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. 


Arts and Culture
5:04 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

TELL US: What's one Halloween costume you'll never forget?

lobo235 Flickr

The tradition of dressing up in costumes for Halloween dates back to an ancient Celtic festival where the Celts wore animal heads and skins. When Halloween made its way to America in the 1800s, people took after this tradition and began dressing in costumes and going house to house asking for candy, according to the History Channel.

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5:11 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Join the NPR chat during tonight's town hall style presidential debate

Frank James is NPR's political blogger. He and Mark Memmot run the political blog "The Two Way"

Tonight is the second of the scheduled presidential debates and KBIA's watching along with you. Listen to the debate on KBIA channel 2 with your HD radio, stream it on HD-2 online, or follow along with the live chat below while you view it on TV.

NPR's veteran political blogger Frank James hosts a live chat with listeners and watchers starting at 7:30PM central time.

10:10 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Tell Us: What one word describes how you feel about Mizzou Football?

A Mizzou helmet and an SEC helmet were on display at the announcement. Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Announcer Mike Kelly was unable to find the white helmet for the official presentation to Brady Deaton earlier in the press conference. Photo by KAREN MITCHELL
Karen Mitchell University of Missouri

Remember when the letters SEC were enough to start a conversation or sell a T-shirt? Now, with Missouri at 3-3 halfway through the season, the picture doesn't look as rosy.

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Off The Clock
1:06 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

From sketches to pitches at Startup Weekend

Water bottles at Startup Weekend
Cale Sears

Last Friday, more than a hundred would-be entrepreneurs got together for an annual event called Startup Weekend.  The fast paced, company building workshop brings big ideas down to earth in just 54 hours.  125 participants with laptop and smartphones gather to build small, lean companies that might grow into something much bigger.

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12:28 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Dorial Green-Beckham and two teammates arrested; suspended one game

Lead in text: 
MU's student newspaper, The Maneater, reports that Dorial Green-Beckham, the country's number one recruit, was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday night. The team spokesman told reporters that Green-Beckham and teammates would be penalized one game.
Freshman receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the former No. 1 recruit in the nation, along with two other Missouri football players were arrested on drug charges Wednesday night. Green-Beckham, freshman linebacker Torey Boozer and freshman receiver Levi Copelin were arrested just before midnight on charges of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana, according to MU Police Department records.
9:58 am
Mon October 1, 2012

The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald says the Hamoodi case " highlights the travesties routinely imposed on Muslim Americans"

Lead in text: 
Did you catch Glenn Greenwald when he was in town last week? The celebrated political journalist stopped by the University of Missouri on a speaking tour. While he was in Columbia it looks like he picked up on the case of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American nuclear engineer who just began a three-year prison sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas penitentiary for sending money to his family in Iraq at a time when sanctions made that illegal.
I'm currently traveling around the US on a speaking tour, and as I've written before, one of the prime benefits of doing that is being able to meet people and their families whose lives have been severely harmed by the post-9/11 assault on basic liberties.
10:21 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Help us map the drought

Lead in text: 
The skies have been cloudy this week but a little rain can't erase the effects of this last summer's drought, widely considered to be the worst in decades. Like most things, some fare better than others and some even worse. Help us map the drought What does your farm and rangeland look like? How has your year been? Are you going to survive the drought? Send us some details and a picture by clicking below.
Parts of the Midwest got a reprieve from the drought this week, according to the latest US Drought Monitor report released on Thursday. The report found
1:36 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

McCaskill, Akin and Dine face off in first Mo. Senate debate

US Senator Claire McCaskill and US Representative Todd Akin and Jonathan Dine debated Friday morning
Andrew Yost KBIA

KBIA ran live coverage of today’s Senatorial debate between incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill and US Representative Todd Akin from 10:45AM to noon. 

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2:56 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Are you afraid of melons? [Results]

In the produce section of the Schnucks grocery store in Columbia, Mo., the store posted a statement about the watermelon recall on a box of non-recalled watermelons.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Last week we asked you two simple questions: are you avoiding cantaloupes or melons?

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The Salt
10:10 am
Wed September 19, 2012

McRib Fans May Have To Wait Till Christmas For Their Sandwich Fix

McDonald's plans to delay the return of the seasonal McRib sandwich in the hopes it can help boost late winter sales.

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 11:21 am

It's not quite as iconic as falling leaves, crisp air, and football, but the McDonald's McRib is usually something folks look forward to enjoying in the autumn months. Not happening this year, according to a company memo obtained by Advertising Age.

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12:07 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Tell us: are you afraid of melons?

Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

An Indiana farm issued a voluntary recall of cantaloupe and watermelons because the fruit could be contaminated with Salmonella. Let us know: is this affecting your eating and buying habits?

Click here to take survey

5:45 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

New Downtown Incubator attracts entrepreneurs and English teachers

City Manager Mike Matthes speaks with the founders of Rockupied at the official opening of the Columbia Downtown Incubator
Scott Pham KBIA

If you’ve got a sharp eye you might have noticed a new building in downtown Columbia.  Last week the City of Columbia and local entrepreneurial group The League of Innovators officially opened the Brent and Erica Beshore Downtown Incubator. 

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6:48 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Drought could edge livestock producers out of business

Lead in text: 
Currently, the USDA expects the prices of beef, pork, poultry and dairy to shoot up five percent next year. You can blame the drought for a lot of that increase as this summer a lot of small livestock producers are struggling just to stay in business. A version of this story ran on KBIA's Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.
Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and
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Business Beat
6:48 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The drought and the Midwestern economy

This pasture usually has fescue grass that's up to 10 inches high. But there have been just two inches of rain here in the past two months.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

If you've been out of town for a little while, then you this might be news: this rain we've been getting is a rare, rare, thing. Yes, the drought has been on our minds--and the radio--all summer long and a little rain this week doesn't change the fact that it's been devastating to farmers and the economy

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6:37 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Economic index shows Midwest economy is slowing, prices are rising

Drought conditions are slowing down the Midwestern economy
Kecko Flickr

If you've been out of town for a little while, then you this might be news: this rain we've been getting is a rare, rare, thing. Yes, the drought has been on our minds--and our radio--all summer long and a little rain this week doesn't change the fact that it's been devastating to farmers and the economy.

Read more
11:00 am
Wed August 29, 2012

TV ad-buys ramping up

Lead in text: 
There's a ton of political advertising on TV these days and it's only going to get worse (or better, if you're into that kind of thing). Our colleagues at Project Open Vault keep track of these things and they know who's buying what and when:
Susan B. Anthony List runs ads against Obama's stance on abortion; Still, Martin buy time for future Every week Project Open Vault receives new political ad buy contracts from three mid-Missouri TV stations, updating our ad spending database as soon as possible. Below is a brief look at the past week's ad buys: The Susan B.
5:57 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

What we know about guns in Missouri [infographic]

Credit Scott Pham / KBIA

We dive through the data find out just what affects the business of firearms in Missouri.  Read more here.

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Business Beat
5:51 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

What affects gun sales in Missouri?

A shooter fires an AR-15 assault rifle
Schlüsselbein2007 Flickr

It’s a commonplace that high profile shootings like the ones in Colorado and Wisconsin can drive gun sales up.  Campaign politics have an effect too.  This week we’ll take a look at the gun industry and find out just what influences gun sales in Missouri.

At a recent gun show in St. Louis, there are about 30 or so tables crammed into the hotel conference room.  That’s 30 different vendors all competing with each other to sell guns, knives and accessories.  If you’re a buyer looking for a deal, there’s no better place to be.

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9:41 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Poll numbers suggest Akin's campaign is still viable

Lead in text: 
According to figures from Public Policy Polling, 79% of Missouri voters disagree with Todd Akin's comments last weekend. As you might expect, Akin's image has taken a beating but his overall poll numbers are still kicking. Public Policy Polling is showing that if Akin were to run today, he'd eke out a victory with 1 percentage point over his rival.
A poll conducted and released on Monday found that U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who's under fire for his comments about "legitimate rape," still has an edge over Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in Missouri's Senate race. Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based Democratic polling firm, has Akin leading McCaskill by one point, 44 percent to 43 [...]
2:32 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Todd Akin's campaign hit hard by comments on "legitimate rape"

Todd Akin appeared on Fox TV this weekend

Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on rape and abortion in a weekend interview have prompted a storm of reactions nationwide. 

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11:11 am
Mon August 20, 2012

"Legitimate rape"

Lead in text: 
The Atlantic is publishing some of the best writing on this whole Todd Akin, "Legitimate Rape" controversy. Here, writer Garance Franke-Ruta takes a serious look at what Akin and like-minded public figures are trying to get at. Just what is "legitimate rape" and why do so many believe it can't cause pregnancy?
Here we go again. Trotting out the contemporary equivalent of the early American belief that only witches float, Congressman Todd Akin, the Republican challenger to Democratic U.S."First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin said in an interview with KTVI-TV that caused a furor online Sunday afternoon after being posted on TPM. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Under the Microscope
5:57 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Tracking an astronomical mystery

The caiman/puma monster-shaped mound is one of two figures from the 4,000 year old preceramic site of El Paraíso, in the Chilca Valley. The other, a condor, is partly visible in the upper left. The arrow shows the mound’s alignment to the Milky Way.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth Pro

For centuries people have lived and worked in a part of coastal Peru spotted with oddly shaped hills.  Most knew that the mounds were man made, but were they significant?  

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11:49 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

The August primary in photos

Republican Vicky Hartzler was cool as a cucumber before the results came in. She went on to win her party's nomination for the District 4 US House seat.

KBIA doesn't have much in the way of photojournalists, but we've got some smart reporters with some pretty smart smartphones!  Our news team spent most of the night in the field with the candidates as they waited for election results to come in and they had their twitter accounts fired up the whole time.  Check out our online coverage @kbia or at on the #midmovotes hashtag.  We've compiled a few of our twitpics here.

3:59 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Missouri primary elections live blog

KBIA file photo

UPDATE: 10:13PM:

The AP calls the democratic nomination for Susan Montee (Lt. Governor) and the republican nomination for Akin (US Senate).  Though we're still waiting on over 1,000 precincts statewide, so stay tuned.

Every single Boone County precinct is in.  Recapping, again, the important races:

Northern District Commissioner: Bormann just barely inched ahead with 59 votes.  This one was a hair raiser!

District 44 State Representative: 29-year old republican Caleb Rowden takes his party's nomination.  He'll face democrat Ken Jacob.

District 47 State Representative: John Wright easily takes the democratic party's nomination.  He'll face 29 year-old Mitch Richards (what's with all the 29 year-olds?).

Governor: Republican David Spence will face incumbent Jay Nixon in the fall.  

Attorney general: Republican Ed Martin will face democrat Chris Koster in November.

Lt. Governor: Democrat Susan Montee.  No clear winner yet between republicans Brad Lager and Peter Kinder.

District 4 US Representative: Republican Vicky Hartzler will face democrat Teresa Hensly in the fall.

Secretary of State: Jason Kander.  Republican challengers are still in a three-way race.  Shane Schoeller has pulled ahead slightly but we're still waiting on a few precincts.

Amendment 2:  The AP has called "Yes."  Looks like a landslide to us, with 414,626 ayes to just 64, 018 nays.  That's with over half the precincts in.

UPDATE 10:00 PM: 

Nearly all the precincts are in Boone County.  State House district looks pretty good in favor of John Wright for the democrats.  He'll be facing 29 year-old Mitch Richards in the fall.  

The Northern District Commissioner race is the tightest we've seen this August.  With only 1 precincts left, Robbins is up over Bormann with just over 13 votes.  


Things are moving along!  Nearly half of the votes are in statewide and a bunch of races have been called by the AP . Let's recap.

Governor: The AP has called the republican nomination for David Spence.  He'll face incumbent Jay Nixon in the fall.  

Attorney general: The AP is calling the republican nomination for Ed Martin.  He'll face democrat Chris Koster in November.

Lt. Governor: The AP is calling the democratic nomination for Susan Montee.  Brad Lager and Peter Kinder are still neck and neck in a tight race.

District 4 US Representative: Vicky Hartzler has called the republican nomination for herself.  She'll face democrat Teresa Hensly in the fall

Secretary of State: Jason Kander has accepted the democratic nomination.  Meanwhile, his republican challengers are in a three-way race that's too close to call.

Amendment 2:  The AP has called "Yes."  Looks like a landslide to us, with 414,626 ayes to just 64, 018 nays.  That's with over half the precincts in.


Almost half of Boone County's precincts are reporting in.  Robbins and Bormann are neck and neck for the Northern District Commissioner nomination.  On the Democratic side, things are less even: Thompson leads Fugit in the double digits.  We expect these races will be decided soon.


Vicky Hartzler calls her win for the Republican nomination in the District 4 US Rep. race.  Amendment 2 is poling at 52% but votes are still early.  The AP is calling the GOP nomination for Ed Martin (Attorney General) and Dave Spence (Governor).  More soon.


We're at 11% precincts reporting statewide and we've got our first non-absentee ballots from Boone County.  Don Borman falls 7 points behind Lance Robbins in the Republican primary for the Northern Commissioner's seat.  On the Democratic side, public defender Janet Thompson surges ahead with 60% of the vote.  

In state rep. races, 29 year old Caleb Rowden is doing well in the republican race for the 44th.  

In other news, it's slow going over here!  Just about everyone and their mother is trying to get up-to-the second voting tallies from the Secretary of State's website.  It's been crashing periodically throughout the evening . In a tweet, the Secretary said that new software and heavy traffic were slowing down the servers . They say they're looking for a solution.


We're up to 2% precincts reporting, and results are pretty evenly spread in the Senate race between Steelman, Akin and Brunner.  In the primary for the Governor race, Spence takes a hearty lead with 64% of these early votes.  In the Lt. Governor's race, Lager and Kinder are neck and neck for the Republican primary, hovering around 25% of the votes.  The the democratic primary, Susan Montee takes a solid lead.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:22 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

New Moo-Bile App Helps Keep Cows Cool And Farmers Updated

Dairy cows feed at Heins Family Farm near Higginsville, Mo. Fans and misters keep the barns cool during this summer's record temperatures.
Scott Pham for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:44 pm

When it's hot and humid, you probably don't want to move much and aren't very hungry. The same goes for cows; but when they don't eat, farmers lose money.

Researchers at the University of Missouri think they can help avoid those losses. They've produced a new mobile app that can detect the threat of heat stress in cows using nothing more than a smartphone.

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4:48 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Snoop Lion: A perspective from our friends at Columbia Faith and Values

Lead in text: 
The lion, apparently, has a significant place in Rasta theology. Who knew?
(RNS) Snoop Dogg scored a huge hit with the hip-hop anthem "What's My Name?" back in 1993. Announcing his conversion to Rastafarianism on Monday, the rapper unveiled a new answer to that lyrical question. "I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," he said at a press conference.
1:35 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

57 days till the Farm Bill Expires and "The uncertainty is mind boggling."

Lead in text: 
So says Brent Boydston, vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. Congress takes a 5-week break and meanwhile, the clock ticks down on the Farm Bill. It's Day 57 and our colleagues at Harvest Public Media are on the watch:
The farm bill is stuck. It's set to expire on Sept. 30, but Congress can't get new legislation on track. The U.S. Senate passed its version () of the farm bill in June, but the House has yet to take up the legislation.
Business Beat
6:06 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Entrepreneurship increases in economic recession, new study says

Maria Figueroa-Armijos is a doctoral student in the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs
University of Missouri

Microsoft, Staples, and SouthWest Airlines.

What do these companies have in common? Yes, they're big companies, they employ a lot of people and they're successful. But here's one more thing--all of these companies were created in a period of economic downturn.  The Fortune 500 is littered with stories like this.

Business Beat spoke with Maria Figueroa-Armijos who's one of the authors of a new study which suggests that certain types of entrepreneurs are on the rise and it’s not in spite of the recession--it’s because of it.

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10:39 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Farm Bill Countdown: Day 59

Lead in text: 
It's August now and the Farm Bill will expire September 30th. Without a stable, federal policy on US agriculture, farmers are going to have a difficult time planning for the future. Our colleagues at Harvest Public Media are bringing us daily updates on the political wrangling that may or may not bring us the new legislation farmers need. We'll bring you these daily updates as we get them.
Facing the prospect of heading back to angry drought-ravaged farmers and ranchers during Congress’ August Recess, House Republicans stopped work on contentious farm bill legislation and started pushing a drought assistance bill.
4:41 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Poll: Would you eat at Chick-fil-A?

Lead in text: 
There's not Chick-fil-A in Columbia – the closest ones are near St. Louis and Kansas City – but the company's comment still provides food for thought. (Yes, pun intended . . . ?)
Since Chick-fil-A's president stated that the company is opposed to gay marriage, the company has been under fire. Where do you stand?