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Catherine Wheeler / KBIA

Off the Clock - Women Raising Alpacas, Creating Fabric

Four women own and operate Heartfelt Alpaca Creations in Columbia, Missouri. Three of the women, Mary Licklider, Linda Coats, and Diane Peckham, all brought their alpacas into the business, while Carol Brown is a fiber artists who makes felt sheets. The women started the business about six years ago. Why alpaca? Licklider said the best alpaca fiber is as soft as cashmere. Additionally, it's a stronger fiber, but a similar weight.

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Pinkies Up! A Local Tea Movement Is Brewing

1 hour ago

On Saturday mornings, the most popular item Minto Island Growers sells at its farmers market booth is not the certified organic carrots, kale or blueberries. It's tea.

The farm grows Camellia sinensis, tea plants, on a half-acre plot in Salem, Ore. The tender leaves are hand picked and hand processed to make 100 pounds of organic, small batch tea.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that would relieve coal-dependent states such as Missouri from having to comply with strict carbon emissions limits. The plan to eliminate the Clean Power Plan was announced earlier this week by Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt. 

About 77 percent of electricity generated in Missouri comes from coal. Under the Clean Power Plan, Missouri would have to cut its carbon pollution by nearly a third by 2030, based on 2012 levels. Coal-fired power plants would be required to curb their greenhouse gas emissions and over the long term, and utility companies that operate them would have to transition away from coal to wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. Missouri is one of 28 states challenging the rule in court.

But local environmentalists say there are consequences to removing the Clean Power Plan.

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Daniel Boone Regional Library is offering a few sessions of free tax preparation services each week. The program is organized by a group of volunteers from AARP. The library site is one of more than 5,000 service locations nationwide, according to AARP’s website.

AAPR Site Coordinator Michael Cox said they help people file tax returns electronically.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

A new non-profit group will enlist volunteer lawyers from private law firms to take on some of the Missouri State Public Defender System’s heavy caseload.


GEORGE KENNEDY: Dark Money Flows in Jefferson City

Mar 22, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

I didn’t vote for Eric Greitens, but once he was elected our governor, I thought and wrote that there was considerable ground for hope. 

Now I’m afraid there’s even more cause for worry. And I’m not talking about his assaults on the university, on our public schools and on a woman’s right to choose.

Gov. Greitens brought to the job an impressive resume (doctorate from Oxford, distinguished military career, foundation to help veterans), a picture-perfect family (wife a scholar, kids adorable) and political potential (Internet domain “EricGreitensforPresident.com” reserved by him eight years ago).

His inaugural speech was eloquent and broadly appealing. His first appointments included our first female head of the Highway Patrol and another woman from out of state to clean up the Department of Corrections. His budget withholdings seemed necessary if painful.

But it appears that Gov. Greitens has somehow overlooked — or worse yet, chosen to ignore — the obligation of every elected official to be accountable to the people who are governed...

Read the complete Column at the Missourian.


President Trump’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of four independent cultural agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Everyone has been talking about what that means for NPR and PBS, but what about the stations you rely on in rural areas? Also, why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson eschews a press pool, remembering legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin and the end of the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Blink while driving on Highway 34 east of Greeley, Colorado, and you might miss the former Great Plains town of Dearfield.

Abandoned towns from the early 20th century are far from unique on this stretch of plains. Withered storefronts and collapsed false-front homes are common. Boom and bust economics and harsh weather made it tough for turn of the century settlers to succeed long-term.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week, on Discover Nature, take a walk outside, and you may hear one of the first serenades signifying spring on the horizon.


Today Paul Pepper and JACK SCHULTZ, Director of the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri, talk about the weather. We can all pretty much agree that it was a fairly mild winter, but why? Basically, a weakened jet stream - thanks to warming temperatures at the North Pole - has changed the dynamics between the top of the globe and everything around it. Jack says that farmers agree, adding, "they don't care about the politics, but they do care about when they plant and when they don't." March 22, 2017

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

Private attorneys in the St. Louis area have committed to take over some cases from the state's overburdened public defender system on a volunteer basis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a new nonprofit group, called the Missouri Coalition for the Right to Counsel, is behind the plan. It calls for younger private sector attorneys to handle certain jury cases for indigent defendants in the circuit courts of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Besides reducing public defender caseloads, the young attorneys can gain trial experience.

The Columbia Board of Education and Columbia Public School administrators are looking to close the achievement gap.

A 2016 performance report identifies a seven percent decrease in performance from 2015 for subgroups such as CPS students of color, low income students and special education students who have a significantly lower performance than their white counterparts.

Closing the achievement gap has been on the agenda for CPS for several years, but they have been struggling with how to effectively handle the situation and are now planning to take action.

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