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.


6:15 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Environmentalists, Some Local Leaders Urge End Of New Madrid Levee Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:04 am

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.
Read more
12:33 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Geologists Record Widespread Activity On Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone

In this figure, the dots mark the epicenters of earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater between January 1974 and December 2013. The stars mark the epicenters of earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater since 1800.

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 2:57 pm

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.

Read more
10:58 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Cairo Reaches Agreement With Medical Marijuana Grower

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 11:51 am

Cairo may become the home of one of Illinois’ 22 medical marijuana grow operations.

Area 51 Growers, based in New Athens, Ill. and Sikeston, Mo., has reached an agreement with the city to install a $4 million medical marijuana cultivation facility on 10 acres of municipally-owned land.

Read more
3:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Cairo Residents To Erect Memorial For Bank Murder Victims

Martin David Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:41 pm

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.

Read more
7:50 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Frack Ban Fails In Johnson County, IL

Credit http://energy.umich.edu

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.

Read more
11:27 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Johnson County To Vote On Fracking, But Debate Not Likely To End Soon

Kris Pirmann stands in his high tunnel near Tunnel Hill, Ill. Pirmann is one of the Johnson County residents who is trying to ban fracking within the county.
Jacob McCleland KRCU

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:34 pm


Read more
8:10 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Fracking Debate Ignites In Johnson County, Ill.

Credit http://energy.umich.edu

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

A group of residents there - including a member of the county commission - has come out against a resolution that will appear on the ballot next month to ban fracking on their turf. 

Read more
8:41 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Can One Southern Illinois County Ban Fracking?

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:56 am

Kris Pirmann and a handful of other Johnson County residents stand outside the county commission office in Vienna, Ill., a town of about 1,400 people tucked into southern Illinois’ rolling hills near the Shawnee National Forest. 

“Southern Illinois. I grew up as a Navy brat. I moved all over the place, and southern Illinois was always the place where family was that we could come back to as home,” Pirmann said.

Read more
7:41 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Fracking Goes To The Ballot Box In Johnson County, Ill.

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:21 pm

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.

Read more
3:48 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Southern Illinoisans Express Concern About Fracking at Public Hearing

Credit http://energy.umich.edu

Some Southern Illinois residents are concerned about hydraulic fracturing related water quality, chemical trade secrets and the size of fines levied on the industry.  

The comments came from among the 175 present at an Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ public hearing on fracking last night at Rend Lake College in Ina. A six-member panel listened to a range of public comments about the IDNR’s proposed fracking regulations.

Read more