Corinne Boyer

Reporter, Kansas News Service

Corinne Boyer is a reporter for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, Kansas. Following graduation, Corinne moved to New York City where she interned for a few record labels, worked as a restaurant hostess and for a magazine publisher. She then moved to Yongin, South Korea, where she taught English and traveled to Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium and South Africa.

Corinne loved meeting new people and hearing their stories. Her travels and experiences inspired her to attend graduate school. In 2015, she graduated with a Master of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.

She gained her first newsroom experience at KLCC, Eugene’s NPR affiliate. In 2017, she earned the Tom Parker Award for Media Excellence for a feature story she wrote about the opioid epidemic in Oregon. That year, she was also named an Emerging Journalist Fellow by the Journalism and Women Symposium.

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas’ biggest primary race was one of the first to be decided Tuesday: U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall secured the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, and will face Democratic nominee Barbara Bollier in the November general election.

Officials had cautioned that the record numbers of mail-in advanced ballots — a sign of the times in a pandemic — could lead to delayed results. But by 10:30 p.m., all of the major contests were over.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

One western Kansas resident's recovery from COVID-19 was made worse by an unpleasant health care experience.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — For almost three months, people living in a mobile home neighborhood just east of Garden City’s limits haven’t been able to drink their tap water.

Residents could boil their water to drink and cook. But on June 30, a new health order advised households not to use the water for drinking, cooking, making baby formula or brushing teeth.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Four Republicans and two Democrats are running for Kansas’ 1st Congressional District seat. It’s open because Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall hopes to win the  U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts, who is retiring.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — A legal dispute between two business partners has stalled the construction of a sports complex partially funded by $25.4 million in sales tax money.

That fight over finances, and the pending lawsuit it spawned, could jeopardize the completion of Sports of the World. The project is financed by Kansas Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, or STAR bonds, and championed as a regional tourist draw for western Kansas.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Garden City’s hand-dug swimming pool will not be filled for its 98th, and final summer season. The coronavirus is to blame.

However, the western Kansas town won’t be without a pool for long, as city commissioners approved up to $14 million on a new facility at the Big Pool site. It’s still not clear how the new pool will be financed.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — During a pandemic, local news coverage means more than keeping tabs on the city council or high school sports. The stories published in a newspaper, broadcast on a network TV affiliate or aired on the radio bring critical information about the public health crisis to communities.

People count on reporters in their town or region to let them know about the latest spread of disease, about what’s safe and what’s not — especially in small meatpacking towns that have become coronavirus hot spots.

DODGE CITY, Kansas — In the days leading up to President Donald Trump’s mandate that all meatpacking plants stay open, workers in western Kansas’ meatpacking triangle were worried that precautions now being taken aren’t enough to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

“We're right next to each other in the locker rooms,” Brandon Vasquez said about the possibility of social distancing at the National Beef plant in Dodge City, where he’s worked for about a year. “The lunch line ... they put stuff on the floor where we should stay six feet apart. But a lot of people are not listening and there's nobody enforcing (social distancing) in there.”

TOPEKA, Kansas — With the number of new coronavirus cases still rising steadily and the state’s economy stuck in reverse, Gov. Laura Kelly announced her plans for a phased-in reopening.

The governor’s plan — essentially it lets retailers, restaurants and churches ease into a new normal — comes despite Kansas lagging other states in testing for COVID-19 and growing outbreaks clustered near meatpacking plants.

Update: Kansas Health Secretary Lee Norman said on Friday that Kansas has now identified 250 cases of COVID-19 among workers at the state's six meatpacking plants. The federal government has sent supplies to test thousands of people in southwest Kansas. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending staff to the region.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Two western Kansas counties that are home to meatpacking plants have some of the highest counts of the coronavirus in the state. It’s a distinction that comes as the Tyson plant near Garden City said this week it has several cases among its workers.

None of the meatpacking plants, which make up about 25% of the national beef supply according to a Kansas State professor’s estimate, has shared a specific count of workers with a COVID-19 diagnosis. And the state health department leaves it up to county health departments to decide whether to provide the public with detailed case information.

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