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City Council Creates Tobacco Retailer License

5 hours ago

The Columbia City Council voted Monday to amend Chapter 11 of the city code as it pertains to violating tobacco selling laws and to establish a tobacco retailer license.

Twelve people spoke at the City Council meeting in support of the amendment. Most supported a required license for tobacco retailers and urged the council members to institute higher fines for retailers that sell tobacco to people under the legal limit of 21.

Kevin Everett, an associate professor at MU, spoke in support of the amendment.

House Committee Discusses Abortion Bill for Informed Consent

5 hours ago
Missouri House Communications

Missouri abortion advocates suffered a blow Tuesday morning as lawmakers voted forward two anti-abortion bills and discussed another on informed consent.

The House Children and Families Committee discussed House Bill 540 on Tuesday, which would mandate that physicians conduct a risk factor evaluation on women who come to them seeking an abortion. This would require physicians to screen for and discuss possible complications.

Missouri Senate Communications

Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri want to end a tax break for low-income senior citizens who live in rental housing.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Republican Sen. Wayne Wallingford is sponsoring a measure to make the so-called "circuit breaker" tax credit only available to homeowners during the 2019 tax year. The proposal would save the state about $52 million, marking the latest attempt by the GOP-led Legislature to limit benefits for the elderly and disabled.

Kansas City Zoo officials say a polar bear at the zoo has been euthanized because she was suffering from liver cancer.

The officials said in a written statement that the bear, Bam Bam, was euthanized Tuesday night after tests showed she had untreatable liver cancer.

Zoo officials said Bam Bam, who was 31, was healthy until recently. Preliminary tests done this week showed her liver was failing and further tests confirmed the illness.

The bear came to Kansas City last spring from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, where she was born in November 1987.

An Alabama #newspaper publisher ran an editorial suggesting the best way to stop Washington politicians from raising taxes is for the Ku Klux Klan to ‘ride again,’ suggesting lynching as a solution. He’s been given a chance to walk those statements back, and only doubled down on them. Also, rapid developments in the investigation into attack claims by ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett, how a governor’s State of the State address turned into a story about a dress and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s new Marquee Network. From Missouri School of Journalismi professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News. KBIA 91.3 FM

"So somebody says, John, why use the Community Foundation instead of, open up a donor-advised fund with Vanguard or Schwab or charitable. And one of the main reasons is, number one, you get personal service here locally; but secondly, any fees that are assessed on that kind of work is plowed right back into the community for more good non-profit work." -- John Baker, Executive Director of Community Foundation of Central Missouri   February 20, 2019

Governor Mike Parson has proclaimed the week of February 16th to the 23rd as National FFA Week in Missouri. FFA, or the Future Farmers of America, is an organization devoted to promoting agricultural education in public schools.

In a ceremony at the state capitol today, Governor Parson, who raises cattle, emphasized the importance of agriculture for the Missouri Economy. He told the more than 80 FFA members that they were the future of the industry, and the future of the state.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Missouri congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is renewing her calls for the state legislature to create a prescription drug monitoring program.

Hartzler spoke with hospital administrators from Boone Hospital Center Tuesday about their work addressing the opioid crisis.

Boone County participates in the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program but Missouri doesn’t have a statewide monitoring program.

Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri want to end a tax break for low-income senior citizens who live in rental housing.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Republican Sen. Wayne Wallingford is sponsoring a measure to make the so-called "circuit breaker" tax credit only available to homeowners during the 2019 tax year. The proposal would save the state about $52 million, marking the latest attempt by the GOP-led Legislature to limit benefits for the elderly and disabled.

A segment of the Keystone pipeline that was shut down in early February when a leak was discovered in Missouri is now back in service.

Terry Cunha of pipeline operator TransCanada Corp. says the segment from Steele City, Nebraska, to Patoka, Illinois, was restarted Thursday morning.

Courtesy Democrat-Reporter

An Alabama newspaper publisher ran an editorial suggesting the best way to stop Washington politicians from raising taxes is for the Ku Klux Klan to ‘ride again,’ suggesting lynching as a solution. He’s been given a chance to walk those statements back, and only doubled down on them.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

House Democrat Questions African-American Representation in State Agencies

Feb 19, 2019

As numerous high-ranking officials presented budget recommendations to a House committee this year, state Rep. Tommie Pierson Jr. noticed one key theme.

Not a single one of them was African-American.

“And the number that I’ve been trying to keep a tally of is, how many African-Americans have presented this $28 billion Missouri budget? And that number is zero,” said Pierson, D-St. Louis.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Proposition B, otherwise known as Raise Up Missouri, was certified on November 6, 2018. The ballot initiative changed Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60, and it is set to increase gradually each year until it reaches $12 in 2023.

Last week the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services released their 2018 Community Health Assessment. The assessment found larger amounts of racial disparities exist in the county when it comes to health care and wealth.

The study revealed white Boone County residents make about $53,000 a year, while black residents make only $30,000.

Education is one of the largest factors behind the gap. Black residents have the lowest four year graduation rates from 2013 to 2017, and are nearly 10 percent behind white residents.

As temperatures freeze and thaw in late winter, one of the sweetest harvests awaits in the Missouri woods.  This week on Discover Nature, tap a tree, and collect a treat.

 

Freezing and thawing temperatures cause increased sap-flow in living trees. By drilling a small hole in the side of the tree, you can harvest its sap, and cook that down to make syrup. 

 

'The Every 28 Hours Plays' gets its name and its theme from the (contested) statistic that every 28 hours, a black person is killed by the police or vigilante. Director CLAIRE SYLER says it's a somber theme with an important message, and it's running this weekend only at the Rhynsburger Theatre on the MU campus. Also, JEFF CHINN stops by to remind us that tax season is here! If you need help, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is providing its services free of charge now through April 15 - no reservations needed! (4:53) February 19, 2019

The Columbia Police Officers Association announced its support for the reelection of Mayor Brian Treece Monday afternoon. Endorsements came from association president Alan Mitchell and former Columbia police captain Zim Schwartze. Schwartze travelled from Southeast Missouri to support Treece and the growth of community policing, which she says the city has gotten away from.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

A proposal to expand a Missouri tax incentive program for businesses has passed the state House but is meeting pushback in the Senate.

A bill to allow the Department of Economic Development to dole out tax credits to businesses sooner passed the House 136-29 on Monday.

A similar proposal is stalled in the Senate.

Commentary: The 2020 Presidential Race

Feb 18, 2019

President Trump gave his State of the Trump Administration speech recently. As usual, I only listened so as to avoid the visual distractions. Evidently, I missed some cool stuff: Speaker Pelosi’s walrus clap and the female Democratic representatives decked out in white. The optics are the show but the words are the content, and President Trump’s words were the opener to his 2020 reelection campaign.

UPDATE: After the story below was published, the event was cancelled due to expected winter weather there is no information yet on whether the event will be rescheduled.

Candidates running for the Columbia School Board plan to answer questions about special education at a public forum Tuesday evening.

The forum, run by the Columbia chapter of the Special Education Parent Teacher Association, will focus on the concerns of special needs students, teachers and parents.

MU Allows Instructors to Hold Class on Reading Day

Feb 18, 2019
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Winter weather has caused MU to close campus several days this semester, leaving students and professors with less in-class discussion and learning. Reading day, a day at the end of the semester put aside to allow students to study for final exams, may be used to make up for missed classes.

MU spokesperson Christian Basi said the Faculty Council met to discuss how to make up for the lost class time and voted to allow instructors to utilize Reading Day.

Columbia City Council to Vote on Whether to Support 'Conversion Therapy' Ban

Feb 18, 2019
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council members will vote on a resolution at their regular meeting Monday night deciding whether to support a Missouri bill that would ban “conversion therapy.”

The resolution would express “support for HB 516 to prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with a person under the age of 18,” according to the resolution in the council’s agenda.

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