KPR Plans for a Bright Future, Even with Funding Cuts

Dan Skinner, Director of Kansas Public Radio (KPR), sees a bright future for the station, even though funding has changed significantly in the last few years. The effects of State and University budget cuts have trickled down to KPR, with the University defunding the Audio-Reader Network and cutting $200,000 in direct funding to the station.

Since coming on the air as KANU in 1952, the station has received 17 “Station of the Year” awards and now operates across eight different frequencies. 72% of KPR’s current funding comes from individual donors and underwriters. Skinner shared that “sound fiscal management has given a sound operating reserve.” This is especially important as the station may need to “pull on reserves over the next couple of years to raise more money.”

KPR is part of the Kansas News Service, which is a collaboration between multiple news resources, ensuring that efforts and resources aren’t duplicated across the state. Skinner projects that over 100,000 listeners tune into KPR per week.

Skinner addressed the fact that some people think of public radio as being one sided. “It really depends where you are on the political spectrum.” He says he hears people say that the station is to conservative and others say it’s too liberal. That’s perfect, he joked. “We want to be a source of civil conversation where you can hear divergent ideas.”

With the changes in funding, Skinner is most concerned about the Audio-Reader Network, which has been giving the “gift of sight through sound” since 1971. The program has over 400 volunteers who read newspapers, magazines and books, as well as over 1,600 hours of specifically requested materials each year. The program is the second oldest in the nation, and one of the largest programs of its kind. The program is free to clients, who receive a radio receiver for the subcarrier frequency. Clients can also access programming through the telephone reader service.

The Underground Railroad in Lawrence

Jim Peters, Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and fellow member of Lawrence Central Rotary, tells the story of the underground railroad in Lawrence.

The Lane Trail, named for abolitionist James H. Lane, was established in 1856 to bypass proslavery strongholds in Missouri and provide free-state settlers a safe route into Kansas with terminus in Topeka.  The trail is approximated today by US Highway 75.  Settlers left Iowa City to go west into Nebraska and south into Kansas, but John Brown and others used the trail in reverse to transport slaves north to freedom.

Frequently, runaway slaves would hide in and around Lawrence as they waited to join a group traveling north to safety.  Gover Barn in Lawrence was a key staging area during the 1850s.  In December 1858, the barn housed slaves recruited in Missouri by John Brown as they awaited their chance to escape.

Narratives written by Lawrence and Douglas County residents tell of the perils of hiding slaves during this era.  Many describe the relationships they built with the runaways and their concern for them after they left their protective barns and cellars.

 

Fort Riley Museums Tell a Story of Adaptation

Dr. Robert Smith, Director of the Fort Riley Museums, declared that it has been adaptation that has kept Fort Riley open over the decades, evolving repeatedly to meet the army’s needs.

Established as a frontier post in 1853, at the time Fort Riley was situated at the “end of civilization.”  As the boundary of the frontier changed, however, the fort had to adapt its role to remain open.  By the late 1800s, it became a “school post” for the cavalry and light artillery and served as a haying station for the entire army.

When World War I began, Fort Riley was the largest U.S. training site for troops headed to Europe, and it continued to be a training site during World War II.  During that era, it became the Divisional Post for the First Infantry.

The First Infantry Division, known as “The Big Red One,” is the oldest continuously serving division in United States history, sending troops to France in World War I and to North Africa, to Sicily, and to England in World War II.  First Infantry troops participated in D-Day at Omaha Beach, were stationed in Germany during the Cold War, and went to Vietnam.  They were present for Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

 

Fall Decorations for your home and help Lawrence Central!

Lawrence Central Rotary recently launched or 2018 fall and holiday decoration campaign.  The money raised helps to do the service work of our club both locally and globally.

Supporting our fundraiser is easy… Simply order decorations for your home or to send to a friend or client and 20% of your purchase comes back to Lawrence Central. This year’s link is http://bit.ly/lcrholiday18

Fall decorations are available now and you can even pre-order your holiday wreaths and evergreen centerpieces or garland!

Thank you for helping us to continue to do the work we do!

LMH West Campus is Becoming a Reality

Russ Johnson, the CEO of LMH, talked about the new LMH Health West Campus development that broke ground in September 2018. Joining him were Rebecca Smith, Executive Director of the LMH Health Foundation, and Karen Shumate, Chief Operating Officer and project manager for the new facility.

The West Campus expansion has been designed to provide outpatient services, the primary source of revenue that is anticipated in the health care industry in coming decades.  The location of the new facility on Highways 10 and I-70 will be convenient for healthcare consumers.   Plans for easy and adequate parking have been highly important in the plans, as the current hospital location lacks adequate parking.   LMH West Campus will be 35-40% of the space at the current hospital.  Johnson expects the new building to be ready for occupancy in July 2020.

Shumate highlighted key features in the floor plan of LMH West Campus.  The goal is to build something “nice, but not ostentatious.”  The building incorporates flexible space and room for expansion.  There will be an outdoor ampitheater and a roof garden.  LMH physical therapy services, OrthoKansas, a pharmacy, a lab, and several local physician practices will relocate.  The second floor will be a Women’s Center, providing a continuum of care for breast patients at one location.

 

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