Laura Ziegler

Special Correspondent

Laura Ziegler began her career at KCUR as a reporter more than 20 years ago. She became the news director in the mid 1980's and  in 1988,  went to National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. as a producer for Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon.

In 1993, she came back to Kansas City as the Midwest correspondent for National Public Radio. Among the stories she covered - the floods of 1993, the ongoing farm crisis and rural affairs, and presidential campaigns.

After the birth of her 3rd child, Laura returned to KCUR as producer of Under the Clock, a weekly talk show broadcast live from Union Station. It was hosted by former Kansas City mayor Emanuel Cleaver. When he was elected 5th district Congressman in 2002, Laura returned to KCUR as a part-time reporter and producer.

Laura has won numerous awards for her work, including three regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

In 1992, Laura was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship in Journalism with the East West Center at the University of Hawaii which took her to China, Japan, Burma, Bangladesh and Thailand.  In 1990, she was part of a reporting trip to the then -Soviet Union with the American Center for International Leadership.

Laura graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Vassar College.

She, her husband, and their three children - Julia, Ellie, and Benjamin, live with Laura's father in the house in which she was born.


10:40 am
Sun November 16, 2008

Ailey Camp Inspires Area High School Students

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

Ailey Camp is one of the legacies of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. It's more than a summer camp for kids who want to dance. Alvin Ailey started the camp with the idea that dance could be a vehicle for growth and personal development among the community's youth.

Read more
2:40 am
Wed November 5, 2008

Voters send Dennis Moore back to Washington

Overland Park, Kansas – The third district encompasses Johnson County, Wyandotte County, and part of Douglas County. Dennis Moore easily slid to victory, in spite of a Republican majority there. He told supporters he was looking forward to working with the new Obama administration. He will be the lone Democrat in the Kansas delegation once again, but will have a larger Democratic majority to work with in Congress.

Read more
1:57 am
Tue November 4, 2008

Advance Voting Shortens Lines In Johnson County

Johnson County, Kansas – So far in Johnson County things are running smoothly. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports.

Read more
12:25 am
Mon November 3, 2008

Overview Of Johnson County Ballot Issues

Johnson County, Kansas – Should voters in Johnson County elect their judges, or keep a system by which a commission of seven lawyers and seven non-lawyers nominate judges for the Governor to appoint?Should voters approve a one-eighth cent sales tax for an "education and research triangle?" The projected 15 million dollars in annual revenue would fund three Johnson County facilities: the KU Edwards Campus, K-State's National Food Safety and Health Institute in Olathe, and the Cancer Clinical Research Center in Fairway.

Read more
2:39 am
Mon October 6, 2008

Studies Look To Suburbs For Latest In Election Battles

Kansas City, Missouri – A number of studies are looking at voting patterns in the suburbs, but one in particular identifies suburbs in the Missouri counties of Platte, Clay, and Clinton as places the candidates might pay special attention to. A study scheduled to be released next week by the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech looks at so-called "emerging" suburbs, or those that have evolved in rings outside of cities.Laura Ziegler looked into the report's findings.

Read more
Business & Tech
9:27 am
Tue September 9, 2008

Economist Says Expect To Spend More On Heating Bills

Overland Park, KS – With energy at the top of the political agenda, representatives of state energy offices are in Kansas City hitting all the hot button issues. More from Laura Ziegler.

An economist with the National Petroleum Institute told member of the National Association of State Energy Offices that the average household could expect to see their heating bills go up by several five to six hundred dollars this winter because of higher fuel prices.

Read more
4:43 am
Mon September 8, 2008

Local Reactions To Republican National Convention

Kansas City, MO – With the conclusion of the Republican Party's national convention, we decided to speak to local pundits, our region's representatives in St. Paul and some local convention watchers for their reactions. KCUR's Laura Ziegler has a sample of what they had to say.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast .

Read more
12:38 am
Sat September 6, 2008

Few from Women's Group Gather to Watch McCain

Kansas City, Missouri – A movie theater with red leather recliners is a good place to watch CNN - even if there are only a few of you. That's how many members of the Women's Political Caucus came out to watch Cindy and John McCain last night. President of the Caucus board Ina Montgomery says that while the Caucus is nonpartisan, it's endorsed mostly democrats. It hasn't always been like that, and she says last night's event was an effort to attract Republicans.

Read more
2:28 am
Mon July 28, 2008

Johnson County Votes In August On Sales Tax

Johnson County, Kansas – There haven't been many yard signs. You may have read an editorial or two in the newspaper. But the effort to renew a quarter-cent sales tax for public safety in Johnson County has been pretty low- profile so far. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports on some of the arguments pro and con as the August 5th election draws near.

People spilled out of the courtroom door of Edwin Hall's dramatic hearing. Kelsey Smith's murderer was pleading his case the same day I was touring the Johnson County jail.

Read more
2:20 am
Thu February 21, 2008

Reactions to Metcalf Development Plan

A busy section of Metcalf Avenue near 91st Street.
Photo by Laura Ziegler.

OVERLAND PARK, KS – After almost a year and a half of research and input from thousands of residents, the city of Overland Park and a team of consultants will reveal a new "vision" for Metcalf Avenue on February 21.

The plan gives this important Johnson County artery a massive face lift, including bus rapid transit and pockets of revitalized mixed-use development along key stops between Johnson Drive and 123rd Street.

Read more
11:13 am
Thu January 17, 2008

Tribute Celebrates Life of Gregory Hickman-Williams

Local jazz fans gather this Sunday at Jardine's for a tribute to local singer Gregory Hickman-Williams who died just as his career seemed about to take off.

Kansas City, MO – Tribute to Gregory Hickman-Williams
with Sons of Brazil
Sunday, January 20, 5 - 10 pm

Read more
10:40 am
Fri November 9, 2007

K-State Hopes New Biosecurity Research Will Help Win Federal Facility

The Department of Homeland Security announced recently that a site near K-State in Manhattan, Kan., was on the short list to be the home of a new multi-million dollar federal center designed to protect the nation's food supply and public health.

Read more
10:37 am
Mon February 5, 2007

Roberts Talks About Kansas Biosecurity Center

Sen. Pat Roberts, the former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and member of the Agriculture Committee, says biosecurity is a national concern and that Kansas is a natural place to put it front and center.

The proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, as it's known in Washington, will replace the aging lab on Plum Island, near New York. That lab has been the premier biosecurity facility to date.

Read more
11:59 pm
Sun August 27, 2006

Local Responses to Hezbollah-Israel Conflict

Kansas City, MO – The United Nations is struggling to put a peacekeeping force in place to uphold the fragile cease-fire in Southern Lebanon, as it enters its third week. In the Kansas City area, Jewish and Muslim groups are monitoring events as hope increases that hostilities will begin to die down. We wanted to see what others were thinking about the situation, people who don't necessarily have a vested interest in the situation in that part of the world. KCUR's Laura Ziegler talked to three people, and has this report.

Read more
12:11 am
Fri August 4, 2006

Kansas School Board Primaries tomorrow

July 31, 2006 –
This years Kansas State School Board elections are being more closely watched than ever. Usually overlooked during the last days of summer, primary elections - particularly for the school board - don't draw much attention. But that was before evolution and intelligent design, or sex education, or the controversial new commissioner of education put a spotlight on Kansas schools.
Now, the conservative majority that some say has made Kansas a punchline for night-time talk shows could be voted out of power.


Read more
11:25 pm
Mon June 26, 2006

Local Families Adopt Abroad

Kansas City, MO – Families for Adoption, an international and domestic adoption ministry at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty recently held a roundtable for people interested in adopting children from another country. We heard about it, and thought it would be an opportunity to take our own look at the subject. KCUR's Laura Ziegler spoke to some adoption experts, and dropped in on some parents with kids who come from other countries.

Read more
8:02 am
Mon June 12, 2006

KC Warms up for Al Green

Headlining the list of musicians for the Rhythm and Ribs Festival (June 16-18) is Al Green, his satin sound defining a new genre for soul music. Here's our own little preview of Rhythm and Ribs and a local tribute to the great Al Green.

Read more
11:36 pm
Sun June 4, 2006

St. Agnes Music Director Fired Over Sexuality

Read more
4:42 am
Tue May 30, 2006

Olathe Couple Produce NCLR's ALMA Awards

Kansas City, MO – It's hot . . . it's fast . . . it's the 8th annual ALMA Awards scheduled to air next Monday . . . June 5th . . . on ABC. The ALMA awards were created by David Chavez of Olathe, Kansas . . . to honor Hispanic artists in film, TV and music. The show is part Oscars, part Emmys, and part Grammys of Latin entertainment. And the buzz around it is loud, especially loud now that Desperate Housewives superstar Eva Longoria has signed on as host.

Read more
Food & Drink
1:27 am
Mon April 17, 2006

Passover at the Starrs

Kansas City, MO – Passover celebrates the journey of the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt. A special text called The Haggadah organizes the Seder meal through rituals such as dipping parsley in salt water to symbolize the tears of suffering. The evening progresses through prayers and song and ends with the celebration of freedom. Laura Ziegler visited the home of John and Debbie Starr -- who invited family and friends for their Seder -- and prepared this audio postcard.

Read more
12:21 am
Mon April 3, 2006

Iyanla Vanzant to Speak at Black Women Leaders Conference

Iyanla Vanzant will speak at UMKC's first Black Women's Leadership Conference.
Read more
11:28 pm
Sun February 12, 2006

Negro Leagues probed for Hall of Famers

Kansas City Monarch Buck O'neil
Read more
2:59 pm
Fri October 7, 2005

Just Jazz Leaves the Airwaves

The face of jazz music on KCUR will change after this weekend. The long running program Just Jazz will end.

Kansas City, MO – The face of jazz music on KCUR will change after this weekend. The long running program Just Jazz will end. Laura Ziegler has this look back at the show and the hosts who made it unique.

Read more
12:39 pm
Sun August 28, 2005

Excerpt from Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini

Excerpt from Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini

Read more
1:59 pm
Fri August 19, 2005

Ailey Camper: Memory Brown Final Audio Diary

Ailey Camp is over now, and the young people who participated in the intensive six week dance program are waiting out the hot days of August for school to begin. This is the final audio diary in our series with Ailey Camper Memory Brown.

Memory Brown Final Audio Diary

Read more
9:37 am
Tue July 19, 2005

Ailey Camper: Memory Brown Audio Diary 2

The some 200 Kansas City young people selected to be part of this year's AileyCamp are more than halfway through the intensive 6-week program.

Read more
9:12 am
Mon June 27, 2005

Ailey Camper: Memory Brown Audio Diary 1

The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey began its 17th summer camp recently. In the first of three parts, we'll talk to Ailey Camper Memory Brown. Brown is 14 years old and lives with her grandmother. She was ecstatic when she got accepted to Ailey camp.

Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey began its 17th summer camp recently.

Read more