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. 


CoMo Explained
12:19 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Will Missouri ever play nice with Obamacare?

Just don't read and drive.
Credit seriouslysilly / Flickr

  This week guest host Harum Helmy explains all the ways Missouri is mucking up the implementation of "Obamacare."

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CoMo Explained
8:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Are there really tunnels underneath downtown Columbia?

Subtera is an underground warehouse with 1 million square feet of space.
Credit Courtesy of MU Libraries

  This week CoMo Explained investigates the legend of Columbia's underground tunnels.

CoMo Explained: Episode 10

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CoMo Explained
8:00 am
Wed June 12, 2013

How the Providence Rd improvement project became such a huge deal

A bulldozer. It never came to this with the Providence Rd improvement project, but early plans included the demolition of eight possibly historic homes
Credit Flickr / Zachi Evenor

  This week we explain exactly what went down with the Providence Road improvement project and how it became such a huge mess.

The busiest intersection in Columbia is at Providence Rd and Stadium Boulevard. When the city started to look into ways to improve traffic flow about eight years ago, nobody knew it would turn into the big mess that it did.  Before it was over, the meetings multiplied, emotions went high and the city government was accused of arranging backdoor deals.

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10:24 am
Mon June 10, 2013

STEM jobs make up a big part of the Columbia work force

The shamrock is the symbol of the MU Engineering School.
Credit ensign_beedrill / Flickr

  The talk around STEM employment (jobs in the fields of science, technology, math and engineering) has largely circled around jobs that require a great deal of education.

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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
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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CoMo Explained
9:00 am
Wed May 29, 2013

What's wrong with bridges in Missouri?

This bridge in southeast Missouri collapsed when a derailed train knocked out its supports
Credit bodkin / Flickr

The collapse of a county highway bridge in southeast Missouri on Saturday was almost certainly not due to structural defects. And the fact that this collapse came on the heels of a similar disaster in Washington state is unfortunate but not necessarily related. Yet it's just a plain fact that bridges in Missouri are aging rapidly and are in serious need of repair.

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Bridge Collapse
7:31 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Collapsed bridge was not structurally deficient

A Union Pacific train
Credit ianmunroe / flickr

The bridge that collapsed in Scott County, Missouri was not structurally deficient, said district engineer Mark Shelton in an interview on Saturday.

"The bridge was in good condition," said Shelton. "It was certainly not in danger of any kind of failure."

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2:17 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Missouri bridges 7th worst in the country

This bridge in Boonville is in good repair. But overall, Missouri bridges are among the worst in the country

  A transportation advocacy site called Transportation For America has released an interactive map that shows where the structurally deficient bridges in your community are. 

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12:58 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

MU to close Jesse Hall for repairs, KBIA to find temporary home

Credit cindyt7070 / Flickr

Updated 4:12 p.m. with quotes and graphics

 The University of Missouri announced today that all employees working in MU's main administrative building, Jesse Hall, will be moved to a new location to allow for the installation of sprinkler systems, improvements to the heating and cooling systems, and an additional elevator. Nearby Swallow Hall which houses MU's Museum of Anthropology, will also undergo repairs including an increase in classroom, lab and office space totaling up to 5,000 square feet.  The project, called "Renew Mizzou," will cost more than $22.8 million.

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CoMo Explained
10:01 am
Wed May 22, 2013

How does a veto-proof super majority work?

Superman is probably veto-proof as well, but he's never admitted it.
Credit out of ideas / Flickr

This is the first year in modern history that we've seen a Republican veto-proof super majority: that's a two-thirds majority that allows Republicans to not only push through most any legislation they want, but also nullify a possible veto from their Democratic Governor, Jay Nixon.

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CoMo Explained
3:20 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

How Columbia Regional Airport lost all its airlines but one

This is a metaphor, probably.
Credit Hey Paul Studios / Flickr

This week we note the last departure of Frontier Airlines from Columbia Regional Airport and try to figure out how we ended up with just one airline.

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3:03 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Columbia airport tower to remain operational

Credit thisisbossi / Flickr

Edited at 3:30 pm with quotes from Columbia Public Works

Columbia Regional Airport (COU) issued a press released Friday afternoon announcing it had received word that its tower will remain open thanks to new federal funding. As we've reported before, the air control tower serving Columbia Regional Airport was on a list [pdf] of regional towers that the FAA was planning to close.

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1:51 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Jeff City police upset over publicity stunt with 'gunmen' in a movie theater

Credit Imgur

A Fox news affiliate in Kansas City reported that police were upset about a recent "publicity stunt" at the opening of Iron Man 3 in a movie theater in Jefferson City.  The stunt seemed to involve a person in an Iron Man costume fending off several intruders brandishing fake weapons.

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CoMo Explained
5:25 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Why the Missouri legislature is at war with the DMV

Credit chuybenitez / Flickr

This one's a fun one. The Missouri State Senate grilled the Department of Revenue over whether the state agency (which oversees the DMV) made copies of Concealed Carry Licenses and sent them to the federal government. What started as a kind of weird, bureaucratic witch hunt became a lot more interesting--turns out they actually did it!  But why would the DMV send these documents to the higher ups.  And is it as illegal as it sounds?

CoMo Explained breaks it down in the podcast:  

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Public Insight Network
4:52 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Join the KBIA Public Insight Network!

KBIA is part of the Public Insight Network with three regional partners

  When you join the Public Insight Network, you help KBIA cover the issues that matter to you.  

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CoMo Explained
1:23 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

What does immigration look like in mid-Missouri?

A permanent resident card, or "green card"
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, a “Gang of Eight” bipartisan senators introduced an immigration bill that would grant low-skilled immigrant workers the opportunity to stay in the United States legally without a green card, among other reforms. Called “W-visas,” these visas would allow immigrants to fill positions that don’t require bachelor’s degrees for three years.

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CoMo Explained
2:12 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

How C-2 zoning could make or break Columbia

Downtown Columbia
Credit Chris Yunker / Flickr

Most of downtown Columbia is zoned for "central business."  But the same zone that lets developers build small boutiques with loft apartments lets in huge, disruptive housing complexes like the Brookside Apartments.

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Arts and Culture
11:44 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Local hackers win boat race fundraiser [video]

The winning boat in the "Float Your Boat" fundraiser on Saturday
Credit danielegoldstein / Flickr

  Last Saturday was the second annual "Float Your Boat" fundraising event for the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri. It's a wacky event where teams build real boats out of cardboard and duct tape and then race them at the lake behind the Bass Pro Shop in Columbia.

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Arts and Culture
2:13 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

KBIA takes home four regional Murrow Awards

This year KBIA won four Murrow Awards from the RTDNA

  The Edward R. Murrow award is a yearly recognition presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association for "outstanding achievements in electronic journalism."

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9:36 am
Wed April 17, 2013

How can Columbia stop high school students from dropping out?

Credit KBIA

This is the very first episode of CoMo Explained, a new podcast from the KBIA newsroom that breaks down the big news of the day and explains how Columbia works.

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CoMo Explained

CoMo Explained is a podcast that breaks down the big news and explains how Columbia works.  Scott Pham and Ryan Famuliner host the show each week.  Download it right here every Wednesday.  And find our home on the iTunes store.

4:17 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Field Notes: Using drones to capture a prairie burn in Missouri

Brendan Gibbons uses a drone to capture the controlled burn at Tucker Prairie near Kingdom City, Mo.
Scott Pham/KBIA

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

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4:36 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

6 classic Brother Jed rants

Brother Jed in Speaker's Circle.
Credit Kyle Lock /

For about 10 years now, "Brother Jed" Smock has been spreading a hellfire-and-damnation style Christian message in college campuses all around the country.

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11:58 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Mizzou's Phil Pressey to leave early, declare for 2013 NBA draft

Phil Pressey in 2009
Credit Wikimedia Commons

  Mizzou's Phil Pressey is leaving college one year early to enter the NBA draft, according to a press release from the school

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2:07 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

New Columbia branding campaign is unexpectable

The new slogan from the Columbia Visitor's Bureau

Updated 5:25 p.m. with video and comment from the CVB.

Today the Columbia Visitors Bureau unveiled its new branding campaign for the city. The tagline? "Columbia, MO: What you unexpect."

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7:06 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Live blog: April 2 municipal elections

Credit File photo / KBIA

  Voters today went to the polls to decide municipal elections across the state.  KBIA reporters are in the field and following races  in Columbia and Jefferson city.  Check this live blog regularly to get results and pictures from watch parties.

Polls are closed, but you can check out our Columbia voter's guide here. The rest of our election coverage is here.

The latest numbers for Boone County votes are available here.  Cole County voters can check on the results here.

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5:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A food truck for shoes finds success with Kickstarter

A design for Stadium Shoes
Credit Nathan Fleischmann

  While the rest of the country moons over The Veronica Mars Kickstarter, Columbia has been slowly warming to the crowdfunding website. In 2012 there were only 21 successful Kickstarter projects in Columbia. Rarer still are Kickstarters that fund businesses. Missouri Business Alert notes:

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11:16 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Everything you need to know about Columbia's April 2 election

Columbia votes on April 2, 2013
Credit Vox Efx / Flickr

Updated: 5:40 4/2/2013  

Voters went to the polls today, which close at 7pm.  You still have time!  Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren says that turnout is a little low this spring, mostly due to the fact that we don't have a school board race to draw out the CPS stakeholders. 

If that doesn't dissuade you then check our guide below:

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Arts and Culture
4:19 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

This is what a photosphere of the MU quad looks like

Francis Quadrangle as a "photosphere"
Credit MU_Photospheres / Reddit

"Photospheres" are like panoramic photos that show all of the space around you--even above, below and behind you.  Android's latest operating system (4.2 Jellybean) has a cool camera setting that stitches these photos together automatically on your cell phone.

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