Three-Star Receiver Gray commits to Missouri

Jul 5, 2017
Karen Mitchell / KBIA Sports Extra

Missouri football landed its fifth commitment of the Class of 2018 on Tuesday when three-star wide receiver Danny Gray, from Dallas, announced his collegiate decision on Twitter. 

"I want to thank God for giving me an opportunity to play football at the next level," Gray wrote. "I also want to thank my high school coaches that helped me get this far and gave me the opportunity to play football. With that being said, I will be committing to the University of Missouri to continue my football career." 

Missouri Department of Conservation

Spend much time near a Missouri waterbody in summer, and chances are you’ll see reptiles galore including water snakes basking on a sunny day.

Trevor Harris / KBIA

It took over two years for word of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach slaves in Texas. Over 150 years, residents of Boonville have annually celebrated the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's 1863 executive order that freed America's conscripted blacks.

Treece Disbands Task Force on Medical Tourism

Jul 5, 2017

Mayor Brian Treece dissolved the Task Force on Medical Tourism, but he said the city's effort to brand Columbia the medical center of Missouri will continue.

Today Paul Pepper visits with consumer expert MEL ZELENAK. Have you ever been in a situation where, after taking your car in to be serviced for a recall, they tell you they've found other problems that need to be addressed? Find out why Mel says you should tell them to wait on doing any additional repairs. Plus, advice on buying life insurance for your child. July 5, 2017

Null Value / Flickr

A former south central Missouri sheriff's deputy accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in 2011 will be tried in suburban St. Louis' St. Charles County. 

Flickr / steakpinball

A parent has sued the Blue Springs School District alleging an unchecked culture of bullying contributed to the suicides of one student and the subsequent suicide of that student's best friend.

The Kansas City Star reported the lawsuit filed last week says the two teenage boys were bullied, harassed and discriminated at one of the middle schools and a high school. The lawsuit filed by Rebecca Lewis accuses the school district of violating anti-bullying laws by downplaying complaints.

Lincoln University / flickr

  Lincoln University in Jefferson City is struggling to respond to a budget gap created by cuts in state and federal appropriations and a history of being mostly forgotten by government officials.

The university is one of two historically black colleges in Missouri. It says it will lose $3.8 million in state and federal funds for the 2017-2018 academic year. In response, Lincoln is cutting 48 positions and reducing employee pay by 0.5 percent. It's also increasing tuition by 2 percent.

Commentary: The GOP's Big Issue Under the Surface

Jul 4, 2017

Republicans are riding high.  They hold the presidency and both houses of Congress.  They are four for four in special House elections.  Congressional Democrats are not even good obstructionists, not to mention getting any of their legislation passed.

Happy Independence Day! To help celebrate, Paul Pepper welcomes back local storyteller LARRY BROWN! Larry tells a Fourth of July-themed true story about an "odd couple" who died on the same day, this day, many years ago. Any guesses? Watch! July 4, 2017

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Top Republican recruit U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri says she's not running for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018.

Wagner said in a statement Monday that she's instead running for re-election to her suburban St. Louis House seat.

Wagner's announcement creates a vacuum for Republicans hoping to win the U.S. Senate seat. McCaskill is among 10 Senate Democrats running in 2018 in states won by President Donald Trump.

Ashcroft to Release Missourians' Voting Data to Trump Commission

Jul 4, 2017
Jay Ashcroft, Twitter

  Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says Missouri law compels him to comply with a request to turn over voter data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Ashcroft, a Republican, said in a statement: "My willingness to comply with the request for publicly available data is not a political or personal choice. It's a decision based on the laws governing my office and the information we have. No voter preferences, political affiliations, or confidential information will be provided."

Today Paul Pepper visits with NADIA NAVARRETE-TINDALL about the importance of milkweed in the life of the monarch butterfly. If you're thinking about planting milkweed in your yard, Nadia's advice is a good first step in successfully adapting all kinds of milkweed to your garden. At [4:44] KELLY LANCEY and JACKIE VERDUN talk about what it's like being a "host family" to an exchange student who's taking part in the Rotary Youth Exchange. If it's something you'd like to do, too, we tell you how - watch! July 3, 2017

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed legislation to make it tougher to prove workplace and housing discrimination in court.

Greitens signed the measure late Friday.

The legislation has been blasted by Democrats and groups such as the state NAACP. The Missouri NAACP last week cited the measure in issuing an advisory telling travelers to be careful while in the state because of a danger that civil rights won't be respected.

Zoe Moffett, Colorado College

A project involving scientists from Missouri is designed to help bumblebees by tracking their buzzing and activity.

The Columbia Missourian reports scientists developed an acoustic listening system to monitor bee activity in a specific area. The goal is to analyze bee activity for several years and give warnings if bee populations are declining.

Leslie Anderson stands over the shoulder of Max Lewis wearing a pink blouse amnd white cardigan. She has blonde hair. Max Lewis, right, sits in a power wheelchair wearing glasses and a red shirt. They both smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Max Lewis is a lawyer in Columbia. He is also quadriplegic and uses a program called Consumer Directed Services to hire in-home help with personal care. He sat down with Leslie Anderson, the director of policy and advocacy for Services for Independent Living.

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, who issued a rare joint news release a few days ago to declare, in effect, that they’re wild about Harry S. Truman and optimistic his statue will soon bump Blair’s.

Starting July 1, though, the state will only pay up to 60 percent of what it would cost to live in a nursing home. There are a very limited amount of waivers that would allow people to keep their full care, but these make up for a tiny fraction of the estimated 8,800 Missourians who need this kind of care. 

For the rest, these changes may mean getting fewer hours of assistance or ending up in a nursing home.

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


A major financial ratings agency has downgraded the University of Missouri system's credit outlook from stable to negative, citing enrollment declines on the flagship campus in Columbia and declining state revenue.

Moody's Investor Services on Thursday also affirmed the university's Aa1 credit rating, the second highest rating possible. Moody's said the university's revenue and overall financial health give it the flexibility to deal with year-to-year financial challenges.

Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer is the state's next chief justice.

Fischer's term begins Saturday and ends in 2019. In Missouri, Supreme Court judges take turns serving as the chief justice. The chief justice acts as the administrative leader of the state's judicial system.

Former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Fischer to the high court in 2008. Voters in 2010 chose to keep him on the court for a 12-year term that expires in 2022. Before that he was elected as an associate circuit judge in Atchison County in 2006.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is creating a taskforce to find ways to revamp Missouri's prison system.

Greitens announced his executive order Friday. He's directing the taskforce to find ways to ensure there's enough room for the state's most violent offenders without expanding prisons.

Greitens also wants the taskforce to find ways to reduce the number of convicts who reoffend.

The panel will be led by Corrections Department Director Anne Precythe or her designee.

Paul Pepper: Tim Rich, Welcome Home

Jun 30, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with TIM RICH about Welcome Home, an emergency and transitional shelter for homeless veterans. Tim says, "when you think about the fact that every single veteran that served in the United States military - male or female - signed on the dotted line willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. We owe them...a new start when they hit bottom and find themselves on the street, and that's what Welcome Home is about." June 30, 2017

isnapshot / flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is signing bills to allow farm equipment on highways at night and tax propane used as vehicle fuel.

Greitens announced his support Thursday. One new law will allow farm machinery with proper lighting on state highways at night.

St louis
paparutzi / Flickr

The final pieces of a Confederate Monument have been removed from a St. Louis park.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that most of the 38-foot-monument was removed from Forest Park in St. Louis on Wednesday night. The monument stood in the park for decades before it became the focus of a dispute between the city and the Missouri Civil War Museum.

AP Photo

Fifty years ago this week, Israelis were riding high. In just six days, the Jewish state’s army had won a stunning victory over the combined militaries of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israel more than tripled in size, winning control of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula.

But a half century later, the legacy of that war looks decidedly different. This month’s celebrations in Israel were muted, not least because its military continues to occupy the West Bank and guard over 3 million stateless and impoverished Palestinians.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the mixed legacy of the Jewish state's greatest military victory.

bsabarnowl / flickr

Law enforcement and safety councils at the Lake of the Ozarks are emphasizing awareness to lake safety to keep visitors safe.

Last year the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol made enforcement changes from seasons before. These changes included more troopers working at the lake, more BWI checkpoints, and raising awareness on the dangers caused by too much wake.

According to Sgt. Scott White of the WPD, the focus for the WPD this summer is raising boat operators’ awareness on how to manage their wake and at what speed their boat creates the most wake.

Tax Revenue Shortfalls Could Mean More Cuts for MU

Jun 29, 2017

It appears the bleeding hasn't stopped.

Just as the UM System Board of Curators passed its budget for fiscal 2018, tax revenue shortfalls could set the stage for more cuts in higher education funding across Missouri.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said on Wednesday that state revenue growth was below 2 percent instead of the projected 3 percent for fiscal year 2017. That means Missouri is facing a $150 million shortfall heading into fiscal year 2018, which begins Saturday.

KBIA is honored to receive first place awards in three categories in the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. annual national competition. The awards honor the best work in public radio across the country. KBIA competed against other stations in the “medium size station” category.