Jennifer Moore | KBIA

Jennifer Moore

As the Journalist-in-Residence at Missouri State University, Jennifer teaches undergraduate and graduate students, oversees a semester-long, team reporting project, and contributes weekly stories to KSMU Radio in the area of public affairs journalism.

Two heavyweights will face off Friday on the Missouri State University campus – not in a boxing ring, but in a classroom. They will debate the future of an ethnic group based over 6,000 miles away.

The debate is over the future of the Kurdish people, who have pushed for their independence for generations.   Two experts will debate on how the main disputes can be resolved.

Feisal al-Istrabadi is Iraq’s former ambassador to the United Nations and one of the principal legal drafters of the Iraqi interim constitution.

In this episode of our monthly program, Engaging the Community, Missouri State University President Clif Smart talks about the university's role in meeting specific needs of the local and state workforce.

Copyright 2018 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky is resigning from Springfield City Council, according to a news release from the city Thursday morning.   Fulnecky notified Mayor Ken McClure that she would be stepping down from the General Seat C, effective Thursday.

According to the release, Fulnecky said her family would be moving to Nixa, Missouri “in a few days.”

The City Charter requires that council members reside within Springfield city limits.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally at JQH Arena in Springfield, Missouri on Friday, September 21, according to his campaign website.  

The event will take place at 6:30 PM.  Doors open for General Admission at 4:00 PM. Those hoping to register may do so here.

In an email sent to the MSU campus community, MSU president Clif Smart confirmed that Trump's campaign had reserved the facility.

The Springfield 100 Club has donated $25,000 to the widow of Aaron Paul Roberts, the Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy who died in flash flooding near Fair Grove Friday night while on duty.

The not-for-profit organization provides financial support to the surviving spouses and dependent children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in Greene County.

At least three inches of rain fell on parts of the Ozarks region Thursday morning, prompting the National Weather Serivce in Springfield to issue a Flash Flood Warning for Greene, Christian, and Lawrence Counties until 5:00 PM Thursday.  Northern Stone County is also under that Flash Flood Warning.

According to the NWS, this means creeks, streams and low water crossings will pose a potential danger in the areas of Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, Willard, and other towns throughout the area.

The NWS says a few of the low water crossings to pay close attention to are:

The US Department of Justice is considering a potential criminal investigation and federal prosecution related to the sinking of a “duck boat” on Table Rock Lake—a tragedy that killed 17 people. 

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office in the Western District of Missouri, Don Ledford, confirmed to KSMU that the US Coast Guard has referred the case to that office, which is based in Kansas City.

The amphibious vessel battled high waves and strong winds on July 19 before taking on too much water and sinking during a severe thunderstorm.

In this monthly episode, MSU President Clif Smart discusses the different types of research happening at the university. 

"We think of ourselves as primarily a teaching institution: all of our faculty teach. We don't have anyone dedicated to just reserach, because we think our number one priority is educating our students who come to us," Smart said.

Still, reserach plays a major role in the role of faculty:  all of the tenure-track faculty at MSU are engaged in research, Smart said.  It's one of the expectations to obtain tenure and be promoted throughout their careers.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has won the Republican primary for the US Senate seat currently held by Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.

Hawley won about 58 percent of the Republican vote—that’s according to the Secretary of State’s office, which tallies official election results.

He ran against 10 other Republican candidates.

At a watch party with supporters in Springfield, Hawley painted himself as a Washington outsider who only answers to the people of Missouri.

Missouri Senator Bob Dixon defeated incumbent Bob Cirtin by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday in the Republican primary for Greene County Presiding Commissioner. 

Dixon won with about 67 percent of the vote, according to the Greene County Clerk’s election results.

Dixon thanked Cirtin and his family for their service to Greene County.

"In a few hours, we will step into the bright, morning light of the fall campaign to elect Republicans," Dixon told a Republican watch party Tuesday at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.

Mourners gathered Sunday afternoon near Branson to pay tribute to the 17 people who lost their lives Thursday when the tourist boat they were riding encountered a severe storm and sank in Table Rock Lake.

The chapel at College of the Ozarks near Branson was full as civic and religious leaders expressed their grief and praised the community’s response.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released its incident report on the sinking of an amphibious boat that claimed the lives of 17 people Thursday in southwest Missouri. 

According to the report, none of the 31 people aboard were wearing a “safety device.” A spokesman for the patrol, Jason Pace, said that term refers to life jackets.

Five of those passengers who perished in the water were age 15 or younger.  The majority of people aboard were from out-of-state.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader confirmed around 10:19 AM Friday that divers had located the remaining four bodies of passengers who had been on the boat that capsized and sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lake.

This means that a total of 17 people died in the incident, which authorities say was partially caused by severe weather. 

In this episode of "Engaging the Community," MSU President Clif Smart talks about the landmark legislation that now opens the door for Missouri State University to begin offering a wide array of terminal degrees.  Click on the link above to hear the interview.

The Stone County Sheriff says at least 11 people have died after a Ride the Rucks boat sank Thursday night on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri.

Sheriff Doug Rader said he believed stormy weather led to the boat capsizing and sinking.

The City of Branson has set up a small command center at Branson City Hall for survivors and family members.

Melody Pettit is a spokeswoman for the City of Branson, and told KSMU Friday morning that City Hall will continue to function as both a public office and a staging ground.

Stone County Sherriff Doug Rader says eight people died Thursday evening and several are unaccounted for after a tourist boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake.

“At this time, we have eight confirmed fatalities,” Rader said late Thursday night. He said those fatalities were caused by drowning.

The Stone County Sherriff’s Department told KSMU the boat that sank belonged to the company Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  Calls and emails to that company requesting more information on the boat were not immediately returned.

UPDATE at 9:30 AM on July 19, 2018:   According to the MSHP, the occupant of the vehicle has been identified as Colby M. Rey, 32, or Orlando, Florida. Rey is in critical condition at a Springfield hospital after receiving multiple gunshot wounds, according to the patrol. He is also wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a parole violation on a weapons offense. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Original story, posted July 18, 2018:

This morning in our Sense of Community series on "Opportunities for Veterans," we’re featuring a visit to a cemetery to learn about the funeral choices for veterans and their families.   

Hugh Myers is the director of the Missouri Veterans Cemetery of Springfield. On Wednesday when we met him for a tour, he was preparing for the funeral of a Navy veteran.

"With the earth burial and our cremation that’s in the columbarium, we are just at 10,070 burials here at the cemetery,” Myers says as he drives through the property.

The Missouri Career Center is located at 2900 East Sunshine Street in Springfield, and it's open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday. Veterans can call ahead to make an appointment, or simply walk in.

As Air Force Col. Anthony Willis prepared to retire from the military, he felt reasonably confident there was one thing he wouldn’t have too much trouble with:  finding a job in the civilian world. 

He had been a security policeman for five years, he said.

Chip Miller is one of about a dozen military veterans arriving for a group therapy session at the Veterans Center on 3616 South Campbell Avenue in Springfield.

On the winter morning of Wednesday, January 8, 1969, a 49-year-old attorney walked into the Capitol building in Jefferson City with the intention of starting a new job.  William Morris, a WWII veteran from the Kansas City area, had been appointed lieutenant governor by then-Governor Warren Hearnes one week earlier.  Morris prepared to take his place presiding over the Missouri Senate on the opening day of the legislative session. 

Religious Muslims in the United States just finished a month of fasting from all food and drink during daylight hours. 

On Friday, scores of families gathered at the mosque in Springfield to celebrate the the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which ended the month of Ramadan.

I walked to the back door, which is the women’s entrance to the mosque.

The Islamic Center of Springfield is located on Division Street.