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It's been a great 40 years at KBIA. But KBIA wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for our listeners. To celebrate this anniversary, we've launched the '40/40 project.' We're visiting 40 cities and towns - in Mid-Missouri and beyond - where our members have shown their support for KBIA.We aim to send a 'postcard' to our listeners from each of these places - telling you about the things we see and sharing conversations with the people we meet. We'll be posting the stories and photos from these cities and towns on this site as KBIA's 40th Anniversary celebration continues in 2012.You can also hear the audio pieces on KBIA during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.All these stories and more are collected at www.4040project.org.

The 40/40 Project: KBIA visits New Franklin, MO.

KBIA’s Darren Hellwege was surprised by New Franklin. He went out expecting to meet older folks and talk about the town’s interesting history, and the story of how it went from being “Franklin” on the river to “New Franklin” up the hill following a devastating flood.But today, New Franklin, more than anything, is about families and kids. Darren visits a city park where his new friends in New Franklin are more interested in swings and slides than flooding and history. Then, we visit a neat little shop in downtown full of sweet smells and yet another story of how New Franklin is about families—a shopkeeper who moved back from Nashville to raise her family in her hometown of New Franklin, but not before helping her sister get her career started. That career? The country music superstar story of Sara Evans.

While holding onto it’s small town charm, the 21st century has found New Franklin, which maintains an excellent town website.

Ashley and Iris can be your “friend” on Facebook with “My Favorite Things.”

There’s another member of Ashley’s family you should know about…the 2006 Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, and proud native of New Franklin, singer (and now author!) Sara Evans. Sara’s married to former Alabama football superstar Jay Barker but still we find the whole “Roll Tide” thing on her website a little objectionable.


This postcard from New Franklin is part of the 40/40 Project: KBIA is celebrating its 40th anniversary by visiting 40 different towns in Mid-Missouri.  Find them all at The 40/40 Project.

"The Voice Of Columbia," Darren Hellwege has hosted NPR's “Morning Edition” for over 30 years on KBIA, and serves as host/producer of the award-winning “Thinking Out Loud” programs. He also hosts “Vox Humana” on Classical 90.5 FM. Darren is also a marketing representative for KBIA and Classical 90.5, helping businesses connect with their customers using public radio.