Jacob McCleland

Jacob spearheads KRCU’s local news effort. His reporting has been heard on NPR’ Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PRI’s The World, and Harvest Public Media. In addition to reporting, Jacob directs KRCU’s team of student reporters and producers.

Jacob graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2000 with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish. He spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama where he worked on sustainable agriculture projects and hosted a weekly agriculture radio program.

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America's death penalty is under scrutiny after a series of botched executions, drug mix-ups and difficulty acquiring lethal injection drugs. Just last month, President Obama called certain parts of capital punishment "deeply troubling."

Some say long waits and repeated last-minute delays are tantamount to torture.

Protests at the University of Missouri and other college campuses are forcing universities into uncomfortable discussions about race and diversity. One school got a head start.

Earlier this year, the University of Oklahoma came under intense pressure when a video showed two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing a racist chant.

Now, students are comparing the reaction of their university with the recent controversies at Mizzou.

Math teacher Sherry Read's classroom is a total mess. The students are gone for the summer, and light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The floor has a layer of dust. Down the hallway, workers make a racket while they renovate the school, which dates back to the 1890s. They're working in what has become an archaeological site.

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The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

Missouri’s gas prices are the lowest in the nation at $2.21 per gallon, according to the website gasbuddy.com.
 
Gas in Cape Girardeau isn’t quite that low - most stations are charging between $2.29 and $2.39 for regular unleaded.
 
Mike Right from the American Automobile Association attributes the low gas prices to a decrease in the cost of crude oil, an increase in oil production, and flat demand.
 
“There’s a basic disconnect be

A coalition of ninety environmental groups and over twenty community leaders in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky are urging President Obama to block the Army Corps of Engineers from completing a $165 million  levee project in Missouri’s bootheel.

Geologists with Indiana University and several other Midwestern schools have identified widespread seismic activity along an “underappreciated” seismic zone in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. 

The seismic zone is named after a small Missouri town --- but it’s not New Madrid.

Third parties could attract just enough support to sway the outcome of two races in Illinois.

Democratic governor Pat Quinn is running neck-and-neck with Republican rival Bruce Rauner. Real Clear Politics considers the race a “toss up.”

Both of the major party candidates are pro-choice on the abortion issue, but the Libertarian candidate, Chad Grimm, is pro-life.

Citizens of Cairo are planning to establish a memorial for the victims of a botched bank robbery.

Anita Grace and Nita Jo Smith were both murdered in May. A surviving bank employee was seriously injured.

Monica Smith, the director of the Cairo Public Library, is planning to place two inscribed pink granite benches in a park near First National Bank in honor of the two women who were killed. She also hopes to plant a tree with a marker to honor the surviving bank employee.

A contentious non-binding referendum to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Johnson County, Ill. failed at the ballot box Tuesday night. Fifty-eight percent voted NO to the proposition which would have asked the county board to pass an ordinance that would prohibit the controversial oil and gas extraction technique.

 

The debate over hydraulic fracturing is heating up again in rural Johnson County, Illinois.

SEMO

Southeast Missouri State University announced Tom Matukewicz  as its new head football coach on Thursday.

Voters in Johnson County, Illinois will have a chance to voice their opinions about hydraulic fracturing at the ballot box. 

A group of Johnson County citizens submitted 1,001 signature to county officials on Thursday to put a non-binding resolution on the March 18 primary ballot that asks if fracking should be banned within the county. They only needed to gather 374.

epa.gov

About 175 people showed up for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' public hearing on hydraulic fracturing public hearing Tuesday night at Rend Lake College in Ina.

Jacob McCleland/KRCU

About 1,400 people turned up for a weekend casting call in Cape Girardeau for a feature movie.

NBC

Twenty-six young women from Farmington, Missouri will return to Radio City Music Hall later this month to perform on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Illinois Department of Transportation officials began collecting public information about a new interstate in southern Illinois at Shawnee Community College on Wednesday.

A little bit of Hollywood may be coming to Cape Girardeau to film 20th Century Fox's adaptation of the best-selling novel Gone Girl.

One of the last remaining B-25 bombers is at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport this week. The B-25 known as “The Maid in the Shade” is on hand for this weekend’s air festival

The Maid in the Shade was based in Corsica during World War II and flew 15 missions in Italy and Yugoslavia. After the war, it was used in utility and transport duties, and later as a fire ant sprayer in Texas.

 

Laura Simon/Southeast Missourian

Clay Waller pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife, Jacque Waller, in Cape Girardeau Court on Thursday, bringing a bittersweet end to one of the most high-profile murder cases in recent Cape Girardeau history.

Jacob McCleland/KRCU

Jason Smith and Steve Hodges are sprinting to the finish line of a relatively short campaign for Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. A special election will be held on Tuesday. The winner will replace Jo Ann Emerson, the long-time Congresswoman who announced her resignation shortly after Election Day. Jo Ann Emerson and her late husband, Bill, represented the southern Missouri district for 30 years.

With only a week to go before next Tuesday's special election, candidates for the 8th District Congressional seat debated again last night in Cape Girardeau.

US Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a Missouri case that police cannot take a blood test from a drunk driving suspect without a warrant during a routine drunk driving arrest.

KRCU

Southeast Missouri State University Provost Dr. Ron Rosati was one of at least five Cape Girardeau-area runners who raced in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Tragedy struck the race when two explosive devices killed three people and injured more than 170.
 

Jacob McCleland

The manhunt is over in southern Missouri for three prisoners who escaped from the Butler County Jail shortly before midnight Monday night.
 

Authorities say the three escapees were apprehended Tuesday afternoon at a scrap yard east of Poplar Bluff.  Matthew Cook and Kade Stringfellow were being held on murder charges. Rodney Green was being held for numerous assault charges. The trio escaped through the ceiling tiles of the Butler County jail.

State of Missouri

Republicans in southeastern Missouri have selected their nominee to try and replace Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson. 

Southeast Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday to Governor Jay Nixon and US House speaker John Boehner.

The Cape Girardeau Republican announced last month that she would be leaving congress to become president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Governor Nixon has set a special election for June 4th to fill out the remainder of Emerson's term.  So far 12 Republicans have expressed interest in the open 8th District seat.  Missouri Democrats are also going through the caucus process.

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