Bailey Vassalli | KBIA

Bailey Vassalli

Bailey began working for KSMU as a photography intern in October of 2017. She also works as a photographer with Missouri State University Photographic Services and as both a photographer and senior reporter with The Standard, Missouri State’s student newspaper. Previously, she has interned with the Snohomish County Tribune, the Sullivan Independent News and Babe Ruth League. Once she graduates in December of 2018, she hopes to work as a photojournalist — whether that means freelancing or with a newspaper.

  Juniors and seniors in Greene and Christian County high schools have until September 30th to get their applications in for Chocolate University. That’s a program hosted by Springfield-based Askinosie Chocolate allowing students to travel to Tanzania to learn about the cocoa industry — and about business and culture.

CEO Shawn Askinosie said they aren’t necessarily looking for students with a perfect ACT score.


Measles was considered eradicated from the United States in 2000, but the potentially fatal disease made a comeback—something health experts attribute to a decline in vaccinations.

There haven’t been any confirmed cases in southwest Missouri, but area health officials are on guard. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 1,000 cases of Measles reported in the United States so far this year. The cases span 28 states, including one case in Missouri.

Hospitals are taking extra precautions.

In an event on August 1, the Springfield NAACP plans to share stories of discrimination in public schools.

It’s called “Intersections: A Community Tells Its Stories.”  Organizers say they hope to create a community dialogue on what Springfield Public Schools can change to make their student body more inclusive.

Toni Robinson, the president of Springfield NAACP, wants to see this event impact and transform the community.

“So the overall arching goal is definitely bringing light to these injustices, and empowering people so we can make some changes as a community.”

The Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games were canceled this year after a tornado damaged the organization’s headquarters in Jefferson City. Despite the setback, one Springfield athlete keeps training.

“These medals I’ve got on are actually from state-level basketball and bowling this year,” says Kit Gillihan, an athlete from Springfield.

Gillihan proudly displays his many medals from Missouri athletic competitions. Basketball and bowling are only two of the sports he practices for the Special Olympics Missouri Summer Games. The full list is impressive.

The Springfield-Branson National Airport is seeing more travelers than ever, and parking can be a bit of a challenge–especially for those who like to cut it close when it comes to making their flights. But construction is underway on more than 700 additional parking spots. 

These 700 parking spots are in addition to the 300 spots added a few years ago. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently proposed the framework for a limited elk-hunting season, meaning Missourians could begin elk-hunting as early as next year. But, it’s dependent on a number of factors. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation announced its plan for elk-hunting at last week’s Missouri Conservation Commission public meeting at the MDC headquarters in Jefferson City. The commission gave the plan its initial approval.

Many rural hospitals are closing down or being bought out by larger health care systems. But one hospital in the rural Ozarks is bucking that trend — it’s expanding.  

Hospital officials at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains say the expansion will cost around $70 million. The bulk of that will come from a USDA loan, with short-term financing coming from local banks.  The OMC Foundation also hopes to raise $5 million from charitable giving.

OMC broke ground on its expansion project Tuesday.

President Trump is announcing his campaign for reelection Tuesday night in Orlando. The Greene County Republicans are holding a watch party — one of many around the country. 


Danette Proctor with the Greene County Republicans said the watch party is one of eight in Missouri, but there are more around the country — all anticipating and celebrating one thing: Trump’s reelection campaign.

After the Washington Post ran an investigative story about large chocolate manufacturers using cocoa harvested by enslaved child laborers, a local chocolatier took to Facebook to express his concern – and to explain what his company does differently. 


Askinosie Chocolate is more expensive than your average chocolate bar — and there’s a reason for that, as founder and CEO Shawn Askinosie explained in a Facebook Live video.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month.  The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging families to have some tough conversations—and to have them earlier, as opposed to later. 


First, a refresher: Dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms associated with memory loss. Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia that disrupts the nervous system.

A report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families shows the uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is twice as high in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid compared to states that have.


The History Museum On The Square is moving a few doors down, where construction crews, historians and artists have been hard at work creating a new, interactive museum. 

KSMU got a sneak peek of what visitors can expect when it opens later this summer.

Walking into the museum, a Frisco Locomotive immediately stands out. The engine car protrudes from the wall on the second story.  And the passenger car is fitted with interactive games. 

On Thursday, Missouri State University announced its plans to remove the exterior signage at JQH Arena. Despite this, it will still be referred to as JQH Arena until a new naming rights agreement has been reached. 

Though there is no new name yet, the university hopes to have the naming process finalized within the next 12 months.

As the warmer weather creeps in, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department starts their summer season. This means two things — stream water testing and surveillance for heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department spokeswoman Kathryn Wall told KSMU these two services help bring awareness to citizens.

The three people who died Wednesday night when a tornado touched down in southwest Missouri were part of a rural community that’s struggling with the loss.

  As a bill banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy awaits a signature from Missouri Governor Mike Parson, groups on both sides of the issue are already planning their next steps.  Some opponents of the bill are reaching out to the governor in hopes that he will veto it, while supporters expect Parson’s likely signature.


For college students, the end of the semester often comes with extra anxiety:  final exams, research papers and lining up internships or summer jobs. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 3 first-year college students reported symptoms of a diagnosable mental illness in 2018. Of those, few seek treatment. Now, colleges and universities in the Ozarks are taking steps to help.


Finding authentic Cajun cuisine miles away from the Louisiana bayou may seem like a dream, but a tiny, self-described ‘shrimp shack’ in Springfield has been churning out those dishes for years. 


Think Po Boys. Gulf shrimp. The smell of file powder and bay leaves.  You’re starting to get a sense of the fare served up at Shrimp and Bayou Classics, located at 3245 West Republic Road in Springfield.

A Sullivan, Missouri woman has been missing for three weeks. Her family says there are still no leads on her disappearance. They’re reaching out to media across the state in an effort to find her.

Sixty-nine-year-old Betty Alexander was last seen at her Sullivan, Missouri apartment on April 10th.

Alexander stands 5 feet tall, has blue eyes and dark brown hair with highlights. It is unknown what she was wearing at the time of her disappearance, but it is known that she was not wearing her glasses.

Listen along as fifth graders from Rountree Elementary update us on what is happening around their school.

Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Since 2012,  the Miracle League in Springfield has helped people with disabilities suit up and play ball. This year, there are over 200 people signed up to play with the Miracle League, but the program needs volunteers.

Every Miracle League player is paired with a volunteer buddy. The buddy may help the athlete hit, catch, and run the bases--or maybe just cheer them on.

Jenny Fillmer Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Greene-County Park Board, said some players may need more help than others.

Fans gathered outside JQH Arena, lined up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer on the Lady Bears as they left for the airport Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Bears advanced to the Sweet 16 Monday after beating Iowa State 69-60.

Roughly one in five people have trouble reading, according to the International Dyslexia Association. A Missouri organization is supporting several bills in Jefferson City that would change the way students with reading disorders get help. 

Many public schools do not provide structured literacy or outside tutoring options to their students with reading disorders. The cost for a tutor – which becomes necessary once a student is falling behind – often comes out of parents’ pockets, and some just can’t afford that.

Listen along as fifth graders from Rountree Elementary update us on what is happening around their school. 

Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Missouri's catch-and-keep trout season began early Friday morning, with Governor Mike Parson sounding the siren at 6:30 AM at Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon in southwest Missouri. See our slideshow of the traditional event here. 

Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Rountree Elementary students share what has happened at their school recently. 

Copyright 2020 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

A bill that critics say would allow most government records in Missouri to remain closed to the public passed the House Thursday and now heads to the Missouri Senate. It reverses some of the transparency laws ushered in by voters in November.  It’s raising red flags among transparency groups, the press, and some citizen groups.

A refresher in civics:  why public records are important

Harmony House is the largest domestic violence shelter in Missouri, and it's currently in need of linens like twin bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases and towels.

Harmony House spokeswoman Jackie Langdon  says linens are what the shelter needs most at this time, but other donations are still being accepted and are always needed.

"You know, you can imagine, it's like a giant house full of people. We have men, women, and children here. There are times when residents come to shelter with nothing but the clothes on their back," Jackie Langdon said.