News

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back NANETTE WARD, a volunteer with Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and in Missouri, it's also Sex Trafficking Awareness Month. To honor those affected, the Coalition is hosting an event featuring author/activist Christine McDonald at the Columbia Public Library January 26th. Watch for details! January 13, 2017

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

An attorney for a man sentenced to 25 years in prison for rape is arguing that a Missouri law allowing sexually violent predators to be indefinitely committed to mental institutions is unconstitutional.

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday from attorneys for Jay Nelson and the state.

Nelson was convicted of rape in 1989. While in prison, he was accused of sexually assaulting female guards.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri's Republican House budget leader says without more cuts the state is expected to end the fiscal year about $40 million in the hole.

Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick told lawmakers Thursday the difference between how much money the state has and its obligations is a problem.

Former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon already cut more than $200 million in spending this fiscal year.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has said he plans more cuts, although he hasn't said how much or what he'll ax. Greitens took office Monday.

Many local schools are closed and officials are bracing for emergency situations as an ice storm in the forecast could cause dangerous road conditions and downed trees and power lines. 

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for nearly all of Missouri, which will begin at 9 a.m. this morning and last until noon on Sunday. NOAA’s updated warning this morning calls for one quarter to one half inch of ice  this weekend. Only the very most northern and southern parts of the state are not under the warning.

AP Photo

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuing riots in Ferguson, Mo. altered the course of Tony Messenger's career. 

Along with colleague Kevin Horrigan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial writer was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015.  He's since become a metro columnist for the newspaper and continued to paint an unflinching portrait of race relations in St. Louis.  On this special edition of Global Journalist, Messenger speaks with guest host Joshua Kranzberg about his career and his award-winning coverage of St. Louis's racial divisions.


Allison Vaughn

By positioning themselves in the area's best birding areas, Allison Vaughn and Bill Mees were able to spot and count numerous bird species. Along with their fellow Columbia Audubon Society members, the duo took part in the Christmas Bird Count on December 22, 2016. Vaughn and Mees were guests on this week's Thinking Out Loud talking with KBIA's Trevor Harris about the annual count and what they saw.


Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

pills
Pink Sherbert Photography / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice says Missouri counties are now eligible to receive federal funds for prescription drug monitoring programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

Today Paul Pepper visits with MAR DOERING, DVM, All Paws Medical & Behavioral Center, about making New Year's resolutions for your pet. One resolution Mar expands on is better communication. She says, "understand where your pet is coming from (dog or cat or guinea pig or whatever) and try and communicate on their level...they get what we're feeling more than what we're saying." January 12, 2017

David Shane / Flickr

A Missouri House panel has voted to advance a right-to-work bill to bar mandatory union fees.

House Economic Development Committee members voted 8-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

Gov. Eric Greitens announced at a Jefferson City steel manufacturing business Wednesday that he picked Drew Erdmann from McKinsey and Company for the job.

Greitens created the COO position through executive order. He didn't take questions from reporters.

Erdmann previously worked as the National Security Council's director for Iran, Iraq and strategic planning in 2005 under former Republican President George W. Bush.

pills
images_of_money / flickr

 

Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to overhaul the state's Medicaid system without waiting for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress to act first.

A Senate committee heard testimony today on a bill that would direct the state Department of Social Services to seek a "global waiver" from federal Medicaid requirements to remake the state's program.

A loaded gun was confiscated from a sixth grader at Lewis & Clark Middle School in Jefferson City this morning. 

Staff received information about the gun and the student was removed from the school, according to information posted by Jefferson City Public Schools (JCPS) on its Facebook page. No one was injured during the incident, and JCPS is working with the Jefferson City Police Department. 

"JCPS is committed to a safe and positive learning environment for all students and staff," the school system said on Facebook.

Today Paul Pepper visits with COREY DUNNE, Co-Director of Education and Outreach at TRYPS, about their relatively new 'technique-based' dance studio! Corey tells us that "our goal is to develop all of these kids into triple threats: actors, singers and dancers." Watch for details on how to sign up! At [3:13] CHRIS CAMPBELL and PETER MIYAMOTO invite everyone to the kickoff of the 2017 Blind Boone Piano Concert Series at the Boone Museum and Galleries in Columbia! The opening show features Peter and his wife, Ayako Tsuruta, playing music from all over the world on two grand pianos. Their 8 year-old daughter is the opening act, and she makes a surprise appearance on our show to tell us all about it - watch! January 11, 2017

Lea Aharonovitch / flickr

Missouri lawmakers have defeated an effort to ban smoking in state Capitol offices.

Smoking already is prohibited in Capitol hallways and legislative chambers. On Tuesday, a House rules committee heard testimony from several high school students and the Jefferson City Council urging legislators to ban smoking everywhere in the Capitol, including in offices.

But the panel's Republican majority struck down a proposed amendment to the House rules on a 9-4 party-line vote.

Granger Meador / flickr

Bagnell Dam and Osage Energy Center at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks will get a $52 million upgrade starting this spring.

Ameren Missouri said Tuesday that new anchors and concrete will be installed on the downstream side of the dam that provides power to 42,000 homes.

Ameren officials say the last major structural update at Bagnell Dam was completed more than 30 years ago.

The new project is expected to take about 18 months. Ameren says the new anchors will help hold the dam to underlying bedrock, and more than 66 million pounds of new concrete will be added.

Missouri National Guard / flickr

Missouri's new Gov. Eric Greitens is putting a temporary freeze on new government regulations.

Greitens on Tuesday signed an executive order banning state agencies from creating new regulations through the end of February.

He said in a video announcement first released on Facebook that burdensome regulations hurt businesses.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This winter, consider a style of hunting that doesn’t require any special equipment, and has no bag limit. This week on Discover Nature, head outdoors in search of deer sheds.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back ED HANSON, Artistic Director of Talking Horse Productions! Ed tells us about this Saturday's "Sinatra Supper Club" fundraiser for THP. Enjoy a dinner and a show featuring Ed singing over 30 of Ol' Blue Eyes's biggest hits. As a sneak preview, Ed performs "Fly Me to the Moon" at [4:17]. January 10, 2017

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

An effort to target crime and improve life in 15 St. Louis neighborhoods is off to a slow start.

In December 2015 Mayor Francis Slay released a detailed plan to target 12 north St. Louis and three south side neighborhoods. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that halfway through the two-year plan, some aldermen are concerned about what they see as only limited progress.

The University of Missouri plans to be more aggressive in its approach to ticket sales after finalizing a contract with a sales solution company.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the university finalized Friday the contract with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, which will have a 13-person team serving as the school's outbound ticket sales unit.

The team will work on campus calling potential season-ticket buyers, and complement the university's ticket operations staff.

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Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri State University has agreed to pay $25,000 to a former student who sued after he was removed from a counseling program because he wouldn't counsel gay couples.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the settlement with Andrew Cash was final last month. The newspaper reported the details after submitting an open records request.

Cash sued the university in April, saying he was removed from the university's master's counseling program in 2014 after he said his religious beliefs prevented him from counseling gay couples.

David Shane / Flickr

Gov. Eric Greitens' inaugural festivities are being funded by some of the state's most prominent businesses.

Greitens has not revealed a cost for Monday's privately funded celebrations, but he has released a list of "benefactors" that have helped finance the events.

That list includes such businesses as Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Enterprise, Express Scripts, General Motors, Monsanto and Wal-Mart.

Also on the list is the ride-share firm Uber, which is providing free rides to people in the Jefferson City area during the inaugural festivities.

If, as the old saying goes, past performance is the best predictor of future behavior, then I have a pretty good idea of what we can expect from President Trump. 

Today Paul Pepper visits with SHAWNA JOHNSON, Executive Director of Access Arts, about the Empty Bowls Project, which is an international effort to fight hunger on a local level. This year, the bowls will be created by Access Arts and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture will provide the food - find out how you can get involved! At [4:01] MICHAEL PORTER and LARRY BROWN talk about the upcoming Osher@Mizzou winter session. Among the many classes available to enroll in is Larry's "Terrorism and Contemporary Cultures of Violence." He tells us a little bit about that, as well as how to register - watch! January 9, 2017

David Shane / Flickr

Former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves is the new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.

The Missouri Republican State Committee elected Graves on Saturday as the party's new statewide chief. Graves has served as western Missouri's top federal prosecutor and lately has been an attorney with the Kansas City, Missouri, law firm Graves Garrett.

Graves, who was endorsed by Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, succeeds John Hancock, who announced in November said that he will step down to return to political consulting.

Vellore Gopalaratnam

A nondescript cinder block building on Columbia's north side provides a space for the local Hindu community to come together for prayers, fellowship and celebrations. KBIA's Trevor Harris talked with some of those who were active in establishing the Shanthi Mandir community center.

Missouri Department of Conservation

The holiday season continues, but as we enter the new year and Christmas trees come down, consider giving one more gift – to nature. Re-using cut Christmas trees can provide great habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.

Rich Egger / For Harvest Public Media

Let’s say you’re a high school student in an agronomy or agriculture class and you’re looking for some real-world experience. You can’t just buy a few hundred acres on which to experiment. Enter: “fantasy farming.”

“Fantasy farming” is essentially a game played out on a real field, at a real agriculture research facility. It gives high school students a chance to learn firsthand about the guesswork and gambles that farmers make every year.

Today Paul Pepper visits with SEAN SPENCE, Regional Director of the Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, about popular scams to watch out for in 2017. Sean tells us to be on the lookout for medical ID theft ("I don't understand why I'm getting this hospital bill"), and folks calling and pretending to be tech support from Microsoft ("I can fix your computer, all I need is information from you"). January 6, 2017

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