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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Journal Archives

NGA, SLU Partner To Encourage Student Interest In Geospatial Jobs

Students from across the region will gather at St. Louis University Monday to explore careers in geospatial technology.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and SLU are co-sponsoring the free one-day conference, which will bring together experts from industry, academia and government. Organizers hope the event will spur student interest in geospatial careers and establish St. Louis as a leader in the field.

Geospatial technologies — ranging from satellite imagery to the GPS unit in your car — are becoming an increasingly important part of our lives.

But the possibilities go far beyond helping you navigate from point A to point B, said Ken Olliff, vice president for research at St. Louis University.


Behind The Headlines: An Oral History Of The 'St. Louis Six,' From Slaughterhouse To Sanctuary

Two years ago this spring, six renegade steers who would later come to be known as Chico, Eddie, Houdini, Johnny Cash, Roo and Spirit took to the St. Louis streets. After escaping from a local slaughterhouse, the animals embarked on a winding journey, finally reaching their permanent home more than five months later.

Their story is the centerpiece of this week’s Riverfront Times, with Danny Wicentowski pulling together an oral history of the St. Louis Six that looks at the saga from multiple angles and at every stage.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Wicentowski went behind the headlines with executive producer Alex Heuer to remember the steers who took the city by storm – and the people who helped them find their way back to pasture.

Also participating in the discussion were Ellie Laks, founder of the Gentle Barn, and local rescue enthusiasts Adam Brewer and Kelly Manno.


Missouri Secretary Of State Says Let Me Investigate Voter Fraud Or Leave Me Out Of It

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was growing frustrated with the limits of his office when it came to investigating voter fraud or election law violations. So, he gave lawmakers a choice.

“I asked them to either take away my responsibility to investigate these potential voting irregularities, potential voting fraud, potential violations of election law or give me the authority to actually do a real investigation,” Ashcroft told KCUR 89.3 on Thursday.

GOP Rep. Dan Shaul of Imperial drafted a bill that would give Ashcroft and future secretaries of state the power to subpoena documents for key investigations. The Missouri House gave it initial approval Wednesday, and a Senate hearing on a similar bill was held last month.

In Kansas, the secretary of state’s office has the authority to prosecute voter fraud cases, something former Secretary of State Kris Kobach was granted in 2015. His replacement in the office, Scott Schwab, is supporting pending legislation that would remove that power. Voter fraud cases remain relatively rare in both states and across the U.S.


One In 8 Missouri Seniors Don't Have Enough To Eat, Report Finds

Food insecurity is affecting a significant number of seniors, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. A recently released report found 12% of Missouri seniors did not have consistent access to food in 2015.

Close to 170,000 older Missourians — or 1 in 8 of the state’s seniors — suffer from food insecurity. That’s when a person can’t safely access healthy food due to cost, lack of transportation or other factors. With seniors in already-vulnerable health, a lack of healthy food can cause new health conditions and make existing ones such as high blood pressure or diabetes more serious.

For people of all ages, the cost of food can be a barrier to accessing healthy nutrition. But seniors have to overcome additional hurdles to find groceries. Many are on fixed incomes and reliant on friends or relatives to drive them to the supermarket. Seniors often have health problems that can require expensive medications, the report notes.

“If income isn’t a barrier, you can still experience barriers due to a disabling condition, loss of the ability to drive, loss of a social network or family network,” said Michael Brewer, bureau chief for senior programs for the state health department’s Division of Senior and Disability Services.


Workers' Comp Study Shows Rural Workers Hurt On The Job More Likely To Get Opioids

A study of workplace injuries in 27 states, including Missouri and Illinois, shows rural workers injured on the job received prescriptions for opioid pain relievers 68% percent of the time, while their urban counterparts got them 44% of the time.

The study was conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, an independent group that does research for insurance companies, employers and labor unions.

Vennela Thumula, a policy analyst at the institute who authored the study, said it’s difficult to know for sure why the discrepancy exists. She said one possibility is the difference in access to health care.

“It is possible that in rural areas there are fewer specialists compared to urban areas, which might be one of the factors,” Thumula said.


A Missouri Company Secures Trade Exemption: 'Now, Let's Make Nails'

A Missouri nail maker has started to bring back workers now that it does not have to pay a 25% tariff on imported raw material from Mexico. Federal trade officials have granted an exemption on nearly all the foreign steel used by Mid Continent Steel & Wire in Poplar Bluff.

Company officials said it relies on the imports because U.S. producers can’t provide enough steel to meet its needs.

Advisor Jim Glassman said the company approached one of the largest steel companies in the U.S., Nucor, about providing the material and it would only meet roughly 10% of Mid Continent Steel & Wire requirements.

“We weren’t surprised at that,” he said, while adding, “They’ve got other things they want to produce.”


Missouri Student Journalists, Teachers Hope Bill Will Stop Censorship By School Admins

The Missouri Senate is expected to consider a bill to prevent public-university and high school administrators from censoring articles from student journalists.

State senators have failed to call up the Walter Cronkite New Voices Act for a vote every year since 2016. The Missouri House of Representatives endorsed the bill last month for the fourth time. A hearing has yet to be scheduled in the Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Craig Fishel, R-Springfield, said he is “knocking on every senator’s door,” hoping it will pass.

“I have the support of the leadership,” Fishel said. “Everybody is probably just tired of seeing it, and we are going to send it on to the governor, I hope.”


From Porch To Shuttle To Hall of Fame: A Missouri Astronaut's Journey

Dr. Janet Kavandi has orbited the earth more than 500 times yet admits she’s a little nervous about being inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The Missouri native said that’s because she has to give a speech

“I don’t usually get nervous about talking to any particular group of people, except for my peers,” she said.

To be among the roughly 100 people selected to be in the Hall of Fame is the “cherry on top,” according to Kavandi. It’s the latest addition to an impressive list of achievements for the Springfield-born and Carthage- and Cassville-raised Kavandi, who lost both her parents when she was 8.


Missouri's Eastern Hellbender Salamanders Could Get Federal Protection

Eastern hellbender salamanders, which have been declining all over the U.S. for decades, are doing so poorly in Missouri that they may receive federal protection.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed including Missouri’s population of eastern hellbenders on the endangered species list. Since the 1970s, the number of eastern hellbenders in the state has dropped by more than 90 percent.

The species lives in 15 states in the Midwest and the South. But it has declined largely due to river pollution and overharvesting from the illegal pet trade. Because hellbenders — like many other amphibian species — have extremely sensitive skin, anything that negatively affects their physical health is a sign of environmental problems, said Lauren Augustine, the St. Louis Zoo’s curator of herpetology.

“I think the federal protection will increase the attention given to the species,” Augustine said. A lot of people don’t know what a hellbender is or their role is in the environment.”


Eltoreon Hawkins Sees Beauty In Vacant St. Louis Houses -- And Wants To Help You Buy One

Eltoreon Hawkins has made it his mission to help St. Louisans buy vacant, city-owned houses.

The 25-year-old contractor bought his first home from the city’s Land Reutilization Authority when he was a student at Harris-Stowe State University.

Hawkins now helps select LRA homes that need a minimal amount of work — known as the “Finest 15” — and records popular Facebook Live videos of each property. He spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Shahla Farzan about his passion for showcasing vacant homes.

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