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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.


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: Phil Dixon

Phil Dixon is more than an expert on the Negro Leagues. He's an ambassador for stories that might've been lost without him. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, we're taking some time to get to know one of the people who knows more about its history and players than anyone else. Before Phil Dixon was the author of nine books and a cross-country traveler, he was just a kid playing baseball in segregated Kansas City, Kansas obsessed with baseball cards. Phil Dixon ,...


Pothole Mania

Here's the deal with potholes in Kansas City and beyond. It feels like potholes are everywhere in Kansas City, especially if you listened to Mayor Quinton Lucas' recent speech . That's why we're devoting a full hour to studying the pothole from different angles with people who are taking matters into their own hands. After all, potholes may be universally hated, but they don't impact everyone in the same way. Frank Sereno , vigilante pothole activist, Waldo Mark Trokey , owner/mechanic,...


Screentime: The Good Place

The comedy about moral philosophy just wrapped up its fourth and final season. NBC's The Good Place captured the imaginations of people across all kinds of faiths because of the way it imagined what happens when we die. It also touched on existentialism and what it means to be human. After all, what does it mean to be a "good" person in our morally compromised world? What does it mean to be a "medium" person? (Listeners beware: spoilers will be aplenty). Maria Carter , super fan and editor,...


Seg. 1: Tig Notaro | Seg. 2: Carlos Mortera | Seg. 3: Russian Government Radio

Seg. 1: The famously dry comedian is coming to Kansas City and we're here for it. You might remember her as the comedian who did a set about getting cancer, but there's a lot more to her awkward sense of humor, which she'll be bringing to the Uptown later this month. Tig Notaro , comedian Seg. 2, beginning at 14:49: The restaurant owner/chef is mixing things up in the Kansas City food scene. Chef Carlos Mortera moved to Lenexa from Mexico City and now owns two local eateries in Kansas City....


Seg. 1: The Presidency | Seg. 2: A People's History

Segment 1: What does it mean to be presidential? Imagine a world in which campaigning for president was considered beneath the dignity of the office. That world used to be the United States! It's also one of the many takeaways from a recently published book from the University Press of Kansas that looks into how the office of the president has evolved in America's history. Steve Knott , author, The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for...


Seg. 1: Charles Ferruzza | Seg. 2: Dining Alone

Segment 1: Remembering the charismatic restaurant critic who never romanticized food. It's the first food show since we got news of longtime KCUR food critic Charles Ferruzza's death , so we're taking a moment to remember the special sauce that made Charles Charles one last time. Emily Farris , lifestyle writer CJ Janovy , digital managing editor, KCUR Liz Cook , restaurant critic, The Pitch Segment 2, beginning at 19:49: On this Valentine's Day, the food critics share their favorite...


Seg. 1: Our Digital City | Seg. 2: A Monument For Unmarked Graves

Segment 1: A KU professor's book explores the sense of place created by our technology. Where do you live? What is your neighborhood? Is it a physical place — or a digital one? " The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place " argues that smartphones are replacing cities. It also looks into how smart cities, like Kansas City, privilege people who already have a lot of resources. Germaine Halegoua , associate professor of film and media studies, University of Kansas Segment 2,...


Seg. 1: Gym Class (R) | Seg. 2: Terry Teachout (R)

Segment 1: An article from The Atlantic sparked debate over the merits of gym class last year. Gym class in school is supposed to be fun. But according to a study, it may have a negative impact on students. In today's conversation, we explore the merits of gym and how a new crop of physical education teachers is trying to make P.E. enjoyable for every kid. Alia Wong , staff writer, The Atlantic Nick Williamson , P.E. teacher, Crossroads Academy - Quality Hill Stephanie Dickson ,...


Seg. 1: Hair Discrimination | Seg. 2: Abandoned Kansas City

Segment 1: Kansas lawmakers are debating a bill to end hair discrimination. The idea behind the CROWN Act is to ban employers and schools from expecting people of color to adopt "white hair norms" in the workplace and the classroom. Michele Watley , founder, Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet Jenee Osterheldt , culture writer for the Boston Globe and former columnist for the Kansas City Star Emily Brown Segment 2, beginning at 39:03: An urban explorer tells us what she loves about abandoned places in...


Seg. 1: Opioids In Missouri | Seg. 2: A People's History

Segment 1: How Missouri is dealing with opioids. After House Bill 188 died in the Senate last year, Missouri became the only state without a database to detect abuse. We're now starting to see some improvements, but it still remains a prevalant issue in the state. Susan Whitmore , president and CEO, First Call Brandon Costerison , project manager, MO-HOPE Liz Chiarello , associate professor of sociology at Saint Louis University and fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard...


Seg. 1: Info Gates' Legacy | Seg. 2: The Black Creatures | Seg. 3: Little Red Riding Hood

Segment 1: A key player in Kansas City's hip hop community died unexpectedly. In addition to being a producer for Ces Cru, Justin "Info Gates" Gillespie started the Beat Academy of Kansas City at the Plaza Academy, touching a lot of teens. Now the hip hop community is banding together to carry on his legacy and make sure those teens will continue to be supported. Kemet Coleman , The Phantastics Segment 2, beginning at 12:31: This band writes and produces beautiful songs in just an hour. The...


Seg. 1: American Dirt Reaction | Seg. 2: 15K To Move To Topeka

Segment 1: Who gets to tell what stories? Controversy over a novel called “American Dirt” led to a canceled book tour—a week before author Jeanine Cummins was set to come to Kansas City. Critics have a problem with the fact that Cummins is white, yet wrote a book about a Mexican family trying to make it across the US-Mexico border. Jose Faus , poet and artist Jessica Ayala , poet Alex Martinez , writer and poet Segment 2, beginning at 27:46: Would you move to Topeka for $15,000? The...


Seg. 1: College Campus Surveillance | Seg. 2: How Football Came To Be

Segment 1: MU and other universities are tracking attendance through a cellphone app. Developed by a former Mizzou basketball coach, SpotterEDU has been used by MU to track attendance for student athletes for years and now they're expanding its use . MU says students can opt out if they're uncomfortable, but people across the country are concerned by the trend. Drew Harwell , Washington Post technology reporter, Colleges are turning students' phones into surveillance machines, tracking the...


Seg. 1: Veronica Clay | Seg. 2: Premature Births

Segment 1: A young Kansas City poet reads Dear White Police Officer. Veronica Clay was one of the featured performers at the Kansas City Jazz Museum for last year's Martin Luther King Day celebration (2019). This is a rebroadcast of a conversation about the poem she read, and her experience of race in Kansas City. Veronica Clay , poet and spoken word artist Segment 2: What premature birth can teach us about being human. Sarah DiGregorio's story of giving birth early, at 28 weeks, and...


Climate Change In Kansas City

How Kansas City should be preparing for climate change. Average temperatures in Kansas and Missouri are up a degree or two from a century ago. That may not seem like much, but only the Dust Bowl years were hotter than the last decade. KCUR's extensive reporting on this explains how climate change is already affecting us in the Kansas City metro area, as well as what we can do about it.


Portrait Session: Charles Ferruzza (Repeat)

An ode to a witty and charming food critic that we'll dearly miss. Kansas City journalist and bon vivant Charles Ferruzza, who was a longtime food critic on Central Standard, died early Tuesday . He was only 62. To remember him, we decided to listen back to this portrait session with him from 2015 , where he reflects on being a food critic, his relationship with food, and his life in Kansas City.


How We Honor Martin Luther King

How do we honor America's most recognized Civil Rights leader, and what does it say about us? Kansas City has spent the last year in conversation and controversy over naming a street after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . We're just the latest city to try and work this out, though. To better understand it, Michelle Tyrene Johnson looked into how three different cities honor Dr. King : Dakar, Amsterdam, and Memphis. Plus, why America has made naming a street after Dr. King a litmus test for racial...


Bill Shapiro's Final Broadcast

A tribute to the Kansas City tax attorney who spent 40 years hosting a music show devoted to rock and roll. Bill Shapiro recently died at the age of 82. To remember him, we rebroadcasted his final episode of Cyprus Avenue, the "smart" rock and roll show he hosted on KCUR on Saturday nights. His abridged final broadcast includes snippets of some of his favorite tunes and reflections on his personal relationship with music.


Seg. 1: Football Catch-up | Seg. 2: Generations Of Chiefs Fans

Segment 1: If you haven't been paying attention to football lately, here's what you need to know. This is why Kansas City is SO excited for Super Bowl LIV. Vahe Gregorian , sports columnist, Kansas City Star Segment 2, beginning at 21:34: What does this year's Super Bowl mean to generations of Chiefs fans? Kansas City Chiefs fans have suffered and struggled over the years. This year though has already been a pretty special one, so we wanted to know: what traditions and rituals have superfans...


The Best Vegetarian Food In Kansas City

Segment 1: Meet Kansas City's Veggie Burger Artist Zaid Consuegra at Pirate's Bone is known for the colorful veggie burgers he's painstakingly developed to be both pretty and tasty. He was recently profiled in Bon Appetit with his photo next to a headline that identified him as "The Undocumented Chef." He shares the story of his life and his burgers. Zaid Consuegra , Pirate's Bone Segment 2: A Search For The Best Vegetarian Food In Kansas City Our food critics send us to restaurants...