Josh Conaway

News Reporter, Announcer

Josh Conaway is a second year student at Missouri State University studying political science and Spanish. He works as news reporter and announcer for KSMU. His favorite part of working for KSMU is meeting a wide variety of interesting people for stories. He has a passion for history and running.

Discovery Center


The Discovery Center of Springfield and Victory Mission are teaming up to serve 350 hot meals a week to children of healthcare workers and first responders. The Discovery Center has been operating a free daycare for children of those workers due to the coronavirus pandemic.


According to Victory Mission, the Discovery Center needed help providing food, so members of Victory Mission’s food service team got to work preparing meals. The team is part of the shelter’s Men’s Restoration Program, which teaches men skills to reenter the workforce.


Busiek State Forest
Scott Harvey / KSMU

This week, Missouri State Parks began its “phased reopening” of campgrounds and beaches. 

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, state park campground reservations opened May 18 for camping that can begin May 26. State park beaches will open May 21. 


Carbon Trace Productions


The Springfield-based nonprofit production company, Carbon Trace Productions, has won best documentary feature film at the Kansas City FilmFest International 2020. The documentary "Witness at Tornillo" is about one man's campaign against the United States' immigration policy along the US-Mexico border.


When Governor Mike Parson issued an executive order for Missourians to limit their activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of his Republican challengers for the governor's seat cried foul. Saundra McDowell said the order infringed on religious liberties. KSMU asked a political science professor to delve into those issues further.

McDowell released a statement that called Governor Parson’s stay-at-home order unconstitutional. She said the order that closes churches violates the First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble and the free exercise of religion.

Dave Herholz / Flickr


What can someone who’s recovered from the coronavirus do to help people still struggling with it? According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the answer could lie in their blood plasma.

In a news release, the department said they’re looking for people who have fully recovered from the coronavirus to donate plasma. The plasma of someone who has recovered (COVID-19 convalescent plasma or CCP) is believed to have antibodies that makes fighting off future infections easier.


Bear Pantry MSU Blog / Missouri State University

  Both MSU and OTC in Springfield have dedicated emergency funds for students in need, and they remain active even during the COVID-19 crisis.


Missouri State University President Clif Smart said on Twitter this week that he and his wife had donated to MSU's Bear Pantry, and encouraged others who were able to do the same. 


Alex Johnson, who works with students and nonprofits at MSU, said food pantry is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is located in Hutchens House on campus. 




As COVID-19 continues to spread, healthcare workers fighting the outbreak are facing extraordinary circumstances that could take a toll on their mental health. Burrell Behavioral Health is offering those workers free resources to get through the crisis.

Flickr via Creative Commons


The Missouri Farm Bureau and MU Extension are giving farmers steps they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Missourians are facing uncertain times, and it’s affecting more than just people – it’s also affecting pet adoption.

The Humane Society of Southwest Missouri is looking for temporary “foster homes” for animals to stay in for 30 days or more. The shelter's website says it's expecting animal intakes to rise, and at the same time it can’t adopt animals out right now. People can take on puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, or animals with medical needs.


Victory Mission Logo / Used with permission

  What do you do during a stay-at-home order if you don't have a home to go to?  In Springfield, Victory Mission offers emergency shelter for homeless men. And as the coronavirus transforms life in Greene County, it and other shelters are getting creative as they try to stay open and safe. This is the story of one local homeless man navigating that process.


For Eric West, things were finally starting to look up a few weeks ago.  He had a new job as a cook at a Springfield hotel and he was even able to put some money away for savings, he said.



The City of Nixa has dedicated a website listing tips and resources for families and businesses to get through the coronavirus pandemic. has a tab for local businesses, with information on state and federal programs to turn to for relief, and ways to keep employees from getting sick.


Citizen's Memorial Hospital

What do you get when you mix an infectious disease doctor, a few "techies," and a physician's assistant?  Turns out, it's the winning combination for 3D printed respirators for Citizen’s Memorial Hospital in Bolivar in case the gear is needed in responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

Matt Havens, a physician assistant at CMH, worked with family and tech groups to create respirators through 3D printing. They used a design they found on the web but it didn’t work very well.



Branson’s Parks and Recreation Department will deliver essential items to city residents who are in the high-risk group for coronavirus.

Volunteers will buy essential items for residents who could be severely impacted by COVID-19 and drop them off at their doorsteps. The program is being offered by Branson Parks and Recreation and the City of Branson.

The Mystery Hour


Artists and performers are doing what they can to provide some relief during a time saturated with heavy events. For over a decade the Springfield-based late night show “The Mystery Hour” has recorded in front of live audiences, hosted by Jeff Houghton. Now, he’s hosting the show from home every weeknight. 

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Jeff Houghton has begun streaming daily, live episodes on Facebook from his garage, which he calls “Desperation Studios.”