The Kansas News Service
We’re the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of public media newsrooms delivering critical reporting of sound and substance. Our work is broadcast every day to virtually all of Kansas, and shared online and in newspapers in every corner of the state.
The Kansas News Service deploys journalists across the state to cover stories that truly matter in people’s lives. We work to make sense of the issues and events affecting the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities, and the state overall — with an emphasis on education, health and the gears of government.
The news service team is anchored in Topeka, but reporters also work from Wichita and Garden City. They travel wherever a story takes them.
The Kansas News Service gathers and produces stories in the same way, and to the same standards, as the biggest news organizations around. But as a nonprofit, we’re free from commercial pressures — demands for web clicks, for instance — that can pull other journalists away from important stories.
The Kansas News Service is directed by KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City, in partnership with KMUW in Wichita, Kansas Public Radio in Lawrence and High Plains ublic Radio in Garden City. Other public and commercial stations carry our work. There’s virtually no spot in Kansas that can’t pull in a signal from a station with the rich content of the news service.
Our reporting is made possible by a group of funding organizations. They include the Kansas Health Foundation, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Forward Foundation. Additional support comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen – Reporter
Celia is based in the Kansas News Service’s Topeka newsroom and covers health issues from a consumer perspective, as well as state education policy. She previously worked at the Taipei Times and Topeka Capital-Journal, and brings in-depth experience covering schools. Her coverage of rural schools was a finalist for a National Award for Education Reporting.
Before landing in Kansas, Celia spent a decade studying and working in Sweden, Germany, Taiwan and China. She has a master’s in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s in bilingualism studies from Stockholm University. She may be a little obsessed with knitting, but can you blame her? It pairs so well with listening to podcasts.
Stephen Koranda – Statehouse Reporter
Stephen Koranda reports on the Kansas Legislature, state government and everything else for Kansas Public Radio. He previously worked in Mississippi and Iowa, where he covered stories ranging from hurricanes to state executions.
Jim McLean – Reporter and Editor
Jim McLean is the senior political correspondent of the Kansas News Service.
Jim was previously news director and Statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio and a managing editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He has received awards for journalistic excellence from the Kansas Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Kansas Association of Broadcasters.
Nomin Ujiyediin – Reporter
Nomin is a Kansas News Service reporting fellow at KCUR in Kansas City.
Prior to joining the news service, Nomin produced All Things Considered at WNYC in New York City and was a host, producer and reporter at KGOU in Norman, Oklahoma. She has an master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on urban reporting, radio and photography. She also has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Nomin was a Knight CUNYJ fellow in 2015, and an AIR New Voice fellow in 2017.
In her spare time, Nomin lifts weights, plays video games and tries to contain her bad New Jersey attitude.
Brian Grimmett – Reporter
Brian Grimmett is an energy and environment reporter for KMUW and the Kansas News Service.
Previously, Brian spent five years working at KUER 90.1 FM in Salt Lake City. He worked his way up, starting as an intern and sticking around long enough until they relented and gave him a full-time job. At KUER, Brian covered a wide range of topics, but mainly focused on covering the Utah state legislature.
Brian has won a regional Edward R. Murrow award, as well as several Society of Professional Journalism awards for his reporting.
Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University.
When not reporting, he enjoys spending time with his family and building/flying remote control planes and drones.
Stephan Bisaha – Reporter
Stephan Bisaha is a former NPR Kroc Fellow. Along with producing Weekend Edition, Stephan has reported on national stories for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as other NPR programs. He provided data analysis for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs and reported on topics ranging from Emojis to mattresses.
Stephan has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and concentrated in data journalism. He currently covers education for KMUW and the Kansas News Service.
Corinne Boyer – Reporter
Corinne is based in Garden City at High Plains Public Radio and covers rural issues. Before joining the Kansas News Service, Corinne worked as a print reporter for two Oregon weekly newspapers.
She earned a master’s degree from the University of Oregon Journalism School and began her reporting career at KLCC—NPR for Oregonians. Her reporting on opioid addiction earned the Tom Parker Award for Media Excellence in Oregon. Corinne was one of 10 national recipients of the Journalism and Women Symposium Emerging Journalist Fellows in 2017. Corinne is a native South Carolinian and has also lived in New York City, South Korea and Oregon. In her free time, she runs road races and listens to investigative podcasts.
Amy Jeffries – Editor
Before the launch of the Kansas News Service in 2017, Amy led a team of reporters from public radio and non-profit media collaborating on coverage of the 2016 elections in Kansas. That explains why she so prizes her antique Landon-Knox campaign pin.
A Connecticut Yankee with Midwestern roots, she majored in philosophy, of course, at Wesleyan University and got her master’s in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
She has covered art in suburbia, striking public sector workers in South Africa, and the politicking and the aftermath of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. She started her career in journalism at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut, and has edited and reported for Patch.com, GlobalPost, and the Associated Press.
Before coming to Kansas, she headed the WRKF newsroom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where politics is a favored sport along with LSU athletics. She still cheers for the Tigers, though she has also become a fan of the Kansas City Royals.
Scott Canon – Managing Editor
Scott Canon is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service.
Scott spent most of his career as a newspaper reporter, working in Illinois and California before landing at The Kansas City Star. At the Star, he covered mostly regional and national stories. As an editor at the newspaper, he oversaw political coverage. He also fielded a handful of overseas assignments to both very hot and very cold places.
Grace Lotz – Digital Producer
Grace Lotz is the Digital Producer for the Kansas News Service based at KCUR. An Illinois native, she arrived in Kansas City in 2012 and has been at KCUR since 2017. Her eclectic background in music and marketing, paired with a lifelong passion for public radio, are the driving forces behind her laser focus on the digital and listening audience of KCUR and the Kansas News Service.