Kurt began his radio career at 16 as weekend disc jockey at KOLS-AM/KKMA-FM (now KMYZ) in Pryor, Okla. He gradually began doing news work at his home town radio station. Kurt studied journalism at Oklahoma State University, serving two terms as managing editor of "The Daily O'Collegian." He returned to his radio roots while at Oklahoma State, working first as a part-time news producer, then as Morning Edition host at KOSU. Kurt left the station in 1990 returning to Pryor to be a part of a new business, ViaGrafix, that developed computer training videos. He eventually sold his business to attend seminary at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver and Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla. He served as minister of communications for St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City for five years before starting his own media business, Discuss Communications LLC.
In 2005, he once again returned to radio as the operations manager and Morning Edition anchor at KGOU, eventually transitioning to news director in 2009, where he also serves as editorial director for StateImpact Oklahoma.
Kurt is President of the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and member of the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) board. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, the Rev. Charla Gwartney, and daughter, Elizabeth.
It's the first day of school in Moore, Oklahoma. In May, a massive tornado ripped across town, killing 24 and obliterating homes, businesses and two schools. Schools there didn't have storm shelters, but districts across Oklahoma are beginning to make changes.
The folk music icon's relationship with his home state has always been complicated. To many in Oklahoma, Guthrie's progressive political views didn't fit with a strong conservative streak during the Cold War period. His reputation there is now closer to full restoration as Tulsa opens his archives.
It's been almost 18 years since a bomb destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City. Today, millions of dollars remain unspent in a fund established for blast survivors — and some victims are asking why they've been denied assistance they say they need.