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Gayle King’s interview with R. Kelly has been described as a master class for journalists. This week, an analysis of her questions, her body language, and the discussion the conversation created.

Lt. Gov Mike Kehoe and Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr announced Tuesday plans to develop a task force to look deeper into a hyperloop system for the state of Missouri. 

Kehoe, who will chair the committee, said at a press conference that Missouri is capable of exploring its options for the hyperloop system, which would allow Missourians to travel to and from St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City in less than 30 minutes.

A proposed Islamic center in a Kansas City suburb that could serve as a centralized location for Muslims on both sides of the state line has gained approval from planning commissioners.

It's Our Wild Nature's Land Values at Only $85,000, Commissioners Decide

Mar 12, 2019

Private land along Hinkson Creek where the city wants to build a trail connected to the MU campus is worth $85,000 in compensation, three judge-appointed commissioners decided Friday. That valuation was more than $815,000 below what owners of the land asked for from the city of Columbia.

This week on Discover Nature take a walk outside, and you may hear one of the first serenades of spring on the horizon.

   

 

Spring peepers have spent the winter burrowed under soil – a natural antifreeze in their blood keeping them thawed.  

 

One of the first species to begin calling in the spring, this small, slender frog can appear pink, gray, tan, or brown, with a dark ‘X’ on its back.

 

Roughly one-inch in length, they breed in fishless ponds, streams and swamps with thick undergrowth.  

 

How do you get a teenager who thinks they're invincible and they know it all to listen to you when you say drugs and alcohol are bad? JOY SWEENEY and Council for Drug Free Youth has the answer: a program called 'Teen Baseline'. March 12, 2019

Parole boards across the state could have more discretion on reducing sentence length for eligible felonies. A senate committee heard bills Monday afternoon that seek to modify mandatory minimum sentence laws.

Republican Senator Ed Emery and Democratic Senator Karla May worked on specific details about which violent offenders are eligible with the help of the Department of Corrections and the governor’s office. Crimes such as murder and kidnapping would not be eligible.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, laws in Missouri from the 1970s are still in effect. Republican Senator Mike Cierpiot said these laws are vague and Missouri needs to join other states that have updated alimony laws at a senate committee hearing Monday afternoon.

The proposed bill defines marriage lengths and required spousal maintenance for short-term, moderate-term and long-term marriages.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Beginning next school year, sex education curriculum in Columbia Public Schools will include education on sexual harassment, sexual violence, and consent.

House Bill 1606 requires that by July, any course relating to human sexuality include these topics. The Columbia Board of Education voted unanimously to implement the updated curriculum, and to approve academic calendars for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years required by the state law. The board also approved a contract with a new substitute employer service.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday sued the Missouri Attorney General's Office, alleging that it violated the state's open-records laws under the leadership of Josh Hawley, who is now a U.S. senator.

The group claimed the office withheld emails between Hawley's official staff and political consultants during the Republican's 2018 campaign, the Kansas City Starreported.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

 Recent rains have caused rivers to rise across Missouri and Kansas, and with more rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service is predicting minor flooding in several locations.

Hydrologists expect flooding along the Mississippi River starting in the next few days at Missouri towns that include Hannibal, Clarksville and Cape Girardeau. Minimal damage is expected but the concern is that the water will remain high into late March, so additional rainfall could be problematic.

Forecasts call for more rain Tuesday and Wednesday.

Missouri plans to license more than 300 medical marijuana-related businesses this year, and if that's not enough to meet patient demand, even more will be approved, the director of the state program said Monday.

The state is already planning at least 192 dispensaries, 60 cultivation facilities, 86 manufacturing facilities and two testing facilities. But Lyndall Fraker, medical marijuana program director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told hundreds of people attending a St. Louis conference that the state will do whatever is necessary to meet demand.

Rosemary Belson / KBIA

Did you know Missouri and Iowa almost went to war in the 1800s? Each claimed ownership over a strip of land along the border and believed it had the right to tax the people living there.

Several surveyors drew different lines leaving the disputed land in a tug of war between two petty governors for years.

Stuck in the middle was “The Hairy Nation” – a community of transplants with varied backgrounds – longing to know where they belonged and what their identity was.

Before this story is over, trees with honey beehives will be chopped down, a sheriff will be kidnapped and ragtag militias with kitchenware and garden tools as weapons will march to meet at the border to settle this dispute once and for all.


Sidney Steele / KBIA

Blake Willoughby is the youngest candidate for the Columbia Board of Education, by a sizeable margin. While some might see this as negative, Willoughby sees this as one of his greatest advantages.

“I bring a fresh perspective of being a young, community engaged, artist-educator,” Willoughby said. “I am the closest in age to understanding what our kids are navigating when they graduate high school and become life-ready.”


One stone, one tree and five cast members make up MU Theatre Department's production of Samuel Beckett's classic 'Waiting for Godot'. See it this weekend only in Studio 4, which is inside McKee Gymnasium on the MU campus. Guest: Dr. SUSAN BURGOYNE  March 11, 2019

School Board to Vote on Sex Ed Curriculum, Substitute Services, Calendar

Mar 11, 2019

With attendance areas no longer on the agenda, an updated policy on the human sexuality curriculum, a new substitute teacher services contract and the school year calendar will all be up for a vote at Monday’s Columbia School Board meeting.

The board will discuss and vote on changes to the human sexuality curriculum and the school calendar to remain in accordance with new state laws passed in 2018.

Under House Bill 1606, state law now requires students to be taught about sexual harassment, sexual violence and consent.

A central Missouri man who admitted shooting at officers and tractor-trailers during an Interstate 70 police chase has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Russell Deane Moore Jr. of Fulton was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in December to two counts of destruction of a motor vehicle, one count of unlawful transport of firearms and one count of receiving stolen firearms.

A central Missouri man who admitted shooting at officers and tractor-trailers during an Interstate 70 police chase has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Russell Deane Moore Jr. of Fulton was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in December to two counts of destruction of a motor vehicle, one count of unlawful transport of firearms and one count of receiving stolen firearms.

Three Missouri school districts will receive $3.5 million to build tornado shelters.

The State Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday that the grants will go to schools in Christian, Lawrence and McDonald counties. The planned safe rooms would shelter more than 2,250 people.

The projects will require local matches ranging from 10 to 25 percent.

A Kansas City tenant advocacy group is putting pressure on mayoral candidates to address the city's affordable housing crisis.

The newly formed KC Tenants released its housing policy platform and demanded a response from the 11 candidates running for mayor, the Kansas City Star reported. The platform asks candidates to refuse donations from real estate developers and industry executives and calls for more opportunities for tenants to scrub evictions from their records.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Poplar Bluff, Missouri, is located deep in the southeastern part of the state, in the area known as the Bootheel. One resident joked to me that if something bad is going to happen in Missouri, “it’s gonna happen here.”

It’s also the location of an on-going hepatitis A outbreak. As of March 4, there have been 266 cases of hepatitis A identified throughout southeast Missouri. Nearly 50 percent of those cases have led to hospitalizations and there has been one associated death. 


Struggling Rural Missouri Hospital Booted from Medicaire

Mar 8, 2019

A rural Missouri hospital has been cut off from the federal Medicare program after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found serious deficiencies threatening patient health and safety.

The federal health agency pulled I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs from its Medicare program on Thursday, KCUR-FM reported.

Alzheimer's Association volunteer LOIS LONG says that the list of those affected by dementia is "growing exponentially" every year. She adds that early detection is key, and if diagnosed, to take the available medication right away to slow the disease down. Lois also talks about the ways in which caregivers can monitor patients who like to wander from home. March 8, 2019

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Ashland Mayor Rhorer Purchases Boone County Journal

Mar 8, 2019

Ashland Mayor Gene Rhorer purchased the Boone County Journal, Ashland’s local weekly newspaper, on march 1 for an undisclosed amount of money.

Rhorer is a long-standing business owner in Ashland. He says he wanted to keep the paper locally owned. Rhorer sees the paper as a irreplaceable hub for the community.

"Well it keeps them abreast of changes within the city that they live," Rhorer said. "The local paper is very important in that aspect. That news can’t be obtained elsewhere."

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