Scott Pham

Content Director (former)

Scott Pham got his start in radio at KBOO Portland community radio as a volunteer news producer and anchor.  Since then he's spent time interning at NPR in Washington, DC and making radio in the San Francisco Bay Area for Pacifica Radio.  His news and documentary work has aired on WAMU in DC, KQED in San Francisco and on Pacifica radio nationwide.

Former KBIA's content director content director, Scott's goal is to make the station's considerable news and arts content easily available, easily shared and smartly delivered. 


2:21 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Columbia tops another one of those "best city" lists

Lead in text: 
Columbia has finally taken the number one spot in's yearly best cities list (in the "Small Cities" category). Take that, Columbus, Indiana, a city easily mistaken for Columbia in print only.
The 2013 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. In most years, these give a good indication of the underlying structural performance of regional economics.
3:38 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Columbia-based Newsy acquired by E.W. Scripps for $35 million

A screenshot from a video on a Kindle Fire
Credit Newsy

Media company E.W Scripps has acquired Columbia-based media startup Newsy for $35 million according to this press release.

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6:40 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

MU announces R. Bowen Loftin as new Chancellor [live blog]

R. Bowen Loftin
Credit Wikimedia Commons

KBIA is covering the announcement of MU's next chancellor live and online. Check this space regularly for updates.

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced today the appointment of R. Bowen Loftin as MU's next chancellor. Loftin previously served as president of Texas A&M from 2010 to last July.

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2:05 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

The crucial zoning law that determine's downtown Columbia's future [rebroadcast]

Credit KBIA

This week CoMo Explained shows how something called the C-2 zoning ordinance determines how Columbia is built. 

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CoMo Explained
11:00 am
Fri November 22, 2013

What happens in CoMo when the twisters come

This scene is totally from the movie Twister please don't think this is real I'll feel bad

 In this week's CoMo Explained we breakdown tornado prediction, the siren system and explain how 'Tornado Alley' works.

They're quiet unobtrusive until they're not:tornado sirens. About 80 of them dot Boone County with the majority of them in a few mile radius of downtown. This week we wondered--how do those sirens get turned on?

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CoMo Explained
4:18 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Propofol explained: Why Missouri is in hot water for its execution protocols

Propofol, an anesthetic the state of Missouri planned to use as its sole lethal injection drug
Credit Nottingham Vet School / Flickr

This week on CoMo Explained we explain what all the fuss about Propofol is and how it's got Missouri in the national eye again.

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2:32 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Square founder wants to fix the tech talent shortage (starting with St. Louis)

JimMcKelvey, cofounder of Square, LaunchCode
Credit Scott Pham / KBIA

It's a story you hear mostly from Silicon Valley: the "tech talent shortage." But it's a problem that affects the Midwest, too. Some are saying that the talent shortage is the single biggest obstacle holding back an emerging field of Midwestern tech companies--the very companies that could provide the jobs of the near future.

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CoMo Explained
11:50 am
Fri November 8, 2013

7 things you might have wrong about the Ryan Ferguson ruling

Just a little mid-week pleasure reading. Like you do.
Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

This week: what's next for Ryan Ferguson and what exactly is in that appeals court ruling?

Update: This article was written the week before Ryan Ferguson's release. The 30-day timeline we outline below is based on state prosecutors taking no action at all, allowing legal deadlines to stretch out and pass. For coverage of Ryan Ferguson's release, read our latest story.

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10:57 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Where your recycling goes when it leaves the curb

Next year I'm going as Mr. Bag-it for Halloween
Credit City of Columbia

This week, it's a story you might have heard before, but with the answers you never got: Where, exactly, does your recycling go when it leaves the curb? 

A plucky listener asked us to figure out what exactly happens to our recycling here in Columbia and if we could break it down resource by resource.

We are nothing, if not helpful, so without further ado, here’s how it works: 

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CoMo Explained
11:22 am
Wed October 23, 2013

The spookiest spots in Missouri

The entrance to Ravenswood, a haunted mansion in Boonville.
Credit Clyde Bentley / Flickr

This week, CoMo Explained tells you where the most haunted places in Missouri are.

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CoMo Explained
5:00 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Why are there so many roundabouts in Missouri?[Rebroadcast]

A roundabout in Washington State
Credit WSDOT / Flickr

  This week the CoMo Explained team tries to answer why there are so many roundabouts in Columbia compared to other cities:

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CoMo Explained
12:50 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Why are there so many billboards in Missouri?

At least you can still see the trees.
Credit plainsart / Flickr

This week CoMo Explained tries to answer that question all your out-of-state friends keep asking you: "What's with all the billboards around here?"

Ryan Famuliner knows the experience well: a friend drives into town to hang out for the weekend and the first thing he says is "hey, what's with the billboards advertising sex shops and strip clubs?"

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Test Program

This program is a test to show that CP creates RSS feeds automatically.

CoMo Explained
1:28 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Everything you wanted to know about roadkill

Too bad it's closed.
Credit Atelier Teee / Flickr

  This week we answer all your burning questions about roadkill.

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CoMo Explained
12:30 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

How the employers of the future get their start in Columbia

Macbooks are the unofficial required equipment of Startup Weekend
Credit Scott Pham / KBIA

  This week the Como Explained team goes to Startup Weekend, the premier event for Columbia's booming (really!) tech scene:

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6:30 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Columbia's Startup Weekend draws entrepreneurs with stories to tell

Mike Knoop and his team won Columbia's very first Startup Weekend in 2011.
Credit Scott Pham / KBIA


  Startups are an important part of any community, but they’re especially important for a city that’s adding population, but shedding jobs in sectors like manufacturing. Businesses that are being built now could be the badly needed employers of the future.

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CoMo Explained
2:38 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Why can't Missouri pronounce its towns right?

Versailles. But which one is it?!?! Scientifically, there's no way to know for sure.
Credit Moyan Brenn / Flickr

  This week CoMo Explained explores some of the more "alternative" pronunciations in Missouri place names.

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CoMo Explained
2:02 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

This is why crime was the number one story this summer

Where does all that all that caution tape go? That's just one of many questions we will not address on this week's show.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

  This week we take a quick look back to explain how crime quickly rose to become the number one story in Columbia:

Click to listen to the 20th episode of CoMo Explained. Or subscribe via the links below

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CoMo Explained
10:18 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Why there are so many roundabouts in Columbia

Around you go!
Credit herrolm / Flickr

  This week we answer a pretty common CoMo question: what's with all the roundabouts in Columbia? 

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12:12 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

House Rep. LaFaver arrested for marijuana possession

LaFaver's district includes the Waldo neighborhood in Kansas City

  State Representative Jeremy LaFaver was arrested Sunday in Boone County for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

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CoMo Explained
11:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Why are there so many hot air balloons in Columbia?

We're trying out some ideas for the official CoMo Explained hot air balloon
Credit matias Garbedian / Flickr

  Columbia was once a hot-spot of  hot air ballooning.  But you can still see a lot of balloonists flying over downtown on a clear afternoon.

On the CoMo Explained podcast we explain why there are so many hot air balloons in CoMo.

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12:40 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Callaway nuclear power plant back online after fire

Ameren's Callaway Energy Center

After weeks of being out of commission, Ameren's Callaway nuclear energy plant is back in service.

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10:43 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Former Kansas City Star columnist explains his suicide in a website

Martin Manley reportedly committed suicide in front of the Overland Park police station yesterday morning

Updated at 11:59 am with information from Overland Park PD, Overland Park City Hall

Martin Manley, 60, reportedly committed suicide in front of a police station just south of Kansas City, Kansas yesterday morning. The Overland Park police department did confirm that a suicide happened "Thursday morning" in the "vicinity" of the police department.  But they would not confirm if the suicide was Martin Manley or not.

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CoMo Explained
12:37 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

How do local taxes work?

I think if you play this right you can get 30 points with it.
Credit 401(K) 201 / Flickr

On this week's podcast, we break down your local tax dollar with guest-host Lora Wegman from the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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8:40 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Obama rodeo clown fallout: "idiot" banned from fair, Boonville looking at Superintendent's role

Missouri State Fair Director appeared on Intersection yesterday to talk about the rodeo incident
Credit KBIA

Updated 10:28am, 12:56pm

Missouri State Fair director Mark Wolfe says the rodeo clown responsible for the controversial act over the weekend has been banned from the fair.  The clown had donned a mask of President Obama and asked spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."

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7:37 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Rodeo clown at Missouri State Fair wore Obama mask

The Missouri State Fair at night
Credit Missouri Division of Tourism

  This story is updating

People and politicians are speaking out against an incident at the the Missouri State Fair on Saturday. A clown wearing a President Barack Obama mask appeared at a rodeo this weekend, and the announcer asked spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."

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CoMo Explained
8:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Why are there two farmers markets on the same day?

Get it? There's two. Two farmers markets.
Credit adapted from NatalieMaynor / Flickr

  Not only are there two farmers' markets on the same day, but they're less than a mile away from each other.

Listen to the latest CoMo Explained podcast

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CoMo Explained
11:28 am
Wed July 31, 2013

This guy made a farce out of the Lt. Governor's office

He's not running for anything now, but look for him near the bottom of a municipal ballot somewhere soon

We cover a lot of elections at KBIA but Mike Carter's 2012 run for Lt. Governor was bizarre, hilarious, wonderful. We'll explain:

This week's podcast of CoMo Explained is about Mike Carter, the man who made a farce out of the Lt. Governor's race.

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Arts and Culture
11:53 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Columbia Fire Department strikes social media gold with funny public service video

A screenshot of a Columbia Fire Department firefighter hogging the bathtub.
Credit Columbia Fire Department / YouTube

Updated  4:25 pm with better social analytics information.

The Columbia Fire Department (CFD) is claiming that their latest public service announcement has been viewed over one million times on Facebook.  At the risk of stating the obvious, that is quite a feat for a station that serves a town of 113,000 people.

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CoMo Explained
11:55 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Why does the water taste so funny in Columbia?

When it rains upstream, Fred Olmer of the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission, knows that he's got to start testing even more to see what got washed into the water supply.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Actually we think it's pretty ok. But some people can't stand it! CoMo Explained investigates with guest host Abbie Fentress Swanson:

This week's CoMo Explained is about drinking water....and why it tastes so bad

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