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

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.

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?”

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.”

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!"

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

(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.”

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.

(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.

(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."

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.

(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.

(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.

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.

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.

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.

(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.

(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.”

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.”

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.

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.

Pages