Sarah Kellogg

Student Producer

Sarah Kellogg is a first year graduate student at the University of Missouri studying public affairs reporting. She spent her undergraduate days as a radio/television major and reported for KBIA. In addition to reporting shifts, Sarah also hosted KBIA’s weekly education show Exam, was an afternoon newscaster and worked on the True/False podcast. Growing up, Sarah listened to episodes of Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! with her parents during long car rides. It’s safe to say she was destined to end up in public radio. 

File / KBIA

The Missouri House of Representatives heard and advanced a bill Tuesday night that would criminalize the practice of revenge porn.

The bill makes it a felony when an image that would reasonably be understood as private, is intentionally shared without the knowledge or consent from the other party.

A proposal to expand sexual education curriculum to require discussion about consent, sexual assault and violence started with a meeting between a state lawmaker and a group of MU students.

"We want to make sure that everyone in Missouri is getting this education, not just those that can afford a higher education," said Chelsea Spence, legislative director for The Associated Students of the University of Missouri, during a hearing Tuesday at the state Capitol. "It prepares students before they enter college."

A recent criminal case in Massachusetts has paved the way for legislation to expand Missouri’s definition of manslaughter.

Under the bill, involuntary manslaughter would include instances where bullying incites an individual to commit suicide. A senate committee held a public hearing on the bill Monday morning.

The introduction of this bill comes after the case of Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts teenager who convinced her boyfriend through text messages to commit suicide.

KBIA/file photo

Currently, Missouri has no way of keeping track of processed sexual assault collection kits. A proposed bill hopes to fix that.

During a hearing Monday afternoon, members of the public spoke in favor of a bill that would create an online system that uploads and stores information on sexual assault kits.

Right now, a survivor of rape would possibly not have the ability to know where that kit is. Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, the bill’s sponsor, cited Attorney General Josh Hawley’s proposed statewide audit to determine just how many rape kits are untested in the state of Missouri.

David Shane / Flickr

Governor Eric Greitens defended his tax plan at a news conference Thursday afternoon, stating that the tax cuts would lead to more money for residents and would not decrease the amount of funding the government receives.

Greitens was responding to comments from the state auditor’s office that stated any more tax cuts would ultimately harm Missouri’s economy.

A bipartisan group of senators spent over 20 hours filibustering a bill that rewrites Missouri’s utility laws.

The hours-long discussion ranged from Amazon’s future headquarters, to Gov. Eric Greitens’ proposed tax plan, to Eminem.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

A ban on abortions after twenty weeks drew support and criticism on a hearing Tuesday night.

The proposed bill, one of more than bills related to abortion this session, prohibits an abortion after twenty weeks. Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson, the bill’s sponsor, chose this cutoff period because that is when the fetus can feel pain.

Shellie Gonzalez / Flickr

While the Attorney General’s office is taking on cases to combat human trafficking and is even investigating Google, they are planning on doing that with a slightly smaller budget.

The proposed core operating budget for the 2019 fiscal year is $25,332,059.

The cut Attorney General Josh Hawley recommends is the elimination of two, full time, executive administrative positions: an IT post and one executive assistant. According to Hawley this would equal to about $100,000. A cut this small would amount to less than one percent of the budget.

File / KBIA

A proposed house bill would require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant to use any device that intercepts communication from wireless devices. This includes: cell phones, tablets and laptops. Currently, it is against the law to gather wired communication such as landlines without a warrant.

The Special Committee on Homeland Security held a public hearing on the bill Thursday morning.

Missouri lawmakers are expressing concern about proposed budget cuts to higher education. 

During an appropriations hearing on Wednesday afternoon, state representatives heard a presentation from the Missouri Department of Higher Education on an overview of the 2019 budget. 

Governor Eric Greitens' budget recommends a cut on higher education of over ninety-six million dollars. 

As a part of the Missouri Capitol’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Day, lawmakers and other officials spoke at a rally held Tuesday afternoon. The day was a part of Missouri’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Month, which takes place in January.

The rally, assembled by Missouri Senator Jamilah Nasheed, featured speeches by lawmakers on the importance of combating sex trafficking in the state.

Representative Cora Faith Walker, who currently sponsors a bill that “prohibits the prosecution of minor children for prostitution,” emphasized how awareness is not enough.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

The House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety held a public hearing Tuesday morning on a proposed bill that criminalizes the nonconsensual circulation of private sexual images. A more commonplace term for this is revenge porn.

According to the statements made at the hearing, thirty eight states have similar laws already.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools has found its chief equity officer for the district.

Carla London will be the chief equity officer after serving as the district’s director of student services.

According to Columbia Public Schools, London has also served as the district’s supervisor for student and family advocacy. London also coordinated the Aspiring Scholars program for secondary schools from 2002 to  2006. Before working in the district, London was a middle school teacher in Texas.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Ryan Ferguson and local officials have reportedly reached a tentative settlement on liability as part of a federal civil suit filed in 2014.

According to court documents, federal judge Nanette Laughrey was notified of the settlement during a telephone conference on May 19.

Ferguson filed the suit after his conviction of the 2001 murder of Columbia Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt was thrown out.

Terms of the settlement, which does not cover damages, have not been disclosed.