CoMo Explained

Wednesday mornings

CoMo Explained is a podcast that breaks down the big news and explains how Columbia works. Find our home on the iTunes store or your favorite client

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Katie Hiler / KBIA

This week the EPA will make a final decision on a proposed new rule for the disposal of coal combustion residuals, called CCRs, or coal ash.


Jack Howard / KBIA

We've all been there. Driving downtown during a high traffic time. Maybe on 9th Street. Listening to KBIA. 

And then--stopped. There's a semi truck stopped in the lane up ahead. 

Columbia Public Schools

We're halfway into the first year  of Columbia School District’s re-alignment, the most noticeable change being the addition of Battle High School. KBIA is looking at the process of re-alignment, its effects, and what the district is planning for the future.

Kansas City based firm RSP & Associates is crunching numbers for the current round of  Columbia Public Schools (CPS)  district re-alignment. The same firm was also hired to do data analysis for the district re-alignments leading up to the opening of Battle High School.

The firm collected data on the district including enrollment and the number of students on free and reduced lunch. The data was used to create different scenarios of boundary re-alignment which were then sent to the  secondary enrollment planning committee for consideration.   

Jack Howard / KBIA

One way CoMO Explained chooses topics for our episodes is from listener questions. Way back in our first iteration of the show a listener posted on Reddit and asked us why KBIA, an NPR station, plays so much classical music.

This episode is for that Reddit listener.


9 Myths about MizzouWireless

Oct 16, 2014
cogdogblog / Flickr

If you’re a student at Mizzou, you were probably hooked to this story just by mentioning MizzouWireless. But if you’re not, then what you may need a little filling in.

Note: We received several requests for a more technical explanation of what may be causing the issues users experience. Please see the bottom of this story for an update.

Mapping sinkholes

Oct 2, 2014

The areas in red on the map below are where the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) has documented as having sinkholes.

Columbia Daily Tribune

Sales tax. Not a great opening line for journalists trying to educate people about how a city functions. The moment sales tax is mentioned eyes glaze over, something else suddenly becomes important, and we all casually scroll through twitter on our phones.

But sales tax is actually a really fascinating topic, especially right now in our city and country’s history. To learn why, we have to go back…way back, to 1970.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gouzie

We put out some questions on social media to see what you wanted to know about sinkholes. First, here’s a clip of CoMo Explained where I explain everything we learned before talking to Missouri State University Associate Professor of Geology and sinkhole expert Doug Gouzie. You can also read about our previous sinkhole reporting here.


Part 2: Sinkhole regulation in Boone County

Sep 25, 2014
Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The Boone County Storm Water Ordinance: What is it?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined about 8 years ago that storm water can have a significant impact on the quality of streams and cave water in Boone County.

According to Stan Shawver, Director of Resource Management, “Rain water in itself is clean when it comes down from the sky, but when it hits particularly an open construction site with exposed earth works that can carry off construction debris, silt from the project, and those can make their way ultimately into the streams”.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

What exactly is a sinkhole?

A sinkhole forms when the surface layer of ground collapses into a cavity underneath. Associate Professor of Geology at MU Martin Appold explains these features in more detail:

“They’re holes in the ground that form as a result of caves developing below the ground’s surface that come close enough to the ground’s surface that at some point the rock can’t support its own weight.”

“Ultimately the cause is from ground water that is percolating through the fractures, usually in limestone bedrock,” Appold said. 

MU Archives

Peace Park is that grassy little knoll along the north edge of MU’s campus. It’s at the corner of 8th and Elm, a stone’s throw away from the columns. There’s a creek (or drainage ditch) that saunters through it, creating a calm and tranquil vibe for the meditators and hammock dwellers.    

    

Parking construction in downtown Columbia
KBIA

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


What happens in CoMo when the twisters come

Nov 22, 2013

 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?

Propfol
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.

ferguson ruling
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.

mr bag it
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: 

The spookiest spots in Missouri

Oct 23, 2013
Clyde Bentley / Flickr

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


WSDOT / Flickr

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


Why are there so many billboards in Missouri?

Oct 11, 2013
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?"

Healthcare.gov

  This week on CoMo Explained we look at how Missouri is implementing Obamacare and ask whether it'll be successful or not.


Everything you wanted to know about roadkill

Sep 26, 2013
Atelier Teee / Flickr

  This week we answer all your burning questions about roadkill.


Scott Pham / KBIA

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


Why can't Missouri pronounce its towns right?

Sep 12, 2013
Moyan Brenn / Flickr

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


caution tape
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:


Why there are so many roundabouts in Columbia

Aug 28, 2013
herrolm / Flickr

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

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.


How do local taxes work?

Aug 14, 2013
tax scrabble
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.

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.


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


Why does the water taste so funny in Columbia?

Jul 17, 2013
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:


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