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A Roe v. Wade challenge could be coming. Will it come from Missouri?

2 hours ago
Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KBIA

With multiple abortion-related bills on the table for the 2019 session, some are raising questions about the possibility of a future legal challenge or an eventual Supreme Court hearing.

“In order to get Roe versus Wade changed, we need to push it further than we’ve pushed it in the past,” Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, said.

Actors KAYLEE CORNELL and HAILEY LENTZ tell us about Christian Fellowship School's production of 'We Found Love and An Exquisite Set of Porcelain Figurines Aboard the SS Farndale Avenue'. According to Hailey, "everything goes wrong" with the play within the play; "it's very amusing." Also, (3:32) KATE GRAY says the Montminy Art Gallery's 2019 calendar is set. Up first is Gladys Swan's 'The Map of the Invisible: Playing with Color & Movement'. Experience this "joyous show" for yourself now through March 31st at the Boone County History and Culture Center. February 22, 2019

Regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Columbia’s three school board candidates took to the stage Thursday night to discuss the biggest issues facing the city’s school district. The Columbia Missouri National Education Association hosted the forum and asked questions about equity, teacher salaries, guns in schools, and safety.

Former social scientist Della Streaty-Willhoit emphasized her desire to reduce the achievement gap between black and white students in Columbia.

Moderators asked the candidates about the recent redistricting which will cause Battle High School to have 56 percent of enrolled students on the free and reduced lunch program, and reduce Rock Bridge high school to just 18 percent. Free and reduced lunch is a strong indicator of poverty rates in schools.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Judges could ignore mandatory minimum sentencing laws for some nonviolent offenders under a bill passed Thursday by Missouri's Republican-led House, a move that's part of a broader push to revamp the state's criminal justice system.

The bill , which passed the House 140-17, wouldn't allow for reduced sentences in cases of violent crimes, sexual crimes against minors or crimes involving guns.

But the sponsor, Republican Rep. Cody Smith, told colleagues on the House floor that it could reduce the state's prison population and would give judges the flexibility to differentiate between "the folks we're scared of and the folks we're mad at."

The columns in front of Jesse Hall at the University of Missouri.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

A bipartisan group of Missouri lawmakers is banding together to advocate for the University of Missouri System.

State senators and representatives on Thursday announced they're forming the University of Missouri Caucus.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, of Columbia, and Kansas City Democratic Rep. Greg Razer are leading the group.

The lawmakers say they'll push for higher funding and other legislative priorities for the University of Missouri System.

(Photo: FilmMoment/Jesse van Venrooij)

In the first of a two-part series on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, Global Journalist examines the issue in the Netherlands – the first country to legalize euthanasia.

Over the past decade the number of Dutch choosing to have a doctor end their lives voluntarily has climbed to nearly 7,000 per year, or about 4 percent of all deaths in the country.

This includes physically healthy people with dementia and psychological disorders that haven’t responded to treatment. Though euthanasia retains broad public support in the country, as the range of people eligible has expanded, so too has criticism of the process in which it’s carried out.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the Dutch experience and what lessons it holds for other countries grappling with physician-assisted suicide.

In his first feature film, “No data plan,” True/False alum Miko Revereza eschews a faceless off-screen narrator in favor of a voiceless, subtitled one, along with interviews of friends and family. “No data plan” reinvents the road trip movie as a film where the bulk of the action happens off-screen.

Onemic is a local open-mic session that gathers once a month at Cafe Berlin Downtown. Drawing people from many facets of life into one room, to listen to the many songs and poems that reveal deeply held secrets and feelings. Reporter, Brandon Eigenman has the story. 

Leaders of a central Missouri town are trying to stop a fired police chief from getting his job back.

The Westboro Baptist Church will be coming to Columbia on Monday Feb. 25 to protest outside Stephens College.

They cite Stephens’ policy of admitting non-binary and transgender women.

The church has a permit to protest on public property around Stephens College’s campus, but not on it.

The Columbia Police Department will have an officer monitoring the situation.

Community Relations Specialist Jefferey Pitts emphasized that CPD will be respecting everyone’s first amendment rights.

Sidney Steele / KBIA

Rural healthcare providers and educators from across the country gathered in Columbia today to discuss techniques for improving care in their communities. The National Rural Health Association held its Rural Medical Educators Conclave. The theme was “Engagement and Innovation.”

Sure, it's still February, but it's never too soon to start planning for which of the Columbia Art League's many summer camp options your child should attend. Maybe try them all! Guest: LOUISE SARVER | Also, WALLY PFEFFER and SCOTT JOFFE invite everyone to come watch basketball, win prizes and eat pizza at the Mizzou Alumni Association's Founder's Day luncheon this Saturday in Columbia. RSVP encouraged. (4:18) February 21, 2019

Rocheport Bridge Slated for Repair in Spring 2020

Feb 21, 2019

The Rocheport Bridge on I-70 is slated for an upgrade.

The bridge was originally built in 1960 and it shows. MoDOT plans on shutting down parts of the bridge in the spring of next year to make repairs. MODOT Area engineer Mike Schopp said the salt and chemicals put on the bridge due to recent winter storms are deteriorating the paint and steel.

"You have deterioration of the steel structural elements. We know we’ve got joints that need work and we know we’ve got structural steel members that need work. Now the bridge is still safe, but we know that even doing this rehab project that that bridge only has about ten years’ worth of life left in it."

Meiying Wu

The City of Columbia released a city manager search survey Wednesday in an effort to increase community input. In the survey, citizens will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on what qualities they would like to see in their next community leader.

The survey will help focus City Council’s search for former City Manager Mike Matthes’ replacement.

Margrace Buckler is Columbia’s Human Resources Director. She said the survey gives citizens to pinpoint what professional experience the city will look for.

Jeremy Vessey / Unsplash

Missouri lawmakers have reintroduced a proposal that would allow judges to order poachers to pay restitution fees ranging from $375 to $5,000.

Two identical bills filed in the Missouri House and Senate could gain more traction among lawmakers this year considering three recent cases in which elk were illegally killed, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Under the proposed legislation, the fees vary depending on whether poachers were convicted for illegally killing deer, elk, black bears, turkeys or paddlefish. Deer poachers could face fines between $1,000 and $2,000, while fines for poaching wild turkey range from $375 to $750. The restitution money would be added to the state's education fund.


Possessing and dealing the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and certain date-rape drugs would be a felony under a bill Missouri House members advanced on Wednesday.

The measure would make it a first- or second-degree felony to possess or traffic fentanyl — which can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin — and derivatives such as the even more powerful carfentanil. Penalties range from three years to life in prison, depending on the amount of the drug.

More than 950 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017 in Missouri, according to data from Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services.

"The opioid epidemic has been something that has plagued every town (and) every city across this state and across our nation," bill sponsor Rep. Nick Schroer told colleagues on the House floor Wednesday. "We're finding ways to combat the opioid epidemic and the very powerful drug of fentanyl."

City Council Creates Tobacco Retailer License

Feb 20, 2019

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

Feb 20, 2019
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 Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News. 

"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.