Author

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Five newspapers arranged so the mastheads are all readable to illustrate newspapers that have been sold in the past year by Gannett.

New owners seek to revive Missouri newspapers sold by Gannett

By: - October 11, 2021

When media giant Gannett wanted to sell the Lake Sun-Leader, a community newspaper with a 120-year history, Trevor Vernon decided it would fit in well with his family’s other publications. Vernon Communications owns the Eldon Advertiser, the Hermitage Index and the Tipton Times. “It makes sense,” Vernon said. “I own a newspaper on both sides […]

Smashed machines put emphatic end on Missouri illegal gambling case

By: - October 7, 2021

PLATTE CITY – When the bucket of the backhoe came down on the first of five illegal gambling machines destroyed Thursday by court order, it crumpled like a cardboard box being prepped for recycling. The particle board sides offered no resistance to the pressure, and in about 40 seconds, all that remained was a pile […]

Turned away from visiting prison, lawmakers voice concerns about spate of inmate deaths

By: - October 7, 2021

As Missouri was preparing on Tuesday to execute Ernest Johnson, whose legal push for clemency had garnered national headlines, a pair of St. Louis lawmakers arrived at the prison focused on the deaths of prisoners whose names had not made the news. State Reps. Kimberly-Ann Collins and Marlon Anderson, both Democrats, had grown concerned about […]

Illegal gambling devices to be publicly destroyed in Platte City

By: - October 5, 2021

Five video gaming machines declared to be illegal gambling devices in the only successful felony prosecution of a game vendor in Missouri will be destroyed Thursday in Platte City — and the public is invited to watch. The games, previously owned by Integrity Vending LLC, were seized in October 2018 by the Parkville Police Department […]

The scene is a busy convenience store with five rows of fuel pumps, almost all busy with cars pumping gas.

Motorists give mixed reaction to refund plan for Missouri fuel tax hike

By: - October 2, 2021

Pump prices for gas and diesel didn’t change much Friday in Missouri, despite being the first day of a 2.5 cents per gallon increase in the state fuel tax. The cheapest gas in the state was $2.49 a gallon in Springfield, according to GasBuddy.com.  That was unchanged from earlier in the week. The most expensive, […]

An empty pre-school classroom with wooden desks.

Springfield schools want $179,000 to begin search in Sunshine Law records request

By: - October 1, 2021

Searching Springfield Public Schools’ records for evidence the district is teaching critical race theory will take almost four years and require a deposit of $179,000, according to the district’s response to a Sunshine Law records request from a state lawmaker. The costliest part of that effort, the district contends, is to examine each of the […]

Missouri COVID cases for September top July despite waning Delta variant wave

By: - October 1, 2021

The coronavirus Delta variant wave that hit Missouri in May and peaked in early August continued to abate in September, but the decline has been slow. There were 1,221 more COVID-19 cases reported statewide by the Department of Health and Senior Services in the 30-day month than the 60,847 cases reported in the 31 days […]

Missouri Supreme Court mulls challenge to laws that blocked abortion bill vote

By: - September 29, 2021

Making people who want to force a statewide vote on newly passed laws wait while the Secretary of State writes a ballot title undermines the constitutional right of referendum, attorneys for an abortion-rights group argued Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court. A ballot title was “not necessary for most of Missouri history,” Jessie Steffan, attorney […]

Missouri agency ordered to pay almost $200,000 for Sunshine Law violations

By: - September 27, 2021

More than 10 years ago, a Cole County judge decided that “knowing” violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law by a state agency should be punished by awarding fees to the attorneys who prosecuted the violations. Last week — two judges and two state attorneys general later — Circuit Judge Cotton Walker finally ordered the Missouri […]

Columbia schools ask judge to dismiss Missouri AG lawsuit seeking to block mask rule

By: - September 24, 2021

School districts are not subject to the law Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is using to challenge masks mandates in classrooms, attorneys for Columbia Public Schools wrote in a court filing seeking dismissal of a lawsuit initiated last month. The district also challenges Schmitt’s standing to file the lawsuit, argues that he is misapplying a […]

​​Missouri AG’s push to sue every school with mask mandate heads to court next week

By: - September 21, 2021

Orders requiring school children to wear masks in class will be tested in court next week, when a Boone County judge will be asked to decide if Attorney General Eric Schmitt can sue every district in the state in a single case. Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs has set a hearing for 9 a.m. next Tuesday […]

Lawsuit: Lobbyist accuses MOSERS of violating Missouri Sunshine Law

By: - September 21, 2021

A new lawsuit will test whether public agencies can hide how much they are paying attorneys and determine how far they must go in searching for records sought under the Missouri Sunshine Law. The lawsuit, filed Sept. 10 in Jefferson City by lobbyist John Gaskin of Flotron McIntosh, accuses the Missouri State Employees Retirement System […]