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The United Nations says that the world is facing the worst food crisis since World War II. Two of the hardest hit countries are in East Africa. In South Sudan, the UN has made its first formal famine declaration in six years.

Meanwhile drought and conflict in nearby Somalia are leading to comparisons with that country's 2011 famine, where 250,000 people died. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the challenges to heading off mass starvation in two of the world's poorest countries.


Rep. Hartzler Urged to Vote Against AHCA

4 hours ago

Thursday morning a group of about 10 Boone County residents gathered in front of Representative Vicky Hartzler’s Columbia office off Providence Road. They held signs asking cars to “honk for health care” with some drivers validating their request. Other signs included “24,000 people matter” and “Don’t take my health care.” That was one of many rallies organized by Missouri Health Care for All across Missouri giving residents a chance to urge their Congressional Representative to vote against American Health Care Act.

UM System President Mun Choi directly addressed faculty Wednesday for the first time since announcing budget cuts to the Columbia campus.

At a general meeting, faculty were given the opportunity to ask Choi questions and voice their concerns about the upcoming fiscal year.

Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies Rabia Gregory said when looking at fiscal year 2018 she is discouraged with the lack of transparency from administration.

Loavesofbread / Wikimedia Commons

 

A Justice Department attorney says Ferguson, Missouri, is making "meaningful progress" in enacting policing and court reforms agreed upon after Michael Brown's 2014 police shooting death.

KWMU Radio reports Jude Volek told U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry during a hearing Tuesday in St. Louis that he's encouraged with the changes in the St. Louis suburb's courts.

Ferguson officials have missed deadlines in the consent decree reached last year with Justice Department.

US Embassy Montevideo/Flickr

President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, testified in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture committee today, but remains far from the head job at USDA.

The committee did not indicate when it would vote on whether to advance Perdue’s nomination.

Catherine Wheeler / KBIA

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.

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about Earth Hour 2017. Plan to join the rest of the world and go dark from 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 25! A small gesture can make a big impact on future generations to come. Watch for details! March 23, 2017

Porter Jr. Seeks Release from Washington, Talks of Interest in Missouri

14 hours ago
University of Missouri

Former Tolton Catholic High School basketball star — and the country's No. 1 player — Michael Porter Jr. said he has decided to ask out of his National Letter of Intent to play at Washington.

As a Huskies signee since November, he intended to ask out of his NLI from the school after former coach Lorenzo Romar was fired but will meet with new coach Mike Hopkins before formally requesting out.

He'll be a free agent to sign elsewhere when the late signing period opens April 12. 

  The University of Missouri System's new president says he wants to leverage private-public partnerships to bring revenue and investments to campus.

The Columbia Missourian reports President Mun Choi joined about 100 members and guests of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday as part of its "Lunch with a Leader" series. At the gathering, Choi emphasized the mutual economic benefit of such partnerships.

Yutao Chen / KBIA

The MU School of Music revealed the architectural design for a new building on Tuesday. Construction at Hitt Street and University Avenue is set to begin in January 2018. It will open in August 2019 according to the project timeline.

The school currently has six buildings spread throughout campus. One of the main reasons why the school needs a new building is the need to consolidate all daily operations. Julia Gaines, the director of the school, said it is critical for students to be around each other so that they can collaborate musically.

Yutao Chen / KBIA

The Columbia City Council approved the MKT Trail bridge replacement project in a public hearing Monday.

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department proposed the replacement of bridges No. 5 and No. 7 on the MKT Trail. If funding allows, the department will include replacement of bridge No. 8. The new bridges will not require as much maintenance and inspection compared to the existing ones that are 120-years-old.

Flickr

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.

City Council Approves United Airlines Deal

Mar 22, 2017
columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia City Council voted Monday to approve a one-year incentive package with United Airlines. The deal includes a $600,000 revenue guarantee for the airline’s first year in Columbia and confirms round-trip Denver flights beginning in August.

“Denver is one of the top five mega-hubs in the United States, that provides some of the best connectivity for international and domestic destinations,” said Columbia Community Relations Director Steven Sapp. “We know that Denver has been one of the most sought-after destinations from Columbia and Boone County [residents].”

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Unemployment in Missouri has dropped again.

Data released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development show the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent in February compared to 4.2 percent in January.

The unemployment rate has fallen slightly in Missouri each of the past six months.

The state also gained more than 6,700 jobs from January to February. Some of the largest gains were in the leisure and hospitality field and the accommodation and food services industry.

Mizzou Says Goodbye to Another Residential Hall

Mar 21, 2017

The University of Missouri is demolishing one of its longest standing residence halls.  The demolition of Laws Hall began on Monday and is anticipated to take five weeks to complete.

The demolition is a part of the final phase of the Residential Life Master Plan.  RLMP began in 2001 when the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved a four-phase plan after a projection of increased enrollment.  After phase IV began, Residential Life added an additional phase.

COLUMBIA -- Cuts to University of Missouri programs are on the way as the school faces budget cuts from the state, according to a presentation Tuesday from system president Mun Choi.

Choi highlighted a number of ways the UM system plans to handle budget cuts in a speech to Columbia Chamber of Commerce members on the University of Missouri – Columbia campus.

Chief among those was streamlining university programs. Choi says he and campus officials will gauge how important programs are to student graduation rates and the university’s profile.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A renewable energy company is again facing opposition as it seeks one of the final pieces of regulatory approval needed to carry wind power from the nation's heartland to the east.

Missouri utility regulators began hearing testimony Monday on a request from Clean Line Energy to build a high-voltage transmission line from western Kansas across Missouri and Illinois to an Indiana power grid that connects with eastern states.

Dr.Farouk / Flickr

This week on Intersection, we talk with KBIA health reporter Bram Sable-Smith about possible changes to healthcare in Missouri. One change could come this Thursday, when the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act. This bill is the GOP’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. We discuss what the changes proposed in the GOP replacement bill could mean for Missouri, especially for people in rural parts of our state. 

Listen to the full episode here: 


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