The Iowa GOP presidential caucuses are tonight, and the Hawkeye State is expected to see the coldest weather for caucus night in decades. Former State Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) is in Des Moines this morning as a surrogate for former President Donald Trump. Senator Onder joined us live on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”, telling listeners that he believes Iowa farmers will turn out tonight to support former President Trump. Onder says farmers are used to this kind of weather. Onder tells listeners Des Moines has received about 18 inches of snow and that your feet hurt to walk outside, due to the subfreezing temperatures. While he’s currently running for Missouri lieutenant governor, former Senator Onder tells “Wake Up” that he’s also looking at a possible run to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth) in Missouri’s sprawling third district, which includes parts of Columbia, Jefferson City, Boonville, Fulton, New Florence and St. Charles County. Onder tells listeners he expects to make a decision in the next week or two about whether he’ll run for Missouri lieutenant governor or Congress. He’ll have to decide by late February, which is when filing opens. Former Senator Onder tells listeners that who we send to Congress is important. He blasts President Joe Biden (D), saying the cost of living for the average family in the United States has increased by $11,000 under President Biden:
Columbia has received $25 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, while Boone County has received $35-million in federal ARPA dollars. President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. Boone County commissioner Janet Thompson joined us live on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”, telling listeners that more than 100 groups submitted ARPA applications to the county which totaled about $84-million. She notes 27 applications were funded. Commissioner Thompson tells listeners that commissioners hope to get the second round going in 2024, and she encourages applicants who didn’t receive funding the first time to resubmit. She also praises Boone County’s Nature Center, which is being built in the Three Creeks Conservation Area just south of Columbia. Commissioner Thompson notes the nature school is available to ALL Boone County school districts, adding that Three Creeks is a major part of the area’s ecosystem:
Boone County’s presiding commissioner is ecstatic about the Boone County Nature School, which is being built in the Three Creeks Conservation Area just south of Columbia. Presiding Commissioner Kip Kendrick attended the recent dedication of the nature school’s Council House.
“And the coordination, cooperation with all (six) of the Boone County school districts as well is going to really be a gamechanger in the long term in Boone County,” Mr. Kendrick says.
The Boone County Nature School is a partnership between Columbia Public Schools (CPS), the Missouri Department of Conservation and the community, which includes all six Boone County school districts. CPS has committed $2-million for the nature school’s construction, while the Missouri Department of Conservation has committed $1-million. Commissioner Kendrick notes Boone County has contributed about $400,000, using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. ARPA was signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Mr. Kendrick has been working on the Boone County Nature School issue since he was first elected to the Missouri House in 2014. He helped lead a bipartisan effort in Jefferson City to restore funding for the 111-acre project, which is in Three Creeks. Commissioner Kendrick tells 939 the Eagle that the nature school will provide an excellent educational experience to students.
“And just the experience to get out and have the educational piece kind of come to light in a natural setting enjoying nature, one of the best conservation areas in the state of Missouri (Three Creeks), it really will help connect kids with nature and will make sure that they understand the importance of our natural resources for a lifetime to come,” says Commissioner Kendrick.
He attended the recent dedication on the grounds, when the Columbia Audubon Society made a $30,000 donation for the nature school’s Council House portion. The Boone County Nature School is scheduled to be completed in June 2024.
CPS Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood predicts the new nature school will be a model for the state and the nation.
Last week’s horrific killing of a three-year-old child in Columbia and other violence has prompted Mayor Barbara Buffaloe to propose a new Office of Violence Prevention.
Mayor Buffaloe outlined her proposal in a nine-paragraph guest commentary in the “Columbia Missourian” newspaper. The mayor says she’ll ask her fellow council members to support her request at tonight’s city council meeting.
Mayor Buffaloe says numerous cities have similar offices. She says the new Office of Violence Prevention will partner with public safety offices, community violence intervention programs and neighborhood voices to advance violence protection.
28-year-old Larry Brownlee, a convicted felon, remains jailed without bond this morning. He’s charged with second degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. Brownlee is scheduled to appear again in court tomorrow via video.
Meantime, Columbia’s council is scheduled to vote tonight on a resolution to allocate $25.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. The resolution states council intent to utilize the ARPA money and directs staff to negotiate agreements for council consideration. ARPA was signed by President Joe Biden.
The first $12-million of Columbia’s ARPA funding was designated for initiatives related to homelessness, community violence, mental health services and workforce development. The council has selected five priority areas for the second half of the funding, including affordable housing, homelessness and access to services.
The council is also set to vote tonight to rezone property on Keene court down the street from Women’s hospital. There is a proposal to develop a new, four-story hotel on Keene court.
Tonight’s meeting will begin at 7 at city hall.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth) is optimistic that a federal government shutdown can be avoided. Congressman Luetkemeyer, whose sprawling district includes Columbia, Jefferson City, Boonville and Fulton, joined us live this morning on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri.” Congressman Luetkemeyer tells listeners that a shutting the government down is not an option, saying it would cost billions of dollars and would empower Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York). Luetkemeyer describes last night’s two-hour closed-door GOP caucus meeting as productive. He says a few members of his party want the government to shutdown and are trying to raise money off of it. Congressman Luetkemeyer also blasted President Joe Biden (D), saying whistleblowers have been providing information to House committees about the Biden family. Congressman Luetkemeyer accused the Biden family of abusing their power “for a long, long time”: