News | KBIA


Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media and KBIA

Drought, storms, extreme weather conditions, the rise of sea levels, the loss of ecosystems, and dire predictions: If you follow the news, you know that when it comes to the state of the planet, it's not a pretty picture. And President Trump's 2017 decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement has added to the concerns.

But what does all this mean for Columbia, Missouri? 

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Authorities say icy roads have led to at least one fatal crash and numerous fender benders.


The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 55-year-old Sherri Jones, of Sweet Springs, was killed around 12:20 p.m. Sunday when the sport utility vehicle in which she was riding slid off the side of a slush-covered stretch of Missouri 127 in Saline County. The SUV then struck a sign post, became airborne and overturned. The driver also suffered moderate injuries.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

The Columbia Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a revised version of an attendance area boundaries map Monday. The latest maps were prompted by a new middle school set to open in 2020 and to avoid future overcrowding.


A consulting firm created four map options. The school board asked the firm to further study the “Option 2” map and make adjustments based on community feedback.

The board is also considering a plan to grandfather students currently enrolled to remain at their current schools.

The Columbia Police Department requested the FBI’s help to investigate Sunday’s early morning fire at the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility.

The Columbia Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at 4:06 a.m.

“The fire was suspicious in nature, so the assistant fire marshal notified the Columbia Police Department to conduct the investigation,” CPD spokesperson Jeff Pitts said.

Planned Parenthood is closed for repairs Monday following the fire, which caused some minor damage.

Courtesy of Rhonda Chalfant

What would the state look like today if the capital wasn't Jefferson City? But Sedalia?

That almost happened 120 years ago. 

Sedalia champion John Bothwell was determined to make Sedalia a state institution and for 30 years he was relentless trying to make the town something more than the location of four railroads and premiere brothels. Ultimately, he makes a play for the biggest state institution in a surreptitious political maneuver that surprises everyone.

Time is running out to let the Boone County Hams make this Valentine's Day extra-special! Find out how, and enjoy a performance of 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' (2:05) and 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart' (6:30). February 11, 2019

Sharon McCutcheon / Unspalsh

Some parents are praising legislation that would expand charter schools in Missouri, while administrators for traditional public schools are raising concerns that they will drain resources.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Republican Rep. Rebecca Roeber, of Lee's Summit, has introduced a bill that would allow charter schools in any city with more than 30,000 residents. Currently, charters are mostly limited to students residing in the Kansas City and St. Louis districts, as well as those in unaccredited school systems.

Missouri lawmakers are expected to consider legislation to restrict the use of drones near state prisons.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Republican Rep. Mike Henderson introduced a bill to make it a misdemeanor for anyone to knowingly fly a drone within 300 vertical feet and near the furthest perimeter of prisons. The legislation would add felony charges for attempting to drop contraband onto state prison grounds.

Michael Shonrock has been fired as president of Lindenwood University's flagship campus in suburban St. Louis.

Shonrock's attorney confirmed Friday to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Shonrock was terminated Friday afternoon, three days after he was placed on paid administrative leave. Shonrock has said he's been given no reason for the dismissal.

Art Johnson, vice chairman of the university Board of Trustees, has been named acting president.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom including: 

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The Columbia School Board race narrowed to three candidates after Brian Jones’ withdrawal from the race Thursday.

Jones sent a statement to the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Columbia Missourian announcing his withdrawal from the race. In the statement Jones said he has accepted an “unexpected employment opportunity” and will be relocating to Wisconsin at the end of February. He says this is in the best interests of his family. 

Kris Husted / KBIA

Mid-Missouri was hit with another winter storm Thursday. Ice accumulated up to a quarter inch in areas north of Columbia, and wind gusts reached 35 mph in the afternoon.

The ice caused tree limbs to fall on power lines, leaving about 225 people without power in the Columbia area, according to Columbia Water and Light.

Lissie Wade, community relations specialist at Columbia Water and Light, said the outages could have been worse if not for January’s heavy snow storm.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri System is seeing an increase in freshman applications at three campuses this fall compared to last year, according to system officials.

Missouri River Relief

Darren Hellwege talks with Steve Schnarr of Missouri River Relief about this weekend's Wild and Scenic Film Festival. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri is honoring Black History Month with an exhibit titled, 'Exodus: Images of Black Migration in Missouri and Beyond, 1866-1940', now through the end of February. JOAN STACK tells us about one of the featured pieces by renowned Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton. In addition to that, DAIVE DUNKLEY takes us through a whole host of events happening this month sponsored by the Black Studies Department at the University of Missouri. February 8, 2019

Ryan Famuliner, Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

University of Missouri officials say they are confident they will be able to secure funding for the Columbia campus' first research facility since 2004.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the center, the Translational Precision Medicine Complex, would allow researchers from several disciplines to work on medical treatments. Its focus will be on cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.

System President Mun Choi said Wednesday the project is the system's top priority.

An oil leak near St. Louis prompted the closure of parts of two pipelines as crews work to determine the source, company officials and Missouri regulators said Thursday.

The leak was discovered Wednesday near St. Charles, Missouri, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of St. Louis. TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline and Enbridge Inc.'s Platte pipeline are among several that run through the area. Crews on Thursday were preparing excavation work to figure out where the leak originated.

"The source of the release has not been fully determined, but it is apparent that it originated at either the TransCanada Keystone pipeline or the Enbridge pipeline; there is no visible release near the other pipelines," Missouri Department of Natural Resources spokesman Brian Quinn said in an email.

Columbia Voters Likely to See $15 Million School Bond Issue in 2020

Feb 8, 2019
Meiying Wu / KBIA

The Columbia Public School District is getting ready to ask voters to approve a $15 million, no-tax-increase bond issue in April 2020.

The district’s Finance Committee met jointly with the Long-range Facilities Planning Committee to consider the plan Wednesday.

The district’s financial advisers from Piper Jaffray, Tom Goffoy and Matthew Courtney, said the goal was to avoid an increase in property taxes to service the debt.

European Pressphoto Agency

He's called black activists "animals," said he'd rather that his son die than bring home a male lover and told one political opponent he would never rape her because she was "too ugly."

Jair Bolsonaro is also Brazil's new president after capitalizing on fatigue with corruption and crime to ride a populist wave in last year's election. Vowing to eliminate socialism and political correctness, Bolsonaro has often drawn comparisons to U.S. President Donald Trump.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Brazil's polarizing new leader and the currents that swept him to power in Latin America's largest country.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

On this episode, we’re previewing this year’s films and filmmakers with three True/False programmers, Chris Boeckmann, Amir George and Abby Sun.  This year’s True/False film line-up includes 36 new nonfiction films, 5 repertory films, and 18 new shorts. With so many films, we’ve asked Chris, Amir and Abby to talk us through some titles.




Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Most of Missouri was under a winter weather advisory for freezing rain this Thursday. That weather can cause serious safety hazards.

As temperatures dropped well below freezing, officials warned the weather could lead to accidents and power outages all over the state.

Columbia Water and Light community relations specialist Lissie Wade warns citizens to leave dealing with fallen power lines to the professionals.

Raw Pixel / Unspalsh

Legislation to make Missouri the final state to adopt a statewide monitoring program for prescription opioids continues to face challenges.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder said several amendments proposed by her colleagues on Wednesday would have killed her bill's chances of passing.

One failed amendment would have required the program to track medical marijuana as well.

The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri's popular 'Float Your Boat' fundraising event returns to Bass Pro Lake April 27. CHRISTA HOLTZCLAW tells us why the whole family should take part. "It's a blast!" Also, The Little Theatre of Jefferson City opens 'Mamma Mia' next Thursday for one weekend only. Meet director GABRIELLE WITTENBERGER and actor JERICO WHITAKER. (3:59) February 7, 2019

The CSA Surgical Center is a finalist for the Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award, according to the Columbia Missourian.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care named CSA Surgical Center as a finalist for its study to determine if post-operation pain can be reduced by using pain medication before the surgery, according to Jana Woods, the center’s representative.

CSA Surgical Center joins he Knoxville Ophthalmology ASC and Laser Spine Surgery of Tampa as the other finalists.

True/False Releases 2019 Lineup

Feb 7, 2019
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The True/False film festival has released its 2019 lineup.

True/False will host the world premiere of four feature-length films, including The Hottest August and six Sundance Film Festival award winners, among them U.S. Documentary Audience Award honoree Knock Down the House.

Knock Down the House focuses on four female candidates in the 2018 primaries, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and was directed by onetime Columbia resident Rachel Lears.