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Missouri News

Metro Transit Buys Fleet Of 14 Electric Buses

7 hours ago

Electric buses are coming to the St. Louis region.

Metro Transit announced Tuesday a deal with Minnesota-based New Flyer of America to add 14 zero-emission buses to the city’s fleet.

Opera Theatre St. Louis is launching two initiatives to boost the presence of underrepresented voices in the predominantly white world of professional opera.

It will commission works by composers who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color with the Voices Fund. The fund is seeded by $725,000 that was reallocated by donors to the company’s now-canceled annual gala.

“We’re talking about commissioning composers of color, commissioning women, commissioning voices that need to be heard,” General Director Andrew Jorgensen said.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced a new crime prevention framework that takes an inclusive approach to reducing violent crime.

“This is a starting point, not a final plan,” Lucas said in a press conference at City Hall, backed by dozens of elected officials, civic leaders and law enforcement. “That’s intentional. We need and want the community to provide input.”

Kansas City is on pace for its deadliest year on record with 146 homicides so far. Police say non-fatal shootings are also up.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:25: How to prepare for flu season during the pandemic.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Mary Anne Jackson said it's never been more important to get a flu shot. The vaccines are safe and have the ability to save many lives — especially older adults and children. Dr. Jackson also recommended that people continue to wear masks, socially distance and avoid gatherings. Combined, those will give us our best chance in this uncharted territory.

A federal judge has dismissed St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s lawsuit against the city, police union and others accusing them of a racist conspiracy to force her from office.

U.S. District Judge John Ross wrote: “Her 32-page complaint can best be described as a conglomeration of unrelated claims and conclusory statements supported by very few facts, which do not plead any recognizable cause of action.”

A local tenants rights group is suing the presiding judge of Jackson County for allowing landlords to file eviction cases in the face of a federal moratorium on tenant evictions.

The lawsuit by KC Tenants alleges that Circuit Judge David M. Byrn issued an administrative order that conflicts with a September directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordering a halt to tenant evictions through the end of the year.

Although recent data shows COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Missouri are at or near all-time highs, the state health department this week introduced new reporting strategies that will provide less current information about the virus to the public.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that it would stop providing daily COVID-19 updates on social media and launched a website that only provides three-day-old COVID-19 case, death and testing data.

Key races for Missouri attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer are underway but Republican incumbents and especially their Democratic challengers may have trouble capturing voters’ attention for these down ballot races.

“Given the importance and attention on the Presidential election, I can’t imagine that any candidates below governor are going to get much attention,” said Elizabeth Vonnahme, associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

'Every Vote Matters': Black Teens On Their First Presidential Election

21 hours ago

The general election is a little more than a month away.

In the midst of the rhetoric, TV ads and distant rallies, some young Black people are preparing to vote in their very first presidential election.

St. Louis Public Radio asked Kirkwood native Lauryn Miller, 18, and Jermaine Lathen and Areanna Whittington from St. Louis, both also 18, about why they’re voting and what issues they want politicians to address.

Why are you voting in the general election?

Copyright 2020 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

The Illinois Department of Public Health dismissed hopes of officials in St. Clair County on Tuesday who say the downward trend in COVID-19 cases warrants an exemption from the stricter safety mitigation placed on Region 4.

On Monday, St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern said the county should stand alone given its improving COVID-19 positivity rate and case numbers. He expressed hope that IDPH would consider excluding the county from Metro East restrictions.

On Tuesday, IDHP dismissed a St. Clair County exemption as a possibility.

A ghost stories performance was near the top of Stuart Carden’s list of proposed events when he took over as artistic director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre last year. But when he mentioned creating a show comprised of scary tales and spooky original music to the theater’s stakeholders, they filed the idea away as something to get to by 2025.

Thanks to the pandemic, the show has moved from the back burner to the front. And from an indoor stage to the outdoors.

Sandra Thornhill has been thinking about — and suffering for — her hair as long as she can remember.

“Since I was a little girl…worried about my hair, getting burned by the hot comb to get it straightened out on a Sunday morning to be presentable,” Thornhill says.

As an adult, Thornhill says she would spend hours twisting her hair so that it looked like the perfect Afro. It wasn’t until graduate school that she decided to embrace dreadlocks — a decision she says allows her to be more present at work and in public.

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

Segment 1: President Dwight D. Eisenhower "deserves to be heard today" says granddaughter.

In a new book, Susan Eisenhower looks at how her grandfather, the 34th president of the United States, made huge decisions both during World War II and in his eight years in the White House. The book comes at the same time a new monument honoring him is unveiled in Washington D.C.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her audit of St. Louis County on Tuesday, which not surprisingly showed that former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger charted out a corrupt administration that abused the public trust.

But the audit also said the county council didn’t ensure enough oversight to stop Stenger from ransacking the county, a contention that’s been disputed by some council members.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids and former Cerner executive Amanda Adkins, a Republican, have sharp differences in their vision for how best to represent Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District.

If you live in Johnson, Wyandotte or part of Miami County, read on to find out where Davids and Adkins stand on major issues facing the United States and Kansas.

TOPEKA, Kansas — The 2nd Congressional District seat in Kansas is wide open after current Rep. Steve Watkins lost in the primary.

The Republican candidate is state Treasurer Jake LaTurner, who previously was a state senator. The Democrats have Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla.

Here’s where the two stand on major topics facing the state.

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda.

A staff member in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office tested positive for COVID-19 this week, according to a news release from the governor’s office Tuesday morning.

Pritzker and all close contacts of the staffer will isolate for two weeks. The staffer tested negative last Wednesday during routine weekly testing but then developed symptoms and tested positive on Monday.

ROLLA — Ebrahem Salem of O’Fallon, Missouri, had a typical successful college career. He studied hard, got good grades and even had a job offer months before his graduation in May after attending Missouri University of Science and Technology’s on-campus career fair.

But the petroleum engineering major got bad news when the coronavirus showed up.

“March came around, and I received information that my offer had been rescinded due to COVID-19 and the oil market downturn,” Salem said.

Ameren Missouri will invest nearly $8 billion in renewable energy in Missouri.

The utility will expand its reliance on wind and solar energy and purchase two wind energy facilities over the next few months, Ameren officials said Monday. The investment is part of Ameren’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We considered the call of many stakeholders, including our customers, to get as clean as we can as fast as we can,” Ameren Chairman and President Marty Lyons said.

Missouri’s wild turkey population has plummeted in recent years, alarming hunters and scientists alike.

Now, with production of young turkeys at near-record lows, researchers at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation are launching new studies to pinpoint possible reasons for the decline.

Afternoon Newscast for September 28, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Regional headlines from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

Stiepleman Named 2021 Missouri Superintendent of the Year

Sep 28, 2020
Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman was chosen as the 2021 Missouri Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators, according to a Saturday news release. Stiepleman was honored for his selection at a virtual fall conference held by the administrators association and the Missouri School Boards’ Association.

Missouri Association of School Administrators Executive Director Doug Hayter said there is no doubt Stiepleman’s guidance has played a great role in successes of one of the state’s largest districts.

Protecting Wildlife Protects Us Too

Sep 28, 2020

The St. Louis Zoo, in collaboration with the Living Earth Collaborative, is hosting a webinar Tuesday called “How Protecting Wildlife Can Help to Prevent Pandemics.” The organizations aim to spread awareness about diseases transmitted from animals to humans and how increased human connections and encounters with animals in the wild increase rates of transmission.

Segment 1: Missouri's Secretary of State is confident about the integrity of the election system the state has in place.

Jay Ashcroft says after weathering three elections with the new mail-in and absentee voting rules in place, he feels ready for November 3 and says he's keeping tabs on potential election interference so Missourians don't have to. As for his reelection campaign, Ashcroft brushed aside criticism from his Democratic opponent that he is not closely attuned to the needs of Missourians.

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

“Restaurant: Impossible” is a show on the Food Network where celebrity chef Robert Irvine helps failing restaurants across the country turn their businesses around in 48 hours. He’s brutally honest, but the reward is worth the critiques.

Despite the "surge" of federal agents having left Kansas City, law enforcement leaders on Monday said the crime-fighting initiative Operation LeGend will live on.

The operation lead to more than 500 arrests, including 37 suspects in homicide cases, the seizure of 176 illegal firearms, and "large quantities" of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, according to U.S Attorney Tim Garrison.

As president of the Ethical Society of Police, Sgt. Heather Taylor has been an outspoken advocate for change. She’s spoken out about racism in the department. She’s spoken out about misinformation from her superiors.

The St. Louis region has seen ups and downs recently in its coronavirus case numbers, but elsewhere in the state the number of cases is rising quickly.

Nine counties in Missouri have had case counts increase by more than 20% last week, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

St. Clair and Linn counties, both in western Missouri, sit at the top of the list with increases of 59% and 40%, respectively.

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