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Agriculture
3:12 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Why crop insurance subsidies are winning out

Kansas wheat farmer John Thaemert surveys his parched crop in this file photo from 2006.
Credit Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

There is little doubt that crop insurance will emerge from the current farm bill process with hefty subsidies in place. If anything, the program will become a larger part of the farming safety net.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Schaefer, Rowden talk Medicaid expansion, veto override vote at GOP meeting

Credit nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) and Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) heard from four supporters of Medicaid expansion at a legislative wrap-up session in Columbia Tuesday night. A little bit more than half of the one-hour meeting, hosted by the Boone County Pachyderms Club, was spent debating the expansion. 

Missouri’s GOP super-majority blocked every Democratic attempt to increase Medicaid eligibility in the state, calling the program an expensive, yet broken system.

Supporters of the expansion said it would help low-income, working adults in Missouri who aren’t eligible for the program, but are too poor to afford their own insurance. Brian Smith of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center attended the meeting. He said when combined with cuts to Medicare provider reimbursements, the lack of Medicaid expansion would disproportionately hurt rural hospitals and might push them to close. 

Both the Missouri House and Senate have instituted interim committees that would study ways to reform Medicaid. Rowden said he hopes to be involved in the discussion.

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Views of the News
1:33 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Snowdens speak, unequal coverage, unpaid internships, Nigella Lawson

Professor Amy Simons

  Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Marty Steffens.

Health & Wealth Update
12:37 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Boone Hospital and MU Health Care to lay off employees, cut others' hours

Credit KBIA file photo

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update.

Thirty-five MU Health Care employees will see their hours reduced in the coming year. At Boone Hospital Center, seven employees’ hours will be cut, while 13 full- and part-time employees will lose their jobs.

In Boone Hospital’s case, the layoffs came in a system-wide package. The hospital’s parent company, St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare, recently announced it is cutting 160 jobs from its hospitals. This is the first time BJC has ever made system-wide layoffs. June Fowler, vice president for corporate and public communications at the company, said several factors led to the layoffs.

“BJC is experiencing reductions in our reimbursement for the healthcare services that we provide,” Fowler said.  “We’ve also seen a decrease in inpatient hospitalizations.”

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Business
9:39 am
Wed June 19, 2013

As states tighten gun restrictions, two central Missouri mayors seek to attract gun business

Credit zombieite / Flickr

The mayors of Hallsville and Centralia, along with one Missouri legislator, have reached out to gun and ammunition manufacturers in an effort to attract those businesses as other states tighten gun restrictions.

State Representative Caleb Rowden said the decision to reach out to gun businesses is about improving the economy.

“This is a matter of jobs,” Rowden said. “If this was a different industry where it was so public that it made national news that these companies need relieving, I would have sent the same letter with some different bullet points.”

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Education
9:20 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Jefferson City school board members look forward to implementation of iPads for freshman

Credit Sean MacEntee / Flickr

Jefferson City's Board of Education has plans to put iPads into the hands of the incoming high school freshman class of 20-14 – 20-15. 

At its regular meeting Monday night, board members said they were enthusiastic about the new policy.

Jefferson City Schools Superintendent Brian Mitchell said he is confident in his students to use the technology to the best of their abilities, without allowing it to create distractions.

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CoMo Explained
8:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Are there really tunnels underneath downtown Columbia?

Subtera is an underground warehouse with 1 million square feet of space.
Credit Courtesy of MU Libraries

  This week CoMo Explained investigates the legend of Columbia's underground tunnels.

CoMo Explained: Episode 10

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Agriculture
4:16 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Missouri moves to lift ban on foreign farm owners

Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

A last-minute move by Missouri lawmakers could make it easier for a Chinese conglomerate to buy one of the biggest pork producers in the U.S.

Legislators agreed on their final day of work in May to remove a ban on foreign ownership of agricultural land in Missouri. That change sets a foreign ownership limit at 1 percent of the state's agricultural land, subject to approval by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Sen. McCaskill supports Hillary Clinton super PAC

Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she is supporting a super political action committee encouraging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016.

McCaskill is the first sitting member of Congress to endorse the group, called Ready for Hillary.

The organization does not have official ties to the former secretary of state but it's trying to lay the foundation for another Clinton campaign.

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Education
3:58 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Benefits for same-sex couples in UM System has local support

Credit File Photo / KBIA

University of Missouri system’s Board of Curators recently voted to expand employee’s insurance coverage to unmarried couples including partners of the same sex. Members of the LGBT community and University officials are talking about the change.

Harry Tyrer is a professor and faculty council member at MU. Tyrer says this benefit change will keep the MU system competitive in recruiting and retaining staff members.

“It’s more inclusive and it will increase the number of people who will see the University of Missouri as a great place to work at,” Tryer says.

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Crime
2:00 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Who's behind the Columbia downtown-shooting video?

Credit Robert Stinnett / Flickr

The Columbia Police Department is continuing to investigate a shooting in downtown Columbia Saturday night.  Shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, three young men were shot near the intersection of 10th Street and Broadway.  While the incident has some concerned about the safety of Columbia’s downtown area, a video of the shooting captured by a bystander has sparked a reaction from many residents.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:58 am
Tue June 18, 2013

MU research reactor and public-safety officials stage annual drill

Credit University of Missouri

The University of Missouri’s Research Reactor has successfully completed its annual drill.

The reactor staff worked with public-safety and health professionals yesterday to simulate a scenario involving a small fire and radiation exposure to two individuals.  The police and fire departments participate in the drill every other year.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Gov. Nixon considering cash-advance bill

Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit File Photo / KBIA

People running short of money could have a new alternative for getting some quick cash under legislation pending before Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

The bill would make it profitable for Missouri-based banks to offer short-term cash advances, similar to payday loans.

Some nationally chartered banks already offer the short-term loans with fees of about $50 on a $500 loan. Missouri law had allowed such loans, but the Missouri Bankers Association says that few banks offered them because the law set the maximum fee too low.

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Business
4:22 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Downtown Kansas City loses thousands of jobs over past decade

Credit Andrew Magill / Flickr

The multi-billion dollar makeover of the greater downtown Kansas City area over the past decade was intended in part to draw businesses, but census figures show the area has lost nearly 20 percent of its private employees in that period.

Indeed, the Kansas City Star reports that U.S. Census data from 2001 to 2011 show that greater downtown lost more than 16,000 jobs.

That decade covers the period from shortly before the downtown redevelopment boom began to just after the major redevelopment projects, such as the Kansas City Power and Light District, were completed.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

State Reps. Jones, Diehl to vie for House Speaker role in November

Credit File / KBIA

A leadership competition is brewing within the Republican caucus that has controlled the Missouri House for the past decade.

Caleb Jones, of California, Mo., said Monday he is running for House speaker. That top leadership post also is being sought by current House Majority Leader John Diehl, of St. Louis County.

Republicans now hold a veto-proof majority in the House. Current House Speaker Tim Jones is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in November 2014 to the House.

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