two floors of an old brick building in Kansas City’s Crossroads neighborhood. It has white board walls and tables for entrepreneurs to sketch out their ideas. It features massive oddly shaped chairs, lots of sunlight, and the startup-requisite game room featuring indoor shuffleboard and foosball.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The death of a merger proposal between Sprint and T-Mobile may have been bad news for the Kansas City company — stock prices dropped 19 percent Wednesday. But the news has some locals breathing a sigh of relief. It means Sprint is staying put, for now.

(Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

Sprint Corp. is ending its attempt to acquire T-Mobile US Inc., and Dan Hesse will no longer be CEO of the company, according to media reports out Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "people familiar with the matter" say Sprint and its parent company SoftBank will not pursue the deal any further because it would too difficult to win approval from regulators.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Talk of the proposed $32 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile continues to bubble, raising serious questions about the future health of the Kansas City regional economy. 

The deal is still just rumored – and it's unknown if federal regulators will approve it, how it will be structured and even whether Sprint or T-Mobile would be the lead company in the deal.

What is clear is that Sprint is a vital company to the Kansas City area, and that the proposed merger comes at a delicate time for the regional economy.

Robert Nazarian / talkandroid.com

When Sprint CEO Dan Hesse appeared on a recent episode, he didn’t say much about the anticipated merger of his company with T-Mobile. Since then, talk of a merger between the third and fourth largest US wireless companies hasn't diminished. And one of the companies is based right in our backyard.

On Tuesday's Up to Date we explore the process of corporate mergers and what this one might mean for Sprint's Overland Park campus.

Guests:

John Taylor / Flickr-CC

When Sprint Corp. CEO Dan Hesse took the helm of an ailing telecommunications corporation seven years ago, he had his work cut out for him.

In the past year, things have moved very quickly for the company, with a majority buyout by Japan-based SoftBank Corp., layoffs and recent rumors of a merger deal with T-Mobile.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with Hesse to discuss the whirlwind of activity surrounding Sprint, and what it all means for consumers.

A Look At Sprint With Its CEO

Jun 10, 2014
John Taylor / Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to employment and industry, Sprint is a giant in Kansas City, but that status doesn’t come without some issues.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse joins us to talk about rumors of a potential merger with T-Mobile, what a recent quarterly report says about the company and what presses Hesse’s buttons when it comes to audio quality.

Sprint Corp. has worked out a $32 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile US Inc., according to reports Wednesday.

The deal was reported by varying media outlets, including the Kansas City Star, but no sources were identified. Sprint has not confirmed the reports and a spokesman for the company declined to comment to The Star.

Sébastien Barré / Flickr-CC

We are on the verge of what every sports fan dreads worse than the agony of defeat: the occasional lull. The Winter Olympics, timed so perfectly to counter the post-Super Bowl hangover, are winding down, while March Madness and Royals Opening Day remain just out of reach.

Fortunately, I’ve found an antidote, not to mention the perfect answer to two weeks of ice dancing: The bulls are coming to town!

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