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.

Missouri tops 11,000 reported COVID deaths, doubling total from 2020

By: - September 17, 2021

The number of Missouri deaths from COVID-19 reported since Jan. 1 has exceeded the number reported during 2020. As of Dec. 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Senior Services reported 5,519 deaths from the coronavirus that killed its first Missouri victim on March 18, 2020. On Friday, the total reached 11,046. The grim report […]

GOP lawmaker blasts Missouri governor’s veto of funding to combat child sex abuse

By: , and - September 15, 2021

Missouri Rep. Randy Pietzman nearly choked on his words as he tried Wednesday to explain why $300,000 means so much to the children of Lincoln County. Pietzman, R-Troy, was asking the Missouri House to override Gov. Mike Parson’s veto of that funding in the state budget, which was slated to add two investigators and a […]

A man with a microphone is addressing a crowd of about 200 to 300 people in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol.

Missouri lawmakers look to undermine Biden COVID vaccine mandate

By: and - September 15, 2021

Members of the Missouri House on Wednesday floated the idea of pursuing legislation to undermine a mandate from the Biden administration meant to increase vaccination rates in the U.S.  The House Judiciary Committee held what Rep. David Evans said was the first in a series of discussions about vaccine mandates, including an executive order President […]

Lottery reports record sales as Missouri officials push for sports wagering

By: - September 14, 2021

The Missouri Lottery tallied records for ticket sales and transfers to education programs in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and if it had authority for internet-based games, the take could be even larger, lottery executives told lawmakers on Tuesday. Lottery sales were up about 20 percent, to $1.8 billion, netting $345 million after […]

Few charges result from scores of Missouri highway patrol gambling investigations

By: - September 14, 2021

During 2019 and 2020, the Missouri State Highway Patrol delivered almost 200 cases to local prosecutors alleging violations of state gambling laws. But according to state court data, only about two dozen cases have actually been filed. In most counties with alleged violations – including eight of 13 with five or more cases – prosecutors […]

University of Missouri curators vote to continue rule for masks in classrooms

By: - September 13, 2021

The University of Missouri will continue to require masks in classrooms as part of its COVID-19 policy but visitors to campuses for indoor social and athletic events will not have to cover their faces. By a 5-4 vote Monday afternoon, the Board of Curators extended the current policy through Oct. 15. The vote came after […]

A man in a red shirt is shown standing and speaking to a woman seated at a table outside a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday in Columbia.

Once upon a time in Missouri: Republican attorney general backed mandatory vaccination

By: - September 13, 2021

In December 1921, with memories still vivid from the flu pandemic that ravaged the world in 1918, health officials in Missouri were confronted with an even more sinister and deadly threat – smallpox. From Sept. 1 to Nov. 29, 1921, there were 271 cases and 96 deaths in Kansas City. Determined to check the contagion, […]

The Danieley siblings on their first day back to school

Missouri schools must prioritize in-person class. In first weeks, thousands quarantined

By: and - September 13, 2021

Teddy Danieley was devastated.  Three weeks ago tears streamed down the five-year-old’s face when he learned he couldn’t attend the first-day of school in St. Louis because his dad had tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, he and his two older sisters — 10-year-old Lucy and 9-year-old Ruby — spent what would have been their first day […]

Judge orders no change – for now – in Missouri’s prisoner health care contractor

By: - September 7, 2021

Work to bring a new contractor for prisoner health care services online in Missouri can continue but the actual transition from Corizon, the current provider, won’t occur until at least early November, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ordered Tuesday. Green issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from canceling its contract with Corizon […]

November trial set for lawsuit challenging $1.4 billion Missouri prison health care contract

By: - September 2, 2021

A trial will be held in early November to determine whether a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene will take over the contract for prison health care in the Missouri Department of Corrections. In a hearing Thursday, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green set Nov. 3 as the first day in the trial where current provider […]

Three members of the Missouri Housing Development Commission, all white men in suits, are showing discussing a policy issue during the Sept. 1, 2021, commission meeting.

Missouri low income housing tax credits put on accelerated payout plan

By: - September 2, 2021

The Missouri Housing Development Commission is moving ahead with a plan to accelerate redemption of some low-income housing tax credits despite misgivings of powerful members of the state Senate. The 10-member commission voted unanimously Wednesday to speed up the payouts on half of the tax credits that will be issued later this year or early […]

Missouri fielding ‘high volume’ of calls for rental assistance as evictions resume

By: and - September 2, 2021

Calls from tenants seeking emergency rental assistance are escalating in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that blocked a national eviction moratorium. The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) has 60 application processors working to distribute hundreds of millions in federal aid and has been fielding about 500 calls and responding to about 200 […]