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Final Budget Approved After Council Votes to Increase Water Rates

The city completed its budget process Monday night, and Columbia residents can expect to see a slight increase on their utility bills next year.

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An estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, enough to fill Chicago's Willis Tower 44 times. Globally, 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted annually.

These are tough times for Washington's roughly 400 think tanks — the policy factories where scholars get paid to study issues and give politicians advice. Powerful external forces are reshaping the industry.

One current example is the left-leaning New America Foundation, founded in 1999. It works on public policies for the digital age. Last month it landed in the think tank industry's latest money controversy.

Read and Listen to More Stories from NPR and KBIA
Sam McMillen, left, stands next to Elizabeth Modde, right, in the foyer of the University of Missouri Medical School
Jonah McKeown / KBIA

Sam McMillen and Elizabeth Modde are both medical students at the University of Missouri. They both work or have worked with MedZou – a free community health clinic run by medical staff and students.

Sam is currently the Director of Patient Advocacy and Referrals, and he sat down with Elizabeth in May to discuss some of the healthcare struggles their homeless patients face, and how their relationships with patients has changed them.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back local singer/songwriter LARRY BROWN! Larry performs William Spencer's "Harvest Time," [2:26] a hymn he says appealed to people affected by hard economic times at the turn of the century, but has since waned in popularity. Find out why he thinks interest faded over the years. September 18, 2017

Popularity Brings End to Traditional Lupus Chili Festival

Sep 18, 2017
Peppers and vegetables
File Photo / KBIA

After 36 years, the tiny central Missouri village of Lupus is calling off its annual chili festival because it's become too popular.

In recent years, the Lupus Chili Fest has drawn thousands to the Moniteau County town of about 30 people.

The Columbia Missourian reports festival organizers announced last week that this year's event was canceled because the village couldn't handle the anticipated crowds.

Resident Jim Denny says more than 2,000 people attended last year. The festival organizers say the town doesn't have the infrastructure to ensure safety and comfort for that big of a crowd.

The festival started in 1982 as a small word-of-mouth party, but crowds have grown steadily since people began promoting it on social media.

Fulton Medical Center Sold And Will Stay Open

Sep 18, 2017
Adams Building in Fulton

Fulton Medical Center officials say the hospital has been sold and the new owners intend to keep it open.

Hospital officials said Friday the hospital was sold to EmpowerHMS, a health care management company based in Kansas City.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports the terms of the sale state that EmpowerHMS will keep the hospital open and its 37 beds available for patient care, with most employees being retained.

The previous owners of the hospital had announced in July they planned to close it on Friday, Sept. 22. It is the only hospital in Callaway County.

Ownership cited financial strains from low patient numbers and a deteriorating facility as the reason. MU Health Care sold its 35 percent stake in the hospital July 18 citing low patient volume.

Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton and other officials met with the new owners Friday. Benton said he was relieved and elated with the news.

The sale price was not released.

The Latest: Several Arrested After St. Louis Vandalism

Sep 18, 2017
Jason Rojas / Flickr

The Latest on protests over the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the killing of a black suspect (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

St. Louis police have at least seven people in custody as crowds angry over the acquittal of a police officer broke windows and damaged property for a third night.

Buses carrying police in full riot gear and shields arrived near the downtown location where police said significant property damage was reported following an hours-long nonviolent protest Sunday afternoon and evening. After protest organizers asked people to disband, some remained behind, as they had the previous two nights.

State Rep. Bruce Franks, who has participated in the protests, said those who are violent and vandalizing "are not protesters," saying they are part of a group separate from those marching as part of organized demonstrations.

Franks said he was trying to calm the situation.

Police tweeted that a bike officer was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening leg injury.

Ken Burton

Each year, with the release of traffic stop data by the Missouri Attorney General's Office, the problem of racial profiling comes into sharper focus — and validates the suspicions of people who say they've been pulled over because of the color of their skin. Community groups like the NAACP and the newer Race Matters, Friends, have asked Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton to, first, acknowledge the problem and then take steps to solve it.

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 

  • Closing of Fulton Medical Center will leave people further from medical care
  • Greitens' administration clashes with house budgeters
  • Farm Bill to be looked at by Congress
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes a stop in Kansas City

Local Art Therapist Uses Art to Heal

Sep 15, 2017
Catherine Wheeler

As Dareth Goettemoeller cleaned up her art space at Orr Street Studios, she hugged a doll.

It was a giant, Raggedy-Anne-like doll, with a message over the heart that read, “Hug me.”

She said she made them for patients that just needed a hug.

David Estrada / KBIA

A $21.6 million gift from the Novak family to the University of Missouri School of Journalism will establish what the university calls the world’s first center for communication and marketing-based leadership education.

The Novak Leadership Institute will provide students with hands-on experience in leadership and development, organizational communication, entrepreneurship and service. 

David Novak, the retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, says he gave to the university because there is a need to train students to become effective leaders.