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UM To Introduce University-Led Rural Broadband Plan Wednesday

26 minutes ago

The University of Missouri System will introduce a plan Wednesday to bring high-speed, affordable broadband internet to rural parts of the state.

A public webinar, titled "Bringing Broadband to a Missouri Community," will introduce the university-led road map that will bring broadband to Bollinger County in southeast Missouri, according to a Monday news release. The plan will also serve as a model for other rural parts of the state.

City Dumps Curbside Recycling Collection Indefinitely

10 hours ago

The city of Columbia will refrain from collecting recyclables at curbside until further notice, given continued staffing challenges and the declining markets for the materials.

The city’s collection of recyclables has been erratic in recent weeks, in part because some trash and recycling collectors have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The difficulty in retaining staff, however, is a challenge that has plagued the city for the past few years despite significant wage increases approved by the Columbia City Council.

This week on Discover Nature, female coyotes wean their pups.

Keep an eye and an ear out, especially at dawn and dusk, for these canine scavengers. 

Coyotes are nocturnal but are also seen in daylight.  They live singly, in male-female pairs, or in family groups and use complex expressions and postures to communicate. 

They mate in early spring and birth litters of 5 to 7 pups in late April or May. 

By late June both parents begin teaching their young to hunt and behave as adults. 

From the history of pain to the use of water picks, the dental-related talking points covered here are wide-ranging in this first studio interview with DR. PHILIP BATSON, DDS, Columbia Healthy Smiles. July 7, 2020

Commentary: Two Party System (Part 1)

23 hours ago

One of my favorite lectures to my students at Columbia College is about the stability and durability of the two-party system in America.  I draw a diagram across three whiteboards that dramatically demonstrates this.  It is two very long, almost uninterrupted parallel lines that begin in 1789 with the ratification of the Constitution and end with the present day.


Police say 17 people were arrested during a protest outside the Florissant Police Department, but police and protesters disagree over the actions that led to the arrests.

Police say the arrests came Sunday night after protesters blocked a street, damaged property, threw objects at officers and refused orders to disperse. But some protesters say police pepper sprayed and beat peaceful protesters without provocation. The Rev. Darryl Gray, who helped organize the protest, says police rushed nonviolent protesters and shot tear gas at medics trying to help injured protesters.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

The Columbia city council passed an ordinance requiring people in the city to use masks. The ordinance passed six to one and takes effect this Friday at 5 p.m. It requires everyone age ten and up to use a face mask any time they might come into contact with someone they don’t live with, with a handful of exemptions.

People with medical conditions preventing the use of a mask aren’t required to wear one, and there are other exemptions for outdoor activities, among others.

UM to Introduce University-Led Rural Broadband Plan Wednesday

Jul 6, 2020

The University of Missouri System will introduce a plan Wednesday to bring high speed, affordable broadband internet to rural parts of the state.

MU Taps Maryland Administrator as Next Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Jul 6, 2020

A University of Maryland administrator and head of fundraising will be MU's next vice chancellor for advancement, the university announced Monday.

Jackie Lewis, who serves as Vice President of University Relations for the College Park campus, will begin at MU on Aug. 12, according to a Monday campus email from Interim MU Chancellor Mun Choi.

MU Police Name Internim Chief Ahead of Schwandt's Retirement in August

Jul 6, 2020

MU Police Chief Doug Schwandt is retiring after 20 years in the position, Vice Chancellor for Operations Gary Ward announced Monday. Brian Weimer, major of operations with MU Police, will serve as interim chief effective Aug. 3.

Weimer, who joined the department in 1992, currently oversees the patrol division, the crime prevention unit, the investigation division and staff services, according to a Monday news release. He is also responsible for, among other duties, the selection and promotion of officers, officer training and investigating the department's internal affairs.

Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services

In five of the 10 Columbia city budgets starting in the 2010 fiscal year, local leaders cut funding for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human services. The city spent more on public health a decade ago than it does now, with funding for the department dropping from just over $8 million in 2010 to just under $7.8 million in 2020. 

The drop in funding is consistent with health departments of similar size across the country, which have seen a 14 percent reduction in per capita spending over the last decade, according to a study by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).  The overall public health workforce declined by 17 percent over the same period, while the national population increased 8 percent. 

It's been a rough 2020 for a lot people, and author JOE DILLARD is no exception - except that he gets to claim a round or two of bladder surgery on top of everything else that's going on in the world. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Joe says he kept his medical team in stitches the whole time...something about seeing yours truly's face and not that proverbial light at the end tunnel. July 6, 2020

Hundreds of protesters have made a peaceful return to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defense of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support.

The Missouri Democratic Party’s chairwoman is stepping aside until at least September.

The Kansas City Star reported that Jean Peters Baker announced this week that she’s stepping back from her state party duties because of recent developments in her job as Jackson County prosecutor. The announcement did not specify those developments, but homicides in Kansas City have reached historic levels. Missouri Democratic Party Vice-Chairman Clem Smith will become acting chairman.

Saturday's Black Lives Matter Protest Attracts A Church Crowd

Jul 6, 2020

Around 100 people gathered at 5 p.m. Saturday on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail for "Let Freedom Ring: A March for Black Lives."

Brittany Hughes, the regional organizer for Missouri Faith Voices, one of the event's sponsors, said this event’s appeal may look different from other similar protests due to the faith-based nature of the protest. The event was organized by several local churches.

Boone County Health Department Scrambling To Keep Up With Contact Tracing

Jul 6, 2020

As mid-Missouri experiences a rise in coronavirus cases, the Health Department is struggling to keep up with contact tracing.

The county reported 39 cases Thursday, the highest number in a single day during the entire pandemic. Missouri surpassed 1,000 deaths Tuesday.

“Our contact tracing efforts have quickly become overwhelmed, and positivity rates continue to climb,” Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, said in a news release Thursday.

UPDATE: Shooting Early Sunday Kills Two, Injures Three

Jul 5, 2020

An overnight shooting Sunday in east Columbia left two people dead and three injured.

Tara L. Knedler, 38, and Ri'ajauhna, 11, both of Columbia, were pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital following the shooting, Police Chief Geoff Jones said in a Sunday news conference. The 11-year-old's last name was withheld per the family's request.

Saturday's Black Lives Matter Protest Attracts a Church Crowd

Jul 5, 2020

Around 100 people gathered at 5 p.m. Saturday on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail for "Let Freedom Ring: A March for Black Lives."

Brittany Hughes, the regional organizer for Missouri Faith Voices, one of the event's sponsors, said this event’s appeal may look different from other similar protests due to the faith-based nature of the protest. The event was organized by several local churches.

Feiyu Su / Columbia Missourian

Nearly 100 people gathered Saturday morning at the Boone County Courthouse to honor veterans and show support for law enforcement officers.

The “Back the Flag, Back the Blue” rally came in the wake of at least a month of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Columbia and across the country protesting racism and police brutality.

“With the Fourth of July, it’s a great time to thank our veterans for the freedoms that we enjoy,” said John Martin, organizer of the rally. “But then also, we really wanted to show support for our law enforcement.”

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including:


Volunteers Raise Flags Before Independence Day

Jul 3, 2020

About 50 volunteers raised 497 flags Thursday for the annual Avenue of Flags at the Centralia City Cemetery, according to a news release.

The flags are provided through donations and represent veterans from the area who have died. The community has guidelines to determine eligibility.

Participants recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sung the National Anthem before raising flags. Flags will be displayed through the Independence Day holiday and are to be lowered Monday.

Possible Public Exposure to COVID-19 At Downtown Bar Room 38

Jul 3, 2020

The Health Department is warning of a possible exposure to COVID-19 for anyone who visited Room 38 from June 22-25.

People who were at the bar during those days should monitor themselves for symptoms, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services said in a news release.

"The possible exposure resulted from crowded conditions and an inability to identify all possible close contacts," the release stated.

Missouri Allocates $50 Million From CARES Act To Improve Broadband

Jul 3, 2020

Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that $50 million will be used to improve high-speed internet across Missouri.

The money, which comes from the federal CARES Act, will be specifically allocated toward education and telehealth resources that have become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development estimates that 300,000 Missouri households, 195,000 K-12 students and 54,000 businesses and farms do not have access to high-speed internet. 

Treece Says That 'If We Want To Keep Columbia's Economy Open, Wear A Mask'

Jul 3, 2020

Mayor Brian Treece spoke candidly about a proposed ordinance the Columbia City Council will consider Monday that would require people to wear face masks in public and private settings where they are in contact with people who are not members of their households.

Treece began the news conference Thursday with some grim statistics about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Boone County. He noted that the first 100 cases in the county took 55 days to accumulate. The next 100 took 26 days. The third one hundred, just 14 days.

Positivity Rates Climb As Boone County Reports 39 COVID-19 Cases Thursday

Jul 3, 2020

Boone County crossed the 400 mark for COVID-19 cases with 39 new cases reported Thursday — a new daily high.

The previous daily high occurred Tuesday with 25 new cases.

The rate of Boone County residents testing positive has increased to 12% this week, according to a city news release. Last week the county reported an 8.2% rate of positive tests.

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