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: 

via Flickr user Hey Paul Studios

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?

Sopan Deb, New York Times: “Trump proposes eliminating the arts and humanities endowments

A new report shows that withheld funding and lack of follow-through effectively killed a program aimed at allowing Missouri residents receiving child support to accept wage hikes without losing state assistance.

Drab Mayko / FLICKR

The Daniel Boone Regional Library Board of Trustees approved changes allowing patrons to bring firearms onto the library’s locations last Thursday. The library’s website explained that the regulations would be different between locations. 

Today Paul Pepper visits with SHELIA ROBERTSON, Coordinator of Pediatric Injury Prevention at MU Children's Hospital, about poison prevention in children. For instance, Shelia tells us that easy access to your grandparents' medication is one of the most-often received phone calls to Poison Control centers. Want more home prevention tips? Come to Safe Kids Day 2017 April 29th in Columbia! (And watch the segment, of course.) At [5:47] meet University of Missouri graduate student, and one of two featured speakers at tomorrow night's monthly Science on Tap CoMo event, JACQUELINE GAMBOA VARELA. Jacqueline gives us a sneak preview of her presentation on DNA damage and magnets! March 21, 2017

After a lengthy process, Columbia City Council unanimously passed the Unified Development CodeMonday night. The Code sets the standards for zoning and development in the city. The council hopes it will ensure the city’s growth remains in check.

The council passed the regulations after several meetings and public hearings. Council members had listened to public comment from various Columbia residents.

Cuonzo Martin: "It just feels like home"

22 hours ago
Jack Hummel

The University of Missouri Athletics welcomed Cuonzo Martin as the new Men’s Basketball head coach Monday afternoon. MU Students, faculty, and fans gathered to welcome Martin at Mizzou Arena with a “campus celebration.”  The introduction was open to the public as MU Athletic Director Jim Sterk introduced Martin to Tiger fans.

401K 2013 / Flickr

The Trump administration reversed previous guidance on the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) last Thursday.

The Obama administration put forth the guidance and stopped guarantor agencies from charging high fees on loan payments for students.

Students had to enter into a rehabilitation payment program within two months of defaulting on their loan to not be charged fees. According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than four million people who have FFELP loans are currently in default.

CCUA Puts on “Empty Bowls” Event to Fight Hunger

Mar 20, 2017

"Empty Bowls" is a national event, and this week, Columbia locals were able to get a taste of the event themselves.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture hosted “Empty Bowls” on Sunday at the Missouri United Methodist Church to raise awareness of hunger in the community. All of the donations raised will go toward the Planting for the Pantry program. A meal of soup and bread was provided for attendees, as well as a table full of free items to pick up such as postcards and a “Planting for the Pantry Pledge Card.”

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back local author and poet WALTER BARGEN! Walter reads two warm weather-themed poems: 'Sea Fever' by John Masefield at [1:16]; and his own, 'Point Dume Screen Test', at [3:50]. March 20, 2017

MoDOT Follows Gov. Greitens' Parental Leave Policy

Mar 20, 2017

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced it would follow Gov. Eric Greitens' parental leave policy Thursday morning.

The policy calls for six weeks of paid leave for Missouri state employees who are primary caregivers. Secondary caregivers can receive three weeks. Parents paid leave starts after birth or an adoption. The policy only pertains to state executive branch agencies.

MoDOT Outreach Coordinator Robert Brendel said this was the best decision for employees.

AP Photo

A presidential run-off in the South American nation of Ecuador is shaping up as a referendum on the decade-long rule of leftist President Rafael Correa.

Under Correa the government has used oil revenues to slash poverty, but his ruling PAIS Alliance has been criticized for corruption scandals and a drift towards authoritarianism.

With term limits forcing Correa from office, polls show his chosen successor Lenin Moreno in a tight race with opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a tight presidential race in Ecuador and what it means for remaining leftist governments in Latin America.

Pylon757 / Flickr

Some small regional airports in Missouri may be facing budget cuts at the federal level.

The Trump administration’s proposed budget suggests eliminating the Essential Air Service program, which provides support to small regional airports, including the Kirksville Regional Airport, Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport, Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and Joplin Regional Airport.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

  JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill that would require teenagers to be older before they could get married without permission from a judge.

House members voted 139-1 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

Under current law, children ages 15-17 can get married with permission from a parent, and those younger than 15 need approval from a judge.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill advancing in the Missouri Legislature would change whom patients could sue for medical malpractice.

The bill passed the House 101-50 Thursday and now goes to the Senate.

If made law, patients could only sue hospitals if the physician accused of wrongdoing is an employee. Hospitals couldn't be sued because of doctors who only have admitting privileges.

Republican Rep. Kevin Austin says it's unfair to sue hospitals for malpractice by a doctor who only performs some work there.

The Coalition of Graduate Workers (CGW) at the University of Missouri is discussing ways to make the school a "sanctuary campus" for students who may be in the United States illegally. The organization held a listening session on Wednesday. Students, faculty, staff and community members discussed policy ideas to present to the university.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today Paul Pepper invites local storyteller LARRY BROWN back to share with us a traditional Irish story about a young man named Jack who makes a bad deal go right with the help of a mouse, a bee and a cockroach in County Donegal in Ireland. March 17, 2017

MU Makes Plans for $20M State Funding Cut

Mar 17, 2017
columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley addressed faculty in general meeting Wednesday about budget cuts for 2018. Then, on Thursday, he detailed how much each department might lose in an email.

A newly-introduced Missouri House budget bill is in line with Gov. Eric Grietens original budget proposal and the university will take a 9 percent cut in funds. This translates to about $20 million in government funding for MU’s campus alone.

Foley said administration decided to take funds from cash reserves from each department.

Regional coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

The Missouri House has passed a bill that could allow charter schools to expand to more districts.

With an 83-76 vote on Thursday, the House passed a proposal that would allow charters to operate in more heavily-populated districts such as Springfield and Columbia. It would also allow charters to move into districts with at least one low-performing school.

Opponents say the proposal takes money away from underfunded public schools and gives the money to privately-operated charters with less accountability.

Fishawk / Flickr

The Missouri House has passed a bill increasing fines for illegally using herbicides that damage other farmers' crops.

The legislation allows the Department of Agriculture to fine any person who damages another farmer's crops, land, or property by using a herbicide on a crop for which the herbicide is not labeled for use.  

Farmers can be fined up to $10,000 for each instance of damage and up to $25,000 for repeat offenders.

Andrea Del Sarto / Flickr

What do Julius Caesar and Malcolm X have in common? More than you might think.

During a visit to MU’s Rhynsburger Theater last month, the Acting Company of New York City told the stories of both men in two back-to-back performances on Feb. 18 and 19. Known as “Caesar/X,” the series pairs Marcus Gardley’s new play “X: Or the Nation vs Betty Shabazz” with the Shakespearean classic “Julius Caesar.” Both tell the stories of powerful men who were assassinated by those who knew them best.

A measure to repeal tax breaks for low-income Missouri seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing is advancing in the Legislature.

House members voted 89-65 to give the bill initial approval Wednesday. At least 82 lawmakers must vote in favor of it again for it to advance to the Senate.

The measure would set aside additional revenue from the roughly $55 million-a-year tax break for other services for low-income seniors and those with disabilities.

UM System Would Score Limited Budget Relief in House Proposal

Mar 16, 2017
Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

About $22 million would be restored to higher education budgets throughout Missouri in the proposed 2018 state budget, according to a bill discussed by a House committee on Wednesday.

However, unlike the funds for other schools, the UM System's portion would only apply to certain cooperative programs. This means little relief for a large portion of the university system, which is poised to lose $40 million from its core budget as recommended by Gov. Eric Greitens.