Peggy Lowe

Harvest Network Analyst

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.

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Government
2:31 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Gay Marriage Remains Up In The Air in Missouri

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, talks to reporters after oral arguments in Jackson County Court on September 25. With him is one of the couples who brought the lawsuit, Randy Short (left), and his partner Eric Goodman-Short.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Gay marriage in Missouri is moving in fits and starts, allowed in just three areas and refused in others.

Attorney General Chris Koster has yet to appeal the federal court decision striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Koster has said he plans to appeal but has yet to do so. He has until Dec. 10.

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Government
4:18 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Brownback Won't Allow Marriage Rights To Gay Couples In Kansas

A lesbian couple apply for a marriage license at the Douglas County (Kansas) Courthouse last week after a federal court ruled that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Although gay and lesbian couples are getting married in at least 24 Kansas counties, Gov. Sam Brownback won’t allow any state recognition of the unions.

Brownback said Thursday that he won’t offer any of the benefits heterosexual couples get, such as name changes on a driver’s license or employee benefits for gay and lesbian state workers.

“There is still considerable legal ambiguity on the topic of same-sex marriage,” said Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokeswoman. “Once that ambiguity is gone, the governor will direct state agencies to comply with applicable laws.”

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Government
6:10 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Kansas High Court Allows Gay Marriage In Johnson County

This couple, named only as Kelli and Angela, were the only same-sex couple issued a license in Johnson County. With Tuesday's ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court, there will undoubtedly be many more.
Credit Equality Kansas

A limited ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court Tuesday opened the door for more gay marriages, yet left in place a patchwork of counties where some judges are approving licenses and some are not.

The court lifted a stay on issuing licenses to same-sex couples in Johnson County, the first county to do so in Kansas back in early October. Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty was "within his jurisdiction" to order clerks to accept applications from and issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples, the high court ruled.

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Government
10:59 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Some Kansas Counties Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Brian and Randy, a gay couple from Johnson County, sign their marriage license papers Thursday before one of the clerks in Douglas County.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Updated at 2:34 p.m.

At least six of Kansas' 105 counties issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Thursday, a day after  the U.S. Supreme Court let take effect an order overturning  a ban state officials had feverishly hoped to keep in place.

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Government
11:50 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Timeline: Same-Sex Marriage In Missouri And Kansas

TV cameras catch a protest against Proposition 8 in 2010 in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Flickr, Creative Commons

  Updated 2:51 p.m. Nov. 25

The whirlwind of gay marriage decisions in Missouri and Kansas has left same-sex couples, court watchers and even reporters a bit breathless.

In an effort to keep us all up-to-date with these quick-moving issues, KCUR has pieced together this timeline, which highlights significant legal developments in both Missouri and Kansas in the state and federal courts. The list is not exhaustive but represents our best attempt to make sense of the rush of events while offering a look back at some of our coverage.

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Government
5:48 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

U.S. High Court Blocks Gay Marriage In Kansas

This couple, known only as Kelli and Angela, were wed in Johnson County during a brief period when marriage applications were being issued there in October. It's believed they are the only couple to be married, although the state argues that the union is not valid.
Credit Equality Kansas

Kansas’ gay marriage ban went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, where it was promptly kept in place just a day before the ban was expected to be lifted.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the order blocking gay marriage at the behest of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who wants to keep the ban in place. A federal court order calling the ban unconstitutional was set to take effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday, allowing same-sex marriages to commence.

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Election 2014
11:29 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Senator Roberts Bests Orman in Tough Kansas Race

Greg Orman and a supporter on Election Night.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Incumbent Pat Roberts held on to his U.S. Senate seat Tuesday after besting Independent Greg Orman.

It was a surprisingly easy win for Roberts after a bruising battle to keep a place in Washington he's had for three decades.

Roberts made his victory speech at the Republican watch party in Topeka.

"We said for months the road to a Republican majority in the United States Senate lead through Kansas and we did it," said Roberts.

With all precincts reporting, Roberts beat Orman 53 percent to 43 percent.

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Politics/Elections
5:57 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Gay Couple Says Marriage Decision Delay Is Election-Year Politics

Donna DiTrani (left) and Kerry Wilks, a Sedgwick County couple who were denied a marriage license, are now plaintiffs in a federal case.
Credit CJ Janovy / KCUR

A federal judge on Friday did not rule on a case filed by two gay couples who want marriage licenses in Kansas. One of the couples blamed the state's delay on election-year politics.

The case, originally filed Oct. 10, was heard in open court by U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, who did not say when he would announce a decision.  The couples are seeking marriage licenses, which would, in effect, overturn the Kansas gay marriage ban.

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Election 2014
11:13 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Will Voting Problems Give Kansas An Election Night Limbo?

Beth Hiller (left), and her daughter, Cheryl Logan at Brewster Place, a retirement home in Topeka.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Beth Hiller has been a member of the GOP since back when it really was the Grand Old Party, as her daughter says.

Hiller is 97-years-old, born and raised on a Kansas dairy farm, and a lifelong Republican. Her mother and father were Republican. Her husband, John Hiller, was the Shawnee County GOP chair, as well as the Kansas delegate to the U.S. Electoral College.

“Voting in our family was always a big deal,” said Cheryl Logan, Hiller’s daughter. “It was an event. We all hopped in the car, we got to the polling place and it was kind of a social event, too.”

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Election 2014
3:25 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Recall Sought For Kansas Judge Who Allowed Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty
Credit Johnson County District Court

The Johnson County, Kan., judge who approved the issuing of marriage licenses for same-sex couples is now the subject of a recall.

Bruce Baumgardner, a physiology professor at Johnson County Community College, on Friday announced that he is trying to oust Johnson County Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty by urging people to vote against him in the November election, according to the Kansas City Star.

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Election 2014
7:46 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Orman Says He Won't Be 'Silent Soldier' For Either Party

Greg Orman, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate, delivered his closing speech at the Lenexa, Kan., warehouse of Combat Brands, one of the companies he owns.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Vowing he won’t be a “silent soldier” for either party, Greg Orman, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas, called on others Wednesday to declare their own independence from partisan gridlock.

Trying to close out a campaign in a race where he was once ahead in the polls, Orman addressed the many negative ads his opponent, GOP incumbent Pat Roberts, and other groups have launched as “not about me.”

The attacks from Roberts, who Orman called a “47-year resident of Virginia,” and others in Washington are “the fury of the broken system lashing back,” he said.

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Sports
8:51 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

'Epic' Ride for Royals Fans Withers At World Series Open

The opening line-up of Game One of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals going up against the San Francisco Giants.
Credit Kathleen Kunkler / KCUR

Kansas City welcomed back the World Series Tuesday with a deafening roar after a dream season, only to be disappointed as the San Francisco Giants beat the Royals 7-1.

What had been an electric open quickly fizzled into first-inning fear as the Giants leapt to a 3-0 lead they held onto for the rest of the night. As fans left Kauffman Stadium early, diehards asked them to stay and look at the Big Leagues big picture.

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Election 2014
12:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Super PAC Millions Help Tighten Kansas Senate Race

A still from a political ad funded by Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC funded by the Koch Brothers of Kansas for GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.
Credit FPAF, via youTube

For a guy not running for election this year, we sure have seen a lot of President Obama in Kansas.

In just one of several ads opposing Independent Greg Orman, black-and-white video of Obama walking down a White House hallway turns to a colorful sunrise above a broad stretch of prairie.

“It’s a simple question,” the ad says. “Do you support President Obama and his liberal agenda? Or do you believe Kansas and America can do better?”

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Election 2014
4:06 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Democrat Accuses SOS Kris Kobach Of Lying About Voter ID Law

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, the GOP incumbent, met Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf in a debate on KCUR's "Up To Date" on Thursday.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

The ever-tightening race for Secretary of State in Kansas is also becoming a war of words, as Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf accused Republican incumbent Kris Kobach of lying to the Legislature to get his restrictive voter law passed.

Schodorf, now a Democrat who served in the state Senate as a Republican, admitted during a debate on KCUR’s Up To Date, that she had voted for the 2011 law. But, she said, Kobach either lied or couldn’t implement the law, which has become “government at its worst.”

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Sports
6:07 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Kansas City Royals Headed To World Series

Kauffman Stadium was bathed in royal blue during the last playoff game Wednesday as the Kansas City Royals clinched the American League championship to go to the World Series.
Credit Kathleen Kunkler / KCUR

Sweeping away 29 years of heartbreak and bringing home an American League pennant to a rejoicing city, the Kansas City Royals clinched a trip Wednesday to the World Series.

Final score after a fast fall game under clear royal blue skies: Kansas City 2, Baltimore 1.

Screaming fans at Kauffman Stadium, on their feet for the ninth inning, counted down the outs until their beloved Royals were in the series.

"Three. More. Outs ... Two ... Strike out! ... One. More. Out ... Sweep! Sweep!"

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Sports
12:36 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Young Moustakas Prepared For Royals Playoffs At Dodgers Stadium

Mike "Moose" Moustakas crawls out of the third base dugout after a dive and a catch in the sixth inning of the Royals' win over Baltimore Tuesday night.
Credit Eric Blumberg / via Twitter

That astonishing, acrobatic catch Mike “Moose” Moustakas made during the sixth inning during the Kansas City-Baltimore game Tuesday night left him cleats-up in the third base dugout.

But taking such a tumble is nothing new for Moustakas,  who was a two-sport athlete at Chatsworth High School in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, said Eric Sondheimer, a Los Angeles Times sportswriter.

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Politics
4:30 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

ACLU Seeks Rush On Gay Marriage Ruling In Kansas

Putting a rush on a ruling, the ACLU on Monday filed a request in federal court for a temporary halt to Kansas’ enforcement of its ban on gay marriage.

In following up on a complaint filed Friday, the ACLU asked the U.S. District Court to force the state to comply with a decision from Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. That ruling, made in June, overturned such bans in Utah and Oklahoma and said a state may not deny a marriage license based “solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”

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Politics
11:15 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Court Order Halts Marriage Licenses For Gay Couples In Johnson County, Kansas

This photo of "Kelli and Angela" was posted on Equality Kansas' Facebook page, saying Oct. 10, 2014 was "an historic day for equality in Kansas."
Credit Equality Kansas

The Kansas Supreme Court late Friday ordered a Johnson County judge to immediately halt issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Acting on a request from Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the court said it was concerned about "statewide consistency" on marriage laws, given the state's constitutional ban on gay unions.

The court said it would take briefs on the subject until Oct. 28 and make a ruling later. However, the order states that clerks may continue to accept marriage license applications from same sex couples in the interim.

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Election 2014
1:02 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Orman Runs As Independent In Partisan Kansas Senate Race

A page from the Princeton yearbook, Class of 1991, shows Gregory Orman, now a U.S. Senate candidate from Kansas, alongside a quote by Ross Perot.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The Orman for Senate campaign headquarters is in a Shawnee, Kan., strip mall, next door to a Taekwondo studio and a few doors down from a Papa John’s pizza joint.

Among the posters, bumper stickers and general flotsam of a fall campaign, a college yearbook sits on a small table.

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Election 2014
5:36 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Moderate Republicans Abandon Pat Roberts, Saying He's Abandoned Them

Sen. Pat Roberts, left, campaigns with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at the Johnson County GOP headquarters on Sept. 24.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Former state Sen. Audrey Langworthy received the fundraising letter from Republican incumbent Pat Roberts last November.

Among other things, Roberts called for the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius, then Health and Human Services Secretary, who was under fire for the botched roll-out of the Obamacare website.

Langworthy, a Republican who lives in Prairie Village, was so angry she started writing notes to Roberts, hand-written in black ink directly onto his letter.

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Election 2014
4:16 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Orman: No Support For Reid Or McConnell For Senate Leader

Independent Greg Orman talked to KCUR's Steve Kraske on "Up to Date" on Monday.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The increasingly hot U.S. Senate race in Kansas has GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts spending millions to align Independent Greg Orman with the Democrats, saying he was “handpicked” by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Orman countered those claims during a visit to KCUR on Monday to talk to Steve Kraske on Up to Date. Among other topics, Kraske asked Orman about Roberts’ campaign to paint him as a Democrat.

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Politics
10:42 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Gay Marriage Ruling Increases Chances Of Overturning Ban In Kansas

The ten gay couples married in other states and some of their children after arguments in Jackson County, Mo., court on Sept. 25, 2014.
Credit ACLU-Missouri

A U.S. Supreme Court decision expected to expand gay marriage laws could be good news for those advocating for same-sex unions in Kansas and Missouri.

In a surprise move, the high court on Monday declined to intercede in five pending cases, a move seen as increasing the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia.

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Politics/Elections
3:58 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Judge: Missouri's Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, talks to reporters after oral arguments in Jackson County Court on September 25. With him is one of the couples who brought the lawsuit, Randy Short (left), and his partner Eric Goodman-Short.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

A Jackson County judge ruled Friday that the state of Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages made in other states, saying Missouri’s gay marriage ban denies gay couples equal rights.

Missouri’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause, Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs wrote in a 20-page decision, because the state “recognizes the marriages of similarly-situated opposite sex couples.

The lawsuit was brought by ten gay couples, represented by the ACLU of Missouri.

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Election 2014
3:11 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

In U.S. Senate Race, Roberts And Orman Trade Questionable Claims On Immigration

A campaign video for GOP Sen. Pat Roberts attacks Independent challenger Greg Orman on illegal immigration.
Credit Roberts for Senate

Immigration is emerging as one of the murkier issues in the intensifying race for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. 

The incumbent, Republican Pat Roberts, released a new ad this week targeting his challenger, Independent Greg Orman.

Amid dramatic music and images of people jumping a fence, the ad's female narrator says a “border crisis” and “illegal immigration” are “taking jobs away from Kansans who need them.”

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Election 2014
3:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Court: Democrats Won't Be on U.S. Senate Ballot

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the GOP incumbent, campaigning last week at Johnson County GOP Headquarters.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Kansas Democrats won’t be forced to place a candidate on the ballot for U.S. Senate, a county court ruled Wednesday. The decision cleared the path for a two-way race between Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and Independent Greg Orman.

A Shawnee District Court three-judge panel denied a request by David Orel, a registered Democrat with ties to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, in part because he failed to show up for court last Monday.

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Politics
1:47 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Couples Ask KC Judge To Lift Missouri Gay Marriage Ban

Trevor Branson, 21, outside a Jackson County District Courtroom Thursday after the hearing on the Missouri gay marriage ban with his mothers, Linda (left) and JoDe (right) Layton-Brinker.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Ten Missouri gay couples – all married in states where same-sex marriage is legal – asked a state court Thursday to recognize their marriages despite the state’s ban on their unions.

The couples sat before the bench, politely listening for an hour and a half to oral arguments in a case that mixes their personal lives with voter politics. Some brought their children, some dressed-up with bow ties and hats, and all seemed overwhelmed by the phalanx of TV cameras that waited outside the courtroom.

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Election 2014
6:06 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

McCain Campaigns For Roberts, Labels Orman a Democrat

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., campaigns for Sen. Pat Roberts, the incumbent Kansas Republican who is trailing in the polls against Independent Greg Orman.
Credit (Cody Newill/KCUR)

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts went on the defense with the D-word Wednesday, labeling Independent Greg Orman a Democrat and calling on voters to look at Orman’s Democratic donations.

Playing to party faithful at the Johnson County Republican headquarters, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, railed against Orman, who ran as a Democrat in 2006, as a President Obama-loving Democrat.

"He's a Democrat,” McCain said. “He walks like a duck, and he quacks like a duck, and he is a duck.”

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Harvest Public Media
7:42 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Manufacturers Cut Food Waste To Build Bottom Line

Todd Scherbing, Smithfield Foods’ senior director of rendering, holds a tray of pituitary glands that are cut from hogs on the line in the Farmland Foods plant in Milan, Mo. Pituitary glands are used to make insulin.
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

The long line of semi-trucks waiting to get in the gates of the Farmland Foods plant could simply wait around for a few hours to head back, fresh products on board.

The trucks are loaded with hogs from several confinement operations near this factory in Milan, a small town in northeast Missouri. Within just 19 hours, those pigs will be slaughtered, butchered and boxed into cuts that consumers see in the grocery store and in restaurants.

But that effort will use only about half of the animal.

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Election 2014
3:33 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Orman Releases Finances, Worth More Than $20 Million

A still from an Orman campaign video.
Credit (ormanforsenate.com)

Greg Orman, the independent candidate running for U.S. Senate from Kansas, is worth between $21.5 million and $86 million, according to a personal finance filing made Monday.

Orman, 45, is Olathe businessman who is running against incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, who is trailing in the most recent poll.

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Elections
11:54 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Kobach, Taylor Take Ballot Battle to High Court

An image from Chad Taylor's campaign website, which has been taken down.
Credit (taylorforussenate.com)

The battle over the U.S. Senate ballot was in full swing Wednesday, with the Republicans and Democrats duking it out in court even as national consultants and lawyers flew in to Kansas.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a supporter of GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, attacked Democrat Chad Taylor in a filing to the Kansas Supreme Court, stopping short of calling Taylor a liar, but calling for "fact-finding."

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