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4:33 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Mo. finances to take hit from higher federal tax

Federal Social Security payroll taxes increased by 2 percent.
Credit Andrew Magill / Flickr

Missouri's finances could take a $60 million annual hit because of a recent 2 percentage point increase in federal Social Security payroll taxes.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says the lost revenues resulting from the federal Social Security tax already had been taken into consideration for budget projections. She says the reduced revenue should not come as a surprise to state officials.

The Social Security tax reverted to 6.2 percent this month after the expiration of a 2 percentage point cut that had been in place for a couple of years.

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Politics
4:02 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Court weighs warrantless blood tests in DUI cases

The Supreme Court is hearing a case about police needing a warrant to order a blood test on a drunken-driving suspect.
Credit Brian Turner / Flickr

The Supreme Court is considering whether police must get a warrant before ordering a blood test on an unwilling drunken-driving suspect.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a case involving a disputed blood test from Missouri. Police stopped a speeding, swerving car and the driver, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body.

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Views of the News
3:33 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Science Journalism, First-Person Journalism, "Snow Fall"

Professor Lee Wilkins

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

Health & Wealth Update
12:32 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

My Life My Town: Not all about me anymore

Shirley LeBlanc and her son Grayson
Kevin Cook Columbia Missourian

It was winter break of her senior year at Harrisburg High School when Shirley LeBlanc, then 18, found out she was pregnant. She was shocked by the news. Her family, particularly her mother was there to comfort her. Shirley’s son Grayson was born in July 2011. LeBlanc, now 19, struggles with the loneliness and challenges of single teenage parenthood. However, her faith is the thing that keeps her together. Producer Kevin Cook brings us this story, as part of KBIA and the Columbia Missourian’s My Life, My Town project.

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AM Newscasts
8:57 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Newscast for January 9, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Issues facing the Mo. Legislature as new legislative session begins
  • Mo. AG wants to retry overturned murder conviction
  • Boonville now owns former Union Pacific bridge
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Politics
8:43 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Tax cuts, health care on tap for Mo. Legislature

Credit david_shane / flickr

Taxes and health care figure to play prominently in Missouri's new legislative session.

The 2013 session kicks off at noon Wednesday and runs through May 17. Republicans will hold overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, but the governor's office will still be held by Democrat Jay Nixon.

Republican legislative leaders plan to pursue changes to the state's tax credit programs, as well as income tax cuts for individuals or businesses.

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Politics
8:30 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Citizen's commitee releases report on Mo. roads

As Missouri lawmakers begin a new session at noon on Wednesday, one issue facing them is how to fund Missouri’s roads and highways. A “Blue-Ribbon” citizen’s committee created by the Missouri House to examine the state’s transportation needs released its report on how to fix the funding crisis on Tuesday. The report lays out several options, including: raising either the state’s fuel tax or creating a sales tax dedicated to transportation needs.  House Speaker Tim Jones says he prefers exploring options that are "revenue neutral."

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Crime
8:24 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Mo. AG wants to retry overturned murder conviction

The state Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Mark Woodworth for murdering a neighboring farmer in 1990.
Credit Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri attorney general plans to retry a northwest Missouri man after the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction for the 1990 murder of a neighboring farmer.

The state's high court ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had failed to share evidence that could have helped Mark Woodworth's defense against charges that he fatally shot Catherine Robertson and wounded her husband.

The court ordered Woodworth released unless prosecutors decide to retry him. Later Tuesday, a spokeswoman said Attorney General Chris Koster intends to retry Woodworth.

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Politics
8:18 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Mo. treasurer returns $19.5M in unclaimed property

Credit KBIA

The Missouri state treasurer's office has returned nearly $20 million in unclaimed property in the first half of the fiscal year that began July 1.

Treasurer Clint Zweifel says in a release that his office has returned $19.5 million in 71,000 accounts. That's an increase of 11 percent increase over the first six months of the 2012 fiscal year. Last year, the office returned a total of about $39 million.

Zweifel says his office has returned $140 million to more than 450,000 account holders since January 2009.

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Business
8:16 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Boonville now owns former Union Pacific bridge

Boonville now owns the bridge across the Missouri River.
Credit bikekatytrail.com

Boonville residents are celebrating the end of a long effort to take ownership of a former Union Pacific Railroad bridge.

The Boonville City Council on Tuesday approved a deal to transfer ownership of the bridge to the city.

City officials are already discussing plans for redevelopment of the Boonville bridge, which was built in 1931, with an eye toward making it a major part of the Katy Trail biking and hiking trail.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the city has a four-phase plan that would cost an estimated $4 million over eight to 10 years.

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Agriculture
8:11 am
Wed January 9, 2013

State pushes pet spay and neuter program

Missouri Agriculture Department director Jon Hagler
Credit File photo

The director of the Missouri agriculture department is promoting a state program that gives grants to groups that provide spay and neutering services for animals.

This is the fifth year of the program, which is funded by proceeds from Missouri's "I'm Pet Friendly" license plates.

Agriculture Director Jon Hagler said Tuesday the public is more concerned these days about animal welfare, particularly dog breeding and inadequate animal shelters.

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Business
5:56 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Centralia approved for EEZ

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced Monday the approval of Enhanced Enterprise Zone, or EEZ, designation to the city of Centralia, Mo.

In the program, businesses could receive tax incentives as encouragement to open up shop in a certain area of the city. Zone designation is based on certain demographic criteria, the potential to create sustainable jobs in a targeted industry and a demonstrated impact on local cluster development, the department says.

Politics
5:25 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Rep. Hartzler opens office in Columbia, talks spending cuts and Hagel

Us. Rep. Vicky Hartzler met with dozens of supporters at the opening of her south Columbia office.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler opened the doors to her new office in Columbia Tuesday.

Dozens of supporters showed up to welcome the Republican congresswoman to the south Columbia location. For many of them it was the first time meeting her.

Though this is Hartzler’s second term in Congress, this is the first time she will be representing Boone County in the Fourth District. That’s because of redistricting that occurred after Missouri lost a spot in the House because of the state’s dip in population.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

New Mo. GOP chair plans more aggressive approach

Ed Martin says Missouri GOP needs to do a better job at fundraising.
Credit KBIA

The new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party wants the GOP to be more aggressive in promoting its message and more sophisticated in reaching out to voters.

Martin narrowly ousted former chair David Cole on Saturday.

Many speculate it was because of the GOP's poor performance in statewide races, where the party lost five out of the six races.

Martin says those losses were due to one thing: "We found ourselves at a disadvantage because we were vastly outspent by tens of millions of dollars total," he says.

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Weather
5:01 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

2012 was record warm year in much of Missouri

Hot child in Missouri.
Credit jetsandzeppelins / Flickr

If you're a Missourian and felt hot under the collar last year, there is good reason.

The National Weather Service says 2012 was the warmest year on record in St. Louis and Columbia, and was among the warmest in other cities.

St. Louis recorded an average temperature of 61.2 degrees for last year, a full 1.1 degrees higher than the previous mark set in 1921.

In Columbia, the average temperature of 59.4 degrees topped the 1938 record.

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AM Newscasts
10:15 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Newscast for January 8, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • A preview of the upcoming Mo. legislative session
  • The Columbia City council voting to disband EEZ efforts
  • The Blue Ribbon Citizen's Committee on Transportation gets ready to release report
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Politics
9:10 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Columbia city council votes to shut down EEZ board, delays vote on Neidermeyer demolition

Credit File Photo / KBIA

The Columbia City Council voted Monday to shut down the Enhanced Enterprise Zone advisory board. The vote effectively eliminates the effort to establish an economically incentivized zone for businesses in the city.

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Politics
9:04 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Committee to release report on Mo. transportation

Credit File Photo / KBIA

A special task force is preparing to release its recommendation for Missouri's transportation system.

The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs scheduled a news conference to release the report Tuesday afternoon at the state Capitol.

The committee has been led by former Republican House Speaker Rod Jetton and by former Highways and Transportation Commission member Bill McKenna.

The panel says more than 800 people attended meetings it held in seven cities throughout Missouri. It has focused on a variety of transportation issues.

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Business
9:00 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Mo. insurer recovers after Joplin tornado claims

Credit Matt Evans / KBIA

An insurance company that nearly went under after the Joplin tornado is back in better financial condition.

Missouri's insurance department says a judge has granted its request to release Barton County Mutual Insurance Co. from department control. The company was placed in rehabilitation in December 2011 when it was on the brink of insolvency because of claims from the deadly tornado that hit Joplin earlier that year.

Barton Mutual had premiums of $32 million in 2011 but reported claims of $48 million related to the Joplin tornado.

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Agriculture
8:54 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Drawdowns on wetlands in western Mo.

Drawdowns will be staged at in two wetlands in western Missouri so the Missouri Department of Conservation can conduct aerial topographic surveys on the Upper Osage River flood plain.

Missouri's Conservation Department is lowering the water in two wetlands in the western part of the state to help plan for repairs.

The department says it's conducting aerial topographic surveys on the Upper Osage River flood plain, including wetlands on the Four Rivers and Schell Osage conservation areas south of Kansas City. The department says the surveys will help plan for upcoming wetlands renovations, which will include improvements to levees and other water-control structures.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Springfield to get new rehabilitation hospital

State regulators have approved construction of a 60-bed rehabilitation hospital in southwest Missouri.

The Mercy Hospital system says the 63,000-square-foot facility will be located in southeastern Springfield, close to the existing Mercy Orthopedic Hospital. Groundbreaking is expected in March.

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Intersection
7:06 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Development in downtown Columbia

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

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Agriculture
10:09 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Food safety rules up for comment

The FDA has proposed new food safety rules focusing, in part, on the produce industry.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed food safety rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on Friday. The proposed standards come two full years after President Obama signed the act into law in January of 2011. 

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Agriculture
4:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Wanted: Large-animal veterinarians willing to work in rural areas

The red flags on this map indicate counties with high concentrations of livestock without veterinarians.
Courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

It's no secret that agriculture in the U.S. has gone through major changes in the past century. But let's focus in on ag labor for a second: back in 1900, 41 percent of the national workforce worked in the agricultural sector. By 2000, just 1.9 percent did, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Over the same time period, millions of residents left rural communities behind, seeking job opportunities in cities.

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Faith/Religion
7:00 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Columbia mosque faces imam shortage and funding challenges

Men kneel in worship as another sings the call to prayer at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. Even though the mosque does not have an official imam, or prayer leader and scholar, members of the community step up to perform the role, like the call to
Ryan Schuessler, ColumbiaFAVS KBIA

Since 2008, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri has been without an imam – a central community leader in Islam. Although Columbia’s Muslim community has found ways to stay active, it is without a formally trained spiritual leader.

Imams lead prayers, serve as religious scholars and assist with weddings and lectures, among other things.

Without an imam, “You won’t have someone who you can ask questions to frequently,” mosque Secretary Rafa Nizam said. “The access to knowledge might not be as easy.”

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Politics
5:34 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Nixon taps 2 lawyers for Mo. university board

When the original administration building of the university burned in 1892 the columns were left standing. They stand today on Francis Quadrangle and are an iconic image of the university's Columbia campus.
Jay Buffington Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jay Nixon has named two Democratic lawyers to the board that oversees the four-campus University of Missouri system.

The appointments of John Phillips and Michael Ponder to the University of Missouri Board of Curators were announced Friday. They would serve until 2019 if the appointments are confirmed by the state Senate.

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Agriculture
2:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Field Notes: The year's top stories in agriculture

For the Harvest Network, the drought was the top story in agriculture in 2012. Here, a dry corn field outside Columbia, Mo. photographed in July 2012.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

For this edition of Field Notes — our first in 2013 — we decided to take a look back at last year’s biggest stories in agriculture.

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Politics
8:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Nixon urges renewal of some Sunshine Law exemptions

Gov. Jay Nixon has scheduled a news conference for today, looking at renewing some Sunshine Law exemptions.
Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is urging renewal of exemptions from Missouri's open records law for security systems of government buildings and policies for responding to terrorism.

The exemptions protecting such information from disclosure expired at the end of 2012.

Nixon has scheduled news conferences on the topic today at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Missouri State Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City. Law enforcement and public school district officials are scheduled to take part.

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Global Journalist
6:43 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

A conversation with Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson, president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center, was among last year’s Missouri Honor Medal winners. The Missouri School of Journalism gives the annual awards for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

Paulson was the editor or managing editor at newspapers in five states, launched online newspapers and was part of the team that founded USA Today in 1982.

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Under the Microscope
6:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Regret may not always be a bad thing, researcher says

Laura King is a professor in the University of Missouri Department of Psychological Sciences
Laura King

On this week's show, we'll discuss why regret might not always be a bad thing.

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