CoMo Explained


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CoMo Explained breaks down the news and issues that affect Columbia. Politics, education, and whatever's hot at the moment. Host Ryan Famuliner explain the news.

Episode Date
Why Columbia's ash pond was given 'high' hazard potential rating
This week the EPA will make a final decision on a proposed new rule for the disposal of coal combustion residuals, called CCRs, or coal ash.
Dec 18, 2014
Trucks stopping Downtown: All your questions answered
We've all been there. Driving downtown during a high traffic time. Maybe on 9th Street. Listening to KBIA . And then--stopped. There's a semi truck stopped in the lane up ahead.
Nov 21, 2014
How do school attendance areas get decided?
We're halfway into the first year of Columbia School District’s re-alignment, the most noticeable change being the addition of Battle High School. KBIA is looking at the process of re-alignment, its effects, and what the district is planning for the future. Kansas City based firm RSP & Associates is crunching numbers for the current round of Columbia Public Schools (CPS) district re-alignment. The same firm was also hired to do data analysis for the district re-alignments leading up to the opening of Battle High School. The firm collected data on the district including enrollment and the number of students on free and reduced lunch. The data was used to create different scenarios of boundary re-alignment which were then sent to the secondary enrollment planning committee for consideration.
Nov 07, 2014
Why does KBIA play so much classical music?
One way CoMO Explained chooses topics for our episodes is from listener questions. Way back in our first iteration of the show a listener posted on Reddit and asked us why KBIA , an NPR station, plays so much classical music. This episode is for that Reddit listener.
Nov 06, 2014
9 Myths about MizzouWireless
If you’re a student at Mizzou , you were probably hooked to this story just by mentioning MizzouWireless . But if you’re not, then what you may need a little filling in. Note: We received several requests for a more technical explanation of what may be causing the issues users experience. Please see the bottom of this story for an update.
Oct 16, 2014
Mapping sinkholes
The areas in red on the map below are where the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) has documented as having sinkholes. Sinkhole location data is from the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources. This location data and more can be found on its website . According to Doug Gouzie, sinkhole expert and Associate Professor of Geology at Missouri State University , different agencies like the Missouri Dept. of Transportation ( MoDOT ) report known sinkhole locations to the DNR . " When MoDot goes out to build a roadway . . . they have to go mark where the sinkholes are. What we've found, just like [in the area] from Springfield to Nixa is when we intentionally make a map, we discover a lot of sinkholes," Gouzie said. Sinkholes that have been on private property and known about by the owners for generations, Gouzie said, probably won't be reported and won't show up on any DNR map.
Oct 02, 2014
What does CoMO's sales tax have to do with interstate commerce, the internet, and online privacy?
Sales tax. Not a great opening line for journalists trying to educate people about how a city functions. The moment sales tax is mentioned eyes glaze over, something else suddenly becomes important, and we all casually scroll through twitter on our phones. But sales tax is actually a really fascinating topic, especially right now in our city and country’s history. To learn why, we have to go back…way back, to 1970.
Oct 01, 2014
Part 3: Your sinkhole questions answered
We put out some questions on social media to see what you wanted to know about sinkholes. First, here’s a clip of CoMo Explained where I explain everything we learned before talking to Missouri State University Associate Professor of Geology and sinkhole expert Doug Gouzie. You can also read about our previous sinkhole reporting here .
Sep 26, 2014
Why Peace Park is called 'Peace' Park
Peace Park is that grassy little knoll along the north edge of MU’s campus. It’s at the corner of 8th and Elm, a stone’s throw away from the columns. There’s a creek (or drainage ditch) that saunters through it, creating a calm and tranquil vibe for the meditators and hammock dwellers.
Sep 10, 2014
The crucial zoning law that determine's downtown Columbia's future [rebroadcast]
This week CoMo Explained shows how something called the C-2 zoning ordinance determines how Columbia is built.
Nov 28, 2013
What happens in CoMo when the twisters come
In t his week's CoMo Explained we breakdown tornado prediction, the siren system and explain how 'Tornado Alley' works. They're quiet unobtrusive until they're not: tornado sirens . About 80 of them dot Boone County with the majority of them in a few mile radius of downtown. This week we wondered--how do those sirens get turned on? When it comes to the physical switch, the answer is easy: Columbia/Boone County Joint Communications handles that. Joint Communications is located right above the downtown police station on Walnut. They're the folks that handle 911 calls and dispatch emergency vehicles. Tornado sirens are are connected to a radio network that allows Join Communications to wirelessly control all Boone County sirens at once. There's more than one way to decide when and how to flip the switch. A lot of storm and weather is monitored by the National Weather Service (NWS) , a federal agency. These guys are keeping an eye on the radar to see if storms could be creating tornadoes.
Nov 22, 2013
Propofol explained: Why Missouri is in hot water for its execution protocols
This week on CoMo Explained we explain what all the fuss about Propofol is and how it's got Missouri in the national eye again. If you've been only half-following the news around Missouri's bumbling execution policy, then this is show if for you. We break down exactly what Propofol is, why we planned to use it, and why we decided against it. Now, the state plans to use pentobarbital - but the unusual place the state is getting the drug from and the secrecy surrounding it is another source of controversy. The state plans to use it for the first time to execute serial killer Joseph Paul Frankling on November 20. Special guest host Chris McDaniel from St. Louis Public Radio calls in to help us figure out why this is such a big deal. Check out the links to the stories below for some of the great reporting he and others have been doing on the issue. Correction: a previous text version of this story said the state used propofol in an execution before. It never actually did, the state just
Nov 15, 2013
7 things you might have wrong about the Ryan Ferguson ruling
This week: what's next for Ryan Ferguson and what exactly is in that appeals court ruling? Update: This article was written the week before Ryan Ferguson's release. The 30-day timeline we outline below is based on state prosecutors taking no action at all, allowing legal deadlines to stretch out and pass. For coverage of Ryan Ferguson's release, read our latest story. Ryan Ferguson seems to have "won" his appeal but already on twitter and the media, there's a lot of misinformation on what exactly this ruling means. This week on CoMo Explained, we break it down. Here are some facts: 1. Ryan Ferguson will likely not be home for Thanksgiving, at least not directly because of the appeal court ruling. Ferguson is not set to be released "in 15 days" as most media outlets have suggested. Depending on how things shake out, Ferguson may sit in jail a full 30 days from this week's decision, meaning he could be let out in early December. 2. A footnote in the conclusion of the court ruling gives
Nov 08, 2013
Where your recycling goes when it leaves the curb
This week, it's a story you might have heard before, but with the answers you never got: Where, exactly , does your recycling go when it leaves the curb? A plucky listener asked us to figure out what exactly happens to our recycling here in Columbia and if we could break it down resource by resource. We are nothing, if not helpful, so without further ado, here’s how it works: Your recycling gets picked up in a truck by city employees. They take it to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located on the the city's landfill site northeast of town. There, your recycling gets separated, compacted and stored until there's enough of a certain type to sell to brokers or manufacturers. It's true that the city won't recycle every kind of recyclable. That's because buyers don't want mixed product. They'll only buy one type at a time (aluminum, steel cans, #1 plastics, etc.) and they only want it if there's a "truckload" available. One "truckload" is 40,000 pounds. Columbia's population is just
Nov 01, 2013
The spookiest spots in Missouri
This week, CoMo Explained tells you where the most haunted places in Missouri are.
Oct 23, 2013
Why are there so many roundabouts in Missouri?[Rebroadcast]
This week the CoMo Explained team tries to answer why there are so many roundabouts in Columbia compared to other cities:
Oct 16, 2013
Why are there so many billboards in Missouri?
This week CoMo Explained tries to answer that question all your out-of-state friends keep asking you: Whats with all the billboards around here? Ryan Famuliner knows the experience well: a friend drives into town to hang out for the weekend and the first thing he says is hey, whats with the billboards advertising sex shops and strip clubs?
Oct 11, 2013
Who should you blame for the glitches in Missouri's health care exchange?
This week on CoMo Explained we look at how Missouri is implementing Obamacare and ask whether it'll be successful or not.
Oct 03, 2013
Everything you wanted to know about roadkill
This week we answer all your burning questions about roadkill.
Sep 26, 2013
How the employers of the future get their start in Columbia
This week the Como Explained team goes to Startup Weekend, the premier event for Columbia's booming (really!) tech scene:
Sep 19, 2013