Author

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Record number of women, Black and LGBTQ lawmakers serving in Missouri’s legislature

By: and - January 11, 2021

Missouri’s 2021 legislative session will be barrier breaking.  The number of women serving is at an all-time high with 52 women lawmakers. It will have the most ever Black lawmakers serving with 25. There will be five openly LGBTQ lawmakers — what is believed to be another record. And the first Asian American woman was […]

Despite ‘clearly reckless’ actions, Roy Blunt says Trump should not resign

By: - January 10, 2021

Despite “clearly reckless” actions by President Donald Trump that incited a mob that overtook the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday morning on Face The Nation that Trump should not resign. “It would be up to him but my view would be what the president should do is now finish the last […]

Biden expected to distribute all available vaccine doses to states

By: and - January 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — More COVID-19 vaccine doses will be available to states sooner under changes that the incoming Biden administration is expected to make to how the Trump administration has been allocating those shots. That’s according to comments a Biden transition spokesman made to CNN on Friday, indicating that President-elect Joe Biden will shift to “releasing available doses immediately.” […]

House speaker declares education reform a top priority for Missouri legislative session

By: - January 6, 2021

As a new legislative session kicks off, education reform will be a top issue for lawmakers to tackle, Missouri House Speaker Rob Vescovo declared Wednesday. Lawmakers from across the state returned to the Capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday afternoon where they swore in members and elected Vescovo as speaker. With the coronavirus still spreading throughout […]

Missouri teachers want state standardized tests suspended for 2020-21 school year, survey finds

By: - January 5, 2021

Missouri’s teachers believe state standardized tests shouldn’t be conducted for the 2020-21 school year as they report higher stress levels, with some having considered leaving the profession altogether, a recent survey of Missouri State Teachers Association members found. The Missouri State Teachers Association, which represents over 47,000 educators throughout the state, surveyed teachers in early […]

Missouri may see nearly 65,000 fewer COVID vaccine doses through the end of year

By: - December 23, 2020

Missouri is expected to receive “a significant decrease” of about 55,575 fewer doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and 9,350 fewer doses of Moderna’s through the end of the year, state health department officials told vaccinators in a planning meeting Tuesday. For the week of Dec. 21-27, Missouri is slated to receive 26,325 fewer doses of Pfizer’s […]

‘You just deliver’: Missouri pharmacies pour energy into preparations for COVID vaccine

By: - December 23, 2020

More than 23,000 initial shots of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Missouri so far. But before doses are even delivered, a herculean amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure its smooth arrival. Approved as a vaccinator with the state, Alps Pharmacy, an independent, locally-owned pharmacy in the Springfield area, has […]

Confusion, delays hamper COVID vaccine shipments to Clay County hospitals

By: - December 22, 2020

Last week, as celebratory photos of healthcare workers receiving the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine flooded social media, frontline staff at Liberty Hospital waited in anticipation — knowing their shipments would be coming this week. The ultra-cold freezers sat waiting. Staff who had prepared to administer doses were standing by. Instead, the hospital was […]

In Missouri mental health facilities, COVID surged. Staff say policies are patchwork

By: - December 18, 2020

More than 1,500 coronavirus cases have been reported across Missouri’s Department of Mental Health offices and facilities since the start of September — a figure that’s nearly five times larger than the previous six months combined. Those cases represent staff and patients in state-run mental health hospitals and department offices in roughly 20 communities throughout […]

Missouri may get 30 percent less of its second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

By: and - December 16, 2020

Missouri may be receiving about 25 to 30 percent less of the second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine than it had anticipated, the state health department director said Wednesday. The state will “be seeing a little bit less” of the second scheduled dose, Randall Williams, the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, […]

‘I got butterflies’: Missouri’s healthcare workers receive first doses of COVID vaccine

By: - December 14, 2020

Sarah Kiehl, an intensive care unit nurse who has been treating patients with the novel coronavirus at the Truman Medical Center, had no idea when she arrived for work Monday that she would be one of the first in Kansas City to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “To be honest, I got butterflies,” Kiehl told reporters […]

Missouri’s first COVID vaccine doses are on the way. How do you get people to take them?

By: - December 14, 2020

Nestled in the pages of Missouri’s initial plan for how to distribute the highly-anticipated coronavirus vaccine was a paragraph touting that “Missouri’s population understands the importance of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.” A month later, in a revised version of the report, the paragraph was gone.  Instead, the updated plan featured a new section that targeted […]