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Crime
8:49 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Clay Waller confesses, gets 20 years for murdering his wife Jacque

Clay Waller pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife Jacque Waller in Cape Giradeau County Court Thursday, June 6, 2013
Credit Laura Simon / Southeast Missourian

Clay Waller pled guilty to the murder of his wife, Jacque Waller, in Cape Girardeau County Court on Thursday, bringing a bittersweet end to one of the most high-profile murder cases in recent Cape Girardeau history.

Waller was charged with second degree murder and will receive a sentence of 20 years. Prosecutors agreed to the plea deal in exchange for Clay Waller providing the location of Jacque’s body and an account of her murder.

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Global Journalist
6:02 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

What's behind the civil unrest in Turkey?

Riot police use a water cannon to disperse protesters in Ankara, Turkey.
Credit Associated Press

In Turkey, the daily clashes between demonstrators and police have grown into a protest movement. The uprising that defies comparison started modestly last week in the center of Istanbul. Environmentalists gathered in Taksim Square to protest against the government’s plan to pave over a small park.

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Education
5:57 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Changes in UM System leadership as a vice president retires

Mike Nichols
Credit University of Missouri System

As one University of Missouri System vice president retires, the system is creating a different position to take over his responsibilities. 

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Politics
5:39 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Mo. lawmakers to continue work during interim session

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers will continue working on several issues after last month’s end of the 2013 regular session.  House Speaker Tim Jones has announced the formation of an interim committee to examine the state’s election laws.  It’s being chaired by fellow Republican Sue Entlicher, who formerly served as Clerk of Polk County:

“We’re looking for anything to keep the statutes up to date and not repeat anything…then also we’re going to comprise, hopefully, a plan to take care of any of the voting machines that need to be updated or need to be replaced,” Entlicher said. 

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Science, Health and Technology
4:52 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Bacteria, flooding close more Missouri public beaches

Flooding and concerns about water quality have prompted the closings of more public swimming beaches in Missouri.

The Department of Natural Resources says tests found high levels of bacteria at the day-use beach at Harry S. Truman State Park and the Grand Glaize Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The beach at Mark Twain State Park is closed because of flooding and bacteria. The beaches at Thousand Hills State Park in Kirksville and Lake Wappapello in southeastern Missouri have been shut down by flooding.

Agriculture
4:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Agricultural lenders at MU symposium discuss industry changes

Credit Hilary Stohs-Krause / NET

The two-day Emerging Issues in Agricultural Lending Symposium at MU ended Thursday. This is the second year for the symposium, which gathered a variety of agricultural lenders such as loan officers, credit analysists, regulators and board members.

The symposium brought in experts to speak to lenders on challenges the agriculture industry is currently facing and possible solutions.

Symposium Director Joe Horner says the symposium gives an opportunity for experts to share changes with lenders and for lenders to have a chance to share their ideas.

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Education
4:39 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Missouri high school graduation rate ranks 8th in the nation

Credit KBIA

Missouri ranks eighth in the nation for high school graduation rates, according to a new national report published by Education Week. The state graduated 80.7 percent of its high school students in 2010, marking the second year Missouri has been in the top 10. Missouri's education commissioner Chris Nicastro says she credits the achievement to local schools’ increased efforts to keep students in school.

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Agriculture
4:38 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Picture this: Sustainabilty in action

Lexicon of Sustainability founder Douglas Gayeton photographs Ames High sophomore Will Weber photographing a high tunnel at Berry Patch Farm in Nevada, Iowa.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Inside a high tunnel at Berry Patch farm near Nevada, Iowa, strawberry baskets hang overhead and tomato plants stand tall already laden with fruit. Farm manager Lee Matteson picks several zucchini. Then, he stands there, holding the fresh squash while Will Weber, a sophomore environmental science student from Ames High School, takes a series of photographs.  Beside Weber, and holding another impressive-looking camera, Douglas Gayeton also takes pictures—and issues advice and suggestions to Weber.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:59 am
Thu June 6, 2013

MU campus smoking ban on track for July 1st

The University of Missouri’s policy to make its campus completely smoke free is on track to start on July 1st.

The policy came about from a student-run movement that called for the change and several organizations around campus support the ban.

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Politics
8:49 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Missouri's racial disparities in traffic stops mirror national trends

The Missouri attorney general's annual report on racial profiling shows little progress, despite efforts in Columbia to increase dialogue on the issue.

A new report showing that African-American drivers are more likely to be stopped by police in Missouri is consistent with finding across the United States, according to a researcher that worked on the state report released by Attorney General Chris Koster.  The report measures the racial disparity index,  a system to measure and compare the frequency that drivers of various ethnicities are stopped and the racial proportion of the population.

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PM Newscasts
6:09 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Newscast for June 5, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Governor Nixon vetoes a measure that would have affected income taxes in Missouri
  • An update on flooding in the state
  • A project in Jefferson City will address a dangerous curve on Route 54
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Politics
4:49 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Gov. Nixon vetoes income tax bill, Republicans consider override

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Some Republican lawmakers are vowing to try to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that reduced income taxes. Shortly after the Democratic governor rejected the bill today, the leading sponsors of the legislation said they would attempt to get the two-thirds vote needed to override his veto when the Legislature convenes in September.

Republicans hold enough seats in the House in Senate to override Nixon’s veto without any Democratic support. They would have to hold all of the GOP members together in the House and could afford to have only one Republican defect in the Senate.

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Agriculture
4:29 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

At the farmers market, with food stamps

April Segura, of Lincoln, Neb., uses her SNAP benefits to shop at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market with her sons Jalen, 5, and Jeriel, 1.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

April Segura is a regular at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, Neb. On a warm, May afternoon, the single, stay-at-home mother of three greeted friends and acquaintances while strolling past tables of lettuce and herbs. She hoped to find more asparagus for sale.

“I love asparagus season and it’s probably about to be over,” said Segura, holding two grocery bags with one arm and her one-year-old son, Jeriel, with the other.

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Views of the News
1:50 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Photogs Fired, Storm Chasers Die, Goodbye Lee & Charles

Lee Wilkins and Charles Davis

  Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins, Charles Davis, Amy Simons and Earnest Perry.

Science, Health and Technology
1:41 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

MODOT will use grant on "dangerous" curves in Jefferson City

Credit File photo / MoDot

Missouri is one of 13 states that will get federal grant money to improve road conditions.

As a part of the Everyday Counts initiative Missouri was granted $150,000 to implement new road technology to improve road safety. Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer at Missouri Department of Transportation, says this money will go towards a road re-surfacing project using High Friction Surface Treatment. 

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CoMo Explained
8:00 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Why government transparency matters--and not just to journalists!

Credit opensourceway / Flickr

This week on the CoMo Explained podcast we talk about why government transparency matters.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:57 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Reports highlight health disparities among blacks and Hispanics in Missouri

Health care providers, nonprofit groups and government employees gathered in Columbia Tuesday, June 4, to discuss the health disparities among African Americans and Hispanics in Missouri. The forum coincided with the Missouri Foundation for Health's publication of reports on the disparities.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

African American and Hispanic Missourians trail behind whites when it comes to health indicators. The nonprofit Missouri Foundation for Health published reports Tuesday on the health disparities of the two minority groups. 

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Politics
5:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Mo. House interim committee to focus on elections

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones has created an interim committee to study the state's election process.

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Politics
5:31 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Nixon appoints J. Michael Ponder to UM Board of Curators

Credit Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz Law Firm

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder to the University of Missouri Board of Curators for the second time on Monday.

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Agriculture
5:19 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

12 Mo. counties eligible for disaster assistance

St. Louis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam 25 in Winfield, Mo., Apr. 20, 2013.
Credit Angie Smith/U.S. Missouri Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

Farmers in a dozen Missouri counties could be eligible for emergency loans through the U.S. Agriculture Department for damage from severe spring weather.

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Politics
10:38 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Medicaid reform conversation continues in Missouri

Pro-Medicaid expansion protesters meet House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) at the Columbia stop of his post-legislative session tour.
Credit Teddy Nykiel / KBIA News

 

Although the Missouri legislative session has ended, the discussion on what to do with the state’s Medicaid program continues.

The Affordable Care Act asks states to expand their Medicaid eligibility to cover those who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s about $30,000 for a family of four. Missouri’s Republican-majority legislature has refused to expand Medicaid, calling it a broken system. Now, both the state House and Senate have established interim committees to study ways to reform Medicaid.

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Business
8:41 am
Tue June 4, 2013

After years of discussion, Columbia has a plan for Providence Road

Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

The Columbia City Council approved a plan Monday to improve traffic flow along Providence Road near Stadium Boulevard in the city’s Grasslands neighborhood.

In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the city will remove the traffic signal at Providence and Rollins Street and will add new traffic signals on Providence at Turner Avenue and at Burnam Road. 

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Education
5:45 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Battle High School opens for first day of summer school

Battle High School is bustling with hundreds of students on its first day of school.
Credit Anders Aarhus / KBIA

At 7:45 a.m. Monday, Battle High, Columbia’s newest public school, opened its doors for the first day of summer school. Principal Kim Presko says despite minor issues with the school bell system, students and faculty were enthusiastic about the first day.

“Just the atmosphere is just very exciting and relaxing at the same time,” Presko says. “We just have such a beautiful faculty here and the kids just seem to feel at home. I had the opportunity to walk through most of the classes this morning. Kids are learning, teachers are teaching, it’s what we’ve been planning for.”

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Science, Health and Technology
5:36 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

DNR temporarily closes three beaches because of bacteria

Credit f2n_downtown / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources temporarily shut down the beaches at three state parks this week. Samples showed elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The affected beaches are located at Finger Lakes Park in Columbia, Harry S. Truman Park in Warsaw and Wakonda Park in La Grange.

Thousand Hills Park in Kirksville was closed because of flooding.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Sen. McCaskill continues look into military justice system

Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she continues to support a cautious approach to modifying how the military justice system and the armed forces handle the sexual assault of women.

A recent Pentagon report estimates nearly 26,000 people in the armed forces experienced unwanted sexual contact last year. McCaskill, a Democrat  sitting on the Armed Services Committee, says the military can fix its problem while supporting the victims. 

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Business
5:13 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lambert Airport damaged from recent storms

Credit dbking / Flickr

For the second time in two years, Lambert Airport in St. Louis is cleaning up after a storm caused significant damage to Missouri's largest airport.

Strong storms, including tornadoes, ripped through the St. Louis region Friday night. The store caused extensive damage to two aircraft hangars, three buildings and a parking lot. Repair costs have not been determined.

On April 22, 2011, a strong tornado hit Lambert, significantly damaging a terminal and knocking out dozens of windows. Total damage was $25 million.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Nixon considers tougher legislation on sexual crimes

Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon is considering measures that could send more people convicted of sexually violent crimes to prison with longer sentences.

Lawmakers sent Nixon measures to redefine rape and other violent crimes in an effort put more people behind bars on felony convictions.

Supporters say the measures would increase protections for sexual assault victims. But the state public defender system argues that more people behind bars for longer terms will cost taxpayers.

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Science, Health and Technology
3:21 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Missouri S&T wants to use drones to inspect bridges

Chris Seto controls the multicopter while Dr. Zhaozheng Yin (far left) and Yunxiang Mao observe.
Credit Missouri S&T

As avid explorers of drone technology ourselves, we were excited to hear about Missouri S&T's experiments using drones to aid in bridge inspection. Full Disclosure: I run the Missouri Drone Journalism Program, which is no stranger to controversy.

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Education
9:01 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Jeff City residents say facilities, student safety are top priorities

Credit Jefferson City Public Schools

For the upcoming school year, Jefferson City residents are most concerned with facility improvements and student safety according to a survey released by the leaders of Jefferson City public schools.

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Agriculture
8:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

New MU website helps farmers track rainfall and nitrogen loss

Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

A University of Missouri plant scientist has launched a website that allows crop producers to track rainfall and the risk of nitrogen loss during the spring seasons. 

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