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Harry Benson, world-renowned photographer and International Photography Hall of Fame inductee,was the only person to have private access to Bobby Fischer during the 1972 World Chess Championship match in Reykjavík, Iceland. Benson captured intimate images of this time with Fischer and was the first person to deliver the news to Fischer that he had won the match.

Benson began photographing Fischer when on assignment for LIFE magazine in 1971. He was sent to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to cover the 1971 Candidates Match, and began to cultivate a relationship with Fischer, who was known for being notoriously camera-averse, guarded and socially awkward. Fischer defeated Tigran Petrosian at the Candidates Match, qualifying him for the World Chess Championship match.

Just off the historic Town Square in Liberty, Missouri, there is a spot that every year draws thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It’s a replica of the jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith and a handful of his followers were imprisoned for several months through the winter of 1838 – 1839.

The story is that Smith and his flock, having migrated from New York, clashed violently with militia in the Midwest.

A few dozen residents gathered in a hearing room at City Hall Wednesday for an unusual nighttime hearing on a

When retired biologist George Smith picked up the phone at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, he wasn’t expecting it to be the Swedish Academy.

“It’s kind of a common prank for your friends to put on a fake Swedish accent and tell you that you won,” Smith said. “I thought maybe it was a joke but the line was so scratchy and there was so much interference, I thought nah, it wasn’t one of my friends. They wouldn’t have such a bad connection.”

Through the phone call, Smith, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia, learned that he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a method called phage display in the 1980s. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Smith used them to create a tool that would help identify antibodies, molecules in the body that identify invading pathogens, that would be the most useful for binding to molecules that are associated with certain diseases.

The leaders of St. Louis and St. Louis County are backing a plan that would steer millions of dollars to spruce up the America’s Center Convention Complex in downtown St. Louis.

It’s a bid that will be a sign of whether the region’s legislators want to invest more money to attract lucrative conventions and also a test of the political muscle of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

Rep. Kevin Yoder acknowledged Wednesday that he may lose his campaign for a fifth term in Congress. “Well, I think we may be the underdog in this race," he said before addressing the Johnson County Bar Association.

However, Yoder suggested his Democratic opponent Sharice Davids is taking the campaign for granted.

Whiteman Air Force Base
Kenny Holston/ US Air Force

A former commander at Whiteman Air Force Base will take forced retirement over several misconduct allegations.

Capt. Earon Brown, spokesman for the Air Force Global Strike Command, confirmed Tuesday that Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets IV will stop work on Oct. 19, and retire Dec. 1.

Brown says the Air Force began investigating in May 2017 after concerns were raised about Tibbets, who was commanding the 509th Bomb Wing near Knob Noster, Missouri, at the time.

Planned Parenthood Columbia
Dan Margolies/KCUR 89.3

Missouri is down to one clinic that can perform abortions after the license of another facility expired.

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic's abortion license expired Tuesday.

The site also has not been able to meet a new state requirement that doctors must have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals before they perform abortions. Federal appeals judges ruled last month that Missouri could enforce that rule as of Monday.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis is the last in the state that can provide abortions.

This story was updated at 9 a.m. Oct. 4 to add the comments of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams. 

A federal judge has declined – at least for now — to block a Missouri abortion law, leaving the state with just one abortion provider.

The law requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital or else face criminal prosecution. 

Jason Kander’s decision to drop out of the Kansas City mayoral race is bringing more attention to post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues faced by veterans.

Stephen Sondheim hesitates to settle on a single beginning point from which his now 70-year-long career in musical theater took off. There were the piano lessons he began taking as a young child, something he acknowledges may have “infiltrated” him early on. Then there’s the show he wrote at age 15, a script family friend Oscar Hammerstein gave an unsparing critique. He also credits his enjoyment of films growing up.

“The music that most influenced me at first was movie music,” the renowned composer and lyricist said Thursday on St. Louis on the Air. “I was a big movie buff, so it was the scores of people like Franz Waxman and Max Steiner and Bernard Herrmann that got me going.”

Segment 1: Jason Kander's withdrawal from the Kansas City mayor's race illustrates the long-term effects of PTSD.

As political watchers in Kansas City deal with the fact that the leading candidate in next year's race to replace Sly James is out, we sat down with a veteran and a counselor to discuss the challenges of living with and managing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Midterm elections are important. But Sandra Moore, managing director and chief impact officer at Advantage Capital, said what’s more important is “mobilizing folks to register and vote.”

“The vote is the most powerful individual thing we have to engage as citizens,” Moore explained. The former president of Urban Strategies joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday to talk about a voter education and registration drive that seeks to energize women in north St. Louis and north St. Louis County for the Nov. 6 election.

Jason Blackmore, front man for 1990s hardcore band Molly McGuire, is back in Kansas City this week. Instead of rocking out, though, he’ll be screening his documentary.

A Kansas City man pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder for shooting and killing off-duty Lee's Summit police officer Thomas Orr last year in Westport. 

Sean D. Steward, 23, now faces 18 years in prison, including three years for unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Performing music by women is trickier than it would seem.

For centuries, women were discouraged or forbade from composing, their works relegated to salons and home audiences, and rarely published. In many cases, once a composer died, her oeuvre was abandoned and forgotten.

Helping to right that historic wrong is the Midwest Chamber Ensemble, presenting its fifth annual concert of women composers this weekend (the ensemble was founded in 2011).

Segment 1: Growing up poor in the Heartland.

Local journalist and author Sarah Smarsh has been getting a lot of national attention for her new book, Heartland. On this episode, we chat with Smarsh about the forces that shaped her Kansas childhood.

A former emergency room nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital has lost her whistleblower suit alleging the hospital falsified patient records to obtain higher Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Megen Duffy failed to prove an essential element of her claims, namely that the allegedly false data had an effect on how much the government paid the hospital.

We hardly knew ye

Well, we do know Steve Watkins is a veteran.

But much of the rest of the biography he’s touted in his race for Congress has come under question.

Last week, The Kansas City Star tore down his claims of building a tiny business into something massive.

Some Kansas Citians know the area between Cleaver II Boulevard and Stadium Drive as a back way to the Truman Sports Complex, one that allows them to avoid traffic on I-70. But for people who lived in the area, the Leeds neighborhood was more than a home — it was a haven.

“I had the best childhood in Leeds. Because I felt safe,” Earline Bentley told host Gina Kaufmann up on KCUR’s Central Standard.  “I didn’t know we were poor until we moved out of Leeds!”

The burgeoning St. Louis fashion industry is bracing for the impact of the latest tariffs on goods from China.

Handbags, backpacks, luggage, hats and baseball gloves are just a few of the thousands of products covered in the latest round of U.S. tariffs imposed on goods imported from China. The 10 percent tax went into effect Sept. 24 and it will increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1.

Experts say consumers should expect to see higher prices before the end of the year.

Josh Davis likes to name his pigs after flowers: Petunia, Iris, Violet and Daisy.

That’s not the only thing that sets him apart as a hog farmer.

For the past three years, Davis and his wife, Alicia, have been raising one of the rarest pig breeds in the world on their farm in Pocahontas, Illinois. The American mulefoot hog was a popular breed in the Midwest in the early 1900s, but now, there are only a few hundred left. The Davises are among a small group of farmers hoping to revive the breed by putting it back on the menu.

A St. Louis-based project that uses former drug users to convince overdose victims in emergency rooms to seek treatment will soon focus on patients who refuse emergency transport.

For two years, the Engaging Patients in Care Coordination project has enlisted peer-recovery coaches from participating treatment centers to area ERs to meet with people who have overdosed on opioids.

Starting this month, the project will send the coaches — themselves in recovery — to meet with overdose victims who refused to go to the ER.

The Living Arts Studio in Maplewood has become the default location for many budding artists in the St. Louis area. Artists often meet at the studio to work on projects that will be sold and displayed at galleries around the area, including at the St. Louis Art Museum and the University of Missouri — St. Louis.

The studio focuses on inclusion, specifically for creative people with disabilities. It is part of VSA Missouri, the state organization that promotes inclusion in the arts. It is also an affiliate of the national John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

At more than 60 years old, Kansas City’s Buck O’Neil bridge is nearing the end of its useful life. And it’s one of thousands across Missouri that the state Department of Transportation can’t afford to replace.

In 2017, MoDOT gave the city two options: It could make major repairs, which would mean closing the bridge for two years. Or the city could make smaller repairs but keep it open to limited traffic.

This story was updated at 9:11 a.m. Wednesday to add the comments of a spokeswoman for Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

A Jackson County jury has awarded nearly $29 million to a physician who claimed he was wrongfully terminated by the emergency room staffing companies that employed him.

St. Louis County may no longer require contractors bidding for work to have apprenticeship programs — a longstanding priority for labor unions.

The County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night for Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger’s legislation that makes a host of changes to the county’s procurement regulations. One of the big changes is that it no longer would require bidders for certain contracts to either participate or maintain apprenticeship programs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 25, 2011 - Homeland Security efforts are often associated with professional firefighters and police — those trained to be first responders. But a program available across Missouri offers training for ordinary citizens to react affirmatively to emergency situations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 20, 2011 - Part runway show, part auction and part charity event, it's the Paperdolls boutique's third annual fall fashion show and benefit for the Children's Tumor Foundation on Friday, July 29 at Kirkwood Station Plaza, at Kirkwood Road and Argonne Drive.

Democrat Sharice Davids walloped incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in fundraising last quarter.

The Davids campaign says the first-time candidate raised $2.7 million between July and September. In that same period Yoder, running for a fifth term in the Kansas 3rd District, raised almost $1.3 million.

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