Religion was one of those things Cliff Cain's mother raised him not to talk about in public – that, along with politics and sex.
With religion alone, he's breaking that rule – in his words, "Religion is as polarizing as politics and as passionate as sex."
Cain is a religious studies professor at Westminster College in Fulton, and he was the chair of the committee for the school's annual symposium. This year, the topic was religion, and more than 40 experts came to give lectures and facilitate discussions.
Herculaneum, Mo., a small town on the bluffs above the Mississippi River, was always a company town. The company, Doe Run, is the largest lead producer in North America, trucking in lead from Missouri's rich mines to a 120-year-old smelter on the river. For 25 years, the smelter didn't meet federal air standards for lead, and now, after decades of battling government regulators and angry parents, Doe Run is leaving town at the end of next year.
Boone County and the City of Columbia are using a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study storm-water runoff into Bear Creek, north of I-70. A task force will focus on reducing pollutants, which flow directly into the creek, untreated.
A statewide coalition of environmental groups and advocates has submitted five thousand signed petitions to the National Park Service, urging the agency to do more to protect the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri. As St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra reports, the coalition is pushing for more enforcement and a stronger management plan for the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.