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.

COVID report shows at least 100 cases in every Missouri county

By: - December 11, 2020

Missouri reached a milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic Friday when as new cases in the state’s most sparsely populated counties showed that all 117 local health jurisdictions have had at least 100 coronavirus infections. The Department of Health and Senior Services reported four new cases each in Mercer and Worth counties, both on the Iowa […]

Missouri bills seek to shield drivers who hit protesters

By: and - December 10, 2020

Reacting to a summer marked by protests against police violence around the country, a pair of Missouri lawmakers are pushing for legislation shielding drivers from liability if they hit protesters with their cars. State Sen.-elect Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, is sponsoring a bill that would bar lawsuits against drivers for injuries to a person who “was […]

Consumer groups seek Missouri utility shut off moratorium

By: - December 9, 2020

A coalition of consumer and health care advocates are asking the Missouri Public Service Commission to impose a moratorium on utility cutoffs for the winter to help control the spread of COVID-19. The Consumers Council of Missouri, with support from the Missouri Hospital Association, Empower Missouri and the National Housing Trust, filed the request Tuesday […]

Missouri appeals court rules charter school lawfully denied entry to unvaccinated children

By: - December 8, 2020

Parents must use forms created by the state health department, not send handwritten notes, to claim the religious exemption to vaccinations allowing non-immunized children to attend classes, a Missouri court ruled Tuesday. The Western District Court of Appeals, acting in a case from Jackson County, ruled that Crossroads Academy-Central Street, a charter school, had acted […]

COVID creates more staffing issues for Missouri law enforcement

By: - December 8, 2020

COVID-19 is disrupting more law enforcement operations around the state as illness combines with existing staffing shortages. The Pike County Sheriff’s Office in northeast Missouri sent all its inmates to neighboring Audrain County in late November, and the Springfield Police Department on Monday closed the lobby of police headquarters for at least two days. And […]

Southwest Airlines to cut more than 200 Missouri jobs due to COVID losses

By: - December 7, 2020

Southwest Airlines, facing billions in losses because COVID-19 has “devastated domestic air travel and tourism,” will lay off 221 Missouri employees early next year unless it can reach a cost-cutting deal with unions or obtain federal relief. The cutbacks, outlined in a mass layoff notice delivered Thursday to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce […]

Howard County Jail closed as COVID outbreak hits sheriff, inmates

By: and - December 3, 2020

An entire jail in central Missouri is empty today due to a COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department closed Saturday and sent the 15 detainees to Cooper County. Sheriff Mike Neal, at least one deputy and most of the jail staff are infected with the coronavirus. The department posted a […]

Missouri Senate approves COVID spending bill, closing action in special session

By: - December 2, 2020

The Missouri Senate approved a $1.3 billion bill spending remaining federal CARES Act funds Wednesday without any debate on the particular budget items. Instead, the brief debate that essentially ended the second special legislative session of the year focused on the impact of health orders in St. Louis County and plans for legislation next year […]

Missouri Senate to vote on COVID spending bill as pared-back special session nears close

By: - December 2, 2020

The Missouri Senate is expected Wednesday to complete the work of a special session called to spend unappropriated federal coronavirus aid, following Gov. Mike Parson’s decision Tuesday to spike a bill sheltering businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits. The Senate Appropriations Committee changed nothing in the $1.3 billion spending bill approved Nov. 10 in the Missouri House […]

Northern Missouri hospital worries rural COVID surge may lead to rationing care

By: - December 1, 2020

An expected surge of COVID-19 cases may be treated like a “mass-casualty event,” with the patients most likely to live receiving the most care and those likely to die made as comfortable as possible, the chief medical officer of a small Missouri hospital said Monday. In an interview with, Dr. Jeff Davis of Scotland […]

COVID-19 cases double in Missouri in November

By: - November 30, 2020

At the beginning of November, more than twice as many Missouri school districts were conducting all classes in-person as were providing education remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. Because the in-person districts were generally smaller than those in virtual education, the number of students learning online was about 50 percent higher than the number in […]

Missouri Senate to vote next week on COVID funding. Fate of liability bill uncertain

By: - November 27, 2020

The Missouri Senate will meet next week to consider a $1.3 billion COVID-19 spending bill, but the timeline for debating pandemic liability protections is not clear. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, and the full Senate will spend Wednesday debating the spending bill as the special session called by Gov. Mike Parson […]