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Missouri News

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is embarking on a five-year strategic plan.

“It reflects where we want to be and what we want to focus on,” explained Kristin Sobolik, the university’s provost and executive vice chancellor, who joined UMSL in May 2017.

The five areas of focus are: student success, research and creative works, community engagement and economic development, inclusive excellence, and planning, operations and stewardship.

Segment 1: State auditor says her look into Clay County government is forthcoming.

Many in the metro think of Clay County politics as dull, but disputes on the board of commissioners and accusations of misused public money are anything but tedious for concerned citizens there. Today, we reviewed a segment from July about what drove one group to ask state officials to take a closer look. Then, we got an update on the audit in question.

“It’s so silly. Who’s not getting a day older?”

That’s more than a rhetorical question from Joicie Appell, the actress who plays an elderly Kansas woman in a new movie called “The Tree.”

“You have this chance in life to be uniquely you. Nobody else has that chance. Be as good as you can, make the best of it, do what’s right and you forget about aging,” Appell told Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard, in a conversation about “The Tree.”

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander dropped out of the Kansas City, Missouri, mayoral race on Tuesday, saying in a post on his campaign website that he needs to focus on his mental health due to PTSD.

Hope and change the seat to blue

Former President Barack Obama continues to roll out scores of endorsements in this year’s mid-term congressional elections, hoping to stick his successor with more Democratic resistance on Capitol Hill.

Sharice Davids is among the more than 300 candidates, all Democrats, Obama has backed.

Leeds

Oct 2, 2018

Leeds, an area of Kansas City that is known primarily as an industrial zone today, was once a self-contained African-American community. We visit with community members to find out what growing up in the Leeds neighborhood was like and what made that area of Kansas City unique. Plus, a look at the latest podcast episode from My Fellow Kansans.

Democrat Robert Butler is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Abigail Censky to talk about his bid for the 22nd District Senate seat.

Butler is running against incumbent Sen. Paul Wieland, an Imperial Republican who first captured the Jefferson County-based district in 2014. Wieland’s episode of Politically Speaking was posted on Monday.

For the next three years, Missouri conservation officials are bringing 300 ruffed grouse into the state from Wisconsin in hopes of raising the native bird’s population.

The ruffed grouse is a stout-bodied, medium-sized bird with white, grey or brown feathers and mostly spends its time on the ground. In Missouri, the ruffed grouse lives mainly in the River Hills region, located in an east-central part of the state that covers Callaway, Montgomery and Warren counties. 

While the ruffed grouse have fairly healthy populations in the northern parts of the United States, its Missouri population has declined in recent years. In 2011, the state suspended the hunting season for the bird, in place since the 1980s.

On nurse Jordan McNab’s first day at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis in 2017, a patient stopped breathing. She had to immediately start giving him CPR.

“I vividly remember with my hands on a chest and going too fast,” she said. “You just can’t prepare for it.”

For many beginning nurses, the stress of a new job can be particularly acute. Dealing daily with life, death and illness along with normal new job strain can put them at risk of burnout during the transition from school to work.

To help new nurses deal with stress and keep them in the workforce, the region’s hospitals have developed nurse residency programs that focus on their well-being.

A year after the Las Vegas shooting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, Manchester United Methodist Church held its own public discussion on gun violence throughout the St. Louis region.

What some expected to be a heated debate turned out to be a peaceful discussion on how Moms Demand Action and the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri are working to curb gun violence.

After two hours of deliberations, public testimonies and a presentation of proposed home building guidelines, the Prairie Village City Council voted 11 to 2 to advance the guidelines.

Proponents of Missouri’s voter photo ID law contend it has not restricted voting, while opponents argue it keeps people from the polls.

The two sides made their final arguments Monday in a lawsuit seeking to toss out the ID law.

Segment 1: Going "Beyond the Ballot" to find what drives Missouri voters to the ballots.

Bed Bugs Are On The Rise In Kansas City

Oct 1, 2018

Bed bugs are back, and they’ve become a problem in Kansas City.

The Shawnee branch of the Johnson County Library has been closed since Friday after librarians discovered bed bugs inside the pages of a returned book. Since then, library officials have been working to deep clean the branch of bed bugs, including using bug-sniffing dogs, working with a fumigator, and baking the infested materials.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is calling for a special counsel to investigate whether U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her staff improperly handled sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Hawley, Missouri’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, is joining a number of Republicans who are upset over how the letter from Christine Blasey Ford was leaked to the press several weeks ago.

Over the past 40 years, San Francisco-based Chanticleer has gone to great lengths and unexpected places to refine and expand its vocal repertoire, bringing striking arrangements of popular music into the mix as well as commissioning new choral works by contemporary composers. But centuries-old songs can also be full of surprises – including Antonio de Salazar’s 17th-century arrangement of “Salve Regina.”

After a musicology professor discovered the manuscript buried within Mexico’s colonial-era Puebla Cathedral, he prepared it specifically for Chanticleer to perform.

“He unearthed it, quite literally, and he put all the parts together, and we sing it,” countertenor Gerrod Pagenkopf said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, just ahead of Chanticleer’s concert at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. “And it’s just a marvelous setting by a relatively unknown composer.”

Missouri law enforcement agencies have lost track of 1,259 registered sex offenders, according to a report from State Auditor Nicole Galloway. That includes 439 in Jackson County, the highest number in the state.

Updated Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. with comments from the St. Louis Police Department — Police in Missouri do not know the whereabouts of nearly 1,200 sex offenders who are required by law to register with law enforcement — or nearly 8 percent of the total population who are supposed to be tracked.

An audit released Monday by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found that nearly 800 of those individuals have committed the most serious crimes, such as rape or child molestation in the first degree.

Many have asserted that the unique polarization of our current political climate has resulted in an inability – or unwillingness – to sustain civil public discourse between oppositional parties.

Michael Sandel, a best-selling author and eminent political philosopher at Harvard University, believes not only that the quality of public discourse is declining, but that this decline could be eroding American democracy.

As a pre-teen, Dawn Harper Nelson dared to dream of being among the top runners competing in the Olympic Games.

“As a young kid, I knew that I did want to step outside of East St. Louis and see what I was made of, and compare myself to the rest of the world,” Harper Nelson told host Don Marsh on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. In her Olympic career, she became a gold and silver medalist.

Segment 1: It's never too late to travel back home, even when you're 90 years old.

We visit with a Kansas City filmmaker and actress about a locally-made movie exploring themes of aging, memories and wanderlust.

Sen. Paul Wieland is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Abigail Censky about his re-election bid in Missouri’s 22nd District Senate seat.

The Imperial Republican represents a portion of Jefferson County. His race against Democrat Robert Butler is one of the most competitive Senate races in Missouri — and could give a sense of how other statewide campaigns shake out.

Not quite all in

The Beltway-focused newspaper The Hill is now reporting that the National Republican Congressional Committee has pulled more than $1 million it had planned to spend on U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s re-election.

Yoder isn’t entirely abandoned by the party. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC has been buying heavily in the race to bash Yoder’s Democratic opponent, Sharice Davids.

The tap of Mike Wheeler’s hammer echoes through the forest, as he helps frame the walls of a new home in Wildwood.

Wheeler is one of a dozen carpenters volunteering to build a home for a returning veteran and his family. The project, which began in August, is the culmination of a years-long effort to provide a mortgage-free home for U.S. Army veteran and St. Louis native Heath Howes, who was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan.

Joshua Williams always stood out in a crowd. Even during the tense and chaotic 2014 Ferguson protests, Williams could easily be spotted in the signature red hoodie that he rarely went without.

Williams was 18 years old at the time, the same age as Michael Brown when he was shot and killed by police — and old enough to leave home against his mother’s wishes to join the front lines to protest Brown’s death.

Mariana Hildreth felt like she had done everything right when she decided to come to the United States from Mexico: She had a degree, years of professional experience and worked through legal channels to get a work permit.

She felt privileged.

"'I'm just going to conquer the world, I'm going to move there and I'm going to make it work,'" Hildreth thought before she moved. "But when I came here, nothing that I thought I was mattered."

Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has a clear fundraising edge over her Republican opponent, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, in her re-election race — with about a month left before the Nov. 6 midterm.

McCaskill brought in $22,785,442, as of the July 18 report to the Federal Election Committee, or FEC. In contrast, Hawley had raised $5,320,513.

Despite the second-to-worst season in Kansas City Royals’ history (58-104), manager Ned Yost wants to stick around for at least one more year.

And he’ll do just that, agreeing to a one-year extension Sunday for an undisclosed amount to manage in 2019. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee has pulled more than $1 million in advertising support from Rep. Kevin Yoder's re-election campaign in the Kansas 3rd District, according to The Hill newspaper.

The Hill broke the story late Sunday and quotes an unnamed source "familiar with the NRCC's strategic thinking."

Sure, you know Kansas City has barbecue sauces, but is there more?

Central Standard's host Gina Kaufmann has a theory: This place is a sauce town, and not of just one variety.

She came to the conclusion last year when Central Standard's Food Critics chatted about guilty pleasure foods. During that segment, many listeners chimed in to say that their guilty pleasures weren't main dishes, sides or even desserts, but the sauces that come with those things.

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