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.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback takes questions from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today during his long-awaited confirmation hearing to become ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback made a secretive trip to Israel this summer and met with the prime minister there.

On Florida's Marathon Key, lobster boats pull up to the docks in the afternoon, same as they would on any September day.

But this year, instead of hauling in thousands of valuable spiny lobsters, most are unloading the few traps they can find, and maybe a quarter of the usual catch.

Boat captain Carlos Moreira is tired after a long day at sea searching for lost traps.

"Well you gotta start somewhere, so you just look for one," says Moreira.

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Frank Morris / KCUR

Hundreds of people, including members of the activist group Indivisible KC, looked for answers at a town hall hosted by U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, Monday morning.

The Republican's town hall at the Lenexa Conference Center was his first in Johnson County in over a year. It was a long time coming for some.

"Indivisible has been asking for a town hall in the eastern part of the state since January and we finally got one,” Indivisible KC Board Member Leslie Mark said.

Frank Morris / Kansas News Service

On Tuesday, voters in south-central Kansas will be the first in the nation to decide a congressional race in the age of Trump. The special election in the Kansas 4th District will replace Mike Pompeo, who now leads the CIA.

It’s a district that would, under normal circumstances, be considered a lock for the Republican candidate. But of course, these are not normal times, and resources are flooding into the district from left and right.

Some of President Trump's proposed spending cuts would cripple programs that benefit communities full of his rural supporters, but at least in Strong City, Kan., some say they are ready "to bleed a little bit."

Strong City is a former railroad town of about 460 people, less than half the size it was in 1890. Trump's proposed budget aims at killing the program that threw a lifeline to the town's water system.

Frank Morris / KCUR

There have always been Americans worried about some pending religious, social or natural cataclysm. But the business of catering to those fears, and helping people prepare to survive the next big calamity, has changed substantially in the age of Donald Trump.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Of course, Republicans dominate Kansas. They hold all the statewide offices and control both houses of the Legislature.

Meantime, Kansas Democrats have just elected a younger, and more progressive chairman, John Gibson. Gibson’s a lawyer who was raised on a farm in Missouri, went to MIT, and settled in the countryside northeast of Topeka.

In an interview at the Washington Days convention, where he was elected chairman, Gibson says Kansas Democrats are on a better trajectory than the party nationally and, maybe, on a roll.

Frank Morris / KCUR

In deep-red Kansas, state Democrats threw their most energized annual meeting in years in Topeka on Saturday, largely thanks to the featured speaker: Vermont senator and former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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