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Missouri News

Dr. Sarah Boyd had a sinking feeling when she saw the videos of Memorial Day weekend revelers packed into pools and bars at Lake of the Ozarks.

“I thought ‘Oh, no,’” said Boyd, an infectious disease physician at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City. “It’s understandable that it’s a holiday weekend but it seemed to be being treated like COVID-19 wasn’t going on.”

Columbia Trash Collectors Exposed to COVID-19

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Meiying Wu / KBIA

Several solid waste employees in Columbia have been placed into isolation due to exposure to the coronavirus, as well as several employees of the temporary staffing agency used to collect recycling and trash.

As a result, the city will NOT be collecting recycling this week. The city says that all efforts will be shifted to normal trash collection to ensure the health and safety of Columbia residents.

The city noted that the disruption of services could last beyond May 30th, but that they will update the community as the situation develops.

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.

State Officials Make Recommendations for CARES Act Federal Aid

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Missouri officials are gathering information to determine how to spend the remaining CARES Act funding.

The CARES Act Funding working group heard testimony from state departments and organizations last week as they decide how to allocate the federal aid.

Education resources, economic development and COVID-19 testing were among several funding concerns.

The working group will use information from the meeting to make recommendations to Gov. Mike Parson on how to best allocate the funds.

Columbia PD Responds to Quail Avenue Shooting

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Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia Police responded to a report of a person with a gunshot wound early this morning in the 2700 block of Quail Drive.

Upon arriving at the location around 2:10 a.m., officers discovered one victim with a life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim was immediately transported to a local emergency room for advanced medical care.

The Columbia PD is asking anyone with knowledge of the incident to contact contact the Columbia Police Department at 573.874.7652 or CrimeStoppers at 573.875.TIPS (8477) to remain anonymous.

Partnership to Help Moberly College Students Transition to Columbia College

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Students from Moberly Area Community College will be able to live on the Columbia College campus while taking MACC classes under a new partnership announced last week.

The CC-MACC program is meant to reduce the time and cost for students to complete a bachelor’s degree at Columbia College, give them a four-year college experience and make the process easier overall, according to a news release.

Coronavirus Changes Memorial Day Celebrations in Missouri

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Before Memorial Day, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County is typically full of Boy Scouts planting flags.

The coronavirus ended that tradition this year. Volunteers stepped in to lay flags to honor the thousands of veterans at the cemetery.

The effort to slow the virus's spread has changed typical Memorial Day ceremonies in Missouri and elsewhere.

Retired Staff Sgt. Max Deweese was part of the first wave of Marines to hit the beach at the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, the first allied offensive following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Overland Park resident was awarded two Purple Hearts. Now he’s undergone another searing, life-threatening experience and once again managed to beat the odds.

Live sporting events are underway again in Kansas City after being shut down since mid-March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two tracks—KC Raceway in Independence, Missouri, and Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri—held races over the weekend with open-wheel competition. Lakeside in Kansas City, Kansas, plans to start back up on May 29.

There’s one big difference between what the local tracks are doing compared to NASCAR in North and South Carolina the last two weeks. In Missouri, spectators are allowed to attend the local races.

The Missouri Department of Health And Senior Services removed antibody tests from its count of COVID-19 tests on Saturday, revealing that the state has been less aggressive on viral testing than had previous appeared.

On Friday, the total number of tests reported was 172,946, but after changes were made on Saturday, the count dropped to 148,303, a decline of 14%.

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state health department, addressed changes made to the state data in a statement released on Saturday.

Instead of diving headlong into the summer pool season, several swimming facilities in the St. Louis area are merely dipping a toe and opening with extra restrictions because of the pandemic. 

More still are sitting out entirely for Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally marks the opening of swimming pools in the region. And some pools could remain empty for the rest of the summer. 

MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate agreed in a live-streamed Saturday morning debate that they want to do all they can for the president and his policies.

They differed mostly on who among them could offer President Donald Trump the strongest ally on Capitol Hill and on who had the best chance to beat a Democrat to get there.

Missouri voters will get a chance to expand Medicaid.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Friday that he approved the petition to put Medicaid expansion on the November ballot.

Backers submitted more than 340,000 petition signatures, well over the number needed to qualify for a proposed constitutional amendment.

The amendment would expand Medicaid to people making 138% of the federal poverty level, which is a little less than $18,000 a year.

Leaders at fewer than half the arts organizations in the St. Louis area say they are confident their organizations will survive the impact of COVID-19. 

That uncertainty is revealed in a survey by the national advocacy group Americans for the Arts. 

Only 38 of 79 arts organization leaders in St. Louis and in St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties who responded reported that they will likely survive the economic disruptions of the pandemic. Nationwide, 58% of arts organizations who responded to the survey expressed confidence.

St. Louis-area arts organizations lost more than $2.5 million during the coronavirus crisis, according to the survey’s calculations.

Memorial Day this year will be a time of recognizing all who are serving or have served on the front lines, even if observing the day will take place at a distance.

Scott Air Force Base will honor health care workers with a flyover on Monday. 

The 932nd Airlift Wing will fly over six hospitals in the region, including Belleville Memorial Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Memorial East Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center at Jefferson Barracks.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

Lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that would expand Illinoisans’ ability to avoid the ballot box, and possibly coronavirus,in November.

The major expansion to vote by mail in Illinois law would only affect the Nov. 3 presidential election in an effort to keep voters safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Wednesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

As a scholar who works with human remains, Anne Austin had long looked closely at bones. Her training is in osteology and Egyptology, and for many years she worked to expand the world’s knowledge about the health, medicine and disease of past civilizations. 

But back in 2016, her focus suddenly turned from bones to ancient skin— and body art.

“As I was doing my research, I accidentally came across this really heavily tattooed mummy — minimum 30 tattoos, on her arms, her shoulders and her back,” Austin recalled. “That discovery literally rewrote what we understand about tattooing in ancient Egypt. And since then I’ve been able to go back and find more tattoos at the site [where] I work.”

Magnet, charter, neighborhood, choice: The different types of schools in urban public education can be a lot to decipher, even a few decades into the so-called “school choice” era.

A website that helps St. Louis parents pilot it all has relaunched with updated data and a new name. 

Segment 1, beginning at 4:55: "In a perfect world ... we would say 'everyone in Clay County come get a test,'" said the county's acting epidemiologist.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Clay County, Missouri, was testing only residents with symptoms of COVID-19. Now, even those who aren't showing symptoms can be tested if there are enough test kits available.

On Thursday, Missouri’s state health department reported 30 new COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily toll so far during the pandemic.

The total number of deaths reached 661, more than double the total of 329 at the end of April. Other indicators, meanwhile, suggest the coronavirus may have a greater impact than state numbers indicate.

The COVID-19 data released by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services includes numbers of people who’ve died of the disease as reported by doctors, medical examiners, hospitals and local health agencies.

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Friday, May 29. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Bike retailers around the St. Louis region have reduced capacity for in-person visits due to the COVID-19 crisis. But even with less foot traffic, some shops are seeing an uptick in sales. 

Despite getting the legal go-ahead to reopen, movie theaters say that’s not going to happen — it's much more complicated than just hitting “play.”

“There’s no product available. All the films are put on hold because of COVID-19, so there’s not really any new films you could play,” Brian Mossman says.

Cities throughout the Kansas City metro have entered into various stages of reopening, and that's welcome news for many people who are anxious about the economy. But many workers say they are being forced into situations they fear are not yet safe.

When Joshua Williams, 28, was told on May 5 that he would be expected back at work in the downtown Kansas City, Missouri, office building where he's a janitor, the reopening was earlier than he was comfortable with.

TOPEKA, Kansas — In a one-day marathon session that wrapped up a legislative year upended by the coronavirus, Kansas lawmakers reined in the governor’s powers to respond to the public health crisis.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly sharply criticized the all-night rush that drafted the bill, but she stopped short of threatening a veto. Instead, she said, she will read the legislation carefully and make a decision at a later date.

Sarah Young’s salon in Creve Coeur sat empty for almost two months. But this week, after stay-at-home orders were lifted, she reopened her booth at Sola Salon with back-to-back appointments.

Young is eager to see her regular customers again, but business is far from normal. 

Clients are required to follow new safety protocols. That includes sending a text upon arrival and waiting in the car until Young is done sanitizing. Only one client is allowed inside at a time, and they must wear a mask, have their temperature taken and sanitize their hands.

St. Louis Alderman Joe Vollmer is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The 10th Ward Democrat talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann about balancing the city’s budget in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and how he’s dealing with it as a small business owner.

Vollmer represents parts of North Hampton, Southwest Garden, Tower Grove South and the Hill. He’s been an alderman since 2003.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday voted to exempt the fire department from some anti-nepotism provisions of the city’s Ethics Code.

With no discussion, the council voted 11-1 to pass the ordinance, which generally still bars a family member from directly supervising another family member. Rather, it requires another layer of management in between.

But it also allows for a family member to directly answer to another family member "if responsibility for personnel actions are delegated in writing” to a higher level within the chain of command.

People who wonder if they’ve been sick with the coronavirus can now be tested for COVID-19 antibodies at urgent care clinics throughout the St. Louis region. The results could show if someone was sick with the illness and recovered.

Antibodies are proteins the immune system makes to fight sickness. Having them means a person has been exposed to the virus.

But doctors caution they still know little about what the results of COVID-19 antibodies tests reveal. 

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.

Former Lucky's Market to Become Natural Food Store

May 21, 2020

The site that held Lucky's Market will become a natural food store, Schnucks Markets, Inc. announced Thursday.

EatWell is to open early summer at 111 S. Providence Road, according to a news release. The 42,000-square foot site is undergoing remodeling, the release said.

To read more on this story, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.