The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is voicing support for two bills aimed at easing work-related barriers for convicted felons.

Senate Bill 900, and its counterpart House Bill 2123, would allow individuals convicted of a felony to work at businesses that sell alcohol and lottery tickets, like gas stations or grocery stores.

Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick says these bills would help both employers and employees.

Columbia Sees Promising Renewable Energy Numbers

Feb 12, 2018

The City of Columbia recently released its 2018 renewable energy report, which showed that Columbia now gets more than 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources. The city set a goal in 2004 to reach 5 percent throughout 2017 and 15 percent by the end of 2017. Last year, the city received about 15.7 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Limited Postpartum Coverage Can Be Fatal to Mothers

Feb 12, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY — Sixty days after giving birth, women with health insurance through Show-Me Healthy Babies and MO HealthNet lose their postpartum coverage.

For women who received substance use treatment through their coverage while pregnant, the risk of relapse and overdose increases. 

Matt Stinson, a family physician and vice president of medical and behavioral health at the Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield, has seen firsthand the cost of the limited 60-day coverage. 

Today Paul Pepper visits with DEBBIE PARKER, Center for English Language Learning at MU, and SARA HUACO, a student from Peru who's taking part in the CELL program. Debbie explains how this program benefits both the American student and the international student: "I think it increases understanding and empathy and just gives us more knowledge - it enriches our lives." Sara, who's been in the U.S. for about 15 years, tells us about some of the not-so-obvious differences between Columbia and her hometown of Lima. Watch! February 12, 2018

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Missouri River Reservoirs Ready for Spring Runoff

Feb 12, 2018

The officials who manage the reservoirs along the Missouri River say the system is in good shape to handle this spring's runoff.

John Remus with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the reservoirs are ready to reduce flood risk in the region, even though runoff is expected to be slightly above average at 104 percent of normal.

Gov. Eric Greitens says the Missouri National Guard will participate in training exercises with Israeli troops who are part of a special command focused on civilian protection.

Greitens announced Friday that the National Guard will form a partnership with the Israeli Home Front Command, which provides civilian protection during wars and times of crisis, in Israel and other countries.

Missouri Lawmakers Consider Official Day for Sliced Bread

Feb 12, 2018

Missouri lawmakers are considering whether to mark an official day to celebrate sliced bread.

A bill pending in the state House would designate July 7 as Missouri Sliced Bread Day. Supporters say the day is needed to promote tourism in the northern Missouri city of Chillicothe, where the first commercially sliced bread was sold on July 7, 1928.

A business watchdog has found that only a small portion of money from a Missouri-based veterans' group that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is associated with actually goes toward helping veterans.

Kobach is listed as a member of the advisory board for Veterans in Defense of Liberty, a Springfield-based nonprofit with a stated mission of upholding the Constitution, the Kansas City Star reported. Kobach is also running for governor of Kansas,

Photo credit: KBIA/ File photo

Missouri may be the next state to join Walgreens’ Medication Disposal Program if proposed House Bill 2105 passes.

Forty-five states currently participate in Walgreens’ program that was created to help fight the opioid crisis and drug abuse.

Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens, said the program has been successful so far. “In the course of 18 months, we collected 155 tons of unwanted medication,” he said.

St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens reiterated Thursday that his plan to cut the state’s tax will not be paired with a fuel tax increase.

The governor’s comments to members of the Missouri Press Association come as both Republicans and Democrats are getting behind the idea of raising taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel to pay for fixing the state’s roads and bridges.

David Shane / Flickr

Governor Eric Greitens defended his tax plan at a news conference Thursday afternoon, stating that the tax cuts would lead to more money for residents and would not decrease the amount of funding the government receives.

Greitens was responding to comments from the state auditor’s office that stated any more tax cuts would ultimately harm Missouri’s economy.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back the Boone County Hams! Their annual "Say It With A Song" Valentine's Day campaign is back February 13th and 14th! Let four guys in tuxedos tell your special someone that they mean the world to you the best way they know how: by singing! Enjoy two numbers on today's show: "Let Me Call You Sweetheart/Heart of My Heart" medley at [1:30] and "The Recipe For Making Love" at [4:38]. February 9, 2018

missouri capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway on Thursday warned that the state is moving toward similar financial hardship that Kansas faced after the neighboring state enacted tax cuts.

Galloway told reporters in her Capitol office that the state economy hasn't grown enough to offset losses from recent tax breaks, including perks for some industries and a gradual individual income tax cut passed in 2014 that's now starting to take effect. She said Missouri is not financially prepared to deal with another economic downturn.

Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties for protesters who block highways.

A Missouri Senate committee heard the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Jeanie Riddle this week.

j.stephenconn / flickr

The Missouri Senate on Thursday advanced legislation that could reward utilities making improvements to their infrastructure with more consistent rate increases on their customers, a move that came after a more than 20-hour, overnight filibuster finally ended.

The legislation changing the way utilities are regulated drew intense opposition from some senators who said it would drive up costs for millions of residents and businesses. Supporters countered that rates are likely to rise anyway, and the bill would provide predictability by limiting annual average rate increases to 2.85 percent.

Jeon Han / Korea Culture and Information Service

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea have kicked off with official luge, biathlon and ski jumping training sessions. But these games may be remembered for more than just who skied the fastest or skated most gracefully.

That’s because last month North and South Korea - two countries still technically at war - announced that they would march under a unified flag at the opening ceremonies. A total of 22 North Korean athletes will compete on joint Korean Olympic teams in women’s ice hockey as well skiing and speedskating.

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

A bipartisan group of senators spent over 20 hours filibustering a bill that rewrites Missouri’s utility laws.

The hours-long discussion ranged from Amazon’s future headquarters, to Gov. Eric Greitens’ proposed tax plan, to Eminem.

The grounds of the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis may soon have a new name: The Gateway Arch National Park.

Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill said Thursday that their legislation to rename the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as the Gateway Arch National Park is now in the hands of President Donald Trump.

Director Chico Pereira discusses the role his community and his family played in shaping his film DONKEYOTE, which played at True/False 2017. The films depicts his uncle Manolo's plan to travel from rural Spain to the United States accompanied by his donkey, Gorrión.

Today Paul Pepper visits with KELLY MYERS, Development Director of Coyote Hill, about the 21st annual pancake breakfast fundraiser! Proceeds from this popular event will send the families of Coyote Hill on vacation this summer - something that, as Kelly says is, "an experience that almost none of the children have had an opportunity to do." At [4:30] KRISTIN BOWEN and MARGARET BOOKER invite everyone to join Moms Demand Action (For Gun Sense In America) for 'Advocacy Day' at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. Let your voice be heard in the very building where gun laws are decided! February 8, 2018

Coroner Refuses to Release Newly Public Suicide Inquest Transcript

Feb 8, 2018

Documents related to the inquest into the death of 17-year-old Kenneth Suttner should be available to the public, a Howard County judge ruled Wednesday.

The ruling came after Sandy Davidson, the Missourian’s attorney and an MU communications law professor, filed a motion in January seeking to modify or eliminate a protective order on the records.

The protective order prevented the inquest transcript and exhibits from being shared with the public.

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill to change how public-sector union members pay dues.

House members in a voice vote advanced the bill Wednesday. It needs another vote to move to the Senate.

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would shrink the window during which Missourians can file personal injury lawsuits. 

The current statute of limitations is five years; the proposal would lower that to three. Missouri is one of only seven states that have a statute of limitations for personal injury that is three years or longer; 26 states have a limit of two years.

  The City of Columbia Commission on Human Rights met yesterday to review the possible addition of new protected categories. Protected categories shield citizens from being discriminated against for reasons such as race, religion and sexual orientation. The commission agreed to send a memo to City Council proposing up to six new categories, including receipt of government assistance and refugee status.