Fact Finder investigates snags with HIT

KIRKSVILLE, MO. -- More than a year ago plans were made to bring a DNA lab to Kirksville.

But our Fact Finder Team discovers snags in funding have put off the project that was expected to be in operation by now.

Not only is HIT on hold, but Kern and his family have moved back to California where his original DNA lab is located.

HIT continues to pursue the recovery zone bonds. My only contact with HIT over the last 3 weeks has been an e-mail that stated they still were pursuing the recovery zone bonds, said Director of Job Creation Phil Tate. Tate says as far as he knows, Kern and his family relocated because of personal reasons.

Fact Finder also learned Kern was in Kirksville a few weeks ago to speak to possible local investors.

Tate says he doesn't know the outcome of those meetings but the recovery zone bonds must be issued by December 31st, 2010. I would very much desire to see it come to Kirksville. I think everyone would. And there are a lot of people vested, so to speak, in the project. Truman State University has instituted a minor degree in forensics and I think that there's a collaborative agreement in place with A. T. Still University, said Tate, Whether it will actually come to fruition is entirely in the hands of HIT and their official status right now is that it is on hold due to and until further investment can be gathered.

Fact Finder contacted Kern for a comment on the status of the project.

Kern says he's dedicated to completing the DNA lab in Kirksville but is exploring several funding sources. He says until he has more funds secured, he can't set a firm timeline.