Claire Kidwell | KBIA

Claire Kidwell

Claire Kidwell is a freshman at Missouri State University, and is majoring in Global Studies with a minor in Music. She is from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and is involved in Model United Nations, the MSU Chorale, and the MSU Aerialists.

The group Me Too Springfield is trying to oust a Greene County circuit judge from office; the advocacy group says it feels Judge Calvin Holden’s rulings are too lenient on sexual assault perpetrators.  

We reached out to several judicial sources for interviews, but they said they were unable to comment on any particular case.

They were willing, however, to point us to the rules and the Constitutional provisions that govern this process. 

Removal through the Commission on Retirement, Removal, and Discipline

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson formally announced Sunday he’s running for a full term as the state's chief executive. This will be the first time he campaigns for that office, because he ascended to the post after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned last year amid scandal. 

In his hometown of Bolivar, Parson, a Republican, officially announced his 2020 gubernatorial bid in front of a crowd of supporters who had gathered in the local high school.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson formally announced Sunday he’s running for a second term as the state's chief executive. This will be the first time he campaigns for that office because he ascended to the post after former governor Eric Greitens resigned last year amid scandal. 

Joplin and Springfield have made a top ten list identifying the best cities for truckers in the US. 

In a study of 384 cities by AdvisorSmith, Springfield ranks #9 for best mid-size cities for heavy & tractor-trailer truck drivers.

And Joplin was ranked #1 in the study, due to its location in the four state area, and many major trucking lines have their headquarters there.

According to Katherine Trombetta, spokeswoman for the Missouri Jobs Center, Springfield earned the ranking for a number of reasons, including its central location in the United States.

Springfield Public Schools has a new Chief Equity and Diversity Officer who will help the school district with its news goals surrounding equality.

Yvania Garcia-Pusateri will start in her new position with Springfield Public Schools on September 9th.  She has most recently worked as executive director of multicultural programs at Missouri State University.

The University of Missouri Extension and the Community Partnership of the Ozarks will host two listening sessions to better meet childcare needs in Springfield. 

Both sessions will take place at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks on North Jefferson Avenue in Springfield. The goal is to improve early childcare services in the Springfield area, especially for low-income, working families.

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.”

A new state law in Missouri has drawn battle lines between state and local government.  At issue is:  who has the final say in what large farms can and cannot do? 

Bill SB391, which will become law on August 28th, 2019, restricts how much control county governments have when it comes to industrial farms known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. Essentially, county governments can no longer enforce stricter measures than the state’s rules when it comes to regulating these farms.

The James River Basin Partnership and the Ozark Mountain Paddlers are gearing up for their annual river clean up this summer. 

Picture this: 15,000 pounds of trash and 63 tires. That’s how much junk was removed last year by 125 participants in the annual cleanup.

Brent Stock is project manager for the James River Basin Partnership, and he says this project is their biggest clean up event of the year.

James River, once a polluted waterway 20 years ago, is now a popular floating and recreation stream.

Sean Astin, an actor, director, voice artist and producer, served as keynote speaker at a daylong conference Wednesday at Missouri State University.  The conference focused on mental health on college campuses with a goal of creating community dialogue. 

The Impact Summit: College Student Mental Health Conference brought together community leaders to focus on destigmatizing mental health. This is an issue close to home for Sean Astin.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Missouri State University staff and local basketball fans met Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, the new head coach for Lady Bears Basketball.

The bright, orange and white striped tent is up outside of Craig Hall at Missouri State University, and that can only mean one thing:  it’s nearly time for Tent Theatre. 

It may feel like you’re about to be blown off the sidewalk today, and that usually means the weather is changing. 

There’s a fashion show in McDonald County, Missouri this week.  It won’t feature any famous supermodels or designer brands—but it will feature something pretty special: opportunity for kids with special needs.  This is thanks to a statewide education and resource agency for people with autism. 

Holt V. Spicer, or “Spike,” as he was affectionately known in his community, passed away on March 6, 2019. He was an influential professor at Missouri State University, pioneering the Speech and Debate program as well as the College of Arts and Letters.

KSMU spoke to the current Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Shawn Wahl.

“Holt Spicer is a true leader and has a legacy for our Debate Program.”

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center will host Eric Fuller as he takes attendees back in time through a historical portrayal of pioneer adventurer Henry R. Schoolcraft.

Forget champagne--Wages Brewery on the outskirts of West Plains just released its "Valentine's Date Night Stout."

Friends of SPS, a new advocacy group, launched this week.  That’s a group of people trying to improve Springfield Public Schools, and their first major effort will be to support “Proposition S” on the April 2nd ballot.

Injuries and illness happen around the clock, but starting next week, The Turner Center clinic at CoxHealth will offer 24-hour urgent care for both kids and adults.

Kaitlyn McConnell is a spokeswoman for CoxHealth.

“This is a new thing we’re doing. It’s actually a new thing for the whole region—we don’t know of anyone else in the vicinity who’s doing something like this,” McConnell said.

Smallin Civil War Cave near Ozark has a rich history, dating back to right after the last Ice Age.  It was also a sacred space for the Osage tribes. But after the Osage moved to Kansas and Oklahoma, it became a community spot for pioneers and townfolk. 

Wanetta Bright, who owns the cave and surrounding property with her husband, took us back on a trip to see the cave through the eyes of local explorers.

She says the explorer Henry Schoolcraft came to this place, describing it as a “secret of the great works of nature.”

Smallin Civil War Cave outside of Ozark, Missouri, has more history to it than its name would suggest. KSMU’s Claire Kidwell went there to explore its ancient past—which includes a fascinating element surrounding the winter solstice.

While hiking on the trail leading up to Smallin Civil War Cave, there’s a quiet atmosphere broken only by birdsong as you make your way to the cave.

On a cold winter week in 1925, two babies were born in a hospital in West Plains, Missouri. They shared the same doctor and even the same first name.  But one would grow up to stroll the red carpets of Hollywood, and the other would retire as a horse farmer in one of the most rural places in the Ozarks. 

A tiny town in south-central Missouri was once a refuge for bank robbers and outlaws.  92-year-old Dick Deupree remembers when Dora had its fair share of bandits. 

Dick Deupree recalls how, when he was a child, his father worked in the general store in Dora as the assistant postmaster. While life may have seemed normal in the shop front, there was a lot of drama in the background as his father dealt with notorious bank robbers.

Students and community members met outside of Strong Hall on the Missouri State University Campus before marching to JQH Arena to protest President Trump and US Senate candidate Josh Hawley. 

As protestors made their way through the drizzle to meet up, they shared their thoughts on the president and Hawley.  The Missouri Attorney General will face off against incumbent Claire McCaskill for a seat in the US Senate.

Paul O’Donnell, a student at MSU, had some strong thoughts on Trump.

A line of rally-goers formed outside JQH Arena at Missouri State University as early as 7:00 Friday morning in preparation for the rally featuring President Donald Trump.  The president is scheduled to be in Springfield for a 6:30 campaign event for US Senate candidate, Josh Hawley.

Many were there to just see the president. Some said their opinion of Trump has only grown stronger after his first 18 months in office. One of those supporters was Korean War Veteran John White.

A line of rally-goers formed outside JQH Arena at Missouri State University as early as 7:00 Friday morning in preparation for the rally featuring President Donald Trump.  The president is scheduled to be in Springfield for a 6:30 campaign event for US Senate candidate, Josh Hawley.

Many were there to just see the president. Some said their opinion of Trump has only grown stronger after his first 18 months in office. One of those supporters was Korean War Veteran John White.

Thursday night, Drury University will host Dr. David Priess, former CIA officer and State Department desk officer. His talk will be on the history of the US president’s daily intelligence briefing—something he experienced firsthand. 

In his book, The President’s Book of Secrets, Priess gives readers an exclusive look into the president’s daily intelligence briefing and, more importantly, the people behind it.

Universities across the country are struggling to combat sexual violence on campus, but Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College are taking new steps towards addressing this issue with Project HEAL. 

HEAL stands for Help, Educate, Advocate, Listen, and the project received grant funding of over half a million dollars from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. 

The grant provides funding for a community centered approach to combating sexual assault. MSU and OTC are teaming up on the project.

The Library Station in Springfield is holding a series of classes called “Adulting 101,” and they’re drawing people from all stages of life.

Paige Harp, a youth services associate with the Springfield-Greene County Library District, designed the classes for her teens as they transitioned out of high school. But, when the district needed more people to attend the classes, it opened them up to all ages and was surprised to see both young adults and senior citizens show up.

Not everyone keeps a pet tiger or mountain lion as a house pet.  But an animal refuge in the Ozarks says there are some people who do—and that's why it’s asking members of Congress to protect these big cats. 

The Big Cat Public Safety Act would ban any lay person from breeding or possessing prohibited wildlife species, which include tigers, lions, cougars, and other big cats.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat sanctuary in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is pushing for this federal bill to pass.

Lisa Brinker heads up the online advocacy program there.