Missouri's Public Pension System Facing Funding Crisis, Treasurer Says

Sep 13, 2017
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JEFFERSON CITY — The public pension system in Missouri is continuing to fail to meet funding projections, a situation State Treasurer Eric Schmitt called a crisis Wednesday.

Schmitt urged a joint committee of lawmakers to address serious structural issues in pension systems that he said could bankrupt the state.

"This crisis is no longer on the horizon. It is at our doorstep," Schmitt said. "This is a conversation that we need to have."

Reporters have been wrapping themselves around street signs and lampposts since Dan Rather’s first hurricane live shot during Hurricane Carla in 1961. We tell our audiences to stay inside, is it time to take our own advice? Also, the ethics of undercover reporting, why the Department of Justice wants some RT associates to register as foreign agents, and Disney’s attempt to bring back the Mickey Mouse Club – or should we say Club Mickey Mouse. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

In this episode of Talking Politics, Professor Mark Horvit explains what’s in store for Missouri lawmakers as they meet for their annual veto session this week. Mark Horvit is a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and leads the school’s state government reporting program.

Of all the vetoed bills, one of the most talked about is a measure that would fix funding cuts to in-home and nursing home care for seniors.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back PATRICK CLARK, founder of Jefferson City's Southside Philharmonic Orchestra. Patrick is joined by JESUS GOMEZ, a violinist in the Southside String Quartet. He performs a shortened version of a sonata by Handel at [3:12]. Their next concert is this Friday at Central United Church of Christ - watch for details! September 13, 2017

A police union that primarily represents black officers in St. Louis is calling for the conviction of a white former officer accused of killing a black suspect.

The Ethical Society of Police said in a statement Tuesday that its board believes evidence in the case against Jason Stockley warrants a conviction. But the organization also says it does not condone violence if Stockley is acquitted.

Campus Climate Survey Shows MU Community Isn't as Comfortable as National Average

Sep 13, 2017
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Only two-thirds of the MU community feel comfortable on campus.

Those are the results of a fall 2016 campus climate survey conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting, which presented the findings during a town hall forum Tuesday afternoon in Jesse Auditorium.

  About 10,000 students, faculty and staff were surveyed to measure the climate at the four UM System schools, and 66 percent at MU said they were comfortable or very comfortable.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has assured black faith leaders in St. Louis that the rights of peaceful protesters will be protected if unrest occurs after a judge rules in a former police officer's murder trial.

But after the meeting Monday at an AME church in St. Louis, the Republican governor stressed that any protest veering into violence will not be tolerated.

Callaway County Prepares for Hospital Closure

Sep 12, 2017
PMC1stPix / flickr

Callaway County Ambulance District is preparing for changes this week in preparation for the closing of the area’s only hospital. The Fulton Medical Center is scheduled to close on Friday, Sept. 22.

In order to ensure the safety of Callaway County residents, ambulance shifts have doubled from twelve hours to 24, according to Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton.

File / KBIA

The Missouri Supreme Court is putting a public defender on probation after he admitted to neglecting indigent clients while he dealt with illness and a heavy caseload.

The state's high court on Tuesday put Columbia-based public defender Karl Hinkebein on probation for a year. The court could suspend his license if he doesn't follow his probation.

The case hit on larger concerns that have been raised by the head of the public defender system about underfunding and unmanageable caseloads.


Five retired judges will lead an inquiry into the death penalty case of Marcellus Williams.

Gov. Eric Greitens appointed the board of inquiry Tuesday to consider whether Williams should be executed for the 1998 death of former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Lisha Gayle. Greitens issued a stay of execution in August just hours before Williams was to be executed.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports on Hurricane Irma from Cuba.
Courtesy CNN

Reporters have been wrapping themselves around street signs and lampposts since Dan Rather’s first hurricane live shot during Hurricane Carla in 1961. We tell our audiences to stay inside, is it time to take our own advice? 

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Intersection is marking the new school year with conversations with three MU professors whose work and teaching styles make then stand out. We learn that parts of Missouri were once on the coast of a huge inland sea, how a veterinarian and toxicologist gets to the bottom of mysterious ailments and how students are learning to understand the global market for fabrics. 

Missouri Department of Conservation

Discover Nature this week as the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) prepares for winter.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back NANETTE WARD, Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition. Is your child being secretive? Is he or she not hanging out with their regular friends? These are some of the warning signs that your child may be involved in the sex trade industry, whether they realize it or not. September 12, 2017

The school board voted unanimously to organize a committee to propose a new name for the school. Columbia residents have been requesting a change for over a year, according to to Daris Preis, president of the school board.

“I love this community and I heard about a 6 to 1 ratio of people in favor of it and that’s both tonight in public comments and in the emails and phone conversations that I’ve had over the last month really,” Preis said.

Special Sessions Cost Missouri Taxpayers Nearly $158,000

Sep 12, 2017

Two special sessions held by the Missouri General Assembly over the summer have cost taxpayers nearly $158,000, according to House and Senate officials.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson urged lawmakers last week to hold a third session in conjunction with Wednesday’s scheduled veto session, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Gov. Eric Greitens says the state plans to start an innovation fund to support entrepreneurship efforts in Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Greitens mentioned the fund Thursday at an economic development conference in St. Louis. Under the plan, private fund managers would go through Missouri Technology Corp. to borrow state money.

Missouri Technology Corp. is a state program that invested in early-stage companies until legislators slashed its budget this year.

Denitsa Tsekova / KBIA

People with active warrants will be able to resolve their cases in the Columbia Municipal Court from Sept. 25 until Sept. 29. The warrant amnesty applies to anyone who appears for traffic tickets or other ordinance violation.

Dee Williams, Municipal Court Administrator, says that the initiative may give the citizens of Columbia a fresh start. She adds if people come specifically at 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. there will be a docket, where those individuals can be seen right away.

Engineering Professor Fired for Conduct, Not Scholarship, MU Emphasizes

Sep 11, 2017

MU leaders sent an email to the campus community Monday morning reiterating the conditions and citing the evidence supporting the firing of former chemical engineering professor Galen Suppes.



In the email, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said Suppes was “not terminated due to his academic scholarship” but because of his conduct toward students, faculty and staff, which violated the rules of the University of Missouri System.

Suppes was sent a notice on Sept. 2, 2016, of the charges that set in motion what the university calls the “dismissal for cause” proceeding, according to a release from the MU News Bureau. He fought it, and the MU Campus Faculty Committee on Tenure held nine hearings totaling over 50 hours in the case. In May of this year, the committee unanimously voted to recommend Suppes’ termination.

9/11 Prompts Anti-War Demonstration

Sep 11, 2017

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, a Columbia anti-war organization, led a memorial and demonstration in downtown Columbia at noon Monday to honor the victims of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the military conflicts that ensued.

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks director Mark Haim has organized a vigil or gathering of some sort in honor of 9/11 every year since 2001. 

Missouri Municipal Workers Assist After Florida Deluge

Sep 11, 2017

Missouri municipal workers are assisting with recovery efforts in Orlando, Florida after Hurricane Irma.

Thirty-six workers from Missouri started Monday by assisting with a damage assessment, Columbia Assistant Director of City Utilities Ryan Williams says. This will tell them what materials they need to begin repairs.

After assessing damages, the workers will focus on restoring electrical power to emergency centers and residential areas.

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The number of licensed abortion clinics in Missouri has grown from one to two, and a third clinic is expected to begin taking appointments soon.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains received a license to book appointments for nonsurgical abortions at its Kansas City clinic. The organization also is expected to receive a license for surgical and medication abortions at its Columbia clinic in the next few days.

Currently, only the St. Louis clinic is allowed to perform abortions in Missouri.

Red Cross Worker Slain In Afghanistan: 'All She Wanted To Do Was Help'

Sep 11, 2017
Scott Davidson / Flickr

People in Columbia facing arrest for failing to appear for traffic tickets or other ordinance violations will soon be given the chance to turn themselves in rather than face arrest.

Today Paul Pepper visits with HEATHER CARVER, Director of MU Theatre Department's 15th annual Life and Literature Performance Series, September 13-15 at the Corner Playhouse in Columbia. This is your chance to see how the students develop and refine their award-winning plays. At [4:45] CLEO KOTTWITZ and MARILYN BETTENHAUSEN invite everyone to take part in the "most interfaith event that happens in Columbia," the CROP Hunger Walk, September 17 at Stephens Lake Park. Formerly known as Christian Rural Overseas Program, Cleo tells us that it now stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, and that's because these days it's about more than just Christians. September 11, 2017

El Chaparral restoration project aimed at reducing pollution in stormwater

Sep 11, 2017
File / KBIA

A city project intended to improve the riparian area along Grindstone Creek near El Chaparral subdivision is moving forward. It's part of a larger effort to reduce pollution in Hinkson Creek.

The project, which will take place in the former sewer treatment lagoon site behind the El Chaparral neighborhood off East Broadway and El Chaparral Avenue South, will see the addition of a new bioswale, a landscape element used to limit pollution in stormwater.