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The daunting task of turning around the fortunes of St. Louis is now in the hands of a new era of leaders — specifically, three 40-something progressive Black women, all of them elected on a mandate of racial justice and change.

Local officials agreed Thursday to provide temporary housing in hotel rooms for the homeless population in Kansas City, Missouri, following a months-long encampment on the lawn of City Hall.

The measure to provide hotel rooms for up to 500 people for the next 90 days unanimously cleared the City Council, the Kansas City Star reported.

Everyone 16 and older in Missouri is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.

State officials had announced last month that that vaccines would be opened to everyone old enough to receive one on April 9. State officials estimate that about 4.5 million Missouri residents are eligible as of Friday.

About 1.8 million people in Missouri — or 29% of the state’s population — had received a first dose of a vaccine by Thursday, according to state officials. Of those, more than 1.1 million, or about 19% of the population, had been fully vaccinated.

Energy utility Ameren is seeking to raise customer rates to cover billions of dollars recently invested in electric grid upgrades and new wind generation facilities.

The Check-In Outtake: Parenting and COVID-19

Apr 9, 2021

Parents have been working overtime since the start of the pandemic. Many even took on the additional job of teacher when their children’s schools went online. But when it became clear that quarantine was going to last for a lot longer than two weeks, parents suddenly had to learn how to balance their new tasks long-term.

'The Foolish Corner' author JOHN HOWE sums up 'hindsight bias' in these eight words: oh, I knew that was going to happen. Find out how your uncanny ability to predict the past can affect your future stock portfolio, both good and bad, and the ways in which you can keep yourself from doing it anymore. April 9, 2021

Missouri House Passes Bill To Allow Higher Education Tuition Increases

Apr 9, 2021

Tuition could soon be going up for public university students in Missouri, but proponents of the bill passed by the Missouri House on Thursday say that won’t necessarily be a bad thing for all students.

In 2007, members of the General Assembly who were concerned with rising tuition passed a law which required that tuition increases not exceed the rate of inflation. Now, in an amendment to other higher education legislation, Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, seeks to undo that.

Senate Bill 212 is a simple bill at face value. It replaces the terms “Department of Corrections and Human Resources” and “board of probation and parole” with “Department of Corrections” and “Division of Probation and Parole” in state legal code.

But when the Missouri Senate gave the bill initial approval Wednesday, it included a lot more than just the boiler-plate bill it was when it originally was proposed in the Senate Chamber.

Missouri's top Republican senator says he's OK not paying for Medicaid expansion.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz on Thursday told reporters he won't advocate to include money for the program in the state budget. Missouri voters last year amended the state Constitution to extend eligibility for the government health care program to thousands more low-income adults.

The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders received a major gift from University of Missouri alumni Bill and Nancy Thompson.

Most local elections in April attract low voter turnout. But the small southwest Missouri town of La Russell set a new low, when not one of the town's 70 residents voted in Tuesday's election.

Jasper County Clerk Charlie Davis says his office checked several times to confirm that no ballots were cast.

La Russell voters have to travel 7 miles to Sarcoxie to vote.

Columbia/Boone County health officials announced Thursday that a Boone County resident tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services informed the county Wednesday it had found a case of the variant, first identified in the U.K., in a test from a Boone County resident. The state screens a sample of tests from around the state for variants on a regular basis.

The Check-In: Having Fun

Apr 8, 2021

As we've covered before on The Check-In, times have been hard over the past year. Many of us have suffered from financial hardship and social isolation in some form or another. We have also done our part to stay mentally healthy - and for that, it’s important to have fun.

So, that's the theme of our show today -- having fun. What have been some of your pandemic past-times? We’ve all had to find things to do that are inexpensive and also can be done in isolation. Let us know: What hobbies did you pick up, this time last year? Was it baking, crafting, getting outdoors? Where have you been finding your fun?

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri communication and marketing manager SETH WOLFMEYER is here in place of Lindsay Lopez today, but he brings with him that same important message of the need for community support in order to meet the demand of those who are food insecure in our area, especially during a pandemic. April 8, 2021

Here's a roundup of regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Treating HIV Infections, Protecting Abuse Victims Addressed In New State Legislation

Apr 8, 2021

Missouri legislators focused on advancing protections on issues from rising HIV infections to taxing stimulus checks Wednesday.

Legislators moved forward on bills relating to access to preventative HIV drugs, extending the pandemic stimulus payments’ taxation exemption and extending protection orders for victims of abuse, alongside many others.

Missouri's Republican-led Senate has voted to ban so-called vaccine passports in the state.

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of a former state Republican party chairman to the University of Missouri governing board.

The GOP-led Senate voted 19-13 to confirm Todd Graves as a curator Wednesday. The vote followed a multi-day effort by a group of Republicans and Democrats to stall his confirmation. Senators raised concerns about Graves' connections to former Gov. Eric Greitens, who angered many during his short time in office before he resigned amid multiple scandals.

Every year during the festival, True/False organizes field sessions: conversations between filmmakers about their films, experiences, and anything else that interests them. In this week's episode of the True/False Podcast, we’ll be listening in on one such conversation between filmmakers Meredith Zielke and Steve James. Zielke is an award-winning filmmaker and editor who co-directed A Machine To Live In, an impressionistic exploration of Brazil’s peculiar capital city that showed at True/False 2020.

Columbia's Second Ward Elects New Council Member

Apr 7, 2021

Columbia’s second ward has elected a new council member.

Andrea Waner came out on top of the second ward race, with 52% of the vote. Candidates Jim Meyer, and Bill Weitkemper also ran for the seat that was opened up when former council member Mike Trapp decided not to seek a fourth term.

Waner said running the campaign took a lot of time and effort, but many in the community want to see women and moms succeed.

“I’m grateful that I get to be the first woman in over thirty years to represent the second ward on the city council,” Waner said.

Ex-GOP Leader Confirmed as University of Missouri Curator

Apr 7, 2021

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of a former state Republican party chairman to the University of Missouri governing board.

The GOP-led Senate voted 19-13 to confirm Todd Graves as a curator Wednesday.

The vote followed a multi-day effort by a group of Republicans and Democrats to block his confirmation. Senators raised concerns about Graves' connections to former Gov. Eric Greitens, who angered many during his short time in office before he resigned amid multiple scandals.

Nathan Lawrence/ KBIA

Locals voted to approve the Boone County Fire Protection District (BCFD) board of directors’ request of a $6 million dollar bond issue during the municipal election on Tuesday, April 6.

This is a no tax increase bond issue intended for replacements of old apparatus, facility improvements, land acquisition and architectural design for replacement stations. Around 85% of 3,282 voters supported the BCFD bond issue, which means BCFD will be able to address their areas in need.

Independence City Council Rejects Flying Rainbow Flag

Apr 7, 2021

The Independence city council has rejected a proposal from the city's mayor to fly the rainbow flag on municipal buildings during LGBTQ pride month in June.

Mayor Eileen Weir says she proposed the idea to show the city values diversity and inclusion, and to make LGBTGQ people feel welcome. The council voted down the plan on Monday on a 6-1 vote.

Major Biden is the most talked-about rescue pup on the planet. Is it news that he bit people while on a walk, or maybe pooped on the White House carpet? Some reporters think so. Also, questions about two pieces on ’60 Minutes’ and why hundreds of filmmakers say PBS’s relationship with Ken Burns hurts them. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

Jefferson City Elects 2 New Council Members, Re-elects 3

Apr 7, 2021

Jefferson City voters re-elected three of their Council Members Tuesday, and elected two new members.

In Ward 1, incumbent David Kemna ran unopposed.

In Ward 2, incumbent Laura Ward won re-election, defeating challenger Edith Vogel.

Back in the day, GARY WUNDER had no problem understanding television thanks to the way TV shows were produced. He says, "When Gilligan's Island was on and...somebody got popped on the head, you knew that it was Gilligan and the Skipper was giving him a hard time." Today's programming tends to lean more on special effects to tell stories, and so something called 'Descriptive Video Service' is available to help those who are sight-impaired enjoy online and over-the-air entertainment. April 7, 2021