Science and Technology

Science, Health and Technology
7:45 am
Wed March 5, 2014

City council approves upgrades to 43-year-old turbine

The Columbia City Council voted Monday for improvements on Boiler 8 at the Municipal Power Plant. Boiler 8 is a natural gas-operating turbine and has been operating since 1970.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Proponents pushing a plan to reduce e-waste in Missouri landfills

Bert van Dijk flickr

In Missouri, certain businesses, schools, churches and government agencies are required by law to properly manage electronic waste or e-waste.

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True/False Conversations
2:02 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Pastor gives refuge to oil workers in 'The Overnighters'

Pastor Jay Reinke.
Jesse Moss, The Overnighters

Listen to KBIA's Kristofor Husted interview Jesse Moss.

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes

The fracking boom in much of the U.S. has opened up a new path for people searching for work, of course, but also for redemption and reinvention.  In the film “The Overnighters,” filmmaker Jesse Moss travels to Williston, N.D., to tell the story of Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke and the workers he houses in his church and home. Reinke invites newcomers to sleep in extra rooms at the church and to sleep in their cars in the parking lot while they look for jobs and more permanent housing. Some of the men even live in the pastor’s home with his family.

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True/False Conversations
11:28 am
Fri February 28, 2014

'Particle Fever' follows scientists' search for 'God particle'

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
Credit Particle Fever

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

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Science, Health and Technology
4:19 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

New app to help Columbia residents track public transportation

Credit Columbia Transit

The City of Columbia discussed a new public transportation plan Friday in a meeting with Boone County, the Columbia School Board and the Chamber of Commerce.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:09 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Civic groups donate computers to families

Credit Remko van Dokkum / Flickr

For the 11th year, the Voluntary Action Center and the Downtown Optimist Club worked with the City of Columbia on a program called "Homes for Computers." This program gives used computers to low income Columbia families.

Rick McKernan, a member of the Downtown Optimist Club, described how families had to meet certain criteria as decided by The Voluntary Action Center before receiving the computers. The family has to have a child in the local school system, it can’t have a computer already, and must have financial need.

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Science and Technology
4:48 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Fracking debate ignites in rural Illinois county

Credit Jacob McCleland / KRCU

The debate over hydraulic fracturing is heating up again in rural Johnson County, Illinois.
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Missouri Environment
9:04 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Elk program pleases hunters, but not farmers

These two bull elk were among the first to arrive at Peck Ranch in May, 2011. They were outfitted with GPS collars for tracking purposes.
David Stonner Missouri Department of Conservation

In 2011, the Department of Conservation started reintroducing elk into the state of Missouri.  The elk were brought in from Kentucky and released onto land designated as the Elk Relocation Zone.  Part of this “zone” is conservation land in the Missouri Ozarks called Peck Ranch. 

Right now, there’s a herd of more than a hundred elk roaming around in the Missouri Ozarks.  But, you might not know it just by looking around.  You see, they’re actually kind of hard to find in the woods.

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Safety
4:59 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Safety app allows students more freedom

Students concerned for their safety have a new option when it comes to walking home at night.

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Health
5:37 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Missouri students participate in HIV testing as part of National Black AIDS day

Credit Rachel Gleason / KBIA

National Black AIDS day was celebrated on the University of Missouri campus Friday with Free HIV testing. 

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Columbia Audubon Society assists state with controlled burn research

Members of the Columbia Audubon Society take part in a bird count late last fall as part of a DNR research project at Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA NEWS

Before the early settlers arrived in the Missouri Ozarks fire naturally moved through the area every few years or so creating more open space.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:05 am
Wed January 29, 2014

New Mo. website shows hazardous waste sites

A new online map could make it easier for people to find out details about scores of hazardous waste sites throughout Missouri.

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Science, Health and Technology
12:48 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Trumpeter Swans Flock In Record Numbers To St. Louis-Area Bird Sanctuary

It's about an hour after dawn on a cold January morning. A couple hundred trumpeter swans have spent the night on Pintail Pond at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Alton, Illinois.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:45 am

Every winter, hundreds of trumpeter swans migrate from their breeding grounds in Wisconsin to the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, just across the Mississippi River from Alton.

This year there are about 900 of them, a record for our area.

On a recent cold, blustery St. Louis morning, I got up well before dawn to drive the 20 miles north to the sanctuary and record this audio postcard.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Carbon tax supporters lobby the old school way

Citizens Climate Lobby organizer Lynate Pettengill encourages people to get involved in its lobbying efforts at a informational meeting in Columbia.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

The Washington D.C based Citizens Climate Lobby says if you want to take action on climate change one simple step you can take is to contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the Climate Change Act.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Stan Musial bridge scheduled to open with festivities Feb. 9

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is scheduled to open early next month.

The new bridge will carry Interstate 70 over the Mississippi River. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the four-lane, cable-stayed bridge and associated highway projects are being funded with a combination of Missouri, Illinois and federal money.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:28 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Survey Shows Numerous Cancers, Other Diseases, Near North St. Louis County Creek

An online survey has collected 1,242 reports of cancer from current and former residents of the neighborhoods around Coldwater Creek in North St. Louis County.

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:05 pm

New data are adding to concerns that exposure to radioactive waste in Coldwater Creek could be causing cancers and other health problems.

Nuclear waste generated by the Mallinckrodt Company was dumped in North St. Louis County after World War II, contaminating the creek and surrounding areas.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:11 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Ameren starts cleaning of Columbia superfund site

Credit Fantail Media / Flickr

Ameren Missouri has begun cleaning up a Superfund site in downtown Columbia that is contaminated by tars from a former manufactured-gas plant.

The utility plans to remove about 36,000 tons of dirt from the site and truck it to the Jefferson City landfill. Work is expected to be completed by the end of July.

The manufactured-gas plant was located at the site from 1875 to 1932. The company used the site for its headquarters after coal gasification ended.

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Science, Health and Technology
3:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

DNA test confirms canine shot in Missouri is a wolf

Scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used DNA tests to confirm this canid, shot and killed in Wayne County, is a grey wolf.
Credit Courtesy of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Update 11.21 a.m. 1/15/14: MDC reports the wolf was shot by the landowner while hunting. The department says wolves can be mistaken for coyotes sometimes, though coyotes rarely grow to more than 30 pounds. Coyotes may be taken by hunting with the right permit.

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Science, Health and Technology
7:58 am
Mon January 13, 2014

'Tribune' FOI request turns up report detailing murder at veterans hospital

A report says Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital failed to provide a safe environment for a 78-year-old man beaten to death last year at the Columbia facility.

The report for the Veterans Affairs Heartland Network was included in materials released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Columbia Daily Tribune.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:10 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Missouri Attorney General Demands More Monitoring Of Smoldering Landfill In Bridgeton

An underground fire was first detected at the Bridgeton Landfill in December, 2010.

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:05 pm

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants more air monitoring at the Bridgeton Landfill, where an underground fire has been smoldering for more than three years.

Attorney General Koster asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court on Thursday to order the landfill's owner to collect more data on carbon monoxide emissions.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:59 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Two from St. Louis area could be among first to live on Mars

Map of Mars, with pins indicating the landing points of (from left to right) Viking 1, Pathfinder, and Opportunity.
Credit ToastyKen / Flickr

Human settlement on Mars is a long way away, but two St. Louis-area residents are on the short list to be among the first settlers of the Red Planet.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 29-year-old Maggie Duckworth of Bridgeton and 26-year-old Tim Gowan of University City are among the 1,058 initial candidates chosen from a pool of 200,000 who applied for a one-way trip to Mars as part of the privately funded Mars One mission.

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Science, Health and Technology
4:44 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Columbia council approves renewable energy mandate bump

Credit Sam Lin / KBIA

The Columbia City Council voted Monday night to increase the city’s renewable energy mandate. By 2018, Columbia Water and Light will now need to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources – up from 10 percent as spelled out in the renewable energy mandate passed by Columbia voters in 2004. The future goals were also increased to 25 percent by 2023 and 30 percent by 2029. The previous goal for 2023 was 15 percent and there was no goal set for 2029.

First Ward Councilmember Fred Schmidt was one of the councilmembers that voted to pass the change 5-2.

“The energy future and the environmental future calls for this – for doing something and I believe this is the right step. We don’t know what the future is going to hold, so we shoot for a multiplicity of sources,” Schmidt said.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Hellbender survives in a tough environment

An Eastern Hellbender crawls along the bottom of the Big Piney River on Ft. Leonard Wood in Pulaski County.
Credit Kenton Lohraff

The Eastern Hellbender is a giant salamander that has been around for millions of years. 

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Under the Microscope
1:19 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Missouri's Execution drug source raises legal, ethical questions in Missouri

Credit California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri has put two people to death since last November, with another execution scheduled for late January. St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra have been looking into the state's secretive and controversial lethal injection process. They've discovered the state may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty.

 

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Science, Health and Technology
4:50 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Habitat for Humanity promotes energy-efficient home in Columbia

Columbia city officials say they hope an energy-efficient home will be a model for future low-income housing projects.

Habitat for Humanity is building the "net-zero" home, which includes solar panels and a solar water heater, low-flow plumbing fixtures and LED lighting.

It's the first time the organization has built such a home, which also has 45 percent more insulation than previous homes. The home also will be completely accessible to the disabled.

Science, Health and Technology
5:27 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

It's Back! Flu Spreads (Again) In St. Louis

You still have time to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu.
Judy Schmidt, James Gathany, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:58 am

It’s winter again in St. Louis ― and that means the start of flu season.

Dr. Faisal Khan with the St. Louis County Department of Health says he’s seen a sharp spike in the number of reported flu cases in the past couple of weeks.

He says that quick uptick is normal for this time of year, and it’s too soon to tell whether the current pattern will continue.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:15 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Christmas trees become fish habitat in Mo. lakes

Credit ShedBOy^ / Flickr

Christmas trees whose holiday purpose has expired can be donated as homes for fish.

The Missouri Department of Conservation uses the natural trees to establish fish habitat in two St. Louis-area lakes. Officials say man-made lakes do not have much fish habitat, and the trees provide woody cover.

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Science, Health and Technology
7:55 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Mo. to start screening newborns for heart disease

Credit Alex E. Proimos / FLICKR

Missouri is preparing to start screening every newborn baby for a heart disease that can cause developmental delays or death if left untreated.

The screenings for critical congenital heart disease are required under a new state law that takes effect Jan. 1.

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Science, Health and Technology
6:30 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Federal health insurance enrollment deadline nears

Credit Rosemary / Flickr

This Monday marks another big deadline under the Affordable Care Act. That's the last day that people can sign up for insurance through the online marketplace and have their coverage begin on January 1.

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Under the Microscope
5:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

With deadline looming, patients sign up for insurance through HealthCare.gov

Aaron Swaney helps Jeannie Wyble with her application for insurance through the online health marketplace at Family Health Center on Dec. 5, 2013. Wyble's application was stuck in "in progress" limbo for weeks.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA

Consumers who want to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have until Monday to enroll in a plan that would start on Jan. 1. But HealthCare.gov still has kinks that frustrate many consumers and navigators. KBIA’s Harum Helmy followed one Columbia resident’s journey with the website. 

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