Jacob McCleland

Jacob spearheads KRCU’s local news effort. His reporting has been heard on NPR’ Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PRI’s The World, and Harvest Public Media. In addition to reporting, Jacob directs KRCU’s team of student reporters and producers.

Jacob graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2000 with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish. He spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama where he worked on sustainable agriculture projects and hosted a weekly agriculture radio program.

Listen to KGOU and KOSU's documentary "That April Morning: The Oklahoma City Bombing."

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

A coalition of ninety environmental groups and over twenty community leaders in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky are urging President Obama to block the Army Corps of Engineers from completing a $165 million  levee project in Missouri’s bootheel.
Mike Lee

Mike Lee steers his plane over the Missouri-Arkansas state line, checking out a checkerboard of green and brown fields of rice, cotton, corn and soybeans. Lee is the owner of Earl’s Flying Service, a crop dusting business in Steele, Mo., and he’s scouting some farm fields that his pilots will treat later in the day.

Jason Empey / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Conservation now estimates that the Show Me State’s black bear population is about 300.

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

 

Water experts worried about Asian carp may have new hope. They’re turning their eyes to China, where a carp-hungry populace may be the key for stemming the tide of the invasive fish.

Asian carp are taking over U.S. waterways, including the Mississippi River and tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out-compete native fish.

In China, carp is cheap and a common meal-time fixture. Now, a carp fishing industry is springing up along carp-infested U.S. waters and processors are exporting the U.S. problem fish to Chinese diners.

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

The debate over hydraulic fracturing is heating up again in rural Johnson County, Illinois.
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TalkMediaNews / Flickr

Amidst reports that the White House is considering military action in Syria, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt says the United States already missed the point to have a real impact at the early stages of that country's conflict.

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt was in Missouri on Thursday to promote legislation that would reduce the number of so-called "boutique" fuels.

Under the Clean Air Act, different cities use different blends of fuel. Blunt's bill reduces the number of boutique fuels and broadens the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to give a waiver to a city to use whichever fuel they want in times of supply disruption.

At gas station in Cape Girardeau, the Republican Senator says before the Clean Air Act, the refineries were not the profit centers of the oil industry.

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

 

Feral hogs are a big, expensive problem. The prolific procreators are responsible for $1.5 billion in damages and prevention each year —$800 million in damages to agriculture alone from destroying land and rooting up crops,according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

A new report by the Department of Mental Health, or DMH, found the department would have to cut 87 million dollars annually. Federal matching funds would also be lost, which brings that number to approximately $164 million per year.

Speaking at the Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment at Southeast Missouri State University, Nixon said that would permanently undermine the state’s ability to fund mental health services.

Marijuana
lancerok / Flickr

Illinois’ new medicinal marijuana law won’t change how prosecutors or police enforce marijuana laws in Missouri. Eric Zahnd is the Platte County prosecuting attorney and the president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He says anyone caught in Missouri with marijuana can be prosecuted for possession.

“I do not believe having a prescription for marijuana in Illinois permits someone to possess marijuana in the state of Missouri, but many of those folks who may possess valid prescriptions in Illinois may not know that,” Zhand said.

Reporting by Jacob McCleland of KRCU.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed several pieces of legislation Wednesday related to veterans.

One bill requires licensing boards to accept military training and education for licensing requirements.

At a press conference in Cape Girardeau, Nixon said many members of the military have skill sets that are very transferable to the workplace, like truck drivers and emergency medical technicians - or EMT's.

United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey, or USGS, is taking to the sky this week with a low-flying airplane that will map the subsurface of the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The plane will collect aeromagnetic data in Missouri’s Bootheel and small slivers of northeastern Arkansas and northwest Tennessee.

saharaaldridge.blogspot.com

A new Missouri law creates a checkbox on Missouri income tax forms that allows taxpayers to contribute a minimum of $1 of their tax return to fund pediatric cancer research.

“Sahara’s Law” was introduced by Cape Girardeau Republican Senator Wayne Wallingford, and it’s named after Sahara Aldridge. 

“She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and she fought that battle for 17 months, going through chemotherapy and radiation and even some alternate treatments,” Wallingford said. “But sadly she passed away when she was 13.”

What DOMA means for Missouri

Jun 26, 2013

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA Wedensday. It’s  a provision of a federal law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples.

For the states that have legalized gay marriage (12 of them, and the District of Columbia), it’s clear what the impact of this decision will be for same-sex couples in those states.  Their spouses will now be entitled to the same federal benefits as straight couples, which was not the case in the past. But the result is murkier in the other 38 states where gay marriage is not legally protected (like in Missouri).

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.

Republican Jason Smith easily won a special election on Tuesday to fill Jo Ann Emerson’s vacant seat in the U-S House of Representatives.

It was a strong night for the 32-year old Smith, as the 32-year old Missouri House speaker pro tem cruised past Democratic rival Steve Hodges 67% to 27%. 

The outcome was hardly unexpected.

Listen to the full debate between Missouri's Eighth District Congressional candidates on May 28, 2013.

Candidates for Missouri’s Eighth Congressional seat went on the offensive in a debate Tuesday night at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus in Cape Girardeau. The debate comes one week before a special election on June 4.

Null Value / Flickr

Efforts to update Missouri’s criminal code have stalled in the state Senate, where Senator Tom Dempsey declared the bill is dead for this legislative session.

WallyG / FLICKR

The United States Supreme Court ruled today in a Missouri case that police cannot take a blood test from a drunk driving suspect without a warrant, during a routine drunk driving arrest.

Washington University

Scientists set a new ballooning record Wednesday in Antarctica. The two-ton Super TIGER balloon has now been afloat for over 45 days, breaking the previous record on the frozen continent. The balloon carries equipment that collects data about cosmic rays from deep in the universe.

Ryan Murphy is a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, and he is part of the science team in Antarctica. He spoke with KRCU's Jacob McCleland.

What exactly is Super TIGER and what’s it doing?

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

The Republicans who hope to replace Jo Ann Emerson in the U.S. House of Representatives stressed their conservative credentials while trying to differentiate themselves in a crowded field at a voter forum in Cape Girardeau Thursday night.

Before taking the stage, the 12 candidates worked the room, grinning from ear-to-ear, shaking hands and making small talk. About 300 people filled the Concourse building, but the candidates honed in on those wearing red, white and blue ribbons.

Every day this month, the Army Corps of Engineers is working hard to deepen the Mississippi River's shipping channel in an effort to keep navigation open between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill.

Water levels are forecast to remain high enough through January to float loaded barges, but some say the only way to keep the river open next month will be to release water from the Missouri River.