Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Big farms are collecting taxpayer dollars that they haven’t necessarily earned by taking advantage of a loophole in government subsidy rules, according to regulators, members of Congress and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking aim at what is known as the “actively engaged” loophole, which has been gaping for nearly three decades, by changing the qualifications for some subsidy payments. But many watchdog groups say a proposed fix fails to address the problem.

Today Paul Pepper visits with actor/director ED HANSON about "Next to Normal," a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical drama that centers around mental illness. See it on stage beginning April 17 at Talking Horse Productions in Columbia. At [5:10] ANNA DRAKE stops by to talk about "The Voices of Callaway" talent show that will benefit Heart of Missouri CASA! Watch for details. April 14, 2015

MU officials and politicians gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony after Governor Nixon approved $38.5 million to renovate the 1935 and 1944 sections of MU’s Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall.

After taking a walk through the building MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said he was appalled at the condition of this section of the building. Loftin said that equipment and desks were covered in plastic because rain would come into the building.

The Columbia public school’s board of education voted at last nights meeting to approve boundary changes for elementary schools. The approved changes come in response to the building of a new elementary school, Beulah Ralph, which is set to open at the start of the 2016 school year.

school buses
Twix / Flickr

Missouri senators have given initial approval to a less expensive proposal to fix issues with the state's flawed student transfer law.

The Senate in a voice vote adopted a new plan Monday. Legislative researchers now will estimate the proposal's price tag before it's up for a second Senate vote.

staxnet / Flickr

Supporters say a measure to allow more access to an easy-to-use treatment for heroin and other opioid drug overdoses would save lives.

The Missouri House gave initial approval Monday to a bill that would allow pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to prescribe a drug that's been effective in treating potentially fatal overdoses to anyone.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

  The scheduled execution of a black death row inmate is drawing an outcry from activists. 

Advocates for Andre Cole argue he was unfairly sentenced because African-Americans were excluded from the jury for his St. Louis County trial.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Indiana has drawn national attention for its religious freedom restoration act, and now Missouri lawmakers have two smaller scale bills on the table. The two bills, which are in the Missouri Senate and House could take away the ability of colleges and universities to police discrimination by religious student organizations.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

  The avian flu outbreak that quarantined a major mid-Missouri turkey farm until last week has been traced back to a chicken farm in Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday that the case marks the first case of the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain in a U.S. commercial chicken farm and the disease's first appearance in Wisconsin.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Bills in the Missouri Senate and House would take away college and universities’ ability to police discrimination by religious student organizations. KBIA’s Kyle Norris has more on the bills and how college students around the state are reacting.

Columbia Residents Shave Heads for Cancer Research

Apr 13, 2015

  Columbia residents gathered to shave their heads on Saturday in support of pediatric cancer research through a fundraiser held by the University of Missouri medical school.

MU medical students organized the event in partnership with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money to help fund pediatric cancer research grants. Forty-five people agreed to shave their heads as a demonstration of support for children who have undergone treatment for cancer.

Exploring the Paths of Missouri's Special Education: A History

Apr 13, 2015

When Genise Montecello was growing up her brother was separated from his peers and taken to a classroom off to the side, which she remembers being about the size of a broom closet. Her brother has a disability and she feels his education wasn’t seen as important because of this.

“People don’t remember to take into account students with disabilities and their accommodations they might need,” Montecello said. “So, it happens more frequently than people would believe that it does.”

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOY SWEENEY, Council for Drug Free Youth, about drug and alcohol addiction in children. Did you know that children can get addicted to drugs "in as little as six months?" Please watch this important interview! April 13, 2015

Graffiti Increases in Downtown Columbia

Apr 13, 2015

Graffiti artists are costing some Columbia businesses hundreds of dollars in downtown Columbia. Columbia Police arrested two taggers last month and are searching for at least two more.

Police say graffiti artists are difficult to apprehend as they usually tag in dark, secluded places, or during inclement weather.  

Tax Amnesty Bill Heads Back to the House

Apr 13, 2015
missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

A bill to remove any penalties for taxpayers who agree to pay back their delinquent taxes will head back to the Missouri house for further review.

MU is looking to increase revenue for its libraries. Administrators are proposing a new student fee to help close the gap in funding.

j. stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri's GOP-controlled Legislature is using its clout to push for limits to the state's social safety net.

Proposals nearing the end of the legislative process include a measure to tie the amount of time available for individuals to receive unemployment benefits to the state unemployment rate. Instead of the current 20 weeks, people could receive as little as 13 weeks of benefits.

via Flickr user Anthony Quintano

We are all C-SPAN now. Two new apps hit the market in the last few weeks that make it possible to live stream footage straight from your mobile phone, and share it through Twitter. Meerkat and Periscope are both free to download, and journalists are already starting to explore new ways to deliver content instantly. Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the issue on the weekly media criticism program, Views of the News. 

For more, follow Views of the News on  Facebook ,  Twitter, and  YouTube.  

The Future of Rolling Stone Discussed

Apr 11, 2015
Courtesy Rolling Stone

  A moment that will go down in journalism's history, the failure of Rolling Stone's article, "A Rape on Campus." Rolling Stone published its article last November, a story that depicted a brutal gang rape on University of Virginia student, "Jackie." The article resulted in a wave of controversy across the nation as factual errors began to arise. Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the issue on Views of the News and what's in store for Rolling Stone moving forward. 

EXAM: Mexico High School Teacher Accepts Teaching Award at State Capitol

Apr 10, 2015
Sydnee Stottlemyer/KBIA

  The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education has awarded Mexico High School speech and theatre teacher Sara Given the creativity and Innovation in Teaching award. Given was recognized at the state capitol for creating the first ever Jellybean Speech Olympics competition. KBIA’s Sydnee Stottlemyer spoke with Given and her “Jellybeans” about why the Jellybeans Speech Olympics is more than just a competition.

j. stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says increased state general revenues make some proposed budget cuts unnecessary, specifically those for foster children and people with mental illnesses.

David Shane / Flickr

  An executive at the Missouri Cattlemen's Association says Republican state Sen. Mike Parson is running for governor in 2016.

Nixon Signs Two Agriculture Bills Into Law

Apr 10, 2015
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday signed into law two agriculture bills aimed at making it easier for farmers to do business in Missouri.

Nixon signed the bills at a ceremony in Barry County, which is located southwest of Springfield.

Claire Banderas / KBIA

This Friday the University of Missouri announced a $10 million donation from Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield for a renovation of the Fine Arts Building and construction of a new School of Music. This is the largest donation the university has ever received in support of fine arts. The entire project is estimated to cost approximately $74 million.

Katie Hogsett / KBIA

Its seeds have more omega-3 value than fish oil and more protein than eggs. Its fiber provided the sails for Jones' Mayflower, and the cloth of the first American flag. It can create a biofuel that powers diesel engines, clean the impurities out of wastewater and be brewed into beer.

Off the Clock: The Sassy I-70 Signs and the Woman Responsible for Them

Apr 10, 2015
File photo / MoDot

This week on KBIA’s arts/culture segment, KBIA’s Abigail Keel chats with Linda Wilson Horn, the woman who writes the sassy messages on the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Dynamic Message signs along I-70.