About Chuck

Chuck Kurtz is a lifelong resident of Olathe, Johnson County, Kan., where he has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He began his career with The Olathe Daily News while a junior at Olathe High School. He was with the newspaper 33 years working his way up from sports stringer, to photographer, to sports editor, to feature editor, managing editor, and editor before taking advantage of an early-buyout from Knight Ridder and the Kansas City Star in July 2001.

Since then, he worked for a year as a consultant with Olathe District Schools, ran for Johnson County Commissioner, was editor of The Gardner News and Spring Hill New Era for five years, briefly worked as Executive Director of the Creede/Mineral County Chamber of Commerce in Creede, Colo., and most recently was news editor and web editor for the Johnson County Sun for 3-1/2 years before its parent company, News Press Gazette in St. Joseph, Mo., abruptly closed the newspaper on Aug. 17, 2011.

During his career, Chuck has earned 22 first-place journalism awards, 14 from the Kansas Press Association, and eight from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is a past member of the Olathe Optimist Club, the Olathe Noon Rotary Club, the Olathe Lions Club, the Gardner Lions Club, and the Johnson County Old Settlers Association. He is a Vietnam veteran, a member of the Olathe American Legion Post 153 and its American Legion (motorcycle) Riders, a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the Patriot Guard.

Chuck is married with four children and five grandchildren.

21 Responses

  1. Chuck:
    It’s nice to be able to find out what you are doing. I am cooking breakfast now, and can’t read all of this right now. Bill Brown is curious about what you are doing also. Nice to see your name come up again.
    Robert Fenn

  2. Chuck,
    You have an impressive history and your experience is evident in the quality of this site. Good job!
    Lesle

  3. I liked your picture with the stringer of fish.

    • Congratulations Chuck on a long,successful career. Thanks for taking an interest in not only stories but the people behind the stories.You are an inspiration to anyone who has a dream of doing something with their life while they are still in high school and actually following through with it.And thanks for being my friend for all these many years. The older I get the more I realize that good friends are hard to find..

  4. good job chuck! you have always been one of my most fond memories of my kansas city/olathe/overland park/lee summit experience. stay well.
    steven
    oklahoma city

  5. Chuck:
    Bill Brown’s motorcycle picnic is this comming weekend, May 5, 2012.
    The word is that they usually have a very nice ice sculpture for a centerpiece in the center of the chilled pop cans. There will be carved watermelons, cantalope, chocolate covered strawberries, grapes and orange slices.

    Artistic quality of the ice sculpture and deserts is kind of iffy, as the guy that does it is getting old and unreliable.

    Bill has some nice new additions to his restored motorcycle collection: a 1938 Excelsior, and many others. Many of the young men you knew are now grown and with children of their own.

  6. Hi chuck,
    Thanks for keeping us updated!!! Now that steve and I are in Denver, it is great to get the important stuff from home! You rock!! You ole hippie!!!

  7. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

    Demystifying the Affordable Care Act
    What you need to know to cast an informed ballot in November

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Grady Carl
                                                                       Email — gcarl@kumc.edu
                                                                       Phone — (785) 545-6262

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Just two months before Election Day, mystery still surrounds the Affordable Care Act passed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

    To demystify the Affordable Care Act, Barbara Schneider, a volunteer for the Affordable Care Act Education Group, will lay out the facts, the challenges and details of the historic legislation at 6 p.m. Thursday in the large meeting room of the Antioch Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Merriam, Kan.

     As a way to better inform voters, Schneider will explain how the Affordable Care Act provides:

    – Preventive services to women, children and seniors.
    – Changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
    – Families, individuals and small businesses with affordable health insurance. 
    – New consumer protections for those covered by health insurance.
    – Cost-cutting strategies, regulatory controls on rising insurance costs and quality controls.
    – An end to pre-existing conditions, life-time limits and coverage loss due to medical condition.

    Schneider, an Independence, Mo., resident and former human resources consultant, has spent more than 40 years working with organizations and insurance companies helping to design employee benefits and insurance programs.

    “Our program is designed to give a quick, comprehensive overview of the Affordable Care Act and the benefits available to consumers,” Schneider said. “There is a lot of confusion (read, myths) out there and I want to clear them up.”

    If you plan to attend, email a response to Grady Carl: gcarl@kumc.edu; or call (785) 545-6262. More information? Click on http://www.healthcare.gov

  8. Dear Chuck –

    All reports out of Topeka say everything is grand as the state moves forward on its “historic state reorganization” of Medicaid under the banner of “KanCare.”

    But $1 billion in taxpayer savings is taking a toll on Medicaid recipients, who are paying the price for the political expediency and conservative dogma that says saving dollars is a higher priority than saving lives. Here is my first-blush impression of KanCare and how it is affecting me and my fellow Kansans who must rely on the state to survive.

    FRUSTRATIONS

    Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013

    The Hon. Gov. Sam Brownback
    The Hon. Sen. Terrie Huntington
    The Hon. Rep. Kay Wolf

    Dear elected officials:

    I read with great interest in The Kansas City Star about the new cost-saving measures Gov. Brownback initiated today in a move to implement managed care — all under the banner of  “KanCare.”

    High fives all around for $1 billion in taxpayer savings, the media reports. Meanwhile, I, and I suspect other Kansas Medicare/Medicaid recipients in my situation, have fallen through the cracks.

    As of midnight Dec. 31, I was dropped from my healthcare service and have no one to provide my basic care needs — bathing, dressing, toileting and eating. 

    As a person with muscular dystrophy, type-1 diabetes and  is dependent on a ventilator to breathe — 24-hour nursing, as provided under the Affordable Care Act, is critical.

    I have not received notice of being assigned to one of three managed-care firms as outlined under new KanCare policies.  I have not been assigned a case manager, or if I have, no one has contacted me or no written notice has been sent — because, I am told, privacy policies disallow it.

    My former Community Works case manager, Lauren Dreher of Overland Park, prematurely dropped my case in order to take a job with a managed-care firm. But not before telling my new care team, Locamp Health Agency of Kansas City, Mo., to drop me for “refusal” to pay.

    My family’s savings have been wiped out. That is why we are with KanCare. And yet we continue to be hit with more than $2,000 in monthly “personal obligation” bills from the state that even former SRS case workers in Lenexa say are excessive and duplicative.

    Pleas to nearly a dozen healthcare providers on both the Kansas and Missouri side have all ended this way: “I’m so sorry about your situation, but …” And without a new KanCare managed-care team assigned to me,  agencies don’t know where their check is coming from and are unwilling to provide care.

    I do have an agency willing to provide care-giver services and skilled nursing, but the firm, At Home Care of Overland Park, is awaiting certification to accept Medicare/Medicaid patients like me. That, I’m told, could take months.

    This began when I was dropped by my original healthcare provider after “unpaid personal obligation” Medicaid bills mounted when the state refused to reimburse BrightStar Home Healthcare of Overland Park  It is our understanding — and that of former SRS caseworkers — that we already had met our “personal obligation” threshold for that time period and no longer owed the money demanded of us.

    My wife, Anne, is struggling to provide my necessary care, all while being Mom to our two children — Christian, age 12, and Alora, age eight — and holding  down a full-time job at Johnson County Community College that  provides the critical health insurance necessary to keep me alive.

    We have even pulled our children from school on occasion to care for Dad and have leaned too often on friends to get us through another day. My wife’s nerves are shot. She is distraught and to her it appears there is no light at the end of our tunnel. I try to remain optimistic.
     
    But, I feel we have fallen through the Kansas healthcare cracks with no one who will listen. My family and I would appreciate any help you could provide.

    Sincerely,

    Finn Michel Bullers
    3515 W. 78th St.
    Prairie Village,  Kan.  66208

    Home: 913.649.6693
    Mobile: 913.706.2894
    Email: finnannb@aol.com

     

  9. Aloha Chuck, Howzit?

  10. Aloha Chuck, Howzit? Al Zarlengo here. Remember me? Drop a line if you have time.
    corvette649hawaii@yahoo.com

    • How are you Al….How are things in Hawaii???? How long have you lived there…George Byram has been living there for years…you ever run into him?

      • Aloha Chuck, WOW! It took me 1 year to reply and I apologize for this oversight. Anyway…I never ran into George Byram and I lived in the Islands for 20 years,,,not such a small island after-all. As of today’s date – Feb 1, 2014 – I am living in Southeast Asia. Have been here for 11 years now…unbelievable yah…I am married to a really beautiful girl, what a blessing she is, however, because I was hit by a truck while walking across a street in Honolulu (almost died in July, 2000) and, as of now, I am only receiving a small stipend from my SSA Retirement Benefit, I cannot afford to live in the USA…THAT SUCKS! I have been fighting for 8 years the Red Tape to get back my Disability Benefits from the SSA. Oh well…c’est la vie…no regrets…
        GO BRONCOS!!!
        Sorry for my ramblings on your site. Maybe sometime later I can relate the rest of my story if you are interested. As a parting note, I changed my first name (many years ago) to Ariel…1 reason is because my mother was Jewish, but there are more reasons. You can call me Al if you prefer. Laters Chuck.

      • What’s your email address??

  11. Chuck, I recently discovered your site and enjoy it a lot. It’s nice to still see people with journalistic style in this day of hacks. I appreciated your piece about Mark Haskin. He was more of a contemporary of my brother Greg, but he never gave me the “Eddie Haskell business.’
    Only because of my curiosity I have to ask, did you write the obituary for Mark for the funeral home? I only suspect it because it stated, “was graduated,” which is not a currently used style, but one that I know from my own days in J-school. Appreciate your work.

    • Hi Chris….
      Thanks for the comments…and no, I didn’t write the obituary for Mark…that was put together by his brother Mike and Mark’s kids Zach and Lauren…also, check out the video about the new cafe…see if it looks familiar…that’s your old house on Cedar…
      chuck

      • I pinged on the “was graduated” which isn’t current today, but is most accurate. I still work in the newspaper business, but my first job was cleaning the press at the Olathe Daily News some 45 years ago. I’ll check out the video, thanks for your many contributions.

  12. Chuck,
    The 49 plane flyover was very impressive, sent a chill up my back. Also, that was a great obit on Santa, he was such a great man. Remember him ever since I went to the original Washington Elem. Sure miss Olathe. I’ve got this site on favorites now, thanks to Sis.
    You take care, God Bless.
    Ken Clisso

  13. Congratulations Chuck, I have followed your career Bob & Bonnie Blackwell, Norman, Ok. former Olatheans

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 370 other followers

%d bloggers like this: