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.

Segment 1: Trauma centers in Kansas City are hopeful their preparation for a mass shooting will never play out.

Mass casualties strike with no warning, inevitably creating chaos, but hospitals are training for that exact situation. "The regional preparation that occurs in Kansas City is outstanding," says trauma surgeon Dr. Robert Winfield. Learn how trauma centers are preparing for the possibilty of a mass shooting.

Segment 1: What the junior senator from Missouri can gain from the issues he chooses to tackle.

Freshman Sen. Josh Hawley has been vociferous in his opposition to Facebook's influence, has ripped Democrats for their impeachment inquiry and, after visiting the Hong Kong protests, suggested in a tweet the city's chief executive should resign. Hear analysis of Hawley's political moves and how much they matter to Missouri voters.

Segment 1: Homeless in Lawrence

After the Lawrence Community Shelter cut its capacity almost 50%, where can homeless people legally sleep?

  • Eric Tars, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
  • Renee Kuhl, Lawrence Community Center

Segment 2, beginning at 32:14: Missouri in Movies and TV

Segment 1: School across Kansas and Missouri struggle each year to fill teaching positions.

Having enough teachers to fill classrooms is a perennial problem for schools in all parts of the Kansas City metro. Raytown Schools has created a novel way to address the shortage in their district, but several factors, including pay, are working against Missouri and Kansas districts' efforts to attract and retain qualified talent.

Segment 1: Council rookies relate what the first month on the job has been like.

In her first weeks on the Kansas City City Council Andrea Bough realized, "it puts you in the position of ... making a decision based upon what's good for the city as a whole." She and other fellow first-timers talk about learning how the council operates, and the urgent issues, like gun violence, that were waiting for them when they arrived.

Segment 1: A Waldo coffee shop looks back on 10 years.

As One More Cup approaches its announced closing date, one of the owners joins us to talk about what neighborhood hangouts mean to their communities.

  • Stacy Neff, One More Cup

Segment 2: Kansas City prepares for its first-ever Black Restaurant Week.

What's the idea behind Black Restaurant Week, and how does it fit into the big picture of race in restaurant culture, in Kansas City and beyond?

Segment 1: Application numbers for growing medical marijuana in Missouri are below expectations

With only a few days left to submit the required paperwork, there are less than 100 applicants for the 60 cultivator licenses Missouri is ready to award. A panel of those involved in working to supply medical marijuana dispensaries by spring 2020 explain what goes into creating the state's regulations and what hopeful cultivators have already done to be considered.

Segment 1: While the rest of the nation has seen a decrease in the number of drug overdose deaths, Missouri and Kansas have seen a rise.

In 2018 death by drug overdose declined 4.2% in the United States, but Missouri saw an increase of 17% while Kansas saw a 5.6% rise. Public health officials from each side of the state line offer their thoughts on what was behind the respective upswings.

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.

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