5:43 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Columbia school board selects new member

Credit John Murden / Flickr

The Columbia Board of Education chose Darin Preis to fill its vacant seat at a meeting on Tuesday. The position opened up when former board member Paul Cushing took a job out of state.

Preis served on the board from 2005 to 2008 and is the executive director of Central Missouri Community Action. He says he is excited and honored to serve on the school board again and plans to get to work quickly.

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Business Beat
5:37 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Campaigns focus on small business but not farm bill

Small business owner Daniel Finke of Moberly says fair trade is the most important issue to him this election when it comes to his company.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Countdown to Election Day is upon us.

And while business development continues to surge as a hot topic this campaign season, the expired farm bill seems to have disappeared off candidates' radars completely. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer has this report on just how much candidates are talking farm farm country.

By most accounts, Missouri is a pink state.

Not red. Not blue. Pink.

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5:29 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

MU gets new budget director

Adam Procter Flickr

After nearly 20 years on university staff, a staff member is taking over the University of Missouri’s budget.  The current Budget Director Tim Rooney is retiring at the end of the year. Beginning January 1 of next year, Rhonda Gibler will take over as the new Budget Director for MU.

“I see myself as a servant leader," Gibler said. "I want to be of service to the state and to the students and others that benefit from what the university does every day. And I think my talents map well with what this position requires.”

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5:12 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Even in farm country, campaigns not focusing on farm policy

Kathleen Masterson Harvest Public Media

When Congress recessed for the election season without passing a new farm bill, many observers thought farmers would demand explanations as campaign trails blazed through small towns. But despite its importance in farm country, the farm bill and farm policy are largely being overshadowed by other campaign issues.

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2:22 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Columbia startup secures $1.2 million in venture capital

Lead in text: 
Columbia software startup Zapier won the first ever Columbia Startup Weekend and rode that success all the way to Silicon Valley. When I last spoke to the trio, they had finished a mentorship program at the Y Combinator in California and were confident about the future. When I last spoke with Zapier in late September, I asked founder Wade Foster if he was talking with investors. He would say only "our biggest thing is just getting back to work and growing the product and user base." Now Zapier is hiring their first employee and pouring resources into the next iteration of their web-based services.
As Zapier wrapped up its three-month stint in seed accelerator Y Combinator earlier this year, the founders of the Columbia, Mo.-born startup fielded ample advice on how to handle funding. "We heard, 'Get fundraising done as fast as possible. Don't worry about it. You want to finish it, and ...
1:17 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Judge denies Ryan Ferguson habeas corpus

File photo
August Kryker Columbia Tribune

A Missouri judge has refused to grant a new trial for a Columbia man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2001 killing of a newspaper sports editor.

Ryan Ferguson was one of two teenagers accused in the beating and strangulation of Kent Heithold outside the Columbia Daily Tribune early on the morning of Nov. 1, 2001.

Ryan’s father Bill Ferguson has been spearheading the effort to prove his son’s innocence.

“I am just devastated,” said Bill Ferguson.

He says he hadn’t heard the news until KBIA reached him for comment.

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Views of the News
12:04 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

The SuperStorm; October Surprise; Don't Forget Locals; China Blocks Times

Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins and Charles Davis.

Health & Wealth Update
11:43 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The cost of connecting doctors with rural patients electronically

Telehealth locations throughout Missouri are pinned and labelled on a map on Sept. 20 at the University Hospital in Columbia.
Lee Jian Chung KBIA

A shortage of rural health care professionals throughout the state has health systems connecting with patients in remote areas through telehealth.

At the University Hospital in Columbia, telehealth coordinator Samuel Woodard thumbs a remote which sends a camera at the far end of the room spinning around to face him. His co-workers at the Missouri Telehealth Network offices across town appear on the screen.

“Hey Katie, how’s it going? We’re just going over the equipment, showing him how the telehealth unit works.” Woodard says.

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10:09 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Why is farmland so expensive?

A clod of soil and some corn from some of the priciest land in Missouri: Saline County.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

On Friday, I left the rolling hills of Columbia, Mo., and headed northwest, to the flat farmland of Saline County. The purpose of the drive was to get a look at the priciest cropland in Missouri for a story I'm doing on how investors with no connection to farmland are increasingly interested in buying acreage in the Midwest. I had heard from farmers and real estate brokers that cropland values were at all-time highs in the Corn Belt, and incredibly many of the tracts of land are being paid for in cash.

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10:08 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The priciest farmland in Missouri [infographic]

A screenshot of KBIA's interactive map
Charles Minshew KBIA

Each July, the University of Missouri Extension sends out a survey to lenders, rural land appraisers and real estate brokers in the state to get a sense of average values for farmland. This past year, the counties with the most valuable farmland in the state -- those that average more than $5,000 per acre -- include Stoddard, Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Dunklin, Saline, Carroll, Chariton, Pettis, Howard, Boone, Audrain, Callaway, Cooper, Scotland, Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 

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8:54 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Mo. Home Care Union hopes for first contract

A union representing 13,000 workers who provide in-home care to the disabled says it hopes a decision by the Missouri Supreme Court can clear the way for negotiations with the state on a contract.

The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear an appeal of a May ruling upholding a vote by the workers to be represented by the Missouri Home Care Union. The union says that clears the "last legal obstacle delaying negotiations" on its first contract.

The workers are paid by the state to help the disabled in their homes with daily tasks such as bathing and cleaning.

8:49 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Cape Girardeau casino opens two months early

stopnlook FLICKR

Missouri’s newest casino, the Isle of Capri Casino, opened Tuesday morning in Cape Girardeau two months ahead of schedule.

Isle of Capri president and CEO Virginia McDowell lauded  her company’s efforts to build the casino so quickly and hire local workers.

“We had 9,000 applications for jobs, and we picked the 700 best people you are going to meet when you go through those doors," McDowell said. "And I am proud to say 80 percent of those people live within 50 miles of Cape Girardeau."

The project cost $135 million.

8:43 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Mo. court rejects challenge to cash-only bail

File Photo Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a criminal defendant may be forced to pay cash to be released from jail before trial.

A St. Louis County set a $75,000 cash-only bail for a man accused of invading people's privacy by using a concealed camera in a massage therapy business. The defendant, Kirk Jackson, challenged the cash bail order.

Science, Health and Technology
8:27 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Boone Hospital Center president steps down

Nitzan Brumer FLICKR

President of Boone Hospital Center Dan Rothery announced this week he will be leaving his position.

Rothery has taken a new leadership position with BJC HealthCare in Saint Louis. One of the company’s Group Presidents Bob Cannon said Rothery will serve as president of home care and community services.

“Another area he will be responsible for are BJC Behavioral Health Services and then there’s BJC Corporate Health Services," Cannon said.

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Arts and Culture
8:20 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Tiger Night of Fun offers supervised trick-or-treating

lobo235 Flickr

To promote both fun and safety, organizations throughout Columbia have been offering special Halloween events. The Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation hosts the “Tiger Night of Fun” -- an alternative event held at Hearnes Center Field House, where children of young families can be in a safe, supervised environment.

Spokesperson Janel Twehous said the department first offered its Halloween event 18 years ago when there were fears of tainted candy. Twehous said the department wanted to offer a safe alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating.

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