Peggy Lowe

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

More than a quarter of the 29,000 provisional ballots in Kansas were rejected in the 2018 general election because of various errors, leaving 7,692 voters out of the democratic process.

File photo

Even as they offered condolences to the family of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Missouri and Kansas Republicans vowed over the weekend to push forward on filling the high court vacancy.

The Kansas Democratic presidential primary isn’t until Saturday, but turnout is already three times larger than 2016.

For the first time, the state Democratic Party used mail-in ballots due to concerns about COVID-19. Party officials announced Tuesday that they had processed 138,400 ballots -- up from 39,266 in 2016.

Party executive director Ben Meers said he was not surprised by the results.

“COVID presented the point of pivot for us,” he said. “We always thought that voting by mail would increase accessibility for voters and we’ve certainly seen that in 2020."

The family of an 87-year-old man who had been in the Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation for just a month before the it was ravaged by the coronavirus has filed a lawsuit against the facility.

Okey Long of Kansas City, Kansas, died on April 17, after COVID-19 took hold in the facility. So far, Long and another 26 people have died there. Long was in a “frail, defenseless, and dependent condition,” and Riverbend failed to protect him, the lawsuit alleges.

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Ina’s Beauty Boutique was a regular appointment for ladies in Kansas City and beyond, a tiny shop where the mighty Ina Knox did hair for nearly 40 years.

Her eight children knew papa was a rolling stone, daughter Toni Gayle remembers, but Knox made sure the kids didn’t feel their father’s absence. Gayle describes her mother as “a bear.”

“She has that spirit of a bear, that endurance, you know? That keep-on-pushing,” Gayle said. “My mom’s been through a lot in her life.”

She’s still going through a lot.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The latest front for public health officials battling COVID-19 in the Kansas City area is Wyandotte County health care facilities, where investigations are ongoing at several locations.

To hear Donna tell it, she may have the “19,” but she’s doing just fine, thank you.

Donna is an 82-year-old resident of Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation, a Kansas City, Kansas, facility that appears to have the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Kansas.

A cluster of 37 COVID-19 cases that caused four deaths at a Kansas City, Kansas, rehabilitation facility was brought on by “a confluence of bad circumstances,” Wyandotte County’s chief medical officer said Tuesday.

Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation, a health care facility in Kansas City, Kansas, reported an increase in a COVID-19 outbreak on Monday, with four deaths and 37 people testing positive for the virus.

Of those testing positive, 33 are residents and four are staff workers, said Janell Friesen, Unified Government Public Health Department spokeswoman. It’s a significant rise since Friday, when officials reported 19 cases.