Author

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget and the legislature. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he spent 22 of his 32 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics for the Columbia Daily Tribune, where he won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

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 […]

Some Missouri counties offering COVID relief funds to support business

By: - November 25, 2020

Facing a deadline for using federal coronavirus relief funds or returning the money, some Missouri counties are offering grants to support small businesses struggling to keep their doors open. Those efforts come as the state approaches 100,000 new COVID-19 infections for the month, more than 40,000 more than were reported in October, which until November […]

With no statewide mandate in Missouri, more local governments are requiring masks

By: - November 25, 2020

In early July, the Columbia City Council passed an ordinance requiring everyone over 10 years old to wear a face mask when in close contact with someone from outside their household. Since that vote, a requirement for face masks has been in every health order issued for the city of 123,000 by the Columbia-Boone County […]

Missouri hospital bed capacity in ‘dire state,’ association warns

By: - November 24, 2020

Deaths from COVID-19 in Missouri are much higher than previously reported, and available hospital capacity is much lower, after two adjustments to statewide data were made on Monday. The grim news comes as many cities and counties are considering ordinances requiring face masks, following action last week by Joplin and Franklin County and as KFVS […]

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 […]