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KBIA's Lee Wilkins speaks with Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers. The novel delves into the AIDS crisis and the lives of those affected by it, from the early days of awareness of AIDS to the present. Rebecca will be a guest at the upcoming Unbound Book Festival in Columbia.

KBIA's Lee Wilkins talks with Shane Bauer, author of American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into The Business Of Punishment. They discuss the history of punishment and the profit motive, and the present day American justice and punishment system. Bauer is one of the guests coming to Columbia with the Unbound Book Festival. 

CoMo Youth Works' LORETTA SCHOUTEN and Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition volunteer NANETTE WARD have decided to form a mini-partnership to help serve those who have, sadly, spent a part of their life removed from society because of some form of trafficking. April 16, 2019

Missouri lawmakers want to improve the state’s Amber Alert system by passing a bill known as Hailey’s Law, as discussed at Monday afternoon's meeting.

The bill would integrate the Amber Alert system into the state’s uniform law enforcement system to make the process move faster and would require the Amber Alert Oversight committee to meet annually.

Hailey’s Law is named after Hailey Owens, a 10-year-old girl who was abducted and killed by Craig Wood in Springfield in 2014.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed legislation to give taxpayers a break if they can't pay on time this year.

House lawmakers voted 144-1 in favor of the bill on Monday, which is tax day.

The legislation would waive fees through the end of the year for individual taxpayers who file on time and go on a payment plan. It also would delay interest until May 15.

KBIA/file photo

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposal to pay for bridge repairs across the state.

Lawmakers voted 26-7 for the resolution Monday.

The plan calls for the state to pay $50 million upfront to fix 35 bridges. If the state gets a federal matching grant, that would pave the way for Missouri to borrow $250 million to fix another 215 bridges.


Columbia City Council voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to approve a plan to redistribute money in this year’s budget, including giving pay raises to linemen. The bill eliminates some vacant positions, gives some pay raises and will ultimately be budget neutral.

The council heard testimony from community members who believe the bill needs to do more to provide for the workers. Columbia has had difficulty retaining linemen, and many of the people who commented argued that higher wages would lead to better retention of workers and safer working conditions.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council voted to move forward on downtown improvement projects at its meeting Monday.

Before the vote, the council held a public hearing on adding and updating of cameras situated in six downtown parking garages. The plan adds cameras in areas of the garages that were previously unmonitored and eliminates many older versions of the cameras. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in late spring or early summer, will cost nearly $250,000.

Sam Mosher/KBIA

By 2100, temperatures in Columbia are projected to rise by about 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a city report, and carbon emissions will be largely responsible. But the city has a plan to reduce its carbon emissions and prevent such a drastic rise in temperature.

The Columbia Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will take Columbia to 100 percent carbon reduction by 2060. The plan outlines steps to meet goals involving energy, transportation, building construction, food, water and waste.

Janet Saidi / KBIA

This week, Intersection sits down with Alex George, a Columbia author, owner of Skylark Bookshop and founder of the Unbound Book Festival, which comes to Columbia this weekend.

Now in its fourth year, the festival has brought literary celebrities - like Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith and this year's keynote speaker George Sanders - as well as up-and-coming literary voices to mid-Missouri. 

Water and Light Suggests Pause to Install New Streetlights Downtown

18 hours ago

Columbia’s Downtown Community Improvement District is looking toward a brighter future. A public hearing will be held Monday at the regular meeting of the Columbia City Council to discuss the installation of nearly 100 new streetlights for the Downtown Street Lights Project.

The city installed the current acorn-style streetlights in 2001. As the years have gone by, certain fixtures have been replaced with a different streetlight style, causing a mismatch of lights in the area.

Fans of morels are salivating thanks to a wet and gradually warming spring in Missouri that promises a bountiful haul of the wild mushrooms.

Ron Cook, who tracks the wild mushrooms, is predicting an "epic morel season in Missouri."

"The conditions are really right for them," Cook said. "The season ahead will be one of our more fruitful ones than we've had in the last couple of years."

Columbia Regional Airport is back in business after closing last week over safety concerns.

Flights began arriving and departing from the airport on Sunday, although some scheduled flights from Chicago were delayed by weather.

The airport closed Tuesday after airlines canceled flights because of a "crown" at the intersection of two runways that felt like hitting a bump during takeoff and landing.

The inspection of a Mississippi River bridge in northeast Missouri is on hold for a few months after the discovery of the nest of a bird listed by the state as endangered.

Inspection of the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge at Hannibal was scheduled to begin April 8 until a peregrine falcon nest was found on the structure.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia School Board election winners Della Streaty-Wilhoit and Blake Willoughby were sworn into their positions on the board Monday night, after a handful of months campaigning and one victorious night celebrating.

Streaty-Wilhoit and Willoughby are replacing retiring members James Whitt and Jan Mees, who stepped down from their positions Monday. Whitt and Mees both acknowledged they experienced a learning curve when first placed on the board and had some advice for the incoming members.

What better rabbit hole is there to go down than one inspired by author Lewis Carroll? That's the thinking behind 'A.L.I.C.E.', MU Theatre Department's (very) original adaption of Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Guest: HAYLEY RUSHING | Also, BARBARA HOPPE invites everyone to tomorrow's 'Lunch and Learn' at the Grindstone Hy-Vee in Columbia. The topic this month is 'De-mystifying Medicare and Medicaid'. (4:33) April 15, 2019

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

A group of professors claim the nonprofit behind an effort to merge the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County vastly overestimated the plan's potential savings.

Webster University professor Jim Brasfield co-authored the report released Monday that says Better Together made critical errors in its tax revenue estimates and expense projections.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Brasfield and two University of Missouri-St. Louis professors claim the merger would only lead to tens of millions of dollars in annual deficits.

A new Missouri state rule aimed at protecting wildlife from lead poisoning means that hunters will no longer be allowed to use lead shot in additional conservation areas across the state.

Unlike bullets, shotgun shells are filled with small pellets that are often made of lead. St. Louis Public Radio reports that the Missouri Department of Conservation added 16 conservation areas where hunters must use nontoxic shot, bringing the total number to 37. The new regulations went into effect in March.

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

A debate over when the public school year should begin in Missouri is pitting tourism against education officials.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri House has approved a bill that would ban schools from starting earlier than 14 days before the first Monday in September.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Knight, a Republican from Lebanon, says starting school before late August is hurting the state's tourism industry. Knight's district includes areas near the Lake of the Ozarks.

More than 10,000 Missouri residents remained without power Sunday afternoon after a strong storm swept through the area overnight and damaged a historic cathedral in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports the storm generated wind gusts up to 60 mph early Sunday morning that caused the damage. Ameren said about 13,000 utility customers lacked power around 3 p.m. Sunday.

The wind blew off part of the roof of a Roman Catholic Cathedral in downtown. St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said the church will be repaired.

The church building dates back to 1831.

Officials at a Missouri nonprofit organization accused of bribing Arkansas lawmakers also illegally used the charity's money to funnel campaign contributions to Missouri politicians, according to a federal indictment.

Three former Republican Missouri lawmakers confirmed Friday to The Associated Press that they had participated in fundraisers and received campaign donations from people affiliated with the Springfield-based nonprofit Alternative Opportunities Inc., a provider of mental health and substance abuse services that has since merged with Preferred Family Healthcare Inc.

Kelly Kenoyer / KBIA

Missouri gained more than 550 hog farms between 2012 and 2017, bucking a decades-long trend of fewer and fewer hog farms each year- a 26 percent increase. The USDA Census of Agriculture revealed the surprising new trend, and showed growth in overall hog production as well.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, is criticizing the Missouri House for advancing legislation that would allow concealed firearms on college campuses. The Missouri House advances HB575 Monday, which will allow colleges to arm faculty and force public colleges to allow people to carry concealed handguns on campus.

Moms Demand Action has sent representatives to Jefferson City to testify in opposition of the bill and uses social media to drive calls to state legislators.

Poet/author WALTER BARGEN can find a compelling story anywhere, even in something as mundane as a trip to his dentist's office. April 12, 2019

AP Photo

Cuba has long been one of the world’s least connected countries. Cubans weren’t allowed to buy personal computers until about a decade ago, and didn’t have access to the Internet until 2013.

But things are slowly changing in the Communist country. In December, the state telecom company launched the country’s first mobile internet network. At the end of March, the country’s government signed a deal with Google that could significantly boost speeds on the country’s painfully slow network. President Miguel Diaz-Canel even opened a Twitter account.

Still, Cubans face big challenges in accessing information about the outside world.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Cuba’s slow march in to the digital age and what it means for the government’s efforts to control access to news and information – as well as the independent journalists who try to provide it.