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A Watchdog For Kansas' Child Welfare Agency? Not This Year

Twice, Rep. Jarrod Ousley introduced bills that would create a watchdog over the Kansas agency in charge of looking after children from troubled families. It’s a massive department hounded by stories of overlooked abuse cases and foster children caught in punishing patterns of shifting from one temporary home to the next. Ousley says he’s dropping the idea of a state child advocate. For now.

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A faith-based organization that serves homeless people in Wichita will undergo a leadership change next week.

The Union Rescue Mission is reorganizing its management structure to be in line with other nonprofits. On Monday, former Wichita Police Capt. Doug Nolte will become the new CEO.

Nolte knows the homeless community and its struggles through his law enforcement work. He says he put retirement on hold so he can help those in need.

The Kansas Legislature is in the meat of its 2019 session. Not quite halfway through, but well into the “getting down to business” part.

As such, there are consequential conversations happening throughout the Statehouse. Some occur in hearing rooms. But far more take place out of public view — in offices, hallways and the many convenient alcoves tucked into the building’s less-trafficked spaces.

A Wyandotte County judge has thrown out all five remaining criminal indictments stemming from the death three years ago of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, finding that they were tainted by grand jury abuse.

Judge Robert P. Burns ruled that improper evidence and testimony were presented to the grand jury, requiring the indictments’ dismissal.

courtesy of Frank Frazier

Canvas art, African artifacts and black history backpacks will be part of the African-American art show that opens Friday night at Wichita State University.

Danielle Johnson, assistant director of WSU's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, says the "Art That Touches Your Heart" art show, in its eighth year, began as a partnership with Wichita artist Janice Thacker.

"It provides a way for the university and the community to partner and celebrate black art together," Johnson says.

Twice, Rep. Jarrod Ousley introduced bills that would create a watchdog over the Kansas agency in charge of looking after children from troubled families.

It’s a massive department hounded by stories of overlooked abuse cases and foster children caught in punishing patterns of shifting from one temporary home to the next.

Ousley says he’s dropping the idea of a state child advocate. For now.

Courtesy photo

Betse Ellis wowed audiences for years as a member of the popular Kansas City group The Wilders.

More recently, she has been performing in the duo Betse & Clarke with Clarke Wyatt, as well as with the Short Round Stringband, featuring Kelly Wells, Ryan Spearman and Wyatt.

The quartet will perform at the Kansas Bluegrass Association's Winterfest at the Wichita Marriott on Friday, Feb. 22.

What was your initial exposure to fiddle music and roots music? Was this something you heard as a child or did you come to it later?

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas universities and colleges have been living under a budget cut for several years. Now, House lawmakers recommend fully reversing the cut and increasing funding for higher education.

Life is expensive. Rent, health care, raising a family, saving for retirement — it adds up. But so does college debt. In fact, the cost of college shot up many times faster than typical U.S. earnings in recent decades.

So, what to do after high school? Here’s what you need to know.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears to be ruling out a Kansas Senate race in 2020.

Pompeo, who represented Kansas' 4th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017, says he'll serve as secretary of state as long as President Donald Trump wants him to.

Pompeo was asked on NBC's "Today" show Thursday if he's interested in running for the Senate and replied, "I love doing what I'm doing." When an interviewer said Pompeo sounded as though he wasn't ruling it out, Pompeo said, "It's ruled out."

Bob Carmichael

Formed in 1989, Colorado's Leftover Salmon began as an amalgamation of two other acts: Salmon Heads and Left Hand String Band. In a split-second decision, the new act was christened with its unusual -- but ultimately memorable — moniker.

The core of the initial group — Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Mark Vann — set about growing the group's reputation and recording albums such as Ask The Fish and Euphoria.

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Justin Cary

Cooking With Fire: Gumbo

Gumbo, a Creole and Cajun soup that has many possible variations, has a rich history that blends the culinary traditions and techniques of three distinct groups: Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans.

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KMUW Music

Courtesy photo

Betse Ellis wowed audiences for years as a member of the popular Kansas City group The Wilders.

More recently, she has been performing in the duo Betse & Clarke with Clarke Wyatt, as well as with the Short Round Stringband, featuring Kelly Wells, Ryan Spearman and Wyatt.

The quartet will perform at the Kansas Bluegrass Association's Winterfest at the Wichita Marriott on Friday, Feb. 22.

What was your initial exposure to fiddle music and roots music? Was this something you heard as a child or did you come to it later?

Monday February 25

The final Monday of every month, we present Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, a monthly concert series showcasing top world music artists and groups who have appeared at the prestigious annual festival that takes place each spring in Savannah, Georgia.

This time, in conjunction with the February Harp feature, it’s the harp-like sound of the African kora, played by one of the masters of the instrument, Ballake Sissoko. His work as a leader, with kora legend Toumani Diabate and bluesman Taj Mahal, and as part of an elegant duo with French classical cellist Vincent Segal have won Sissoko international attention and acclaim. We’ll hear the Malian master in an entrancing solo performance this time from the Savannah Music Festival.

 

Tuesday February 26

Global Village highlights music from the Grammy and Latin Grammy nominated (and winning) Musas Vol.2 album from acclaimed Mexican singer and songwriter Natalia Lafourcade for her birthday. Plus more harps for the February feature from Veracruz (Grupo Mono Blanco) and Spain (Rodrigo Romani) and music from our top pick of 2018, Samurai Accordion, with a song written by Kepa Junkera from the group, who is on the road to recovery from a stroke he suffered last month.

 

Wednesday February 27

It’s Independence Day in the Dominican Republic and the climax of a month of carnival celebrations that goes on there every year. Global Village celebrates with classic and contemporary merengue and bachata from Juan Luis Guerra, Wilfredo Vargas, Luis Vargas and more. Plus music from Red Baraat, DJ Dolores, and some blasts from the past from BeatleJazz and Jesse Winchester.

 

Thursday February 28

Global Village marks birthdays of the great Latin jazz and Latin soul percussionist Willie Bobo, and pioneering Danish world-jazz guitarist Pierre Doerge. The show also wraps up the February Global Harps feature with music from Celtic Harp master Alan Stivell (with Youssou N’Dour), pioneering jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby, and there’s new music from the Franco-Ethiopian group Ukandanz and from Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba.

 

Friday, March 1

It’s New Month/New Music time in the Global Village. Each month, Global Village devotes an entire show to the best of recently released and forthcoming world music albums. 

 

Bob Carmichael

Formed in 1989, Colorado's Leftover Salmon began as an amalgamation of two other acts: Salmon Heads and Left Hand String Band. In a split-second decision, the new act was christened with its unusual -- but ultimately memorable — moniker.

The core of the initial group — Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Mark Vann — set about growing the group's reputation and recording albums such as Ask The Fish and Euphoria.

Sunday, February 24

Hear new music from history-making contemporary gospel artist Kirk Franklin. He’s sold over 10 million records worldwide and is still going strong. The 12-time Grammy winner, musician, songwriter, producer and choir director has a new single out called “Love Theory.” Franklin also plans to host what called the “biggest night in gospel music,” the 34th annual Stellar Awards, in Las Vegas on March 29. Join us for Soulsations Sunday night at 6 p.m. on KMUW.

 Here’s the official music video for Kirk Franklin’s new single “Love Theory:”

Album Cover Art

Friday, February 22  

Best Days is the debut recording from Cartwheel, featuring Kristyn Chapman, Will Erickson and Riley Day. We’ll hear selections from that release as well as music from Hands Like Glaciers, the newest from Old News.

We'll also remember musician and actor Peter Tork (of The Monkees), who died Thursday at the age of 77.   

Saturday, February 23

We mark the 75th birthday of guitar legend Johnny Winter with music from his solo career and his work with Muddy Waters. 

Monday, February 25

Released in 1990, And The Horse They Rode In On was the fifth studio album from Soul Asylum and the group’s final before its breakthrough 1992 release, Grave Dancer’s Union. We’ll hear selections from And The Horse They Rode In On as well as music from Bob Mould’s 1990 effort, Black Sheets Of Rain.

Tuesday, February 26

Listen for selections from Hot Boxing, the 1994 effort from the band Magnapop, produced by Bob Mould, as well as music from Neil Young’s Sleeps With Angels.

Wednesday, February 27

Inspired by his stepson’s interest in loud rock ‘n’ roll bands such as Camper Van Beethoven, John Hiatt abandoned his singer-songwriter sounds for the 1993 album Perfectly Good Guitar. We’ll hear music from that recording as well as Paul Westerberg’s solo debut from that same year, 14 Songs.

Thursday, February 28

In the early 1980s, Ohio elementary school teacher Robert Pollard bought a chick for his son as an Easter present. The chick grew into a frightening rooster that Pollard and his family dubbed Big Daddy. The rooster came to grace the cover of Devil Between My Toes, the 1987 album from Pollard’s band, Guided By Voices. We’ll hear selections from that release as well as music from Come On Pilgrim, the Pixies’ effort from the same year. Both artists are featured throughout March on Strange Currency.

Airing at 4 p.m. on Sundays in February, this radio documentary from WXPN and NPR celebrates gospel music's influence on early rock and soul.