Robert Nickles wears a grey sweatshirt and has a medium gray beard. He also has on a black Mizzou ball cap and looks into the camera.
Jonah McKeown / KBIA

Robert Nickles lives in Columbia. He was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and has undergone numerous medical procedures throughout his life - including a colostomy. But there’s a major barrier standing between Robert and a healthy existence: Robert is homeless.

In his own words, he has lived a life that “most people wouldn’t understand.” Robert spoke with KBIA’s Jonah McKeown about the stigma surrounding homelessness and about the barriers he faces getting healthcare.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at

Today Paul Pepper visits with NANCY GRIGGS about the 16th annual  Piano Student Showcase. See for yourself 30 local piano students - the youngest of which is 6 years-old - on stage at the Missouri Theatre this Sunday afternoon! At [4:17] ADAM SAUNDERS, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, invites everyone to the Columbia Farmers' Market this Saturday for the official groundbreaking on the new Agriculture Park! Adam says, "we'll be tripling our production size" after the move from Fay Street. November 16, 2017

Gov. Eric Greitens' efforts to replace Missouri's top education official are set to come to a head during a closed State Board of Education meeting.

But it appears unlikely that there's enough support among board members to oust Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven during Tuesday's meeting.

Three members recently appointed by the Republican governor requested the meeting.

A Missouri Democrat is suing Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley for not living in the capital city.

Donna Mueller sued Hawley Tuesday. She claims he's breaking a state law requiring the attorney general to reside in the seat of government.

Hawley has an apartment in Jefferson City but the neighboring county clerk says his permanent residence is in Ashland. Scrutiny over his residency intensified after he voted in an August election in Ashland.

Missouri has released its annual report cards on school districts and charter schools, but issues with state standardized tests make it difficult to know exactly how well schools did and how their scores compare to previous years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at data that include 2017 Annual Performance Report and Missouri Assessment Program scores for school districts around St. Louis. The reports released Wednesday are based on performance in the 2016-2017 school year.

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom including:

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools is moving forward with a world language center so it can continue offering advanced Japanese and German classes. Low enrollment in those upper-level classes drove the decision to merge them.

“Students then would still be able to pursue a language that they have interest in, but we would be able to consolidate that into a central location,” said Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Director for CPS.

The plan was presented Monday to the Columbia Board of Education, and the district is moving forward with it. The center will be in one of the existing high schools rather than a new building.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Last week marked 100 days for MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. The University of Missouri held an event on Wednesday, Nov. 15 to celebrate the Chancellor and announce new initiatives for student success.

Some of these initiatives are aimed at lowering costs. One is the Border State Scholars award. It will reduce out-of-state tuition by $2,500 for students coming to MU from one of the 8 states that border Missouri. 

State Data Results Show Slight Descrease In Overall Performance for Columbia Public Schools

Nov 15, 2017
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Correction An original version of this article incorrectly referred to Annual Performance Report score as a Missouri Assessment Program score. MAP is one factor used to calculate a district's ARP.

Columbia Public Schools' Annual Performance Report score dropped a couple percentage points compared to last year, according to data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Last year, the district received an 86.8 percent overall score on the state's annual report card for districts, or APR. The report uses test scores, college and career readiness, attendance, graduation rates and other factors to determine school district accreditation. This year's score was 84.3 percent.

Is the media stirring the pot? Is the coverage of the sex scandals – now rocking entertainment, journalism and politics – potentially destroying innocent lives? In our attempts to listen to and be supportive of accusers are we denying the accused due process or benefit of the doubt? We’ll debate. Also, Donald Trump Jr.’s communication with WikiLeaks, why the New York Times is suing a woman who identified herself as one of the paper’s reporters and Simpsons’ fans, it’s time to talk about Apu. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Ryan Thomas: Views of the News.

Courtesy Anton Treuer and Bemidji State University

November is Native American Heritage Month. This week author and professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University Anton Treuer talks with host Sara Shahriari. MU professor of digital storytelling and citizen of Cherokee Nation Joseph Erb joins in the wide-ranging conversation on language's role in maintaining a culture, Truer's book Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, and the damage done by some mascots that mimic Native Americans. 

Missouri Department of Conservation

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, Missouri’s black bears are entering dens to spend the winter months when food supplies are scarce.


Two years after protests over racial discrimination rocked the University of Missouri-Columbia, participants at a forum, Monday, said the campus has changed but education efforts must continue.


Missouri System President Mun Choi, Board of Curators Chairman Maurice Graham and other officials were among about 200 people attending the forum Monday sponsored by the Department of Black Studies.

Tong Li

Three finalists to become the director of the Daniel Boone Regional Library talked about their plans and concerns for the library during a meeting and panel with the library staff and the community Monday evening.

All three finalists are well-experienced librarians and directors who were chosen from 28 candidates during the application process that started on Sep. 24.

This year, Everybody Eats is celebrating two decades of providing Thanksgiving Day meals for people living with food insecurity in Columbia. The program is continuing the legacy of founder Almeta Crayton, who died in 2013.

“She saw everybody as being a citizen of Columbia, and she wanted to have one day a few hours once a year where everybody came to the table together and nobody has to pay, and that’s really what this event is about,” said Janice Dawson-Threat, Volunteer Coordinator for the program.

Today Paul Pepper visits with "old time fiddler" HOWARD MARSHALL! Howard's written two books, "Play Me Something Quick and Devilish" and "Fiddler's Dream." Find out what it means to be an "old time fiddler" and what the future is of this niche talent! November 15, 2017

Columbia Prepares for Winter Snow Removal

Nov 15, 2017

Even though no snow is expected Wednesday, Columbia’s snow plows will take to the streets to prepare for winter.

In the city’s annual Dry Snow Run, plow drivers will review safety procedures and practice driving the snow routes.

“The better our plow drivers know these routes, the safer and more efficient they will be, and the better prepared we will be as a City when an actual snow does occur,” said Street Superintendent Sam Thomas in a press release from the Public Works department. 

Is the media stirring the pot? Is the coverage of the sex scandals – now rocking entertainment, journalism and politics – potentially destroying innocent lives? In our attempts to listen to and be supportive of accusers are we denying the accused due process or benefit of the doubt? 

The University of Missouri football team played its final home game of the year on Saturday, which also marks the end of a football season dorm rental program.

The goal of the new program was to help counteract financial problems linked with lower enrollment. Visitors for home football games were able to rent a two-room, four-bed suite for $120 a night.

MU representative Liz McCune says the program proved successful with visiting fans.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri's attorney general says his office will investigate Google for potential violations of the state's antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

A statement released Monday by Attorney General Josh Hawley's office says the agency has issued a subpoena to the tech giant, which recently came under fire by European Union regulators for antitrust violations.

Commentary: Soccer and Foreign Policy

Nov 14, 2017

  President Trump’s Asia trip makes me think of – soccer. I love soccer. Columbia College has two nationally-ranked teams and I’m a big fan. I help my daughter coach a recreation league team here in Columbia that my granddaughters and grandson play on. I coached youth soccer for many years when we lived in Kirksville.

A Missouri state school board member is among a growing list of people raising concerns with efforts by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to replace the state's top education official.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday that board member John "Tim" Sumners wants to delay a meeting during which his colleagues are expected to call for Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven's ouster.

KBIA file photo

  The St. Louis mayor's office says a medium-security jail that's the target of a lawsuit over its conditions is inspected multiple times a year and problems are addressed as they arise.

The office of Mayor Lyda Krewson on Monday issued a statement in responses to a lawsuit filed against the jail by former inmates who cited "inhumane conditions," alleging rodent feces in food, infestations of bugs and even snakes, and unbearable overcrowding.

Missouri School of Journalism

Two years ago, our university’s racist history caught up with us.

Weeks of growing tension came to a head on Nov. 9, 2015, when President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor Bowen Loftin resigned.

We’re still grappling with the repercussions of the Concerned Student 1950 protest. While it’s pretty clear in retrospect what happened and why it happened, I suspect I’m not alone in still trying to understand just how the institution has changed as a result.

Those realities and that uncertainty are my topics this week and next.

Read the complete column online at the Missourian.

MU Police Department Deletes Tweet About Basketball Game Being a 'Homicide'

Nov 14, 2017

The MU Police Department tweeted MU's basketball game Monday night was going to be a "homicide" — and then deleted the tweet.

“Okay but can we talk about how @MizzouHoops is so good it’s criminal? About to be a homicide at Mizzou Arena. #MIZ,” the department tweeted Monday night.

Missouri beat Wagner 99-55 on Monday night.

Today Paul Pepper visits with Welcome Home's TIM RICH about the many services available to homeless veterans in our community, because they need more than just a place to sleep. "We believe we can't leave them on the battlefield, we shouldn't leave them on the streets." At [4:40] SCOTT MINIEA, Program Manager at Insurance Counseling Services, tells us how we can safely secure a health insurance policy for ourselves and/or our loved ones through the Affordable Care Act. It can be a confusing process, but ICS is here to help! November 14, 2017