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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Over the last year, homicides in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhoods have gone from 11 to zero.

Police, county authorities, neighborhood associations and other community groups have stepped up to a complex crime problem in Kansas City's Historic Northeast with a multi-layered solution. Today, we heard about their efforts, credited with bringing the rates of homicide, aggravated assault and robbery down.

Segment 1: Comedy is comedy for kids and adults.

Mo Willems has written for Sesame Street and has authored many children's books with iconic characters such as Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny. We talk with him about the many emotions and lessons depicted in his books. His most recent exhibit, The Pigeon Comes to Topeka!, is on display until January 4th.

Public domain

Everything about Walt Disney is legendary, especially in his hometown of Kansas City where a mythology has grown up around the young ad man who created the world’s most-beloved character.

But, what does anyone really know about that mouse?

"How can the most popular fictional character in the world be someone that no one knows anything about?" author Jeff Ryan asked Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

Segment 1: The forgotten Kansas Citian behind Mickey Mouse.

The story of how Mickey Mouse got his start is part of Kansas City mythology. But Walt Disney isn't the only Kansas Citian responsible for the famous mouse. We'll hear the story of another man whose role in making Mickey is just as crucial.

Kyle Cassidy / Wikimedia Commons

Public radio star Peter Sagal has not always been the dedicated long-distance runner he is today. After competing on his high school cross-country team, 25 years would pass before he took exercising seriously again. What started out as a goal to get healthy, led to 14 marathon finishes. Today, Sagal talked about the lessons he's learned, and how his running helped him get a handle on life during hard times.

John Chase

Robert Mnookin grew up in the 1950s as a member of B’nai Jehudah, one of the biggest and oldest Jewish temples in Kansas City. But asked to describe himself, the Harvard law professor doesn’t immediately say, “I’m Jewish.”

“We all have many strands to our identity: I’m a father, a grandfather, a husband, a law professor, I’m a Harvard graduate, and I’m from Kansas City. And, I’m Jewish,” Mnookin told Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

J.E. Milles Studio, LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / UMKC

Segment 1: Control of venerable jazz institution to be decided in court.  

Kansas City is home to three National Historic Landmarks, and an unassuming building near 18th and Vine is one of them. The Mutual Musicians Foundation has been a meeting place for jazz greats like Charlie Parker for more than a century and is known for its late-night jam sessions. We learned about its long musical history and what is behind the latest power struggle for the foundation.

Succotash / Facebook

Kansas City chef Beth Barden just finished a job she never anticipated having: food-stylist for the new coffee table book "Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life."

Like the "Queer Eye" television show, which recently wrapped filming its third season in Kansas City, the book is full of lifestyle advice, with pearls of widsom ranging from how to select the right cut of denim to what your go-to meal says about you.  

Frank Morris / KCUR

Segment 1: Road conditions led to schools being closed for three days after Sunday's storm.  

November is ending but the winter season is just beginning as Kansas Citians continue recovering from the effects of last weekend's blizzard. The city is responsible for clearing 6,400 miles of pavement and listeners called in to let city council members know just what they thought of how well the city did, or didn't, do in plowing and treating their streets.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How newly-elected lawmakers get up to speed before taking office.

There's new staff to meet, colleagues to greet, committee assignments, and dorms to move into — well, that last one might not apply, but becoming a new state lawmaker can be a lot like going off to college. We spoke with two freshman lawmakers from the Kansas City area about making the transition to the statehouse.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: After a failed gas tax proposal, how does the Missouri Department of Transportation continue to keep roads and bridges safe?

USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: How rising temperatures and a changing climate will affect the tallgrass prairies. 

The consequences of climate change are usually pictured as melting ice caps and islands being swallowed by rising sea levels. In the Midwest, where unpredictable weather is a staple of life, biologists say climate change is also altering the landscape of the tallgrass prairie, "one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world."

Segment 1: Kansas City poet wins International Latino Book Award

A local poet has won two major awards this year, for her work in both English and Spanish. On this episode, we speak with Xánath Caraza about poetry as a way to break silence, the best way to produce a lot of art, and the women that have had significant influence on her life. 

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.

Segment 1: Stan Lee's local impact on entertainment culture.

Stan Lee, the creator of the Marvel Comics Universe, passed away earlier this week. On this episode, we speak with local artists and collectors who were influenced by Lee's legacy.

Segment 2, beginning at 35:00: The Baker Street Irregulars.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is making the transition with the help of Gov. Jeff Colyer and others.

Seg. 1: Election Words. Seg. 2: National Novel Writing Month.

Nov 6, 2018

Segment 1: Where does the word vote come from?

Voting and elections have their own vocabulary, with words like poll, tally, ballot, and candidate. We discuss with scholars to learn the origins of voting words and how they came to be associated with the election season. We also check in with a KCUR reporter out at the polls on this election day.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: In a tight race for Kansas governor, candidate Kelly touts her bipartisan bona fides.

gofishdigital.com / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: "It is much more difficult to predict turnout and who's going to vote in midterm elections than in a presidential election," veteran pollster says.

Segment 1: How do you prepare to vote?

There are a lot more issues on the ballot than you may realize. How do you make sure you have sufficient knowledge of candidates, judges, and amendments before getting to the ballot box? We talk with a local voter who did extensive research and shared her findings on social media, as well as KCUR staff members who put together some resources.

Segment 1: How should we respond to violent acts of hatred?

On Saturday, a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We talk with leaders in Kansas City's Jewish community about this act of violence, including ways to heal and prevent this from happening again in the future.

A white woman in a dark blazer with shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair smiling broadly.
Rhododendrites / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Renowned historian discusses the influences that made four presidents great leaders.

When it comes down to it, 50 years of presidential scholarship has convinced Doris Kearns Goodwin that great leaders are made, not born. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of books on former presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson talked about the individual trajectories that brought each of them to the national crises they faced as president.

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.”

O'Dea / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Three separate ballot measures aim to allow medical marijuana in the Show-Me State.

A smiling person with shoulder-length red hair. Wearing a white shirt and positioned in front of a light neutral background.
Andrew Eccles

She's well known for her stints as assistant Erin on the television show "The Office," the naive friend in the movie "Bridesmaids" and the lead role on Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Now Missouri-native Ellie Kemper is branching out from the screen to the page with a newly-released collection of personal essays. We talked about why her the book devotes a chapter to squirrels and what it was like to make the jump from from the Midwest to Hollywood.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The state of KanCare.

Since it's creation in 2013, KanCare has received heavy criticism. The privatized Medicaid dispursement program started by former Gov. Sam Brownback has struggled with long processing wait times, bad data collection and lawsuits. Today, administrators of the program discuss the myriad issues they've dealt with already and the ones that remain to be solved.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"A Blade So Black," a new young adult novel, is a modern twist on the children's classic, "Alice in Wonderland." This Alice faces the challenges of growing up a black teen in urban Atlanta while also fighting the nightmares in Wonderland. Author L. L. McKinney spoke with us about the novel and how she wrote the female protagonist so her niece could read books with characters that look like her. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Will redevelopment on a single block of Troost be the bellweather for how the city revitalizes other neighborhoods?

Grey keyboard with "Healthcare" printed on green return key.
BigStock

Segment 1: Kansas refusal to expand Medicaid has delayed access to medical care and left many poor residents uninsured.

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