Zia Kelly | KBIA

Zia Kelly

Zia Kelly studies journalism and public health at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Outside of the newsroom, she works part-time as a personal trainer and competes as an Olympic-style weightlifter.

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Regional headlines from the KBIA newsroom, including: 

Verna Laboy, left, wears a dark blue t-shirt and smiles into the camera. Annabelle Simmons, right, wears a bright yellow shirt and smiles into the camera.
Zia Kelly / KBIA

Verna Laboy and Annabelle Simmons both work with Live Well By Faith, a community health program that targets chronic disease among African Americans in Boone County.

Verna has run the program since it was established by the Columbia/Boone County health department in 2016. The program supports health ministries at 17 black churches in the area by providing health programming, training and resources for people in the congregation, and leaders within each church help run programming and data collection.

Annabelle Simmons is a health lifestyle coach at St. Luke United Methodist Church, and they spoke about some of the more creative ways they try to inspire positive change within their church-based health ministries.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Verna Laboy, left, wears a dark blue t-shirt and smiles into the camera. Annabelle Simmons, right, wears a bright yellow shirt and smiles into the camera.
Zia Kelly / KBIA

Verna Laboy and Annabelle Simmons both work with Live Well By Faith, a community health program that targets chronic disease among African Americans in Boone County.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA file photo

Inclement weather and road conditions have caused school closures across mid-Missouri this morning, following Sunday night’s blizzard warning.

Columbia Public Schools announced Sunday night that classes are cancelled Monday. The Hallsville school district, among other mid-Missouri school districts, will also be closed. You can check KOMU's full list of closures here.

The new president of the St. Louis County NAACP is the youngest person ever to lead the branch.

Twenty-six-year-old John Gaskin III was named president on Friday, replacing Esther Haywood, who was president for 25 years. She will remain as president emeritus.

Gaskin is a Ferguson native who now lives in Bellerive Acres. He says his initial focus will be on improving workforce diversity.

Gaskin has been member of the national NAACP board for six years.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Area Democrats gathered at The Roof in Downtown Columbia to support Fourth District House challenger Renee Hoagenson while watching midterm results roll in. Backed up polling locations across the state meant delayed results for the Fourth District race, but soon after results started coming in, it became clear the Blue Wave did not wash over mid-Missouri.

The Associated Press called the race around 9:35 p.m. in favor of incumbent Republican Vicky Hartzler, but Hogenson didn't give her concession speech until around 10:30 p.m.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Women are running for office in record-breaking numbers nationally, and Missouri is no exception. The choice for state senate in two Mid-Missouri districts includes a first-time progressive candidate challenging a Republican candidate.

Zia Kelly / KBIA

Supporters of President Donald Trump walked for a half mile on rainy country roads, wearing red baseball hats and American flag T-shirts – but on their way to the President’s rally, they passed a group sporting another flag.

Amid flags, chants and rainbow colors, LGBTQ+ advocates gathered, calling for equality.

The race for Missouri's 49th District State House seat features a first-time Democratic candidate challenging a Republican incumbent seeking a third term. 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Bob and Susan Winkelmann and their family friend, Anne Fitzsimmons, live here in Columbia. These three have been friends for a long time – they’ve worked together and raised their kids in the neighborhood that they share. We met at an event hosted by the Missouri Kidney Program in September.

Bob has polycystic kidney disease, and these three spoke about their shared kidney transplantation journey.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including: 


Raw Pixel / Unsplash

For rural residents, managing chronic disease can be tough – especially for those with more than one. Long distances to care providers can make getting to appointments even more challenging. Integrating medical records into online patient portals may help bridge the gap between rural patients and their physicians, but a recent study from the University of Missouri found that not all patients registered on these portals are using them.

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