Alex George / University of Missouri

Alex George is a lawyer by day, and an author by even earlier in the day. The author of six books, including Setting Free the Kites – published by Penguin in February, is also organizing the Unbound Book Festival, in its second year running this April.

The festival will bring acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie, author of such books as Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses to Columbia.

George said that as the festival organizer, he was glad to bring someone of Rushdie’s celebrity to Unbound and is excited to see Rushdie in front of an audience.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back PATRICK CLARK, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra. Patrick invites everyone to their second-ever concert tomorrow night in Jefferson City! A choral ensemble, featuring current and former MU School of Music students, will join the orchestra in performing Bach's Mass in B minor, which Patrick calls, "a magnificent masterpiece." At [4:11] MEGAN SCHRAEDLEY and MICHAEL FINK stop by to give us a sneak preview of what they'll be talking about at next Wednesday's Science on Tap CoMo event at the Craft Beer Cellar in downtown Columbia! Megan's focus will be food insecurities; Michael will discuss gene therapy in the cornea. Two perfect conversations to have over a couple of brewskis, don't you think? April 20, 2017

After Arguments, Supreme Court Leans Toward Local Church in Religious Freedom Case

Apr 20, 2017
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

After arguments on Wednesday, U.S. Supreme Court justices seemed to lean in favor of a Columbia church in the case of whether a church’s preschool should be allowed to receive a state grant.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a proposal that sets stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

Auditor Galloway Subpoenas Department of Revenue

Apr 20, 2017
Torie Ross / KBIA

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena Wednesday to the Department of Revenue after it refused to provide records for a state audit.

CoMo Connect Copyright Case to Keep Moving Forward

Apr 19, 2017
Columbia bus
Columbia Transit

Columbia’s public transit program can still call itself CoMo Connect – at least for now. A federal judge ruled the bus system’s name can stay as is despite a copyright claim from another Co-Mo branded company.

CoMo Connect can mean two things: Columbia’s bus system or an internet, TV and phone provider owned by the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative. The co-op sued in October saying having two CoMo Connects was too confusing for mid-Missourians. Jeffery Simon is a lawyer for the company.

Rally Celebrates Columbia’s First Sanctuary Congregation

Apr 19, 2017
Julien Coquelle-Roehm / KBIA

More than a hundred people gathered to celebrate the new sanctuary status of Columbia’s Unitarian Universalist Church (UUCC) this Tuesday. The church members voted last week to become what it calls a sanctuary congregation. Under this status, the church says it will take civil initiative to protect immigrants and refugees facing deportation. 

“Becoming a sanctuary congregation means first that we are taking a public stand in solidarity with our immigrants and refugee members of the community,” Reverend Molly Housh Gordon said. “We're going to be engaging in public activism for more just policy and a more dignified approach to immigration.”

Fox News ousts Bill O'Reilly amid sexual harassment allegations. Video posted of a brutal murder in Cleveland forces Facebook to address the question again: is it a media company? What obligation does it have to monitor for criminal or violent content? Also, the White House’s decision not to make visitor logs public, can a commercial for McDonald’s be effective without any mention of McDonald’s and why Boston’s Fox affiliate is dropping network branding. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Center for Missouri Studies Breaks Ground

Apr 19, 2017
State Historical Society of Missouri

The State Historical Society of Missouri will break ground on its new home at the corner of Elm and Sixth streets.

After nearly eight years of planning, construction on the 75,000 square-foot facility will begin Wednesday. The State Historical Society expects completion of the building by 2019 with an estimated cost of $35 million.

Alexandra Waetjan is the Outreach Coordinator for the State Historical Society. She said this project will link the community.

Today Paul Pepper visits with KRISTEN EIFFERT, Central Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about another 'Kids in the Kitchen' class happening April 29th at the Columbia Public Library! It'll be a Cinco De Mayo theme, so get ready to make four different Mexican-style recipes! At [3:12] HEATHER HARLAN, Phoenix Health Programs, Inc., sheds a little light on the recent opioid epidemic, and provides three myths. For some perspective, did you know 1,066 Missourians died of an opioid overdose in 2015? Do you know why? Heather says it's because there's been a "perfect storm of science and policy." April 19, 2017

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed a plan to change laws on students transferring from failing schools.

House members voted 138-6 Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate.

The measure would require schools to be accredited by individual building instead of just by district.

It would allow students at failing schools to transfer to better-performing schools within their districts. If those are full, they could transfer to nearby districts or charter schools.

MU Staff Members Question Administrators About Potential Layoffs

Apr 19, 2017
Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

Worries about potential staff layoffs at MU were not assuaged Tuesday after an open forum allowed staff to ask questions to university administrators. 

About 100 people attended the forum, which was hosted by the MU Staff Advisory Council, an organization that acts as a liaison between staff and administration on campus. Staff members were invited to submit questions beforehand, which were presented to a panel of administrators along with questions from the attendees.

Video posted of a brutal murder in Cleveland forces Facebook to address the question again: is it a media company? What obligation does it have to monitor for criminal or violent content?

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired: “Facebook streams a murder and now must face itself

Jefferson City Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

Apr 18, 2017
Greg Jordan / Flickr

Eighteen-year-olds can no longer purchase tobacco products in Jefferson City, after the city council voted Monday to raise the age limit for all tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Tabacco21, a project of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, pushed for the measure. The organization advocates for raising the tobacco age to 21 around the country. More than one-third of Missouri’s population lives in areas where the age requirement has been raised.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The entire Missouri Attorney General’s Office has recused itself from the Supreme Court case involving Columbia’s Trinity Lutheran Church, which is set to begin oral arguments tomorrow.

State Historical Society to Break Ground in Columbia

Apr 18, 2017
State Historical Society of Missouri

The State Historical Society of Missouri will break ground on its new home at the corner of Elm and Sixth Wednesday.

After nearly eight years of planning, the 75,000 square-foot facility will be the new home for the State Historical Society of Missouri. The completed project is expected to be completed by 2019 with an estimated cost of $35 million.
Dave Thomas / Flickr

Results from a 2017 survey of Missouri caves and mines show that the population of a bat species previously common in the state dropped dramatically from previous years. The survey results reveal that the number of northern long-eared bats in Missouri has taken a dramatic hit due to White-Nose Syndrome.

The syndrome is caused by a fungus, which can disturb bats’ hibernation and cause them to die from starvation. In the 2015 survey of 375 caves and mines, surveyors found 2,684 northern long-eared bats. For 2017, just seven bats of that species were found in 500 caves and mines.

Missouri Department of Conservation

In Missouri’s woods this time of year, there’s something new to see every day.

For weeks, redbud blooms have stolen the show, painting pink streaks through the understory, but this week, Missouri’s state tree takes the spotlight.

This week on Intersection, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece joins us to discuss the Unified Development Ordinance, which took effect at the end of March. The new zoning code is the biggest comprehensive reform to zoning in Columbia since the 1950s. Treece says some of the changes include strengthening protections for neighborhoods and increasing parking requirements for large residential developments.

Listen here: 

KBIA Wins Two National Headliner Awards

Apr 18, 2017

KBIA has been honored with two National Headliner Awards.

As it described on its website, “Founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, the National Headliner Awards program is one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.”

There are no class sizes in the competition, So KBIA competed against every other radio station that entered, including major market stations like WNYC and WBEZ.

KBIA took third place in two categories: 

Boone County Ranks Low on Health Behaviors

Apr 18, 2017
Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

Although it's the top county in the state when it comes to access to clinical care, Boone County has nothing to brag about on health outcomes and behaviors. 

According to this year's county health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Boone County has higher numbers than the state average on alcohol consumption-related behaviors and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Today Paul Pepper visits with SEAN SPENCE, Regional Director of the Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, about sexually explicit mail delivery. Find out why it happens, who it's happening to (no joke: a minister's wife) and what you can do about it! Another scam we touch on involves college scholarships. Lots of great information - watch! April 18, 2017

Supreme Court Will Interpret Religious Freedom in Trinity Lutheran Church Case

Apr 18, 2017
Beatriz Costa-Lima / KBIA

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in what could become a game-changing religious freedom case.

And it began on a Columbia church playground.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer has worked its way up the judicial ladder since 2012, when the church's application to Missouri's Scrap Tire Surface Material Grant program was rejected by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The case was formerly known as Trinity v. Pauley — referring to the former director of the Department of Natural Resources, Sara Parker Pauley.

Commentary: Democratic Dilemmas

Apr 18, 2017

Here are three things Democrats should not do if they want to regain the majority.

They should not be like Donald Trump and use profanity in public.  Last week it was reported that the Democratic National Chairman said in public one of the words you can’t say on TV, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said one of the other ones, in its gerund form.  Lots of Millennials talk this way and for some reason Trump can get away with talking this way.  But “I am authentic because I am vulgar” is not a winning strategy for Democrats.

House Votes to Block New State Parks

Apr 17, 2017
David Shane / Flickr

The Missouri House passed House Bill 698 which blocks the creation of new state parks until the maintenance of existing parks is completed.

First introduced in January, HB 698 prohibits the Department of Natural Resources from “acquiring additional land to establish a state park until all existing parks and facilities are brought up to date and are in good working order.”

The Missouri Parks & Recreation Association (MPRA) is a non-profit dedicated to supporting parks and recreation across the state.