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

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A number of eastern Kansas counties have stay-at-home orders to keep the coronavirus from spreading. But some Kansans appear to still be on the move, particularly in western Kansas. 

Unacast, a data company, is able to tell how states and counties are doing with social distancing via cellphone data. Overall, Kansas has a B. But some western counties, including Gray, Ford, Clark, Meade and Seward, received Fs.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas As news of COVID-19 unfolds daily, so does the devastation caused by the virus. And a growing desire to help people hit hardest by the many ripple effects.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL/CDC.GOV

Thirteen new cases of COVID-19 in Kansas were confirmed by state health officials on Thursday. That bring the state's total to 34, including one death in Kansas City, Kan.  

A 52-year-old Cherokee County man tested positive on Wednesday, marking the first case in the southeast corner of the state.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

UPDATED 1:30 03/17/20

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The first western Kansas case of the new coronavirus has been confirmed in Ford County. 

In a second news release on Tuesday, Ford County Administrator J.D. Gilbert said the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was visiting Ford County from another state and is being treated for the virus in the county.

Angie Haflich/HPPR

Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran says he is not satisfied with a bill meant to alleviate the financial impact of the new coronavirus.

The senator joined doctors at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, Monday to provide updates about the federal response to the pandemic.

Corinne Boyer

Updated Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — As the number of new coronavirus cases rises in Kansas, several state universities have moved classes online and some have asked students living on campus to move out. Some community colleges in western Kansas are also considering making adjustments.  

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Before June 2018, finding cattle that were potentially exposed to diseases was time-consuming and complicated, requiring a patchwork of information from auction houses, feedlots, producers and meatpacking plants.

That’s when Kansas spearheaded U.S. CattleTrace, filling a void when it comes to tracing deadly diseases in live cattle and possibly opening up new global markets for beef. Nine other states have signed onto the pilot program, which has distributed 65,000 ultra high-frequency tags that are scanned just like your online purchases.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — All of Western Kansas has just one shelter for children who are in protective custody or are victims of sex trafficking. The new shelter isn’t taking kids yet, because it’s waiting on its license, but local officials say those 14 beds are needed.

Chris Neal / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The number of suicides in northwest Kansas increased by more than half in recent years.

Avera eCARE

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — When Christi Graber checked into the St. Catherine Hospital emergency room late last year, she thought she was having a heart attack.

Her left arm ached, she felt dizzy, and she experienced shortness of breath.

The hospital’s cardiologist wasn’t available that night or for the next three days, so Graber had two options: Travel by ambulance to see a cardiologist more than two hours away in Hays during a snowstorm; or simply go home. Ultimately, she and her husband drove home.

They worried both about the weather and the cost.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Rohingya refugees have made southwest Kansas home, but now a pipeline for family reunification could get cut off.

Myanmar is one of the latest countries where refugees face a new ban on immigrant visas. The country’s Rohingya Muslim minorities have been fleeing genocide since 2015

Last week, President Donald Trump announced a new list of six countries subject to travel restrictions.  

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A lawsuit claims state troopers use a, quote, “Kansas two-step” on out-of-state drivers traveling to and from Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed a class-action case Thursday contending that 93 percent of traffic stops made by the highway patrol in 2017 targeted cars with out-of-state license plates.

Kansas Children's Service League

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The census determines more than the number of congressional districts in a state. The number of responses impacts child care, too. 

Eighteen of Kansas’ 105 counties don’t have infant or toddler child care available, according to Child Care Aware Kansas. It uses census data to calculate the state’s child care needs, and every year, the demand grows. 

“Each year it just continues to really become a little bleaker — especially in rural areas,” said Leadell Ediger, executive director of Child Care Aware Kansas. 

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Rural Kansas communities hope to see roads, internet and taxes addressed in the upcoming 2020 legislative session. But some voters in the state’s southwest corner are worried that these decade-old issues will again take a back seat. 

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Federal rules signed into law in November promised strict bans on animal cruelty. They made it illegal to burn, crush, impale, drown or otherwise inflict “serious bodily harm” on an animal.

The new law didn’t deal with neglect or cover every act of abuse, but it drew accolades from a range of animal welfare groups.

But the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT, applies only on federal land or to animals transported from abroad or across state lines. 

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Wearing sweaters, small kids (of the goat variety) went springing over hay-lined pens in the Good Karma Micro-Dairy barn in Russell County. Here, Erin and Doug Renard milk goats and cows and make raw cheese, Greek yogurt, butter and gelato.

“As you noticed when you came here, there's no signs,” Erin Renard said. “One of the reasons there's no signs is expense. But the other reason was we couldn't even put 'raw milk' on the sign. Now we can.” 

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — It’s been more than a year since 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth died from exertional heat stroke after his first football practice at Garden City Community College.  

A 48-page independent investigation found systemic failures within the athletic department and placed blame on multiple employees as well as medical professionals who treated Bradforth on Aug. 1, 2018.

Bradforth’s parents sent the college letters demanding $50 million dollars, the first step required by Kansas law before they can sue the college. On Tuesday, Garden City Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously denied the claim amounts, saying the parties were interested in moving forward with mediation.

Courtesy of Mike Everhart

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Paleontologist Mike Everhart had found a rib from a plesiosaur — an ancient ocean reptile — on the Ringneck Ranch in north-central Kansas in 2009. He returned in early spring 2010 searching for more bones. 

Everhart brought a friend, Gail Pearson, and Pearson’s friend Fred Smith. Both men had experience hunting fossils.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — In 2017, an estimated 38,000 kids in Kansas didn’t have health insurance. That’s according to data recently released by the Kansas Health Institute.

The highest rates of uninsured kids live in the western and southwestern quadrants of the state, but large numbers of uninsured children also reside in the state’s more populous counties. The lack of Medicaid expansion could be contributing to the issue, but experts say it’s likely not the only reason.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service file photo

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — A welding torch caused August’s fire at a Tyson meatpacking plant in western Kansas.

The Garden City Fire Department investigated the fire at the Holcomb plant and completed a report on Oct. 13, saying the fire was unintentional and likely started because a welding torch produced a “spark, ember or flame.”

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. 

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