News

The Columbia Missourian and KBIA are compiling a list of what every member of the General Assembly, and some other statewide officials, publicly say should take place next regarding Gov. Eric Greitens. The information is compiled from interviews, social media and quotes lawmakers have given to other news outlets. This list will be continuously updated as we find more information and as lawmakers change their opinions.

See below for the full list.

Art in the Park turns 60 this year! The Columbia Art League's LOUISE SARVER says that this year's diamond jubilee celebration will be "big." Also, actor SETH COMARA and assistant director ENOLA WHITE invite everyone to come see Maplewood Barn's production of "Ain't Misbehavin'," opening tomorrow night in Columbia! This musical revue features over 30 songs from early-20th century America. [3:20] April 18, 2018

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would beef up the state's open records law.

 

The proposal, passed Tuesday, would essentially give the attorney general's office subpoena power when investigating open records violations. Attorney General Josh Hawley has said his inability to subpoena witnesses tied his hands earlier this year when investigating Gov. Eric Greitens' office use of a message-destroying app. The bill would also increase penalties for violations. 

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A newly published Economic Impact report says that the University of Missouri System brings in over $5 billion dollars each year to the state of Missouri.


Afternoon Newscast for April 17, 2018

Apr 17, 2018

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 


Council Approves Downzoning Request for 38 Properties in First Ward

Apr 17, 2018

The Columbia City Council approved downzoning for 38 properties in the First Ward by a 6-1 vote at Monday night’s meeting. No one from the public opposed the approval of the downzoning request, but one resident advised caution when considering future requests.

In March, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the council approve the downzoning request in a 9-0 vote.

Two Meetings Scheduled This Week on Idea of Rules for Short-term Rentals

Apr 17, 2018

The city of Columbia will hold a pair of public meetings this week to discuss a proposal for licensing, taxing and regulating short-term rentals.

The first interested party meeting will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday and the second at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Walton Building, 300 S. Providence Road.

The meetings are expected to involve the same material, but the city encourages residents to attend both.

As it stands, the city neither taxes nor regulates short-term rentals beyond voluntary health and safety inspections, according to a city news release.

Credit Kevin Bradley / University of Missouri

 

    

Pesticide drift during the 2017 growing was historic -- about 3.6 million acres of soybeans were damaged by the weed killer dicamba. The Environmental Protection Agency and several states have slapped on stricter guidelines for the 2018 growing season, but enough damage has been done that stakeholders across the industry are worried that we've forced farmers into a cycle of always needing a stronger chemical to combat weeds that have grown resistant to what's already on shelves.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Head outside in mid-April and you’ll notice many trees springing into bloom. 

 

This week on Discover Nature, we pay special attention to an unwelcome invader: the Callery pear tree. 

 

Callery pears, which include the commonly known Bradford pear, are easily identifiable right now: deciduous trees reaching mature heights of 30-50 feet, with a pyramid-shaped crown covered in clusters of tiny white flowers with an unpleasant odor. 

 

Greitens for Missouri

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says his investigation into a veterans charity founded by Gov. Eric Greitens revealed evidence that Greitens' use of the charity's donor list broke the law.

Hawley said Tuesday that it's up to the St. Louis prosecutor to decide whether to charge Greitens with a crime.

Local entrepreneur RYAN KENNEDY wants to bring a 'cat cafe' to Columbia! What is it? Well, on one side you've got a coffee shop/bakery, and on the other is a room with 12 cats just waiting to be played with. This will be a partnership with Boone County Animal Care. Also, DR. RICK FRAUNFELDER, Mason Eye Institute, tells us about the benefits of LASIK eye surgery. [4:10] April 17, 2018

Council Comments on Cost of Comprehensive City Audit

Apr 17, 2018
Meiying Wu/KBIA

City Council members discussed the results of the Missouri State Auditor’s cost estimate for a complete audit of Columbia’s finances at their Monday night meeting.

Mayor Brian Treece talked about some council members’ “sticker shock” at the price estimate and offered a suggestion about what to do.

“At some point there should be a mechanism to let us hear from the public again as to their perception of the cost and time (of the audit) versus the public’s confidence,” Treece said.

KBIA/file photo

Missouri lawmakers may face an unprecedented question as they decide whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens: Does it matter that the alleged actions occurred before he was in office?

There's no definitive answer because only one Missouri executive official has been ousted from office following impeachment and her offense was directly related to her job.

Greitens is accused of misbehavior during an extramarital affair in 2015, before he won election.

Thousands of people are expected to flow into Peace Park near downtown Columbia on April 22 for the 2018 Columbia Area Earth Day Festival.

This year’s festival will feature more than 200 booths at the street fair. At these booths, solar, gardening and sustainability experts will be teaching visitors about the environment. There will also be solar vendors and merchants selling sustainable products through a section of the festival called Eco Avenue.

Missouri lawmakers head into the final weeks of this year's legislative session with allegations of sexual misconduct against Gov. Eric Greitens threatening to distract from Republicans' legislative agenda.

Lawmakers still must pass a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and Republicans are pursuing tax changes, new abortion restrictions and an end to special minimum wages now used for public construction projects. They have five weeks before their May 18 deadline to pass bills.

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including


As winter weather lingers in mid-Missouri, the group Sustain Mizzou visited Rock Bridge State Park. Jake Krell, the group’s outreach vice president, led a tour of the park to visitors. Krell served as a tour guide over the summer for the non-profit Friends of Rock Bridge. On the tour, Krell took the group through overlooks and into the cave. The group avoided certain areas of the park because of the spreading white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that affects North American bats that's been problematic in Missouri. Members walked through snow, on water, in the daylight and the darkness of the cave in this audio postcard.

Agriculture Director Says State Looks to Cut Regulation for Farmers

Apr 16, 2018

In an effort to empower more rural Missouri farmers, the Department of Agriculture is prepared to eliminate more than 1,200 rules and regulations restricting the agriculture industry in Missouri.

As part of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch with a Leader” series on Thursday afternoon, Chris Chinn, the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, told members of the chamber the department was moving forward with a plan to reduce regulation of agriculture by 25 percent.

St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens' two nominees to the Missouri Ethics Commission said they did not promise anything to anybody in exchange for their nominations.

The governor nominated former Democratic state representative Wayne Henke and Republican retired financial analyst Bill Birkes to the ethics commission Friday. Concern that their nominations came at a price stemmed from Greitens' decision last year to stack the state Board of Education with people willing to fire the education commissioner.

There's no excuse for boredom this summer thanks to the variety of camps offered by Stephens College. Filmmaking, fashion, gaming and more are just a few of the options available to girls and boys of all ages. BARBIE BANKS is here to tell us all about it! Plus, MARILYN McLEOD invites everyone to join the League of Women Voters tomorrow afternoon at the Hy-Vee on Conley for another 'Lunch and Learn'! The topic this month: evaluating information in the age of fake news and alternative facts. [4:32] April 17, 2018

Senate Cuts Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Budget Proposal

Apr 16, 2018

 If Missouri lawmakers want a statewide drug monitoring program, they’ll need to fight for it in a legislative conference committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday cut funding for a prescription drug monitoring program that Gov. Eric Greitens created in an executive order in summer 2017.

New Kansas City Airport Will Have 4 More Gates

Apr 16, 2018

 The new Kansas City International Airport will be bigger than originally planned.

City and airline officials announced Thursday that the new airport will have 39 gates rather than the 35 originally proposed. They said growth in passenger traffic prompted the design change.

Missouri Considers Unprecedented Addiction Help for Moms

Apr 16, 2018

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would extend Medicaid for new mothers struggling with addiction, a notable expansion for a state that did not expand Medicaid after the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

When United Airlines began transporting between the Columbia Regional Airport and Denver last August, the city and a number of community partners backed that service with a revenue guarantee fund -- money the airline could ask for to keep its flights financially viable during their first year. 

Friday, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes said in a statement that United has billed the city for $600,000, the entire fund, just to make up for revenue shortfalls in the first six months of service.

Curators Weigh Increasing Tuition For Fall 2018 To Combat Budget Cuts

Apr 13, 2018
KBIA/file photo

A case for voting to raise tuition between 1 and 2.1 percent next fall was presented to the UM System Board of Curators during a meeting Thursday at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

“You can’t save your way to success,” Curator John Phillips said after Ryan Rapp, vice president of finance and chief financial officer for the board, showed how the combination of a continued decline in state higher education funding and a tuition cap presents unique challenges for the four-campus system.

Alex Heuer/St. Louis Public Radio

A judge's ruling on a request to dismiss an invasion of privacy indictment of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stemming from an extramarital affair won't happen before next week.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison says he would not rule Friday or this weekend. Burlison says he will provide advance notice of any ruling and will make it in open court.

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