Frank Morris

National Correspondent and Senior Editor

Frank Morris has supervised the reporters in KCUR's newsroom since 1999. In addition to his managerial duties, Morris files regularly with National Public Radio. He’s covered everything from tornadoes to tax law for the network, in stories spanning eight states. His work has won dozens of awards, including four national Public Radio News Directors awards (PRNDIs) and several regional Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2012 he was honored to be named "Journalist of the Year" by the Heart of America Press Club.

Morris grew up in rural Kansas listening to KHCC, spun records at KJHK throughout college at the University of Kansas, and cut his teeth in journalism as an intern for Kansas Public Radio, in the Kansas statehouse.

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KCUR Newscast
9:09 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

KCUR Evening News 3-14-11

Kansas City, Mo. – Sly James Raises More Than Mike Burke in Kansas City's Mayoral Race Both Candidates Make the Other Sick, Literally.

Kansas House Puts off Voting on Yet Another Round of Spending Cuts

Missouri Senate Takes Up Right to Work Bill

Missouri State Representatives Propose Legislation to Stop the Spread of Sharia Law in the Show Me State

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KCUR News
9:41 am
Sun March 13, 2011

KC Celebrates Lost Generation

Gunnar Naughton, Richard Faulkner and Hunter Van Bogart
Frank Morris

Kansas City, Mo. – America entered the war with a promise: As the famous WWI song said, "We won't be back till it's over, over there." Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired General Richard Myers said that was remarkably optimistic. "They went over thinking they could change the world, change the course of that war, and in fact they did!", said Myers speaking at the Liberty Memorial.

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KCUR News
12:00 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Surprise Upsets in Tuesday's Primary

Mike Burke (left) faces Sly James (right) in the March 22 general election.

Kansas City, Mo. – Tuesday's primary elections in Kansas City yielded some serious surprises: a pink-haired Libertarian is still in the running for a seat on the City Council; a Kansas City mayor has been denied a second term for the first time in almost a century; and the woman who, until recently, was the highest-ranking politician in Johnson County, Kansas showed up at the victory party of one of the winning mayoral candidates.

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KCUR News
3:25 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Wheeler Backs Burke

Former mayors Wheeler, Barnes and Berkley, flank Burke.
Frank Morris

Kansas City, Mo. – Former Mayor Charles Wheeler says he decided to back Mike Burke for mayor after two other former mayors, Kay Barnes and Richard Berkley, got behind Burke.

"I think the other two mayors are more important than I am in breaking Burke out, but with the three of us behind him, he has much to be proud of," said Wheeler.

All three former mayors praised Burke as someone who can work with a wide variety of people, without ever tripping over his own ego.

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KCUR News
3:02 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

KC Mayoral Candidate Deb Hermann

Frank Morris

KANSAS CITY, MO – Seven candidates are vying to be the next mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. The primary on February 22, 2011 will narrow the field down to two. As part of KCUR's municipal election coverage, we're sitting down with each of the seven candidates in a place of their choosing.

Councilwoman Deb Hermann met up with KCUR's Frank Morris at a local Italian restaurant, a place she says is an example of a great, small business.

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KCUR News
7:40 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Businesses Stay Open in Blizzard

Shopkeeper Ty Gadino at a Midtown hardware store, Kansas City, Mo.
photo: Frank Morris/KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – The enormous winter storm continued pummeling the Midwest, closing roads and forcing thousands of flight cancellations as it lumbered eastward. By evening most of Kansas City was shut down. But a number of businesses, like this little hardware store in Midtown, welcomed a steady stream of customers staggering in out of the blizzard.

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KCUR News
5:59 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

Army Boot Camp Gets Down to Basics

KCUR News
8:43 am
Tue December 28, 2010

Army Boot Camp Embraces New-Age Fitness

Kansas City, MO –

 

During the past decade, the U.S. Army has faced what it regards as a serious internal threat: young recruits entering in terrible shape.

In a radical shift, the Army is overhauling the way it trains, cares for and feeds new soldiers.

So, as fad workouts increasingly borrow Army terms like "boot camp," actual basic training is starting to look a bit like a new-age fitness camp but with harsh words, severe haircuts and fire arms.

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KCUR News
11:06 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Veterans Affairs Scrambles To Serve Female Veterans

Kansas City, MO –

LISTEN TO THE STORY

The number of women serving in the military has mushroomed in recent decades to more than 200,000 active duty, not counting National Guard and reservists. This growing population faces many of the same problems as men but also health and mental issues that are unique to female veterans.

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KCUR News
8:13 am
Wed November 3, 2010

Sanders, Democrat, Wins County Executive Seat in Largely Republican Election

Kansas City, MO – One of the few bright spots for Democrats last night was the Jackson County Executive race, where Mike Sanders handily beat Republican challenger Robert Stringfield.

Sanders says he's not worried about what the congressional sea change may mean for county government.

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KCUR News
2:07 am
Wed November 3, 2010

Prop A Win Sets Up Divisive Election in KC

Kansas City, MO – Council and mayoral elections are in March, and a vote on maintain the earnings tax will follow about 2 weeks after. That means the newly elected mayor and council will be campaigning for the tax right away While it's not clear who will be taking the message to the voters, Councilman Ed Ford says it is pretty clear what they'll be saying.

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KCUR News
10:07 am
Fri October 22, 2010

Stand-Down to Help Women Vets

KCUR News
9:59 am
Tue September 28, 2010

Missouri Treasurer Announces Bank Partnership

Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel

Kansas City, MO – It will soon be easier for smaller Missouri businesses to get low-interest loans. The state Treasurer has struck a deal with Commerce Bank that will generate up to $100 million of credit. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.

It's part of the state's Linked Deposit Program. Missouri deposits money into a bank; the bank, Commerce Bank in this case, pays the state less than the going rate for interest, and then loans the money to businesses at a discounted rate.

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Harvest Public Media
3:53 pm
Thu September 23, 2010

Fed Funds Target Rural Rebirth

KCUR News
12:14 pm
Fri July 30, 2010

Feds To Truckers: Time For A Gut Check

Truckers are more likely than average Americans to be overweight, which can lead to health problems including sleep apnea, which disrupts sleep and causes fatigue, contributing to thousands of crashes a year. No one knows for sure because the government has never required that drivers be tested.

'I've Gained 100 Pounds'

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Teaching Evolution
2:57 pm
Tue July 27, 2010

Science Stands Up

In the Republican primary for Kansas Board of Education, an advocate of teaching creationism in science classes, John Bacon, faces a challenger Dennis George, in the district that includes southern Johnson County, and points south. No Democrats have filed for the general election, so the primary will determine the winner.

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KCUR News
1:14 am
Thu July 15, 2010

Tax Breaks on the Table, Missouri Waits on Ford

Workers celebrate auto industry tax breaks.
Photo: Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – "It's a great day for all working people in the state of Missouri!" said Jim Wells, regional director for the Autoworkers union reflecting a pretty upbeat mood across the street from the Claycomo plant. Workers and politicians celebrated as governor Nixon signed the measure granting auto makers, and their suppliers up to 15 million dollars a year in tax breaks, for 10 years if they invest here.

"We are committed to making sure that Missouri is an automotive (manufacturing) state for years to come", said Nixon.

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KCUR News
5:45 pm
Wed May 19, 2010

The Country's Largest Tax Preparer Shrinks

Kansas City, Mo. – Low-income working people tend to qualify for tax refunds, to get their taxes done early and to buy lucrative "refund anticipation loans". Until recently, H&R Block expanded aggressively to grab that business.

But Block's tax preparation work dove 5 percent this year. CEO Russ Smyth says the mounting popularity of tax preparation software cuts into their business, but that double digit unemployment among the working poor cuts deeper.

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KCUR News
2:03 pm
Wed May 19, 2010

Local Man Pleads Guilty To Funneling Money To Al-Qaida

Kansas City, Mo. – 32-year-old Khalid Ouazzani, a U.S. Citizen originally from Morocco, has pleaded guilty to federal charges of providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Ouazzani ran Truman Used Auto Parts, on Truman Road in Kansas City. He has admitted to pledging allegiance to Al-Qaida and between August 2007 and February 2010, actively supporting the organization.

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KCUR News
11:49 pm
Tue May 18, 2010

25 Years, $2.5 Billion: KC Launches Big Sewer Project

EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks and Assistant US Attorney Ignacia S. Moreno make the announcement.
Frank Morris KCUR

Kansas City , Mo. – Federal and Kansas City officials have agreed on a partial fix for the city's sewer system. It will cost more than 2.5 billion dollars and take 25 years the largest infrastructure project in the city's history. A consent decree lodged in US federal court Tuesday all but sealed the deal after years of negotiations pitting the city against the EPA and Justice Department.

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KCUR News
11:09 am
Fri May 14, 2010

Walt Covers KC's Worst-Ever Tornado

Kansas City – Tornadoes raked Kansas and Oklahoma a week ago, killing 5 people. But those storms were minor compared to the one that hit Kansas City on May 20th, 1957. The Ruskin Heights Tornado was among the most powerful ever recorded. It obliterated the new neighborhood that it's named for, and killed dozens of people. KCUR's Walt Bodine was there before the dust cleared.

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KCUR News
11:07 am
Wed April 21, 2010

The Heyday Of Westport High, And Murder At 39th & Main: The Making of Walt Bodine

Kansas City, Mo. – Westport High School is slated to close this spring after 103 years. KCUR's Walt Bodine attended classes there in the 1930s, when the school was relatively new, and affluent. A violent crime near a student hangout close to the school changed his life, and put him on the career path he's been on ever since. KCUR's Frank Morris spoke with him about his time at Westport High, starting with the impression that struck him, when he walked in the door for his first day of classes.

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KCUR News
9:18 am
Wed April 21, 2010

GM Spends Big In KCK And Pays Off Government Loan

Kansas City, Mo. – Last summer General Motors was clinging to life, bankrupt, propped up only by a massive infusion of government cash. Wednesday, though, money was flowing the other way. The company announced that it's sinking a lot of cash into its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas. It also trumped the fact that it has repaid a massive federal government loan, way early. Those two announcements in Kansas City lead to some rare, bi-partisan praise for the auto industry relief plan.

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KCUR News
4:36 pm
Thu April 8, 2010

Tech Firm Moves To KC Urban Core

Frank Morris KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – A company called QM Power has moved its headquarters from Boston, Massachusetts to Kansas City, Missouri.

QM holds patents on technology the company claims can make electric motors and generators many times more efficient than they are today. It's moved into a University of Missouri-Kansas City building on Troost Avenue.

Company CEO P.J. Piper says QM will be hiring about 20 people over the next year.

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KCUR News
9:31 am
Wed April 7, 2010

Barney Frank Praises Local Banks, Says Major Reform Likely By Memorial Day

Barney Frank discussing financial industry reform with local bankers.

Kansas City – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank was in Kansas City at the behest of his colleague on the committee, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, to recognize UMB Bank and Commerce as the second and third most healthy banks in the country. This is according to ratings published by Forbes Magazine. Frank said institutions like UMB and Commerce have nothing to fear from bank reforms.

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KCUR News
6:11 pm
Thu April 1, 2010

After 150 Years, Pony Express Legend Gets Another Look

Pony Express Reenactor Justin Rother
Frank Morris KCUR

St. Joseph, Mo. – In 1860 the American west was booming, and the east was boiling. Civil war was at hand. A vast wilderness and high mountains blocked the rich west from the rest of the country. Rail and telegraph lines stopped in St. Joseph.

Cindy Daffron with the Pony Express museum here says that meant it took a month for news reports and government dispatches to cross that information abyss.

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KCUR News
1:02 pm
Wed March 31, 2010

Walt Bodine on His Corner of the Great Depression

Looking west from the southwest corner of Linwood and Troost, at night. Shows the LaSalle Hotel and the Bodine Drugs.
photo: courtesy of Missouri Valley Special Collections

Kansas City, Mo. – KCUR's Walt Bodine spent the Great Depression working at his parents' drugstore in Kansas City. That family business placed Walt right in the thick of one of the wildest periods in the city's history. It also launched his broadcasting career... sort of. KCUR's Frank Morris spoke with Walt about that turbulent time, and the store, situated on a once dynamic, now blighted, corner in midtown.

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The Economy Project
10:42 am
Fri March 12, 2010

Obama Administration Scrutinizes Big Ag

Jim Foster ponders the future of his independent hog operation.
Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – It looks like banking isn't the only industry coming in for some added regulatory scrutiny from the Obama administration. US Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack have launched a series of workshops probing anti-trust issues in agriculture. Some big agribusiness firms say the forums will showcase a well functioning, free market. But, many producers think they'll expose a system increasingly hostile to the traditional family farm.

GET BIG OR DIE

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KCUR News
12:01 pm
Fri February 19, 2010

KPERS Among Worst Funded State Pension Funds

Kansas City, Mo. – The Pew Center for the States finds that state pension funds have promised retirees $1 trillion more than they have on hand to pay. Missouri's pension system is in relatively sound shape, but the one in Kansas is among the most troubled in the nation.

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