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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Frank Morris

Belton, MO – A crowd of about 6-thousand arrayed on a Baptist school football field cheered Senator McCain's pledge to end the Iraq war in victory. Then McCain echoed Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, who recently predicted that Obama would face an international crisis early in his term, if he's elected president.

We don't want a president who invites texting from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars.

Independence, MO – Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain, campaigned in Missouri today. He spoke about the nation's economy this morning at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from there.

Michelle Obama is also in the area today. She's hosting a rally for her husband, Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, this evening at the 18th and vine jazz district.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser says crime is going to be his primary near term focus, moving forward after the city's impasse over the mayor's wife's involvement in City Hall. But published reports of Republican operative Jeff Roe consulting the mayor exasperated tensions between the him and the council.

Kansas City, MO – The outcome of the presidential election could come down to the vote in key parts of Missouri. The campaigns for Senator John McCain, the Republican, and Senator Barack Obama, the Democrat are both in high gear working here. As part of our ongoing election courage, KCUR's Frank Morris spoke with Senator Obama's campaign Chief of Staff , Jim Messina, about the ground war in Missouri.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City has done something perhaps no other city has. It passed an ordinance to keep the mayor's wife from volunteering in the mayor's office.

The mayor responded with the first veto in the city's history.

With mounting crime, crumbling sewers and a fiscal crisis looming, KCUR's Frank Morris reports on what brought Kansas City to its current impasse.

Mark Funkhouser is a serious, imposing guy, especially sitting on his front porch, talking about the role of his wife, Gloria Squitiro at City Hall.

Kansas City – For months, members of the City Council, and others, have complained about the role Gloria Squitiro, Funkhouser's wife, plays in the mayor's office. Squitiro puts in upwards of 20 hours a week, making calls, following policy, and --apparently-
annoying people. Last week the council voted 12-1 (Funkhouser being the 1) passing an ordinance prohibiting family volunteers (i.e. Squitiro) from working in city offices. Last night, Funkhouser vetoed it.

Denver, CO – The Democratic National Convention is over. People from the Kansas and Missouri delegations making their way to the airport this morning. Party leaders hope those travelers thinking about the 66 days they have to take their candidate from party endorsement to president. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver.

Denver, CO – Gays, Lesbians and transgendered people are represented like never before at this year's Democratic National Convention. That includes a strong showing from the Kansas and Missouri delegations. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver.

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Denver, CO – Hard core Democrats from Kansas and Missouri are gearing up this morning for the final night of what many of them view as a historic nominating convention. Frank Morris reports from Denver.

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Kansas and Missouri Democrats are squeezing in next to some 75,000 other spectators at Invesco Field in Denver, Colo. to see their freshly minted presidential nominee, Barack Obama. KCUR's Frank Morris is there too, and reports that many here are already looking past the speech to the general election.

Missouri Democrats meeting are mobilizing for the general election. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

Democrats here are excited about the big speech their presidential nominee, Barack Obama is going to give at the pro football stadium here. They've been showing up from across Missouri and Kansas, some without tickets. But the business at hand has to do with the 66 days between that speech and the general election.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius spoke about some of her humble roots and the touchy state of the US economy, before a TV audience of millions last night. KCUR's Frank Morris was at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., and has this report.

Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas, took on a role for which doubly well suited at the Democratic National Convention last night. KCUR's Frank Morris has more from Denver, Colo.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius shared a little of her family history (her great-grandmother was Howard Taft's maid, before he became president) with millions of people on prime time TV. That's because Governor Sebelius is part of an elite club that Democrats would like to see get a little less so, successful red state Democrats.

KCUR's Frank Morris has this report from the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The delegates are counted in Denver, and the Democrats have officially nominated Senator Barack Obama for president.

Some feel the historic nature of the convention has been overshadowed by Senator Hillary Clinton's own history making presidential run. Though many members of the Missouri delegation feel the race issue has been handled perfectly. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

AMB: Nixon announcing the vote

Democrats have officially counting the delegates and nominated the first African American presidential candidate. That's a relief to delegates who have been torn by lingering resentment between Clinton and Obama supporters. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

A lot of Clinton delegates out here were sensitive that the Senator, and her accomplishments would be short changed at this convention. For people like Jolie Justus, a Missouri State Senator, Clinton's speech last night changed everything.

Denver, CO – People watching TV tonight will see something strange, a Kansas governor addressing the Democratic National Convention, in prime time. KCUR's Frank Morris is at the convention in Denver, and reports that Sebelius is in high demand there.

Denver, CO – Missouri native Leslie Spencer is in Denver this week as an enthusiastic "redneck" supporter of Barack Obama. The Kansas City-born Spencer stood near lines of anti-McCain and anti-Obama protestors wearing "Rednecks for Obama" gear and holding a sign with the same message.

photo: Steve Bell, KCUR

Phill Kline will have to leave the Johnson County District Attorney's office. Steve Howe, who billed himself as the "unity candidate" won Tuesday's Republican primary 60 percent to Kline's 40 percent.

Abortion, and Kline's efforts to fight it, were central issues in the campaign. And, though both Kline and Howe call themselves pro-life, Howe's convincing victory isn't likely to end the split in the Kansas Republican party...not by a long shot.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In an extended press conference this morning Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says he decided not to run for reelection in the last few days, less than two weeks after delivering a State of the State address that was widely viewed as a campaign speech.

 

Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City, MO – As final preparations are made for funeral services for Coretta Scott-King in Atlanta, police there are bracing for some unwelcome guests from Topeka.

Fred Phelps, and his Westboro Baptist Church has long exploited such public events for their virulent, anti-gay demonstrations. Law makers in more than a dozen state capitols are taking steps to neutralize the protests, but the controversial preacher argues that would take away his First Amendment rights. KCUR'S Frank Morris reports.

AP Photo

Hundreds of victims of the Robert Courtney drug-tampering scheme and their family members watched as the former pharmacist was sentenced to 30 years on Thursday. The sentence drew mixed responses from those watching the proceedings.

Robert Courtney, the former Kansas City pharmacist who has admitted to diluting prescriptions given to thousands of patients, faced sentencing on Thursday.

Under a plea agreement, U.S. District Judge Ortri Smith can give Courtney from 17 1/2 to 30 years in prison.

Hundreds of victims and family members are expected at the courthouse. Among them will be Marge Vermillion, whose husband died soon after taking cancer treatments mixed at Courtney's pharmacy. 

Associated Press

A 97-year-old woman is the oldest working Kansan. Martha Smith of Vinland, Kan. has been tending the Cole Creek Library for most of the last 67 years. Her great uncle helped found the library in 1859.

A Gallup poll reveals 40 percent of Americans expressed some fear of a terrorist attack, and minorities were almost three times as likely to be very worried about an attack.

But now, KCUR's Frank Morris found - from the conservative white farming area to almost exclusively minority neighborhoods - people are now largely unafraid of terrorism, though for largely different reasons.

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