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.

Reporting change adds almost 2,800 COVID-19 deaths to Missouri total

By: - November 19, 2021

Missouri’s COVID-19 death toll increased by more than 20 percent Thursday afternoon, to more than 15,000 fatalities. The 2,771 deaths added to the report aren’t news to local health departments. They have been frustrated for months by the Department of Health and Senior Services’ unwillingness to recognize deaths where the patient’s diagnosis was confirmed by […]

Despite Chase Bank reversal, Donald Trump Jr. event in St. Charles remains canceled

By: - November 18, 2021

A Missouri conservative group cannot go ahead with an event featuring Donald Trump Jr. despite a reversal from the nation’s largest bank saying it will broker tickets for the speech, organizers said Thursday. There is too little time left to make the Dec. 3 Defense of Liberty PAC event in St. Charles a success, said […]

Donald Trump Jr. speaks

Donald Trump Jr. event canceled after Chase bank ends deal with Missouri conservative group

By: - November 17, 2021

The biggest bank in the United States is walking back its refusal to do business with a Missouri conservative group that forced cancellation of an event next month featuring Donald Trump Jr. The Defense of Liberty PAC hired WePay, a payment processor owned by JPMorgan Chase, for the Dec. 3 event at the St. Charles […]

COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in Missouri as cooler weather forces activities indoors

By: - November 17, 2021

For much of October, there were so few new COVID-19 cases in Knox County, Health Director Lori Moots said she began to hope the pandemic was almost over for her constituents. The early September Knox County Corn Festival, she said, didn’t produce the feared spike in cases. And by Oct. 8, the health department was […]

Missouri AG sues Springfield schools in quest to find critical race theory documents

By: - November 16, 2021

Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges in a newly filed lawsuit that Springfield Public Schools wants to avoid scrutiny of its curriculum and training materials — and is violating the Missouri Sunshine law to do it. The district improperly demanded a deposit of more than $37,000 to search its records for instances where it incorporated elements […]

Cass County lawmaker joins crowded GOP contest in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District

By: - November 15, 2021

State Sen. Rick Brattin became the fifth Republican to enter the 4th Congressional District Republican primary on Monday, announcing his bid by declaring that his conservative record outshines his GOP rivals. As he announced his campaign, Brattin said he didn’t believe Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and that he would have voted against […]

Missouri Attorney General seeks texts, emails about metro mask mandates

By: - November 15, 2021

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt wants to know what four Democratic executives in Missouri’s largest metro areas said in emails, texts and other communications about mask mandates to fight the spread of COVID-19. His office said Friday seeking the records is part of Schmitt’s determination to fight “tyrannical government overreach.” A spokesman for St. Louis […]

Billions headed to Missouri transportation fund from gas tax hike, infrastructure bill

By: - November 12, 2021

With $6.5 billion on the way from the federal infrastructure bill and a newly increased gas tax, Missouri is ready to take a big bite out of $4.5 billion in unfunded highway needs, Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, said this week. But that doesn’t mean the state is ready to tackle […]

Corizon loses challenge to Missouri prisoner medical care contract award

By: - November 4, 2021

The company providing health care to state prisoners failed to prove a competitor misled state purchasing officers to win the $1.4 billion contract, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled Thursday. Corizon Health, which has been the state’s vendor for prisoner medical needs since 1992, accused the state Purchasing Division of giving the contract to […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Redistricting commissions near end of public hearings on Missouri House, Senate maps

By: - November 4, 2021

The two redistricting commissions created to design new district maps for the General Assembly are moving into their work phase. Each has held the constitutionally mandated three public hearings on how the maps should look for the 163-member Missouri House and the 34-member Missouri Senate. They have heard requests to protect incumbents, suggestions on where […]

Missouri redistricting panels feature party leaders, political pros, activists

By: - November 4, 2021

The 40 people chosen to draw new legislative districts for Missouri include political consultants, former candidates and political party officers. There are lawyers and union members, grass-roots activists and academics. And they have until late January to design 163 Missouri House and 34 state Senate districts that would be used for the first time next […]

No need to start again on Missouri prison health contract, state tells judge as trial begins

By: - November 3, 2021

The company fighting in court to hold onto Missouri’s prison health care contract targets “puffery” language of little meaning to show a competitor misled the state, an assistant attorney general said Wednesday as a trial began in Jefferson City. Corizon Health, which has held the contract since 1992, zeroed in on statements about the stability […]