Jennifer Moore | KCUR

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.

Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order earlier this summer creating a task force to look into something that could bring big changes to how Missourians get—and pay for—their health care. 

The US Senate voted 59-41 Thursday to reject President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri was among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats to go against the president on what some are calling an historic vote.

The Republican-led Senate sent a firm message to the White House, with several Republicans saying they could not support the president because they felt he did not have the authority to take such steps.

A bill that would change Missouri's open records law has made it through a Missouri Senate committee and is moving forward.

The bill would reverse a decision made by voters in November when they approved a Constitutional amendment known as "Clean Missouri."

A Washington, D.C. based think-tank has released a report showing just how hard Saudi Arabia is trying to influence the American government using lobbyists and PR campaigns. One senator from Missouri made the top 10 list of politicians taking campaign contributions from firms representing the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

On a recent Thursday evening, as commuters whizzed by on a busy Springfield street, a handful of activists gathered inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church.

“You’ll login with an ID and password, which I’ll give you,” Susan Schmalzbauer instructed the volunteers, who are part of Missouri Faith Voices, a multi-faith organization that pushes for equality across economic and racial lines.

“They’re getting ready to call people across the state,” Schmalzbauer said.

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.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway says Missouri appears to be wasting millions of dollars through misuse of its food assistance program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. It helps low-income Missourians get food at grocery stores by using a state-funded electronic card.

Elementary school kids form a line behind their teacher as they prepare to tour the House chamber in the Missouri Capitol building.

Statistically, about one in every nine of these kids will have a major depressive episode between the ages of 12 and 17, according to the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

State lawmakers, who draft laws that regulate and fund many mental health programs, just wrapped up their 2017 session.

More than half of Missouri’s counties don’t have a licensed psychiatrist, and nearly half don’t have a licensed psychologist.  

Until a few years ago, Addie Blankenship saw herself as a relatively healthy mom of three. She didn’t recognize that she was exhibiting symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder—a mental condition that leads to obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions.

“So I would spend hours and hours washing things. Or I would have a thought that something may be on my clothes, so I would change my clothes every time I’d have a bad thought, which sometimes was 10 times a day. Sometimes more,” Blankenship said.

Drive down a dirt road in Dallas County, under a thick canopy of walnut trees and over three cattle guards, and you’ll come to Rachel Harrison’s home in Windyville, Missouri.  

A few years ago, Harrison was using her Bachelor’s degree in biology in a hospital laboratory.

“I was a generalist, which means I was in charge of urinalysis, chemistry, special chemistry, hematology, blood banking, coagulation, I think I got it all—phlebotomy, all that kind of stuff,” Harrison said.

But at age 25, she began to hear what sounded like people talking.