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.

Ways to Connect

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Exploring Options For NBAF

May 1, 2012

It’s another big week for NBAF, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility under construction in Manhattan, Kan.

A colorful era in the world of local media ends this week.  Walt Bodine retires after a more than 7 decades in the business.

In its first public hearing today in Washington , D.C. a new panel of the National Research Council will discuss alternatives for the National Bio and Agro -Defense Facility  -- or NBAF.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

With federal funding more at risk than ever for Manhattan’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recently said the state could expect what he called “a fight” for the next five years.

The Department of Homeland Security continued the conversation about funding challenges before the House Appropriations Committee in Washington, D.C. this week.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will cost more than $1 billion when all is said and done, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed today during a conference in Washington, D.C.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The latest in the dizzying round of discussions about the safety and security of the Department of Homeland Security’s high-level bio containment lab in Manhattan, Kan., will take place this Friday in Washington, D.C.

At a campaign stop in Lenexa on Wednesday,  Senator Rick Santorum said calls for Newt Gingrich to leave the race were not coming from him, and if they generated from his campaign, he didn't endorse them. 

Kansas City has one of the largest Sudanese refugee populations in the country. And Stephanie Pearson wants to help teach them ... to teach.

The animal disease center that the Homeland Security department has maintained since Sept. 11 has fallen into disrepair. A proposed new location in Kansas has been riddled with neighborhood concerns, safety threats and escalating costs. Laura Ziegler of Harvest Public Media reports.

The risk of a pathogen release at the controversial National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being built in Manhattan, Kan., is much less than originally calculated, according to a new, much-anticipated report from the Department of Homeland Security.

Today voters in Johnson County go to the polls for spring primaries.  Mission and Prairie Village will vote on Council seats; the city of Shawnee will vote on a new mayor.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Opponents of a controversial Kansas lab designed to study and combat biological diseases have recently found new energy, as work on the Department of Homeland Security project stalled.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

Supporters of a high security bio-defense facility in Manhattan, Kan., got some depressing news today. The White House Budget for 2013 cuts funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) from $50 million to $10 million.

NDSU Ag Comm /

The controversy over illegal immigration is pitting Republican against Republican and business against immigration hardliners in Kansas.

NDSU Ag Comm /

A pro-business, pro-immigration bill introduced in the Kansas legislature yesterday pits traditionally Republican business leaders against the hardline anti-immigration Secretary of State and maybe the Republican governor as well.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

It’s been three years since the Department of Homeland Security chose Kansas as the site of its National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, but there’s a growing sense that the project has a precarious future.

Brownback Withholds Bioscience Funds

Jan 23, 2012

Governor Sam Brownback is withholding the payment of $22 million to the Kansas Bioscience Authority – that's about 2/3 of the agency's state funding.

Travel from KCI the day before Thanksgiving; relatively stress-free.Photo by Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – While airline industry officials nationally expect a drop in the number of people flying this holiday season, that's not supposed to be the case at KCI. The Kansas Aviation Department say almost 400 thousand will be travelling through the Kansas City airport this holiday season.

As the Thanksgiving holiday weekend began,most said their experiences were good, that lines were not long, and that the delays were much shorter than they'd expected.

Topeka, Kansas – For Veteran's Day, a story about a little known collection of photographs, diaries, recorded interviews, maps, and letters on the website of the Kansas Historical Society.

All of the artifacts on the ever-expanding Kansas Memory Site are primary sources provided by families and friends for archival purposes.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The Catholic church is still reeling from news that Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph have been indicted on criminal charges related to the sex abuse scandal.