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A second public meeting Tuesday night, June 9, from 6 to 7 will focus on the Fassnight Creek Stormwater Improvement Project near the Springfield Art Museum.

The City of Springfield says it will be a combined in-person and virtual event with limited capacity at the Springfield Art Museum auditorium.

You can view the session and submit questions via Facebook live on the city’s page or at springfieldmo.gov/SAMstormwater.  That's also where you can view details about the project.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says there’s been another potential exposure of COVID-19.

Before they were diagnosed, a person with the illness went to Bricktown Brewery, 2040 E. Independence in Springfield, on Sunday, May 31 around 6 p.m. for around one and a half hours.

They were infectious and symptomatic and not wearing a face covering.

Health officials say anyone at the restaurant at that time is at low risk of developing COVID-19 but should watch for symptoms.

Missouri Officer Investigated After Police SUV Strikes Man

Jun 8, 2020

DELLWOOD, Mo. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — A police officer from a St. Louis suburb has been suspended and is under investigation by local and federal authorities after a video was released that appears to show a police SUV knocking a man to the ground and striking him before arresting the man.

Protest In St. Louis Suburb After Police SUV Strikes Man

Jun 8, 2020

FLORISSANT, Mo. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — About 200 protesters gathered in a St. Louis suburb in the wake of a video that appears to show a police SUV knocking a man to the ground before an officer jumps on top of the screaming man, hits him several times and handcuffs him.

Springfield Police estimate there were around 2500 people at Saturday’s protest rally for racial justice on Park Central Square.  On a hot and humid day, speakers challenged the crowd—skeptical they were as mad as they were last weekend when protests were held at Glenstone and Battlefield.  One person asked the crowd “Did you all settle down and get comfortable again?”

But people who went to the rally are eager for change.

Park Central Square was filled with hundreds of protestors Saturday.  They held up signs that said "Black Lives Matter," "Racism is a Pandemic," "No Justice No Peace" and "Police the Police."

Springfield Police estimate there were 2500 people in attendance.

After listening to speeches about why people should continue to push for an end to racism, the group marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge where they kneeled before proceeding to Springfield City Hall and the Springfield Police Department.

  A lot of doctors know from the beginning of their training what they want to focus on. For Dr. Curtis Schreiber, though, it was different. He trained in neurology at the Mayo Clinic, and he does practice as a general neurologist.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed a bill into law that will allow people to vote by mail this year if they’re concerned about the coronavirus.

Missouri Sees Biggest Increase In Coronavirus Cases In Month

Jun 5, 2020

KANSAS CITY (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — Missouri reported a sharp increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases this week, particularly in the Kansas City area.

Missouri State University president, Clif Smart, has announced that he and his wife, Gail, will make the first contribution towards a George Floyd Scholarship at the school.

His message on Twitter Friday is in response to a challenge issued during Floyd's memorial Thursday in Minneapolis.

Scott Hagan, president of North Central University in Minneapolis, challenged all colleges and universities in the U.S. to establish a scholarship in memory of Floyd.

Smart said he'll share details next week on how people can donate to the scholarship.

This week on KSMU's "Arts News" we hear from Avery Parish, coordinator of the First Friday Art Walk, about the impact of the pandemic and social distancing on the monthly Springfield arts event.                                   

Testing for COVID-19 continues for a second day Friday, June 5, at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.  The Missouri National Guard is helping with the testing.  It’s one of several community sampling events taking place in six counties in the state.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the testing will allow public health officials to learn more about the prevalence of COVID-19 transmission.  The goal is to test close to 10,000 people over a 10-day period, which started May 26. 

Evangel University’s fall semester will look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school will start back up a week earlier than usual—on Friday, August 21.  Fall break has been canceled, and the last day of the fall semester will be Friday, November 20. School officials say ending the semester before Thanksgiving will reduce the amount of travel and protect students, faculty and staff from increased risk of spread of the virus.

Rural Patients With Dementia Face Unique Challenges

Jun 5, 2020

For this segment of our series, we’re taking you on the road to learn about the unique challenges facing our rural neighbors with dementia.

I pulled up to the senior center in Ava, Missouri, in Douglas County, and stepped inside.  Five men were playing pool. This was in early March, about a week before the new coronavirus swept through the Midwest.  

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is warning the public of some possible COVID-19 exposures.

Before they were diagnosed with the illness, a person visited the Price Cutter, 1831 W. Kearney, Saturday, May 30, during the 9 a.m. hour.  They were infectious and symptomatic and were wearing a face covering.  A person with COVID-19 visited the New Image Thrift Store on N. Kansas that same day during the 1 p.m. hour while wearing a face covering.

 

For this segment in our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at the shortage of geriatricians—and what that means for the aging population here in the Ozarks.

Missouri National Guard Headed To D.C.

Jun 4, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri will send National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. amid sometimes violent protests in the nation's capital.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that this year alone, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias will cost the United States $305 billion dollars. Those costs are primarily in health care, and they are projected to climb.

But there can be legal expenses, too. 

If there’s one thing experts agree on, it’s that it’s best to be prepared and know what’s available in your region.

So in this segment of our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at legal resources for lower-income and elderly residents with dementia.

There’s been another possible exposure to COVID-19 in a local business.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says a person who was infectious and symptomatic visited Sam’s Club on E. Sunshine in Springfield on Friday, May 29 between 5 and 6 p.m.  They were not wearing a face covering.

When a person becomes a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, they face new challenges in their lives—and some even find new joys.  And having others with similar experiences they can talk to can make a big difference.

That’s where Alzheimer’s support groups come in.  Since stay-at-home orders were declared in March, support groups offered by the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Missouri are meeting via virtual platforms or telephone.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four St. Louis police officers were shot and wounded after peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent overnight, and a retired police captain was shot to death by looters at a pawn shop.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Two incoming Missouri college students who participated in a video that appeared to mock the killing of George Floyd have withdrawn.

Ferguson Elects First Black Mayor As New Protests Roil US

Jun 3, 2020

FERGUSON, Mo. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — Ferguson voters have elected Ella Jones as the city’s first black mayor as protests over police treatment of black communities roil the nation.

Springfield’s Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, planned for August, is canceled due to the coronavirus.

City of Springfield spokesperson, Cora Scott, said in a news release that they believe canceling the event "is the right thing to do to protect participants, staff, spectators and the community."

The city will offer refunds or the option to apply fees toward the 2021 festival.

Learn more here.  

The Springfield Art Museum will reopen Tuesday, June 9, to limited, walk-in traffic.  It’s been closed since March due to the coronavirus.

Museum officials say they’ve developed rigorous re-entry protocols.  Those include: 

Two teenagers who were planning to attend Missouri State University this fall have decided to withdraw.  The withdrawal comes after they were involved in what MSU is calling racially charged incidents on social media.

MSU president, Clif Smart, released a statement Tuesday in which he said his first impulse was to rescind the offer of admission to the students.  But he said, as a public university, MSU is legally required to uphold the principles of free speech embodied in the Constitution. 

Voters in Taney County have approved a sales tax for law enforcement.

The sales tax of three-eighths of one percent will be in place for a period of 15 years.  It will replace a 1/8 cent sales tax currently in place that will sunset at the end of 2021.

According to the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, the tax revenues will be used for the sheriff’s office and jail, the county juvenile department and the prosecuting attorney’s office. 

  

Willard resident, Shirley Fouraker, has been married to her husband, Bob, for nearly 60 years.  And last July, he was diagnosed with moderate dementia/Alzheimer’s.  She talked about her role as caregiver earlier this year.

“At the time it wasn’t that bad, but this last month it progressed really, really fast.  In fact, I went today to put his name on a waiting list at a nursing home,” said Fouraker.

 The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says a COVID-19 positive individual worked as a cashier in a Springfield convenience store prior to being diagnosed with the dis

Mark Applegate works for the local SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging.  He writes a blog called "Digital Cornbread," which just passed its one-year anniversary online back in March, when we first started working on these KSMU "Sense of Community" stories.

In it, he chronicles the journey he, his sister, Pam Lavin, their stepfather, John Alexander, and their mother, Brenda, have taken since Brenda went into a nursing home in Republic because of advancing Alzheimer's Disease.

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