Kathy Lohr

Whether covering the manhunt and eventual capture of Eric Robert Rudolph in the mountains of North Carolina, the remnants of the Oklahoma City federal building with its twisted metal frame and shattered glass, flood-ravaged Midwestern communities, or the terrorist bombings across the country, including the blast that exploded in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, correspondent Kathy Lohr has been at the heart of stories all across the nation.

Lohr was NPR's first reporter based in the Midwest. She opened NPR's St. Louis office in 1990 and the Atlanta bureau in 1996. Lohr covers the abortion issue on an ongoing basis for NPR, including political and legal aspects. She has often been sent into disasters as they are happening, to provide listeners with the intimate details about how these incidents affect people and their lives.

Lohr filed her first report for NPR while working for member station KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and began her journalism career in commercial television and radio as a reporter/anchor. Lohr also became involved in video production for national corporations and taught courses in television reporting and radio production at universities in Kansas and Missouri. She has filed reports for the NPR documentary program Horizons, the BBC, the CBC, Marketplace, and she was published in the Saturday Evening Post.

Lohr won the prestigious Missouri Medal of Honor for Excellence in Journalism in 2002. She received a fellowship from Vanderbilt University for work on the issue of domestic violence. Lohr has filed reports from 27 states and the District of Columbia. She has received other national awards for her coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Midwestern floods of 1993, and for her reporting on ice storms in the Mississippi Delta. She has also received numerous awards for radio pieces on the local level prior to joining NPR's national team. Lohr was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She now lives in her adopted hometown of Atlanta, covering stories across the southeastern part of the country.

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It's All Politics
8:01 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Sanford's House Bid A Test Of S.C. Voters' Will To Forgive

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford chats with a diner at a restaurant in Charleston, S.C. Sanford is one of 16 Republicans in Tuesday's GOP primary for the special election to fill the vacant 1st Congressional District seat.
Bruce Smith AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:38 pm

Two Democrats and 16 Republicans are running for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District seat in a special election Tuesday. The seat is open because former Rep. Tim Scott was tapped to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who retired midterm.

The biggest name in the race is former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose infamous affair led to his political downfall. Sanford is trying to stage the political comeback of a lifetime.

And he's doing it one diner at a time — greeting customers over eggs and grits at Page's Okra Grill, just outside Charleston in Mount Pleasant.

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History
6:45 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Civil Rights Exhibit Highlights Successes, Work Left To Be Done

An undated photo from the exhibit shows Southern Christian Leadership Conference officials leading demonstrators in a march "against fear and injustice" in Decatur, Ga.
SCLC records, MARBL, Emory University

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:55 am

A new exhibit on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta is bringing civil rights leaders together.

Curators have worked for more than three years to catalog roughly 1,000 boxes of historic documents that tell the story of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an early civil rights group first presided over by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Around the Nation
5:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

In Dallas, Boy Scouts Debate Opening Membership To Gays

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Leadership of the Boy Scouts of America may take an important vote today. The organization's executive board is wrapping up a meeting in Dallas, and they're talking about whether to drop their policy banning gay leaders and gay scouts. Activists delivered petitions with more than 1.4 million signatures to the national headquarters this week calling for the Boy Scouts to open up the organization.

NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that the issue has ignited a passionate debate about what the 100-year-old group should do.

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U.S.
5:52 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

States Become Battlegrounds For Nation's Deep Abortion Divide

Abortion opponents march to a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Kansas is among several states that have enacted new restrictions on abortion in recent years.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:48 pm

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Thousands of activists on both sides of the issue are holding rallies marking the day at state capitals across the country.

In the decades since the decision, abortion has been one of the most debated and legislated issues in the nation. And state legislatures, which are increasingly passing laws restricting abortion, have become the debate's key battlegrounds.

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Health
6:19 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

New Regulations Could Treat Virginia Abortion Clinics Like Hospitals

Protesters appeal to members of the Virginia Board of Health after their decision to impose new building regulations on abortion clinics in Richmond, Va., on Sept. 14.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 10:00 am

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the famed and widely cited case that legalized abortion. Yet across the country, states are continuing to approve restrictions.

With little fanfare, Virginia and Michigan Republican governors recently signed new abortion bills into law. Virginia's Bob McDonnell, in particular, quietly approved clinic regulations adopted by the state's Board of Health three months ago that hold abortion clinics to the same building standards as hospitals.

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Business
11:32 am
Thu December 20, 2012

From Shoes To M&M's, Custom-Made Products Take Off Online

High school student Jon Ledbetter designs his own "NikeiD" sneakers. Ledbetter can post his designs on Nike's website, where other shoppers can also order them.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:53 pm

It wasn't long ago that all consumers went to retail stores to buy things. These days, of course, you can get just about anything online. Some companies are now taking that shopping experience to the next level, allowing customers to design almost anything individually — from a trench coat to a batch of M&M's.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Georgia Town Makes Claim For Fruitcake Capital Of The World

The Claxton Bakery in Georgia makes millions of pounds of fruitcake each year.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

In the small town of Claxton, Ga., two bakeries make more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake each year. Both bakeries say Claxton is the fruitcake capital of the world, despite a similar claim made by a company in Corsicana, Texas.

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Around the Nation
3:32 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

To Trim Down, Spelman Trades Sports For Fitness

Spelman College has dropped NCAA athletics in favor of a comprehensive fitness program. The school now offers classes like Zumba to help encourage all students to exercise more.
Courtesy of Spelman College

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:40 pm

For the past decade, Spelman College, a historically black women's school in Atlanta, has fielded NCAA teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and other sports. But when its small Division III conference started dwindling, college President Beverly Tatum says the school decided it was time to change focus.

"We have to ask ourselves: What is the cost of the program and who is benefiting? How many people are benefiting? Is the benefit worth the cost?" Tatum asks.

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Around the Nation
4:59 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Fingerprint Scans Create Unease For Poor Parents

A pilot program in Mississippi requires low-income parents who receive subsidized child care to submit to biometric finger scans like this one, at Northtown Child Development Center in Jackson. Some parents and day care workers say the rule is unnecessary and discriminatory, but state officials say it will save money and prevent fraud.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:14 pm

Some Mississippi parents are learning a new routine when they drop their kids off at day care centers that are taking part in a new pilot program aimed at combating fraud and saving the state money.

Under the program, the state scans parents' fingerprints to capture biometric information, and that information is turned into a number. Then, at a day care center, parents dropping off or picking up their kids put their fingers on a pad, and a small keyboard records the exact time a child is checked in or out.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:00 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Crews Work To Restore Power, And Explain The Delay

Utility crews work on power lines as dusk falls in Ship Bottom, a community on Long Beach Island, N.J.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 6:45 pm

More than 8 million people lost power after Superstorm Sandy. Five days later, 2.5 million are still waiting as power companies across the region continue to say that restoring power is more complicated than it seems.

The storm packed a one-two punch. First, it flooded several switching stations including one hidden under the New Jersey Turnpike in Newark, says Art Torticelli, who was out with his crew from Public Service Electric and Gas at a switching station in Essex, N.J.

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Education
5:03 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Undocumented Students Take Education Underground

Pam Voekel is a volunteer teacher at Freedom University in Georgia, an informal school for undocumented youth who are banned from some state schools.
John Paul Gallagher

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 4:19 pm

About 35 students meet every Sunday at an undisclosed location in Georgia to study. They are undocumented and banned from attending some of the most prestigious colleges in the state.

Georgia is one of three states to bar undocumented students from attending schools. But a group of professors at the University of Georgia has created a fledgling school to provide a place for students to learn.

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Around the Nation
5:06 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

FAMU Adjusts To Games Without Marching Band

Don Juan Moore AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 7:56 am

Florida A&M University played its first home game of the season Saturday — without its famous Marching 100 band for the first time in decades. The band was suspended for the year after drum major Robert Champion died as a result of a band hazing incident. The incident took place after the last football game of the 2011 season.

This year's suspension has left a void at Rattler football games. Just about everyone in Bragg Memorial Stadium for the first home game was talking about it.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Locked Out

The Atlanta Symphony performs at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Jennifer Taylor

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:49 pm

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are at an impasse. The players' contract expired at the end of last month. The symphony is facing a $20 million budget deficit, and it's seeking millions in concessions from the musicians. Both sides say they want to reach an agreement, but they've left the bargaining table, putting the orchestra's 68th season in jeopardy.

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Election 2012
5:06 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

In Akin's Wake, Ryan Defends Anti-Abortion Record

Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan speaks at a campaign event in Fayetteville, N.C., on Thursday.
Sara D. Davis AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:27 pm

Since Republican Rep. Todd Akin first said the words "legitimate rape" Sunday, just about everyone in the Republican Party has condemned those comments.

The Missouri Senate candidate later apologized, but his remarks continue to drive the political debate. They've also raised questions about the anti-abortion record of the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

A City Leveled By Hurricane Andrew Rebuilds — Again

An aerial view of Homestead, Fla., taken on Sept. 7, 1992, two weeks after Hurricane Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in the city.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:43 pm

Twenty years ago, Homestead, Fla., was in the eye of what was then the worst storm to hit the United States.

Fifteen people died directly from Hurricane Andrew and a few dozen more died from injuries later. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in Homestead, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Families spent hours in lines to get water and ice.

National Guard troops handed out bags of ice but limited how much each family could get.

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Crime In The City
4:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Writer Has A Down-Home Feel For Atlanta's Dark Side

Writer Karin Slaughter has seen the fallout of some of Atlanta's most gruesome crimes and most dramatic transitions.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:24 am

Best-selling crime novelist Karin Slaughter (yes, that's her real name) grew up just south of Atlanta in the 1970s and '80s, when the city saw some of its most gruesome crimes: A rash of child murders in which dozens of African-American children disappeared, their bodies turning up in nearby woods and rivers. The realization that horrid crimes can happen even to children changed Slaughter's life.

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Around the Nation
6:45 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Civil Rights Group Struggles To Rebrand Itself

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The civil rights organization co-founded by Martin Luther King Junior meets in Sanford, Florida today for its annual convention. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has struggled in recent years with leadership battles and declining membership. Now members want to rebrand the SCLC. Here's NPR's Kathy Lohr.

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Politics
3:03 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Some Immigrant Students Still Dreaming Of Clarity

Jovanna Hernandez carries a sign in support of young illegal immigrants during a protest march, which concluded in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Philadelphia in March.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

One question left unanswered by President Obama's announcement last week that he would stop deportations of some young illegal immigrants was what the policy change will mean for students.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
5:00 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Immigration Law Slows A Family's March Forward

U.S.-born Angel Luis Cruz, the son of Dominican immigrants, owns an insurance company in South Carolina. He says anti-illegal immigration laws have hurt his business.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:33 am

Immigrant success stories are closely woven into the concept of the American dream. In South Carolina, two generations of an immigrant family have worked hard to live out their dreams, but anti-illegal immigration laws have put even legal immigrants like them on edge.

Working Upon Arrival

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Southern Farmers See Midwestern Bias In Farm Bill

Georgia farmer Donald Chase says the Senate's proposed farm bill favors farmers in the Midwest and leaves Southern farmers without a safety net.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:58 pm

Southeast of Macon, Ga., near Oglethorpe, rows of peanuts planted six weeks ago have sprouted. Tiny yellow flowers dot the rich-green plants. Donald Chase, his father and grandfather have owned this farm since the 1950s.

Like many southern farmers, Chase objects to the version of the farm bill kicking around in the Senate this week. The bill aims to do away with direct payments to farmers by expanding crop insurance programs.

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