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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.

On the morning of Aug. 28, 2005, the National Weather Service issued an urgent weather alert. "Devastating damage expected," the message read. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks ... Perhaps longer." A day later, on the morning of Aug. 29 — 10 years ago Saturday — Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. By that afternoon, the storm had slowly moved on. It appeared that the worst was over. "The city officials were glibly saying, 'Looks like we dodged the bullet,' " recalls...

Abortion rights activists are working on a counterattack to the 200 bills that have passed in states across the U.S. since 2010. In the past three years, Republican-led legislatures have backed bills to regulate abortions and the doctors and clinics that perform them. Bills to ban abortions at 20 weeks are among the laws that cropped up three years ago and have now passed in about a dozen states. This year, North Dakota pushed to end abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy. "It really has...

Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: If you ever fly, you've heard it countless times: You cannot use your cellphone while en route to your destination. Federal rules will not allow it. That could change now, as the FCC considers relaxing those rules. But in advance of that decision yesterday, Delta Airlines said it plans to remain committed to high altitude quiet time. Here's NPR's Kathy Lohr. KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: Delta CEO Richard Anderson says frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin...

Activists from across the country are asking Georgia's governor to support an investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old discovered dead in a high school gymnasium almost a year ago. His body was found in a rolled-up gym mat. State investigators ruled out foul play, but Johnson's parents don't believe it. For 11 months, his family has gathered on the street outside the county judicial complex in Valdosta, Ga. His family sits in folding chairs bundled with scarves and...

The Atlanta Braves will abandon downtown for a new stadium in suburban Cobb County. The Braves have played in the city for almost 50 years, and the news came as a big shock to residents.

This story is part of a project on commuting in America. Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination. Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see...

The fight over abortion in Texas is being played out in federal court, where abortion rights activists are challenging a new state law. The measure bans abortions at 20 weeks, adds building requirements for clinics and places more rules on doctors who perform abortions. Some clinics have shut down, saying they can't comply with the law set to go into effect Oct. 29. Abortion rights activists call the new law a dramatic change that will affect all clinics across the state, including a huge...

Transcript SCOTT SIMON, HOST: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Officials are asking for patience from the public in the opening week of state health care exchanges. People across the country were supposed to get the chance to begin signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. But the online system has been overloaded since October 1st when the exchanges opened. Even at the end of the week, NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that health care...

Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: And I'm Robert Siegel. A bit of history has been made at the University of Alabama. Four black women and two other minority students have been accepted into all-white sororities. The sororities sent invitations to the women following allegations of discrimination in the recruiting process. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports the university calls it a first step toward integration. Others...

Students at the University of Alabama and community leaders are reacting to allegations that white sororities denied access to black women because of their race. The student newspaper in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson White , ran a story that quotes sorority members who say they wanted to recruit at least two black candidates but the students' names were removed before members could vote on them. One of the black women who sorority members say was pulled from consideration seemed the...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7zGYASqoBY A new faith-based group for boys is taking shape, just three months after the Boy Scouts of America decided to change its membership policy to allow gay youth to join. The group, dubbed Trail Life USA, calls itself a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts. Its name was recently revealed at a hotel conference before a crowd of about 1,200 parents and scoutmasters, complete with a slick video with a dynamic score . Its motto is "walk worthy," and the...

Known as the "Carpet Capital of the World," Dalton, Ga., has struggled and lost 17,000 manufacturing jobs over the past decade. But now, Engineered Floors is investing $450 million in two new manufacturing facilities and a distribution center in the area. The Dalton expansion is part of a resurgence in manufacturing in Georgia and it reflects an optimistic outlook for manufacturing across the Southeast. Something Different, Something New Kaila French and her young boys play...

Some Bank of America branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke. She wouldn't divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, "Not too many folks will really miss the drive...

Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: This weekend, the city of Atlanta kicked off its own celebration to mark the anniversary. People gathered at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and at the Center for Nonviolence. This is the beginning of more than a week of national events to commemorate King's "I Have a Dream," speech. As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports, the festivities started in the city where King was born. KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: Many recalled the history of the movement and the role that...

Civil rights leaders meeting in Atlanta say states, including Texas and North Carolina, are deliberately trying to make it more difficult for voters. They're calling for a national campaign to strengthen voting rights, increase voter participation and eliminate long lines at the polls.

Several states are dealing with a shortage of lethal injection drugs and have had problems getting enough to carry out executions. In Georgia, lawmakers passed a measure that makes information about where the state got its supply a secret. The Lethal Injection Secrecy Act says that the identity of people or companies that manufacture, supply or prescribe drugs used in executions is a state secret. But attorneys for death row inmate Warren Lee Hill are challenging the state over whether that...

A judge has temporarily blocked a North Dakota law that would have banned abortions beginning around six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It's one of several state laws passed this year intended to limit abortion. Those backing the new rules say they will make abortions safer. But abortion-rights advocates say the laws are about politics, not safety. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill this month that increases requirements for clinics and doctors who perform abortions in that...

Split by the Missouri-Kansas state line, the Kansas City metro area has been home to political bosses, jazz clubs, barbecue joints and tough characters, all of which find their way into author Joel Goldman crime thrillers. Nine years ago, when Goldman was working as an attorney, he was diagnosed with a movement disorder that makes him shake and stutter at times. So he quit his practice and eventually gave his medical condition to one of his main characters, Kansas City FBI agent Jack Davis. ...

Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. DAVID GREENE, HOST: And I'm David Greene. And now another chapter in our series on African-American Lives. NPR polled more than a thousand African-Americans about a wide range of topics: their health, financial security, jobs, families and neighborhoods. The poll was conducted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and also the Harvard School of Public Health. Overall, this survey found...

Some churches have said they will end their affiliation with the Boy Scouts after its decision to allow openly gay members to join. Others, including Southern Baptists, are considering their next move. Another group plans to hold a meeting in Louisville later this month with parents who say they want a more Christian organization for their children.

Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. DAVID GREENE, HOST: And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In a landmark move, the Boy Scouts of America has lifted its long-standing ban on gay members. The organization's national council voted yesterday to allow openly gay youth to join. But the Scouts will continue to exclude gay adults from leadership roles. Gay rights activists are calling yesterday's vote a partial victory. Those who oppose the...

Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: The Boy Scouts ban on openly gay scouts is coming to an end. That's the result of a vote held today by the leadership of the Boys Scouts of America. WAYNE PERRY: Our vision is to serve every kid. We want every kid to have a place where they belong, to learn and grow and feel protected. BLOCK: Today's historic vote is being celebrated by gay rights advocates as a hard-fought victory and criticized by opponents as a moral capitulation. NPR's Kathy Lohr is in...

Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: And I'm Linda Wertheimer. This week, Boy Scouts of America officials will meet in Texas to consider changing the group's longstanding ban on gay members. The first round of voting starts tomorrow. A new membership policy would allow gay youth, but continue to ban adult leaders who are gay. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports. KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: The century-old organization is at...

Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: Many a politician suffers a setback and recovers. Rarely does a politician endure a scandal and nationwide mockery on the scale of Mark Sanford and still recover. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Sanford did. South Carolina's former governor defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special election for Congress. (SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH) REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT MARK SANFORD: Some guy came up to me the other day. He said: You look a lot like Lazarus. INSKEEP: Lazarus is...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: In South Carolina tonight, a political comeback. Republican Mark Sanford, who was once mired in scandal as the state's governor, has won a congressional seat in a special election. He has defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a race that attracted national attention. Sanford just delivered his victory speech. MARK SANFORD: I have a question for you all. How many of you want to change Washington, D.C.? (APPLAUSE) SANFORD: I had a suspicion that that may...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERK_pExyer8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khs3U1y_XB0 Democrats have their best chance in more than three decades to win a South Carolina congressional seat in a special election Tuesday. Former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford is facing off against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. National Democrats are backing her campaign in hopes of turning the heavily Republican district into a long-term victory for them. In the 1st Congressional District, which includes...

It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient. But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand. So King traveled to Alabama in 1963 to attack the culture of racism in the South and the Jim Crow laws that...

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. North Dakota now has the toughest abortion laws in the nation. That's after the state's governor, Jack Dalrymple, signed three bills into law today. One makes it a crime to perform abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports, that would effectively ban nearly all abortions in the state and sets up a likely court challenge. KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: A fetal heartbeat is present at...

Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: Now to a debate over abortion that has escalated after some recent moves by states. The North Dakota legislature just passed a series of bills, including the strictest abortion ban in the country. And lawmakers there voted to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year which would end abortion entirely. Earlier this month, Arkansas passed a 12-week ban. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that more states are debating stricter laws with hopes of getting one of...

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...

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