Branson Mourns for 17 Killed in Sinking of Packed Duck Boat

Jul 20, 2018

The country-and-western tourist town of Branson, Missouri, mourned Friday for more than a dozen sightseers who were killed when a duck boat capsized and sank in stormy weather in the deadliest such accident in almost two decades.

Divers found four more bodies in Table Rock Lake, bringing the death toll to 17, including the crew member who was driving the amphibious boat. In their initial assessment, authorities blamed thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength, and a full investigation was underway.

City Will Collect Trash Before Recycling Starting Friday

Jul 20, 2018

A staff shortage is forcing the Columbia Solid Waste Utility to focus on collecting curbside trash first and curbside recycling second beginning Friday.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. 

Missouri House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty is resigning effective Sunday.

The Kansas City Democrat gave her resignation letter Friday to Gov. Mike Parson. She's stepping down several months before her final term would have ended so that she can start a new job Monday as head of Jackson County's Assessment Department.

City Plans Stream Buffer, Wetlands Projects Along Hinkson Creek

Jul 20, 2018

Fish, frogs, birds and bugs will benefit from two stream buffer and wetlands projects the city plans to complete along two sections of Hinkson Creek.

The projects are planned for land along the creek near the city landfill and near the Hinkson's confluence with Perche Creek near Brushwood Lake. They would not only enhance wildlife habitat but also improve water quality, the Columbia City Council learned during a Monday evening work session.

"The Eagle has landed" was first uttered on this day back in 1969. Almost 50 years later, JOAN STACK and the team at the State Historical Society of Missouri are paying tribute to that monumental event with a display featuring an original drawing by former St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial cartoonist Tom Engelhardt! July 20, 2018

Branson Convention and Visitor's Bureau

At least 16 passengers and the driver of an amphibious boat on Table Rock Lake near Branson have died after the boat capsized and sank Thursday night.

The Highway Patrol says those that died ranged in age from 1 to 70 years old.

AP Photo

On this edition, part two of our look at press freedom and how journalists do their jobs in countries where just reporting the news can be a big challenge.

For this, we'll talk to a reporter working in Mexico - where cartel violence has made the U.S. neighbor the deadliest country in the world for journalists. We'll also talk to a reporter working in Macedonia, a country that once had an open climate for free expression but that has backslid dramatically over the past decade.

Both guests are visiting the U.S. on fellowships through the Alfred Friendly Press Partners.

Pay Discrepancies Cause Exodus of Columbia Line Workers

Jul 19, 2018

It’s 9 a.m. on a sunny Thursday morning, and Kris Betz and his crew are hard at work restoring power to an apartment complex on Bryant Street.

The temperature is well above 90 degrees, but the linemen are decked out in jeans, long-sleeved shirts, gloves and hard hats, necessary protection as they climb high in the air to work with wires still buzzing with electricity.

State conservation officials say six black bears have died after being hit by vehicles in Missouri this year.

Missouri Department of Conservation biologist Laura Conless says the number of deaths is higher than last year but is not an unusually high number.

Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump against claims that the president is too soft on Russia, telling a St. Louis crowd that Russian aggression has been met with "American strength and action."

Pence spoke Thursday at a downtown hotel. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Pence said Trump's policies are making a positive difference in St. Louis and around the country.

Unions Pour Millions into Missouri to Fight Right to Work

Jul 19, 2018

Unions from around the country are pouring money into Missouri ahead of a statewide vote that could ban mandatory union fees at workplaces, just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that dealt a blow to public sector unions.

The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has out-raised its opponents by nearly $6 million over the past four months.

Pittsburgh native TROY BRUCHWALSKI performs "I Am Aldolpho" from Maples Rep Theatre's production of 'The Drowsy Chaperone', opening tomorrow night in Macon! Artistic Director TODD DAVISON calls this show "extremely entertaining and very, very funny." July 19, 2018

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Trump is home from Helsinki and hearing the reaction to his joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and backing off some of Monday’s statements. How much did what he saw and heard in the news media influence that? Also, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new satirical mockumagazine show angers the right, the FCC deals Sinclair a blow, and a federal judge reverses an earlier order prohibiting the LA Times from printing documents wrongly posted to a federal website.

A Clark man pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter and assault over a crash last fall that killed a Harrisburg teacher.

On Sept. 28, Brandon Brill, 27, crossed the center line while driving on Route F and hit a bus driven by Brian Simpson that was carrying five high school and middle school girls to a track meet. Both vehicles overturned, and the bus caught fire.

Donald Trump will visit Missouri next week to deliver his first address as president to the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump will head to Kansas City on Tuesday to address the gathering.

Missouri Senate Communications

The Missouri Democratic Party is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit challenging a governor's ability to appoint a lieutenant governor.

The appeal was filed Tuesday. The party has argued that ambiguity in Missouri's constitution and law mean lieutenant governors can only be elected, not appointed.

The former interim police chief in St. Louis who is white is alleging discrimination based on race or color in the selection of a permanent chief.

Lt. Col. Lawrence O'Toole was among six finalists for the permanent job late last year. The job went to John Hayden, who is black.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that O'Toole has filed complaints with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Mayor Lyda Krewson calls the complaints "unfortunate."

The Missouri branch of Americans for Prosperity says it's spending $1.8 million on ads against Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The television and digital ad announced Wednesday by the Koch-backed group accuses the Democratic incumbent of saying she supports tax cuts but voting against President Donald Trump's tax bill.

Local livestock producers hit by this year's drought may be eligible for grants to help plant cover crops for feed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing $2 million in grants to farmers and ranchers in Missouri, according to a news release from the department. Cover crops paid for with the money could be used for grazing or turned into hay.

Hoagenson to Rep. Hartzler: 'Are You on Team America or Team Putin?'

Jul 18, 2018

Democratic candidate for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District Renee Hoagenson had a question for her opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler: “Are you on Team America or Team Putin?”

Hoagenson held a last-minute news conference in front of the Boone County Courthouse Tuesday to express her “concern about Vicky Hartzler’s inability and unwillingness to take a stand against (President) Donald Trump.”

Cheri Reisch Unblocks on Twitter the Man Who Sued Her

Jul 18, 2018

State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville has unblocked on Twitter the man who sued her in federal court for allegedly violating his right to free speech in a public forum.

She called the lawsuit frivolous and said Michael Campbell, the man suing her, has never tried to actually communicate with her.

In a written statement circulated Tuesday, Reisch said, “Despite the fact Mr. Campbell has no real intention of communicating with me in a meaningful way, I have unblocked him on Twitter.”

DR. KYLE FIALA, DPM, says that surgery is, more often than not, always considered a last resort; but if necessary, he and the team at Missouri Orthopaedic Institute handles each patient with care throughout the entire process. Also, JANET FLETT invites everyone to 'Journeys', Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance's 7th annual Summer Art Show, beginning July 27th at their store in Ashland. The deadline to enter is later this week! (4:38) July 18, 2018

Boone County Commission Looks for Ways to Prevent Dangerous Fireworks Wars

Jul 18, 2018

The future for fireworks wars in Columbia looked grim at a Boone County Commission work session Tuesday.

The work session’s purpose was to discuss ways to prevent fireworks wars from taking place in the future to protect both citizens and first responders.

Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey said the department needs the authority to enforce laws already on the books. Under the current statute, Boone County does not have the authority to regulate fireworks or the sale of fireworks because the county does not operate under a charter form of government.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Trump is home from Helsinki and hearing the reaction to his joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and backing off some of Monday’s statements.

David Beard, Poynter: “Trump visit ‘exhausting’ British press corps

Brian Stelter, CNN: “Trump ratchets up ‘fake news’ rally cry overseas during UK visit

Staff Shortage to Possibly Delay Trash Pickup Tuesday

Jul 17, 2018

A "significant and unexpected" staff shortage might cause a delay on trash pickup on Tuesday, according to a city news release.

Tuesday is considered the busiest day for trash pickup in the city, and the city prefers to have 26 employees working the day's routes, according to city spokeswoman Patricia Weisenfelder.