Education Secretary Betsy DeVos heads for the exits, leaving a legacy of turmoil

BY: - December 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — In four years in office, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos failed to broaden her appeal beyond the moment she won a wild Senate confirmation fight by the closest of margins. She didn’t even try. Instead, the billionaire Michigan native and Republican megadonor championed private and charter schools, often trying to funnel federal funding […]

Workers’ COVID lawsuits could be quashed under GOP push in Congress

BY: - December 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — A wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with a Tyson meat packing facility in Iowa alleged that managers secretly took bets on how many employees would get sick from COVID-19. Tyson fired seven managers at the Waterloo pork processing plant following an independent investigation into the betting allegations and a wave of national publicity. But […]

Biden picks Michigan’s Granholm for Energy, North Carolina’s Regan for EPA and New Mexico’s Haaland for Interior

BY: - December 18, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland to lead the Interior Department, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to head the Energy Department and North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, Michael Regan, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, his presidential transition team said Thursday night. The selections were announced as part of the incoming Biden administration’s […]

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 […]

Tyson fires 7 Iowa managers accused of betting on how many workers would get COVID-19

BY: - December 17, 2020

Tyson Foods fired seven plant managers in Waterloo, Iowa, following an independent investigation into allegations that they privately wagered money on the number of workers who would be sickened by COVID-19. In a statement on Wednesday, Tyson CEO Dean Banks said the firings were “based on the findings” from the investigation, though those details were […]

Congress close to emergency relief deal with direct payments, added unemployment benefits

BY: - December 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — A coronavirus relief deal appeared within reach late Wednesday following months of stalemate in Congress, potentially providing much-needed help to Americans facing expiring unemployment benefits and states distributing the new COVID-19 vaccine. A final deal also may include another round of direct payments, with Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., suggesting to reporters that those […]

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, […]

House ethics panel seeks censure of Missouri Democrat accused of having sex with intern

BY: - December 16, 2020

A St. Louis lawmaker should be censured, stripped of his committee assignments and pay the costs of an investigation that concluded he had sex with an intern and retaliated against an employee who reported it, the Missouri House Ethics stated in a report issued Wednesday. The report — which was unanimously approved by the bipartisan […]

Missouri police recruits must soon take course on history of policing minority communities

BY: - December 16, 2020

New recruits in Missouri’s law-enforcement academies will soon be required to take a two-hour course on the history of policing in minority communities.  The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission — which sets the minimum standards for the basic training in Missouri — unanimously approved the measure on Tuesday. A POST subcommittee spent the last […]

Missouri PSC will not order a moratorium on utility shut offs

BY: - December 16, 2020

There will be no state-ordered moratorium on utility shut offs this winter, the Missouri Public Service Commission decided Wednesday in a unanimous vote. The five-member commission rejected a call from the Consumers Council of Missouri for a moratorium through March 31 and staff analysis that it had the legal authority to issue a moratorium order. […]

Joe Biden to nominate Pete Buttigieg for transportation secretary

BY: - December 16, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday he will nominate former presidential primary rival Pete Buttigieg to serve in his Cabinet as secretary of transportation. “What I admire about Pete, is he’s always clear about who he is, what he believes and how he wants to bring people in, not exclude them,” Biden said at an appearance […]

What is a modRNA vaccine and is it safe?

BY: - December 16, 2020

The first COVID-19 vaccine is now authorized for emergency distribution, yet only 58% of Americans are willing to take it. It’s like racing to build Apollo 11, but Neil Armstrong refused to get on board. Who doesn’t want to go to space? This is where the scientist in me gets giddy, because with a little […]