Science and Technology

A report released by the Missouri Department of Mental Health shows teens in Callaway County report higher alcohol and drug use than teens anywhere else in Missouri.

Cole County to install 15 new tornado sirens

Jun 12, 2012

Officials in Cole County have approved a proposal to add 15 new tornado sirens.

People who go camping at state parks in Missouri can now add laptops and iPads to their lists of camping gear and supplies.

Prior to this year, only Bennett Spring State Park had WiFi service, which was used mainly for live trout cameras during trout season.  Renee Bungart with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says WiFi service has now been expanded to eleven state park campgrounds.

Phone line could play role in cancer prevention

Jun 8, 2012

A new study out of Washington University has found that the 2-1-1 phone information system could be an effective tool to fight cancer in low-income and minority communities.

Across the U.S., people can call 2-1-1 to get help with housing, food, and other social service needs.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

The farmer of future will grow food and raise animals with tomorrow in mind. They’ll know contributing to the food supply is not enough. If the soil, air and water they use to produce food is damaged, good luck feeding anyone. 

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we’ll hear the third installment of Harvest Public Media’s Farmer of the future series, and revisit a conversation with author Michael Pollan.

Leah Shafer / Flikr

For the past decade, Missouri has claimed the dubious distinction of the most meth busts of any state in the nation. In this week's Health & Wealth update, reporter Kyle Deas has the first in a two-part-series on Missouri's unique meth addiction.

Beetle to make Missouri comeback

Jun 5, 2012

An endangered beetle will be making its Missouri comeback on Tuesday.

That's when about 250 American burying beetles will be reintroduced in the Wah’Kon-Tah prairie, about 60 miles northwest of Springfield.

It's a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Zoo.

It's been 40 years since a confirmed sighting of the insect in Missouri, and the director of the zoo’s Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation, Bob Merz, says he hopes it will get reestablished in the state.

Lars Ploughman / Flickr

Drought conditions abound around much of and lawns and grass are taking a beating.

Lee Harkness / Flickr

Nearly 30 years after Times Beach, Mo., was evacuated in one of the nation's most notorious environmental disasters, scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency are returning to the site for a new round of soil sampling.


Astronomy enthusiasts and members of the public are invited to MU’s campus observatory Tuesday to watch the rare planetary passage of Venus.


Missouri hospitals are providing more charity care, according to a new analysis from the Missouri Foundation for Health. But, community health centers have also been easing the strain.

Jonathan Ingram / KBIA

The dean of the University of Missouri School of Medicine is retiring following an internal investigation by the university’s Health System revealing possible billing fraud by the Department of Radiology.

File / flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded contracts to three firms for work to repair the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri, a levee intentionally breached by the corps at the height of spring flooding in 2011.

On robots and farms

May 31, 2012
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

On this week’s show, we’ll learn how robots could be used to assist farmers, and hear about an upcoming astronomical event involving Venus and the sun.

Robots on the farm

May 31, 2012
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

Farm robots in the classroom

Pumkpins, melons and corn

May 30, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Columbia has lots of community gardens, and several school gardens. But school-community gardens? On Tuesday at Ridgewood Elementary, the school and community worked together to start planting the city's first community garden at a public school.

Community garden breaks ground at Ridgeway Elementary

May 29, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Today gardeners broke ground on Columbia's newest community garden. The plot of land at Ridgeway Elementary is the city's first community garden located at a public school.

e-MagazineArt / FLICKR

Kansas City police say the use of PCP is increasing, particularly in the city's urban core.

Officers are concerned because they say PCP users often are violent and unpredictable. The drug induces hallucinations and makes many users combative and unable to feel pain.

Police Capt. Todd Paulson calls PCP the scariest drug on the streets. He was one of six officers who were needed to subdue a PCP user in January.

The Kansas City Star reports officers used to see a brief increase in PCP arrests after a shipment came in but would then go weeks without any arrests.


Conservation agents are urging Missourians to not transport firewood in its effort to control the emerald ash borer from spreading throughout the state.

Police discuss heroin increase

May 25, 2012
Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Columbia Police started seeing an increase in the number of heroin-related arrests and overdoses beginning about six months ago. Heroin is now the number-one drug the department investigates. Last night police held a town-hall meeting to inform residents about the growing threat.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll hear about how immigrant populations are filling a gap in agricultural labor.

A new study out of Washington University suggests that women who use short-term birth-control methods like the pill are 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than those who use longer-term options like intrauterine devices or implants.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez / US Department of Agriculture

The top military officer in charge of managing the Missouri River system says the agency needs help from states to improve its ability to predict water runoff.

'Cocaine? No thanks!'

May 23, 2012
Boone County Courthouse
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Back in the late 1980s, while the nation was in the grips of the war on drugs, some courts started experimenting with alternative sentencing programs they hoped would be cheaper and more effective than incarceration.  This week, the most recent batch of offenders graduated from the Boone County drug court, which is seen as a national role-model.

Missouri River placed on endangered list

May 23, 2012
Missouri Department of Tourism / flickr

The nation’s longest river has found its way onto America’s Most Endangered Rivers list.


A Columbia hospital says it will close its adult intensive care unit next month because it is not being used enough.

Laura Kebede / Project 573

One in five Americans has some sort of disability according to a study done in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This could include disabilities having to do with hearing, sight, mobility, learning, development or mental health. But not all disabilities are perceived the same way. Drew Graham has a unique perspective on this. He has both a physical and mental disability and has determined over the years that the stigma associated with mental disability carries more weight.

Angela Case / Project 573

The mental health care system is faced with diminishing resources, making it harder for people with psychiatric illnesses to find help. From police officers to school counselors, people outside of the system are working to fill the gaps. Project 573’s Angela Case explains how community hospitals are dealing with the problem, and takes you inside two units that provide this much-needed care.

A new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that the frequency of severe storms across the Midwest has doubled over the past 50 years.

The report analyzed precipitation data from more than 200 weather stations in eight Midwestern states.