© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Ellen McLain (standing fourth from left) and John Lowrie (standing in center) are unlikely celebrities in gaming culture. But they are the voices behind some of the video game world's most popular characters.

Ashley Gross

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat.  She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

One of Ashley's most memorable moments in radio happened several years ago in Northwest Alaska: "I was visiting an alcohol and drug rehab program in the tiny village of Selawik. It helps Alaska Natives recover by helping them get back in touch with their subsistence lifestyle. It was spring, which meant the river was still frozen - barely. We went out on snowmachines to go ice-fishing, but late in the day, as we headed back, the river had melted to the consistency of a Slurpee. It was a harrowing ride and a good lesson in trust - I rode with my eyes closed, clinging for dear life to the woman driving. A week later, three people drowned trying to ride a snowmachine over that river, and that's when I realized just how dangerous life in rural Alaska can be."

  • More than a third of Americans play video games three or more hours a week. Part of the appeal is the richly developed characters in the games.
  • While a debate rages over the future of the Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C., the bank's potential demise has drawn warnings from the other Washington — Washington state. Ashley Gross of KPLU reports that businesses, labor unions and politicians are raising alarm bells about potentially severe consequences.
  • The coffee giant says it will hire at least 10,000 veterans or their spouses over the next five years. It joins companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing in trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicleare the latest big newspapers embracing a pay model for Web content that had been free. But around the country, more small papers, like the Chinook Observer in Washington state, have also started charging for their digital content in a bid for economic survival.
  • Boeing is scrambling to figure out why two batteries malfunctioned on its 787, causing officials to ground the airplane this month. And at a time when Boeing most needs its skilled engineers, they're weighing a possible strike. Union leaders are considering the company's final contract offer Thursday.
  • Loyalty cards have long given discounts to shoppers, but lately national grocery store chains are getting even more personal. They're offering discounts tailored to each customer's unique shopping habits, which means someone else might be getting a better price than you.
  • One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers from World War II has died. Keith Little, who transmitted codes in important Pacific battles such as Iwo Jima and Saipan, died Tuesday at 87. He led the Navajo Code Talkers Association in recent years and fought to get recognition for the Code Talkers, who were ordered to keep their contribution to the war effort secret for decades after the war ended.