Political news

Governor Jay Nixon appointed a senior advisor, John Watson, as temporary State Auditor after the death of Tom Schweich Thursday.

Watson will hold the position until the governor can make a permanent appointment, at which point Watson will resign. Watson has worked for Nixon since 1997. 

The Auditor’s office was open for business Friday and released an annual report under Schweich’s name about property seizures by law enforcement agencies. The office is expected to continue to operate normally under Watson.

At Meetings, Columbia Citizens Say "No" to Roll Carts

Feb 27, 2015
File Photo / KBIA

The City of Columbia held its second “Trash Talk” forum at City Hall on Wednesday night  to further discuss switching the city’s trash pick-up to a roll cart service. 

Columbia bus
Columbia Transit

The City of Columbia is asking citizens to help decide the location of five new bus stop shelters.  Columbia Community Development held a meeting in city hall last night to conduct a survey of citizen preferences and answer questions. 

Within minutes of the news of Auditor Tom Schweich's death, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered all flags on Missouri property lowered to half-staff.

But the governor will soon have a much bigger decision to make: who to appoint as Schweich's successor.

Missouri law seems to suggest that a decision must be made rapidly:

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died Thursday; he was 54.

In June 2003, Schweich was a guest on “St. Louis on the Air,” hosted by Mike Sampson. At the time, Schweich was partner at Bryan Cave, Missouri’s oldest law firm, where he helped manage internal audits and investigations for large companies. Schweich also had published a book, “Staying Power: 30 Secrets Invincible Executives Use for Getting to the Top — and Staying There.”

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich came across as a relatively mild-mannered politician, but when he formally declared his candidacy for governor last month, he came out swinging.

(Updated 5:10 p.m.)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, shocking the state’s political world and throwing turmoil into the state’s 2016 contest for governor.

Bill O'Reilly Is Fighting Back

Feb 26, 2015

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has recently been criticized for previous reporting he did during his time at CBS on the Falklands War. The Mother Jones article accused O’Reilly of telling tales about what the environment was like when reporting. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Judd Slivka and Amy Simons discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."

O’Reilly denies the allegations, firing back at his accusers calling them a coward and a guttersnipe.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday morning to put more stringent regulations on Internet providers.

Backers, including many tech firms and the Obama administration, say the net neutrality rules will ensure equal access to the net for content providers. But Republicans in Congress are no fans of FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler's plan.

  Did Bill O’Reilly lie about his experiences reporting during the Falklands War? A story in Mother Jones claims the Fox News Channel host lied about his whereabouts during coverage of the 1982 conflict for CBS News.  We’ll talk about what former colleagues say about that time and what O’Reilly is saying about it.  Also, editors at the New York Times drop the legendary Page One meetings, why the Toronto Star backed off its reporting on the HPV vaccine and the job outlook for journalism graduates. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Judd Slivka: Views of the News.

The Senate is speeding ahead into the first real deadline it's had since the beginning of the new Congress. In many ways, nothing has changed from past deadlines — lawmakers don't seem interested in resolving the matter with time to spare, rhetoric is hot and angry, and as always, one side is accusing the other of filibustering. Except this time it's the Republicans howling at the Democrats for being the obstructionists.

The script remains the same. The two sides have merely switched parts.

For years in the military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there's been a subject no one could talk about: torture.

Now that's changed.

This latest chapter began when the military commission at Guantanamo held a hearing earlier this month in the case of five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks — a case that's been stuck for nearly three years in pre-trial wrangling.

via Flickr user Justin Hoch

A story published in Mother Jones claims Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly made up stories about his time covering the Falklands War for CBS News.  According to Mother Jones - and some of O'Reilly's former colleagues - it was impossible for him to have seen the instances of combat he describes. Missouri School of Journalism alum and former KFRU-AM news director Eric Engberg is among those disputing O'Reilly's accounts.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  Missouri's local governments and school districts are closer to getting federal funds for storm shelters and disaster repairs.

The Missouri House Tuesday gave first-round approval to a budget bill for this fiscal year to release federal money for local projects in declared disaster areas.

Already-completed local projects totaling about $30 million are awaiting federal funds.

The bill, which needs final approval in the House before going to the Senate, approves the transfer of that money.

The Department of Homeland Security has become the unlikely hero of the new White House campaign to stop cybercrime -- this, despite a history of mismanagement and the looming cutoff of its funding. To succeed, the big bureaucracy will have to inspire trust and compete against similar efforts by the tech industry.

Cybercrime is just too easy. Often, hackers don't have to be innovative. They can take an attack — copy and paste it.

Congress has until the end of Friday to figure out a way to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Otherwise, the department shuts down. But a "shutdown" doesn't mean workers go home. Instead, the vast majority of transportation security officers will have to keep showing up for work — but they won't be seeing paychecks until lawmakers find a way out.

For transportation security officers, it's a bad memory replaying way too soon.

A Case Of Deja Vu

Remembering David Carr

Feb 21, 2015
Web Summit

Last week was a tough week in our industry. NBC suspended Brian Williams, Jon Stewart stepped down from The Daily Show, Bob Simon from "60 Minutes" died in a car crash, and New York Times media columnist David Carr died of lung cancer. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Jaime Grey and Amy Simons discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News." 

Carr was not afraid to challenge the establishment. Perry mentioned that he was a man that told people where they could do better and wonders if there will ever be someone like him again. 

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

  Members of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, or MADP, gathered at the Methodist Church in downtown Columbia Thursday to discuss reforming capital punishment procedures.  Convener for the Columbia chapter of MADP, Jeff Stack, said the organization hopes to one day see the death penalty revoked.  But for now, the immediate priority is to have it reformed.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

It’s still not against the law in Missouri for an employer to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Senator Joseph Keaveny of St. Louis is sponsoring the latest effort to change that, and his bill is currently being considered by a Senate committee. 


The White House will ask a court to allow President Obama's executive actions to take effect, while a case challenging them wends its way through the courts.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Justice Department has decided to seek a stay and will file that request by Monday.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says he has doubts about whether right-to-work can become law this year.

(Updated 5:51 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 19 )

The Missouri House has passed two pieces of legislation to require voters to show government-approved photo identification at the polls.

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether voters knew enough about a constitutional amendment expanding gun rights before it was approved in 2014. 

File Photo / KBIA

Republican Jay Ashcroft says he's running for Missouri secretary of state.

Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate next year.

It’s a move that ensures U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will have competition in 2016 – and opens up a down-ballot statewide contest for both parties.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced in a press release Thursday morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2016. If he wins the Democratic nomination, he would likely face incumbent Republican Senator Roy Blunt.

Jefferson City in the snow
Jeanine Anderson / KBIA

The Missouri House again is pushing this year to require photo identification at the polls.

The House gave initial approval Wednesday to a constitutional amendment and bill that would require voters show photo ID before casting a ballot.

  The past week was a shock for many journalists: the sudden deaths of CBS correspondent Bob Simon and New York Times media columnist David Carr, the fallout from Brian Williams suspension and Jon Stewart’s impending departure from “The Daily Show.” What have we lost and what will we most remember? Also, clues from the FAA on how it will regulate the use of drones, why we still televise car chases live, and 40 years of “Saturday Night Live.” From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Jamie Grey: Views of the News.

This was a week that was hard on many in the media world, with the sudden deaths of both David Carr and Bob Simon, the suspension of Brian Williams, and word that Jon Stewart would be leaving "The Daily Show."

Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN's Brian Stelter that these four stories all tie together, as we come together to strive to tell the best version of the truth.

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

A video has emerged that purports to show militants of the self-declared Islamic State beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped last week in Libya.

Reuters reports: "In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded."

Reuters says a caption on the five-minute video reads: "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church."