Missouri AG asks appeals court to block Jackson County judges from hearing Strickland case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri attorney general's office is appealing a judge's decision to not recuse himself and disqualify other judges in Jackson County from hearing local prosecutors argue Kevin Strickland is innocent. Earlier this month, Judge Kevin Harrell denied a motion filed by the attorney general that argued Harrell and other judges must recuse themselves because there was an appearance of bias in the 16th Circuit Court. The office cited a letter Jackson County prosecutors put out in which the circuit's presiding judge said he "concurs on behalf" of the court that Strickland shoul...

Family of woman who died from COVID urges other pregnant women to get vaccine

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Braxten Goodwin walked across the stage to receive her bachelor's degree in 2019, her extended family, packed in an overflow room and watching from a screen at Lincoln University in Columbia, Missouri, burst with pride. When she gave birth to her first child in Kansas City a few months later, a dozen family members sat around the waiting room, eager to shower her in love and support. But when she delivered her second child in July after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Goodwin was alone. Family held their breath and said their prayers from home. They had witnessed her lon...

Pentagon offers mental health resources to military as Taliban takes over Afghanistan

Janet Holliday and Ginger Wallace watch the news together every morning. But as scenes from Afghanistan — where the Taliban has regained control during U.S. withdrawal — played across their television screen on Monday, theyswitched to watching the Food Channel, they told The New York Times. “It was too hard to watch,” Holliday, a retired Army colonel, told the Times. “I just can’t help thinking about what a waste it is. I can’t allow myself to think about how after all that blood and treasure, it ends like this.” Holliday and Wallace, a retired Air Force colonel, met while they were deployed i...

The worst governor during this pandemic? There are a lot of candidates

For most of the 18 months since Americans began dying of COVID-19, some of my friends in Missouri, Texas and Florida have been arguing about which of us has the worst wartime governor in the country. Missouri’s Mike Parson got off to a fast start, doing nothing at first, and as little as possible ever since: By April 1, 2020, according to a state compilation of every action taken by every state in the country, released by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, only Parson and three other governors — in Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee — had failed to issue eith...

Kansas, Missouri could take months to reach key vaccination threshold as Delta surges

Vaccinations have risen in Kansas and Missouri as more residents line up for shots, amid fears they could become the delta variant's latest victim or in hopes of snagging a cash prize. But even the accelerated pace of inoculations in recent days comes with a sobering reality. It's highly unlikely that either state will be able to vaccinate itself out of the current wave of infections. Given delta's contagiousness, the dream of ever achieving herd immunity remains far away, if not out of reach. An analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination data by The Star suggests it wi...

Unvaccinated Kansas residents should quarantine after Garth Brooks show: health department rules

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Garth Brooks is scheduled to take the stage at a sold-out Arrowhead Stadium concert Saturday, despite the danger of spreading the delta variant of COVID-19 across the Kansas City region. More than 58,000 people are expected in Arrowhead Saturday night. Guests will have to abide by mask requirements in certain areas of the stadium and the state of Kansas' quarantine travel list will apply to some. Here's what to know about the concert and COVID-19: KANSAS QUARANTINE LIST The Kansas Department of Health and Environment's travel quarantine list applies to those who attend "any ...

Democrats decry Parson’s pardon of McCloskeys as Kevin Strickland sits behind bars

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kevin Strickland, a Kansas City man who local and federal prosecutors say has spent more than 42 years in prison for a triple murder he did not commit, was again not among Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s recent pardons. That news Tuesday afternoon, coupled with Parson’s pardoning of a St. Louis couple who last year brandished guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, sparked outrage from some residents and Democrats. Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, a Kansas City Democrat and chair of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, on Wednesday called it “peak irony” for Parson to pardon “white p...

Gun-waving St. Louis vigilante couple pardoned by Missouri governor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has issued pardons to Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple whose brandishing of guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in June 2020 catapulted them to conservative stardom and launched a bid for U.S. Senate. The McCloskeys were among 12 pardons Parson issued last week. His office made the list of names public on Tuesday. In May, Mark McCloskey entered the Republican primary for the Senate seat being vacated by Roy Blunt. His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Parson promised soon after the incident that he ...

Facing exposure of public health shortcomings, Missouri plans ‘massive investment’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Missouri continues to slog through the COVID-19 pandemic, health advocates hope Gov. Mike Parson’s appointment of an Illinois official to lead the Department of Health and Senior Services could be a new era for the state’s embattled public health system. “I think you’ll see that whole department, that whole agency be rebuilt,” Parson said in April as he embarked on the search for a new director after asking Dr. Randall Williams to resign. On Wednesday, he announced the appointment of Donald Kauerauf, a former Illinois public health official, who told reporters he wants Mi...

As people flock to theme parks this summer, series of accidents plagues popular rides

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Headlines across the country have been abundant with news of shocking theme park accidents in the last several weeks, some of them fatal. Last month, a Tennessee boy got caught under a Missouri coaster and was seriously injured. And in early June a woman died from internal bleeding after sustaining an injury while riding a roller coaster in Indiana. It was ruled an accident. The likelihood of dying on a roller coaster is pretty low, with odds at roughly one in 750 million, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. But when injuries do hap...

Missouri man in his 40s 'so sorry' he didn't get the COVID vaccine. Then he died

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The email from a nurse manager about a patient's death from COVID-19 "grabbed me," CoxHealth system director of public relations said. It told the vivid story of what health care workers in the Ozarks are facing as hospital beds are filling again, this time with cases from the delta variant. The numbers are skyrocketing in Branson and rural areas, and the vaccination rate is so low it's made national news. So Kaitlyn McConnell wrote about the email and posted it on the health system's Facebook page Wednesday night. "A patient we had yesterday is tragically not with us today,...

As Missouri Senate contenders peddle conspiracies, what’s the damage to democracy?

WASHINGTON — One Republican candidate in Missouri’s Senate race skipped the state party’s annual convention last week and traveled instead to Arizona, where he toured the site of a discredited 2020 election audit and falsely claimed it could lead to decertification of the results. Another contender recently announced a campaign event in the St. Louis suburbs with a former Trump administration official beloved by supporters of QAnon. Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey are making once fringe positions key pieces of their message to voters as they vie for the G...

Missouri GOP Senate candidates fight to keep Greitens from owning the ‘Trump lane’

As Missouri Republicans gathered at the Westin Crown Center this weekend, the burgeoning field of Senate candidates schmoozed and courted the party faithful with swag, receptions and plain old personal attention. Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Friday night hospitality suite featured an accordion player. Rep. Vicky Hartzler mingled with the Saturday morning crowd. St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey came with “Never Back Down” bumper stickers. But one candidate, former Gov. Eric Greitens, was nowhere to be found. Greitens had instead headed to Arizona to survey a review of ballots condemned by Rep...

Biden considering Claire McCaskill for ambassadorship in Europe: report

WASHINGTON — Could former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill be headed to Europe? Axios, the Washington-based politics site, first reported Thursday President Joe Biden is considering the Missouri Democrat for an ambassadorship in western Europe. The brief report does not specify which country. The White House declined to comment. But a source familiar with the White House’s plans confirmed to McClatchy that McCaskill is under consideration for a diplomatic position, saying that the United Kingdom is one possibility. A Missouri source familiar with the matter also confirmed the accuracy of the rep...

Kansas Republican pleads not guilty after alleged battery of student; judge orders mental health evaluation

Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel pleaded not guilty to three counts of misdemeanor battery Wednesday in Franklin County District Court, where a judge ordered the lawmaker to undergo a mental health evaluation. It was Samsel's first court appearance since his arrest last month, which followed an incident while he was substitute teaching at Wellsville High School in Wellsville, Kansas. Students recorded videos of Samsel lecturing them about God, suicide, sex and masturbation. Parents have accused him of kneeing one male student in the crotch. Franklin County prosecutors charged the Wellsville Repub...

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.