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In a press release issued Thursday morning, city Spokesperson Steven Sapp announced Police Chief Ken Burton has been put on administrative leave, effective immediately. 

The brief statement said, "This is a personnel issue and no further information is currently available for release."

Even in a rough year - like it was this year - the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture produces 16,000 pounds of food. Next year looks to be even bigger because, as ADAM SAUNDERS tells us, CCUA is moving to the brand new 'Agriculture Park' in west-central Columbia! Also, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri's CHRISTA HOLTZCLAW tells us that 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children in our community are 'food insecure', and it's likely someone you know. Volunteering is one way to help "fill the gap." (5:01) December 20, 2018

New tax filings show that a nonprofit connected to former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens raised more than $6 million from secret donors in 2017.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the IRS Form 990 for filing year 2017 was first reported Wednesday by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. It offers a detailed look at the nonprofit called A New Missouri.

Michael Alden speaking
Karen Mitchell / KBIA (file)

Mike Alden, who ran MU’s athletic department for 17 years, has taken a job with Cleveland State University, the school announced Wednesday.

Alden, who stepped down from his job at MU in 2015, will serve as a “senior advisor” on athletics to the university’s president, according to a news release from the school. In that role, he is expected to lead the school’s sports and athletics operations, but only on an interim basis.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Missouri farmer is accused of marketing $140 million worth of non-organic corn, soybeans and wheat as organic over a 7½ year period.

The U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, charged Randy Constant with fraud on Wednesday. The Chillicothe, Missouri, man is expected to appear in court Thursday.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Missouri has begun the move toward medical marijuana, naming an outgoing lawmaker to a leadership role and announcing the start of the process for those who want to grow, make or sell marijuana products.

Supporters of criminal justice reform are questioning a move by assistant prosecutors in St. Louis County to join a police union, as well as the timing of the vote just weeks before a change-minded prosecutor takes office. Assistant prosecutors and investigators voted Monday to join the St. Louis Police Officers Association, a union known for its fierce and unyielding loyalty to officers. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday that he wants to enact a law enabling the state to collect millions of dollars of new tax revenue from out-of-state retailers who sell things to Missouri residents.

The new online sales tax provision will be part of Parson's agenda for the legislative session that starts Jan. 9, the governor said in an interview with The Associated Press. 

A roundup of headlines from across the region, including:

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is well underway with a goal of $421,000. Major JACK HOLLOWAY and Lieutenant CARMON CAMP give us an update on its progress. Also, SCOTT JONES wants you to take MoDOT's 'Buckle Up, Phone Down' challenge and pledge to become a safe driver! (4:33) December 19, 2018


Pat Jones, who along with her husband provided the initial donation that led to development of Missouri's popular Katy Trail State Park hiking and biking path, has died.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says Jones died Monday. A cause of death was not disclosed. She was 93.


Jones and her late husband, Ted, were nature enthusiasts who donated $2.2 million that allowed the state to acquire the MKT Railroad corridor and develop the Katy Trail. The 240-mile-long path opened in 1990, months before Ted Jones' death.

This week on Discover Nature, keep an ear, and an eye to the sky as Canada goose populations peak in Missouri.


One of our state’s best-known waterfowl species, Canada geese are common Missouri residents year-round, but migratory populations pass through in the fall as they head south for warmer winters. 

Diocese of Jefferson City Adds Two Names to List of Accused Priests

Dec 18, 2018

Two names were added to the list of priests and religious leaders accused of abuse and released by the Diocese of Jefferson City over the weekend.

The original list, released Nov. 8 by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight, contained 33 names. The two additions brought the total to 35.

A for-profit college that operates several Midwestern campuses has suddenly closed, citing mounting financial problems.

Vatterott Education Centers closed on Monday. In a letter to students, the suburban St. Louis-based college cited a U.S. Department of Education decision to limit Vatterott's participation in federal financial aid programs.

A 26-year-old Missouri woman who intentionally drove her vehicle into the Kansas River in Kansas has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Scharron Dingledine, of Columbia, Missouri, entered the plea Monday. As part of the plea, she won't be eligible for parole for 25 years.

"These kids...they have things coming at them 1,000 miles an hour and they, to their credit, some of them recognize that they're stressed out and they need help and they're asking for it." -- RON ROWE, Youth Community Coalition, on the reason behind "Mindfulness Monday," a program currently being piloted in Ashland schools. December 18, 2018

Olivia Gerling

Dennis Thompson’s Harley has a 131-inch motor and no muffler. Thompson says he built it to be “loud and proud.” The jet black Harley almost vibrates from the sound.

While it’s a noise Thompson associates with freedom, this motorcycle almost cost him his life.

“I'm tough. You know, I was in the army and I ain't afraid of nothing,” Dennis said.

After Thompson left the army, he became an aviation mechanic in St. Louis. He was very independent, and he says he spent his free time fishing, hunting, biking and chasing girls.

A Kansas teen with cystic fibrosis has died in a Missouri hospital less than a week after Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz serenaded her as she waited for a second double-lung transplant.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has agreed to help the secretary of state's office investigate whether Attorney General Josh Hawley illegally used public resources to help his political campaign.

Galloway, a Democrat, said Friday in a letter to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican, that her office would review the allegations against Hawley "with heightened scrutiny."

Ashcroft sent a letter to Galloway on Monday asking to enlist her office's subpoena power in his investigation.

Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Feral hogs are a menace in parts of Missouri, so federal officials are taking to the skies to combat the wild animal that can destroy multiple acres of farmland in a single feeding frenzy.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a team with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service shot and killed 103 feral hogs this past week from a helicopter. Ninety-three hogs were on federal wilderness in southeast Missouri's Iron and Madison counties, and the other 10 on private land, killed with the owners' permission.

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

The Assistance League of Mid-Missouri's 'Operation: School Bell' program has provided new, warm outwear to almost 25,000 children since 1997. "When you shop with us, you're doing good." -- JO TURNER. Additional guest: PAULA ZERRER | Also, author JAMES OERMANN (a.k.a. Jim Boer) gives us a sneak preview of his latest book, a science fiction novel that takes place 500 years in the future. (5:18) December 17, 2018

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.