OwlTail

Cover image of Deep Background

Deep Background

A news and politics podcast by the Kansas City Star's reporters, including in-depth commentary and analysis. It's a deeper look at news and issues in Kansas and Missouri.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Podcast cover

The State of the Union: An editorial point of view

Join The Star's editorial board members Dave Helling, Mary Sanchez, and Toriano Porter for a discussion of the style and substance of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29mins

31 Jan 2018

Rank #1

Podcast cover

From tragedy at Schlitterbahn in KC to murder charges

The Star's Steve Vockrodt and host Dave Helling discuss the issues surrounding criminal charges filed over the death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab at a Kansas City area waterpark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

28 Mar 2018

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

A look at the Kansas governor race after Kobach's victory

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will advance to face Democrat Laura Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman in the general election for Kansas governor in November. Reporters Bryan Lowry and Hunter Woodall drop by to discuss what this means for the November election. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

15 Aug 2018

Rank #3

Podcast cover

'Luxury' hotel dispute raises the stakes in KC mayor's race

Should Kansas City subsidize a $63 million luxury hotel downtown? Reporter Steve Vockrodt and host Dave Helling discuss the specifics of the plan, and why the debate will change the discussion in the race for Kansas City mayor.For further reading:‘It will not be built without the TIF’: Luxury hotel project due for vote next month - https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/development/article230161239.html$63 million luxury hotel planned to complement Kauffman, attract high-end travel - https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/development/article218260005.htmlEditorial: Public incentives for a new downtown luxury hotel? Kansas City should just say no - https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article230116409.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

9 May 2019

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

The Jackson County mess: A people problem, or something more?

Mike Hendricks and Steve Vockrodt of the Star join host Dave Helling to talk about recent scandals in Jackson County, and what changes are under discussion to end the problems in the county's government. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25 Apr 2018

Rank #5

Podcast cover

Is it getting harder to buy a home in Johnson County?

The Star's Lynn Horsely and Dave Helling of the editorial board discuss skyrocketing home prices in parts of Johnson County — what it means for homebuyers, city councils, schools, and all taxpayers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

21 Feb 2018

Rank #6

Podcast cover

A 'blue wave' in Kansas? Plus, the state takes over 21 struggling nursing homes

Could a ‘blue wave’ be coming to red Kansas? Reporter Eric Adler drops by to discuss his recent story ahead of the midterm election. And, normally, Kansas might have to take legal control of one or two nursing homes. This year, the state has taken more than 21. Reporter Andy Marso explains the implications of this. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

10 Oct 2018

Rank #7

Podcast cover

The investigation into Sen.-elect Josh Hawley — and the latest on KC mayor’s pre-K tax

Missouri GOP is demanding that the attorney leading the Secretary of State’s probe into Attorney General Josh Hawley recuse herself because of donations to Democratic candidates. Reporter Steve Vockrodt shares the latest. And Kansas City Public Schools will not support Mayor Sly James’ proposed 3/8-cent sales tax to support pre-kindergarten programs. Reporter Mará Rose Williams tells us what she's learned. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

13 Dec 2018

Rank #8

Podcast cover

The strange case of Carol Dille, and a huge development project passes in Overland Park

Reporter Eric Adler joins Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to discuss the story of Carol Dille, an eccentric neighbor in midtown Kansas City. Then Sarah Ritter, a reporter, discusses public incentives for a huge project in Overland Park.Read the stories we discussed:Amid $500,000 homes, KC neighbors wage decades-long fight against woman’s ‘rat house’ - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article236906633.htmlReverse Robin Hood syndrome’: Overland Park Council approves $200M tax break deal - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237964979.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

41mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Quinton Lucas will be Kansas City's next mayor. Now what?

The Star's Allison Kite and Bill Turque join host Dave Helling to discuss Kansas City's election results. How did Quinton Lucas win? And what's next? Plus a look at Question 1's defeat. For further reading:Quinton Lucas scores decisive win over Jolie Justus in Kansas City mayor’s race - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231659313.htmlKansas City voters say no to Question One to cap developers’ incentives - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231658443.htmlIn a night of blowout wins, two KC City Council races stay nail-biters to the end - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231658408.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

19 Jun 2019

Rank #10

Podcast cover

Gearing up for Aug. 7 primary elections

This is the final week before Kansas and Missouri's primary elections on Aug. 7. Reporters Bryan Lowry and Hunter Woodall join co-hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to talk about the candidates and the issues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1 Aug 2018

Rank #11

Podcast cover

Let's talk about Missouri politics

The Kansas City Star's lead political reporter Jason Hancock joins the podcast this week to talk about politics in Missouri — and little bit about Kansas politics too. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host. For further reading:Missouri GOP, fighting redistricting changes, courts unlikely ally: Black Democrats - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article228882609.htmlThe Equal Rights Amendment is one state short of ratification. Will it be Missouri? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article229485094.htmlAuditor: Missouri revenue agency broke the law by changing tax withholding tables - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article228736164.htmlWhy would Missouri voters decide whether St. Louis City and County should merge? - https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dave-helling/article224078030.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

24 Apr 2019

Rank #12

Podcast cover

Hawley insider had seat at table in Ashcroft investigation; and an update on KCK's Schlitterbahn

Some legal experts say Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft relied on unsound investigative techniques when he cleared U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of election law violations last week. Reporter Steve Vockrodt joins Deep Background to discuss details of those techniques and give an update on the Schlitterbahn water park in western Wyandotte County. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.For further reading: Hawley insider had seat at table in Secretary of State inquiry that cleared senator - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article227121274.htmlAshcroft ends investigation of Josh Hawley, says he didn’t violate election law - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article226917029.htmlLender says Schlitterbahn has cash flow troubles, needed money to cover legal expenses - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article226941214.htmlSchlitterbahn charges tossed. Judge says Kansas AG ‘irreparably tainted’ grand jury - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article226632094.htmlWill Schlitterbahn water park open for 2019 season? Company won’t say - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article224228640.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6 Mar 2019

Rank #13

Podcast cover

Shielding LGBTQ people from discrimination; Kansas child welfare system is still troubled

Reporter Rick Montgomery stops by to discuss his installment in The Star's Influencers series on LGBTQ people and discrimination protection. And Laura Bauer discusses her recent stories on the Kansas Department for Children and Families. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra c-host. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

26 Sep 2018

Rank #14

Podcast cover

Conservative student voices getting louder on college campuses

Justice Horn, the student government president at University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Alex Dwyer, a July graduate from the University of Kansas, sit down with The Star education writer Mara Rose Williams and Deep Background host Dave Helling to discuss the growth of conservatism on college campuses.For further reading:College conservatives say their numbers are growing. Or are they just getting louder? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237165489.htmlMU claims recovery from racial protests, boasting another record fundraising year - https://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article232492142.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

46mins

1 Dec 2019

Rank #15

Podcast cover

We look at a free speech case at UMKC, Sprint's merger plans and KC's downtown hotels

An anti-transgender speech delivered at the University of Missouri-Kansas City was orchestrated by an outside conservative group trying to cause disruption, student leaders said last week. Reporter Mará Rose Williams helps us unpack what's happened since the controversial event. Also, reporter Steve Vockrodt is here to discuss the latest in the Sprint and T-Mobile merger as well as his recent story on new data that shows a lack of demand for hotels in Kansas City.For further reading: Protester at right-wing UMKC event arrested, but was speaker hoping for a disruption? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article229180734.htmlUMKC chancellor response to conservative speaker attack faces backlash in Missouri Legislature - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article229345909.htmlReport says Sprint and T-Mobile merger is in trouble, but company leaders disagree - https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/article229364509.htmlAfter a glut of new hotels in KC, a realization: There’s now more supply than demand - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article229135804.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

17 Apr 2019

Rank #16

Podcast cover

Quinton Lucas gears up to fight violent crime, and Hallmark takes on transformation

One of Mayor Quinton Lucas' highest priorities is finding meaningful solutions to the violent crime epidemic that makes Kansas City far more dangerous than most other cities its size. Star reporter Allison Kite joins Dave Helling and Derek Donovan of the editorial board to discuss the mayor's plans. Also, reporter Kevin Hardy talks about the big layoff Hallmark announced this week. What lies ahead for one of Kansas City's flagship businesses as it navigates the drastically changing world of retail? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

27mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #17

Podcast cover

For sale? What a Kansas City Royals sale would mean to the city, fans, taxpayers

The Kansas City Royals may soon be sold. Will they move downtown? Will they get better players? What's next for the MLB team? Hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra chat with Royals beat reporter Lynn Worthy and investigative reporter Steve Vockrodt about the implications of a sale. For further reading: Royals owner David Glass is in talks to sell team to group led by Kansas Citian - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article234449312.htmlPotential Royals owner John Sherman: ‘the kind of guy who would pour himself into it’ - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article234451357.html Editorial: Will the new Royals owner want a downtown stadium? Taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill - https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article234467697.html Mellinger: The Royals are for sale, and here’s why that’s a good thing for Kansas City - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article234453167.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

41mins

28 Aug 2019

Rank #18

Podcast cover

KCI single terminal construction could begin within weeks

The City Council has approved a deal for a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport. The process to reach a deal on the KCI project has been tumultuous, but it appears now construction is imminent. Reporter Allison Kite joins host Dave Helling to talk about the latest at KCI.For further reading:KCI single terminal construction could begin within weeks following Council approval - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article226941204.htmlAirport committee votes to approve agreements with KCI single terminal developer - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article226569249.htmlLong-awaited KCI airlines agreement comes with new price tag for terminal project - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article225915675.htmlAirport group may tweak KCI plan to keep promise not to use taxpayer funds - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article222369160.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1 Mar 2019

Rank #19

Podcast cover

Inside the investigation of a UMKC softball coach accused of sexually harassing players

Players on the University of Missouri-Kansas City's softball team and their parents accused an assistant coach of sexual harassment: entering the locker room as they dressed, kissing players, telling an offensive joke. The university responded by talking to the coach and buying him a new microwave. Reporter Mará Rose Williams joins podcast hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to give some updates to this quickly evolving story.For further reading:UMKC softball players say coach sexually harassed them. School bought him a microwave - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article224102915.htmlUMKC softball coach accused of sexual harassment agrees to take leave of absence - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article226144280.html Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

13 Feb 2019

Rank #20