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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.

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Updated June 27, 2021 at 7:41 AM ET

Last Fourth of July some fireworks stores went dark because they ran out of product. The same thing may happen again this year.

Demand for consumer fireworks is near all-time highs, but logistics bottlenecks are cutting the supply by about 30%, boosting prices and robbing some retailers of a chance to cash in on what might otherwise have been their best year ever, according to Mike Collar, president of Winco Fireworks, one of the largest U.S. importers.

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In Kansas City, Mo., a reporter for NPR member station KCUR has died after being struck by a bullet that pierced her home window. Aviva Okeson-Haberman was just 24 years old and a rising star. KCUR's Frank Morris has this remembrance.

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Protesters marched last night in Columbus, Ohio, after an officer shot a 16-year-old.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: (Chanting) She was a child.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) She was a child.

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Something weird happened on the primitive mountain bike trails outside of Kansas City last spring. Coleen Voeks says she went from seeing a person or two stretched out along miles of trail there, to seeing a mass of humanity.

"As soon as the pandemic hit everybody went outside," says Voeks, a trail running coach. "So the trails became so crowded with people, new people, families, you know, people who'd never been to the trails before."

During the Trump administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers published and funded objective analyses of issues such as climate change, the efficiency of food assistance programs, and tax cuts that mostly benefit the richest farmers. It wasn't received well.

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Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The state of Missouri is suing China for that country's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. It's the first such lawsuit brought by a state, and it relies on an unusual interpretation of federal law.

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Fast-moving viruses come with a cruel twist.

They tend to hammer hardest at people on the front lines of defense, making the rest of us that much more vulnerable.

Truckers, warehouse workers and cargo handlers, all in a vast network, find themselves one endless day after the next getting food, medicine and, yes, toilet paper to customers.

The complex supply logistics of our 21st-century world face a gathering storm even as reliance on those supply chains becomes more critical in the worst public health crisis in generations.

Remote rural towns are a good place to be early in a pandemic, as they tend to be more spread out, which potentially means fewer chances to catch a bug. Remote rural areas are also, by definition, way removed from major seaports, airports and often even big highways. So it generally takes longer for new viruses to show up in tiny towns, like Fredonia, Kan.

"I always say it's a hundred miles from anywhere," says Cassie Edson, with the Wilson County Health Department. "It's a hundred miles from Wichita, a hundred miles to Joplin, a hundred miles to Tulsa."

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