KCUR-FM: Frank Morris

Frank Morris has supervised the reporters in KCUR's newsroom since 1999. In addition to his managerial duties, Morris files regularly with National Public Radio. He’s covered everything from tornadoes to tax law for the network, in stories spanning eight states. His work has won dozens of awards, including four national Public Radio News Directors awards (PRNDIs) and several regional Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2012 he was honored to be named "Journalist of the Year" by the Heart of America Press Club.

Morris grew up in rural Kansas listening to KHCC, spun records at KJHK throughout college at the University of Kansas, and cut his teeth in journalism as an intern for Kansas Public Radio, in the Kansas statehouse.

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5:42pm

Sun April 7, 2013
U.S.

After Years Of Struggle, Veteran Chooses To End His Life

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:19 am

Tomas Young was paralyzed from the chest down during his deployment to Iraq. Since then, his health has only deteriorated. He has decided to refuse care and end his life, and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, says she respects his wishes.
Frank Morris for NPR

After a dozen years at war, an estimated 2 million active-duty service members will have returned home by the end of 2013. Some reintegrate without much struggle, but for others it's not so easy. The psychological wounds of war can sometimes prove to be just as fatal as the physical ones.

For injured veterans such as Tomas Young, life is a daily struggle. But this Iraq War veteran, who says his physical and emotional pain is unbearable, has decided to end his life.

At War

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4:50pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Around the Nation

Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

Kirk Sours says heavy snow creates extra work on his ranch, but he's thrilled that the pending melt will bring his otherwise dry pastures much-needed moisture.
Frank Morris/KCUR

Two rapid-fire snowstorms belted Kansas with more than 2 feet of snow this week. They caused thousands of accidents and all kinds of hardships — but they also produced very broad smiles from some quarters.

That's because in a place as dry as Kansas has been lately, a blizzard can be a blessing for farmers and ranchers.

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6:36am

Thu February 28, 2013
Food

Ag Department Warns Budget Cuts Will Affect Food Inspectors

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And if the mandatory spending cuts do take affect tomorrow, the secretary of agriculture says he will be forced to furlough food safety inspectors. Without those inspectors, food companies could grind to a halt. But many in the meat industry say the USDA is mostly cooking up a scare.

Frank Morris of member station KCUR has that story.

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5:29pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:39 pm

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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5:03pm

Sun September 2, 2012
Election 2012

Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 6:57 pm

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., confirms plans in Chesterfield, Mo., on Aug. 24 to stay in the U.S. Senate race.
Sid Hastings AP

Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.

Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but his support fractured into several distinct camps after his comment that women's bodies can block pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." (He has since apologized.)

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5:45pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought Brings Misery To Arkansas River Basin

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:19 pm

A deer carcass lies on the dried riverbed of the Arkansas River in Lakin, Kan.
Frank Morris for NPR

Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. And the drought is torching crops, sapping tourism and threatening supplies of drinking water.

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6:21am

Sat March 17, 2012
Presidential Race

Confusion Wins In Missouri's 'Chaotic' Caucus Process

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Women count votes at the GOP presidential caucus in Barry County, Mo., on Tuesday. At this and other caucuses held in the state Saturday, voters selected delegates to go to the district and state conventions.
Frank Morris For NPR

Cassville, Mo., is a little town on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. During the Civil War, the Confederate state Legislature convened here. Tuesday, the Republican presidential caucus was the big draw. Most of the rest of the state holds its caucuses today.

Confusion On Caucus Night

The first caucus was a messy process. More than 250 people showed up, most planning to vote directly for the candidates. That was not to be.

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12:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength

Record-High Food Prices Boost Farmers' Bottom Lines

An Illinois farmer checks the blades on his combine while harvesting corn last October. The value of the 2011 U.S. corn crop was more than $76 billion.
Seth Perlman AP

Part of a series

Thanks to high commodity prices and surging productivity, U.S. farmers earned a net income of nearly $98 billion last year — a record, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

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4:38pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Salt

Antitrust Official Gets Stampeded By Big Beef

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 10:34 am

At sale barns, like this one in Kingsville, Mo., cattlemen still bid openly for breeding stock. Meatpackers once bought on the open market, too.
Frank Morris for NPR

Dudley Butler is quitting his job tomorrow. Never heard of him? He's President Obama's appointee to run the division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that governs antitrust issues in the meat industry. He was part of a cadre of high-level bureaucrats charged to expose and fight agribusiness monopolies. In fact, he was the last of that group.

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4:00pm

Mon December 26, 2011
Economy

What's Holding Back One 'Job Creator'? Not Taxes

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:53 am

"We've got the space, we have equipment, we've got the cash, we've got the customers, we have the product," says Tim O'Keeffe, owner of G.L. Huyett. "We have everything we need — except the people."
Frank Morris KCUR

There aren't many people on the broad Kansas prairie, but there is industry.

At G.L. Huyett, boxy machines jammed into a big metal building grind steel into heavy transmission parts.

"We're a supplier of last resort," says Tim O'Keeffe, who owns the company. If you have disruptions in the supply chain and someone can't meet a shipping time, he says, G.L. Huyett can step in.

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