Peggy Lowe

Investigations Editor, Harvest Public Media

Peggy Lowe is Harvest Public Media's investigations editor. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, and Latino USA.

Before her return to the Midwest in 2011, she was a multimedia producer and writer at The Orange County Register in Southern California.

Until 2005, she was in Denver, where she was a reporter for the late, great Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, KBCO and the Associated Press. Lowe was the Mike Wallace Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the University of Michigan in 2008-2009. 

Ways to Connect

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

He’s not angry.

He’s been eating everything he can.

And he’s noticed how distracted we all are thanks to our smartphones.

But mostly, Lamonte McIntyre says, he spent most of his time in his first week out of prison after 23 years for a crime he didn’t commit:

“Trying to force myself to believe it’s real,” he says. “That’s what I’ll spend my life doing.”

On Friday, Oct. 13, McIntyre, 41, was exonerated for a double murder he was convicted of in what Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree said was a “manifest injustice.”

Courtesy of College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks, a private Christian college in southwest Missouri, announced Friday that it will require players and coaches from other schools to respect the American flag and the national anthem.

Calling it a “No Pledge, No Play” policy, Jerry Davis, College of the Ozarks president, says the school will not play in games where the flag or the anthem is called into question because that action disrespects veterans.

“It’s a shame sporting events are being used to communicate disrespect for this great country,” Davis says. “We will not be a part of this.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Lee’s Summit North High School dismissed early Friday after a 17-year-old girl died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a school bathroom.

The school was briefly under lockdown after students heard gunshots at 7:50 a.m. and Lee’s Summit Police responded.  The girl, a senior whom KCUR is not identifying, was taken to a local hospital where she died.

Courtesy the Clark family

Pretty Pennington was killed by a girl fight, a handgun and an AK-47.

She’d been to a friend's wedding that Saturday night, Nov. 12, 2016 — a fun party where she danced all night, picking up her phone only to post pictures to Snapchat. Her mother, Marvella Clark, was sitting at a table and noticed Pennington’s cell phone buzzed constantly.  

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The arrest of a 22-year-old man suspected in five murders along Kansas City’s popular Indian Creek Trail came down to DNA pulled from a Brisk Iced Tea bottle and a cigarette butt.

On Tuesday, police and prosecutors announced the arrest of Frederick D. Scott, 22, in two of the killings and said he is also a suspect in the other three.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Michelle Tyrene Johnson scrolls back to a Facebook post she made in July with news about the national NAACP supporting a travel advisory in a single state for the first time.

“My comment with this is: ‘I have always had the policy that I don't travel in Missouri at night unless I'm on I-70 because parts of the state are just that openly racist,’” she says

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The high number of murders in Kansas City is a concern for the third year in a row, with homicides jumping some 43 percent over last year.

The city's 86 homicides during 2017 so far are 26 more than the same period last year, according to crime statistics. Kansas City was named one of 12 cities that will receive aid from the federal government because of the rise in violent crime.

An Illinois farmer harvests his corn crop in this file photo. Average net farm income has tumbled in recent years.
File: Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Of all the expensive machinery Tom Giessel worked during the 2017 wheat harvest, his favorite sits in the office of his home.

It’s a microfilm machine, the kind found in a high school library. Giessel uses it for his work as the historian of the National Farmers Union, the nation’s second-largest farm group.

Photo illustration by Andrea Tudhope

The quiet neighborhood in east Kansas City, Missouri, was just coming to life that Friday morning, May 20, 2016, when Daniel Wilson pulled up in his old white Monte Carlo, witnesses say, carrying a grudge and a gun.

Stuart Seeger / Flickr — CC

Disappointed in the city of Kansas City's priorities on tax breaks for development, a coalition of community groups on Wednesday announced a new watchdog group and threatened to get an incentive cap on the November ballot.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The number of business start-ups has increased for the third consecutive year, according to the annual Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, and immigrant-owned businesses show strong growth.

The annual Kauffman Index, released Thursday, says first-generation immigrants make up 30 percent of all new U.S. entrepreneurs, reaching its highest level for just the second time in 20 years.

Pushed by worker advocates and growing consumer awareness, Tyson Foods on Wednesday promised better conditions for workers at its meat processing plants.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

A youth master plan, a public health campaign and storefront community resource centers were among the recommendations unveiled Thursday by Mayor Sly James’ Citizens Task Force on Violence.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Old-school Kansas City fans who prefer the standard stadium stuff – hotdogs, peanuts and Crackerjacks – may snub their noses at some of the new fare at Kauffman Stadium. But one thing is certain: the Royals are already winning in crazy food concoctions.

The Pentagon

Kansas City leaders seemed unified Friday in supporting President Donald Trump’s decision to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in response to that government’s deadly chemical weapons attack this week.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Mike Farmer’s high-tech startup, Leap.It, caught the attention of AOL founder Steve Case in October 2014 because Farmer’s company was built in the first house hooked up with Google Fiber.

Case loved the irony of the David of Kansas City taking on the Goliath of Google.

“You’re undermining Google right here in the Start-Up Village in Kansas City,” Case said at the time. “On Google Fiber! That’s pretty cheeky!”

Farmer doesn’t remember the cheeky line, but the Google angle is “an interesting story line,” he said.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A western Kansas man accused of voting in two states has agreed to a plea bargain, saying he “simply made a mistake.”

Lincoln Wilson, a 65-year-old Republican from Sherman County, will plead guilty to three misdemeanor counts of voting without being qualified and two misdemeanor counts of false swearing to an affidavit, according to his lawyer, Jerry Fairbanks.

The lone African-American charged in Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s voter fraud crusade, Wilson faced the most charges, including three felonies and six misdemeanors.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Looking back, Mira Mdivani says she can now connect the events and put them in context.

“Before the shooting, actually,” she says, “I had a phone call from an Indian national who emigrated to the United States and is a United States citizen.”

Mdivani, an immigration attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, was recalling the Feb. 22 shooting at an Olathe bar in which two Indian men were targeted in what appears to have been a racially motivated attack.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

The Olathe bar shooting survivor being hailed as a hero on Tuesday joined the chorus of people calling on President Trump to denounce the targeting of two men because of their race.

Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to stop a gunman when he opened fire at Austins Bar & Grill last Wednesday, says he believes the shooter singled out the two Indian victims because of their ethnicity and hopes President Trump will address the incident.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The little black dress was sleeveless, with a sequined neckline, and perfect.

She was going to a family wedding with her boyfriend, feeling like they were taking the next step in their relationship, and she wanted to look just right.

“I bought it for my boyfriend-at-the-time sister’s wedding, and it was where I was getting to meet his parents for the first time,” she says. “Little did I know, I was also getting to meet his future wife.”

File photo

Facing a rise in police excessive force cases often gone viral on social media, a national group of prosecutors issued a “guidance document” Friday designed to help law enforcement work in a more public and proactive manner.

Led by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, the report by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys urges local and regional agencies to be more transparent, quickly respond to a scene and create written internal protocols.

Twitter

As expected, U.S. Senators from Kansas and Missouri this week voted on President Trump’s cabinet nominations along party lines.

Voting for former Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general included Republican Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts of Kansas and Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.  

Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill voted against Sessions, saying that as a former prosecutor from Kansas City, she understands “the massive power of federal law enforcement.”

Peggy Lowe / 89.3

Editor’s note – This story is being reposted to give our readers more information on the criticism surrounding Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s use of a voter registration database to win voter fraud cases. He suggested using similar data during the first meeting of a White House commission on voter fraud on Wednesday, July 19. Since this story first aired in February, Kobach has won two more convictions of voter fraud based on double voting, for a total of eight cases.    

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Reacting to several of his own false claims of voter fraud, President Donald Trump on Wednesday pushed it further, asking for a “major investigation” into unsubstantiated claims that some three million people illegally voted for Hillary Clinton.

Few Republicans or even his staff support Trump’s insistence on voting irregularities, but he does have one backer: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach filed a ninth case of reported voter fraud this week, criminally charging a man who allegedly voted illegally in Kansas and Texas.

A criminal complaint filed in Shawnee County District Court charges Preston G. Christensen with three misdemeanor counts of improper voting between Oct. 19, 2012, to Nov. 6, 2012, in Shawnee County, Kansas.

Kansas Missing & Unsolved

Kansas City Police are looking for a 20-year-old woman who has been missing since early Sunday morning.

Toni Anderson, formerly of Wichita, left her job as a waitress at Chrome, which bills itself as “Kansas City’s premier strip club,” and was stopped by a North Kansas City Police officer about 4:30 a.m. for an illegal lane change, Officer Darin Snapp of the Kansas City Police Department said Wednesday.

Anderson told the officer that she was low on gas, so he gave her a warning and watched her pull into to a QuikTrip at 2525 Burlington Street, Snapp said.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee of an obscure state board that promotes the beef industry, money created by a mandatory government program funded by farmers and ranchers.

YouTube

A lawsuit accusing three Kansas City, Missouri, police officers of excessive force against a Mexican-American man has been settled for $300,000 in a case that sent one of the officers to jail.

Unlike the many national cases of excessive force by police caught on cell phone video, this case turned on a 19-minute video pulled directly from the dashboard camera of a police cruiser.

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in New York on Thursday for another meeting with President-elect Donald Trump.

After his highly-publicized first meeting with Trump in New Jersey on Nov. 20, Republican party officials in Kansas are speculating this second round is more than a suggestion that Kobach will land a job in the new administration.

Facebook

Jordan, a Kansas City psychology professor and mother of two, spent a euphoric Election Day believing the country was electing its first female president.

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