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Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Columbia Fire Department investigators are looking into the cause of a three-alarm fire at the Brookside on College apartment complex. Sunday’s fire caused millions of dollars in damage, destroying most of the still-under construction apartments, but the owners plan to rebuild.

Doug Bradley Photography / Flickr

Missouri drivers may notice a change in the landscape along roadways and medians later this summer — more grass.

street lights burned
Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Burned traffic signals lay in front of the smoldering apartment complex at the corner of College Ave. and Walnut Street. Fire crews were still spraying water onto the burned Brookside apartment complex at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Smoke could still be seen rising from some torched portions of the property on its corners. The apartments were due to open August, 2012.

The fire started Sunday morning around 5 a.m. In a message to renters, on the Brookside Facebook page, the company said about 30 percent of the complex will be completed by the end of August, when leases begin.  

Hear a former inmate's story from MSP

May 25, 2012
Samantha Sunne / KBIA

One man’s historic building is another’s nightmarish living conditions. Listen to the audio to hear former MSP inmate Joshua Kezer talks about what it was like to be incarcerated for 10 years in one of the oldest prisons in the U.S.

Chloe Dake / KBIA

The city of Columbia announced Thursday the addition of a new city bus route that will directly connect the University of Missouri and downtown Columbia.  Mayor Bob McDavid calls the plan FASTCAT –“CAT” being short for Campus Access Transit. The new route will bypass Wabash station creating a new central hub.

Films, events, donations fund other aging prisons

May 24, 2012
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc

The Missouri State Penitentiary is one of the oldest prisons in the country, but there are even older ones that survived both centuries of inmates and decades of decay. The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield and the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia are now fully operating tourist sites.

Samantha Sunne / KBIA

An update on the EEZ in Columbia. Plus, some say the situation at the old Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City is getting desperate.

"Neglect" a threat for Missouri State Penitentiary

May 23, 2012
Samantha Sunne / KBIA

The Missouri State Penitentiary closed in 2004 due to deteriorating conditions at the 150-year-old facility. KBIA’s Samantha Sunne explains how this deterioration has continued into the prison’s life as a Jefferson City tourist destination and historic landmark.

General Motors broke ground Monday on 500-thousand square feet of new factory space at its Wentzville, Mo. Assembly plant.

According to the company the expansion will cost $380 million.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was on hand for the event and said the decision was a smart one for GM, given its long history in the St. Louis area.

Eva Dou / KBIA

When it comes to jobs in Missouri, Karla Klingner Diaz believes that immigration is not the problem -- but rather the solution.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

A Columbia lawyer is utilizing a federal program to try to bring so-called, “immigrant investors” to Mid Missouri. Plus, Harvest Public Media reports on the lasting effects of last year’s flooding.

Tim Patterson / Flickr

Missouri added about 6,000 jobs in April as its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down slightly.

Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development also show that Missouri added more jobs in March than originally thought. The March job growth was revised upward from 4,800 to 6,800 new jobs.

Missouri's unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent. The department said that is the lowest level in 40 months.

The national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in April.

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

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN says the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is not doing enough to include local minority and female workers in its sewer upgrade projects.

MOKAN executive director Yaphett El-Amin says her group wants MSD to increase the transparency of its hiring practices and invest at least $23.5 million in worker training programs.

Workers in the Office of Emergency Management for Boone County are expressing surprise about the elimination of its Management Director position.

Business Beat: Costly Wind Gusts for Farmers

May 9, 2012
NET News

This week: Farmers looking to have a record book corn harvest. Plus, find out how wind gusts can cost farmers a ton of money.

NET News

For many Midwesterners, wind is an occasional nuisance. For farmers, though, the wind’s impact can be huge — drying out crops and eroding topsoil. Gusts big and small also complicate the application of chemicals, and that can be particularly costly.

In 2005, Columbia stockbroker Alex LaBrunerie placed a very long-distance cold call.

Columbia paper shows circulation, revenue increase

May 7, 2012

The report the Audit Bureau of Circulations released earlier this week shows increase in papers’ revenues throughout the country.

Missouri House members approved legislation trimming taxes on businesses.

Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

This week: Harvest Public Media takes an in depth look into rural commodity brokers, and the tug of war battle between MF Global and rural farmers, and a look back on the store Cool Stuff.

Rural brokers pick up pieces after MF Global crisis

May 2, 2012
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

When futures trading firm MF Global went bankrupt at the end of October, regulators discovered $1.6 billion in customer funds missing, much of it belonging to Midwest farmers and ranchers. But MF Global clients aren’t the only ones hurting in farm country.

Kirksville shows most growth in northeast Missouri

Apr 27, 2012
Jeffrey Beall / flickr

Kirksville led northeast Missouri in job postings over the last few months thanks in part to the Northeast Regional Medical Center, based in Kirksville.

Kirksville grocery store shuts down

Apr 27, 2012
kirksville
david_shane / flickr

A locally-owned Kirksville grocery store is closing.  Near and Far Downtown Grocery sells produce from local farmers to stock its shelves. Velda Salt opened the store with her husband after having success at the farmer’s market. But she says the college town environment, and its seasonal nature, made it tough to be profitable year-round.

“More than half of our clientele are students," said Salt. "But it’s not just the students, because when school is out the professors are gone, a lot of them. The community…overall the town decreases.”

Judge upholds minimum wage ballot summary

Apr 26, 2012

A judge upheld the language of a proposed ballot initiative Thursday that, if passed, would raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25. Kansas City Restaurant Owner Victor Allred challenged the initiative, claiming the language was unfair. But Cole County Circuit Judge rejected his challenge. Missouri Jobs for Justice is the group supporting the initiative, and will turn in the signatures to the Missouri Attorney General next week. 

Eva Dou / KBIA

This week: Columbia’s biggest export to China isn’t corn, soybeans, or any manufactured product.  It’s scrap metal.  In fact trade experts are calling Columbia’s export “waste and scrap.” Plus, find out how one farmer is still shifting through the aftermath after losing hundreds of acres of farmland.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Scott Olson is getting ready to plant corn and soybeans, but he wonders if anything will grow.

 

Missouri lawmakers are aiming to attract large economic development projects with a new type of incentive modeled on a strategy used elsewhere.

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

Columbia could be the next city in Missouri to bring natural gas fuel to residents.

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