Ongoing Coverage:

health & wealth report

Health & Wealth Report
2:49 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

The end of a lead-laced era: polluting smelter to close after 120 years

Jack and Leslie Warden, at the gate that now blocks their old street in Herculaneum.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

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.

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Health & Wealth Report
10:44 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Stories from prison: roar!

Callion Barnes.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That's 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors at Missouri state prisons with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children's books. 

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Health & Wealth Report
10:13 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Payday loans: credit option or debt trap?

Rachel English, with Grass Roots Organizing, gathers signatures in Columbia for the 36 percent cap.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Missouri is fertile ground for payday lenders. With some of the loosest regulations in the nation, we are among the states with the most payday lending stores per capita. In this Health & Wealth report, the payday lending industry in Missouri fights for its life, as activists aim for the November ballot to try to rein in these lenders they say trap the working poor in a cycle of debt.

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Health & Wealth Report
2:09 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Mormons returning to northwest Missouri, 174 years after 'extermination order'

"We believe that this is the birthplace of the human race," said Barry Bartlett, who moved to Missouri 16 years ago. His great, great, great, great grandfather wielded a mean oak stick back in the Gallatin election day battle of 1838.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Ever since Mormon prophet and founder Joseph Smith revealed the Book of Mormon in 1830, his followers have struggled for acceptance. If you want to understand the "why" behind this rocky relationship, the rolling farmland of northwest Missouri might be the best place to start -- the birthplace of the human race, according to Joseph Smith, and the place where Christ will first step down in the second coming. 

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Health & Wealth Report
7:30 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Growing doctors in rural Missouri

Dr. Dale Essmeyer shows Milan High student Kaylee Michael how to take blood pressure.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

In rural Missouri, there are roughly half as many primary care doctors per person, compared to urban parts of the state.  That's a problem, when you consider that rural residents are also older (about three years, on average) and poorer (about five percent more live in poverty). In this Health & Wealth report, small towns in Missouri are facing the shortage by "growing their own" doctors and nurses, starting as early as middle school.

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Health & Wealth Report
9:09 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Six Months After the Storm, Runners in Joplin Get Back on Their Feet

The Joplin Road Runners, after a pre-dawn run.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Six months ago, an EF5 tornado plowed through the center of Joplin, leaving about one-fifth of the city's population without a home. Now, people are slowly getting back to normal. For some, normal means lacing up the running shoes and hitting the streets.

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Health & Wealth Report
5:59 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Missouri's Rural Doctor Shortage

Dr. David Hill on his ranch outside Southwest City, Mo.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

There’s a doctor shortage in rural America. This is not news – just the opposite – it’s been going on for ages. Even old Doc Adams, the country doctor in “Gunsmoke,” was constantly overworked. In one episode, when he finally gets a vacation, he’s kidnapped by outlaws in need of his services. Present-day Missouri ain’t Dodge City, Kansas. But many rural doctors are still overstretched. 

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