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Human Remains Found in Exploratory Dig for Missing Columbia Woman

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Police officers found human remains at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday while conducting an exploratory dig in a landfill in search of Megan Shultz, who disappeared in 2006.

According to Police Chief Geoff Jones, the remains had items consistent with what they expected to find with Shultz, including clothing. He did not elaborate.

"We've been working with a professional anthropologist who confirmed that what we found was, in fact, human remains," Jones said.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

A crime commission is being formed in St. Louis County after a violent summer.

Reports say that County Executive Sam Page made the announcement Tuesday. The nine-member crime commission will coordinate the county's police, courts and jails in an effort to reduce crime. 

Page says he walked around the scene where a 3-year-old boy fatally shot himself Friday with an unattended firearm and asked himself, "Why is this happening?" Nearly two dozen children have been killed in shootings in the St. Louis metropolitan area so far this year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released the names of a 4-year-old boy and a 37-year-old man whose bodies were found this week in rural eastern Missouri.

The patrol said Wednesday that the child was Bentlee J. Turner and the adult was Monty Jason Barton. Both lived in the small town of Belle, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis.

Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday to determine the cause of death. The patrol says the investigation continues.

Journalists around the world are remembering Cokie Roberts for her decades of service to the #journalism profession. The legendary reporter and political commentator seen on ABC News, heard on NPR and read in newspapers across the country died Tuesday at the age of 75. Also, CNN refuses advertising from JUUL and other #ecigarette companies, Shane Gillis hired and fired from 'Saturday Night Live' and 25 years of 'Friends.’ From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Monique Luisi: Views of the News. KBIA 91.3 FM

An audit has found that millions of dollars generated by a Kansas City-area anti-drug and violence sales tax has been spent on unrelated expenses.

The report released Wednesday found that the amount of revenue the 30-year-old COMBAT sales tax was expected to generate was chronically underestimated starting in 2010. The extra money created a kind of slush fund that was used to pay for non-crime-fighting related expenses like a pedestrian trail.

In order to achieve a goal of 4,000 usable units, more than 4,000 people are going to have to partake in Mizzou's annual Homecoming Blood Drive this year. JACQUELINE JANORSCHKE and CAROLINE DADE say no appointment is necessary during this year's all-important four-day drive! Also, AMY WILDER invites everyone to a special, one-night-only magic show by onetime 'America's Got Talent' contestant Mike Super! Plus, don't miss the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre premiere of 'Swingtime Canteen'. This second-to-last production of the season runs for ten days beginning tomorrow night! (4:23) September 18, 2019

  Regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

CPS, Boone County Team Up for Anti-Vaping Campaign

Sep 17, 2019
Meiying Wu / KBIA

A marketing campaign to curb vaping among teenagers is about to launch with an emphasis on healthy lifestyles.

The campaign, called “Stand up for Your Own Health,” is a joint venture between Columbia Public Schools and Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department.

Sarah Varvaro, an educator with the health department, organized a campaign over the summer with a kickoff this fall.

The campaign is funded through a grant from the county. Flyers, advertisements and social media posts are being created for middle and high schools in Boone County.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A new Missouri law that shields large farms from local health regulations is now in effect, but opponents say the fight is far from over.

Cole County Judge Daniel Green earlier this month set aside a temporary restraining order that was imposed days earlier. A lawsuit over the law is proceeding, with the next court hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

The Columbia City Council is considering replacing its Environment and Energy commission with a new Climate and Environment commission. At its Monday meeting, the city council read the proposed action for the first time, which if approved, would take effect later this year. According to Barbara Buffaloe, The Sustainability Manager for Columbia’s Department of Sustainability, along with just expanding the commission’s size, this change could also create a more defined role for the new commission in addressing climate matters.

Diana Manuhutu / KBIA

According to the US Department Veteran Affairs, 20 veterans committed suicide every single day in 2018. The number is down slightly from 22 people a day in the previous year.

As a part of the National Suicide Prevention Week, Truman VA Hospital in collaboration with behavioral health agencies and local gyms held its 2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness event.

By raising the theme of “Share the Load”, veterans shared information and experiences about mental health and took part in various activities such as weightlifting exhibitions and family-friendly activities.

This week on Discover Nature, take a moment to enjoy the last golden blooms of summer. 

 

On roadsides, streambanks, pastures, prairies, and planted flower beds, Missouri’s many goldenrod species are putting on a show. 

 

23 species of goldenrod (Solidago spp.) are native to Missouri with slender stems, usually about 3-4 feet tall, and golden clusters of flowers spiraling or alternating along upper branchlets. Each yellow flower is actually a tiny composite flowerhead, structurally similar to a daisy or a sunflower. 

 

Cokie Roberts signs books before the discussion in the LBJ Auditorium.
Courtesy of the LBJ Library

Journalists around the world are remembering Cokie Roberts for her decades of service to the journalism profession. The legendary reporter and political commentator seen on ABC News, heard on NPR and read in newspapers across the country died Tuesday at the age of 75.

New High School Offers Free Education For Adults

Sep 17, 2019
Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

The nonprofit that runs Goodwill is scheduled to open a high school for adults next month. MERS Goodwill is launching a school called the Goodwill Excel Center in Columbia that will allow people 21 and older to earn a high school diploma, rather than a GED. In addition, the school will also offer life coaching, workplace certification and child care for parents who cannot leave their children at home. All of these services will be provided to students at no cost to themselves.

New High School Offers Free Education For Adults

Sep 17, 2019
Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

The nonprofit that runs Goodwill is scheduled to open a high school for adults next month. MERS Goodwill is launching a school called the Goodwill Excel Center in Columbia that will allow people 21 and older to earn a high school diploma, rather than a GED. In addition, the school will also offer life coaching, workplace certification and child care for parents who cannot leave their children at home. All of these services will be provided to students at no cost to themselves.

A marmoleum composition tile is naturally anti-microbial. Why does that matter? SCOTT BRADLEY, from Carpet One Floor and Home in Columbia, says because the desired results require no pesticides or insecticides, unlike their non-eco-friendly competition. Also, My New Voice founder BLANCA KELTY tells us about the importance of learning a second language, and how she can help those wanting to take on a new "language experience." (4:31) September 17, 2019

CPS, Boone County Team Up For Anti-Vaping Campaign

Sep 17, 2019

A marketing campaign to curb vaping among teenagers is about to launch with an emphasis on healthy lifestyles.

The campaign, called “Stand up for Your Own Health,” is a joint venture between Columbia Public Schools and Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department.

Sarah Varvaro, an educator with the health department, organized a campaign over the summer with a kickoff this fall.

The campaign is funded through a grant from the county. Flyers, advertisements and social media posts are being created for middle and high schools in Boone County.

City Council Approves 2020 Budget

Sep 17, 2019
Meiying Wu

The Columbia City Council approved its annual budget for fiscal year 2020 Monday night after its fourth hearing. The budget’s projected revenue is $455.6 million and total spending is $484.9 million.

The council heard and adopted 10 additional amendments before voting 6-0 on the finalized budget. Councilmember Ian Thomas was not present. The amendments included appropriating $148,667 of state revenues from Missouri Department of Transportation to a Columbia Regional Airport reconstruction project, and accepting a grant for additional fire fighters

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones was named to the city's top law enforcement position in August, and he is set to be sworn in at a Columbia City Council ceremony this evening.

On this edition of Intersection, Jones talks with host Janet Saidi about the goals and challenges he sees on the horizon for policing in Columbia. And he discusses what motivated him to become a police officer. 

City Halts Curbside Recycling Due to Staff Shortage

Sep 16, 2019

City officials cancelled curbside recycling collection for Monday, Sept. 16, due to a staff shortage of 22 employees in the City of Columbia Solid Waste Utility company.

The lack of employees includes nine vacancies, nine shortages due to injuries or illness and four unavailable for different reasons. Currently, the city is turning to temporary labor services to minimize the impact of the shortages and make up for the lack of available workers.

There may be a cease-fire, but the economic "border war" involving the use of incentives to lure jobs across the state line in the Kansas City area isn't exactly over.

The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri officials plan to award $62 million in incentives to the Overland Park, Kansas-based financial firm Waddell & Reed. The incentives are through the Missouri Works program, which offers payroll tax withholdings or tax credits in exchange for growing or retaining jobs.

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

A suburban St. Louis-based company is offering free test-preparation classes for high school students in the wake of the college-admissions scandal.

Clayton, Missouri-based Varsity Tutors said Monday that the online classes seek to help prepare students for the ACT or SAT college-admissions exams.

Varsity Tutors says the program seeks to make access to higher educational more attainable for all students. The program is open to students across the county and offers 25 hours of live instruction plus practice exams.

Jane Mather-Glass / KBIA

Kristin Bowen is the leader of Columbia’s local Moms Demand Action group. Moms Demand Action is a locally-funded group that focuses on gun safety with chapters across the United States.

Bowen started the Columbia organization in 2015 because she said the issue of gun violence, like many parents, affected her emotionally.

Still in development, JACKIE REED says Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia will be a place, a home-like setting, that a person can come to in their last month of life, free of charge. She says, "people want the best quality of life at the end of life." September 16, 2019

A roundup of headlines from across the region, including:

Missouri CAFO Laws Take Effect

Police Leader Considering Recruitment Changes

St. Louis Hospital Investigates Vaping-Related Illnesses

Adult High School To Open In Columbia Tribune Building

Columbia Disabilites Commission Highlights White Cane Law

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