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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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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Politics
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.
Credit TaylorForSenate.com

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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Education
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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Community
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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Economy
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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Agriculture
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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Politics
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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Politics/Elections
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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Government
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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