Brian Ellison | KBIA

Brian Ellison

Brian Ellison is substitute host of Central Standard and Up To Date and has served in a variety of roles at KCUR since 2008. He has been acting producer and associate producer of Up To Date and was acting producer of The Walt Bodine Show. A member of the Religion Newswriters Association, he also contributes occasionally to KCUR news coverage. Even before joining the KCUR staff, he was a producer and frequent guest on Up To Date's "Religion Roundtable," as well as a committed listener and volunteer.

An ordained Presbyterian minister, Brian served as pastor of Parkville Presbyterian Church for 13 years and now is executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. A graduate of Harvard University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he is also a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in preaching at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.

Political Internships

Jun 4, 2019

Segment 1: Political Internships

Segment 1: 100 Years Of Swimwear

A new clothing exhibition at the Kansas City Museum at the Historic Garment District focuses on the history of swim fashion. Looking back on the past 100 years, the exhibit examines the changes in swimwear fashion until the modern age. We talk to the collections specialist from the museum about the exhibit and how changes in swimwear reflect changes in our society and culture. 

Segment 1: Food access as an environmental issue

Segment 1: Tornado Aftermath

On Tuesday night, a large tornado hit parts of Lawrence and Johnson County, causing several injuries and property damage across neighborhoods. With many communities in recovery mode after the storm, we speak with reporters who were on the ground in the tornado's aftermath and hear from folks who witnessed it firsthand.

Segment 1: Mayoral candidate Jolie Justus shares her plans for Kansas City if elected.

Crime is one of the top concerns Jolie Justus hears when speaking with voters. The mayoral candidate explains why criminal justice reform is in her plans to address the city's crime rate. Justus also discussed her approach to using economic development incentives. 

In this very special episode of KCUR’s Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, we joined forces with St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking podcast to round up the 2019 session of the Missouri General Assembly.

Segment 1: Kansas City urban core program fills vital role of mentorship.

Kansas City's Henry Wash gives much credit to his mentor Henry Bloch for seeing him as a social entrepreneur and inspiring his nonprofit organization High Aspirations. Wash discussed the significant problems black boys face, the importance of them having consistent guidance, and the opening of his new facility. 

Segment 1: Kansas City mourns the death of second major philanthropist in a week. 

Morton Sosland, who rose to run the publishing company that bears his family's name, died on April 25, just two days after he lost his friend and fellow city patron Henry Bloch. Friends recalled Morton's personality, generosity and legacy.     

Before getting into the Missouri House, Democrat Robert Sauls was a prosecutor, a public defender and a military lawyer. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that he has focused on criminal justice reform in his first term, cosponsoring bills that seek to change sentencing laws and create special veterans treatment courts.

Sauls spoke with Statehouse Blend Missouri host Brian Ellison about life as a newbie legislator, and where he thinks the state budget, which is advancing through the General Assembly, falls short.

Preventing Teen Suicide

Mar 29, 2019

Suicide rates among teenagers are higher than the national average in both Kansas and Missouri, according to the Center for Disease Control. This issue was named a "public health crisis" by Dr. Kimberly O'Brien, and while the statistics are only part of the story, the problem seems to be getting worse. 

Segment 1: What draws people to hate movements and how to escape 

Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were murdered by a neo-Nazi outside the Jewish Community Center in 2014, hopes to promote understanding and encourage kindness with her SevenDays Foundation. Hear the story behind her relationship with former white supremacist Christian Picciolini

Royals Opening Day

Mar 28, 2019

In a live broadcast from Kauffman Stadium staff members of the Kansas City Royals revealed what they do to ensure a memorable experience at "The K."

From who sings the national anthem to the guy who sells you peanuts in the stands to how the Royals will rebuild the team, guest host Brian Ellison talked to the people who keep the ballpark humming.

 

Segment 1: Response and recovery to flooding in the Midwest.

We hear regional reactions to the devastating flood waters now making their way through Missouri, and learn about the recovery effort and how the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for the possibilty of more flooding this spring.

Segment 1: The United Methodist Church is experiencing a rift among its members over LGBTQ issues.

Last week, the United Methodist Church voted to keep bans on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, a controversial decision that exposes a divide between traditionalists and progressives. In this conversation, we talk to local members of the Methodist community about the vote's implications, their reactions, and what this means for the future of the Methodist Church. 

Seg. 1: What Is Populism? Seg. 2: Eddie Moore

Feb 19, 2019

Segment 1: The word 'populism' is being used more and more in national headlines. So what does it mean?

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Donald Trump are all running for president in 2020. While these candidates may not have much in common, media outlets use one word to describe all of them again and again: populist. In this conversation, we look at what defines populism, and what that word means for politics in both America and abroad.

Missouri's budget director announced this week that revenues are down 7 percent compared to last year. While that may change as more people file their taxes, lawmakers are looking for new ways to bring in money while faced with tax cuts they instituted on top of growing expenses for health care, infrastructure and education. 

Missouri Republicans have a firm grip on the state legislature, but among the party’s leadership roles, only one is filled by someone near Kansas City.

The Missouri General Assembly convenes this week and Republicans are still in charge, with supermajorities largely unaffected by the 2018 election. They’re united with Gov. Mike Parson, who's a decidedly less controversial leader than predecessor Eric Greitens, who resigned in June.

Midterm elections are just around the corner, but much of Missouri's ballot is covered with pot — and redistricting, ethics rules, a gas tax and a minimum wage increase. Ballot questions join the U.S. Senate race as the big-ticket items on November 6 in Missouri. Host Brian Ellison talks with KCUR's Samuel King, Clean Missouri campaign director Sean Soendker Nicholson and Kansas City Star reporter Allison Kite.

Segment 1: Veteran Chicago firefighter begins stint in Kansas City, Kansas, with 100-day plan.

Two months in as chief of the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department and Mike Callahan figures he's 60 percent done with his goal "to visit every fire station on every shift to hear from the field what their concerns are about the department." He's met the command staff and his counterparts in law enforcement, and is working through evaluating equipment in the stations.  "The need here," he says of the department, "is some structure, consistency and discipline."

The race to replace Missouri Sen. Rob Schaaf has come down to two millennials who knew each other while attending Mizzou.

One is Republican Tony Luetkemeyer, a soft-spoken attorney who’s seeking his first elective office and has deep political connections — he’s close to party leaders and his wife, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, was general counsel in the office of former Gov. Eric Greitens.

The other is Democrat Martin T. Rucker II, a former Kansas City Chiefs and Mizzou football player who co-founded a Democratic-leaning political club in the Northland and ran unsuccessfully for a state House seat in 2016.

'Dark Money' Pours Into Missouri

Oct 5, 2018

Segment 1: Recent study by KU finds gun owners are more politically active.

In the past few decades, American gun owners have become increasingly more involved in politics than non-gun owners. On this episode, we discuss the cultural shift in gun ownership and how that change influences the political climate.

Segment 1: From the tree to the pie, we learn about the past, present and future of apples.

Fall is quickly approaching and many crops are ready for harvest. On this segment we talk with a relative of Johnny Appleseed about all things apples.

Segments 2 and 3, beginning at 14:56: Sometimes food is worth the trip, and sometimes it is best to stay close to home.

Segment 1: Methamphetamine epidemic of the 90s hasn't gone away in Missouri, it's gotten worse.

Segment 1: This reliably Republican Congressional District could be a toss-up, come November.

A relatively unknown Republican candidate's victory in the primaries came as a surprise to many in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, but it has given Democrats new hope that their nominee for the seat, Paul Davis, might have a chance to flip that political territory. We spoke with GOP insiders to gauge their support for and coalescence around newcomer Steve Watkins, and asked Statehouse reporters about the Democrat he's facing in the midterm.

Segment 1: Twenty-five years after the "Great Flood of 1993," is Kansas City any safer?

Segment 1: First time voters share their thoughts on voting in the primary.

We visit with first time voters to find out what their experience voting in the primary elections was like and if the physical experience of voting met their expectations.

Segment 1: Problems in Clay County government prompted request. 

More than 9,000 Clay County residents are asking Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway to take a hard look on their county's government. This week the county administrator resigned, last year two other county officials were charged with tampering with public records, and there have been a number of questionable purchases made with tax payer dollars. Today we looked at how county government became so bad that residents went to the state for answers.

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