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.


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 (

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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10:48 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Kansas Senate Race Is Battle Of the Ballot

Democrat Chad Taylor, who withdrew from the U.S. Senate race in Kansas.

Democrat Chad Taylor's name will stay on the ballot for the U.S. Senate from Kansas, despite his withdrawal from the race earlier this week.

Republicans, in the odd predicament of fighting to keep a Democrat on the November ballot on Thursday, won a legal challenge decided by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kobach sided with his fellow Republicans, who argued that state law requires that anyone trying to withdraw from the ballot must state the reason why he or she couldn’t serve.

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6:22 am
Mon September 1, 2014

KU Police Officers Now Wear Body-Mounted Cameras

A body-mounted camera made by Digital Ally, a Lenexa company.
Credit (Courtesy of Digital Ally)

The University of  Kansas Police Department began the new school year with eight body-mounted cameras that its officers are wearing on all patrols.

The department ordered the cameras last spring – well before the protests in Ferguson, Mo., when a police officer killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man. Since then, many have called for using the body-mounted cameras to keep police accountable.

The KU Police Department has used dashboard cameras for 20 years, said Capt. James Anguiano said. But those video cameras have limited use, for those officers in vehicles, he said.

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Ferguson Shooting
8:12 am
Tue August 19, 2014

After Cries Of 'Fergustan,' Scrutiny On Military Program

This Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, was obtained by the Clay County Sheriff's Department in April. Because of it's size, it's housed at the county's highway department, where snow plows and large mowers are parked.
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

Police dressed in full combat gear and gas masks, firing rifles directly at protestors as clouds of tear gas drifted up under street lights.

More cops, all in a line, marching behind huge armored tanks. Night sticks in hand, the police pressed protestors back, staying behind shields as people fled.

The images from Ferguson, Mo., last week were startling and cries of “Fergustan” rang from the streets and onto Twitter.

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7:38 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Peaceful Rally Planned In Kansas City For Ferguson Fatal Shooting

The National Moment of Silence is planned as a peaceful protest of the police shootings of several young men.

Kansas City will be part of a nationwide effort Thursday night to honor those who have been victims of police brutality, organized in the wake of the police killing of an unarmed 18-year-old black man near St. Louis.

The National Moment of Silence-Kansas City rally will be held at 7 p.m. at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain on the Country Club Plaza.

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Harvest Public Media
8:21 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Drone To Fly Over Livestock Operations And 'Ag-Gag' Laws

Using unmanned aerial vehicles is a controversial practice, whether to scout farmland or to skirt laws outlawing the filming of farms.
Credit Lima Pix / Flickr--CC

An independent journalist says he’s found a way around the so-called “ag-gag” laws – flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based environmental blogger, raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy drones and other equipment to do investigative work tracking animal abuse and pollution problems on large livestock operations.

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10:32 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Sprint Replaces CEO, Says It Will Remain Competitive

Sprint's headquarters, located on a 200-acre campus in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit (Julie Denesha/KCUR)

Sprint Corp. announced a shake-up at its Overland Park-based headquarters Wednesday, ousting CEO Dan Hesse amidst a reported change in plans in its $32 billion bid for T-Mobile.

Replacing Hesse will be Marcelo Claure, a Bolivian businessman who founded Brightstar Corp., a Florida-based wireless services company that is a subsidiary of SoftBank, the Japanese company that owns Sprint.

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7:45 am
Wed August 6, 2014

'Right to Farm' Passes Narrowly, Recount Possible

In Callaway County, Mo., Jeff Jones feeds grain to his foraging cattle once a day. He opposed Amendment 1 in part because a 10,000-hog confinement facility is trying to move in next to his farm.
Credit (Kristopher Husted/Harvest Public Media)

Missouri’s so-called “Right to Farm” amendment appears to have passed Tuesday but with such a small margin that there could be a recount.

With all precincts reporting, Amendment 1 won by just 2,528 votes.

At a victory party Tuesday night, Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said he will watch to see if a recount is requested but he doesn’t expect the results to change.

“I’m fully confident that the vote will stand,” he said.

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Harvest Public Media
2:55 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

My Farm Roots: She's Her Dad's 'Son'

Emily Robbins and her father, Vic, at the family's farm in Osage County, Kan.
Credit (Courtesy Emily Robbins)

Emily Robbins is a city girl now.

Well, I’m using that term as a cliché. Robbins, 27, lives in Kansas City and works as an engineer at a large firm. She is part of a profession that is made up of just 14 percent women.

Her choice of professions makes sense, though, when you know that she started out as her father’s “boy.”

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3:35 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Meet Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary And KC Native

Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native, with President Obama, courtesy of his Twitter account, @jearnest44.

Josh Earnest was named White House press secretary five weeks ago, after Jay Carney stepped down.

Earnest, 37, was born and raised in Kansas City and his parents still live here.

“His name describes his demeanor,” President Obama said of Earnest when he was named to the job. “Josh is an earnest guy and you can’t find just a nicer individual, even outside of Washington.”

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1:30 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Obama Calls For 'Economic Patriotism' In Kansas City Speech

President Obama spoke to a packed Uptown Theatre on Thursday, touting his economic successes and calling for more help for the middle class.
Credit Peggy Lowe/KCUR

President Obama woke up in Kansas City on Wednesday, rallying support for a growing economy, dreaming of equal pay for his daughters and touting what he called “economic patriotism.”

With just four months before the mid-term elections, Obama called out Congress for fighting him on help for the middle class in a rousing appearance at the Uptown Theatre and later, in a walk down Parkville’s Main Street.

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9:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Obama To Focus On Middle-Class Families in Kansas City Today

President Obama greets the crowd on the runway at Kansas City International Airport. The president is in town to give a speech on the economy and meet with Kansas Citians who have written him letters.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

President Barack Obama will talk about the economy in Kansas City today, focusing on his executive orders that are aimed at helping middle-class families.

Obama touched down in Air Force One shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kansas City International Airport Wednesday, where an invitation-only crowd of well-wishers greeted President Barack Obama.

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12:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obama Plans Trip To Kansas City

Obama in a 2008 appearance in Terre Haute, Ind.
Credit (flickr-BeckyF)

President Obama appears to be planning a visit to Kansas City next week.

KCUR’s Steve Kraske tweeted the news Tuesday that Obama will be here next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The White House said Obama will be speaking about the economy and will spend the night here before returning to Washington, D.C. Neither a time and location, nor any other details, have been announced.

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8:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

What Would A Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Mean For Kansas City?

Speculation has been building over recent weeks about a possible deal between Sprint parent company SoftBank and T-Mobile to merge the two wireless carriers.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Talk of the proposed $32 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile continues to bubble, raising serious questions about the future health of the Kansas City regional economy. 

The deal is still just rumored – and it's unknown if federal regulators will approve it, how it will be structured and even whether Sprint or T-Mobile would be the lead company in the deal.

What is clear is that Sprint is a vital company to the Kansas City area, and that the proposed merger comes at a delicate time for the regional economy.

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8:42 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Lobbyists Of All Kinds Flock To Farm Bill

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., (in green), watches as President Barack Obama signs the Farm Bill at Michigan State University on Feb. 7, 2014.
Credit David Kosling / Courtesy USDA

When U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced passage of the Farm Bill in February, she echoed a refrain from a car commercial.

“This is not your father’s Farm Bill,” she said.

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4:52 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Jackson County Won't Defend Missouri Gay Marriage Ban

A couple who married in New York in 2011.
Credit (flickr)

Jackson County will not fight a challenge to Missouri’s gay marriage ban because it discriminates against same-sex couples, the county’s top executive said Monday.

Last week the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of two Kansas City, Mo., couples who were denied marriage licenses.

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Beyond Our Borders
5:33 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Program Offers Grief Counseling For Kansas City Teens Affected By Homicide

(From left) Tanee, 14, Makala, 14, Mantez, 17, and Audrey, 17, speak at a forum at a Kansas City public library at 30th and Prospect streets. All have lost siblings to homicide.
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

There’s a hush in the community room at the Lucile H. Bluford Public Library at 30th and Prospect streets, something like the quiet in a church just before the service starts.

The two dozen folks gathered here at 6 p.m. on a Monday night in June want to hear from the four sitting as a panel in the front of the room, people that despite their young ages, have years of mourning to share.

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Harvest Public Media
8:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

'Fed Up' Links Obesity Epidemic to Sugar, Industry, Government

Scene from 'Fed Up,' an activist documentary that focuses on childhood obesity.

Just who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games and vending machines, to name a few.

To the makers of the new activist documentary, “Fed Up,” the bottom line of blame lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what this film calls a drug and “the new tobacco” are the food industry and our own government.

“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?” the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s open.

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Digital Life
6:27 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

In Kansas, Professors Must Now Watch What They Tweet

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:17 pm

The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to a strict new policy on what employees may say on social media. Critics say the policy violates both the First Amendment and academic freedom, but school officials say providing faculty with more specific guidelines will actually bolster academic freedom on campus.

The controversial policy was triggered by an equally controversial tweet posted last September by David Guth, an associate journalism professor. Reacting to a lone gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., he wrote:

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4:37 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Strict Social Media Policy Approved By Kansas Board Of Regents

Critics of the social media policy stand during part of Wednesday's Kansas Board of Regents meeting in Topeka to demonstrate their opposition.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday finalized a controversial social media policy that places broad limits on employees and is being criticized as one of the most restrictive in the country.

Regents Chairman Fred Logan, speaking to a packed meeting in Topeka, defended the policy, claiming it will shore up academic freedom by creating more specific guidelines.

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Harvest Public Media
9:39 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Study: Government Fails To Report Three-Quarters Of Farm Injuries

Migrant workers harvest corn on Uesugi Farms in Gilroy, Calif., last summer
Credit (Courtesy USDA)

Farm work has always been one of the most dangerous jobs in America -- as the government has reported, academics have researched and those doing the work well know.  

But new research from the University of California-Davis suggests for the first time that it’s a much more dramatic problem than the federal government recognizes, making the hazards faced by agriculture workers the most undercounted of any industry in the U.S.

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2:57 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Regents Reject Big Changes To Controversial Social Media Policy

Fred Logan, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, rejects criticism that a new social media policy restricts expression.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

The Kansas Board of Regents has decided to add a free speech provision to a controversial social media policy, a decision criticized as “window dressing.”

Regent Chairman Fred Logan, who along with the rest of the board has come under fire nationally from professors and First Amendment advocates, said during a board meeting this week that he does not believe the policy restricts staff and faculty from openly expressing their opinions, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

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JCC Shootings
11:20 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Johnson County Shooting Suspect Held On $10 Million Bail

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, left, and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe meet reporters Tuesday to discuss murder charges against the suspect in the Jewish Community Center shootings.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The 73-year old southwest Missouri man suspected in the killings of three people near the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., made his first court appearance Tuesday, wearing a bullet-proof vest and looking confused as a Johnson County judge set his bail at $10 million.

Frazier Glenn Cross was charged with two felony counts of murder -- one count of capital murder and one count of premeditated first-degree murder -- for the killings of three people in two locations.

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6:28 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

JCC Shooting Suspect Could be Charged Tuesday

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass, along with state and federal law enforcement authorities, meets reporters Monday to confirm hate crime charges against Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., which could be filed by Tuesday.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The southwest Missouri man who allegedly killed two Methodists and a Catholic near the Jewish Community Center on the eve of Passover is expected to be charged with federal and state crimes on Tuesday.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., will be charged with hate crimes, authorities said Monday. Cross was “on the radar” of the FBI for some time, but was not being monitored before he opened fire on Sunday at two locations, said Special Agent Michael Kaste.

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5:24 am
Fri April 11, 2014

ERA DOA? The Fight For Equal Rights Lives On In Missouri

One of the people who marched in the Equal Rights Action Day at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on Tuesday
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

  It was a chant from a different era.

“ERA now! ERA now! ERA now!”

As much as it sounded straight out of the past, the rallying cry was used Tuesday as a coalition of women’s groups marched to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on Equal Pay Day, the day marking how far into a new year it takes a woman to earn what a man took home last year.

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1:42 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Kansas Congressman Introduces Ban on GMO Labels

Anti-GMO protestors at a Denver, Colo., rally last year
Credit (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

State efforts to label genetically-modified food would be outlawed under a bill unveiled by a Kansas congressman Wednesday – a plan immediately criticized as a “legislative Hail Mary” that won’t pass.

The bill by Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Wichita, would also bar the Food and Drug Administration from labeling efforts, a move highly popular with consumers, and allow so-called “natural” foods to contain bio-engineered ingredients.  

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6:23 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Judge Denies Attempt to Stop Gay Couples Joint Taxes

Gay couples in Missouri who were married in other states may still file their taxes jointly.

On Friday, a judge denied a conservative group in its attempt to immediately bar same-sex couples from filing their state tax returns together, a right granted by Gov. Jay Nixon’s executive order issued last year.

Kyle Piccola of PROMO, a state gay rights group, said he wasn’t surprised by the ruling.

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7:47 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Missouri Group Says Gay Couple's Tax Filings Unconstitutional

A conservative Missouri group on Wednesday attempted to put a quick stop to same-sex couples’ right to file joint tax returns, saying it violates the state’s ban on gay marriage.

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7:41 am
Mon March 24, 2014

KC Mayor to Focus on Education, Crime in Annual Address

Kansas City Mayor Sly James will deliver his third State of the City address today, focusing on education, plans for a new airport and more gun control.

James will make the annual speech at Park Hill High School, 7701 NW Barry Road, beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by a student town hall meeting moderated by KCPT’s Nick Haines.

“Some of the long-term issues we’re talking about will be crime. We’ll be talking about the airport. We’ll be talking about the street car system and education in the city,” said Joni Wickham, a city spokeswoman.

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4:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

School Board VP Says Hickman Mills Has A Plan To Fix District

  The Hickman Mills school district in Kansas City, Mo., is battling back from a critical state audit that found financial and management issues. Now the next step for the district is winning back its full accreditation – which slipped to provisional status last year. Hickman Mills Board Vice President, Dan Osman, says they have a plan.

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