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 October 28, 2012

Lessons Learned Serving Orphans Abroad Being Applied In Urban Core

A father holding his biological and foster children. The Adopt KC program works with local churches to see how it can support congregants interested in housing foster kids.

Some years ago Mike Fox, traveling in Thailand, learned about the plight of Karen refugees fleeing political repression in Burma.

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4:34 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Lessons Learned Serving Orphans Abroad Being Transferred In Urban Core

A father holding his biological and foster children. The Adopt KC program works with local churches to see how it can support congregants interested in housing foster kids.
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10:07 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Campus Organizers Worry About Political Apathy

Student activists at Kansas City Community College worry young people are not as  interested in the upcoming elections as they should be.

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Election 2012
8:26 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Kansas Congressman Calls For Truce On Bipartisanship

3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

3rd District Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder told an audience at Kansas Community College yesterday that during an election season, partisan bickering escalates. 

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9:37 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Late For The Parade

Well, I blew it today on the job.

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2:22 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Mayor Says Thank You Kansas City; Street Repairs To Begin This Fall

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says thank you KC signs will pop up citywide as street repairs begin. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Kansas City M0. Mayor Sly James said Tuesday afternoon that resurfacing roads around the city could begin as early as next month thanks to the overwhelming passage of Question 1 in the August election.

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4:11 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Johnson County Commissioners Say "Yes" To More Public Transit

Courtesy of

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners approved a transit budget last week that restores bus routes and adds stops to make up for cuts in the overall bus system.

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KC Currents
4:05 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Up All Night, All Over Town

The 7-11 just east of Prospect on Independence Avenue is a pick up and drop off point for prostitutes and an overnight hang out for the homeless.

KCUR's Laura Ziegler and photographer Claus Wawrzinek hit the streets recently to check out the overnight activity.

They stopped a few places along Independence Avenue ; a 7-11 , an overnight taqueria, and a quiet corner where a lone guitar player was soliciting donations.

They hit Westport and the Crossroads, and found late night street life in K.C. looks different across town.

Audio includes an extra track from conversations with homeless men who congregate at the 7-11 at Prospect and Independence Avenue every night, all night.

KC Currents
3:59 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

KC Currents Is Up All Night

Jeremy Soucy of the Missouri Department of Conservation holds up a small bull frog.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

What are you up after midnight and before sunrise? What are you thinking about? Doing? Eating?  Explore the region between the hours of midnight and 5 am.

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KC Currents Up All Night Program- On The Streets
3:47 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Up All Nights On Kansas City's Streets

Our K C Currents show  revealed how many among us are actually doing things overnight.

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11:59 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Settlement Means Greater Access For People With Disabilities

Kansas City will be required to become more accessible to those with disabilities after complaints about non-compliance with federal regulations, advocates say.

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10:09 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Watering During Drought: Be Conservative, Urges Water One

As the scorching hot weather continues this week, cities in the metro are urging  water consumers to space out their watering and not to soak the ground. 

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Tracking NBAF
8:59 am
Sat July 21, 2012

NBAF May Get Boost As Government Report Says 'Sell Plum Island'

A government report encourages sale of Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the only place in the U.S. where research on Foot and Mouth Disease is currently being done.

It could be good news for supporters of the NBAF,  the top-level biosecurity lab proposed for Manhattan, Kan.

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2:26 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Bucking Bulls Draw Crowds, And Dollars

Bulls are judged with a "dummy" weight for four seconds to see how hard they will jump and twist to buck a rider. Bulls that do well can sell for up to $50,000.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:04 pm

The bucking bull has long been the embodiment of the American rodeo, and it takes just four seconds for a strong young bull to reap its owner as much as $50,000 in prize money.

Four seconds is how long each 1- or 2-year-old bull will wear a weight strapped to its back as the massive animal is judged on how high it kicks and how much it twists.

In the past 10 years, bucking bulls have become a major industry. The price of the best bloodlines can soar to $250,000, and competitions take place everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Wyoming.

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5:49 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Less May Mean More For Federal Animal Disease Lab

The National Academies of Sciences issued a set of 10 conclusions today on the future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

The report says while there is a critical need for a so-called BSL4 lab to research the most dangerous emerging diseases that affect particularly livestock, it said the current NBAF proposal would be better... smaller.

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Tracking NBAF, DHS, NBAF,
12:00 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back For K-State Animal Lab?

Critics say rural America could be devastated by an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, which the NBAF would research.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

The National Academies of Science issued a set of 10 conclusions today on the future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas.

The report says while there is a critical need for a so-called BSL4 lab that will research the most dangerous emerging diseases to affect particularly livestock, it said the current NBAF proposal might be too big and too costly.

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Tracking NBAF
9:02 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Another New Report To Shed Light On NBAF's Future

The proposed NBAF lab at in Manhattan, Kan., would study ways to guard the nation's food supply against diseases like bird flu and Mad Cow disease.
Harvest Public Media

The future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan is under the microscope this week for the second time in just over a month.

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1:49 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Relentless Heat, Hard Choices: Family Struggles As Utility Bills Rise

The Landes family; Logan,Mason, Grandma Billie, and Cheryl.
Courtesy of Landes family

The living room of Cheryl Landes' small apartment has the cozy feel of your grandmother’s living room.

No surprise.  She’s often watching four grandkids, as well as her own 13-year-old son.

This afternoon, two of them are playing with their hand-held electronic games. They can play alone, or together. They laugh as their small computers make music.

Cheryl’s 90-year-old mother, Billie,  lives here too. She quietly sinks into a club chair. She has chronic lung disease, and dementia.

Both Cheryl and her grandson have asthma.

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12:06 am
Thu June 21, 2012

God, Politics And Sam Brownback's Kansas

Senior Sam Brownback was a leader in his Parker, Kansas high school
Laura Ziegler

Governor Sam Brownback is reconfiguring the size and scope of state government in Kansas with the help of an overwhelmingly conservative Republican legislature.

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Tracking NBAF
12:08 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Report Slams NBAF Risk Assessment

The National Research Council's report on the NBAF risk assessment.
National Research Council

"Not trustworthy."

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Tracking NBAF
12:57 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Update On Risks At Animal Disease Lab Out Tomorrow

In a highly anticipated announcement, the National Academies of Science said that it will release a congressionally mandated report on risk associated with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) this Friday. 

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Kansas Redistricting
3:25 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Last-Minute Filing Scramble In Kansas Draws To A Close

The new map for Kansas' Congressional districts.

The Kansas Secretary of State officially brought a chaotic filing period to an end today at noon.

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Tracking NBAF
1:57 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Redrawn District Adds To Animal Lab Concerns

The site designated to become the home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, is on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
Eric Durban Harvest Public Media

The beleaguered National Bio and Agro-Defense facility could face yet more challenges as a result of new congressional parameters released today by a three-judge panel.

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9:20 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Kansas Bioscience Authority Cleared Of Criminal Charges

Tom Thornton, former President and CEO of KBA, will not face criminal charges related to inappropriate spending of taxpayer dollars, according to the Johnson County District Attorney.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority and its former President and CEO Tom Thornton will not face any criminal charges over inappropriate use of state tax dollars.

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Tracking NBAF
12:01 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

NBAF Steering Committee Holds First Meeting In Topeka

The first meeting of a steering committee appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback last summer is taking place this morning in Topeka.

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Tracking NBAF
12:17 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

NBAF Closes In On Federal Funding

A rendering of the proposed NBAF facility in Manhattan, Kan.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) got one step closer to Congressional funding yesterday.

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Election 2012
11:50 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Obama Ad Attacks Romney For KC Job Losses

TV viewers in five swing states will see an Obama ad tomorrow that highlights a bankrupt Kansas City manufacturing firm and hundreds of lost jobs at the hands of Mitt Romney’s Boston-based investment firm.

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Tracking NBAF
9:41 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Possible Funding Boost For Kan. Agro-Defense Facility

The troubled National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., got a financial shot in the arm yesterday.

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7:00 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Government, Agencies Debate Food Aid Programs At KC Conference

Laura Ziegler

The U.S. created its food aid program more than 50 years ago in part to alleviate surpluses in agricultural commodities. Surpluses aren't a persistent issue today, but world hunger has become a more acute problem.

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4:55 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

An Inside Look At Research On NBAF

The proposed NBAF lab in Manhattan, Kan., is on the campus of Kansas State University.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Reporters this week got an inside look into the deliberations the National Research Council (NRC) is having while studying plans for the controversial bio-defense facility proposed for the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan.

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