Missouri Republican representatives and senators have only one major hurdle remaining to implement mandatory voter identification statewide.  That hurdle is the very voters they’re looking to legislate.

Amendment Six will appear as a ballot measure this November. The amendment will enshrine in the Missouri constitution a requirement that all voters present valid photo identification. It will be the final step in mandatory voter identification legislation that successfully overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto on September 14.

The Missouri Right to Vote Campaign has organized with the goal of encouraging voters to fail the amendment on the November ballot.

Laura Swinford, executive director for Progress Missouri, is involved with the coalition. She said that previous voter identification legislation has been struck down as unconstitutional due to Missouri’s constitutionally high bar for voter rights.

“So what proponents have figured out to do this year is to put an amendment on the ballot that would strip that protection out of our state constitution,” Swinford said.

Caleb Rowden
File Photo / KBIA

  Republican State Representative Caleb Rowden is serving a second term in the Missouri House for District 44 and is running for the state senate seat in District 19, previously held by State Senator Kurt Schaefer. Rowden’s platform focuses on economic development, low taxes, government accountability and strengthening Missouri’s public education system.

The University of Missouri and public K-12 education serve as the centerpiece of Rowden’s campaign.

Sophia Zheng / KBIA News

This week on Intersection we talked with Clyde Ruffin, president of the John William "Blind" Boone Foundation, about the renovation of the Blind Boone Home. The house is located in downtown Columbia, and opened this month after years of work. It stands next to The Second Baptist Church on 4th Street. Ruffin also led two of our producers through a tour of the house.

Listen to the full story:

University Concert Series / Facebook

Karen Jones Meadows is visiting Columbia this week for a one-woman play and a pair of workshops sponsored by the University Concert Series.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week on Discover Nature, get outside to enjoy early autumn weather, and keep an eye out for the first signs of fall color.

Micro Fishers Hunt for the Tiniest Catch

Sep 27, 2016
Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Hinkson Creek, which runs through Columbia, might not seem like an ideal destination for anglers. While it carries some standard game fish like bass and blue gill, you’re not likely to find any record catches.

But on a recent late-Summer day, Michael Moore was after fish on the opposite end of the spectrum.

A doctoral student in fisheries conservation at the University of Missouri, Moore was turning over rocks in the creek, looking for tiny aquatic bugs to use for bait.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back TIM REINBOTT from the University  of Missouri's South Farm Research Center. Tim tells us about the 10th annual South Farm Showcase, a free, family-friendly event happening this Saturday in Columbia. Tim says, "we want to make sure our kids, and our kids-at-heart, can learn something, but have fun doing it." Don't miss the cockroach race, the wine tasting, the tomato tasting, the corn maze and more! September 27, 2016

Carrie Hargrove / CCUA

The Southern Boone County School District is looking to create one of Missouri’s first full-time garden educator positions. Through a partnership with the Southern Boone County Learning Garden, this position may become a reality by the 2017-2018 school year.

PJ Johnson / Flickr

The bills were unpaid, the phones shut off, trash piled up and eventually, food ran out.

The problems at the Benchmark Healthcare nursing home in Festus forced the state to take the unusual step of shutting it down earlier this month.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that by the time the nursing home closed amid its parent company's financial problems, employees were spending their own money to help feed residents.

The home's owner is Legacy Health Systems, a Chesterfield, Missouri-based firm that once had 27 facilities in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Moyan Brenn / Flickr

The MU Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction is introducing a new research program titled "The Feline Friends Project." The project will pair children with autism with a cat and monitor the impact the cat has on the child’s anxiety level and social skills.

The research center has published several studies that outline the benefits that children with autism receive from having pets in the home, citing increased social skills as a primary benefit. With this study, researchers hope to find possible benefits unique to the behaviors exhibited by cats. 

bionicteaching / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year's corn crop in Missouri is on track to be the second-highest yield on record.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the state was on track as of Sept. 12. The agriculture department predicts there will be an average yield of 165 bushels per acre this year compared to an average of 142 bushels per acre in 2015. The record was 186 bushels per acre in 2014.

Officials are also expecting record yields in Missouri for soybeans. The national agency is anticipating the highest yields on record nationwide.

Miko Qian

The MU Confucius Institute celebrated its fifth birthday with Chinese arts performances on Sunday. Shanghai Normal University students performed martial arts, traditional songs, dancing and music at Jesse Auditorium at MU.

Michael Volz, a board member in MU Confucius Institute, said that cultural events were a great way to attract people to explore another culture.

Today Paul Pepper visits with CATHERINE PARKE about Orr Street Studios' popular "Second Saturday for Kids" series. Next month, participants age 5-15 will get to make wearable art with instruction by Zede's Sewing Studio! At [4:04] PAULA SCHULTE, Marketing Coordinator for Missouri River Regional Library, is looking for your thoughts on how MRRL is doing, and what it can do better to serve the community. Plus, find out about "Readers Theatre: Live Old Time Radio," a fundraiser for the library foundation happening this weekend in Jefferson City! September 26, 2016

Writers Offered a Chance to Work in Mark Twain's Library

Sep 26, 2016
Doug Butchy/Creative Commons

Aspiring writers are being offered a chance for some quiet work time in the library of Mark Twain's Connecticut home.

The library experience is an add-on to the fifth annual Writers Weekend being held Saturday and Sunday at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford.

The annual writers retreat features speakers, writing workshops and presentations at the historical home where Twain lived as an adult from 1874 to 1891. The retreat costs $180 to attend. The library experience is an additional $30.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced $1 million in grant funding that will go towards improving Missouri’s election process. Kander made the announcement at the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities annual conference held Sept. 20-23, 2016.

The grant will help local election authorities make improvements to the voting polling places' Internet service, voter registration, poll worker training and voting equipment.

Cody Newill/KCUR

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to buy a Kansas City casino in 1999, but documents from that aborted effort aren't public because he withdrew his application for a Missouri gaming license.

The Kansas City-based Hale Center for Journalism reports news outlets and the Democratic National Committee are interested in obtaining the records, but they're out of luck.

A Missouri Gaming Commission attorney says the files are protected from public scrutiny under state law because the commission never acted on the application.

File / KBIA

A state report says Missouri businesses saw a net growth of more than 8,700 private-sector employers in 2015.

The report from the Missouri Department of Economic Development says that's a 5 percent gain over the previous year. The report was released last week.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports that the report also says small businesses with 10 employees or fewer accounted for 77 percent of Missouri's roughly 182,000 private-sector employers in 2015. Businesses with between one and 49 employees accounted for 95 percent.

Last Thursday morning I opened my New York Times and choked on my coffee.  Once again Missouri was in the national news and not in a good way.  The lead editorial was a scathing critique of the Missouri legislature’s override of Governor Nixon’s veto of the change to the conceal-carry law.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media and KBIA

Farming in the fertile Midwest is tied to an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But scientists are studying new ways to lessen the Midwest’s environmental impact and improve water quality.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the so-called “dead zone,” an area of sea without enough oxygen to support most marine life, to grow larger than the size of Connecticut, or roughly 6,000 square miles.  

Today Paul Pepper visits with KELLY NICKELSON about the Super Sam Foundation, which is a "childhood cancer awareness charity" in honor of Sam Santhuff, who died of cancer at age six back in 2014. Join them for the 2nd annual 'Hope Gala' fundraiser September 30th in Columbia - watch for details! At [3:55] JUDITH LeFEVRE and DR. MICHAEL PORTER invite people age 6-106 living in Boone County to submit two of their own photographs into the Children's Grove photography competition! The theme this year is "Different Yet All the Same." Children's Grove is a nonprofit that encourages a 'culture of kindness.' Enter today! September 23, 2016

MU Wheelchair Basketball Coach Wins Gold in Rio

Sep 23, 2016
CAFNR / Flickr

The coach of the MU wheelchair basketball team led the USA men’s wheelchair basketball team to a gold medal after defeating Spain by a score of 68-52 at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

MU wheelchair basketball coach Ron Lykins is no stranger to Paralympic medals. Lykins coached the women’s wheelchair basketball team to one silver medal in 1992 and two gold medals in 2004 and 2008. After his first win with the men’s team, Lykins looks forward to bringing back the lessons he learned in Rio to the MU wheelchair basketball team.

Wikimedia Commons

A Missouri state senator says a company that employs about 15,000 people in the St. Louis area should be disqualified from receiving tax credits or investments because it is doing business with Iran.

St. Louis County Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt is pushing legislation to block Missouri tax funds from being invested in any company that does business with a country the U.S. State Department has designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that includes the Boeing Co., which has a deal to sell 80 passenger jets to Iran's state-owned airline.

Tony Webster / Flickr

A Columbia man is heading to North Dakota in early October to join protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Perry Lynn Bigsoldier is a member of Protectors of Water and Land, a Columbia-based group of Native Americans and allies that work to support and raise awareness of the pipeline issue. He says he wants to be a part of this movement that has united people from all over the nation.

“I want to walk down that row of 200 flags that represent the tribes across what’s now known as the United States.”


Columbia is battling a lawsuit from a man whose conviction in a sports editor's death was overturned after he served nearly a decade in prison.

The city argued Wednesday before the federal appeals court in St. Louis that six Columbia police officers should be protected against the claims in Ryan Ferguson's $100 million civil lawsuit. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that judges will consider the city's immunity appeal before ruling.

European Press Agency

One of the hardest regions of the globe to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the punishment for the crime of sodomy is death by stoning, and many other countries impose prison sentences.

Also challenging is the fact that the stigma associated with being LGBT is so great, many people feel they can’t come out even to their family or closest friends.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the uncertain lives of LGBT people in Arab nations.