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An 'Echo' of Picher, Oklahoma

Picher, Oklahoma rode the wave of lead and zinc mining in the region that began in the late 19th Century. By 1980 it was an EPA Superfund site and by the 2010 Census, fewer than 20 persons were counted as residents. We look at how Picher is remembered through former residents and through the lens of a local artist.


  • Sabrina Staires is the photographic artist behind the ECHO project.
  • Ray Moore is a former resident of Picher who now resides in Shawnee, Ks.
  • Ed Kehely is a former Picher resident who returned to spend his retirement years just a few miles from his hometown. 

Sabrina Staires' "ECHO" exhibition is showing through Saturday, May 28, at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. in Kansas City, Mo.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.