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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.


Seth Bodine/KBIA

After months working to comply with state regulators, the only pig museum in the United States is open again for business. As KBIA’s Seth Bodine reports, the museum's owner dedicated herself to agricultural education after some unexpected life events.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Join Anti-crime Effort

Apr 11, 2019

Five attorneys from the Missouri Attorney General's office are now turning their attention to violent crime in St. Louis, and a few more will soon take on similar tasks in Missouri's two other largest cities.

A swearing-in ceremony was Thursday for assistant attorneys general who will work as special assistant U.S. attorneys in St. Louis. It is part of the "Safer Streets Initiative," launched by Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Jensen in January.

MU to Get New, $30 Million Nursing School Building

Apr 11, 2019

The University of Missouri Board of Curators have approved a $30 million plan to replace the Sinclair School of Nursing building on MU’s campus.

"(Sinclair School of Nursing) Dean Thompson explained how the new building will help recruit and retain students," said Curator Julia Brncic, chair of the finance committee.

The University of Missouri is hosting a campuswide open house this Saturday, April 13, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the MU community. This is the first ever Show Me Mizzou Day and will have events that range from academics to athletics.

In total, there are more than 100 activities which will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m. These events include “Saturday Morning Science,” a special presentation from Nobel Laureate and MU professor emeritus George Smith, tours of various academic facilities and a peak into the Ellis Library rare books vault.

Columbia Board of Education 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.

www.1000bookstoread.com

KBIA's Lee Wilkins talks to Jim Mustich, author of "1000 Books To Read: A Life-Changing List." He'll be a guest at the upcoming Unbound Book Festival. 

Phoenix Programs board president GREG DeLINE's passion for helping those with addiction issues stems from an unfortunate, alcohol-related car accident that took the life of his stepson. Hear his story. Also, Spirit of Excellence co-founder TAYLORE JOHNSON tells us about this almost-decade old non-profit that teaches young ladies not only how to dance and cheer, but core values like teamwork and leadership. (5:17) April 11, 2019

Kris Husted / KBIA

A collaboration between several state offices is garnering international attention for its work using geographical information systems, or G.I.S. to help first responders. 

As part of a collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Office of Administration, the Office of Geospatial Information develops in-depth maps using different factors, such as weather and river gauges, to give first responders a look at what is going on in emergency situations.


Afternoon Newscast for April 10, 2019

Apr 10, 2019

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

This week on Discover Nature, listen for wild turkeys gobbling in Missouri woods and grasslands.

This popular gamebird, once a contender for our national bird, makes many other vocal sounds, as well, often described as purring, yelping, and putting.  

Adult males, called Toms, are large and dark, with a bare, red, white, and blue head, long legs, and bronzy feathers. Males and some females have a tuft of hair-like bristles, called a beard, in the middle of the breast. Females are smaller and less iridescent than males. 

Jamie Hobbs / KBIA

Dr. Andrea Benjamin is a political science professor at The University of Missouri whose research focuses on local elections and how community organizations can influence them. She joined us in-studio to analyze last week’s municipal election. She says Columbia is unique because of the level of civil engagement promoted by its citizens and public officials.

You can view the full interview below:

Columbia Center For Urban Agriculture

KBIA's Lee Wilkins talks to Adam Saunders of Columbia Urban Agriculture Center about the new Columbia Agriculture Park. They discuss the events for the official opening, the purpose of the Agriculture Park including being the home of the Columbia Farmer's Market, and future plans for the site. 

Health psychologist LYNN ROSSY says, "you can't take 8-10 hours of your day and not be healthy and expect to make up for it after you leave." If you've got a job that requires you to remain at a desk, Lynn has some simple tips and tricks to keep your blood circulating! April 10, 2019

The Missouri Senate on Tuesday debated Governor Parson’s transportation proposal, which would allocate 350 million dollars to repair 250 bridges across the state, as well as the alternative presented by Republicans in the House.

House members have approved a plan to allocate $100 million dollars a year for the next four years to repair bridges around the state.

KBIA/file photo

Senators are considering making cuts to the $29 billion budget passed by the house in late March as revenue reports are coming in lower than projected.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday to review the budget line by line. Senator Denny Hoskins proposed saving money by eliminating around 200 state full-time positions that haven’t been filled for over six months.

He gave one example where cutting nine positions would save about $300,000, which is about 20 percent of the total state positions that have been vacant for six months or more.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

A bill advancing in the Missouri House would require out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on online sales to Missourians.

Lawmakers voted 78-72 on Tuesday to give the measure initial approval.

The bill follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that gave states the ability to collect sales taxes from out-of-state retailers who sell items to their residents.

A judge has rejected a Democratic candidate's effort to question U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley over his handling of public records while he was Missouri attorney general.

Attorney Elad Gross, a candidate for Missouri attorney general, is suing Gov. Mike Parson'sadministration for all communication between the governor's office and a nonprofit that supported former Gov. Eric Greitens. He requested a subpoena so he could question Hawley because he enforced the state's open records laws while he was attorney general.

Regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including:


Graves Seeks Tax-Filing Extension for Flood Victims

Apr 9, 2019
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri is trying to give those affected by flooding in Missouri a reprieve from the approaching tax filing deadline.

Graves announced Monday that he sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service seeking a delay of the deadline for filing returns or a delay of the late filing penalty for those affected by flooding.

Holt and Atchison counties in northwest Missouri were among the hardest hit by the flooding along the Missouri River.

Columbia School Board Updates Five District Policies at New Members' First Meeting

Apr 9, 2019
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Approval of 2019-20 capital improvement projects headlined the Columbia School Board meeting Monday. Two newcomers took their places on the seven-member board in the wake of last week's election, and a new president was elected. 

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