TIF Commission Rejects Request for Broadway Hotel Expansion Financing

Oct 31, 2017
Meiying Wu / KBIA

A hotly-contested request for tax increment financing failed to win the approval of the Tax Increment Financing Commission on Monday night. The commission said the request didn’t meet necessary legal requirements.

The Commission voted 8-3 against recommending that the Columbia City Council approve the TIF request to help fund a second tower of the Broadway Hotel. Commission members Andrew Beverley, Michael Kelly and Andy Waters were the three members who voted to approve the proposal.

Advocates against sexual violence say Missouri's lack of evidence testing in some sexual assault cases make it harder to link repeat offenders to more than one victim.

Law enforcement officials say many agencies don't send evidence for testing unless the victim wants to go forward with potential charges. They say testing every evidence kit would also add to Missouri's already extensive backlog.

The Columbia Missourian reports Missouri hasn't done a statewide audit on the number of untested evidence kits.

Drug Takeback Takes Pills Off Columbia Streets

Oct 30, 2017
Eric Hunsaker / Flickr

The Boone County Sherriff’s Department collected a record 972 pounds of medication in last weekend’s “Prescription Drug Take Back” event.

On Friday and Saturday, the Sherriff’s Department set up seven collection locations throughout Boone County where residents could drop off unwanted or leftover medication.

The program is held twice a year and has averaged about 500 to 600 pounds of collected prescription drugs in the past, but this year’s bump in participation helped surpass last April’s record of 895 pounds of medication.

Rule to Help Renters In Cold Weather Starts This Week

Oct 30, 2017
sneaka / Flickr

The Missouri Public Service Commission’s annual “cold weather rule” goes into effect on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

The cold weather rule is intended to help customers with their heat-related utility bills.

Parts of the rule include ensuring that heat-related services won’t be disconnected when the temperature drops below 32 degrees and requiring a 10 day notification before cutting off services.  

Scott Davidson / Flickr

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has scaled back its hours on St. Louis interstate highways following a 90-day pilot program aimed at helping to reduce crime.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained a police memo showing that starting Oct. 14, troopers reduced their presence along Interstate 55 and Interstate 70 to about six hours a day. Troopers had been patrolling those interstates for 21 hours a day since July, when Gov. Eric Greitens announced a plan aimed at allowing city police to focus on dangerous crime.

Jefferson City Public Schools

In September, three students from Jefferson City Public Schools posted a picture to social media, posing in from of a car with racist imagery. The Jefferson City Public School’s School Board decided to begin a series of meetings to discuss diversity in their community. KBIA’s Taylor Kinnerup spoke with Jefferson City Public School Board President Steve Bruce about the first in the four-meeting series.

Photo courtesy of T.J. Thomson

This week on Intersection we are joined by Jim Obergefell , who was the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. Obergefell visited the University of Missouri earlier this month to present a lecture called “Love Wins” for a symposium on the Science of Love. Timothy Blair also joined the conversation. Blair is an alumnus of the Missouri School of Journalism, and in 2015 he donated $1 million to create the Timothy D. Blair Fund for LGBT Coverage in Journalism. 

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Today Paul Pepper visits with SARA WHITING about a "big party" this Saturday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rock Bridge State Park and the 100th anniversary of the Missouri State Park system. Did you know Lady Bird Johnson had a hand in making RBSP a reality? At [5:16] KATIE HAYS invites everyone to come see Columbia Entertainment Company's production of "12 Angry Jurors" (also know as the less-diverse, "12 Angry Men"). Find out why director Christopher Gould felt it was important for the change to be made so that the audience would be able to identify with someone on stage. October 30, 2017

Missouri Slow to Pay Counties for Housing Prisoners

Oct 30, 2017
Old prison
File Photo / KBIA

Many Missouri counties won't be reimbursed for state prisoners housed in their jails until 2018.

The legislature set aside about $40 million for the reimbursement program this year, The Joplin Globe reported. But the state ran out of the allocated money catching up with back payments before the end of the fiscal quarter, said Karen Pojmann, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

County officials have complained for years about delays in reimbursement, saying the continuing delays make it more difficult to meet their financial obligations.

Missouri Police Department Launches Smartphone App

Oct 30, 2017

A Missouri police department has released a smartphone application that residents can use to report local crimes and receive updates on police activities.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the Columbia Police Department's free mobile app, ColumbiaPD, is available on both Android and Apple operating systems.

The city of Columbia has generated around $14,000 since implementing a public inconvenience fee last December. The city’s building and site development manager Shane Creech said the city implemented the fee to encourage developers to finish construction in a timely manner.

He said people expressed concern that contractors were taking advantage of the city’s sidewalks, parking spaces and traffic lanes as available work space.

Afternoon Newscast for October 27, 2017

Oct 27, 2017

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

UM System Encourages Faculty to Use More Open Educational Resources

Oct 27, 2017

Beginning next week, professors will have more incentive to offer free or low-cost textbooks.

As part of a University of Missouri System initiative on educational resources that are free to access online, the four campuses will be launching an incentive grant program next week. This is intended to encourage faculty members to incorporate more of these resources in their courses.

Erin McKinstry / KBIA

A couple of decades ago, trash cluttered the banks of the Missouri River.

Tires, alcohol bottles, cigarette butts and plastic interrupted the natural scenery for boaters and proved toxic for wildlife.

But, in recent years, the trash situation has taken a turn for the better. And one mid-Missouri group might have something to do with it.


New Campaign Encourages Missourians to Buy Local Goods

Oct 27, 2017

Lieutenant Governor Parson launched the Buy Missouri campaign this week, which aims to encourage Missourians to buy products made in the state.

So far, five companies have joined: Quaker Windows and Doors, Diamond Pet Food, Burgers’ Smokehouse, Hammons Products Company and Central Missouri Meat and Sausage.

A promotional video says the main goals of the statewide campaign are to recognize and promote Missouri companies and manufacturers to the public and to strengthen the state’s economy.

(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.

Jennifer Simmons, right, wears an orange jacket. She sits behind her son, Hunter, who wears a green shirt. They both have the same blonde hair and are smiling.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Jennifer and Casey Simmons live in a tiny unincorporated community in Pulaski County called Devils Elbow. When their son Hunter was born with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, it was recommended to them that they get a divorce so they could qualify for Medicaid benefits. They didn’t.

They spoke about how insurmountable medical costs can seem and about the importance of advocating for your loved ones with disabilities.

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

Morning Newscast for October 27, 2017

Oct 27, 2017

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back SEAN SPENCE, Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau of Mid-Missouri. Sean tells us about these three new scams to be on the lookout for: "lottery fee"; "wireless speed advertisements"; and "online credit card theft". As always, do your due diligence! October 27, 2017

MU's Office of Greek Life Comes Under Fire in New Report

Oct 27, 2017

MU’s Greek students feel “like the University is out to get us” and that the Office of Greek Life is not providing the necessary support that their chapters need, according to a report from an outside consulting firm released Thursday.

The Dyad Strategies report offered a scathing review of the Greek Life office, concluding that it is facing a lack of purpose and direction, the result of a former director telling employees to “scale back” services to the bare minimum.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Several journalism organizations have signed off on a letter to St. Louis' mayor expressing concern about the arrests of reporters covering protests sparked by the September acquittal of a white former police officer in the 2011 killing of a black suspect.

The Committee to Protect Journalists sent the letter Tuesday to Mayor Lyda Krewson pointing out that at least 10 journalists have been arrested while covering the protests and that six reported that police used excessive force, including pepper-spray to the face.

Missouri Department of Tourism

After twelve years of planning, a one-of-a-kind Special Olympics training facility in Jefferson City is nearing its fundraising goal.

The Training for Life Campus, which spans 34,000 square feet and sits on 16 acres of land, would be the biggest facility of its kind. So far Missouri Special Olympics has raised $17 million and 94 percent of the original fundraising goal. The campaign is still working to raise $1.5 million to fund an outdoor portion of the complex which will include a football field and track and softball fields, among other outdoor activities.

A new report from third-party consultants says the Greek system at the University of Missouri is falling short in key areas.

Dyad Strategies, a small consulting group that specializes in Greek life, was hired by the university to compile the report as part of an overhaul of campus life administration earlier this year. According to the report, employees from Dyad visited the school in mid-August to conduct in-person meetings that formed the basis of its conclusions.

Sister72 / Flickr

Police who caught three teenagers orange-handed with 48 stolen pumpkins — and one gourd — are asking residents of a St. Louis suburb to view a "pumpkin lineup" online to see if their Halloween squash are among those recovered.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The Mount Vernon School District is the first and so far only district to participate in a new program designed to use local cattle ranchers to add more meat to school lunches.

The program, MO Beef for MO Kids, is a joint effort of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Beef Industry Council, Opaa Food Management and the school district. The Joplin Globe reports the program will double the beef included in the students' lunches, using meat from Lawrence County, which is the top cattle-producing county in the state.

Today Paul Pepper visits with STEWART SCOTT, Cevet Tree Care, about the emerald ash borer. This destructive Asian beetle has now moved into central Missouri, and if not treated, it can kill an entire ash tree. At [4:01] DR. MEGHA GARG, MU Health Care, tells us about early detection breast cancer screenings at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Dr. Garg says that patients that come in for a screening don't necessarily have any signs or symptoms, but that doesn't make the cancer undetectable. October 26, 2017