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Being bird scientist for a day can help make sure that birds are thriving

Conservation groups are looking for volunteers to contribute their birdwatching skills for the 119th annual Christmas bird count. Between now and Jan. 5, experienced birders around the world are holding events where people can help count local birds. In Missouri, there are 20 counts taking place in areas that are good for observing wildlife, such as state parks and wildlife refuges. Citizen surveys like the Christmas bird count can help scientists track bird populations, said Jean Favara, conservation manager at the Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton.

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The City of St. Louis has received federal funding to review cases where the wrong person may be in prison.

Circuit attorney Kim Gardner and the Midwest Innocence Project will share $250,000 to establish a conviction integrity unit. The money will pay for the cost of an attorney in the prosecutor’s office who will be dedicated to handling the cases, and an investigator shared by the circuit attorney and the Innocence Project.

When it comes to her education, Everlene Falconer won’t let anything stand in her way.

The 64-year-old received her Bachelor of Educational Studies on Saturday from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Falconer earned her degree in less than four years, while also working part-time, completing internships and caring for her five grandchildren.

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The City of St. Louis has received federal funding to review cases where the wrong person may be in prison.

Circuit attorney Kim Gardner and the Midwest Innocence Project will share $250,000 to establish a conviction integrity unit. The money will pay for the cost of an attorney in the prosecutor’s office who will be dedicated to handling the cases, and an investigator shared by the circuit attorney and the Innocence Project.

When it comes to her education, Everlene Falconer won’t let anything stand in her way.

The 64-year-old received her Bachelor of Educational Studies on Saturday from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Falconer earned her degree in less than four years, while also working part-time, completing internships and caring for her five grandchildren.

It's been a long time since Kansas City was a Cowtown, but the city's rich history as a meat-industry hub has bestowed us with an equally rich present as a meat-lover's heaven.

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Another elephant has died at the Grant's Farm attraction in St. Louis County, the third elephant to die this month and the fourth since March.

The elephant named Max died Wednesday at age 15. The cause of death is not known but Grant's Farm says Max was "greatly impacted" by the recent deaths of two other elephants.

A 38-year-old elephant named Toby and 34-year-old Mickey both died earlier this month. The facility says the deaths do not appear to be related.

A fourth elephant, Bud, died in March at age 34.

Grant's Farm calls the deaths "heartbreaking."

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

JT Thomas is a senior at the University of Missouri and is studying biology and business. We met at an event called “The Art of the Scar” that was hosted by the Missouri Kidney Program in September.

JT was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 20, and he spoke about the role that community played in his health and transplantation journey.

He is now four years post-transplant.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

The man accused of killing a woman and sexually assaulting two others inside a suburban St. Louis religious supply store is also a suspect in an assault in a rural area.

Jefferson County sheriff's officials say a 77-year-old woman reported the assault in September, but investigators had little to go on until the woman spotted Thomas Bruce's picture in the media.

Bruce also lives in rural Jefferson County. He's charged with first-degree murder and several other felonies for the Nov. 19 attack at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Mark Kirchhoff is the homeless youth program coordinator for Rainbow House in Columbia, and Kelsey Louder is the former shelter director.

They spoke about some of the hardest parts of their jobs working with young people experiencing homelessness.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.