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.

KC fire captain dies of COVID-19 as cases continue surge across Missouri

By: - November 23, 2020

A veteran Kansas City firefighter died Sunday morning of COVID-19 after battling the virus for weeks, the Kansas City Fire Department announced in a news release. Capt. Robert “Bobby” Rocha was 60 and a firefighter for 29 years, the release stated. “He was a vibrant and beloved part of the KCFD Family for 29 years,” […]

Franklin County, Joplin issue mask orders amid flood of COVID cases

By: - November 20, 2020

Two local governments in Missouri dealing with hundreds of active COVID-19 cases and dozens of deaths linked to the contagion imposed local mask mandates hours after Gov. Mike Parson repeated his determination to refrain from a state order. Hospitalizations in Missouri have continued to increase rapidly this week, with the verified total, from Tuesday, showing […]

Phelps County standoff: Woman fights order banning her from Missouri city hall

By: - November 20, 2020

EDGAR SPRINGS — A little over a year ago, Rebecca Varney was walking by city hall and saw vehicles belonging to the mayor and several aldermen parked outside. She’d seen no notice the Board of Aldermen would meet that Saturday, so she looked through a window.  Varney, 61, saw then-Mayor William Gallion and board members […]

Gov. Parson reiterates opposition to statewide mask mandate in Missouri

By: - November 19, 2020

A letter from the Missouri Hospital Association pleading for a state mask mandate was “not surprising,” Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday, as he repeated his opposition to statewide orders to limit the spread of COVID-19. “If you look at it from a medical perspective, they have a different view than what I do as governor […]

Missouri counties hardest hit by COVID plead with residents to wear masks, stay home

By: - November 19, 2020

In a web broadcast Tuesday night, Bob Bach, chairman of the St. Genevieve County Health Department board, had a dire warning for residents of his county. “We have a local public health crisis that within the past number of weeks has escalated by a significant factor beyond which we experienced in the summer months,” Bach […]

Utilities offer help to Missourians behind on bills. Will that mean rates will increase?

By: - November 19, 2020

Almost half a million customers of Missouri’s regulated utilities were behind on their bills in September, and 185,000 were working on payment plans to catch up with past-due accounts. That data, from a report published in October by the Missouri Public Service Commission, isn’t complete enough to know if there are more customers now than […]

Lake of the Ozarks-area hospital asks for help from public to reduce COVID patient load

By: - November 18, 2020

As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge, a small hospital in central Missouri is asking residents of the area it serves to honor the work of health providers and take precautions during holiday events. In a letter posted to the Lake Regional Medical Center website, Dane Henry, CEO of the Lake Regional Health System, said the […]

Missouri GOP Senators weighed risk before Branson retreat, Rowden says

By: - November 17, 2020

Amid speculation that a Republican state Senator and staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 contracted it at the GOP Senate retreat last week, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said members discussed the risk but felt the need to set an agenda for 2021 was too important to delay. The infections in the Senate forced […]

COVID-19 cases force Missouri Senate to delay meetings for special session

By: - November 16, 2020

COVID-19 cases among members and staff of the Missouri Senate will force it to postpone consideration of an emergency spending bill and pandemic liability protection, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden announced via tweet Monday. The news was followed a few hours later by Missouri House leaders announcing the annual freshman tour of state government-funded programs, […]

Missouri hospitals plead with Gov. Parson for statewide mask order

By: - November 16, 2020

Missouri hospitals warned “the wolf is at the door” in a letter to Gov. Mike Parson pleading for him to issue a statewide mask order to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19. Over the past two weeks, hospitals across the state have admitted an average of 65 to 75 more COVID-19 patients daily than they […]

St. Louis County bans indoor dining as COVID growth continues unchecked

By: - November 13, 2020

St. Louis County will ban indoor dining at restaurants, and Cole County wants people who test positive for COVID-19 to do their own contact tracing, as case tallies and hospitalizations continue to soar across Missouri. St. Louis County has added 6,187 new cases so far in November, according to data posted Friday morning by the […]

Missouri sets new record for COVID cases. Health director warns to avoid holiday gatherings

By: and - November 12, 2020

Missourians should not hold big family Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings this year, but they will likely be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine by the spring, the state health director said Thursday. In an interview on KCMO radio, Randall Williams said the rapid spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, especially in outstate Missouri, is […]