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airplane
clarkmaxwell / Flickr

Columbia Regional Airport has a tentative agreement with American Airlines to offer two daily flights to Dallas, and one flight a day to Chicago, Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid announced Thursday.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Remember in the film Night of the Living Dead when the protagonist, Barbra, is running through the grassy hills to the forlorn farmhouse to escape her lumbering zombie of a brother?

Well, while recently reporting for Harvest Public Media, I spent time on farmland that looked eerily similar to the backdrop of George Romero's black and white magnum opus.

Money
File Photo / KBIA

Once again, controversy surrounds the development of Aspen Heights. The student living complex is being built at the location of the old Regency Mobile Home Park.

Aspen Heights broke ground earlier this year. But, Osage Group Sierra Club Conservation Chair Ken Midkiff says the company violated a city ordinance. He says after a recent visit to the site, he believes the Aspen Heights developer, Crockett Development, did not preserve 25 percent of native trees.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri officials say the former head of an artificial sweetener company has agreed to return from California to face charges of theft and securities fraud stemming from a failed factory project.

Bruce Cole was chairman and CEO of Mamtek U.S. Inc., which received $39 million of industrial development bonds from the city of Moberly to build a sweetener plant.

Cole is charged in Missouri with using bond revenues to avoid foreclosure on his Beverley Hills home and misleading investors about his company's financial health.

Samantha Sunne / KBIA

Water use has become a hot issue among Midwest farmers after this summer's drought. Nebraska irrigates more acres of farmland than any other state in the nation. Kansas is also near the top. And that Irrigation infrastructure helped some farmers keep the drought at bay this year. Their fields stayed green long after others withered away. But as Grant Gerlock reports for Harvest Public Media, using so much water now may force some farmers to use less water in the future.

Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

As a 5-piece band wound its way through an acoustic set of music, guests slowly shuffled into the “Inside the Walls” festival at the Missouri State Penitentiary. To the southwest, the main entrance to the prison towered over the festival.

Charles Vaughan used to live in a house across the street. He remembers the 1954 riots, which were the worst in the history of the penitentiary. Vaughan remembers his dad and brother were on top of a nearby building with guns.

“There was a big fire going on," he said. "My mom was keeping me in the house which upset me because I wanted to get on the roof and my mom was piling furniture right in front of the front door.”

But now the penitentiary looks much lonelier. Its paint peels. Some of its buildings have been torn down. In fact — of those that remain, some parts are even off limits to tours – this is due to a process Steve Picker calls “demolition by neglect.” He’s the former executive director of the Jefferson City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

McBeth / Flickr

A program that provides heating and energy assistance for low-income Missourians reports that it should have enough funding to meet its winter demand through December.

brains the head / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Insurance has issued its largest penalty to date, to health insurance company, Aetna. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

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.

Nestlé / FLICKR

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.

Rebecca Wolfson / KBIA

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
Jefferson city aerial shot - Missouri Department of Tourism.jpg
Missouri Department of Tourism / Missouri Department of Tourism

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.

Jefferson city aerial shot - Missouri Department of Tourism.jpg
Missouri Department of Tourism / Missouri Department of Tourism

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.

Greg Baker / AP Photo

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.

Pumping gas
File Photo / KBIA

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
stopnlook / FLICKR

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.

Mike Matthes at the DT 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. 

Unemployment office
ForwardSTL

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

CraneStation / Flickr

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.

Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

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.

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

Boone County Fire Protection District
bcfdmo.com

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.  

www.flymidmo.com

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
drought
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

drought
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.

afagen / FLICKR

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.

Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

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
ar 15
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.

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.

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