Kristofor Husted

Harvest Public Media Reporter

Before joining KBIA in July 2012, Kristofor Husted reported for the science desk at NPR in Washington. There, he covered health, food and environmental issues. His work has appeared on NPR’s health and food blogs, as well as with WNYC, WBEZ and KPCC, among other member stations. As a multimedia journalist, he's covered topics ranging from the King salmon collapse in Northern California to the shutdown of a pollution-spewing coal plant in Virginia. His short documentary, “Angela’s Garden,” was nominated for a NATAS Student Achievement Award by the Television Academy.

Husted was born in Napa, Calif., and received his B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis, where he also played NCAA water polo. He earned an M.S. in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University, where he was honored as a Comer scholar for environmental journalism. 

Ways To Connect

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

The University of Missouri invited Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to speak to students and local Columbia residents earlier last week.  The lecture was hosted by the MU Truman School of Public Affairs as the Monroe-Paine annual lecture event.  Friedman’s lecture focused on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the future possibility of a single payer healthcare system.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Peter Stiepleman named superintendent of Columbia Public Schools
  • Missouri commission approves housing tax credit
  • Missouri could see record number of executions in 2014
Carole Mitchell / Flickr

In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.

Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.

Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.

Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

For nearly a year now, hog farmers have been battling a virus. It’s deadly to newly born piglets and farmers are scrambling to protect their herds. With fewer pigs comes less pork. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Moberly domestic violence center denied grant money
  • Wal-Mart sides with Ameren in electric rate case
  • Missouri Senate panel reviews mandatory vaccine legislation

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now. Scientists say it’ll be warmer, and the air will be more rich with carbon dioxide. To what degree is still unclear. But even small fluctuations in climate throw farmland ecosystems out of whack. A new study shows certain invasive plant species will not only be able to withstand climate change, but thrive. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon has more.

Shibu Jose is the director of the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri Columbia.

Jesse Moss, The Overnighters

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes

The fracking boom in much of the U.S. has opened up a new path for people searching for work, of course, but also for redemption and reinvention.  In the film “The Overnighters,” filmmaker Jesse Moss travels to Williston, N.D., to tell the story of Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke and the workers he houses in his church and home. Reinke invites newcomers to sleep in extra rooms at the church and to sleep in their cars in the parking lot while they look for jobs and more permanent housing. Some of the men even live in the pastor’s home with his family.

Robert Greene, Actress

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Robert Greene is no virgin to True/False. Three of his feature films have shown in Columbia over the years. In fact, he says he owes a lot of his career to the festival.

In his latest film “Actress,” Greene follows Brandy Burre – who fans of HBO’s “The Wire” may recognize as cutthroat campaign consultant Theresa D’Agostino – as she steps back into the thespian game after a reprieve to start a family.

Greene blends melodramatic, staged interludes with cinema verite scenes as the audience is guided through Burre’s dance among the roles of mother, partner, friend, businesswoman and actress. Greene tells the story strictly through Burre’s point of view, as her asides demonstrate the piercing self-awareness of an honest woman in the midst of the growing pains of change. Ultimately, the film poses the question to the audience: At what cost does reclaiming your dreams come at?

Amanda Rose Wilder, Approaching the Elephant

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

In the film “Approaching the Elephant,” filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder follows the students and teachers of a so-called free school in New Jersey where the students make the rules. Wilder, who mans the camera for the film, is a fly on the wall as the audience is taken through the school’s inaugural year and all of the problems that arise. 

Some students struggle with handling the school’s democratic structure while others thrive. The film culminates in some serious decisions regarding the future of the school, its tireless director and its most troublesome student.

sasha menu courey
MU file photo

The University Of Missouri Board Of Curators has selected independent counsel to investigate how the Columbia campus handled a former student athlete’s alleged sexual assault.

The board has hired Dowd Bennett Law Firm to determine whether the university acted consistently within the law and university policy when responding to events surrounding swimmer Sasha Menu Courey’s assault and 2011 suicide. The firm will report its findings back to the board April 11.

Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

    

Residents across the Midwest are struggling with tight propane supplies, especially in this bitterly cold, snowy winter.

But it's not just homes that lack adequate access to heating energy. Harvest Public Media's Peter Gray reports on the recent fuel shortage, and how it's hitting farms that put bacon and eggs on your plate in the morning.

If you are a fan of wine, particularly European wines, from France, Italy or Germany, you can be proud of the role Missouri plays in creating that wine.

Karen Mitchell

National Football League prospect Michael Sam publicly came out over the weekend. Although some critics have expressed concern about the league being ready for a publicly gay player, Sam’s former college coach says he hopes Sam’s new team treats him like his college team.  

University of Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel says he’s proud of the courage Sam has shown by announcing he’s gay. Sam is an all-American and co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Farm bill signed by President Obama
  • Missouri lawmaker apologizes for DWI
  • Stan Musial bridge opens this weekend

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Monday’s Morning Edition on NPR featured a story about a Columbia biotech startup. We thought we’d give it an encore run on KBIA in case you missed it. After hearing Shihab’s unique story, I called Laurel Smith-Doer, who’s a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She’s studied immigrant and women entrepreneurs in biotech in the New England area. I asked her what she’s found in her research.

In parts of the Middle East, people drink camel's milk for its nutritional value. It boasts more vitamin C and iron than cow's milk, and it's lower in fat. But in the American Midwest, some people are rubbing camel's milk on their skin — in the form of a skin-care line from Jordan.

Penelope Shihab is the founder of a biotech company in Jordan — and the woman behind the Missouri startup that's working on the skin-care products.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • UM Curators focus on science education for 2014
  • MU athletic director apologizes in swimmer's death
  • Missouri union hires former GOP speaker as lobbyist

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The University Of Missouri System Board Of Curators is emphasizing science education and research as a top priority for 2014. The board discussed a proposal for $51 million to help boost the number of students educated in STEM fields – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – by investing in facilities, infrastructure and top-of-the-line equipment.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

This week, NPR is airing a piece about Jordanian businesswoman Penelope Shihab who has launched a startup company in Columbia.  She is already the CEO of the biotech company MONOJO in Jordan where her company produces a skin care line using antibodies found in camel milk.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A new natural and specialty grocery store opened its doors in downtown Columbia this week.

The Colorado-based Lucky’s Market kicked off its launch Wednesday with a bacon cutting ceremony and a $10,000 donation to the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. Lucky’s Market is expected to create about 100 jobs with its new shop in the old Osco Drug building. The location also resides on the edge of a "food desert" according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Courtesy of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Update 11.21 a.m. 1/15/14: MDC reports the wolf was shot by the landowner while hunting. The department says wolves can be mistaken for coyotes sometimes, though coyotes rarely grow to more than 30 pounds. Coyotes may be taken by hunting with the right permit.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Missouri House Democrats to lay out tax cut proposal
  • VA hospital makes changes after fatality
  • Missouri was finalist for Boeing contract

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The snow has moved on but dangerous cold settled across Missouri on Monday amid warnings that even a few minutes of exposure was risky.

Gusting winds only made matters worse. By 8 a.m. the temperature in Columbia had plummeted to minus-9 degrees, making it one of the coldest days in decades. Wind chill temperatures today dropped to 30 below zero.

The bitter cold came a day after heavy snow. The St. Louis region got the worst of it — officially 10.8 inches in the city but up to 15 inches in the suburbs. Parts of Columbia received up to 6 inches.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Nixon to give State of the State speech Jan. 21
  • Leaders out at Mo. soybean group 
  • Forecasters urge Missourians to brace for severe winter weather 

Regional news coverage from the KBAI newsroom, including:

  • Nixon pushes for Medicaid expansion in 2014
  • Habitat for Humanity promotes home in Columbia
  • Okla., Mo. governors place wager on Cotton Bowl 

Kristofor Husted / KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon is closing out the year by asking state legislators once again to pass a bill expanding Missouri’s Medicaid coverage for lower-income residents.

The democratic governor emphasized that two billion of Missourian’s tax dollars will start flowing to neighboring states that accepted federal funding to expand their Medicaid programs. Nixon says he is still open to meeting with state legislators to hash out concrete specifics of the health care program expansion, which would cover nearly 300,000 more uninsured Missourians.

Football
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin are placing a wager on the Missouri-Oklahoma State matchup in the Cotton Bowl and a food pantry in one of the two states will be the beneficiary.

Nixon and Fallin are wagering food products from their home states that will be donated to a food mission in the winning team's home state.

Fallin graduated from OSU and Nixon graduated from Missouri.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Fayette school holds prayer sessions despite complaint
  • Douglass High School receives $1.5M to improve programs
  • New year means Mo. wage hike, business tax cut

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

There will be no farm bill until Congress returns in the New Year. But it turns out, dairy prices won’t surge on January 1st as some farm bill supporters have suggested. Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week. It’s a trade visit that happens every year, but this time there is added interest for American farmers. China has rejected 5 loads of corn from the U.S. in recent weeks. The corn contained an insect-resistant trait from the seed company, Syngenta, that’s approved in the U.S. but not China.

Chris Belcher
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Now that Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher is eligible for retirement, he is weighing his options for next year. That’s according to an email Belcher sent out last week to Columbia Public Schools staff.  One of his options could be a teaching position with the MU College of Education.

District spokersperson Michelle Baumstark says Belcher sent the email to remain transparent about his situation with staff.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Several officials to lose jobs at Mo. university
  • Analysis: Boeing bid could impact Mo. regardless
  • Mo. lawmakers will try to limit medical lawsuits 

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