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.

Pages

Food
10:53 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Salmon And More; Food Aid Menu Grows As Industry Expands

A nutrition packed cake produced by Survivor Industry, Inc. on display at the International Food Aid and Development Conference. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – When the U.S. food aid program began in 1954, known as The Agricultural Trade Development Assistance Act, the country had a vast surplus of farm commodities.

The aim of the program was to expand export markets, but also to help American farmers by diminishing surpluses.

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KCUR News
10:24 am
Tue June 7, 2011

AMC Expands Food Service at Movies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Movie houses have figured out that many of us don't buy snacks when we go to the movies. And that they're losing a bunch of money because of that. So across the country theaters are starting to offer options.

Some healthier, some not. But many are more substantial, like dinner. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports about Kansas City-based AMC's "dine-in" movie going experience.

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KCUR News
11:07 am
Wed June 1, 2011

Severe Weather Warnings; Social Scientists Are Studying Ways To Make Us More Responsive

Kansas City, Missouri – John Davies is an experienced storm chaser. He analyzes data for weather outlets, including the National Weather Service. He and his wife were struck when driving toward the Joplin tornado how many people were out on the streets, going about their daily business.

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KCUR News
4:49 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Sound Of Severe Weather Warnings; Pay Attention, Say Emergency Officials

Kansas City, Missouri – People need to pay attention to severe storm warnings, even though it may seem unnecessary.

Severe weather yesterday caused at least one tornado to touch down around 151st and Metcal in South Johnson County, and another around Harrisonville, according to law enforcement officers. Area police departments dispatched officers and trained storm spotters to the periphery of the county to file weather reports and check on residents and businesses.

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KCUR News
3:33 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Day After Storms Officials Drive Home Importance Of Warnings

Photo : National Severe Storm Lab, NOAA

Kansas City, Missouri – People ignore severe storm warnings at their peril and yesterday's weather gave officials an opportunity to make that point.

At least one tornado touched down in South Johnson County, and another around Harrisonville, according to law enforcement officers in the area.

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KCUR News
11:01 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Sound Of Severe Weather Warnings; Pay Attention, Say Emergency Officials

Kansas City, Missouri – People need to pay attention to severe storm warnings, even though it may seem unnecessary.

Severe weather yesterday caused at least one tornado to touch down around 151st and Metcal in South Johnson County, and another around Harrisonville, according to law enforcement officers. Area police departments dispatched officers and trained storm spotters to the periphery of the county to file weather reports and check on residents and businesses.

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KCUR News
4:00 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Joplin Hospital To Reopen; Local Service Agencies Say Be Discriminating With Aid

St. John Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo.
photo: Dan Verbeck/KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. – Officials in Joplin say the St. John's Regional Medical Center will be rebuilt, after being all but demolished by the EF5 tornado last weekend.

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KCUR News
3:47 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Tornado Causes Damage in Sedalia, Mo.

Kansas City, MO – Just after noon today, a tornado touched down in Sedalia, Missouri. Heavy damage is reported in some parts of the city. According to the Sedalia Democrat, early reports include damage along U.S. 65 and debris throughout the area.

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KCUR News
9:03 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Area Agencies Respond To Joplin Disaster

Kansas City, Missouri – Area service agencies mobilized immediately in response to the F4 tornado that tore through Joplin last night.

The Red Cross is providing emergency supplies to disaster victims.

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KC Currents
10:17 am
Mon May 16, 2011

What IS that? Kentucky Derby Shrine

1938 Kentucky Derby winner Lawrin and sire Insco gravestones on grounds of old Woolford Farm in Prairie Village, Kan.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Prairie Village, Kan. – Ever pass something that catches your eye while you're driving around or walking? Something that makes you turn you head in wonder as you pass by? It might an architectural anomaly, an unusual object, artwork, or a storefront?

KC Currents will be exploring these curiosities in a new occasional series we're calling "What IS That?" KCUR's Laura Ziegler has this first installment about a sacred space in the heart of Prairie Village, Kan. It's a shrine to the only horse bred in Kansas to win the Kentucky Derby.

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Tracking NBAF
1:57 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Kansas Legislature Strips KBA Of Bonding For NBAF

New Kansas Bioscience Authority under construction in Olathe. Photo courtesy of KBA

The Kansas House voted unanimously last night to strip the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority of bonding authority for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, or NBAF.

The vote gives the state Department of Administration charge over issuing $150 million dollars in bonds.

In a separate move, a provision added to a Senate bill requires the State Finance Department to approve any NBAF bonds.

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KCUR News
3:24 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Residents In Southern Missouri Win Big In Lawsuit Against Hog Barns

The owners of the large Kenoma hog barn in Barton County, Missouri was judged to be emitting unreasonably stinky odors by a jury over the weekend. Plaintiffs were awarded almost 2 million dollars. Photo by Laura Ziegler.

Kansas City, Missouri – A jury in Southern Missouri has awarded almost 2 million dollars to 16 defendants in Southern Missouri in a suit against industrial agriculture. The residents said 2 Iowa-based hog producers were liable for unpleasant odors that made it impossible for plaintiffs to work or enjoy their land. The barns collectively house over 7 thousand hogs.

The lawsuit divided a community of one time friends who live side by side and went to high school together.

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KCUR News
12:00 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Death Adds Urgency To Efforts Of Those Concerned About Agroterrorism

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts told the 800 conference participants Washington wasn't paying enough attention to the real threats to our food supply. Photo: Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – Those involved in protecting the American food supply have a special interest in what comes after the death of Osama Bin Laden.

That was the message at an international conference on agroterrorism last week in Kansas City. Members of law enforcement - from around the global to the local level - joined food and farm representatives to talk about protecting against an intentional introduction of disease anywhere along the food chain.

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KCUR News
7:43 am
Fri April 29, 2011

Kansas Senator Warns Threat To Food Supply Bigger Than Believed

Senator Pat Roberts projected on a screen so 750 participants at the International Symposium on Agro Terrorism could see him as he addressed the assemply. Photo: Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – Kansas Senator Pat Roberts told an international conference on agro terrorism today in Kansas city that Washington has threats to our food supply too low on its list of priorities.

Among the concerns the 750 participants studied over the 3 day conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel: the shrinking global economy (we import from over 50 different countries,) our vast transportation systems that move food quickly from coast to coast, and the easy accessibility of information.

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KCUR News
12:57 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Harvesters Wins Top Honor Among Food Banks Nationally

Harvesters offers food to pantries, shelters, and day care centers in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Children are among the most vulnerable. Photo: Harvesters

Kansas City, Missouri – A prestigious recognition for The Harvesters Community Food Network - the regional food bank has been named the 2011 Food Bank of the year by America's food bank network. Feeding America is made up of some 200 food banks across the country.

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Tracking NBAF
9:59 am
Sun April 17, 2011

Interim Head Of KBA Concerned About NBAF, Investments

David Vranicar, Interim CEO of the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

The interim CEO of the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority says the KBA will cooperate completely with the Governor's office in it's request for an independent audit. The Kan. legislature has been holding hearings in recent weeks.

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KCUR News
9:46 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Missouri Legislature Sends Governor Bill Opponents Say Is Friendly To Industrial Ag

Kansas City, Missouri – Should a property owner be able to sue a farmer OVER AND OVER for making the neighborhood smell farmy?

What about for making it unpleasant to work outside?

These are some of the questions at issue as Governor Jay Nixon considers weather to sign a bill legislators sent to his desk last night.
The bill is known informally as The CAFO bill because it deals with what are called Confined Animal Feeding Operations - CAFO's.

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KCUR News
12:04 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Johnson Countians Stay Home For Spring Vote On Schools, City Officials

Student election worker Susie McClannahan worked the polls from 6AM to 7PM yesterday. She doodled pictures of animals to keep from getting bored. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Johnson County, Kansas – With dozens of elections for council seats, mayors, school boards, and Community College trustees, officials reported a surprising lack of voters. While spring elections are always quiet, election commissioner Brian Newby said a lot of money and attention went toward these races. He said he expected more concern, given the urgency of city and school funding issues.

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KCUR News
2:31 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Turnout in Johnson County Low So Far

Kansas City, Missouri – It's a spring election in an off year, and, as expected, turnout has been relatively low so far in Johnson County, Kan.

16 cities have races for mayor and or city council. 8 school districts are electing board members. Voters will elect or return 3 trustees to the board of the Johnson County Community College.

Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby says turnout is always higher in some places.

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Health
8:45 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Nutrition Labeling on Popcorn...Coming to a Theater Near You

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Would you buy popcorn at the movies if you knew it was something other than a healthy snack?

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KCUR News
3:21 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Kansas Legislature Wants More Accountability From Kansas Bioscience Authority

 

Kansas City – Salary, expenses, and marketing records reveal excessive spending on the part of the Kansas Bioscience Authority. At least that's what some on the Commerce Committee feel.

The Committee has been holding hearings in recent weeks to address perceptions of fiscal irresponsibility, and has a bill on the Senate floor to put the Secretaries of Commerce and Revenue on the Board of the KBA.

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KCUR News
11:13 am
Wed February 16, 2011

Tracking The Tea Party; Election 2010

February 2010 - December 2010 – TRACKING THE TEA PARTY: Election 2010 Kansas and Missouri

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Tracking NBAF
10:29 am
Tue February 15, 2011

Officials With NBAF Pleased About President's Budget

The President's budget, which was made public yesterday, pegs $150 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. That's the Level 4 laboratory designed to test highly contagious pathogens and foreign animal diseases operated by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS awarded the $650 million project to K-State a couple of years ago.

Officials told reporters in a teleconference yesterday they were happy with the budget proposal.

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KCUR News
10:02 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Housing and Homelessness In Johnson County; Hard To Connect

Sharon Tubbs holds her granddaughter in the courtyard of the Johnson County Family Lodge where she is temporarily living with her husband.

Johnson County, Kansas – In Johnson County, both foreclosures and homelessness have increased dramatically in recent years, mirroring national trends.

But it's hard to say what impact foreclosures have on homelessness, which can frustrate service providers.

Laura Ziegler spent some time with officials, advocates, and some residents at the Johnson County Family Lodge of the Salvation Army, exploring the link between the two.

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KCUR News
10:03 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Missouri Invests In Bacteria Research; Hope For Expansion, Jobs Downtown

Kansas City, Missouri – A company that manufactures so-called "good bacteria" is expanding in Kansas City, thanks to $1.4 million in incentives from the state of Missouri and Kansas City.

The company, SCD Probiotics, has been granted tax credits, tax abatements, and low interest loans that will enable it to expand at its current facility in the Paseo West district.

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KCUR News
2:49 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

Former Congressman Dennis Moore Reflects On Tucson Tragedy And Years In Congress

Former Congressman Dennis Moore has fond memories of his years on Congress but worries about the hateful rhetoric. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Lenexa, Kansas – Former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore has a special perspective on the recent tragedy in Tucson.

His office was adjacent to that of Representative Gabby Giffords, before his departure last year. Giffords remains in the hospital, recovering from an assassination attempt while meeting constituents outside a local grocery store in Tuscon.

Moore says he and Giffords are good friends.

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KCUR News
11:01 am
Sun January 16, 2011

Area Sudanese Vote In Omaha - Some Wait 12 Hours Outside In Blizzard Before Casting Vote

Southern Sudanese wait in line in Omaha last Sunday to vote in Sudanese independence election. Photo Lual Deng Akoon

Kansas City, Missouri – There are more Southern Sudanese living in the Kansas City area than anywhere in the United States except Nebraska.

So many from this area were ready to cast ballots when voting began in Sudan, and among refugees around the world, in last weeks historic election to create an independent Southern Sudan.

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KCUR News
11:43 pm
Sat January 15, 2011

Area Sudanese Vote In Omaha - Some Wait 12 Hours Outside In Blizzard Before Casting Vote

Kansas City, Missouri – There are more Southern Sudanese living in the Kansas City area than anywhere in the United States except Nebraska.

So many from this area were ready to cast ballots when voting began in Sudan, and among refugees around the world, in last weeks historic election to create an independent Southern Sudan.

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KCUR News
1:33 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

National Council On Criminal Justice Invites Johnson County To Participate

Kansas City – There were 40 applications, but the National Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Network picked only Johnson County to take part in it's efforts to study local criminal justice issues.

Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning says the newly created network will combine the efforts of a number of law enforcement jurisdictions.

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KCUR News
2:13 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

Deadline Approaches For Giant Hog Producer To Reduce Foul Smells

Kansas City, Missouri – December 31st is the deadline for Premium Standard Farms - the meat producing conglomerate recently purchased by Smithfield Foods - to install new, odor-reducing technology in it's 365 giant hog barns in North West Missouri.

 

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