Darren Hellwege discusses Human Trafficking with Nanette Ward of Stop Human Trafficking Missouri and with Christine McDonald who has just published her second book on her own experiences as a victim of sexual trafficking, titled The Same Kind of Human: Seeing the Marginalized and Exploited through Eyes of Grace.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back local folk musicians CATHY BARTON and DAVE PARA. They perform Eric Peltoniemi's "Tree of Life" on guitar. Dedicated to all the quilters out there, Cathy tells us that "the song is actually just a recitation of quilt pattern names, which is poetry in and of itself." Enjoy! January 27, 2017

j.stephenconn / flickr

  A Missouri representative says the nearly $1 million it costs to pay for cable TV in state prisons is too much.

But in a committee Tuesday, Rep. J. Eggleston's proposal to take away cable service and replace it with free antennae channels was met with resounding bipartisan opposition.

Prisoners pay for cable through a portion of the cost for small items such as sodas and candy bars bought at prison canteens. The items are bought with money inmates earn from working each day or from family members.

David Shane / Flickr

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are one step closer to being able to operate statewide in Missouri.

In a 140-16 vote Thursday, the House passed a bill that would outline statewide regulations, such as a $5,000 fee, background checks and vehicle inspections. It will now go to the Senate for approval.

The legislation has moved quickly through the House after speaker Todd Richardson listed it as a priority at the beginning of the session.

Missouri Senate Panel Advances Real ID Compliance Measure

Jan 26, 2017
Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee has advanced a proposal that could bring Missouri into compliance with federal driver's license requirements despite some Republican opposition.

The Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 4-3 Thursday to send the measure to the full Senate.

AP Photo

They survive by hunting and gathering in the forest or by cultivating gardens with handmade tools. In some cases, they don't wear clothing and speak languages that aren't understood by almost anyone else on Earth.

In today's hyper-connected world, there are still a few dozen groups of people that live with virtually no contact with the outside world. Nearly all of these tribes live in remote reaches of the Amazon in Brazil and Peru.

But these so-called "uncontacted tribes" face increasing pressure from loggers, miners and missionaries.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at some of the humanitarian and ethical challenges of our interactions with these people.

ameren logo
forwardstl / flickr

Missouri utilities want lawmakers to pass a law to help them get money more quickly from customers to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Ameren Missouri and other utilities told a panel of state senators Wednesday that a proposed bill to recover costs would enable modernization and could promote economic development.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is empaneling a committee to study and recommend how to reform the state's tax rates and credits.

The state's Republican chief executive signed an executive order Wednesday creating the 10-person "Governor's Committee for Simple, Fair, and Low Taxes." He says the current system is "broken," hurting Missouri's budget and job creation.

Greitens says the unpaid panel's tasks will compare Missouri's tax credit programs and tax rates to "peer" states and assess the economic impact of state tax credits.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's Republican-led Senate is advancing a right-to-work bill to ban mandatory union fees.

Senators voted 21-12 to give the bill initial approval Wednesday. It needs another vote to move to the House, which has already passed an almost-identical bill.

Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the proposal.

Right to work has new momentum with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' support. He says he'll sign it if the GOP-led Legislature sends it to his desk.

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society, about a special walk-through of the "From Boone to Black Elk: Native and Colonial Experiences in Contested "Middle Grounds" exhibit this Saturday inside the gallery at Ellis Library on the MU campus. Joan tells us what you can expect to see during this family-friendly event; plus, she's brought examples of the items you'll be able to touch and feel during the tour. January 26, 2017

Alternative facts. A slip of the tongue? Or just one more symbol of the relationship between the reporters and the Trump administration? Also, what’s behind a directive to workers at some federal agencies to cut communication with Congress, reporters and public, why newsroom staffers across the country get marching orders to stay home from the Women’s Marches held across the country, and a look at this year’s Oscar nominations.

From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

David Shane / Flickr

Lawmakers are anticipating tuition hikes in Missouri after recently announced budget cuts.

Gov. Eric Greitens announced nearly $68 million in core funding for public universities and community colleges last week. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Republican Rep. Lyle Rowland, of Cedarcreek, says he sees little chance of providing more than static spending in the coming year. Rowland is the chairman of the House committee that will take the first look at education spending for the coming year after Greitens submits his budget

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The rideshare company Lyft says it will start providing services in Springfield, Missouri.

The announcement comes Tuesday after the Missouri House gave initial approval to statewide regulations for app-based transportation companies. Uber and Lyft say statewide regulations could enable them to expand throughout the state.

Lawmakers showed support in a voice vote for a bill requiring rideshare companies to pay a $5,000 licensing fee, conduct driver background checks and vehicle inspections, and exempt such companies from paying local or municipal taxes.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri's new Republican attorney general says he doesn't intend to live in Jefferson City, despite a state law that appears to require him to "reside" there.

Josh Hawley took office Jan. 9 after a campaign that touted his experience as a constitutional lawyer.

A state law says the attorney general "shall reside at the seat of government," which the Missouri Constitution says is Jefferson City. Hawley lives about 20 miles north Jefferson City near Ashland.



Just one day after directing its researchers not to publicly share their research, and after suffering a public relations backlash, the Department of Agriculture’s main research arm has rescinded its original order, saying it “values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public…”

Today Paul Pepper visits with the Columbia Public Library's PATRICIA MILLER about the next 'Kids in the Kitchen' cooking class, hosted by the Central Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! For the adults, be sure and join Mizzou grad student Hannah Turnbull for a presentation about incorporating avocados into your diet. It's all a part of 'Heart Healthy Month' and space is limited - watch for details! At [3:48] WALLY PFEFFER joins us with information about the 15th Annual Boone County Legislative Forum, presented by the Mizzou Alumni Association. Everyone's invited to come and visit with senators and representatives from this area tomorrow night at Grand Cru in Columbia. January 25, 2017

Courtesy: NBC News

Alternate facts. A slip of the tongue? Or just one more symbol of the relationship between the reporters and the Trump administration?

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge is calling for a review of the way courts hold people in jail before trial.

In her final State of the Judiciary address Tuesday, Breckenridge told lawmakers that costly pretrial incarcerations affect poor people and have negative consequences for the individual and society. She says a Supreme Court task force will recommend changes to current practices.

Breckenridge also called for higher pay for state employees who work in courts.

Patrick Breitenbach / Flickr

This week on Intersection we talk with three students from the University of Missouri. Last fall Autumn Gholston, Daniel Litwin, Nora Thiemann and about 20 other students spent the semester exploring how to tell stories using sound in a digital storytelling class.

In this episode we hear audio essays these three students produced about everything from friendship to surviving a tornado, and talk with them about stepping outside their comfort zones, writing in new ways and putting their storytelling skills to work.

Listen to the whole show here:

j.stephenconn / flickr

School administrations would be restricted from censoring student journalists under a bill discussed in a Missouri House committee.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the bill discussed Monday would broaden protections for high school and college journalists. Schools would remain able to limit content if it is deemed libelous or slanderous, invades privacy, violates federal or state law or violates school policy or disrupts school.

After unanimously passing through the House last legislative session, a Senate committee held the bill while waiting for a vote.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

 A Missouri Republican wants people who donate to political campaigns to get up to $100 in tax credits.

Sen. Rob Schaaf said Tuesday that the goal is to increase small donors' role in politics.

Schaaf's bill would allow donors to redeem the credit for contributions to county political parties and candidates for the Legislature and statewide seats.

No one testified in opposition during a Tuesday hearing. But the bill's estimated $4.9 million per year price tag could pose problems in a year when poor revenues are causing financial strain.

Missouri Department of Conservation

In the heart of winter, one Missouri shrub defies the dormant season. This week on Discover Nature, we’ll look for the Ozark witch hazel.



Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s main research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), received an email from the division’s chief of staff ordering them to stop publicizing their work.

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” the email from Sharon Drumm reads, in part. “This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.”

I watched President Trump’s inaugural speech with three things in mind: He won’t change, he doesn’t care what you think, and he is not a Republican – and wondered: Where have I heard this speech before?  Oh, right -- I heard the long version of it last July, when candidate Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president.

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about Columbia's recent 3-STAR certification by STAR Communities. What does that mean, exactly? Barbara tells us that the ratings given are basically a benchmarking tool based on many categories like health and safety, climate and energy use, equity and empowerment and more. In other words, it's a good thing! January 24, 2017

photo provided by Columbia Regional Airport

A private plane ended up belly down on a runway at Columbia Regional Airport yesterday after its landing gear failed. 

~Steve Z~ / flickr

  A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost or stolen firearm within three days of discovering the item is missing.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

Some charter schools in St. Louis are starting to worry that their increased popularity is making it difficult for them to stay accessible to low-income students.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports City Garden Montessori, Lafayette Preparatory Academy and The Biome are all working on creating income integration programs specifically for charter schools. The Missouri Charter Public School Association is helping draft a bill that would allow charter schools to set aside a percentage of enrollment spots specifically for low-income students.