Today Paul Pepper welcomes back ANGELA SPECK, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Missouri. Angela talks about just how fast the moon's shadow will move across the United States on August 21st, and what MoDOT is doing to make sure drivers (who find themselves in the path of totality) stay safe! July 21, 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's order that Missouri taxpayers pay more than $156,000 to cover Planned Parenthood's legal bills tied to a legal dispute over a clinic's abortion license.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey's August 2016 decision that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services must pay the attorneys' fees and expenses incurred by what now is Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

Laughrey also blocked the state from revoking the Columbia clinic's abortion license.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are suing more than a dozen businesses in southwest Missouri suspected of being involved in human trafficking and prostitution under the guise of offering massages.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Thursday that his office and Greene County Prosecutor Daniel Patterson filed a lawsuit naming 16 businesses or individuals in Springfield.

Hawley says 18 businesses were raided in Springfield by law enforcement agencies and similar raids were being conducted in Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he'll stop funding cuts for foster-care families that he approved earlier this year.

Greitens in a Thursday Facebook post said cutting aid to families who care for foster children was not his intention.

Greitens last month signed a budget that included an across-the-board 1.5 percent cut in reimbursements for doctors and other providers who care for people on Medicaid. That meant cuts to foster-care families.

AP Photo

If you think the investigation into possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign has been a blow to the U.S. political system, consider Brazil. 

There, President Michel Temer and every single living ex-president have been caught up in a massive anti-corruption investigation. Others who are being investigated or have already been charged include one-third of Temer's cabinet , the president of the senate, the speaker of the lower house and dozens of other members of congress. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the corruption investigations that have upended Brazilian politics. What does it mean for democracy in Latin America’s largest country?

Jonathunder / Wikimedia commons

A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's order that Missouri taxpayers pay more than $156,000 to cover Planned Parenthood's legal bills tied to a legal dispute over a clinic's abortion license.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey's August 2016 decision that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services must pay the attorneys' fees and expenses incurred by what now is Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Four former Republican U.S. senators from Missouri are urging Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate.

Former Sens. John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent asked Hawley to enter the race in a public letter dated Thursday.

Today Paul Pepper visits with MEGAN McCONACHIE, Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, about the many activities planned for the weekend before the total solar eclipse that's happening on August 21st! Don't miss out on a bike ride, a 5K and, of course, a "Totality Music Festival." Watch for details! At [4:00] JEFF MORAN, a.k.a. "Dr. Chordate," performs his original song, "E-Clipse-O," that he dedicates to the solar eclipse experience. July 20, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri appellate court says a judge's blocking an ethics panel from requiring a conservative activist to register to lobby the Legislature was premature.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a Missouri Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday allows the Missouri Ethics Commission to again begin a hearing over whether Ron Calzone can appear before the House and Senate without formally registering.

Calzone heads the Missouri First group that promotes limited government.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal agency is conducting three Title IX investigations at Washington University in St. Louis — two related to allegations of sexual assault and the third a complaint about sexual harassment.

Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Jill Friedman said Wednesday that the investigations are being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. All three cases were considered and resolved through the university's Title IX process, but claimants filed for additional review.

Boone County to Receive Federal Flood Disaster Funds

Jul 20, 2017

COLUMBIA — Boone County will receive more than $600,000 in federal reimbursement for public infrastructure repairs resulting from flooding in the spring.

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Missouri due to flooding that lasted from April 28 to May 11, according to previous Missourian reporting. Boone County wasn’t included at that time, but a preliminary assessment showed $750,000 in damage to public infrastructure, according to a news release from Boone County Emergency Management.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri Republicans are coalescing around Attorney General Josh Hawley as their favored candidate to challenge veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018, which would set up a marquee contest between a wily incumbent and an up-and-coming political newcomer in a state that's trending conservative.

McCaskill is among 10 Senate Democrats running in states won by President Donald Trump, making the Missouri race an opportunity to flip a Senate seat to Republicans. The GOP now has a narrow majority of 52 Senate seats.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit has donated $250,000 to a political action committee created to help stave off efforts by labor unions to repeal Missouri's right-to-work law.

The Kansas City Star reports that the source of the money given Monday to Missourians for Worker Freedom is unknown. That's because nonprofits, such as Greitens' A New Missouri Inc., aren't required to disclose donors.

Paul Pepper: Author John Howe, "The Foolish Corner"

Jul 19, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with author JOHN HOWE. The basis of his book, "The Foolish Corner," is something called "behavioral economics," and John uses that foundation to help guide you in making wise financial decisions. In this interview, John touches on "confirmation bias" and "hedonic adaptation." July 19, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has dropped slightly.

The state's Economic Development Department announced Tuesday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went down from 3.9 percent in May to 3.8 percent in June.

Unemployment had been holding steady at 3.9 percent from March through May.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri state lawmaker from suburban St. Louis says he'll appeal the more than $114,000 in fines he has been assessed for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, blaming the supposed misconduct on the theft of his debit card and campaign computer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri Ethics Commission concluded Democratic state Rep. Courtney Curtis of Berkeley kept at least 11 bank accounts for his re-election fund, potentially allowing him to use some donations for personal use.

Officials Worry Greitens' Drug Program May Not Mesh With Current Efforts

Jul 19, 2017

COLUMBIA — At the command of the governor, a statewide prescription drug monitoring program is in the works — but local officials say they are concerned about how it may mesh with an established local monitoring program.

Farm Your Yard: Planning the Fall Garden

Jul 18, 2017
Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

It’s the middle of summer and the garden is bumping. It’s hot and I am busy trying to keep everything watered and fighting off the inevitable disease and fungus problems that plague all tomatoes grown in our humid climate.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The University of Missouri System has closed its $10 million medical research institute as part of an effort to cut costs.

University spokesperson Christian Basi tells the Columbia Missourian that the decision to close the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine will affect 17 full-time and part-time employees through layoffs and contract non-renewals.

Missouri Department of Conservation

As we head into the middle of summer, keep an eye out in the woods for ripening blackberries.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back poet, author and Missouri's first poet laureate, WALTER BARGEN! Walter reads his poem, "Queen Anne's Lace," which he dedicates to the white lanky wild flower of the same name (it's actually a member of the carrot family!). Meet Walter in person next month in Ashland - watch for details! July 18, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A dispute over a common weed killer is turning neighbor against neighbor across much of farm country.

The furor surrounding the herbicide dicamba has quickly become the biggest controversy of its kind in U.S. agriculture. And it is even suspected as a factor in the death of a farmer who was allegedly shot by a worker from a nearby farm where the chemical had been sprayed.

Crops near many treated soybean fields have turned up with leaves that were cupped and crinkled.

$10 Million Medical Research Institute Closed by MU

Jul 18, 2017

COLUMBIA — The MU International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine was closed June 30 as part of the UM System's cost-cutting measures.

The institute, at 1514 Research Park Drive off Providence Road, has been on campus since 2009. The decision to close the institute was made last month, MU spokesman Christian Basi wrote in an email.

MU broke ground on the $10 million institute in 2008. The future of the building is still to be determined, but it is likely to be used as a research facility, Basi wrote.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — City leaders in Missouri's capital are hoping that new legislation will help rejuvenate the state's former prison and the largely dilapidated area around it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gov. Eric Greitens signed a measure last week turning over 32 acres of state-owned land to Jefferson City. The city plans to build roads, hotels and new housing in the shadow of the old Missouri State Penitentiary, which closed in 2004.