Corinne Boyer | KCUR

Corinne Boyer

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

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.”

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.

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.

GARDEN CITY — As a nurse, Betsy Rodriquez interviews teenagers who are sexually active and often shockingly ignorant about sex.

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.

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.

GARDEN CITY — Three years ago, rancher and farmer Jay Young got intrigued by a YouTube video.

A North Dakota farmer championed the idea of cover crops — plants that would be considered weeds in many other contexts — as robust plants for his cattle to graze on.

Young applied the cover crop strategy – rotating rye, radishes, turnips, oats and barley – to his land just east of the Colorado border. The plants held the soil in place, trapped nutrients in the ground and made the ground nicely spongy.

GARDEN CITY — Nearly all American cattle spend their final months in massive feedlots, munching on feed designed to fatten them for slaughter.

But not all that goes into the beasts transforms to beef.

Their four-chamber-stomach digestive systems continually seep all forms of gasses, including the powerful greenhouse gas methane they burp up silently and constantly.

GARDEN CITY — Fartun Gelle is a Somalian refugee who lives near the Neighborhood Learning Center in Garden City, where she’s gone for help since she arrived in western Kansas five years ago.

The center is located in a brick apartment building in the northwest part of town, and refugees from Myanmar, Somalia and Ethiopia live within walking distance. Gelle doesn’t drive, and relies on the center’s community health workers to help translate at her sons’ medical appointments.

“I don’t have someone to help me,” Gelle said through Somali interpreter Ifrah Farah.

Every summer since 1922, locals and tourists have flocked to Garden City’s Big Pool. Once promoted as “the world’s largest outdoor free concrete municipal swimming pool,” it holds around 2 million gallons of water. “Holds” might now be an overstatement.

Passenger trains will keep rolling through rural communities in Kansas, for now. But Amtrak still hasn’t committed to operating the long-distance routes that connect small towns to larger cities long-term.

Earlier this year, Congress agreed to an additional $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief, which travels from Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in several small Kansas cities, running through September.

GARDEN CITY — In the 1940s and ’50s, people of color couldn’t use the public swimming pool here. If they went to the movie theater in Garden City, Hispanic patrons could only sit in the balcony.

A few generations later, Garden City School Board member Tim Cruz served on the city commission and as mayor. He played a role in dealing with leaks in the city’s swimming pool, known as The Big Pool.