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Central Standard


Central Standard is KCUR's new talk, news magazine and call-in show hosted by Jabulani Leffall, an award-winning print, broadcast and multimedia journalist with extensive experience in storytelling and conducting interviews on multiple media platforms.

Central Standard is KCUR's new talk, news magazine and call-in show hosted by Jabulani Leffall, an award-winning print, broadcast and multimedia journalist with extensive experience in storytelling and conducting interviews on multiple media platforms.
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Kansas City, MO




Central Standard is KCUR's new talk, news magazine and call-in show hosted by Jabulani Leffall, an award-winning print, broadcast and multimedia journalist with extensive experience in storytelling and conducting interviews on multiple media platforms.






4825 Troost Ave, Ste 202 Kansas City, Missouri 64110 816-235-2888


Portrait Session With Artistic Director Cynthia Levin

For the past 39 years, Cynthia Levin has made the Unicorn Theatre 's stage her home, family, and legacy. We spoke with her about growing up in an activist family, using theater to examine social issues, and giving a voice to the voiceless in her role as the Producing Artistic Director of the Unicorn. This hour-long interview marks the latest installment of our Portrait Sessions. Cynthia Levin , Producing Artistic Director, Unicorn Theatre


Seg. 1: Food Safety & Feeding The Homeless. Seg. 2: They Call Me Sauce

Segment 1: Food safety and feeding the homelessness in Kansas City. The Kansas City Health Department recently intercepted food intended for the homeless out of concern for food safety, then used bleach to ensure it would not be consumed. The story has gone viral, generating a heated discussion in the metro and beyond. On this episode, we address the underlying tensions about how to help, and the needs in our community still going unmet -- with upwards of 4,000 people enduring homelessness....


Seg. 1: Local Legacy Of Stan Lee. Seg. 2: Sherlock Holmes Club.

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. Mike DiStaci , Spider-Man collector Héctor Casanova , assistant professor of illustration, Kansas City Art Institute Segment 2, beginning at 35:00: The Baker Street Irregulars. This year marks the 55th year of The Great Alkali Plainsmen of Greater Kansas...


Seg. 1: Unpredictable Weather. Seg. 2: Was Open Spaces A Success?

Segment 1: Why is predicting Kansas City weather so hard? In Kansas City, you can regularly experience three seasons in one day. We talk with local meteorologists about how different elements of Kansas City such as altitude, latitude and longitude combine to create our signature weather, once named most unpredictable among major US cities . Bryan Busby , first alert chief meteorologist, KMBC 9 News Andy Bailey , warning coordination meteorologist, NWS Kansas City Segment 2, beginning at...


Seg. 1: Flu Season Of 1918 And Today. Seg. 2: The TVs Of Tomorrow.

Segment 1: 100 years since the 1918 epidemic, but we still battle influenza. Historians are still debating how many people died from the flu pandemic in 1918, at least 2,000 Kansas Citians included. We talk about the politics and protocols of treating the flu in the past and learn how to best prevent the spread of the flu this season. Susan Sykes-Berry , retired nurse and librarian, UMKC Health Sciences Library Dana Hawkinson , infectious disease specialist, University of Kansas Health...


Food Critics: Grits And Diners

Segment 1: Grits. Whether you like them or not, grits are making a comeback on menus across the nation. Grits have been around a long time; they are a meal indigenous to North America. We talk with a local chef about the variety and versatility of grits. Clark Grant , chef proprietor, Hogshead Kansas City Segment 2, beginning at 13:10: Diner dining in Kansas City. After a visit to Chubby's on closing night, the food critics share their picks for Kansas City's best diners. Jenny Vergara ,...


Seg. 1: Remembering WWI. Seg. 2: Sabermetrician Bill James.

Segment 1: How to remember war. How World War 1 was a pivotal moment in how we memorialize wars, with Kansas City's Liberty Memorial playing a key role. Scott Manning , historian, Rethinking War Monuments, Ancient and Modern Mark Levitch , president and founder, WWI Memorial Inventory Project Segment 2, beginning at 31:06: What is baseball without stats? A Lawrence resident redefined the sport of baseball, calculating efficiency and success through detailed statistics. We talk with Bill...


Post-Midterm Election Reactions

The day after the 2018 midterm elections, two political science professors join us to talk about who turned out to vote, and how that affected the outcomes. The discussion includes high turnout for young voters, changing rural demographics in Kansas and Missouri, the importance of identity for voters and candidates, and whether Kansas just turned blue as some are claiming, or not. Elizabeth Vonnahme , associate professor and department chair, UMKC Department of Political Science Patrick...


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

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. Virginia Blanton , English professor, UMKC Max Skidmore , politics professor, UMKC Laura Spencer , KCUR reporter Segment 2, beginning at 37:52:...


Protecting Your Vote

On the day before the midterm elections, we discuss the process of voting and how to ensure your vote is protected. Plus, a look at two recent episodes of My Fellow Kansans covering gubernatorial candidates Kris Kobach and Laura Kelly . Guests: Ellen Grover , field director, ACLU of Kansas Ann Grundy , poll worker for Clay County


Seg. 1: Thundergong. Seg. 2: Time Capsules. Seg. 3: Day of the Dead.

Segment 1: Jason Sudeikis brings it for his friends. Jason Sudeikis returns to his hometown for Thundergong , with a star-studded lineup of comedy and music. The proceeds go towards a local non-profit founded by a childhood friend who lost a leg unexpectedly in 2005; his foundation now supports others who need prosthetic limbs. The two friends talk about everything from yacht rock to the scourge of indecency. Jason Sudeikis , comedian, Thundergong! host Billy Brimblecom Jr. , executive...


Seg. 1: Cell Phone Addiction. Seg. 2: Circadian Rhythms.

Segment 1: Are you using your phone to read this? Us too. A cell phone today is like another limb; we do not want to leave the house without it. Is this an addiction? We talk with parents and smartphone users about why phones are so addictive and how they are affecting our moods, motivations, and parenting. Ian Sherr , author, " Your kids hate your smartphone addiction " Tracy Foster , co-founder, Stand Together and Rethink Technology ( START ) Segment 2, beginning at 31:40: On Sunday, we...


Seg. 1: Creepy In KC. Seg. 2: Audiofiles. Seg. 3: Frankenstein's 200th.

Segment 1: The haunts of Kansas City. Everyone loves spooky ghost stories — and Kansas City is home to a few horrors of its own. On this episode, we chat with the host of a podcast that dives into the creepy side of the Metro. Darren Hinesley , host, Creepy in KC Segment 2, beginning at 16:08: Spooky podcast recommendations. Our Audiofiles have compiled some suggestons for scarily good podcast listens. Madeline Fox , Kansas News Service reporter Mike Russo , KCUR director of marketing...


Seg. 1: Preparing To Vote. Seg. 2: Susan Orlean.

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. Brynne Musser , area voter Dan Margolies , KCUR senior reporter and editor, How To Make An Informed Decision...


Seg. 1: Local Response To Pittsburgh Shooting. Seg. 2: Bibliofiles: Mysteries.

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. Marvin Szneler , retired executive director, Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee Mark Levin , rabbi, founded Beth Torah Segment 2, beginning at 19:51: The...


Seg. 1: Food Halls. Seg. 2: Breweries.

Segment 1: Are food halls the next food trucks? The Kansas City area now has two food halls, which are single buildings with lots of restaurant stalls inside. If you're thinking of a fancy food court, you're right. But rather than chain restaurants, food halls offer speciality foods from local vendors, like Yucatan-Turkish wings from Karbon in Parlor . Sylvia Maria Gross , KCUR Storytelling Editor Andrea Strong , freelance food writer, Food Halls Are the New Food Truck Segment 2, beginning...


Seg. 1: Celebrity Endorsements. Seg. 2: Names. Seg. 3: Death Of The VW Bug.

Segment 1: Celebrities are entertaining and increasingly political. Recently more and more celebrities are getting involved in political activism, but it has not always been this way. We talk about the origin of celebrity influence in politics and its effects in today's political climate. Mark Harvey , author, Celebrity Influence: Politics, Persuasion, and Issue-Based Advocacy Segment 2, beginning at 14:10: What's in a name? Dear Abby advised readers to avoid naming their children 'foreign'...


Naturalized Citizens On Voting For The First Time

For many new citizens, voting is a crucial milestone in becoming an American. On this episode, we find out what issues matter to newly-naturalized citizens both here in Kansas City and across the nation as they prepare to vote for the first time. Plus, a look at the latest episode of My Fellow Kansans . Guests: Paula Console-Soican , naturalized citizen Jared Knutt , naturalized citizen Loretta Bass , professor of sociology, University of Oklahoma Wennie Chin , Senior Manager of Civic...


Seg. 1: Marriage, Millennials, And The Midwest. Seg. 2: Kansas City Sounds

Segment 1: Midwestern millennials are getting married at younger ages than those on the Coast. Across the United States, millennials are choosing to delay marriage. We talk with marriage experts about the reasons why and also how the Midwest differs slightly in this national trend. Marissa Vidler , founder of Clear Box Insights Deborah Smith , professor of sociology, UMKC Therin Alrik , married millennial Segment 2, beginning at 32:42: The sounds of Kansas City. After nine weeks of Open...


Seg. 1: DNA Tests And Identity. Seg. 2: Archetypes Of Witches

Segment 1: Does your DNA make you who you are? Senator Elizabeth Warren recently took a DNA test proving a percentage of her heritage is Native American. But how much should DNA shape your identity? We visit with authors who have voiced research and opinions on this topic as well as callers from our community. Wendy Roth , sociology professor, University of British Columbia Brandon Scott , executive editor, Cherokee Phoenix Holly Edgell , author, Who gets to say who you are? Segment 2,...