Agriculture
5:00 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Beef Prices Predicted To Hit Ceiling, But Business Is Still Booming

Friona Industries President and CEO James Herring speaks to a crowd at the Kansas Livestock Association's annual conference
Credit Sean Sandefur

Last week, hundreds of people gathered in Wichita to talk cattle. The Kansas Livestock Association held its annual convention at the Hyatt Regency and Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur attended and reports that while the nation’s cow populations are still low, business is better than ever.

The large convention hall inside Century II is filled with big tractors, big cowboy hats and the smell of BBQ beef brisket. If you’re in the cattle business, this is the place to learn the newest trends in bovine technology.

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Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

Before working in public radio, Jack worked as an environmental educator in just about every state in New England, most recently at the Harris Center in Hancock.

Jack comes from a rowdy family of Italians who wave their hands in the air while talking, and he competed for attention as a child by telling the loudest story. 

Government
12:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Kansas Budget Plan Draws Concern Over KPERS Cuts

Several Senate lawmakers have criticized Governor Sam Brownback's plan to use state pension dollars to help fill a budget hole.

Senate Vice President Jeff King and state Treasurer Ron Estes think the proposal hurts the public pension plan, known as KPERS, not long after an attempt to fix it.

Stephen Koranda reports...

Lawmakers passed a bill in 2012 that increased payments into KPERS to help erase a long-term deficit.

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Environment
12:04 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Is The U.S. Falling Behind On Maintaining Aging Levees, Dams, Ports and Harbors?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' commander general says the nation is falling behind on maintaining its aging levees, dams, ports and harbors.

Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick spoke on Thursday during the Society of American Military Engineers conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

He says finishing all the projects that have been authorized would cost about $23.5 billion dollars, but the corps' annual budget for the work usually hovers around $1.5 billion. And that doesn't include addressing their maintenance backlog.

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Entertainment
11:39 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Karla Burns in Forum Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol'

Karla Burns as The Ghost of Christmas Present.
Credit The Forum Theatre

Tune in on Monday during Morning Edition for Aileen LeBlanc's full interview with the composer, writer, director and cast of A Christmas Carol, as well as some musical numbers, too.  

Karla Burns sings "Celebrate the Time" as the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present. 

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Music
10:31 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Christmas Goes Gospel With Mary Mary, Hezekiah Walker And More

The holiday compilation 'Christmas Goes Gospel: Tis the Season'
Credit Album Cover Art

Sunday, December 14:

Hear holiday music from the new release Christmas Goes Gospel: Tis the Season on Soulsations.  The release features Christmas tunes from Mary Mary, Hezekiah Walker, The Temptations, Jonathan Butler, Take 6 and Israel Houghton & New Breed.

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Music
8:26 am
Thu December 11, 2014

New Settlers' Radio Hour: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Saturday, December 13:

Listen for music from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's performance at the Cotillion in Wichita.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have been performing their brand of country-rock since the 60s with a brief bit of fame in the 80s. Their best-known tunes are probably "Mr. Bojangles" and "American Dream." Amazing musicianship, tight harmonies and so much fun!

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Government
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Follow-Up Meeting Held In Wichita Over Police And Community Relations

Ida Allen, whose brother was shot and killed by a Wichita police officer in July, addresses city officials at a forum on Wednesday night. From left, Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, Mayor Carl Brewer and City Manager Bob Layton. Also onstage were Pastor Junius Dotson of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and Pastor Kevass Harding of Dellrose United Methodist Church
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

The City of Wichita held a second meeting on police and community relations on Wednesday night. The meeting was held at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. 

The turnout was smaller and the tone less agitated than the first meeting held back in August.

City officials described Wednesday night as a progress report. 

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Commentary
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'Interstellar' Has Plenty Of Flaws, But It's Never Boring

Well, people kept asking about it, so I finally went and saw Interstellar and found it much better than I had expected.

Its science is pretty ridiculous, and the last hour does not fit too well with the first two, but if it is looked at as fantasy instead of science fiction, it holds up pretty well. And it certainly is never boring for its full three hours.

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Health
4:10 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas Continues To Struggle In Health Rankings

New health rankings show Kansas stuck at 27--the same slot that it occupied last year. But KPR’s Bryan Thompson reports there was a time--not that long ago--when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.

The United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy.

“Kansas has had a steady decline, from about ten or eleven in that initial 1990 rank to rank 27th in this most recent year’s report,” says Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundations chief health advisor.

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