Missouri Republicans float plans to stop nursing homes and hospitals from restricting visitors

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hospitals and nursing homes in Missouri would lose some of their ability to restrict visitors during a pandemic under legislation being considered in the Legislature. Republican lawmakers have introduced at least four proposals designed to address concerns that patients and elderly residents lost valuable contact with their loved ones when the spread of COVID-19 triggered prohibitions on visitors. "Isolation kills. Human beings were created by God to interact with each other," said Rep. Brian Seitz, R-Branson. "Only God can determine life or death." Hospitals and nursing ...

Missouri Governor Parson says he believes prosecutor will bring charges in Post-Dispatch case

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday expressed his opinion the Cole County prosecuting attorney would bring charges in the case of a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who alerted the state to a significant data vulnerability. "I don't think that'll be the case," Parson said when asked what he would do if the prosecutor didn't pursue the case. "That's up to the prosecutor; that's his job to do." Parson referenced a state statute on computer tampering, which says a person commits the offense if they "knowingly and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to beli...

Highway Patrol finishes probe of St. Louis newspaper, turns it over to county prosecutor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol said Monday the agency had completed an investigation of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced in October by Gov. Mike Parson. Capt. John Hotz said the results were turned over to Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson. “The investigation has been completed and turned over to the Cole County Prosecutor’s office,” Hotz told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. Parson, a Republican, announced the investigation in October after a Post-Dispatch reporter alerted the state to a significant data issue that left the Social Security num...

Former Missouri lawmaker goes to court to overturn limits on lobbying

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A former state lawmaker wants to overturn a law barring members of the Missouri House and Senate from lobbying their former colleagues for two years after they leave office. Rocky Miller, a Republican from Lake Ozark who left the House in January, filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court Thursday against the Missouri Ethics Commission, saying the mandatory “cooling off” period for lawmakers seeking to become lobbyists is unconstitutional. “Miller has lost income and faces the prospect of additional lost income, civil penalties and criminal conviction and penalties, t...

No bones about it: Fossil hunters unearth what Missouri dinosaur really looked like

ST. LOUIS — In the early 1940s, farmers digging a well in Bollinger County, about 100 miles south of St. Louis, made an unexpected discovery: tail bones from a long lost dinosaur. Now, paleontologists say they know what the rest of it looks like. A team from Chicago's Field Museum recently finished excavating what experts say is the fullest skeleton yet of a Parrosaurus missouriensis, a 30-foot-long, 3-ton plant-eater that roamed the area tens of millions of years ago when the state was on the eastern shore of a sea cleaving North America in two. The operation marks a turning point in an 80-ye...

On her first day, driver was headed back to Amazon warehouse in Illinois when disaster struck

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Cranes pulled apart sections of the collapsed Amazon warehouse Saturday morning as rescue crews searched for possible victims of Friday night’s tornado. Employees and friends watched tow trucks remove dozens of damaged vehicles, some crushed under the collapsed portion of the building. For Gina Wills, among those who had gathered at at Gateway Commerce Drive outside the warehouse, the experience was overwhelming. Wills, 27, was on for her first day as a delivery driver with a third-party Amazon delivery service partner. She was finishing her last delivery in Florissant whe...

Amazon building collapses in downstate Illinois as storms pummel region

ST. LOUIS — An Amazon warehouse collapsed near Pontoon Beach in Madison County, trapping employees inside, as tornadoes and strong storms blew through the St. Louis region throughout the evening. There was widespread damage from the storms in multiple counties, including homes and other buildings destroyed, wires down and thousands of people without power. Police and fire agencies from throughout the region responded to the area of the warehouse collapse, outside of Edwardsville, where multiple injuries were possible. There were reports of perhaps 100 or more people trapped inside, although th...

Charging the parents of school shooters should become standard practice

Prosecutors in the recent Michigan school shooting by a 15-year-old student that left four dead also have filed manslaughter charges against the shooter’s parents, whose gun he used. This should become standard practice for school shooting cases when the young shooters are only armed because of their parents’ carelessness. The uniquely modern, uniquely American phenomenon of mass school shootings is undoubtedly tied to the proliferation of guns and the loosening of gun restrictions that has happened throughout the U.S. in the past few decades. Tragedies like the one that played out in Michigan...

Missouri governor lashes out after news report reveals his office buried a study showing mask mandates work

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday said a news story that reported his office had buried a study showing mask mandates work was "purposefully misleading." Parson issued a statement via social media late Thursday, a day after the story was released by the Missouri Independent. The governor said the reporter, Rudi Keller, "handpicked information from a Sunshine request then took the data out of context in order to fit his narrative." Parson also attacked Keller personally, calling him a "political blogger" pretending to be a journalist. According to Keller's biography, he has been...

Missouri officials planned to thank Post-Dispatch for finding data vulnerability before threatening newspaper, emails show

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Before blaming the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was preparing to thank the newspaper for discovering a significant data vulnerability, according to records obtained by the Post-Dispatch through a Sunshine Law request. In an Oct. 12 email to officials in Gov. Mike Parson’s office, Mallory McGowin, spokeswoman for DESE, sent proposed statements for a press release announcing the data vulnerability the newspaper uncovered. “We are grateful to the member of the media who brought this to the state’s attention,” said a p...

Missouri governor's overseas trade mission includes spouses, lawmakers and business leaders

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — When Gov. Mike Parson departs Missouri for a 10-day trade mission to Israel and Greece next week, he'll be traveling with his wife, a top aide and his spouse, a four-person security detail and at least a dozen others. Parson confirmed the trip Tuesday after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had previously reported officials were eyeing the dates as a replacement trip for one canceled last year because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. Left off the schedule this time around were visits to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Joining the Republican governor and first lady ...

Democrats (yes, Democrats) are trying to coddle the rich. They shouldn't

This newspaper has long argued that Democrats should leave in place a cap on deductions that wealthy taxpayers can claim based on their state taxes — the one good part of the Republicans’ 2017 tax-cut package. Now Democrats are nonetheless on the verge of dramatically raising that cap, a move that is being rightly criticized as a gift to the rich. It’s not too late to get it right and leave the cap alone. The 2017 tax cuts were a boondoggle that will cost America for years, all so the GOP could reward its wealthy benefactors. The claim that the cuts would pay for themselves through economic gr...

Rittenhouse case underscores why nationwide age floor of 21 is needed for guns

Since 1984, the nationwide legal drinking age has been 21 for good reasons. Young people’s brains are still developing, which affects their judgment and cognitive abilities. That, along with raging hormones, boosts the chances of impulsive decision-making. It’s a dumb idea to add alcohol to an already unstable mix. It makes even less sense to add firearms to that unstable mix. Perhaps it’s time to start applying the same age restrictions on firearms that federal law places on alcohol. The Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Wisconsin underscores what happens when a fully loaded, semi-automatic firearm i...

Top Missouri state senator joins race to replace Blunt in US Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — After months of hinting at a run, the president of the Missouri Senate jumped into the Republican primary race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, released an introductory ad Tuesday casting himself as a hands-on candidate who has had success in getting legislation across the finish line as a member of the Senate and the House. “I’m a real guy who will always shoot you straight,” Schatz said in the video. “Here in Missouri, we’re able to get things done because we’re not afraid of hard work.” Schatz, 58, joins a primary lineup that...

Rep. Cori Bush says white supremacists shot at Ferguson protesters, but chief not aware of incident

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — U.S. Rep. Cori Bush said in a tweet on Monday that white supremacists hid behind a hill and shot at protesters in Ferguson following the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown Jr. there. Reaction to the statement on the social media site was swift and angry, with many accusing the congresswoman of lying. Asked for more information about incidents of white supremacists shooting at protesters, a spokesperson for the Bush campaign issued this statement Monday night: "While on the frontlines of the Ferguson Uprising, Congresswoman Bush and other activists were shot at by white ...