News | KBIA


Missouri Passes Campaign Finance Amendment

5 hours ago

Missourians passed Amendment 1, otherwise known as Clean Missouri, to add it to the state constitution Tuesday.

61 percent of Missourians voted yes – meaning changes will be made to Missouri’s redistricting, lobbying and campaign finance laws.

“So what Amendment one does is it cracks down on lobbyists. It says no more expensive lobbyist gifts to legislators,” said Benjamin Singer is the Communications Director for Clean Missouri, a group supporting the amendment.

The amendment tightens regulations about gifts lawmakers are allowed to accept from lobbyists.

Missouri Votes to Raise Minimum Wage

5 hours ago

Proposition B on the Missouri ballot, which sought to raise the state's minimum wage, passed Tuesday by over 60 percent.

Currently, Missouri's minimum wage is $7.85. It will now be increased gradually to $8.60 by next year and then after 2019, the minimum wage will be increased by 85 cents until it reaches $12 in 2023.

"We hope that this is enough to start destressing the lives of some of the lowest paid workers in the state," said Lew Prince, the state coordinator for the Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

Betsy Smith / KBIA

Missouri is now the 32nd state to legalize medical marijuana with the passing of Amendment 2. Supporters of the amendment gathered Tuesday night to watch the results at Grand Cru.

Amendment 2 taxes medical marijuana at 4 percent with revenue contributing to the creation of the Missouri Veterans Health and Care fund.

Dan Viets is president of the board for New Approach Missouri, the group that sponsored Amendment 2. He said New Approach will spend the next few months working on an implementation of the law with the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Republican incumbent Sara Walsh defeated Democrat Michela Skelton Tuesday to keep her seat as state representative for Missouri's House District 50.

Walsh beat Skelton in a rematch for the District 50 seat, receiving 59 percent of the vote.

This will be Walsh's first full term as a state representative.

Walsh also defeated Skelton in a 2017 special election after Caleb Jones resigned to become deputy chief of staff for former governor Eric Greitens.

Walsh said she was humbled by the fact that voters decided to stick with her.

Mimi Wright / KBIA

First-time Democratic candidates Nicole Thompson and Linda Greeson had a red, white and blue celebration cake that was cut into, but without the hope of celebration. Thompson lost to Republican candidate Mike Bernskoetter for the 6th district state Senate race. Steven Wilson, the libertarian candidate in this race, won 2 percent of the votes.

Greeson was defeated by Republican Rudy Veit for the 59th district state House race 24 percent to 76 percent.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KBIA

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway is now the only Democrat elected to statewide office in Missouri. She defeated Republican challenger Saundra McDowell.

“Missourians have spoken tonight,” Galloway told the crowd of more than 50 people at her watch party in Columbia. “They want an independent watchdog in Jefferson City to hold the powerful accountable.”

Democrat Brianna Lennon, won the office of Boone County Clerk among other local candidates. Last night, Lennon won with 5% more votes than the incumbent, Taylor Burks. She says she’s eager to get to work on the process of purchasing new voting machines for Boone County and upholding the integrity of elections.

“My biggest priority is doing everything I can to make sure that I fulfill the promises that I talked about, on simple, accessible and secure elections,” Lennon said.

Lennon previously ran for Boone County Southern District Commissioner.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Area Democrats gathered at The Roof in Downtown Columbia to support Fourth District House challenger Renee Hoagenson while watching midterm results roll in. Backed up polling locations across the state meant delayed results for the Fourth District race, but soon after results started coming in, it became clear the Blue Wave did not wash over mid-Missouri.

The Associated Press called the race around 9:35 p.m. in favor of incumbent Republican Vicky Hartzler, but Hogenson didn't give her concession speech until around 10:30 p.m.

Chris Olszewski / KBIA

Democratic State Rep. Martha Stevens defended her seat against Republican challenger Cathy Richards, winning with 65 percent of the vote in Missouri's 46th district. Stevens, who was first elected in 2016, attended a Democratic watch party at the Tiger Hotel with fellow Democratic House candidates Kip Kendrick and Michela Skelton as well as Brianna Lennon, the Democratic candidate for Boone County Clerk. Stevens says she will stick to her critical issues in her second term.

Mike Bernskoetter and Blaine Luetkemeyer both claimed victory at the Millbottom Restaurant in Jefferson City Tuesday night surrounded by friends, family and fellow supporters.

Both candidates won by large margins over their Democratic candidates. Bernskoetter, previously a state representative for the last eight years, won the sixth senate district seat, while Luetkemeyer won his sixth term in the third U.S. congressional district.

Bill Finn / KBIA

State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch saw a clean victory in Tuesday's midterm election defeating as she defeated Democratic challenger, Maren Jones to retain her seat Missouri's 44th statehouse district. Reisch has now earned her second term in the house with a lead of around 56 percent of the votes.

Reisch says she wants to continue to build on what Republicans have started in her home state. She says she believes she can keep the progress she has made during her last two years in Jefferson City.

Fitzwater Defeats Buhr in 49th District Race

6 hours ago

Republican Travis Fitzwater retained his seat in the statehouse Tuesday.

Fitzwater defeated Democrat challenger Lisa Buhr in the 49th District race, winning with 67 percent of the vote.

"We won big. We had a significant margin,” Fitzwater said Tuesday night. “Our conservative ideals are what Calloway County and Cole County want in their state representative. I think they voiced that pretty significantly tonight, with a significant win for our campaign."

Boone County Voters Turn Out in High Numbers

13 hours ago
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

In Boone County this Election Day, voter turnout is higher than expected.

Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks says today’s high levels of participation for the midterm elections can be compared to the presidential election of 2016.

“We’ve not had a midterm election, at least in the last 30 years, where we’ve had a turnout higher than 66 percent and we are seeing a target of 80 percent right now,” said Burks.

Burks said all of the county’s 71 polling locations have remained busy throughout the day.

Jacob Douglas / for KBIA

One polling location in Callaway County caused complaints from voters about potential electioneering for the 2018 Midterm Election.

In the gymnasium of St. Andrews Church in Holts Summit, Missouri, where voters marked their ballots, the walls displayed anti-abortion signage.

Missouri law prohibits electioneering inside or within 25 feet of a polling location. However, the law only applies if the sign is promoting a candidate or issue on the ballot.

There are no abortion rights issues currently on the ballot in Holts Summit.

'I cried, And I prayed': Columbia Catholics Speak About Clerical Sex Abuse

16 hours ago

Bishop Shawn McKnight of the Jefferson City diocese came to Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Monday night to hear Columbia Catholics share their thoughts about the clerical sex abuse crisis.

McKnight spoke to open the “listening session” and again at the end, but mostly sat, listened and took notes.

The Views of the News team returns tomorrow at 6 p.m. Join Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Earnest Perry for a complete look at the coverage of today's election, from a local, state and national level. 

Noah Taborda / KBIA

Voters in Missouri 47th House district have a choice to make - Representative Chuck Basye, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Adrian Plank. While Basye and Plank agreed on what the core issues are, they are on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to solutions.

Both candidates sat down with KBIA’s Noah Taborda to discuss the issues on their minds, particularly “Right To Work” policies and their impact on Missourians in the 47th district.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Women are running for office in record-breaking numbers nationally, and Missouri is no exception. The choice for state senate in two Mid-Missouri districts includes a first-time progressive candidate challenging a Republican candidate.

In Missouri’s 44th District State House seat, encompassing parts of Boone and Randolph counties, Republican Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch faces a challenge from Democrat Maren Jones. The candidates are self-proclaimed polar opposites in policy and priorities.

As part of KBIA’s series of Candidate Conversations, KBIA’s Noah Taborda sat down with the candidates. Representative Reisch told KBIA she identifies as a conservative Christian who as a State Representative believes it’s important to represent all constituents, whatever their political affiliations.

Missouri's 50th State House of Representatives district encompasses varied landscapes, from the southern tip of suburban Columbia to farmland in Cole and Cooper counties.

Both candidates running to represent the 50th district say its residents may think they are divided along urban and suburban lines, but the challenges they face are all the same. Republican incumbent Representative Sara Walsh is being challenged by Democratic candidate Michela Skelton. 

Sherlock Holmes has never sounded so good, and we think you'll agree after you see MU student composer HANS BRIDGER HERUTH's operatic spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective this weekend at the Rhynsburger Theatre in Columbia. MARQUES JERRELL RUFF gives us a taste of what to expect when he performs "Sherlock's Aria" at (4:24). CHRISTINE SEITZ directs. November 6, 2018

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Senator McCaskill Battles to Survive in Red State

23 hours ago
Kristofor Husted/KBIA

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has survived near-political death before in the red state of Missouri.

Voters on Tuesday will decide whether to re-elect her over Josh Hawley, the young challenger backed by President Donald Trump.

Hawley, the 38-year-old, Ivy-league educated state attorney general, says the 65-year-old McCaskill is too liberal for Missouri. Trump won the state by 19 points in 2016.

McCaskill campaigned as a moderate and focused on health care issues.

Gas Tax Measure Reveals Split in Transportation Measure

23 hours ago

People occupying different positions in Missouri’s transportation industry offer varied views on the proposed gasoline tax increase that will appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

Some drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft voice concerns about the increased fuel tax cutting into their earnings. Meanwhile, owners of local cab and shuttle companies say they’re willing to pay more in taxes to preserve roads and protect their fleets.

Council Roundup: Clary-Shy Park Amenities Approved, Landmark Hospital Plan Tabled

23 hours ago
Meiying Wu/KBIA

Columbia residents can look forward to a fitness trail and amphitheater at Clary-Shy Community Park after the Columbia City Council approved further plans for the new agriculture park at its Monday night meeting.

The new additions will also include a playground and a second outdoor classroom.

The council voted to accept a $400,000 grant as part of an agreement between Columbia Parks and Recreation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The grant will be used to pay for the park additions, which will cost $242,500, according to a council memo.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including:

According to the Columbia Missourian, today is the last day to provide feedback about the city's Community Oriented Policing Report. 

The draft report, which was given to the City Council in August, was co-authored by City Manager Mike Matthes and Columbia Police Sgt. Robert Fox.

The report has been criticized for not including vehicle stop data or addressing the issue of trust between police and Columbia's black community. 

Conservation officials say more than 7,300 feral hogs have been killed in Missouri in the first nine months of the year.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the highest density of feral hogs is in the southeast part of the state. The Missouri Department of Conservation says crews there killed 3,849 feral pigs from January through September. Elsewhere, 2,358 were removed in the Ozark region, 823 in the southwest region, 186 in the St. Louis region, 116 in the Kansas City region and one in the northeast region.

Records show a water pump had been replaced with a less powerful system in a tourist duck boat that sank in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people.

The Kansas City Star reports that the original Higgins pump, which is capable of removing as much as 250 gallons of water per minute from the bottom of a boat, was replaced with two less powerful electric pumps in the boat that sank in July at Table Rock Lake in the Branson area.