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Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Transportation advised drivers Thursday to stay off the roads over the weekend ahead of a forecast winter storm and below-freezing temperatures.

The below-freezing temperatures may make chemicals that are used to treat roads less effective. Cleanup from the storm may take longer than the previous weekend's, the department warned. Wind gusts could cause drifting.

The city of Columbia warned on Wednesday that the storm could affect travel, power and city services. 

"This weekend, our country is emphasizing values like justice and equality and freedom as we anticipate celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday. And I want to share this little, short Missouri history story because I think some of those values surface as we hear this story." -- LARRY BROWN on why he's sharing the story, "Mule Shoes, Boodlers, Holy Joe and the Missouri Idea"  January 18, 2019

On this week's show, a look at the life of a pioneering female journalist. Fortuna Calvo-Roth was born in 1934 to a Jewish family in Paris, but was raised in Lima, Peru. There she fell in love with the news business during World War II - and came to admire American newspapers like the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

So she left Peru and came to the Missouri School of Journalism in the 1950s, where she managed to graduate with honors at just age 19. Despite facing discrimination, she went on to a distinguished career as a correspondent for a number of major Latin American newspapers and later as news executive for the Brazilian publishing group Vision Inc.

Yet journalism was just one chapter of her career - she went on to enjoy success as a theatrical producer, a publisher and as the co-founder of an audiobook label.

January is National Walk Your Dog Month. MAR DOERING, DVM, All Paws Medical and Behavioral Center, can't stress enough how important this (relatively simple) activity is to the bond between a pet and their owner. Plus, it's good exercise! January 17, 2019

A University of Missouri-Kansas City professor has resigned after being accused of coercing foreign graduate students to perform work and personal tasks for him.

University officials announced Wednesday that Ashim Mitra resigned from the School of Pharmacy one day before a hearing was scheduled to determine his future at the university. 

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is proposing a $351 million bond to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state, a pitch he made to lawmakers Wednesday during his first State of the State speech since taking over when his predecessor resigned in scandal last year.


Parson's plan comes after Missouri voters in November shot down a proposed 10-cent-a-gallon increase in the gas tax to pay for road and bridge repairs. Parson toured the state to try to persuade voters to pass the gas tax increase, and he's repeatedly cited improving the state's infrastructure as a top priority.

The Missouri Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a professor who alleged she lost her job at a historically black public university in St. Louis because of discrimination.

A Missouri health provider will have to pay tens of millions of dollars to a former patient with a rare disease after the state's Supreme Court rejected the hospital's appeal.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the high court ruled Tuesday that Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities owes Emilee Williams nearly $29 million.

Bird scooters has been making news in Columbia for months. Now, it's making headlines around the world for its claim of a copyright violation by a tech news website. Was it a fair claim? Also, hedge fund owners make a play for one of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.S., NBC News formally cuts ties with Megyn Kelly and how Stephen King helped scare up subscribers of his local news website. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Local and regional content from the KBIA newsroom.

It's been a minute since TIM RICH stopped by to talk about Welcome Home: A Community for Veterans. He says their new location provides three times the space they had before; unfortunately, they still have to turn people away because there isn't enough room. Also, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. NANETTE WARD tells us about the newly-released poster from Missouri's Department of Public Safety featuring the national human trafficking hotline number. (4:06) January 16, 2019

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

MU will reopen residence halls for students one day earlier than planned, encouraging students to consider returning to campus early from winter break to beat the forecasted weekend winter storm.

Residence halls and the Plaza 900 dining hall will open at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Vice Chancellor of Operations Gary Ward.

Plaza 900 will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other areas will be open on a limited schedule.

A central Missouri prosecutor's office has been ordered to pay $36,000 for failing to provide records to a man doing research for the marijuana activist group Show-Me Cannabis.

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District on Tuesday upheld a lower court's ruling that the Cole County prosecutor's office broke state law in 2015 in refusing to provide records to Aaron Malin.

Malin says he's "thrilled" by the ruling.

Mitch Legan / KBIA

Bird Scooters has been making news in Columbia for months. Now, its making headlines around the world for its claim of a copyright violation by a tech news website. Was it a fair claim?

In the heart of winter, one Missouri shrub defies the dormant season: this week on Discover Nature, keep an eye out for Ozark witch-hazel.


This native shrub, with tight, gray bark, and alternate, egg-shaped leaves, brings some of the first color of the year to Missouri’s wooded landscapes. 


Yellow to dark-red, fragrant flowers adorn its branches from January through April.  In the fall, hard, woody fruits will pop open with enough force to throw seeds up to 30-feet away. 


"So, we've been doing this type of activity for many years, but what we've known is, once we've made that initial investment, the first buyer will sell, and then that home is no longer affordable or it potentially turns into a rental unit. So, what the Community Land Trust is, it's a new initiative to protect all of the city's investments in affordable housing going forward." -- Randy Cole, Housing Supervisor, Columbia Community Land Trust  January 15, 2019

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says she's creating a public corruption team now she's been sworn in for another term.


The 36-year-old Democrat took the oath of office Monday at a ceremony in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda.

This will be her first full term in office. She was originally appointed to the position by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in 2015 after former Auditor Tom Schweich killed himself.

Voters in November elected Galloway to serve another term.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Rethinking the benefit of prisons, Missouri House leaders are backing legislation that could effectively undo mandatory minimum sentencing laws for many nonviolent criminals.

The Missouri legislation reflects a national trend toward more lenient prison terms for some drug offenders and other low-level criminals, as governments shift toward alternative strategies that are focused more specifically on rehabilitation. Missouri's prison population peaked at 33,243 in September 2017 but has since fallen to 30,260, the Department of Corrections said Monday. 

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

Crews have restored power for thousands of Columbia residents, after a major winter storm caused extensive outages in mid-Missouri. Columbia’s outage map was clear Monday morning, and a press release from the city Sunday said only around 100 people were still without power then.

City crews worked throughout the weekend, with around 9,000 total customers affected by the weather since Friday. Large numbers of outages were caused by felled trees and limbs on power lines.

Not everyone has a "social safety net," and for some, one economic setback could sink their ship, so-to-speak. Heart of Missouri United Way can be that safety net, but not without help from the community at large. ANDREW GRABAU tells us how easy it is to get involved. Also, WALLY PFEFFER and ALLY CUNNINGHAM, co-chairs of the 17th annual Boone County Legislative Forum on Higher Education, tell us about this year's event happening next week at Grand Cru in Columbia! (4:15) January 14, 2019

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

University of Missouri officials say campus will remain closed Monday following a weekend of dramatic snowfall, freezing temperatures and major power outages in Columbia. 

“This is one of the worst snow storms we’ve experienced,” Gary Ward, MU's vice chancellor for operations, said in a release Sunday afternoon. “We continue to be in close contact with local and state officials on the road conditions, and our crews continue their work preparing the campus so that we can reopen as soon as possible.”

Sebastián Martinez / KBIA

Going into the third day of snowfall throughout mid-Missouri, City of Columbia crews continue to work to restore power and clear roads throughout the city.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

As Winter Storm Gia continues to bear down on mid-Missouri, thousands of residents in Columbia have been left without power. 

In a release Saturday afternoon, the City of Columbia said “numerous power outages” had been caused by the storm, mostly due to snow-covered trees sagging onto nearby power lines. As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Columbia Power and Light said about 8,000 customers were affected.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Anticipation of a large snowfall in Mid-Missouri caused many schools and businesses to close early Friday. You can view KOMU's updated list of closures here.

Columbia Public Works said it will begin enforcement of priority snow routes starting at 7 p.m. Friday. The city needs the vehicles to be removed to allow crews to treat and plow roads. 

A federal judge has approved a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was fatally shot by St. Joseph police in 2017.

Under a settlement approved Thursday, the parents of 27-year-old Jacob Fanning will each receive about $13,900. Fanning's two minor children will receive more than $223,000, to be distributed by their mother. Attorneys will receive more than $199,000.

Why take part in The District's 'Restaurant Week'? NICKIE DAVIS says because "we offer just the most unique, locally-owned businesses...there are just things you're never going to find anywhere outside of The District." Additional guest: Gunter Hans owner LYDIA MELTON | Also, HEATHER LAMB takes us behind-the-scenes of Vox Magazine. Now in its 20th year, this student-run, city-centered publication recently underwent aesthetic changes that (hopefully) reflect a modern era of lifestyle journalism. (3:06) January 11, 2019

AP Photo

It started with a story in the Indianapolis Star about executives at USA Gymnastics failing to forward allegations of sexual abuse against young gymnasts to law enforcement.

That led to first one, then two, then a dozen and now hundreds to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years of jail last year.

The gymnastics' group's former CEO and a former trainer have also been arrested on separate charges. Facing dozens of lawsuits, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in December. The fallout also hit Michigan State University, where Nassar worked in the College of Osteophathic Medicine. 

On this special edition of Global Journalist, a look behind the scenes of the Star's investigation of USA Gymnastics with reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski