Treece Offers Personal Support For Petition Seeking Minimum Wage Increase

Sep 1, 2017
File / KBIA

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said he supports an effort to increase Missouri’s minimum wage.

But, he said, he won’t be actively soliciting support for a November 2018 ballot initiative that would ask voters whether to increase the minimum wage. That’s not his role as mayor, Treece said.

“It’s just my personal opinion,” Treece said.

Supporters of a higher minimum wage, including St. Louis and Kansas City mayors Lyda Krewson and Sly James, respectively, on Tuesday announced they would seek 100,000 signatures to place a “Raise Up Missouri” initiative on the November 2018 ballot.

Columbia Schools Collect Donations for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Sep 1, 2017

Hickman High School basketball coach Cray Logan put out a call Tuesday for students to donate team T-shirts to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

By Thursday, more than 200 shirts had been dropped off at the school.

Collecting athletic T-shirts for flood victims, which began this week with a tweet from the University of Houston, has quickly gained steam in Columbia’s middle and high schools.

Gas Prices See a 17-cent Jump Already This Week in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Sep 1, 2017
Val Vennet / Google Images

On Tuesday, gas prices in Columbia averaged $2.17. By Thursday, that average had jumped to $2.34, a 17-cent increase.

The reason, consumers have been told, is the shutdown of refineries — as many as 10 — across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The spike, which saw prices as high as $2.49 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon, comes as people make plans to travel for the Labor Day weekend.

“It’s outrageous,” said Brandi Higgins, cashier at the Break Time convenience store at Stadium and Old Highway 63. “People are just really asking why they’re up so high.” 

Across the rest of the nation, the average price of gas on Thursday was $2.45, up 10 cents from the week before. The highest prices were in California, Hawaii and Alaska where prices were nearly $3.

Relatives of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were fed to pigs after he was killed by his father and stepmother claim in a lawsuit that social workers in Missouri and the child welfare agency in Kansas did not do enough to protect him.

The lawsuit alleges child welfare workers had several chances to remove Adrian Jones from his home and were aware that he was physically abused for years but did little except document the abuse.

The boy's remains were found outside a Kansas City, Kansas, home in November 2015.

Today Paul Pepper visits with ALEX LaBRUNERIE, President of LaBrunerie Financial, about the types of tax-free charitable contributions you should make before the end of the year. (Don't wait until January 1!) Also, Alex shares his thoughts on saving for long-term care. September 1, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with CONNIE SHAY about the 15th annual Boonslick Folk Festival, happening 10--4 Labor Day in Howard County! See some great pics from years past and find out who will be 'stepping back in time' this go-around! At [5:14] JILL WOMACK invites all ages to sign up for fall classes. (And by "all ages," we mean from 'cradle to college', to borrow Jill's words.) Get details on that and upcoming auditions for 'Cinderella'! August 31, 2017

In his speech inside a Springfield manufacturing plant Wednesday, President Donald Trump called on the crowd to vote out of office members of Congress who go against his suggestions to overhaul America’s tax code.

He told the audience that the countries that have low business tax rates have an advantage over the United States.

“They are taking us, frankly, to the cleaners.  So we must—we have no choice—we must lower our taxes. And your Senator, Claire McCaskill, she must do this for you. And if she doesn’t do it for you, you have to vote her out of office,” Trump said.

A Missouri lawmaker said in a Wednesday Facebook post that he hoped whoever placed paint on a Confederate monument in Springfield is found and hanged, prompting Democratic leaders to ask him to step down over what they're describing as a call for a lynching.

"This is totally against the law," Republican Rep. Warren Love wrote in the post. "I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope."

Love said his post is no longer up, although the lawmaker told The Associated Press he did not take it down.

Columbia Public Schools to Provide Free ACT Tests For All Juniors

Aug 31, 2017

All high school juniors will be able to take the ACT test for free next spring thanks to funding from Columbia Public Schools, spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

The state had funded the college-placement test for juniors since 2015. But earlier this year $4 million was cut from the state assessment budget, and the state decided to no longer pay for the exams.

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Section of Providence Road Dedicated to Sherman Brown

Aug 30, 2017

Friends and family of the late Sherman Brown Jr. knew him as Superman, and on Tuesday, they got the opportunity to honor their local hero.

They donned T-shirts with a Superman logo and words that read “I Got Your Back,” alongside about 100 people during a ceremony that dedicated a section of Providence Road between Interstate 70 and Business Loop 70 as the Sherman Brown Jr. Memorial Highway.

Brown, who died Aug. 15, 2016, lived in Columbia for more than three decades and was a well-known member of the community.

University of Missouri School of Law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is widening his investigation of opioid manufacturers.

Hawley, a Republican, said Wednesday he is asking seven additional companies for information related to their opioid marketing practices and their involvement with industry organizations that promote opioids. The companies are Allergan, Depomed, Insys, Mallinckrodt, Mylan, Pfizer, and Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Crews in the southeast Missouri city of Springfield are cleaning up after paint was placed on a Confederate monument.

The vandalism was discovered Wednesday, at a time when heightened security surrounded President Donald Trump's visit to Springfield.

The monument is at the Springfield National Cemetery. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs confirms that someone vandalized the statue. The Greene County Sheriff's Department is investigating.

Reporters are stepping up to cover Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath in ways we haven’t seen in more than a decade. This week, a look at some of the personal stories, the changes in technology and what’s still to come in the reporting from south Texas. Also, ESPN’s decision to pull a broadcaster from a University of Virgina football game because of his name, the removal of a novel from the New York Times’ Bestseller List, and the end of an era in “pop” music. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week on Discover Nature, watch for scrape-marks, or rubs on trees, as white-tailed deer shed “velvet” from their antlers.

Today Paul Pepper visits with TODD DAVISON, Artistic Director of Maples Repertory Theatre, about their upcoming fall season! Three great shows and two special events are guaranteed to entertain. Watch for details! At [4:33] NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, tells us about a couple of annual programs in which you can get involved. 'Warm Up Columbia' is in need of gently-used winter-related items; and the 'Holiday Program' will soon be looking for volunteers to adopt a family. August 30, 2017

Missouri Capitol
David Shane / Flickr

A Republican state senator has told his colleagues in a letter this week that he won't vote to expel a Democrat who briefly posted on Facebook that she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.

The Kansas City Star reports that Sen. Bob Dixon, of Springfield, said Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal's post was "intemperate and embarrassing."

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Donald Trump will kick off his lobbying effort for a tax overhaul at an event in a Midwestern location, with a manufacturing backdrop and some economic tough talk.

But he is not expected to offer a detailed proposal. Instead, in Springfield, Missouri, Wednesday, Trump will give remarks that the White House says will focus on his "vision" for spurring job creation and economic growth by cutting rates and revising the tax code.

Denelson83 / Wikimedia Commons

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey is back on land after coming ashore early Wednesday just west of Cameron, Louisiana. The tropical storm is expected to weaken and continue to the north.

The storm returned to land about 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of Cameron with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph).

Mizzou Columns
David Chicopham / Flickr

The University of Missouri campus may be opening its doors to families of students affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to an email sent by university officials Monday.

The email sent by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Provost Garnett Stokes said families in need of temporary housing may contact Residential Life’s Guest Housing.

Courtesy KHOU-TV

Reporters are stepping up to cover Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath in ways we haven’t seen in more than a decade. This week, a look at some of the personal stories, the changes in technology and what’s still to come in the reporting from south Texas. 

Brian Stelter, CNN Money: “Networks, newspapers out in full force as Hurricane Harvey soaks Texas

Carolyn Lewis, left, wears a black, white and gray striped shirt and smiles into the camera. Sheila Artis, right, wears a green polo shirt and smiles broadly.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Carolyn Lewis lives in Audrain County, Missouri. She has worked for a man in Audrain County for ten years through the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Self Directed Supports program.

She spoke with her cousin, Sheila Artis, about some of the struggles she has faced while working with this program – like lack of benefits and raises throughout the years.

The man she works for also received a letter in the mail earlier this month letting them know that, following state budget restrictions, the program’s individual budget allocations had been adjusted to reflect a 2.82 percent budget cut.

Carolyn also spoke about her fears going forward – for herself, her employer and this program - as future Missouri budget cuts loom.

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

Dr. John Dane, left, wears glasses, a dark blue suit and a white and blue-checkered shirt. Gary Harbison, right, has a full beard and wears a dark blue shirt and suit.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week on Intersection we bring you a special on oral health from the new KBIA project, Missouri Health Talks. Health reporter Rebecca Smith spoke with Dr. John Dane, the current State Dental Director, and Gary Harbison, the Executive Director for the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health.

They cover the Missouri Oral Health Plan, which runs from 2015 to 2020, advances that have been made in oral health policy and struggles Missourians still face when it comes to accessing quality, affordable dental care.

You will also hear conversations gathered by Smith in June at the 6th Annual MOMOM, or Missouri Mission of Mercy, in Joplin. This yearly, two-day dental clinic put on by the Missouri Dental Association provides free dental care for anyone willing to wait in line. This year approximately 1,200 people were served and more than $800,000 worth of care was provided.

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

Today Paul Pepper visits with MICHAEL PORTER and MELISSA HOLYOAK about Children's Grove's annual photography contest! It returns next month with the theme, "All in this Together" which, as Melissa tells us, perfectly captures Children's Grove's mission of 'building a kinder community'. Watch for details! At [4:23] meet "The Ideal Husband"! Maplewood Barn's final show of the season is an Oscar Wilde classic set in the 1890s. Cast members BRIAN BAER and ANNETTE KENDALL tell us how this 19th century-set satire still resonates today! August 29, 2017

Columbia Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Rape

Aug 29, 2017

A Columbia man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday for first-degree rape in connection with a May 2015 sexual assault on MU’s campus.

In July, a jury found Mohamed Mostafa, 42, guilty of rape and not guilty of one count of attempted sodomy, recommending a 25-year sentence.