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Missouri's largest utility company plans to spend $6.3 billion on grid improvements over the next five years.

Ameren Missouri filed its plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Thursday. The highlights include installing 800,000 "smart meters" through 2023 as part of an effort to give customers more control over electrical costs, and a $1 billion expenditure on wind energy in 2020.

Nathan Lawrence

Sen. Josh Hawley has been subpoenaed to answer questions about his handling of Missouri's open records law while he was the state's attorney general. 

The Cole County Circuit Court issued the subpoena Monday as part of a lawsuit against Gov. Mike Parson's office.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri is getting hit with another winter blast today, causing treacherous driving conditions and leading some school districts to cancel classes.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Friday for much of Missouri, except the extreme northeast corner. 

Snow began falling midmorning with accumulations of up to 5 inches expected. In some areas, sleet and freezing rain also are possible, making roads dangerous.

GARY WUNDER recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind. The goal of his visit was to ask Congress for more purchasing power when it comes to buying affordable, adaptive technology. In the end, he says, "I think we have made some progress!" February 15, 2019

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The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health 2018 assessment revealed four areas of focus for the well-being of Columbia/Boone County residents.

The assessment reported on issues of basic needs, medical and dental health, and affordable housing options. One of the main issues the department noticed a difference in was mental health.

Jason Wilcox, the senior planner for the Department of Public Health and Human Services, said the change is most likely due to the decreased negative stigma on mental health since 2013 when the last assessment was released.

“We just heard it a lot more this time around than we did before,” Wilcox said. “It seemed to be called out and people weren’t so much afraid to talk about it. It just seemed like that was on everyone’s mind.”

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Missouri filed a notice of appeal with the NCAA's committee on infractions Thursday, beginning what could be a lengthy fight of what it considers overly harsh sanctions levied against three of its programs for academic misconduct involving a former tutor.

The NCAA banned the football, baseball and softball teams from the postseason for a year and placed the entire athletic department on probation late last month. Missouri also was docked scholarships and given recruiting restrictions among numerous other punishments.

The school immediately vowed to fight the punishments, which received widespread condemnation beyond its campus in Columbia. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt even called upon the NCAA to take another look at the case.

"Mizzou's case involved an isolated incident within our program," Tigers athletic director Jim Sterk said. "However, the penalties applied are overly harsh, not in line with established precedent and negatively impact student-athletes who chose to attend the University of Missouri and had nothing to do with the actions of one rogue individual."

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr on Thursday called a bill to ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected a priority, but a Democratic leader cautioned that enacting it could blow a massive hole in Missouri's budget.

An estimate by legislative researchers puts the bill's price tag at anywhere between nothing and the state's yearly share of federal Medicaid funding, which amounts to more than $7 billion.

"The fiscal note is essentially saying that we are very likely to lose our Medicaid reimbursement rates if that bill goes through," Democratic House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said Thursday.

Republican Rep. Nick Schroer's bill includes an exception for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest. Department of Social Services officials told legislative researchers that not including those exceptions could conflict with federal law and "result in the loss of all federal Medicaid funds," according to the fiscal note.

There are now nearly twice as many Christians in the Global South as there are in Europe and North America. As Christianity's center of gravity has shifted - so too is the flow of missionaries.

Thousands of Christians from places like Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea - where Christianity was first brought by European and North American missionaries - are now traveling to Europe and North America seeking to convert the natives.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a discussion about the growing phenomenon of "reverse missionaries."

Marquise White

Two Mizzou grads worked together to create and open the only black-owned and millenial-owned business in Columbia. The Greens Co. is a boutique and curation space located at 16 N. Nith St., in downtown Columbia. Co-Owner Marquise White says, "The Greens is the backyard in which our dreams are actualized."

Los Angeles based artist Rikki Wright's photography exhibit "SIS" will be up until March 7, 2019.

For more information follow @thegreensco on Twitter and Instagram.

In this episode, we’ll be listening to a conversation between True/False’s Paul Sturtz and Dora Garcia, director of the film “Segunda Vez." The staged documentary is anchored in the “happenings” - which are part performance art pieces, part social experiments - of Argentinian theorist and psychoanalyst Oscar Masotta. He was influential in morphing the artistic landscape of Buenos Aires in the 1960s, and brought the theories of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan to the Spanish-speaking world.

MU to Bring Back Graduate School

Feb 14, 2019

MU’s Graduate School is back, according to an email sent from MU’s Provost Latha Ramchand on Thursday.

The Columbia Missourian reports the school will serve the same purpose of the former Office of Graduate Studies and, additionally, serve as the academic home to the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, the Genetic Area Program and graduate programs offered via the MU Informatics Institute.

The grand opening of Columbia’s agriculture park has been delayed due to cold temperatures.

The agriculture park was set to open March 9 at Clary-Shy Community Park. The park is a collaboration between Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Parks and Recreation, Columbia Farmers Market and Sustainable Farms and Communities. 

“Our tentative opening date of the agriculture park will be April 27,” Adam Saunders, the Build This Town campaign director said.

FBI Investigating Columbia Planned Parenthood Fire

Feb 14, 2019

The FBI Kansas City division has opened a federal hate crime investigation regarding the fire that took place at the Planned Parenthood Great Plains facility in Columbia early Sunday morning.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information on the incident.

Public Affairs Specialist Bridget Patton urges anyone who has information to come forward.

MU Adds Chess Team, Brings in Grandmaster to Coach

Feb 14, 2019

The University of Missouri will be adding a new team to its roster next year.

The MU Chess Team will be bringing the university into the world of collegiate chess.

Over the past year, the university and the St Louis Chess Club have reached an agreement to start a competitive chess team.

Pat Okker is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, which is the new team’s home.

Regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 

On this Valentine's Day 2019, guest LARRY BROWN tells us a story of romance, and how love changes things: 'The Winter Rose'. You may know it by another name... February 14, 2019

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Columbia’s urban trees are the best maintained in the country in 2019. Columbia Water & Light was named 2019 Tree Line USA in honor of the City’s exemplary work in proper urban tree care, the city announced today. Tree Line USA recognizes utilities that are exemplary in practices that deliver safe electricity while maintaining urban trees. Trees that aren’t trimmed can result in ‘blinks’ in electric service or power outages, according to Columbia Water & Light.

Morgan Long is the electric services superintendent. He says the honor shows the cities dedication to providing a safe environment.

“It’s a good feeling to know that were making a difference and to recognize a utility that operates on a moderate scale, such as us, can promote good customer service and safe electricity at the same time.”

A bill that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which comes as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, was heard Tuesday by the House Children and Families Committee. The only exception to the bill would be in the case of a medical emergency.

Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, says he hopes to continue to work with lawmakers to implement abortion regulations.

“The text of this bill is a starting point, not only to save lives but helping curb the mental anguish that many women suffer because of abortions,” Schroer said.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says crews are still working to clean up and identify the cause of an oil pipeline leak in suburban St. Louis.

Agency spokesman Brian Quinn said contractors for the pipeline company, TransCanada Corp., were assessing an excavated segment of the Keystone pipeline Wednesday to pinpoint the problem.

The leak was discovered last week near St. Charles.

The department estimates the leak at about 43 barrels, or 1,800 gallons. It says oil didn't reach any waterway.

MU Reports Increase in Number of People Accused of Title IX Violations

Feb 13, 2019

More people were accused of discrimination and harassment at MU last year than during the 2016-17 school year, according to data released Wednesday by the campus Office for Civil Rights & Title IX.

In 2017-18, the office received 750 reports, including 942 individual violations of MU's anti-discrimination policy. In 2016-17, there were 693 reports totaling 981 violations.

As it stands, driving an electric vehicle in Missouri can be difficult. The state lacks sufficient chargers on major roadways.

On the 235-mile stretch on I-70 from St. Louis to Kansas City, there are only three electric charging stations. Ameren Missouri is doing something to improve that.

The program approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission on February 7, will spend $4.4 million over five years. The money will allow Ameren customers to provide electric vehicle charging stations.

Word of The National Enquirer’s attempts to extort Amazon owner Jeff Bezos has led to criminal investigations and offered subtle hints about his attitude toward editorial control at the Washington Post. Also, Bob Costas on his dismissal from NBC’s Super Bowl broadcast, French journalists using a secret Facebook group to #cyberbully and harass women writers and claims of plagiarism against the former executive editor of The New York Times. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

There's no excuse for missing this weekend's 'Baroque Concerto' and 'Baroque Concerto: Encore' since one will be performed in Columbia and the other in Jefferson City! Guest PATRICK CLARK tells us this is possible because of a partnership between Southside Philharmonic Orchestra and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series. Also, native plant expert NADIA NAVARRETE-TINDALL has a plan to help the monarch butterfly thrive. She calls it a "butterfly corridor," and it's now possible in Columbia thanks to recent changes to the city's weed ordinance. [3:58] February 13, 2019

A bill proposed by a Missouri state senator would close a number of lawmaker emails and other records from public access.

Sen. Ed Emery on Tuesday pitched the bill to a Senate committee.

The Lamar Republican's proposal comes after voters in November approved a constitutional amendment that made lawmaker records subject to the Sunshine Law. That law allows the public access to government records.


A new study says Missouri could save up to $1 billion a year within the next four years if it overhauls the state's Medicaid health insurance program.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a draft of the report does not recommend tightening eligibility rules for Medicaid. State lawmakers are separately considering a plan to require healthy Medicaid recipients to work.