Jennifer Moore

News Director & Content Coordinator

As News Director, Jennifer oversees news gathering and production for KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio; in her role as Content Coordinator, she makes sure all programs on KSMU, including those produced locally, nationally, and internationally, flow seamlessly over the air.  She trains the student reporters and announcers and hosts the monthly program Engaging the Community.

Jennifer hails from West Plains, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Her Master's Degree from Missouri State University blended Middle Eastern politics and journalism. She lived in the Persian Gulf for five years and studied at the American University in Cairo. She has received the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award from The Missouri Bar, a national Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Joplin tornado, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. In 2019, she was one of 13 American journalists selected as a fellow for the Health Journalism Fellowship in Boston. 

She's the author of "Covering Elections for Smaller Newsrooms: A Template," and is always eager to hear story ideas or feedback from community members and listeners.

Ways to Connect

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Peter Garcelon was homeless when he first moved to Springfield.

“I've been in prison. And I spent 10 years in prison. And after I got out, I turned my life over to the Lord,” Garcelon said.

Now that he’s found housing, he tries to spread encouragement at the Veterans Coming Home Center, a drop-in place for the homeless in central Springfield. Garcelon says the pandemic has brought extra anxiety and despair to this fragile population.

Provided by Salvation Army Springfield

365 days a year, the Salvation Army’s Frontline Feeding program in Springfield serves meals to the homeless.

"We serve that lunch rain, sunshine or snow, pandemics, whatever," said Jeff Smith, a spokesman for the Salvation Army in Springfield. He says in more typical years, that program has provided a seated, hot lunch indoors. But once the pandemic struck, the organization had to figure out how to serve the meals while also staying safe and keeping in line with local ordinances.

So they quickly switched to lunches to-go, like a carry-out service.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

The first way the pandemic changed things for 48-year-old William Still was that he no longer had access to a toilet or shower.

"McDonald's, Hardee's, Wendy's and anywhere that had a restroom you could use [before the pandemic]. And now, you're down to Fast and Friendly, if you make a purchase," he said, referring to a nearby gas station. 

He’s a US Army veteran, originally from Oklahoma City, and he’s been homeless for a year and a half, he said.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

On the eve of Thanksgiving this year, it was rainy and cold in Springfield. But the two emergency cold weather shelters didn’t open that night, based on when and how long the National Weather Service predicted the temperature would hover around freezing.  

So a tiny outreach team, led by a local pastor and her band of volunteers, went to work like a well-oiled machine.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

We begin our series, Unsheltered, at a church—the East Sunshine Church of Christ in Springfield—on a recent Monday evening just as a city bus is pulling up. 

Out file about two dozen men, most carrying backpacks or blankets or a rolling a suitcase. A second bus will follow a few minutes later.

It’s half past seven o’clock and the temperature is quickly dropping to its projected low of 22 degrees.  And just like that, this church is transforming into an emergency cold weather shelter for the homeless. 

Photo provided

A seven-year-old boy from Rogersville, Missouri will take center stage this weekend on a billboard in Times Square.

Paxton Uchtman couldn't care less about superheroes or video games, but he's obsessed with farming and  his toy farm animals. And that creativity helped him win a national video contest hosted by the iconic toy company Schleich, which is known for its animal figurines.

Uchtman talked to KSMU's Jennifer Moore Friday by phone about the contest and his toys.

KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

UPDATE: Shortly after 9:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, Springfield Police Department spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey told KSMU in an email that the department had "not yet arrested a suspect" in the incident.   

Alex Crowder / KSMU

On Friday, Springfield’s two main hospital systems, Mercy and CoxHealth, issued a stark warning to the public:  they’re full, due to a wave of COVID-19 patients, and that’s starting to impact non-COVID patients, too.

At a press conference Friday, health officials said hospitalizations have skyrocketed this week. Hospitals have begun to shuffle dates of elective surgeries to maximze staffing, but the lack of beds and staffing are affecting emergency and acute care, too.

Missouri State University

In this month's episode of Engaging the Community, Missouri State University president Clif Smart tells KSMU's Jennifer Moore that lower COVID-19 casecounts on campus indicate there's not a need to alter how MSU administers its holiday breaks.   

Listen to the episode here:

KSMU File photo

Springfield residents ages 18 and older without health insurance can get a free flu shot on Wednesday, November 18.  

Wednesday’s drive-through flu shot clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Kansas Expressway and Grand Street in the parking lot of a former Price Cutter grocery store.  The address is 1720 West Grand Street.

Fogle campaign / Used with permission

After a manual recount triggered by a razor thin margin, Democratic challenger Betsy Fogle has defeated the incumbent Republican, Steve Helms, flipping Missouri’s 135th district House seat to blue.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller’s office oversaw the manual recount, which took place Thursday as a bipartisan team of election workers looked on.

In the end, Fogle maintained her lead and has won the election by a mere 76 votes – that’s out of more than 17,000 votes cast in that race.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

 UPDATE on Friday, Nov. 13, 5:00 a.m.:   After Thursday's recount, Fogle won the election by 76 votes, flipping Missouri's 135th House District seat to blue.

Original story below:

The sound of ballots sifting through a machine Thursday morning filled the room at the Greene County Election Center in Springfield as part of a manual recount in a Missouri House race. 

The recount is for the Missouri House District 135 race between the top two candidates, Democrat Betsy Fogle and incumbent Republican Steve Helms. 

KSMU archives

One race in Greene County could be headed to a recount.

In the race for Missouri’s 135th district seat, which covers parts of central and east Springfield, the margin was too narrow to call early Wednesday morning between Republican Incumbent Steve Helms and Democratic Challenger Betsy Fogle.

With 97% of Greene County precincts reporting results, Fogle had 48.08% and Helms had 47.88% of the vote.  Greene Party candidate Vicke Kepling had about 4% of the vote.

Mike Parson
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Several of the state’s top doctors and hospital administrators have implored Governor Mike Parson to implement statewide measures to slow the rampant spread of the coronavirus—in particular a mandate for face coverings in public.  But Parson says such mandates don’t mesh with his beliefs on the role of state government.

Mercy Springfield

Citing a “high number of COVID-19 infections” and an impending flu season, Mercy Hospital Springfield has opened a mobile care unit dedicated to respiratory care.

The hospital said in a news release Wednesday it hopes to either directly treat patients in the facility and release them—or admit them to the hospital. The mobile unit is located outside the main hospital's emergency department and is equipped for 15 patient care areas.