More than 1,000 supporters urge Trump to stop Kansas woman's execution

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A coalition of more than 1,000 supporters on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump to stop the execution of a Kansas woman who killed an expectant mother, citing horrific abuse and mental illness.Lisa Montgomery, 52, would be the first woman executed by the federal government in 67 years. She is scheduled to die by lethal injection Dec. 8.Montgomery, from Melvern, Kansas, was convicted in 2007 of strangling 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in northwest Missouri, cutting her unborn baby from her womb and kidnapping the baby. The child was later found safe.The coalition of supp...

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How could bloodthirsty execution of Kansas woman ever amount to justice?

The selectively pro-life Trump administration has brought back the federal death penalty with what I think we can safely call a vengeance during this tough-on-crime campaign season. Did Attorney General William Barr, only recently honored at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast for his “Christlike behavior,” even flinch when ordering that a Kansas woman will be murdered in our name on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?Most of those who suffer great cruelty as children do not go on to brutalize others as adults. But Lisa Montgomery, the woman we’re killing by lethal injection on Dec. 8, ...

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Missouri Senator Josh Hawley would rather not talk about the GOP's 'Josh Hawley problem'

On the day that Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court was announced, I wrote that it would be wrong as well as politically unwise for Democrats to attack her on religious grounds. And they haven’t.Instead, in the days since, Democrats have talked about everything but Barrett’s faith. They’ve argued against confirming her during an election. They’ve argued against confirming her during a pandemic. Again and again, they’ve warned that Barrett would, if confirmed, side with those who want to kill the Affordable Care Act and overturn Roe v. Wade. Not because of her religious beliefs,...

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University of Kansas student group demands campus close amid pandemic -- and plans Labor Day strike

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A student group at the University of Kansas is calling for a strike as reported coronavirus cases on campus number nearly 550.Jayhawker Liberation Front, a student-run club, is calling on students to stay home from their classes on Monday, which is Labor Day, to demand that the campus move to remote learning.“Our institutions have failed us,” the club leaders tweeted. “(The University of Kansas) has put profits over the people. Enough is enough.”As of Thursday, the university reported 546 cases after testing 22,563 people, which included all students, faculty and staff, ahea...

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MU professor no longer teaching, still employed after mask remark to Chinese student

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A University of Missouri professor was “relieved of teaching duties” Tuesday following a comment he made to a student from Wuhan, China. A student posted the comment about putting on a mask on social media, calling it xenophobic and unnecessary.Professor Joel Poor, a marketing professor, sent a message to his students apologizing for the disruption, according to emails obtained by The Star.On Monday, the first day of classes, a student said he was from Wuhan, the city in central China where the new coronavirus emerged late last year.Poor replied, “Let me put on my mask,” acc...

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Kanye West won't appear on Missouri ballot after falling thousands of signatures short

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kanye West’s presidential ambitions in Missouri are over.The artist fell 3,443 signatures short of what he needed to qualify for the November general election ballot, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Tuesday. Ashcroft’s office released a letter it sent to West outlining its findings.West, at one point a vocal Donald Trump supporter, has been waging a presidential campaign largely viewed as a publicity stunt to promote a new album. Still, he will appear on the ballot in multiple states.Republican operatives have been publicly linked to efforts to get West on...

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Influenza is about to make this coronavirus year even worse -- what you need to know about flu shots

Bad as it has been these past few months to live with the danger of coronavirus, things are about to get worse. Fall is approaching and with it comes that other respiratory virus that puts thousands of Americans in the hospital every year: influenza. Prepare for an onslaught of public service messages begging you to get a shot not only to protect yourself and your vulnerable loved ones but an entire health system already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals often fill up in December and January when flu season really takes off, said Susan Bailey, an allergy and immunology specialist in F...

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COVID-19 plus measles? Kids aren't getting their vaccines -- and doctors are worried

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — COVID-19 has infected some of Dr. Sonder Crane’s youngest patients — the newborn who tested positive because its mother had the coronavirus, the 14-month old who caught it at day care.Now, on top of that, she and other pediatricians across the country worry about this possible scenario: Outbreaks of preventable diseases, like highly contagious measles, because children have missed getting their immunizations during the pandemic.Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned last week that the pandemic coupled with the flu season could ...

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'Black Lives do matter, even after death': Billboards in historic, Black cemetery coming down after activist's fight

BERKELEY, Mo. — For decades, three commercial billboards advertising to motorists on Interstate 70 in Berkeley towered above the graves of dozens of Black people laid to rest in Washington Park Cemetery, once the St. Louis region’s preeminent Black burial site.On Monday, activist Wanda Brandon, whose grandmother is buried near the billboards, watched construction crews begin to take the billboards down.Brandon launched a campaign two years ago to remove the billboards and sued the owners, DDI Media, arguing the structures desecrated the memory of the people buried there. The company agreed in ...

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'They know it's wrong': Some call on Scouts to change use of Native American culture

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A lot of videos posted from personal accounts over the years depict the “Dance of Joy” celebration at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation in Osceola, Mo. Shirtless boys holding feathers move in circles around a large fire while singing in a 2011 video. Older men stand in the middle, wearing headdresses and Native American regalia as part of a Boy Scout tradition. Camps in Missouri and across the country like Bartle bring in thousands of scouts each year to participate in honor programs like the Tribe of Mic-O-Say and Order of the Arrow, which also base some of their traditions...

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CDC tells parents and docs to watch for rare, neurologic condition in children this fall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One morning at breakfast six years ago, as Dawn Sticklen’s healthy 13-year-old son tried to eat a bowl of cereal, his arms started shaking and got so weak he couldn’t feed himself.“We thought maybe it was because he had been sick for a few days and maybe he was just kinda weak from not eating properly,” said Sticklen, who lives in Joplin.“But he just kept saying it was getting harder and harder to move his arms. So we knew something was wrong. We got him in to see the doctors and they all were like, ‘this doesn’t look right.’ ”Joplin doctors sent the family to Children’s Mer...

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LaTurner ousts incumbent GOP's Rep. Watkins in Kansas 2nd District after voter fraud charges

Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner defeated embattled Republican Rep. Steve Watkins in the GOP primary Tuesday, three weeks after the freshman congressman was charged with voter fraud.LaTurner has 49% of the vote with more than 50% of precincts reporting in the Kansas 2nd Congressional District. Watkins has 31%, while former Kansas Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor has 21% in the three-way GOP race.The Associated Press declared LaTurner’s GOP primary victory around 9:30 pm. He will go on to face Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, who easily won the Democratic nomination with 76 % of the vot...

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Missouri voters narrowly approve Medicaid expansion

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Ignoring pleas from Republican leaders, Missouri voters approved a plan Tuesday to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 230,000 low-income people in the state.Missouri voted to expand its Medicaid program, as 53% of voters supported the measure. Missouri now joins 37 other states that have already expanded the federally subsidized health insurance program.The decision will mean adults between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level will be covered. As of this year, that amounts to $17,608 for an individual and $36,156 for a hou...

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Kansas City mayor told in text message he 'should swing from a tree' after issuing mask order

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s mayor was sent text messages calling him a racial slur and saying he “should swing from a tree” because of his order requiring face coverings to be worn in public.

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Afraid of getting a COVID-19 test? These survivors want to share their stories

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — He felt fear. Yes, he did.As he lay in a bed in April at the University of Kansas Hospital, when COVID-19 latched onto his lungs and made him fight to breathe, when his oxygen level dipped so low it set off an alarm in his hospital room, pastor Daniel L. Freeman I summoned every ounce of energy he could from his weary body and prayed.I don’t want to be on a ventilator. I know you have the power. I know if it’s in your will I’m going to be able to bounce back.He bounced back. Not all the way just yet. He still needs a rest after delivering a sermon to his flock at New Beginni...

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