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6:04 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Chairman of Mo. utility regulatory panel to resign

Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri's top utility regulator says he is stepping down effective March 1.  Kevin Gunn announced his resignation Wednesday during a meeting of the Missouri Public Service Commission.

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Education
6:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Columbia Public Schools unveils electronic reading program

An increasing number of schools across the country are introducing tablet technology into the classroom.
Brad Flickinger Flickr

Columbia Public Schools announced Wednesday an expansion of an electronic reading program throughout the district.  With the myON reader program, students can log on to a website and have access to thousands of free electronic books.

Superintendent Chris Belcher calls it “amazon.com” for kids. He says the district has purchased a password to access the site for every 4-year old in the district.

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Views of the News
3:35 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Business Decisions Edition

Professor Charles Davis

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

Business
8:01 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Nixon begins second term with auto-industry execs in Detroit

Gov. Jay Nixon plans to be one of about 770,000 people taking in the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this weekend. The AP reports Nixon's interest is in protecting state factories.
Credit jpower65 / Flickr/Creative Commons

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to talk with representatives of General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. this week while also attending the North American International Auto Show.

The governor is starting his second term in office by traveling to Detroit to meet with the automobile manufacturers. The trip marks the fourth time Nixon has visited Detroit to meet with auto industry executives since he took office in January 2009.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

MO legislator calls for tax on violent video games

nigeljohnwade flickr

A Republican lawmaker from rural Missouri is calling for a sales tax on violent video games in response to a deadly Connecticut school shooting.

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Agriculture
4:21 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Corn, soybean production took hit in 2012

Farmer Eric Cress, left, shows Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack the drought damage to his corn crop on his farm near Center Point, IA in July 2012.
USDAgov/Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released its end-of-year Crop Production 2012 Annual Summary Friday.

Not surprisingly, the report revealed that corn and soy production took a beating last year due to the drought that is still ravaging farms all over the Midwest.

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Politics
12:08 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Koster wants flag desecration law reinstated

File Photo KBIA

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is asking a federal appeals court to reinstate Missouri's law prohibiting desecration of the American flag, a law struck down by a federal judge last year.

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Education
8:54 am
Tue January 15, 2013

High schoolers, community members speak out against school start times in board plan

High schoolers, district parents and educators turned out at the Columbia Board of Education meeting, Monday, Jan. 14, to speak out about start times in the board's proposed transportation plan.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA

The Columbia School District's Board of Education is reconsidering the school start times included in its controversial three-tier transportation plan. At last night’s board meeting,district parents, students and employees spoke loud and clear: The current proposed start times simply don’t work.

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Agriculture
8:16 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Women in ag are topic of new Missouri Extension course

Credit HPM

The University of Missouri Extension is offering a series of courses aimed at helping women in agriculture.

The courses are part of Annie's Project, a program that started in Illinois about nine years ago, and has since spread to other states. The program is named for an Illinois woman who ran a farm and raised six children in the 1950s.

Topics include farm record-keeping and taxes, business plans, how property is titled, pasture rental contracts and estate planning.

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Education
9:48 am
Mon January 14, 2013

UM announces new funding structure, focused on cross-campus collaboration

The University of Missouri's new research funding program encourages projects between campuses, to get researches to expand work across fields.
Credit S&T Design / Missouri Science & Technology

It’s been dubbed the Interdisciplinary Intercampus Research Program and it has a starting fund of a million dollars. The new program’s goal is to promote research that has high potential for external funding and commercialization.

Mike Nichols is the UM system’s vice president for research and economic development. He says a successful collaboration by scientists at UMKC and engineers at Missouri S&T inspired the funding’s creation. The team developed a bioactive glass material that helps heal open wounds.

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Agriculture
9:29 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Can small farms benefit from Wal-Mart’s push into local foods?

Right now, Missouri Vegetable Farm located 70 miles south of St. Louis doesn’t have anything in its fields. But come summer and fall, peppers, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, sweet corn and pumpkins will be harvested and sold at Wal-Mart.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is muscling in on one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture: local food.

Wal-Mart says 11 percent of the produce sold in its stores nationwide comes from local farms, a large increase from the mere 4 percent it sold two years ago when the chain announced its intention to step up local sourcing as part of a larger sustainability platform and a commitment to buy from small businesses.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:16 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Businessman takes on federal health care contraceptive provision

A federal court is scheduled today, to take up one Missouri businessesman’s challenge to a recently enacted provision of the federal health law. The provision requires that most employee-health plans include no-cost coverage of contraceptives. But the rule has faced backlash from several businesses and lawmakers around the region. 

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Business
5:02 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Elks Lodge demolished by tornado reopens

The 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado destroyed many buildings.
Credit Courtney Flatt / KBIA

Members of the Joplin Elks Lodge that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado are holding a grand reopening.

The Joplin Globe reports that the lodge is holding its grand reopening Saturday, nearly 20 months after the May 2011 tornado destroyed the lodge, scores of other Joplin buildings and killed 161 people, including four people who were at the lodge.

The Elks have been meeting in a large garage on the lodge property. But with the help of insurance and donations, members broke ground on the new $2.7 million lodge a year ago.

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Science, Health and Technology
4:57 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Ruling helps coal ash landfill move forward

A judge has ruled in favor of an effort to develop a new coal ash landfill in eastern Missouri's Franklin County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the judge on Friday rejected claims that the Franklin County Commission acted unlawfully in approving a zoning amendment for the landfill.

Ameren Missouri wants to add to the coal ash landfill next to its Labadie power plant. The Labadie Environmental Organization opposes the landfill because of its proximity to the Missouri River floodplain and filed suit a little over a year ago to overturn the commission's decision.

Business
4:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. auditor confirms insolvency of disability fund

There's not enough money in the state's Second Injury Fund to compensate for unpaid obligations.
Credit Andrew Magill / Flickr

A report from the Missouri auditor confirms that a state fund for disabled workers is insolvent.

State Auditor Tom Schweich said Friday that Missouri's Second Injury Fund had barely $3 million as of the end of 2012 but had unpaid obligations of $28 million.

The fund covers workers' compensation claims for employees who have previous injuries or disabilities and then suffer a new job-related injury. Auditors and financial analysts have warned for several years that the fund was on a path toward insolvency. But lawmakers have done nothing to address it.

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Education
4:51 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Nixon calls for lengthening Mo. school year

Gov. Jay Nixon says more school days could help out the state's economic competitiveness.
Credit File Photo / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon says lengthening the school days in Missouri from 174 to 180, brining Missouri in line with the national average, will better prepare our students for careers and college.

Speaking this morning at John Thomas School of Discovery, part of the Nixa school district in southwest Missouri, the governor says the amount of school days in the state rank fourth fewest in the U.S.

Nixon also called for opening the doors of higher education for every Missouri student and increased funding for preschool education programs.

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Politics
4:44 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Republican: Akin 'partly right' on rape comment

Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A Republican congressman and OB-GYN says former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin was "partly right" when he said women's bodies can avoid pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey made the comments Thursday to constituents, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

But Gingrey sent out a statement Friday saying his position was misconstrued and that he neither defends nor stands by Akin's remark.

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AM Newscasts
10:06 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Newscast for January 11, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Missouri House Democrats decide to ban smoking in their offices
  • The flu hits Missouri earlier than usual
  • Annette Triplett takes over as Pednet's new director
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Business
9:16 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Triplett takes over Pednet

Annette Triplett

The new executive director of Pednet has almost finished her first week on the job. Annette Triplett took over for departing director Ian Thomas on Monday.

Pednet is an organization that advocates for alternative modes of transportation. Triplett was a childhood nutrition expert with the University of Missouri Extension for 5 years before coming to Pednet. She says her experience in nutrition is easily parlayed into her new role at Pednet.

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Health
9:07 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Flu hitting Missouri earlier this year

The flu is hitting the U.S. earlier than usual this year, and Missouri is no exception.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that statewide, there have already been more than 9,800 cases of the flu this year, more than 16 times the average of the past five flu seasons at this point.

Most of the flu that's been reported so far in Missouri is type B, but type A flu is also being reported in the state.

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Politics
9:03 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. House Democrats ban smoking in their offices

Missouri House Democrats have decided to prohibit smoking in their offices and plan to seek broader smoking restrictions at the state Capitol.

Smoking is barred in the House chamber and public galleries. It has been permitted in lawmakers' private offices.

The Democrats said Thursday they plan to seek a prohibition on smoking for all areas of the Capitol controlled by the House.

Two years ago, the House voted to prohibit smoking in a gallery reserved for members in the back of the chamber but rejected an effort to ban smoking in offices.

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Business
8:59 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. receivership cases end for 2 insurers

Credit Brian Turner / Flickr

Court oversight of two financially troubled insurance companies has finally come to an end in Missouri.

The state insurance department says receiverships have been closed for Transit Casualty Co. and International Financial Services Life Insurance Co.

Receivership is a legal step in which a court appoints the state to take control of a financially troubled insurer to pay claims by using the company's assets.

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Crime
8:57 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. Catholic church laments theft of relics

Ste Genevieve Catholic Church

A Catholic parish in eastern Missouri is mourning the theft of relics brought to the church from Rome more than a half-century ago.

KSDK-TV reports that nine relics were stolen from Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church sometime around Christmas. The relics were present around the time of Christmas masses, but cleaning crews noticed they were missing on Jan. 4.

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Politics
8:54 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Begging at exit ramps concerns St. Louis officials

St. Louis leaders are taking a tough approach to stop people from asking for money at exit ramps.

Director of Human Services Bill Siedhoff told KMOX Radio that some are so aggressive that drivers are intimidated. He says some drivers have changed their routes to avoid the ramps such as one at Interstate 64 and 14th Street.

To address the problem, the city has put up "no begging" signs at 25 locations and plans another two dozen.

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Conservation
8:49 am
Fri January 11, 2013

White River named National Blueway

The White River, which cuts through southern Missouri and Arkansas, is America's second National Blueway.

The Kansas City Star reports that the new National Blueways System is part of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative aimed at establishing a community-driven conservation and recreation agenda.

Several groups, including the Nature Conservancy and the Missouri Department of Conservation, nominated the White River for the designation. The White River was given the designation Wednesday.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Mo. senator seeks state funding for preschools

Credit Eden Pictures / Flickr

Public schools could receive state money for preschool programs under a new proposal by a Missouri senator. But budget concerns could diminish its prospects of passage.

Sen. Joseph Keaveny filed two bills Thursday that would fund preschool programs through the state formula that already distributes money for K-12 education. One version would provide state aid for all preschool students; the other would pay only for lower income students.

Republican Senate leaders said Thursday that they like Keaveny's idea but it's unlikely the state can afford it.

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Politics
4:51 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Disagreement in Mo. government on how to fill empty offices

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Aside from Medicaid expansion, the most talked-about issue so far during the just-begun Missouri legislative session is whether Gov. Jay Nixon has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Gov. if Peter Kinder succeeds Republican Jo Ann Emerson in Congress.

Following his annual prayer breakfast, Gov. Nixon told reporters he believes he has the authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor if the office suddenly becomes vacant.

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Education
2:39 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Mo. public schools improve, but still rank low

Missouri's public schools improved their overall grade to a
Credit Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

Missouri's public schools are 41st in the country in Education Week's annual rankings.

The publication released its 2013 "Quality Counts" rankings Thursday. Missouri's overall grade was a C, up slightly from last year's grade of C minus.

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Education
11:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Columbia College president to retire in August

Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College, announced his retirement which is scheduled to begin in August 2013.
Credit Matt Evans / KBIA

The president of Columbia College announced Thursday he will be stepping down in August. The president’s nearly two-decade-long tenure has been filled with some memorable achievements.

Applause filled the Atkins-Holman Student Commons at Columbia College as Gerald Brouder made the announcement. Brouder says there’s a couple of reasons why he decided to retire.

“The institution is in very fine shape both fiscally and otherwise – curricular wise,” he said. In a few weeks I’ll be turning 70 years old and that just seems like the right age to do something.

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AM Newscasts
9:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Newscast for January 10, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Lawmakers lay out agendas as new legislative session begins
  • Mo. farmers eligible for federal aid following disaster declaration
  • Monthly bills to increase for KCP&L customers
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