Political news

Columbia hopes charities utilize Boone County funding

Oct 16, 2014
KBIA File Photo

Nine organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri and Rainbow House, are in the process of applying for city funding of their youth assistance programs. Several of these organizations had applied for funding from Columbia but not Boone County, even though the county has significantly more money to give.

Do you want to know about every person tested for Ebola or hear about every airline passenger with a fever? Has the media’s attempts to localize the Ebola epidemic gone too far, resulting in the reporting of “non-stories?” New Jersey puts NBC Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Synderman under a mandatory quarantine after she was spotted picking up soup from her favorite restaurant. Speculation swirls after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reappears after 40 days without a trace and the New York Times says it’s time to end the trade embargo against Cuba – in Spanish. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Talking Politics: $200,000 for a Judicial Race

Oct 15, 2014

Eli Yokley of PoliticMo joined the show this week to discuss an unusually large amount of spending in the race for the Cole County 19th Judicial Circuit Court.

  The Washington D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee has contributed $200,000 to its Missouri-based political action committee.  $100,000 of that money was passed along to Brian Stumpe, Republican candidate for the Cole County 19th Judicial Circuit Court, and the other $100,000 is on its way.  Stumpe hopes to unseat Democrat Patricia Joyce, who has served on the court since 2002.

New director of economic development announced

Oct 14, 2014

Columbia city manager Mike Matthes announced Monday that Stacey Button will be taking over for Mike Brooks as the City’s director of economic development. Brooks, who served for five years, will look to retire in November.

Courtesy NBC

NBC Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the team she worked with in Liberia are now under a mandatory quarantine ordered by the New Jersey Health Department.

On last week's Views of the News, we talked about how Synderman was self-monitoring and in isolation after being exposed to Ebola by cameraman Ashoka Mukpo.

Amid rain showers and a tornado watch, police in Ferguson, Mo., made dozens of arrests Monday afternoon and into the evening of people who had gathered to protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the black 18-year-old who was killed by a white police officer in August.

LancerenoK / Flickr

  A bill that would decriminalize the cultivation of small amounts of marijuana in Columbia has been endorsed by one city commission.

The Columbia Disabilities Commission voted unanimously last week to endorse legislation offered by Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Hoppe's bill would allow people who grow two marijuana plants to face a fine of only $250, while people who are considered seriously ill could grow two plants without any penalties.

Shawn Semmler / Flickr

  Several hundred people, led by clergy members, marched from a Ferguson church to the city's police headquarters on Monday, part of a four-day weekend of rallies and marches.

Sully Fox / KBIA file photo

Missouri voters will decide next month whether they want six days to vote early without needing an excuse for why they won't show up on Election Day.

MarkyBon / Flickr

The Missouri Lottery says it expects to save about $700,000 a year with a vendor contract finalized amid criticism that the agency is funneling too little money to education.

The Lottery Commission on Thursday approved a seven-year contract with Rhode Island-based GTECH Corp. to provide computer gaming systems and related services.

The governor's budget office has been examining why the lottery had record sales in the latest budget year but transferred less money to schools.

In recent years, social scientists have tried to find out whether important decisions are shaped by subtle biases. They've studied recruiters as they decide whom to hire. They've studied teachers, deciding which students to help at school. And they've studied doctors, figuring out what treatments to give patients. Now, researchers have trained their attention on a new group of influential people — state legislators.

Taxi or technology? That’s the question.

Kirksville City Council denies Keybox initiative

Oct 10, 2014
Fire truck
The Camerons

Kirksville City Council rejected the Kirksville Fire Department’s “keybox” initiative at the city council meeting Wednesday.  

TASER International, Inc.

Last year Assistant Chief John Gordon of the Columbia Police Department assembled a panel of officers. Their aim was to research cameras that could be worn by all of the officers in the department.

The panel "ranged in years of experience, obviously we had males and females on the panel and then we also had different heights," Gordon said.

"When you wear a body worn camera you wouldn't think about it but height has an element to it because of the way the lens works on the camera,” he added.

Office of Representative Steve Hodges

  A southeast Missouri lawmaker says he has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and been sentenced to probation.

Democratic Representative Steve Hodges, of East Prairie, said he pleaded guilty Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court to two charges stemming from incidents earlier this year.

epSos .de / Flickr

  Missouri's health care and retirement plans are expanding coverage to same-sex spouses following a recent court ruling.

Updated at 7:03 a.m. ET Friday:

After an appeals court put Wisconsin's voter ID law back into effect, the Supreme Court voted to put the law on hold while the justices decide whether to take the case.

Marge Pitrof of Milwaukee's WUWM reports:

In July, Michelle Howard made history when she was made the first woman to earn the rank of four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy. She's also the first African-American woman to earn this rank.

Rising through the Navy, she found herself being asked to do all sorts of things on top of her day job — talking about women's policies, attending evening events, essentially becoming a spokesperson for women in the military. She says during her first tour in the Pentagon as a lieutenant commander, she called her mother to complain.

j. stephenconn / Flickr

A $3,000 dinner involving several Republican Missouri lawmakers highlights how lobbyists are reporting things differently to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The meal at a Dallas steakhouse was provided during an August conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It involved House Speaker Tim Jones, Majority Leader John Diehl, Rep. Sue Allen, Sen. Ed Emery and Sen. Wayne Wallingford.

    The Ebola outbreak hits American soil.  A photojournalist working for NBC News is treated for the illness while his colleagues are in a self-imposed quarantine.  Did the Liberian man doctors diagnosed in Dallas have an expectation of privacy? Or should the media have broadcast his name far and wide?    Daily Show alum John Oliver says he’s not a journalist, but many journalists disagree. Find out why his brand of investigative reporting is getting the industry’s attention. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Jim Flink and Jamie Greber: Views of the News.

Courtesy NIAID

The diagnoses of two high-profile cases of Ebola have changed how the media is covering the viral outbreak in the United States. 

A freelance photojournalist working for NBC News said he started to feel symptoms a few days after joining the crew.  He's back in the United States, and his prognosis is reportedly good.  His colleagues -- NBC employees -- are home, too, in self-quarantined for a period of 21 days.

Jefferson City aerial view
/ Missouri Department of Tourism

The City Council of Jefferson City unanimously approved six ordinances Monday that set the framework for $6.2 million in renovations to the city's airport.

The city will secure $6.1 million in funding for a runway and taxiway improvement project through the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and will match 6 percent of the total cost, approximately $400 thousand, through sales tax revenues.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The tally keeps rising on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's contributions to the Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Online campaign finance records show McCaskill gave $50,000 to the party last Friday — two days after giving an identically sized check.


In its first meeting of fiscal year 2015 last night, the Columbia City Council approved the rezoning of a property on Tiger Avenue that will allow the lot to be used for surface parking by the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. The five to one decision requires the statement of intent for the property be amended to remove parking garages from its proposed uses.

Andy Humphrey / KBIA

   Two Mid-Missouri interest groups used Columbia’s City Council meeting Monday night as an opportunity to express their stances on different issues.


A conservative group is targeting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon with new ads in support of a ballot measure limiting the governor's budget-balancing powers.

The Missouri Club for Growth says it began airing TV ads today in support of proposed Constitutional Amendment 10 on the November ballot.

The proposal would allow legislators to reverse a governor's decision to freeze or slow the rate of spending for items in the state budget. It also would limit the governor's ability to assume new revenue from policy proposals when making budget recommendations.

KBIA file photo

A new Missouri law requiring a 72-hour abortion waiting period is to take effect this week, and the state's only abortion clinic isn't planning to try to stop it.

The law tripling Missouri's current waiting period was enacted September 10th when legislators overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon. It is to take effect Friday.

David Shane via Flickr

Republican floor leader John Diehl is hoping to add the statewide lottery to the 2016 ballot for a revote he announced Wednesday. Diehl wants to give the public an opportunity to reconsider the value of the lottery and its relationship with the public school system.

Lake of the Ozarks
Darren Hellwege / KBIA

A possible change to Missouri state schools has schools and organizations arguing against the proposed amendment.

Amendment 3 will change the focus of individualized learning in schools to focus more on state mandated standardized testing and teacher evaluation systems. The amendment wants to increase the number of state mandated standardized tests. This action will remove necessary classroom materials in order to fund the tests.

Family Self-Sufficiency program receives grant

Oct 2, 2014

COLUMBIA – The Columbia Housing Authority received a grant just shy of $103,000 for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

The grant pays for two full-time coordinators who help Section 8 housing recipients set goals, continue education and strengthen money management skills. Each Family Self-Sufficiency program participant signs a five year contract when they sign up for the program.

Phil Steinhaus, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority said, “People have to be motivated to become self-sufficient.” The program is not mandatory, because it would not work otherwise.