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Commentaries

A crowd of people receives inactivated poliovirus vaccine (the Salk vaccine) in Protection, Kan.  The small southwest Kansas town became the first in the nation to be fully-immunized against polio.  Similar lines formed during the 1954 vaccine field trials. (Photo via March of Dimes Foundation)
John Richard Schrock Thursday, July 11th, 2019

We thought science had eliminated them, but now... some preventable diseases are making a comeback.  So why have some highly-contagious diseases returned?  Commentator John Richard Schrock thinks the success of vaccines has helped lead to less vaccination. 

Conductor and violinist Itzhak Perlman (Photo from Itzhak Perlman's website: http://www.itzhakperlman.com/)
Rex Buchanan Friday, June 28th, 2019

Kansas has made some notable contributions to the world of classical music, both on stage and behind the scenes. And Commentator Rex Buchanan thinks it's high time more people took notice. In this piece written for KPR, he highlights a Kansas woman and music educator who helped shape the sound of classical music.

Baseball and glove (Photo by J. Schafer)
Tom Averill Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander visits the baseball museum in Near Here, Kansas, and ruminates on the sport that many still consider America's pastime.

Olive Ann (Mellor) Beech, who led Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation in Wichita for several decades.
Bobbie Athon Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

From Waverly to Wichita to the Wild Blue Yonder... Olive Ann Beech earned more awards, honorary appointments and special citations than any other women in aviation history. Commentator Bobbie Athon tells us more about the First Lady of Aviation.

This roadside sign stands on the western edge of Kinsley, Kansas.  Many residents here don't like the idea of outside communities, like Hays, siphoning water away from Edwards County. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Monday, June 10th, 2019

The communities of Hays and Russell are hoping to siphon water away from a ranch near Kinsley, about 60 miles away, and ship it by pipeline for their own use. Many residents in Kinsley and Edwards County are not happy with this plan.

Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1906. She became a celebrated actress and dancer, lighting up the silver screen in the early days of Hollywood.
Bobbie Athon Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Among other things, the "Roaring Twenties" gave us speakeasies and flappers. And one of the most famous flappers from the 1920s grew up in a small southeast Kansas town. Guest Commentator Bobbie Athon tells us more about the rise and fall of Louise Brooks, who left Montgomery County, Kansas, and headed off for the bright lights of Hollywood, where she became an early star of the silver screen.

While this photo depicts a small sampling of Little Blue Books, Pittsburg State University owns a nearly complete set of the series, which includes more than 2000 titles.  (Photo courtesy of Janette Mauk, Special Collections, Pittsburg State University.)
Tom Averill Friday, April 26th, 2019

Little Blue Books at 100. Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander tells us about the Little Blue Books, printed (by the hundreds of millions) in the small southeast Kansas town of Girard.

Rex Buchanan Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

There was a time when Republicans were considered environmentalists. But then things changed. A new book examines what happened... and why. Commentator Rex Buchanan offers this review of the book The Republican Reversal: Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump.

Some Democratic candidates for president have been talking about free college for everyone. Before we consider the cost, Commentator John Richard Schrock says we should consider whether it's even a good idea. (Photo by J. Schafer)
John Richard Schrock Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Free college might sound like a good idea. But is it? Universities in Asia and Europe have been down this road before and may provide a lessen for America. Commentator John Richard Schrock says America may have reached -- or even surpassed -- its college-able capacity.

Photograph of the airplane crash that killed Knute Rockne, famous Notre Dame football coach. The crash happened southeast of Bazaar, Chase County, Kansas, on March 31, 1931.  (Photo from the Kansas Historical Society)
Bobbie Athon Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Eighty-eight years ago this month, legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and seven other men lost their lives in a fatal plane crash in the Flint Hills. Guest Commentator Bobbie Athon explains what happened near Bazaar, Kansas, on March 31, 1931.

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