Alec Stutson | KBIA

Alec Stutson

Frank Vess Portell family. The woman with the guitar is Nellie Hopkins Portell. She is wearing button shoes, and has the Gibson Girl hairstyle. The man with the fiddle is Francis "Brazz" Politte. His descendants are known as the Brazz Polittes.
Courtesy of Kent Bone.

French settlers colonized southeast Missouri over 200 years ago. And with them came the French language and culture.

They mined the lead belt region and created an insular community in Old Mines revolving around house parties, music and church.

Over time they developed their very own dialect called “Paw Paw” French that was used well into the 20th century. But then it started to disappear.

Hello, and welcome to The Check-In Podcast! Now available every Wednesday wherever you get your favorite podcasts. It's an opportunity for you to revisit or catch up on content from our live broadcasts. This week, we’re launching with multiple episodes to help you settle in. We hope you enjoy…and subscribe! And if you’d like to Check-In with us,  please leave us a message at 833-560-1329. Hosted by Janet Saidi, The Check-In brings the community together for conversation Thursdays at noon CT. Crisis brought us here, but justice and democracy keep us here…for you.

Republican incumbent Cheri Toalson Reisch has secured her seat as the Missouri State representative for House District 44. Toalson Reisch defeated her Democratic challenger Jacque Sample, taking nearly 60% of the vote.

This will be Toalson Reisch's third term as State Representative.

Columbia Missourian Symonne Sparks has always been involved in a variety of mid-Missouri musical projects. She plays with Columbia soul-fusion band Loose Loose, performs classical music, and she has two NFL performances of the National Anthem under her belt to boot.

The WE Project

Valérie Berta's photography presents an unfiltered look at the marginalized communities across mid-Missouri, and the subjects provide information about their lives to accompany the intimate photos. Now, in collaboration with The WE Project, two exhibitions of portraits by Berta, founder of The WE Project, are open to the public.

Berta believes it is important to use her art in conjunction with the lives and experiences of her subjects. 

When Raven Leilani wrote her debut novel Luster, she never imagined its themes of contemporary sexuality and race relations would feel so pressing on its release. But with race on the forefront of the nation’s collective conscience, the book feels like a reflection of our current landscape.

David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio

When student-led protests erupted at the University of Missouri in 2015, first-year student Lauren Brown didn’t feel like the causes of the demonstrators were accurately reflected in the media.

Now, Brown is a Missouri School of Journalism graduate and a St. Louis Public Radio producer whose new audio documentary for American Public Media's "APM Reports" explores the setting and the context behind the 2015 protests. The documentary, called “Black At Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus," is narrated and produced by Brown, who also worked as a student producer at KBIA. 

With the recent re-openings of businesses and stores during the era of social distancing, many small business owners are struggling to get emergency loans they need from the Small Business Administration and other lending sources. According to a study from the National Federation of Independent Businesses Research Center, about three-quarters of small business owners have submitted an application for a paycheck protection loan loan as of April 17.


We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re calling our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic. 

If you want to share your story, email KBIA at 

Here’s Alec Stutson’s coversation with Fairview Elementary School music teacher Sara Dexheimer in Columbia:

Ashland Mayor Gene Rhorer purchased the Boone County Journal, Ashland’s local weekly newspaper, on march 1 for an undisclosed amount of money.

Rhorer is a long-standing business owner in Ashland. He says he wanted to keep the paper locally owned. Rhorer sees the paper as a irreplaceable hub for the community.

"Well it keeps them abreast of changes within the city that they live," Rhorer said. "The local paper is very important in that aspect. That news can’t be obtained elsewhere."

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.