Corinne Boyer

Reporter, Kansas News Service

Corinne Boyer is a reporter for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, Kansas. Following graduation, Corinne moved to New York City where she interned for a few record labels, worked as a restaurant hostess and for a magazine publisher. She then moved to Yongin, South Korea where she taught English and traveled to Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium and South Africa. Corinne loved meeting new people and hearing their stories. Her travels and experiences inspired her to attend graduate school. In 2015, she graduated with a Master of Science in journalism degree from the University of Oregon. She gained her first newsroom experience at KLCC—Eugene’s NPR affiliate. In 2017, she earned the Tom Parker Award for Media Excellence for a feature story she wrote about the opioid epidemic in Oregon. That year, she was also named an Emerging Journalist Fellow by the Journalism and Women Symposium

Ways to Connect

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — On the last day of September, a bulldozer scooped dirt from an empty field between a hotel and a fence separating the land from a house-lined street in Garden City.

In 18-24 months, a massive $41 million sports complex, called Sports of the World, is slated to open at this site, with courts of all kinds — pickleball, basketball, volleyball. There’ll be a trampoline park and an outdoor recreation area with cornhole and a life-sized Battleship game. It’s expected to host cheerleading, wrestling and other sports tournaments, drawing in people from Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Two years after closing an office in Garden City, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week it’s coming back to town.

The agency’s new setup comes at a time when methamphetamine seizures are on the rise in Finney County and the area’s seen some drug-related shootings. Plus, states are grappling with the fallout of billions of opioids distributed throughout the U.S., and western Kansas has few drug rehabilitation options.

Brian Schoenfish / Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Tens of millions of years ago, an inland sea covered parts of western Kansas. Today, chalk columns measuring 70 to 100 feet high tower above the arid terrain in Kansas’ newest state park.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

MANHATTAN, Kansas — A bus filled with livestock industry representatives from South America, Australia, Africa and Europe drove past rows of pens and concrete feed bunks in central Kansas this week.

They held their phones and cameras up to the windows as a wave of cattle lifted their heads and stared back. Dump trucks full of feed shared the roads with cowboys on horses.

Half of the tour group, who had come to Kansas State University for the 9th Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock Conference, had never visited an industrial-sized feedlot.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — As a nurse, Betsy Rodriquez interviews teenagers who are sexually active and often shockingly ignorant about sex.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — Zion Roth farms with his uncle, father and brothers near Garden City. Roth uses tools that monitor weather and the soil moisture on his farm, including one that notifies him when conditions are ideal for irrigation.

Photo courtesy of David Biller, professor and section head of radiology, K-State College of Veterinary Medicine

During Labor Day celebrations, the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine wants dog owners to be vigilant of one tempting food left sitting on the table or grill.

Corn on the cob is a summer favorite, but for dogs it can be deadly. Susan Nelson, a veterinarian and professor at Kansas State University says dogs are attracted to the cob. 

CORINNE BOYER / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will begin investigating beef prices. The action comes after a fire shut down production at a Tyson meatpacking plant in western Kansas.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue released a statement Wednesday directing the agency to investigate beef prices.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — Ali Abdi usually cuts meat at the Tyson plant in Holcomb, and was at the plant when a fire broke out and destroyed part of the structure.

He didn’t see it as he and the other workers evacuated, but, he said, “Yes, I was scared.”

Abdi, a Somali refugee who moved to Garden City five years ago, is one of several employees cleaning up the damage. Tyson hasn’t said when the plant will reopen — it could be months. And that uncertainty has a ripple effect on area feedlots, livestock drivers, Garden City itself and even Garden City Community College.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

DODGE CITY — Kansas is bathed in shades of blue that stretch north to south, east to west. That’s not a reference to politics: It’s what the state looks like on the Federal Communications Commission’s Fixed Broadband Deployment map. 

Corinne Boyer

Twenty-four-year old David Guerrero of Garden City spent his day off at the Big Pool last week. Guerrero loves being outdoors and when triple digits recently hit western Kansas, he and several others cooled off at the city’s Big Pool.

The 97-year-old landmark has been open every summer since its construction was completed in 1922.

Courtesy of Della Rambo

GARDEN CITY — Three years ago, rancher and farmer Jay Young got intrigued by a YouTube video.

A North Dakota farmer championed the idea of cover crops — plants that would be considered weeds in many other contexts — as robust plants for his cattle to graze on.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — Nearly all American cattle spend their final months in massive feedlots, munching on feed designed to fatten them for slaughter.

But not all that goes into the beasts transforms to beef.

Their four-chamber-stomach digestive systems continually seep all forms of gasses, including the powerful greenhouse gas methane they burp up silently and constantly.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — Fartun Gelle is a Somalian refugee who lives near the Neighborhood Learning Center in Garden City, where she’s gone for help since she arrived in western Kansas five years ago.

The center is located in a brick apartment building in the northwest part of town, and refugees from Myanmar, Somalia and Ethiopia live within walking distance. Gelle doesn’t drive, and relies on the center’s community health workers to help translate at her sons’ medical appointments.

“I don’t have someone to help me,” Gelle said through Somali interpreter Ifrah Farah.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

Every summer since 1922, locals and tourists have flocked to Garden City’s Big Pool. Once promoted as “the world’s largest outdoor free concrete municipal swimming pool,” it holds around 2 million gallons of water. “Holds” might now be an overstatement.

Passenger trains will keep rolling through rural communities in Kansas, for now. But Amtrak still hasn’t committed to operating the long-distance routes that connect small towns to larger cities long-term.

Earlier this year, Congress agreed to an additional $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief, which travels from Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in several small Kansas cities, running through September.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY — In the 1940s and ’50s, people of color couldn’t use the public swimming pool here. If they went to the movie theater in Garden City, Hispanic patrons could only sit in the balcony.

A few generations later, Garden City School Board member Tim Cruz served on the city commission and as mayor. He played a role in dealing with leaks in the city’s swimming pool, known as The Big Pool.

Wikimedia Commons

Long-running frustration about Amtrak’s willingness to keep a rail passenger line running through remote parts of the country has politicians threatening to block new directors to the agency.

A handful of U.S. senators demanded specifics by this week about how Amtrak plans to spend an added $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief line running from Chicago, through Kansas, to Los Angeles.

U.S. Senate

During a stop at Garden City Community College Thursday, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts shared his concerns about the impact of President Trump’s trade policy on the agriculture economy.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1997, the Republican senator serves as the chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He said passing the 2018 farm bill provides a “safety net” for farmers over the next five years.

Courtesy/Fort Hays State University

On Thursday, April 11, approximately 200 people attended a press conference at Fort Hays State University as the school announced the receipt of a $20 million gift, the largest donation in the school’s history. FHSU alumni Earl and Nonie Field made the donation as an estate gift.

The couple lived in Hays, and were childhood sweethearts, according to a FHSU press release.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

Wind scrapes across the plains of southwest Kansas like few places in the country.

It drives a booming new industry of turbines that feeds electricity across the region. But at times, the wind gets out of hand.

This week, it plowed across the landscape, causing trucks to swerve on highways, kicking up dust clouds and freeing family pets by knocking down fences.

Pixabay

Crawling internet speeds in rural Kansas make trying to sell cattle online exasperating.

Instead of uploading photos and videos of cattle for sale from home, farmer and cattleman Jay Young drives to his parents’ house or into the town of Tribune in far west Kansas where internet speeds are faster.

Young has a broadband connection and says he’s able to create a cattle listing from home, but the slow internet brings on additional work.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

For years, one of the first stops for immigrant groups arriving in Garden City has been an apartment in a brick building.

A sign posted on the front door welcomes people in four languages. Inside, tables and chairs in the living room and kitchen form a classroom. Refugees learn English and the ways of American life from those who navigated the culture shock just a few years before them.

Regardless of religion or customs, for years refugees at LiveWell Finney County’s Neighborhood Learning Center have bonded while studying and learning to adjust to life in a small American city on the high plains.

More recently, though, the dynamic shifted.

Wikimedia Commons

In Norton County, as in many parts of rural Kansas, the ambulance service is stretched thin.

Norton, population 5,400 in the northwest corner of the state, has six full-time ambulance workers and nine volunteers to respond to all the 911 calls as well as transport patients from one hospital to another.

“Sometimes patients needing to be transfered are left waiting,” said Craig Sowards, Norton County EMS director.