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To dock or not to dock? That is the question.

Well, that’s the question some Midwest dairy farmers are debating now that the National Milk Producers Federation has taken a stand against the widespread practice of cutting off cow tails -- or tail docking. It started decades ago as a method to stop the spread of disease because the tails often becomes slimed with manure. Recent studies suggest the practice isn't necessarily effective, but many dairy farmers still employ the technique to avoid a face full of slimy cow tail.

A new chocolate bar developed with the help of MU Students goes on sale this week.

Students in MU’s Food sciences department have teamed up with an independent Columbia Company to create the new chocolate bar. “Mizzou Crunch” was part of an extra-curricular project headed by MU Food Science professor Azlin Mustapha working with Patric Chocolates. She says the project that allowed students to experience not only the development of the chocolate bar, but also everything it takes to get it to the shelves.

A state audit released Tuesday says that the Missouri Department of Economic Development could have done a better job of screening applicants for tax credits for the failed Mamtek project in Moberly.

Two years ago the small northeast Missouri town issued $39 million in bonds to get the company to build an artificial sweetener plant.  Mamtek later missed a bond payment and construction halted, and Moberly’s bond rating was downgraded as a result.  State Auditor Tom Schweich says the due diligence procedures used by the DED were woefully inadequate

"Old Town" Jefferson City begins to look new

Sep 24, 2012

An effort to revitalize Jefferson City’s historic “Old Town” district is showing progress. The Old Town Revitalization Company in Jefferson City has announced that it has received its first property donation.

The non-profit organization allows Jefferson City property owners to donate property to Old Town for a tax deduction. The Old Town Revitalization Company then partners with nearby home builders to rehabilitate the property.

A new report from the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce showed the share of manufacturing jobs in the city has increased almost 23 percent. The chamber recently partnered with a Jefferson City-based economic research company, The Growth Service Group, to put together the report.

Kenton Lohraff

Kenyans that want to hear the latest international news can listen to the BBC, the Voice of America, or Al-Jazeera. Africans can also tune in China Radio International, which is gaining ground in the crowded market.

There’s a new kind of gas on the market, with more ethanol in it than the gas we usually put in our cars. That’s beneficial for corn farmers who grow the corn that ethanol is made from and want more of it in your gas. But while the ethanol industry fought for years to bring this fuel to the market, now that they’ve won… good luck finding it. Even in Corn Country, pickings are slim.

Butternut Bread plant requests pay cut from employees

Sep 19, 2012

The Butternut Bread plant in Boonville is going bankrupt and is asking 80 employees to take an 8 percent pay cut along with reductions in company-paid pensions.

Frank Hurt, President of The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), says employees have an obvious decision to make, and they will not choose the pay cut.

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. 

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in July, but several groups are still feeling the heat more than others. 

Growing across the Midwest is a strain of hybrid corn that should perform well under the driest conditions. Harvest Public Media’s Rick Fredericksen says this summer’s parched farmland is providing an ideal test.

A gas leak Tuesday evening in Columbia caused emergency officials to evacuate several businesses and close down a section of Ninth Street South.

At 4:59 p.m. the Columbia Fire Department responded to reports of a gas odor outside the construction site at 308 Ninth Street South, according to James L. Weaver, public information officer with the Columbia Fire Department.

Several nearby businesses were closed including Starbucks, Chipotle and Cold Stone Creamery, Weaver said.

Image by Evan Townsend

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

The Boone County Fire Protection District repaid more than $200,000 in misused funds to the Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday, settling a federal audit from the year 2009.  

Ebrahim Seyyedi

The University of Missouri football team will host its first Southeastern Conference game on Saturday night, but Delta Airlines is preparing for the occasion as well.

Delta has added an extra, one-time direct flight from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday, ahead of Missouri’s matchup with the University of Georgia. An extra, nonstop flight returning to Atlanta has also been scheduled for Sunday morning.

The flights are in addition to the regular, daily flights between the airports that began in June.

The drought and the Midwestern economy

Sep 5, 2012
Michael Losch / KBIA

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

Heather Adams / KBIA

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.

Southwest has announced that it’s taking over the Branson operations of its AirTran subsidiary in March next year.

KYTV reports that Southwest will drop daily nonstop service between Branson and Baltimore while adding one direct daily flight to Love Field in Dallas. Nonstop daily service to Chicago Midway and Houston Hobby will continue, and a Saturday-only direct flight between Branson and Orlando is being added.

More than 100 people crowded into Columbia's Rock Bridge Christian Church last night to celebrate and say goodbye to Columbia businessman Shakir Hamoodi. Next week, Hamoodi is expected to begin a three year federal prison sentence. He earlier pled guilty to sending about $200,000 to family, friends and charities in his native Iraq from 1991 to 2003. Many of the speakers at the event echoed a similar theme: A conflict between what is legal and what is just. Investigators found no evidence that Hamoodi was aiding the Iraqi government through the financial contributions.

What we know about guns in Missouri [infographic]

Aug 22, 2012
Scott Pham / KBIA

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

What affects gun sales in Missouri?

Aug 22, 2012

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.

Former Republican Missouri Senator Kit Bond will lead a delegation of St. Louis-area business leaders to China later this year.

Bond's consulting firm that works on international trade will accompany regional and statewide businesses and academic institutions to China in December.

Columbia is about to lose its commercial airline service to Memphis, Tenn.

Hazel Motes / flickr

Story updated at 5:47pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Columbia Regional Airport will offer nonstop flights to and from Orlando, Florida, beginning November 20. Frontier Airlines will fly 138 passengers directly between the Columbia Regional Airport and the Orlando International Airport in Florida on the Airbus 319. Mayor Bob McDavid told reporters at a press conference Thursday that the new route will increase the airport’s passenger traffic by 27 percent.

Ben Curtis / Associated Press

This week on the show, what would happen if Congress doesn’t pass a farm bill? Plus, a quick check in on the new student-oriented bus route in Columbia, that started running this week; and what it might mean for the city’s overall transit system.

Many homeowners are seeing the impact of the drought with cracked walls in the basement, forcing thousands of dollars in repair bills that insurance generally doesn't cover.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that basement repair companies are overwhelmed with calls from customers about cracking and shifting foundations.

The drought has drained moisture from the soil for several feel underground. Drying clay shrinks, which undermines support beneath basements.

As college students start making their way back to town, Columbia Transit has begun running its new route that connects campuses and apartment complexes with the downtown area more directly.

Andrew Kauffman / KBIA

This week: North America’s largest food distributor is phasing out its use of gestation crates in pork production. Plus, a story about the drought’s impact on ranchers in the Midwest.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has put a freeze on issuing licenses for new plants and 20-year renewals for existing ones following a ruling by a federal Appeals Court.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in June that the practice of allowing nuclear plants to store spent fuel rods on site doesn’t meet federal environmental standards.  The decision in essence bars the awarding of any new licenses until the industry begins addressing the problem of storing nuclear waste.

Company will make soy-based chicken in Columbia

Aug 7, 2012

Columbia city officials announced today Tuesday a new plant scheduled to open this fall is expected to bring more than 60 jobs to Columbia in the next five years.

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