News | KBIA


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

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


MU is reviewing its security protocol after a student was escorted out of the library early Wednesday morning when he didn’t have his student ID with him.

Michael Amaonye took to Twitter to recount the incident Wednesday after police were called to escort him out of Ellis Library.

“Folk really called the police on me for studying. This is beyond me,” he tweeted.

NANCY STOY introduces us the Perlman-Stoy School of Ballet, a Columbia institution for more than 80 years. Mark your calendar for their annual spring concert next May! Also, CB CHASTAIN, MU Veterinary Health Center, has some advice for keeping your pet safe this holiday season. He starts by saying that there are so many "hazards" he had to make a list! (4:10) December 14, 2018

Missouri drivers could see an increase in vehicle registration fees if they purchase cars and trucks that are highly fuel efficient.

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna addressed the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Thursday in a talk about alternative funding sources for road and bridge projects. The talk came after the failure of Proposition D on the November ballot, which would have raised Missouri’s current fuel tax of 17 cents per gallon by 2.5 cents per year for the next four years.

Columbia Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Sex Trafficking a Minor

Dec 14, 2018

A Columbia man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in federal prison without parole for participating in a prostitution business and sex trafficking a minor.

European Pressphoto Agency

The the practice of outdoor defecation is a major cause of diarrheal diseases that kill about 2,200 children a day - more than die from HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis combined

As of 2015, an estimated 900 million people relieved themselves outside, according to the UN. More than half of them – around a half billion people – were in India.

In response, the Indian government launched what Bloomberg News called “the largest toilet-building campaign in human history.” According to government figures, this “Clean India” campaign has built more than 90 million new latrines and toilets in the past four years.

Still, despite the toilet boom, public health experts say there’s much to do to end the practice of open defecation - and the problem goes far beyond a shortage of latrines.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’ll examine the issue in India as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $20 billion campaign to end the problem by 2019.

The scooter rental company Lime is pausing all scooter operations for the duration of the winter.

The Columbia Missourian reported Sam Sadie, Lime’s director of government relations sent an email to city officials Monday confirming the scooters’ temporary hiatus.

"We're pausing our services in Columbia for the next few weeks to take stock of what worked and how we can partner with the city and university moving forward," Sadie said in the email.

Fans of the former Negro League are being asked to help a campaign to create bobbleheads of 30 stars from the league — with a goal of commemorating the league's upcoming centennial.

Organizers of the effort, which was unveiled Wednesday, have created a team of 30 Negro League stars who would be honored with bobbleheads if the campaign raises enough money. The first bobblehead of pitcher Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs has already been produced.

MU’s Coalition of Graduate Workers is continuing its ongoing push for union recognition. To show their support, a handful of graduate students gathered Thursday morning in Jesse Hall for a final exam-week grade-in.

“We would like to let the people in Jesse Hall know that we are still here. That we are still committed to forming the exclusively recognized collective bargaining unit for the University of Missouri Columbia,” doctoral candidate and coalition outreach officer Nicholas Brothers said.

"We have what we call 'alternative techniques', so we figure out those things that you would do with vision, and then we say, okay, not having vision, how do we do them?" -- GARY WUNDER, National Federation of the Blind, on living independently | December 13, 2018

Missouri infrastructure improvement projects are getting more than $90 million in federal grants.

Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday praised U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and the state's other federal legislators for helping to secure the money.

The Buck O'Neil Bridge over the Missouri River in Kansas City and Bella Vista Bypass in southwestern McDonald County are slated to get $25 million each. Other projects that were awarded grants include the Sedalia Railroad Spur, which is set to get more than $10 million.

The Missouri GOP is calling on an attorney for the secretary of state to recuse herself from investigating outgoing Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Missouri GOP spokesman Chris Nuelle on Wednesday said Secretary of State Deputy General Counsel Khristine Heisinger has a conflict because she donated to Hawley's former rival, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, and other Democrats.

Hawley unseated McCaskill in November.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri's outgoing Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she won't run for another office, but will remain active in politics.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that although McCaskill says she'll never run again, she might help recruit or mentor Democratic candidates in Missouri.

She also warned that if more of her Senate colleagues don't speak up on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, they will face a "crisis."

Authorities say a Missouri Steak 'n Shake employee's weapon jammed after he yelled "I quit" while firing a single shot into the ceiling.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 19-year-old Reiss Favinger is jailed without bond on charges that include armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

A Columbia police officer wrote in charging documents that Favinger told police he "got angry" and "shot a gun in the air" Sunday after using methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. Officers found a handgun and numerous rounds of ammunition in his backpack.

This week on Discover Nature, watch for wild fungal fruits growing in the woods.


Oyster mushrooms grow in overlapping, shelf-like clusters on stumps, logs, and trunks of deciduous trees especially during damp weather. 

Broad, fleshy, shell-shaped caps are whitish to grayish to tan in color, protecting narrow membranes below, called gills. 

The Missouri Republican Party is calling on an attorney for the secretary of state to recuse herself from investigating outgoing Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Missouri GOP spokesman Chris Nuelle on Wednesday said Secretary of State Deputy General Counsel Khristine Heisinger has a conflict because she donated to Hawley's former rival, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, and other Democrats.

Hawley unseated McCaskill in November.

Punny, yes. Funny? No. The closing of the Uranus Examinerpresents a serious problem for the residents of Pulaski County now that its lost its only locally-produced newspaper. Also, hyperlocal coverage of Prof. George Smith’s Nobel PrizeTIME Magazine’s Person of the Year and the controversy over the lyrics in 1940’s-era #Christmas music. From Missouri School of Journalismi professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News. KBIA 91.3 FM

The University of Missouri is taking video gaming to the next level.

KMIZ-TV reports that the school became a member Tuesday of the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which is the largest college-level competitive gaming scene in the country.

Life Is Good for Downtown, Business Loop Districts

Dec 12, 2018

It’s good to be a community improvement district in Columbia, according to annual reports and financial statements provided to the Columbia City Council.

The Downtown and Business Loop Community Improvement districts both collected more money than they spent, according to the fiscal 2018 reports.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she won't run for another office after her term expires next month, but that she will remain active in Democratic politics.

The veteran senator sought re-election to a third term last month but lost to Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley. On Thursday, she will give her final Senate floor speech before she leaves office in January.

MU School of Law Library, Lloyd Gaines digital collection

No one knows what happened to Lloyd Lionel Gaines. He was last seen in Chicago on March 19, 1939.

Three months before he went missing, on Dec. 12, 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a case against the University of Missouri School of Law. The court said the school violated the constitution when it rejected Gaines' application because he was black.

Wednesday marks the 80th anniversary of the ruling. 

Experts say his case could have done what Brown v.  Board of Education did in 1954, and it would have been done 15 years earlier.

The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra is made up of about 30 players from Jefferson City, Columbia and Kansas City. They, along with members of Dancers' Alley, are coming together for three performances of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" this weekend at the Miller Performing Arts Center! Guest: PATRICK CLARK | Also, Columbia's Healthy Bottoms Diaper Bank is looking for both diaper and monetary donations. MEGHAN KOUBA tells us how it works! (4:42) December 12, 2018