Today Paul Pepper visits with DR. RICK FRAUNFELDER, Director, Mason Eye Institute, about keeping your eyes safe during the upcoming solar eclipse. Dr. Fraunfelder encourages everyone to wear special glasses - not sunglasses! - to avoid "thermal burn" during the partial phases of the eclipse. At [4:54] meet Missouri River Regional Library Bookmobile drivers JON KARR and MARK WEGMAN! Their 40 foot bus will be making a "party stop" and "cool stops" throughout the summer - find out what that means and when they'll be in your neighborhood! June 12, 2017

 Lincoln University will operate next fiscal year with a budget that is $3 million less than last year and includes 48 position losses.

The Board of Curators on Thursday approved a budget of $33.5 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Martin Cathrae / Flickr

Jars of peanut butter and packets of veggie chili mix sit on metal shelves in a white room, ready to be picked up by hungry University of Missouri students. But this place isn’t a supermarket or campus convenience store. This is a food pantry—MU’s Tiger Pantry, to be exact.

A food pantry. On a college campus? In Columbia? Yes. The rising cost of college and other higher education necessities can make students run short when it comes to food. Rachel Volmert, the director of Tiger Pantry, said this increasing financial burden makes some students think that they have to choose between paying for school or buying nutritious food.

AP Photo

Fifteen years ago, Turkey was the great democratic beacon of the Islamic world. Back then Turkey’s current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was viewed as a moderate Islamist and modernizer.

How times have changed.

In recent years Erdogan's Turkey has become an authoritarian state. A failed military coup last year led to a massive purge of government workers. Dozens of independent media outlets and publishers were closed and more than 47,000 people arrested. An estimated 100,000 teachers, civil servants and other officials have been fired and blacklisted from government work. In April, Erdogan narrowly won a constitutional referendum granting him sweeping new powers, including a change to term limits that would let him stay in office until 2029.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we examine Turkey's dying democracy and its prospects for the future.

Today Paul Pepper visits with the City of Columbia's BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager, and ERIC HEMPEL, Housing Specialist, about how much insulation you should have in your attic. Eric says your attic is the least expensive and most cost-effective room in your home to insulate. So how much should be up there; should I be able to see my rafters; and what difference does it all make are just some of the questions we get to the bottom of - watch! June 9, 2017

Nadeem Ramiydh, left, looks into the camera and is wearing black glasses and a bright blue polo shirt. Sawsan Hasan, right, is wearing a white headscarf, a blue jacket and a bright, multi-colored floral scarf around her neck.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Sawsan Hasan and Nadeem Ramiydh both work for the Refugee & Immigration Services office in Columbia. Both of them work with refugees on a daily basis and are from Iraq themselves. They spoke about the need for more mental health care within the refugee and immigrant communities – especially when it comes to dealing with PTSD.

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

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

A portion of a 38-foot-tall granite monument to the Confederacy in St. Louis has been removed, but a spokesman for the mayor's office says the bulk of the memorial may remain in place for weeks.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The city of Springfield, Missouri, is moving closer to starting a local prescription drug monitoring program.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that a City Council committee decided Tuesday to let the full council vote on a bill that would create the program. The ordinance would add the city to a group of more than two dozen jurisdictions in Missouri that have decided to take control without the help of the state.

Missouri is currently the only place in the country without statewide prescription drug tracking.

MU-UM Budget Roundup: Laid-off IT Workers Locked Out of HR Info

Jun 9, 2017
Creative Commons / Flickr

UM System and MU information technology employees who were laid off due to budget cuts were locked out of the myHR website, which houses information about all their paid-leave balances, payroll and compensation, retirement and benefit information, and links to information about other jobs in the UM System.

Graduate Tuition Waivers Under Review as MU Examines Budget

Jun 9, 2017
Jesse Hall and the Mizzou columns
Darren Hellwege / KBIA

The severity of the sting of substantial budget cuts at MU became more clear Thursday when the campus released a detailed report of the cuts that were made.

The 40-page document, which also listed programs and efforts that were safeguarded as MU wrestled with an across-the-board budget cut of 12 percent, lists the details school by school and department by department.

While some of the schools and departments were quite precise in their descriptions of cuts or consolidations that were made, others used more of a broad-brush approach. Here are some of the highlights.

Amid Falling Enrollment, MU Expands Existing Recruitment, Marketing Efforts

Jun 8, 2017
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Double down on phone calls. Double up on school visits. Talk to pastors, counselors, farmers, researchers and teachers.

That’s Jesse Hall’s recipe for increasing MU’s enrollment after a year of sharp decline. It’s what MU administrators have done for years. This year, rather than rolling out new initiatives or pouring money toward increasing enrollment, they are multiplying past efforts.

Today Paul Pepper visits with MELANIE KNOCKE about what the Columbia Public Schools' Planetarium is doing to prepare everyone for the solar eclipse that's happening on August 21st! Plus, Melanie brought with her an animation that shows us just how the moon's shadow will move across the United States that day - watch! June 8, 2017

TurneJ1 via Wikipedia

Supporters of a new osteopathic medical school in Joplin are looking forward to late July, when the first class of 162 students is scheduled to arrive.

The Joplin campus of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday. It is the first medical school to open in Missouri in nearly a half century.

University Village Apartments
Miranda Metheny / KBIA

The University of Missouri will pay $750,000 to settle claims filed after a Columbia firefighter died in a walkway collapse at a university apartment complex.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the settlement finalized Monday comes in a lawsuit filed by the widow of Lt. Bruce Britt. The suit alleged that the university didn't properly maintain the University Village Apartments, where Britt died in February 2014 while evacuating residents. The apartments have since been torn down.

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri plans to close its Washington-based lobbying office by the end of the summer, costing two staff members their jobs.

The cuts are part of the university's system-wide budget reductions announced Friday by president Mun Choi.

Federal disclosure reports show the university system spent $320,000 in 2016 on the Washington lobbying operation.

Mike Matthes / City of Columbia website

Columbia made steps toward social equity but also faces a lean budget, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes said in his state of the city address today. 

"We have begun to close the employment gap between white and black Columbians. The American Community Survey measures unemployment by race; they’ve measured it since 2005. The gap is now the smallest we’ve ever seen," Matthes said. "When the City Council established the strategic plan, African American unemployment was 15.5% in Columbia. Today it’s 11.9%. We still have work to do, but we’re gaining on our goal." 

Looking to public safety, he credited community outreach policing efforts for significant decreases in crime in three neighborhoods. 

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software. Also, the call for Bill Maher’s ouster from HBO, how President Trump’s tweets immediately following the London terror attacks could affect his efforts to reinstate the travel ban and a controversial column from the Columbia Daily Tribune’s new publisher. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Today Paul Pepper visits with MOLLY McMILLAN, Co-Chair of Serve It Up CoMo 2017, about their mission to "do good," and the three events this summer that will benefit six non-profits in the mid-Missouri area. Your taste buds will thank you for taking part in this charity campaign - watch for details! At [3:57] director TIM THOMAS invites everyone to Columbia Entertainment Company's production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Come for the comedy, stay for the dancing and other "things" that Tim says has not been seen before on the CEC stage! Curtain goes up tomorrow night. June 7, 2017

steakpinball / Wikimedia Commons

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that a white professor at a predominantly black university in St. Louis was fired "because of the color of her skin."

A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a 2015 jury verdict that awarded nearly $5 million to Beverly Wilkins, a former professor at Harris-Stowe State University.

Wilkins claimed in her lawsuit that she was repeatedly passed over for promotions during nine years of employment before being fired in 2010.

Dave Schumaker / Flickr

No damage is reported after a small earthquake shook some areas of eastern Missouri early on Tuesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred at 6:29 a.m. Tuesday morning - centered near the town of Bonne Terre, which is about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software.   

Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle & Ryan Grim, The Intercept: “Top-secret NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Representatives from MU Health Care and the University of Missouri School of Medicine gathered Tuesday to celebrate the start of emergency room expansion at the university hospital with a ground breaking ceremony, turning dirt over in a small trough near the hospital’s entrance.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Here's the Tax Mess That's Crippling Missouri

Jun 6, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

When UM System President Mun Choi revealed Friday afternoon his plan for cutting the system budget by $90 million and reconfiguring the institution for the years ahead, the pep band didn't play as it did the last time he invited us in. 

After all, the band doesn’t do dirges.

We can also expect that there won’t be much, if any, talk about just who dug the budget hole Dr. Choi and his planners are trying to fill. It wasn’t an accident.

In fact, the hole was dug quite deliberately by the Republican legislative majority to benefit the state’s wealthiest and most influential taxpayers, individual and corporate.

The digging tool was a series of top-heavy tax cuts that have reduced state revenue to the point that vital services such as higher education, assistance to the needy and even maintenance of basic infrastructure have been crippled...


Read the complete column at the Missourian. 

Elena Rivera

A new fee approved by Mizzou students in the spring will help fund expanded mental health services on campus over the coming school year. That's good news for the many students who seek out the MU Counseling Center each semester. 

“The only thing I wanted my freshman year was to be normal,” said Daniaja Davis. “I wanted to have a normal college experience. I thought I really wanted to get away from home, that was the mindset I was in. If I get away and start over, life will be swell.”

For Davis, a women and gender studies major at the University of Missouri, coming to college was a tough transition.

Student reporters working at KBIA as part of their coursework at the Missouri School of Journalism have won numerous national awards in the last month.

National Student Edward R. Murrow Awards

Today Paul Pepper visits with "The Foolish Corner" author, and MU finance professor, JOHN HOWE. Personal financial decision making is easy when you know what "traps" to avoid, and that's what this book sets out to do. John says it's written for a "broad audience" with the hope that we can all overcome our own money mistakes. At [4:08] actors MURPHY WARD and RENATA JOHNSON invite everyone to come see Capital City Productions' "Sister Act - The Musical!" If you know the Whoopi Goldberg-led film of the same name, you'll love the stage version featuring music by Alan Menken. June 6, 2017

Naoya Fujii / flickr

A trial is poised to begin against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its decision to introduce a genetically engineered corn seed variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports.

It's the first of tens of thousands of cases to go to trial over the issue. The proceedings are scheduled to start Monday in Kansas City, Kansas. The federal trial involves thousands of plaintiffs from Kansas. That trial and another soon in Minnesota are meant to provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved.