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.

It's no secret that Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of gun rights, but a Trump administration poses both welcome relief and an immediate problem for the gun industry. For Larry Cavener, who recently visited a new gun shop called Tactical Advantage in Overland Park, Kan., this election means he can breathe easier. "This means that we're not gonna be under siege for a few years, and it seems like it has been," Cavener says. But the Obama years have actually been awesome for the U.S. gun...

A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It's full of new equipment. There's a white concrete box building that's still under construction. It's licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday. Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking...

Like most farmers, Mark Nelson, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Louisburg, Kan., is getting squeezed. He's paying three times more for seed than he used to, while his corn sells for less than half what it brought four years ago. "It's a – that's a challenge," Nelson says. "You're not going to be in the black, let's put it that way." Low commodity prices are rippling up and down the farm-economy food chain — from the farm to the boardroom — and it has many of the huge companies that...

Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events. Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice. Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon. Jacobs says he gave her something to drink in...

The battle over religious freedom and LGBT rights has moved from Arizona and Mississippi to Missouri. Conservatives there are backing an amendment to the state Constitution that would protect certain people — clergy, for instance — who refuse to take part in same-sex marriages. But the measure has run into some unexpected — and unexpectedly stiff — opposition, from a longtime ally of the religious right: the business community. Supporters of the proposal are pulling out all the stops. An...

Residents of Flint, Mich., may tell you lead is a serious menace, but for most of the last 5,000 years, people saw lead as a miracle metal at the forefront of technology. "You can think about lead as kind of the plastic of the ancient world," says Joseph Heppert, a professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas. He says it was because lead is easy to melt — a campfire alone can do it. Unlike iron, lead is malleable. "Once you form it into sheets you can do things that people had really...

Near record numbers of Americans are buying second homes — the kind on wheels, that is. The Great Recession almost totaled the RV industry, but now camper trailers and motor homes are popular again. Daryn Anderson is the owner of an RV dealership south of Kansas City, and he says his sales here have roughly tripled since the bottom of the recession. "Business has been great. Six straight record years and no end in sight," he says. "We're excited." But seven years ago, during the recession, RV...

Copyright 2016 KCUR-FM. To see more, visit KCUR-FM . Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Let's hear what iPhone users think of the legal fight over access to their phones. Apple is resisting a court order to unlock the phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects. The FBI says it wants access to just that one phone. The company says that's the same as opening them all, including the phones of people who spoke with Frank Morris of our member station KCUR. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Eight,...

A mosque, a church and a synagogue go up on the site of an old Jewish country club ... It sounds like the setup to a joke — but it's not. It's actually happening in Omaha, Neb. The Tri-Faith Initiative may be the first place in history where these three monotheistic faiths have built together, on purpose, with the intention of working together. The project has inspired some, and antagonized others. In a tony suburban section of Omaha, kids at Countryside United Church of Christ are singing ...

Almost all of the goods we buy spend time in a truck before they get to us. And because store shelves are full and sales are strong, you might assume that the trucking industry is doing great. But trucking companies say they are critically short of drivers — and many truckers say it's pay the companies are short of. One of the fast-growing parts of the trucking industry these days is driver training. Schools, like APEX CDL Institute in Kansas City, Kan., are cranking out drivers. "I retired...

Looking for a job? How about working way up in the air, in all kinds of weather, with thousands of volts of electricity? Working on high-voltage lines pays well and doesn't require a degree, but electric utilities are hard-pressed to replace retiring linemen. If you want to learn about the dedication and character needed to be a lineman, look no farther than a place with a super-abundance of line workers: the International Lineman's Rodeo. Each year, the best linemen from across the country...

Copyright 2015 KCUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kcur.org/ . Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The man who presided over the University of Missouri system has stepped down. Now the chancellor says he will resign by the end of the year. The announcements follow protests over the school's handling of several racially charged incidents. Many students there see today's events as a surprising David-and-Goliath-type victory. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports. FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE:...

Americans have been intentionally ramming cars into each other for sport for decades. And at this time of year, fans crowd into county fairs to see battered, souped-up cars bash each other to pieces. This steel equivalent of blood sport draws a passionate following, and the drivers say it is deeply addicting. "There's nothing better," says John Green, a demolition derby driver at a recent fair in Franklin County, Kan. "A lot of people say they would do it, but until you get in there and do it...

Each year, convicted felons get thousands of weapons from licensed gun dealers. They skirt the mandatory background checks by having people who do qualify fill out the paperwork for them. Now, the settlement of a lawsuit over a tragic murder-suicide in Kansas has made it easier to sue gun dealers who allow these "straw purchases" with a wink and a nod. Twelve years ago, Elizabeth Shirley was living in rural southeastern Kansas, estranged from her abusive husband Russell Graham. One Friday...

The greeting card industry is struggling to stay relevant in the digital age. Hallmark has announced that it's closing its distribution center in Enfield, Conn., and cutting 570 jobs there, as it consolidates operations elsewhere. For decades, the greeting card maker held a reputation as the type of company where good employees had a job for life. Julie Elliott, Hallmark's PR director, says layoffs, like the ones announced this week, are especially painful. "This decision does not reflect in...

Pages