Seth Bodine | KBIA

Seth Bodine

The effort to hold a vote on legalizing marijuana in Missouri has run into problems because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

More than 60,000 signatures have been collected since January to put the vote on the ballot in November. Dan Viets, board chair of the Missourians for a New Approach committee, said the organization was on track to meet the required 160,000 signatures by May 3.

But now, quarantines, city- and county-wide shelter in place orders and social distancing standards pose a significant challenge to that effort.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, the Broadway Diner was empty. The ‘50s-style greasy spoon has been a fixture of downtown Columbia for decades. But owner Dave Johnson said he’d never seen anything like this. “I was here when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, and I thought that was horrible, but it’s nothing like this,” Johnson said.

The diner closed its dine-in space three days ago, following an order from the city government. A few days earlier, Johnson announced the diner would feed any students and community members, after local colleges and the public school system closed.

Emmalee Reed/Missourian

Last year, flooding prevented many Missouri farmers from raising crops -- and income. Farmer’s levees were tested this year as 1.2 million acres of farmland were flooded. KBIA’s Seth Bodine looks into the long-term effects of this flooding, how farmers adapt, and how the loss of crops affects the economy.

Seth Bodine / KBIA

River levels in Missouri last year hit some of  the highest marks since the great flood of 1993. When the flood of 93 hit, it caused more than $15 billion dollars in damage across the country. The National weather service says 75 towns were completely flooded and about 50,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

The small town of Rhineland, Missouri, near Hermann, became the first town in Missouri affected by the flood to move their entire town out of the floodplain. KBIA’s Seth Bodine returned to Rhineland to learn about the move and its lasting effects.

Daniel Shular/Missourian

While the sun is still up, gunshots ring out as Poplar Bluff High School's trapshooting team tries to get in a few extra rounds.

Head coach Sandy Pike gives advice as a new member prepares to aim his shotgun and attempt to shoot a clay target out of the air. She tells him to lift up his weapon, and, when he's ready, say the words to make the disc fly:

"Pull!"

The competitive trap season might be over, but that's not stopping the team on a Saturday evening in November.

Sandy Allison is the executive director at the Marshall-Saline Development Corporation. The corporation’s goal is to recruit new industries and businesses into the counties and strengthen existing business. As part of Missouri Business Alert’s Outstate project, KBIA's Seth Bodine spoke with Allison about her ideas on how to revitalize small towns like Marshall, Missouri. 

Zhihan Huang/Missouri Business Alert

Like many small towns, the heart of Marshall, Missouri is the town square -- home to several long-time and new businesses. But as urbanization to larger cities increases, small town businesses have had to find new ways to stay relevant. This week of Business Beat looks at the businesses in Marshall, Missouri. It’s part of a Missouri Business Alert special project called Outstate, a project that looks at entrepreneurship in small towns in missouri. 

Zhihan Huang / Missouri Business Alert

Karen Miller woke up and saw a flashing lights out the window of her home in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Miller works as the general manager of the J. Huston Tavern, which is the oldest continuously serving restaurant west of the Mississippi River. This wasn’t something someone would typically see in the small town of Arrow Rock, which has a population of 56, Miller said. So, she decided to investigate. Initially, she said she thought the lights were from the highway patrol. As she walked down the street, she ran into another resident who told her what was going on. 

 

Zhihan Huang / Missouri Business Alert

Ever since the first goat yoga class opened in 2016, the experience has become a national business trend for goat and yoga enthusiasts alike. The idea is simple: It’s a yoga class, except there are miniature goats roaming around that people can interact with.

 


Isabelle Robles/Missouri Business Alert

Braid artists in Missouri used to have to obtain a cosmetology license to practice legally — but cosmetology training didn’t include instruction on hair braiding.

Zhihan Huang/Missouri Business Alert

Kristen Williams, CEO and creative director of Hempsley, achieved what she considers a big accomplishment — she convinced her grandparents in Alabama to try CBD oil. They’re even recommending her business to their friends.

Williams’ ever-evolving company sells CBD and aims to educate the public about cannabinoids like CBD. And for her, getting her reluctant grandparents to try CBD was a big deal.

Ralph Chapoco/Missouri Business Alert

After more than 40 years with the same company, Rick Means will retire from his position as president and chief executive officer of Shelter Insurance in August.

 

Matt Moore, currently executive vice president, will be the company’s next CEO.

Means has spent nearly all of his adult life with Shelter, starting as a claims adjuster and working his way up the corporate ladder to claims supervisor, manager, vice president and eventually to his role as the leader of a nearly 2,000-employee insurance company that wrote about $2 billion worth of premiums last year.

Zhihan Huang/Missouri Business Alert

In the visitors room of the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Vandalia, nine women stand dressed in bright blue caps and gowns. They’re the first to graduate from ASPIRE MO, a program designed to teach inmates the entrepreneurial skills to start a business once they leave prison.

The 20-week program teaches them various skills like market projections, advertising and feasibility studies. By the end of the course, they make a comprehensive business plan.

Ethan Weston/Missourian

What was supposed to be an average day on the farm changed Doug Boswell’s life.

On a cold November day in 2017, Boswell was feeding his cows in Stockton, and he left the gate open. When he returned to feed them, he realized three of the cows had escaped.

He managed to corral two of them back with his tractor, but one was still loose. So, he got on the nearby all-terrain vehicle and chased the cow. But then, his ATV flipped.

He tried to move, but he couldn’t.

“I just couldn’t believe I was paralyzed,” he said.

 

Seth Bodine / KBIA

After the destructive tornado that ran through Jefferson City last week, organizations like the Red Cross have set up resource centers to help those affected. 

Seth Bodine / KBIA

Missouri has one of the oldest trditional arts apprecticeship programs in the United States. And every year, the Missouri Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program sponsors eight master artists and their apprentices - for teaching, sustaining and promoting a tranditional art form - here in Missouri. 

KBIA's Seth Bodine caught up with one of this year's master-apprentice duos to find out about a classical Indian dance being practiced here in the middle of Misouri: Bharatanatyam. 

Seth Bodine/KBIA

Every week in the basement of her home in Columbia, Smrita Dorairajan teaches a dance lesson to her apprentice, Charunetha Murugesan.

 

The dance is called Bharatanatyam. Dating back 3,000 years, it’s one of the oldest classical Indian dance forms. It originated in ancient Hindu temples, where women called Devadasis would practice the dance to dedicate themselves to god. The dance made its way from the temple to the stage, and Dorairajan says many women in India learn the dance today.

 

Seth Bodine / KBIA

In Marthasville, Missouri, the fire department is made up entirely of volunteers. Between its three stations, the department is responsible for covering 168 square miles including surrounding towns like Treloar and Hopewell.

Volunteer fire departments are common in rural communities. In fact, The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 65 percent of the nation’s fire departments are made up of volunteers.

Seth Bodine/KBIA

After months working to comply with state regulators, the only pig museum in the United States is open again for business. As KBIA’s Seth Bodine reports, the museum's owner dedicated herself to agricultural education after some unexpected life events.

Seth Bodine / KBIA

Columbia Board of Education candidate Jay Atkins said if he could imagine a perfect school district, it would be one that had 100 percent literacy at the third-grade level.

For Atkins, who has three children in the Columbia Public Schools and a fourth that will soon enter, literacy is on the top of his campaign agenda. He said he decided to run because he wanted to be more involved and make sure schools are under proper stewardship.


Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Columbia interim police chief Geoff Jones is seeking to assemble a work group to examine the Vehicle Stop Report Data released by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Jones spoke to Columbia City Council Monday night about the effort and about the recent changes he’s made to the police department.

The working group would examine the racial disparities found in the Vehicle Stop Report Data released by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. The group would examine the data, find gaps and ultimately provide suggestions to Jones for the police department to improve its service.

Don Love, the co-chair of the Empower Missouri Human Rights Task Force, told the council during public comment that the group could help address race disparity in traffic stops found in the 2018 city survey and Vehicle Stop Report. 

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

Columbia City Council members showed unanimous support of a house bill that would ban conversion therapy during their meeting on Monday.

The vote was to support Missouri House Bill 516, which would prohibit mental health professionals from practicing conversation therapy with anyone under the age of 18. Boone County State Representative Martha Stevens co-sponsored the bill. Mayor Brian Treece requested the council to prepare the resolution on Feb. 4. 

Courtesy of Art Smith

Talking Horse Production’s newest play might be considered challenging. That’s because it tackles hard subjects: race, implicit bias and prejudice.

 

The play, titled “White People,” is a series of monologues from three ordinary Americans. Talking Horse describes it as a “candid, brutally honest meditation on race and language in our culture.” The play is written by Tony award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers, who is originally from Columbia. His play “Oslo” is currently being performed at the Repertory Theatre in St. Louis.

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