Jonathan Ahl

 Jonathan Ahl reports from the Rolla Bureau for St. Louis Public Radio. His duties also include covering central and southern Missouri for Harvest Public Media. Before coming to St. Louis Public Radio in November of 2018, Jonathan was the General Manager for Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, Illinois. He previously was the News Director at Iowa Public Radio and before that at WCBU in Peoria, Illinois. Jonathan has also held reporting positions in central Illinois for public radio stations.
 
Jonathan is originally from the Chicago area. He has a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from Western Illinois University and an M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is an avid long distance runner, semi-professional saxophonist and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

ROLLA — In 2016, Donald Trump received 70% or more of the vote in most of Missouri's non-urban counties, continuing a trend of the GOP dominating rural areas. 

A group of 23 Democrats running in those areas is hoping that working together will reverse that tendency.

To Empower All Missourians includes Democrats running for Congress, statewide office and state legislative seats. The goal is to share resources, volunteers and best practices to improve their odds in the November election.

ROLLA Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers are trying to find out what is blocking people from using more solar energy with the help of a federal grant.

The research will look at economic and psychological reasons for why a homeowner or business would choose or not choose solar energy.

“We want to understand the factors that affect electricity use and adoption of solar energy,” said Islam El-adaway, a civil engineering professor at Missouri S&T and the leader of the project. “This is one of multiple steps we hope to take.”

Missouri feral hog hunters soon should be able to donate the meat to local food banks.

The recently passed state budget bill that is on its way to Gov. Mike Parson includes an expansion of the Share the Harvest Program, which will allow hunters to donate feral hogs in addition to deer to local food banks.

Under the program, the state pays meat processors to prepare the animals for donation to food pantries and other agencies that feed those in need.

The measure also doubles the amount of money the state is putting toward the program, from $150,000 to $300,000.

While farmers are hurting in the coronavirus economy, how badly depends largely on where they are selling their crops and livestock.

“If your normal place to drop your corn is an ethanol plant, and that ethanol plant is shut down, absolutely it’s having an effect,” said Seth Meyer, an agricultural economist at the University of Missouri.

But Meyer said that even for the corn farmers who sell to ethanol plants that are still running, or to some other sector, the lack of demand for ethanol because of lower fuel consumption means they are hurting, too.

Unlike other areas of Missouri where health officials believe the peak of coronavirus passed more than a week ago, Fort Leonard Wood has yet to see the worst, post leaders say. And they are asking for help to make sure people follow the rules.

According to the latest data, the virus may continue to spread at Fort Leonard Wood, Maj. Gen. Donna Martin said.

“The trend of cases, community spread and community testing in our region do not indicate that we are on a downward slope or side of this curve,” Martin said.

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