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Missouri School of Journalism

Lee Wilkins leads a panel conversation about how the climate for reporters in the world and U.S. is affecting how we get our news in Mid-Missouri. Guests include Rudi Keller of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Randy Reeves of KOMU-FM, and Ruby Bailey of the Columbia Missourian.

KBIA's Lee Wilkins talks with Kelly Stockton of the Human Performance Institute. They discuss Kelly's program that teaches boxing for patients with Parkinson's Disease, and the benefits of the program. 

Public safety officials are preparing for cold temperatures and expected snowfall of up to six inches throughout much of the state tonight and Sunday. And Mid-Missouri is under a winter storm watch from Saturday midnight through Sunday afternoon, with three to four inches of snow and dangerous travel conditions possible in central Missouri. 

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

MU Health Care's Safety Rating Drops to One Star

Mar 1, 2019
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has dropped MU Health Care's quality and safety rating to one star of five, from a previous three-star rating.

The decline will result in MU Health Care losing 1 percent of its federal Medicare payments in fiscal year 2019, according to an email sent to hospital staff Thursday by Jonathan Curtright, MU Health Care's chief executive officer.

The payment reduction is based on data collected from 2014 to 2017. The rating reduction is based on performance from 2014 through 2018.

The MU Women*s Leadership Conference emphasizes diversity and inclusivity, starting with its name. Executive Director Jordan Weinberg said replacing the apostrophe in “Women’s” with an asterisk reflects the theme of the conference: More to Learn.

“It means there's always more to something than the surface level,” Weinberg said. “Historically, our conference has been kind of geared towards a certain type of woman. We really wanted to emphasize our commitment to being more inclusive.”

The Hallsville School District will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her daughter committed suicide after being bullied.

Elizabeth Overstreet sued Hallsville in August 2018 over the death of 13-year-old Rylie Wagner. She alleged school administrators did nothing to help her daughter, who she said was bullied at school because of her sexual orientation, clothes and other characteristics. Rylie committed suicide in April 2017.

 Missouri officials say the state is "on track" to soon begin offering licenses and identifications that comply with stricter federal identification requirements under the Real ID Act.

Sarah Nguyen

Columbia artist Sarah Nguyen has never attended the True/False Film Fest, and her first experience will certainly be a memorable one.

Her installation “Break Into Blossom” will be featured at the 2019 festival. Nguyen, who has lived in Columbia for less than a year, said she feels very honored to be part of the festival.

“This festival has so much weight in my mind,” she said. “I'm just psyched. I can't wait to meet the students and see the parades and, of course, see all of the other art installations and then the films.”

The Salvation Army's need for volunteers is year-round! LORI BENSON says "we're always famous for ringing the bells at Christmastime, and then people kinda stop and don't think past that." Additional guest: CARMON CAMP | Also, CB CHASTAIN from MU's Veterinary Health Center tells us about a pet food recall going on now! (3:49) March 1, 2019

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Governor Mike Parson toured three bridges in Mid-Missouri Thursday to promote his $351 million bond package to repair 250 bridges.

Parson said infrastructure, specifically bridges, and workforce development are his two top priorities this year. 

“As we keep traveling across the state of Missouri we realize that there’s some serious problems with our infrastructure in the state and that we have to face the fact that we have to figure out how we’re going to deal with this.”

Missourians age 25 and older would be eligible for a new full-ride college scholarship to study high-demand fields under a bill passed by the state House.

House members voted 101-49 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson is calling for the scholarship. The goal is to help older adults become more skilled and hopefully get higher-paying jobs.

AP Photo

On this edition of Global Journalist, the second in our two-part series on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. For this installment, our focus shifts to North America, where Canada legalized physician-assisted suicide in 2016 after a contentious debate.

Meanwhile in the U.S., a number of state legislatures are considering joining the District of Columbia and seven other states that have legalized the practice.

Former NPR talk show host Diane Rehm, New York Times' reporter Catherine Porter and Catholic bioethicist Moira McQueen weigh-in on the debate.

The True/False Film Festival is here and KBIA has been talking with filmmakers and artists.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman spoke with the director of Mike Wallace is Here, a documentary that examines the legacy of the legendary 60 minutes anchor.

Director Avi Belkin says he wanted to examine the life of a man who shaped broadcast news today. 

Emelie Mahdavian is the writer, editor and producer of this year's True Life Fund recipient "Midnight Traveler," showing at True False 2019.  The film is directed by film-maker Hassan Fazili, who documented his own family's  journey from Afghanistan as they fled the Taliban. Fazili shot the entire film on three cell phones. In this conversation, host Allison Coffelt talks with Mahdavian about the film's revelations on the asylum process, the nature of family and the elusiveness of happy endings. 

State Senate Debates Concealed Carry

Feb 28, 2019

A bill before the Senate on Thursday could allow for concealed carry of weapons in places including bars, polling locations, day cares and college campuses.

There are currently 17 different types of locations in Missouri that prohibit concealed carry of a weapon. Senator Eric Burlison, the bill’s sponsor, said citizens should have the ability to protect themselves when a situation in many of these restricted locations becomes dangerous.

Families earning $60,000 or less are experiencing the greatest impact from state officials’ confusion over how to calculate income tax withholdings.

Joel Walters, director of the state Department of Revenue, said during Wednesday’s hearing that based on almost 1 million returns that the department has processed, “the average refund is down about $78, and the average tax due is up about $65.”

Returns claiming a tax refund have gone down by around 68,000 compared to the amount last year, Walters said.

Musicians THOM HOWARD and KATIE SMYTH perform 'Blackbird' and 'Tico Tico' on guitar and flute. Find out more about the duo at: February 28, 2019

Columns and Jesse Hall
Adam Procter / Flickr

The University of Missouri will be establishing a National Center for Rural Mental Health, the university announced today. The center will be funded by a $10 million grant from the US Department of Education.

The center will benefit rural schools in Missouri, Virginia and Montana. Staff and researchers hope to help at least 110 rural schools across those states by creating a database of information and provide a training system to support the mental health needs of their students.

Wendy Reinke is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the lead investigator on the grant. She says one important step is applying gathered information and applying it to rural schools.

“These rural schools are unique in so many ways and I think figuring out sort of what we know works now in some of our suburban school districts and how we can map them, onto the challenges faced by rural schools, that have unique circumstances, is an important next step.”

Law enforcement officials say it will take several years to fully clear Missouri's backlog of untested rape kits.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said on Wednesday he has named former Jasper County Judge Keithley Williams as the coordinator for his office's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the project is funded by a $2.8 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Missouri House Communications

Missouri's Republican-led House on Wednesday took steps to try to ensure most abortions would be outlawed in the state should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.

MDA to Provide Grants for Specialty Crop Farmers

Feb 27, 2019

Through its specialty crop block grant program, the Missouri Department of Agriculture is looking to give money to entities committed to enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state.

Specialty crops are tree nuts, small-scale fruits and vegetables: the antithesis of large commodity crops.

MDA will consider proposals from a wide array of entities such as universities, individual producers and non-profits.

Grants manager Liz Roberts says one of the main goals of the grants is to bring the industry together.

Greta Serrin

Stephens College hosted an event with local community leaders Monday night for the last week of Black History Month.

The panel included Columbia and Kansas City leaders who spoke about what Black History Month means to Missouri and to themselves.

The panelists included Inclusive Impact Institute Director Nikki McGruder, First Ward City Councilman Clyde Ruffin, MU black studies professor April Langley and Stephens trustee Anita Parran.

Journalists in Australia covered the sex abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell for months, not sharing word of his December conviction until this week. Why the gag order? And, why are more than 100 journalists facing potential jail time for contempt or their work? Also, updates in the cases of Jussie Smollett, R. Kelly and the Alabama publisher who wrote an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to resume night rides and lynchings. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

This week on Discover Nature, turkey vultures begin to return to Missouri.


These large, black-bodied birds, sometimes called buzzards, are actually related to storks and flamingos. Turkey vultures have featherless, wrinkled, red heads, and are voiceless, except for a few hisses and groans they use to communicate with each other. 

Their bare heads and fee get cold and damp at night, so they begin their days by sunbathing to warm up. 


Thinking Out Loud co-host Lee Wilkins visits with Ben Kreitner, Coordinator of Waste Management for the City of Columbia. They discuss recycling and how it works in Columbia, changes to what can and cannot be recycled, and where the system can improve in the future.