St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax increase that would be used to give police officers a raise.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the special election's timing could make its passage a challenge, as St. Louis police are currently facing criticism and lawsuits over their handling of recent protests. The protests followed last month's acquittal of a former St. Louis officer who fatally shot a man.

Missouri School of Journalism

If you know Gary Smith and Mary Anne McCollum at all, you know their commitment to our university.

That’s why I paid attention last week when they made an impassioned plea to several hundred of us MU retirees to get involved with something called the Flagship Council. I’d heard the name, I suppose, but I didn’t really know much about it or why I should care as much as they seemed to care.

Now I know why.

Read the complete column online at the Missourian.

Patty McClendon, left, wears a blue scrubs top and wears glasses. Deborah Baker, right, has long blonde hair and wears an off-white blouse. They both smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Deborah Baker and Patty McClendon have worked together at the Pulaski County Health Department for years. Deborah is the Director of the Health Department, and Patty is the Public Health Program Director.

They spoke about how they have benefited from public health in the past, and how their duties at the health department go beyond simply giving shots.

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

Today Paul Pepper visits with MAR DOERING, DVM, All Paws Medical & Behavioral Center, about the many ways you can keep Fido and Fluffy safe and sound on Halloween! Mar says, "not all animals want to go trick-or-treating, and not all animals want to have guests come, even if they're not in costume; it can be pretty scary." October 23, 2017

Number of Reported Thefts From Vehicles Has Increased Since This Time Last Year, Police Say

9 hours ago
Meiying Wu / KBIA

The number of reported thefts from motor vehicles has increased since this time last year, according to a Columbia Police Department news release.

Between Jan. 1 and Friday, there have been 655 reports of theft from vehicles — that is 207 more reports than this time last year. The uptick in car break-ins was a topic of concern at a Building Stronger Beats community meeting earlier this month.

Due to the rise in thefts, patrols will increase throughout the city.

Pharmacists Say Prescription Drug Monitoring Program a Big Help

9 hours ago

It’s been about six months since Columbia City Council voted to join St. Louis County’s prescription drug monitoring program, and Columbia pharmacists say it has already become easier to combat some of the methods addicts use to obtain opioids.

Council voted March 6 to launch the program, and it began collecting data on April 25.

“(With the program), things are a million times better,” said Alex Smith, head pharmacist and part-owner of Flow’s Pharmacy on Keene Street.

Missouri City Ranks Poorly on Support for LGBTQ Community

9 hours ago

Missouri's capital city scored poorly in a recent ranking of cities evaluating which places offer the most support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Kansas City Star reports Jefferson City was one of just 10 cities in the report that received a score of zero on the Human Rights Campaign's report. That group advocates on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

The Columbia Public School District Board of Education voted to approve members of the Lee Elementary naming committee Thursday morning. The committee will be responsible for considering the school’s official name, Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Columbia Public Schools Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark said community diversity is strong within the committee.

VA Hospital Expands Intensive Care Unit

Oct 20, 2017

The Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital has expanded its intensive care unit to provide more beds and space for its patients. Ambassadors from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon in honor of the new expansion. The expansion is just one part of a 10 year, $9 million plan to renovate and expand the hospital.

“We’ve consistently increased the number of veterans were taking care of somewhere around 2 to 3 percent each year. The fiscal year that just ended we were taking care of 39,000 veterans,” Public Affairs Officer Stephen Gaither said.

MU to Implement Changes to Emergency Responses

Oct 20, 2017
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri plans to improve its response to emergencies on campus after Wednesday’s search for a woman with a gun. In an email Thursday evening, Vice Chancellor for Operation Gary Ward announced plans to help implement effective emergency procedures.

Missouri State Parks

There's a place in the Ozarks where wild horses still roam and where the most adventurous of hikers can wander the wilderness for days.

For those listeners looking for a fall adventure, I took a day trip with my daughter to Missouri’s newest developed state park, Echo Bluff State Park, and brought along a recorder so we could create an audio postcard.

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Today Paul Pepper visits with CATHERINE PARKE about the next 'Second Saturday for Kids'! Columbia's own Jabberwocky Studios will be the guest artist. They'll be demonstrating "interactive arts" that are associated with this month's theme of "dreams." But that's not all! Watch for details. At [3:48] KRISTIN BOWEN and CATEY TERRY invite everyone to come to the Mizzou Homecoming Parade tomorrow morning in downtown Columbia! Kristin says Moms Demand Action will have many of it's members walking the parade route spreading their message of gun violence prevention (and, of course, candy). October 20, 2017

Missouri Supreme Court Rules on Public Defender Caseloads

Oct 20, 2017
Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a southeastern Missouri public defender who says she's overloaded must ask permission from a judge before denying additional cases.

Supreme Court judges this week ruled against public defender Leslie Hazel, who had asked them to block a judge from forcing her to take on more clients. 

Columbia Earns Perfect Score on National LGBTQ Equality Index

Oct 20, 2017
William Murphy via Flickr

Columbia earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipality law, policy and services.

Columbia was one of 68 cities that earned perfect scores on the index, according to a news release. Kansas City and St. Louis are the other two Missouri cities that scored a perfect score of 100 points.

Columbia was highlighted particularly for its LGBTQ liaisons in the City Manager’s office and in the Columbia Police Department, transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees, diversity and inclusion training for city employees and a series of non-discrimination laws, according to the news release.

MU Announces Plans to Improve MU Alert and Emergency Responses

Oct 20, 2017
Adam Procter / Flickr

MU administrators will be taking steps to improve the university’s response to emergencies on campus, Vice Chancellor for Operations Gary Ward announced in an email Thursday evening. This comes after students expressed frustration during a search for a woman with a gun on campus Wednesday.

Immediate actions include expanding MU Alert, the emergency mass notification system, to allow parents to sign up for text message and email alerts. The university will also promote the MU Alert website, specifically the ”Surviving an Active Shooter” video on how to respond to active threats and the page on whom to contact in an emergency.

Crystal Davis/World Resources Institute / Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


The Columbia School Board voted to approve members of the Lee Elementary naming committee Thursday morning. The committee will be responsible for considering the school’s official name, Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Columbia Public Schools Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark said community diversity is strong within the committee.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri officials are proposing an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis for a new Amazon location instead of a single headquarters in one of the metropolitan areas.

Missouri is submitting the application on Thursday. Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann says an innovation corridor could also include Columbia, the home of the University of Missouri. Erdmann says the cities could be connected if a high-speed Hyperloop track is built in the state.


Missouri's only nuclear power plant is undergoing a nearly $130 million repair project that includes the first overhaul of its main generator since the plant began operating in 1984.

The Callaway Energy Center shut down earlier this month for a regularly scheduled refueling and is expected to be offline for 60 days while repairs are made.

Today Paul Pepper visits with GARY WUNDER about the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri's annual trivia night. This "major fundraiser" is happening October 28 in Columbia. Come for the questions; stay for "the best chili in town"! At [4:54] SUE THOMPSON invites everyone 21+ to come to the 3rd annual MO Mug Craft Beer Festival fundraising event October 21. Get a taste of many local beers and brewing demonstrations for just $15! Proceeds benefit the South Howard County Historical Society. October 19, 2017

Hartzler Outlines Plans for New Farm Bill Before Congressional Discussion

Oct 19, 2017
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture is gearing up for the next federal farm bill, and this time they hope to pass it on time.

  U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, presented updates on the bill at the 2018 Farm Bill Summit at MU Wednesday afternoon before discussion begins in the Capitol. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., also provided a video statement.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri has created a committee tasked with finding someone to fill the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights, Title IX and ADA.

The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights, Title IX and ADA will be responsible for things like ensuring compliance with all Title IX laws and providing training for the MU community.

MU Nursing Dean To Retire In December

Oct 18, 2017
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The currently longest tenured dean at MU is retiring, effective Dec. 31.

Judith Miller, who has been the dean of the Sinclair School of Nursing since she arrived at MU in 2008, is leaving behind a legacy that she said she dedicates to her staff.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri says campus is all clear after what they called an “active threat” Wednesday morning.

At around 11:30, the university’s alert system reported an ‘active threat’ near Hitt and Locust Streets. Updates describe a woman walking with a handgun headed east on Locust Street. The updates suggest the woman may have been suicidal.