Associated Press | KBIA

Associated Press

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is moving up the date that voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid health care coverage in the state.

Parson on Tuesday said he's putting the ballot initiative on the Aug. 4 primary ballot instead of the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

The Kansas City Police Department two years ago quietly paid $425,000 to an unarmed man who was shot in the face by an officer who initially faced criminal charges in the shooting.

The Kansas City Star reported the payment Tuesday. The newspaper said it only recently learned of the 2018 settlement with Anthony Contreras after filing a records request through Missouri’s Sunshine Law.

Leaders in Kansas City, St. Louis and the state of Kansas are urging people who partied close together at Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend to self-quarantine for two weeks. Health officials fear that the gatherings documented in social media postings could lead to a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Big crowds were reported at swimming pools, bars and restaurants at the popular central Missouri lake that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Postings showed people without masks partying and swimming together in close proximity.

Kansas City’s smaller colleges and universities say their size could benefit them amid the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many other schools that have had to make cuts. KCUR 89.3 reports that several Missouri and Kansas colleges believe they could be an attractive option this fall for students who want to continue their education but need to save money or want to avoid overcrowded classrooms. College officials and administrators, however, worry the pandemic may have put college out of reach for low-income students.

Missouri’s health director has issued a dire warning after photos and video showed Memorial Day weekend revelers partying close together: The coronavirus is still here, and the spreading of illnesses could have “long-lasting and tragic” results. One video on social media shows a crammed pool at Lake of the Ozarks, with people lounging and playing close together, without masks. The lake draws people from as far away as Arkansas and Iowa. It’s especially popular with travelers from St.

Crowds are packing some bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks despite a state social distancing order. Video posted on social media shows a crammed pool over the holiday weekend where people lounged close together without masks. Missouri’s statewide stay-at-home order expired earlier this month, but an order from the state health director requires people to keep at least 6 feet between each other until at least the end of May. It’s unclear what steps Lake of the Ozarks-area health officials are taking to enforce that order. Local law enforcement say they're overwhelmed.

About 1,000 contract employees of a federal agency have received notice that their jobs face elimination in what would be one of the largest mass layoffs of the year for the Kansas City area. The Kansas City Star reports that the employees work for the National Benefits Center, which processes paperwork for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Overland Park, Kansas. The fee-funded U.S.

Missouri voters will decide in November whether to expand the state's Medicaid program to provide health coverage to thousands more low-income adults. Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said Friday that the initiative has received more than enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. Missouri’s Medicaid program currently doesn't cover most adults without children and has one of the nation's lowest income eligibility thresholds for parents.

Missouri's governor says a plan to increase coronavirus testing will focus on nursing homes, prisons and widespread testing for anyone who wants it in certain counties. Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday said he wants 7,500 tests per day, including 1,850 at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Parson says increased testing also includes what's called community sampling, meaning anyone in a county can get tested regardless of whether they're at high risk or are symptomatic.

A group of Missouri mayors is asking Gov. Mike Parson to call lawmakers back to work to ensure that the state collects online sales taxes. The Kansas City Star on Thursday reported that the mayors are asking Parson to call a special session on the issue. The mayors want the state to require out-of-state online retailers to collect Missouri sales taxes. Lawmakers failed to pass an online sales tax bill before their session ended earlier this month. Legislative leaders have already said they'll likely have to return to work at some point this to accept more federal coronavirus aid.

A judge has blocked St. Louis’ top prosecutor from paying potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills to five outside law firms representing her. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Circuit Judge Joan Moriarity on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction sought by a St. Louis resident, Charles Lane. Moriarity wrote that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office did not comply with state law when entering into the contracts, and that there was not enough public money set aside to pay the contracts at the time they were signed.

A student is suing the University of Missouri's four-campus system for a refund after classes went online during the coronavirus pandemic. An anonymous student filed the lawsuit and is seeking class-action status to sue the university system on behalf of all students. The lawsuit claims the University of Missouri System didn't offer sufficient refunds to students when classes were moved online. An attorney for the student says the university system did the right thing by closing in response to the virus.

In a year when many states are prohibiting in-person graduation ceremonies due to the coronavirus, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is not only allowing them, but will speak at one. The Republican governor has a special bond with the indoor ceremony Thursday night at Sparta High School in southwestern Missouri: His granddaughter is among the 42 seniors receiving diplomas. Missouri reopened after the pandemic-forced shutdown on May 4, and Parson was among the few governors allowing large-scale gatherings, including graduation ceremonies.

Persistent wet weather has caused rivers to rise in eastern Missouri, resulting in minor flooding along parts of the Mississippi and other rivers. Much of the eastern part of the state has received 3 inches of rain or more over the past week. The Mississippi River is at flood stage in the northeast Missouri towns of Louisiana and Clarksville, leaving farm fields wet and closing a few roads. In southeast Missouri, the Mississippi River was nearly 2 feet above technical flood stage on Wednesday at Cape Girardeau, where much of the town is protected by a flood wall.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is urging Mike Parson to call a special session so lawmakers can take action to protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. In a letter to the Republican governor on Wednesday, the chamber called coronavirus liability an “emerging problem in Missouri.” The organization cites lawsuits involving those who believe they contracted the virus at a business. The chamber says that under current state law, the lawsuits can move forward regardless of whether businesses were taking precautions aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

St. Louis-area kids and families bored at home during the coronavirus shutdown will start to see new options open up next month, when the St. Louis Zoo, summer camps and swimming pools all are expected to reopen. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Wednesday that summer camps will likely be able to open starting June 1. County officials are hoping to allow pools to open in early June, though a specific start date has not been set. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Zoo announced that it will reopen June 13, though facial coverings will be mandatory for most guests.

A lawsuit accuses four white suburban St. Louis police officers of brutalizing a 68-year-old black woman and her adult son after wrongly accusing them of stealing a television.

Marvia Gray alleges she suffered serious injuries during her arrest at a Sam’s Club store in Des Peres, Missouri, on March 23. The lawsuit filed Monday says her 43-year-old son, Derek, suffered a concussion and other injuries.

Civil rights groups are appealing to the Missouri Supreme Court to allow all Missourians to vote absentee in upcoming elections because of the coronavirus.

Attorneys for groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Missouri NAACP filed an appeal Tuesday. A circuit judge on Monday dismissed their lawsuit.

Judge Jon Beetem wrote that the groups asked for absentee voting in all future elections, regardless of whether COVID-19 is still around.

The family of two Wisconsin brothers who were killed in Missouri have settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the suspect and his mother.

A Callaway County judge approved a $2 million settlement in a lawsuit filed in the deaths of Nicholas and Justin Diemel of Shawano County, Wisconsin. The family sued Garland Nelson, his mother, Tomme Feil; and their cattle business. 

Nelson is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of the brothers and could face the death penalty if he's convicted. Nelson has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

A lawsuit accuses four white suburban St. Louis police officers of brutalizing a 68-year-old black woman and her adult son after wrongly accusing them of stealing a television.

Marvia Gray alleges she suffered serious injuries during her arrest at a Sam’s Club store in Des Peres, Missouri, on March 23. The lawsuit filed Monday says her 43-year-old son, Derek, suffered a concussion and other injuries.

The gradual reopening of Missouri's economy continues but officials are urging residents to keep following safety guidelines to further slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Restaurants and other nonessential businesses are reopening Monday in St. Louis County and the city of St.Louis, which had imposed stricter guidelines than Gov. Mike Parson's statewide order. County Executive Sam Page says the success of the reopening will depend on residents' willingness to follow restrictions, such as social distancing.

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a Missouri death row inmate to be executed Tuesday and ordered his petition for post-conviction relief dismissed, despite questions raised about evidence used to convict him.

The Sunday decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacates a 30-day stay of execution granted Friday to 64-year-old Walter Barton by a federal judge. The execution would be the first in the U.S. since March 5 and is scheduled despite concerns about the coronavirus that prompted other states to postpone lethal injections.

Kansas City police are investigating after the body of a man was found in a dry creek bed over the weekend.

Police say the body was found late Sunday morning in the Tower Homes neighborhood in southern Kansas City. Officers discovered the body after being called to the area by someone who thought they had spotted a human body in the creek.

Officials have not released the man's identity and continue to investigate what caused his death.

Police in Kansas City are investigating a shooting inside an apartment building that killed two men and left a woman with life-threatening injuries.

Police say the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Monday, when officers were called to the building in far-south Kansas City. Arriving officers reported finding one man dead inside the apartment, and a woman wounded. The woman was rushed by ambulance to a hospital with critical injuries. Police say someone drove a second man wounded in the shooting to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Though neighbors, some elected officials in Missouri and Illinois are at odds as Congress considers another coronavirus aid package.

Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Friday that the state has $6.5 billion of unpaid bills unrelated to the coronavirus and an additional projected budget hole of $7 billion because of the coronavirus hit to the economy. She says Illinois needs help from Congress to cover that $7 billion hole.

Restaurants and other nonessential businesses will be allowed to open their doors on Monday in St. Louis city and county, but some people in the region worry that it’s still too early in the area of Missouri stung hardest by the coronavirus.

A group called HealthB4Wealth staged drive-by protests Saturday, parading through parts of the region and honking horns. Organizers say the region lacks enough personal protective equipment for essential workers if cases start to spike again, and that the city and county don’t have enough testing and contact tracing in place.

The University of Missouri will pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by an animal rights group over a public records request.

The Beagle Freedom Project asked the university for records pertaining to cats and dogs used for research. The university initially said the group would need to pay $82,222 for the records, prompting the lawsuit. The group won at trial last year and on Monday a judge ended the case by approving the settlement amount.

Meiying Wu

Missouri voters will once again get a chance to weigh in on how upcoming redistricting is handled.

The state House on Wednesday sent a new redistricting plan to the ballot. Missourians in 2018 voted to make “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness” top criteria in drawing state House and Senate districts. The new Republican proposal would shift those to the least important criteria.

Nearly three dozen inmates at an eastern Missouri jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, along with five members of the jail staff.

A joint statement late Monday from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and the county health department says the 34 inmates who tested positive included some who showed symptoms and some who did not. None of the inmates or staff members have died, and none required hospitalization. All five staff members have recovered. The inmates who tested positive have been quarantined.

All Missouri hospitals would be required to offer rape kits under a bill heading to the governor's desk.

Currently, not every hospital can perform rape kits to gather evidence of sexual assault. But a bill that would mandate access to rape kits at all licensed hospitals received final approval in the state House on Tuesday. Now it's up to Republican Gov. Mike Parson to sign it into law. The measure would give hospitals access to virtual and in-person training on how to perform rape kits.

All hospitals would be required to provide rape kits by 2023.

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