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.

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.

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.

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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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn our attention now to the state of Georgia, where a self-described moderate Democrat is trying to win re-election in a district that now favors Republicans. John Barrow is facing a relatively unknown GOP candidate in the 12th Congressional District that's recently been redrawn. National Republicans see Barrow as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House, and they're targeting him with millions of dollars in ads.

NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

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.

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

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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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new international terminal opens today at the Atlanta Airport. Hartsfield-Jackson International is already the busiest airport in the world. And the new terminal reflects a big by the business capital of the South to become a bigger global player. Georgia wants to attract more international business. NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

Several states, including Kansas and New Jersey, are debating so-called "wrongful birth" laws that would prevent parents from suing a doctor who fails to warn them about fetal problems.

Abortion rights activists say the laws give doctors the right to withhold information so women don't have abortions.

In Suffern, N.Y., Sharon and Steven Hoffman's son, Jake, was born with Tay-Sachs, a genetic disease that mainly affects Jewish families and is usually fatal by age 4 or 5.

"There's no treatment. There's no cure. There's nothing," Sharon says.

Newt Gingrich has experienced a long slide since March 6, when he won Georgia's Republican primary. It was his second and final victory of the campaign season, but Gingrich fought to stay in the race through a Southern strategy that never caught on.

On Wednesday, a source close to the Gingrich campaign told NPR that he would officially suspend his campaign next week, and was likely to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

From Tulsa, we move our focus back to the city of Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teen, was shot and killed six weeks ago by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. The constant spotlight has brought the issue of race to the forefront, and with it some tense moments in that Florida community. NPR's Kathy Lohr spent the last week in Sanford and has this story.

The prosecutor investigating the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., has not yet decided if she will bring charges against the shooter, George Zimmerman.

It took several weeks for the Feb. 26 shooting to draw the nation's attention — after Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, launched a campaign to get the case before media and civil rights activists nationwide.

Two days after the shooting, the high-profile civil rights attorney started getting calls about the case. "My phone was buzzing," Crump says.

Last year, several states passed strict laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Those laws are now being challenged in federal court, and next month the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Arizona's immigration law — but that hasn't stopped some Southern states from moving forward with more restrictions.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's go now to Florida, where late yesterday Governor Rick Scott announced that a new state attorney has been assigned to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The announcement came as thousands rallied in Sanford demanding justice for Martin. The teen was shot as he walked unarmed in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. The shooter, George Zimmerman, is a volunteer neighborhood watch captain and he claims self-defense. He's also not been arrested. As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports, the cry is growing louder for an arrest to be made.

With three wins on Super Tuesday, and a victory in the Kansas caucuses over the weekend, GOP hopeful Rick Santorum is on a high — and campaigning hard in the South.

"This is going to be a very close race here in Mississippi, and I know the same thing is true in Alabama. We've got lots of folks down here working hard," Santorum told a crowd at Weidmann's historic restaurant in Meridian, Miss., on Sunday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is facing his most important challenge yet — winning Georgia on Super Tuesday. Georgia is considered Gingrich's home because he represented parts of the state in Congress for 20 years, but he hasn't lived there for more than a decade.

Over the weekend, Gingrich held several rallies, including one in Peachtree City, south of Atlanta, where he stressed that this area has long supported him.

"It is great to be home," Gingrich told the crowd. "I believe that I carried Fayette County in every single election, including the two that I lost."

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