For decades, he was the man to go to when major public figures or institutions in our metro had a really bad PR problem and they needed crisis management. If they wanted the best, they turned to David Westbrook, founder and CEO of the Corporate Communications Group.
Westbrook hit the top of his game and was named PR Executive of the
year in Kansas City. He is highly sought after on a slew of corporate
and nonprofit boards. For fun, he drives race cars. By the
way, he is totally blind. Local Show guest host Cynthia Wheeler Linden sat down with Westbrook who is now Vice President of Strategy and Innovations at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
How do you stop offenders from re-offending, especially those who have a history of drug and alcohol addictions and often times have a history of mental illness? In Johnson County, the sheriff’s department, which runs the county’s jail, has been working on an innovative project to try and reduce the recidivism rate. They call it the Second Chance/Reentry Program. With 1 in 6 of their inmates diagnosed with mental health conditions, they’re working on a federal grant to try and change the way they do business. And as we discovered in this report by KCPT Producer Sean Holmes, they are seeing some results. We will be featuring a report about the Mental Health Collaboration Program in an upcoming episode of The Local Show.
How much thought do you give to the design of your local library? When is the last time you even went to your local library? Worried about declining attendance, the Mid-Continent Public Library system is reinventing what your neighborhood library looks like and offers.
At its newest branch called Woodneath, near fast growing Liberty, an 1850′s historic home is being re-purposed as a writing lab and self publishing center for the future JK Rowlings. The house is just part of the new project. Library director Steve Potter took Nick Haines on a hard hat tour of the library which is scheduled to open this summer.
We begin this week with a question: Which is the largest institution of higher education in our bi-state area? Is it KU or MU? You might be surprised to learn that it’s actually neither.
With more than 50,000 students enrolled in credit and continuing education classes each semester, Johnson County Community College is now the largest institution of higher education in either Kansas or Missouri.
And after 5 years at the helm, JCCC’sPresident Terry Calaway has announced he is retiring. Along with increased enrollment, Calaway is credited with bringing a lot of novel programs to JCCC which is consistently ranked as one of the best community colleges in the country.
People no doubt have heard about the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art which was added during his watch, but the college is also getting national attention for its culinary program which will open its own culinary academy and innovative demonstration kitchen next year. Dr Calaway sat down for a conversation with Nick Haines.
Where in the world am I? Apparently, many students in the United States have no idea.
In a 2006 Roper survey, it was found that students in the U.S. fail to understand their world and their place in it. Of Americans aged 18 to 24, seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel on a map. Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia. And 54 percent were unaware that Sudan is a country in Africa.
The 2002 project also surveyed 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and Great Britain. The U.S. trailed every other country in that survey, except Mexico, which did only slightly worse. Even for U.S. geography, the survey results are just as dismal. Half could not find New York State on a map of the United States. A third of the respondents could not find Louisiana, and 48 percent couldn’t locate Mississippi on a map of the United States, even though Hurricane Katrina put these southeastern states in the spotlight in 2005. About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn’t even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean’s location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.
In order to spark interest in the subject, National Geographic hosts the National Geographic Bee to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee, a nation-wide geography competition in Washington, D.C. for students in 4th through 8th grade. In that quarter century, about two percent of the competitors are girls and only two girls have won the $25,000 first prize scholarship. Education reporter Lindsey Foat sat down with two local finalists Prani Nalluri and Aviral Misra.
The National Geographic Bee will be shown on KCPT the day after the competition, Friday, May 24 at 1 p.m.
In May, Mark Zieman resigned as publisher of the Kansas City Star as he was plucked to fill a slot in the bigger management structure of the McClatchy newspaper empire.
The question….who would replace him as head of our metro’s largest news operation? Which white grey suited male would they turn to to fill the job of publisher?
Au contraire. The job would go to someone totally different…young, vibrant, hip and for the first time in the Star’s history…a woman.
Mia Parrish officially took over as publisher of the Kansas City Star in late June. Prior coming to Kansas City, she had been publisher of the company’s Idaho Statesman newspaper in Boise.
She previously held reporting and editing posts in newsrooms from Virginia to California including stops at the San Francisco Chronicle, Arizona Republic and the Chicago Sun-Times. Nick Haines got a chance to sit down with her this week on The Local Show.
There’s a lot of attention being paid right now, both locally and nationally, to building our economy through technology…Startup America for example. And with the arrival of Google Fiber, it’s been a particularly hot topic in Kansas City lately.
While tech companies have been popping up all across the metro, there’s a noticeable cluster developing in the vicinity of Downtown and the Crossroads. We take you inside three tech startups, to show you more of what “the scene” looks like these days.
Another indication of just how much is going in with Kansas City’s tech scene. Last week, the first “startup” crawl event was held…shuttling the curious to a number of startups in the Crossroads and beyond.
Another of the Chamber’s 5 Big Ideas is revitalizing the Troost Corridor. While the Chamber has ambitious goals for reinvigorating what has long been a blighted area of Kansas City, there are grassroots efforts already underway to transform parts of Troost. On 31st and Troost, there is a community of people who have stopped waiting for a superhero to rescue the neighborhood. They have a vision to transform the dividing line of Troost Avenue into a gathering place. They’ve even produced a film about their work. It’s called We Are Superman: The Transformation of 31st and Troost.
Many of us, even if it was when we were just a kid, dreamt of inventing something that would make us rich and famous.
We may even have tinkered in our basements or garages on building a prototype that we were just so sure, that if was discovered by the right person, could be the next best thing.
That would describe our first guests on this week’s Local Show. They are Kansas City brothers Brian and Kevin Fleming who have spent their lives messing with consumer inventions with limited success. But just recently, they got their shot at taking their invention national on the primetime ABC entrepreneurial reality show Shark Tank.