News

Columbia continues to exceed renewable energy goals, city says

May 22, 2018

Almost 16 percent of energy sources used in Columbia in 2017 were renewable, a report presented to the City Council on Monday shows.

This exceeded the city’s goal of having 5 percent of all energy come from renewable sources in 2017, and puts Columbia Water and Light on track to meet the goal of using 15 percent renewable energy by the end of 2018.

These renewable energy goals were first approved by voters in 2004 and were updated by the council in 2014 to raise the standards. Columbia Water and Light has consistently beat the goals, according to the city.

May is Stroke Awareness Month. MU Health Care's DR. ADNAN QURESHI says that close to one million people will suffer from a stroke-like symptom each year. Find out what the warning signs are and what you can do to minimize the effects! Also, BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability at the City of Columbia, invites everyone to a community workshop TONIGHT to discuss how climate change will affect our community. (4:26) May 22, 2018

Ameren Announces Plan for Missouri's Largest Wind Farm

May 22, 2018
Matt Artz / Unsplash

Ameren Missouri announced plans Monday for a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating enough power to serve 120,000 homes within two years.

St. Louis-based Ameren said its High Prairie Wind Farm near Kirksville will be the largest in the state. Ajay Arora, vice president of power operations and energy management at Ameren Missouri, called it a significant step toward Ameren's goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

A St. Louis judge on Monday appointed the prosecutor in Jackson County as the special prosecutor who will decide whether to refile an invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison recused the St. Louis circuit attorney's office from the felony case and appointed Jean Peters Baker, the prosecutor for Jackson County, where Kansas City is located. The ruling gives Baker discretion to consider not only the invasion-of-privacy charge but "other incidents involving the same victim" that occurred from March 21, 2015, to Sept. 1, 2015.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — It will be up to a special prosecutor if the invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will move forward.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Monday agreed with a request from the city circuit attorney's office to recuse itself from the case.

Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for the circuit attorney's office, says that means that a special prosecutor will decide if the charge would be refiled.

ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison in the shooting death of her fiancé who was just a week away from graduating from the Rolla school with an engineering degree.

Meghan Werner was sentenced Friday for a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter in the December 2015 killing of 22-year-old Curt Marzolf in the home they shared in Rolla. She originally was charged with second-degree murder.

Advocacy groups suing Missouri for allegedly not following federal voter registration laws are asking a judge to intervene before upcoming elections.

The groups asked U.S. Western District Court Judge Brian Wimes Friday to direct the state to change its practices before the November general election.

At issue is a federal lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Missouri and local chapters of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an AFL-CIO constituency.

KBIA/file photo

The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved a system-wide tuition increase of 2.1 percent for the coming academic year at its meeting today.

However, under an agreement reached with lawmakers, the campuses will only charge 1 percent more to in-state undergraduate students in exchange for protecting the university’s state funding.

Legislators passed a budget with core funding remaining the same as last year while allowing for additional funding for projects such as the Springfield medical campus and the joint pharmacy program.

KBIA/file photo

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens.

House Speaker Todd Richardson has added three members to what had been a seven-person panel consisting mostly of attorneys and former law enforcement officers.

Samantha Dyroff, left, wears a gray sweatshirt and has dark brown hair. Megan Anderson, right, wears a gray, long-sleeved athletic shirt and has light blonde hair. They smile into the camera.
Landon Jones / KBIA

Megan Anderson and Samantha Dyroff are both medical students at the University of Missouri. They also both work with MedZou, a student-run health clinic here in town, and hold positions within the organization. They spoke about some of the barriers – including insurance coverage – that their patients face. 

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

Senator McCaskill Defends Vote Against CIA Director

May 21, 2018

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says that classified discussions she can't share publicly persuaded her to vote against the new CIA director.

McCaskill is one of the few Democrats facing difficult re-elections to oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel. She was confirmed Thursday after a debate about her role in the CIA's torture program.

McCaskill briefly addressed her vote with reporters at a campaign event Saturday. She says she was "very uncomfortable" with Haspel's answers during a classified briefing.

Despite distractions created by Governor Greitens’ scandals, some senators are pleased with what they’ve accomplished this legislative session.

The session ended Friday, and many senators ended their state politics careers due to term limits. Senator Dan Brown is among them. He says the mark of a good session is passing a good budget.

“I’m leaving my last term, and I’m leaving with a budget that I’m proud of that doesn’t have holes in it. I tried to prevent hat for whomever the new appropriations chair may be,” Brown says.

Have you ever wondered how dandelions reproduce or how certain surgeries affect your vocal cords? If so, and you know who you are, come to the next Science on Tap CoMo this Wednesday at Craft Beer Cellar in Columbia! Guests: MEGAN HANEY and AUSTIN LYNN | Also, KATE GRAY and the folks at the Boone County History and Cultural Center want to answer the question: what does art do? They hope that a new exhibit - and you - will help them find the answer! (4:29) May 21, 2018

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have voted to give state colleges and universities more leeway to raise tuition.

The bill passed the Senate 24-8 and the House 109-31 on Friday. It would allow public universities to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent on top of hikes to keep up with inflation.

The additional 5 percent increase, however, would only be allowed if state funding had been cut the year before. Increases could also not be larger than the amount of the previous year's cut.

Currently, state colleges can only use inflation rates to increase tuition.

Missouri Lawmakers have voted to help new mothers struggling with addiction pay for treatment programs.

The bill, approved by the House Friday in a 133-6 vote, would allow women to receive Medicaid coverage for more than a year after giving birth to pay for substance abuse and mental health programs.

Currently, Medicaid coverage ends about two months after a woman gives birth.

The Republican-led Missouri Legislature has passed a bill to cut the corporate income tax rate from 6.25 percent to 4 percent.

House lawmakers gave the bill final approval in a 96-42 vote Friday, just hours before the 6 p.m. deadline to pass bills.

The 2.25 percent tax cut for businesses would take effect in January 2020 if made law. This revenue loss would be offset in the proposal by changing how multistate corporations can calculate their taxable income.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri prosecutor said Friday that he won't be filing any charges against Gov. Eric Greitens for the way his campaign reported the receipt of a charity donor list used for political fundraising.

The decision by Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson marked a victory for Greitens on the same day that the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature was to open a monthlong special session to decide whether to try to impeach the Republican governor for various allegations of misconduct.

Commentary: Permanent Interests

May 18, 2018

At Columbia College I teach and study American domestic politics.  I know only enough about foreign policy and international relations to be dangerous.  That said I willingly acknowledge that foreign and domestic policy are inseparably intertwined.  President Trump is betting that foreign policy successes will benefit him politically at home.  More about this in a minute.

MELANIE DIXON says the Ronald McDonald House Charities should be the "charity of choice" because you never know when you might need it. As you might guess, Melanie speaks from personal experience. Hear her story and find out how you can get involved! Plus, KRISTIN BOWEN and CATEY TERRY want you to #WearOrange in support of Gun Violence Awareness Day. A local celebration will be held at Douglass Park on June 1st. Watch for details! (5:00) May 18, 2018

Afternoon Newscast for May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018

  Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 

The Missouri Legislature has passed a measure that could allow the biggest electric companies in the state to recover more of their costs for infrastructure improvements from customers.

Missouri senators have passed a bill to require public unions to hold recertification elections every three years and get permission annually to withdraw dues from employees' paychecks.

Under the legislation passed 21-11 Wednesday, public labor unions would need more than 50 percent of workers to vote in their favor in order to be recertified.

via Wikimedia Commons (Ranjith66)

Climate change is already having big effects on southern Asia.

Deadly heat waves like one that killed 3,500 people in India and Pakistan in 2015 are becoming more frequent. The summer monsoon rains are changing, affecting farmers.  Rising sea levels are expected to flood low-lying settlements and higher ocean temperatures harm sea life.

The climate is already spurring other changes. Thailand and the Philippines have closed beaches as warming waters threaten coral. In other parts of the region, people are moving out of places where drought and natural disasters have made farming increasingly risky. Some argue that the changing climate is even fueling militancy. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how climate change is shaping life in one of the world's most vulnerable regions.


Over 100 years ago, people weren't taught communication or leadership skills. Enter Toastmasters! Guests EVELYN PEARMAN and TOM TRABUE say it's more than just about public speaking, it's about personal development and gaining confidence in yourself. May 17, 2018

Missouri Legislators Tentatively Agree to Raise Tuition Caps

May 17, 2018
cindyt7070 / flickr

Lawmakers from the Missouri Senate and House hashed out an agreement Tuesday to raise caps on tuition increases.

A bill requiring lessons on consent and sexual assault passed the legislature Tuesday night after it was added as an amendment to a larger education bill.

The original House bill, written by students and sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston,  never got a vote in the House chamber. 

The legislation was then added by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, to House Bill 1606 during Senate debate, where it was adopted.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week in Missouri’s woods, a native, thorny, locust tree displays clusters of fragrant white flowers.

 

The black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) grows in dry or rocky upland woods, along streams, and in pastures, and thickets. 

 

A pioneer tree species, black locust easily invades disturbed sites, and some consider it a nuisance species. 

 

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