Kathryn Eutsler

News Producer, Announcer

At the age of five, Kathryn played her violin on a public radio station, and has had a passion for public radio ever since. Now, she is a junior Broadcast Journalism major at Missouri State University. She started with KSMU in the spring of 2015 as a news intern, and now works as an announcer and contributor to KSMU's Sense of Community Series. In 2016, Kathryn received an Edward R. Murrow Award and a Missouri State Teacher's Association Award for her work with KSMU. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys playing the violin, backpacking, kayaking, and hanging out with her family. 

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

"As a student group, we call ourselves ‘Students for the Passing of the Narcotics Control Act.’ Which is a really long name” (laughs).

That’s Emily Bone. She’s originally from Illinois, and is a junior majoring in social work at Evangel University.

She tells me the story of that long-named student organization while we sit outside, on her campus on a beautiful March day.

Her story starts  last fall, when Bone’ class began studying opioid abuse in Missouri.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

To Heidi, Ethan, Dakota, and Megan Shotts, plus their four other siblings, this is just another ordinary Thursday night dinner. The kids are laughing and playing around a long folding table. Heidi, who turns six today, chows down on some pizza and shakes her strawberry blonde hair.

“Pizza. I like pizza,” Heidi says.

The kids are in an old school gym, surrounded by rows of folding tables and people. This doesn’t seem to be a particularly special dinner.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

This group of teenagers huddled in this business parking lot during school hours isn’t playing hooky. They’re preparing to go to class inside SRC Electrical in Springfield.

Once inside, they’re greeted by Erin Malone, a human resources manager with rectangle glasses and a big smile.

MALONE: “Are we ready? Right this way…”

The students, dressed neatly in their brightly colored collared shirts and dresses, shuffle down a hallway…

“Take a left…”

…into a bright room lined with huge windows and a large projection screen.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

  “Remember when we first brought her, how hard that was," says Leslie, my mom.

My mom, my brother, and I stand in an empty lot on Moffet Street in Joplin. It probably doesn’t seem like a particularly sentimental scene: a man in a ball cap is mowing the grass, the sun is shining; We’re just three people standing there in our shorts, shading our eyes from the sun. 

“We left her here and she kept saying, ‘when are you going to come back," mom remembers.

Six years ago, we moved our 85-year-old Aunt Geneva from our home in Joplin to a nursing home called Greenbrier.   

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

From the street, it doesn’t look like much. On one side, a privacy fence contains overgrown weeds that resemble mounds of green and yellow spaghetti. On the other side, rows of white and grey houses. Cars whoosh by.

"There’s an old railroad bed that runs through there.”

That’s Terry Waley, executive director of Ozark Greenways. He says the organization first acquired this land years ago, and figured:

“Someday we’ll turn it into a trail.”