My Fellow Kansans

New Episodes each Monday: July 6 - August 10, 2020

In the first season of My Fellow Kansans, we examined the forces and consequences of Kansas politics, the history behind it, and the likelihood of another course-changing election last November.

Season 2 turned to rural Kansas, because it too has a storied past. As once-thriving towns continue to shrink, we asked, does rural Kansas have a future?

Now in season 3, we focus on our fellow Kansans in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. People & the Pandemic our topic in season three of My Fellow Kansans, a podcast from the Kansas News Service. Our conversation begins July 6. 

 Discover new episodes or subscribe here.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Getting married and having your first child is stressful enough. Try making those life changes during a pandemic. As a teacher.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

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

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Ehlaina Hartman is among the hundreds of college athletes in Kansas awaiting word on when their team — specifically Emporia State women's basketball — will return to the court.

Having just graduated high school, Hartman is familiar with uncertainty and rapid change. One minute, her Spearville team is in the state basketball tournament, looking for a title. The next minute, they're processing that it's been canceled while eating at Olive Garden.

But the college freshman seems unflappable, showing off her shot and her optimism to the Kansas News Service.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

A first-hand account of what it's like to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and how a family handled the situation.

The term "essential worker" covers a wide range of jobs that proved especially vital when Kansans were hiding out at home from the coronavirus.

Anil Gharmalkar of Oswego has one of those jobs: He’s a truck driver, and traveled across several states with trailer-loads of food so there would be meat on grocery story shelves.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

Besides the coronavirus, another urgent topic again surfaced this year: an end to racism.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Hair has been quite the topic during the coronavirus. For the first episode of My Fellow Kansans: People and the Pandemic, we spoke with a salon owner.

Montella Wimbley has owned a combination salon and barber shop in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Wichita for 34 years.

When Kansas shut business down, she had to put down her trimmers and pick up the phone — over and over again, taking weeks to get through to someone at the state’s beleaguered unemployment agency.

Go here to subscribe to the My Fellow Kansans podcast. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.

DODGE CITY, Kansas — The history of this small city built on the cattle trade sets it apart from most towns in rural Kansas. The mere name of the place evokes recollections of the Wild West and the subsequent romancing of that age.

Yet Dodge City also stands apart from the region that surrounds it. This place is growing.

Go here to subscribe to the My Fellow Kansans podcast. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.

GREENSBURG, Kansas — The massive tornado that leveled this town in 2007 pretty much defines disaster.

Eleven people dead. The place in ruins.

Yet without the tragedy, Greensburg wouldn’t have had the chance to transform itself into “the greenest community in America.”

Go here to subscribe to the My Fellow Kansans podcast. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.

ANTHONY, Kansas — Few things signal a rural community’s decline more powerfully than the closure of its hospital.

Like shuttered schools and empty Main Streets, an abandoned hospital serves as a tangible reminder of the erosive power of decades of population loss and unrelenting economic trends.

Go here to subscribe to the My Fellow Kansans. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.

PHILLIPSBURG, Kansas — The opening of a child care center attracts little notice in a city or suburb.

In rural Kansas, it’s cause for celebration.

The focus on young families, and the hope that represents, is remarkably rare in small towns fighting for survival against forces largely beyond their control.

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