Lead Hazard News Graphic

New funds and strategy may boost “massive task” of reducing lead exposure for Missouri kids

(Missouri Independent) – It’s clear that lead exposure is a problem for Missouri’s children. An estimated 4.5% have elevated levels of lead in their blood, more than almost any other state in the country. What’s far more difficult is figuring out where children are getting exposed to lead, said Carlton Waterhouse, President Joe Biden’s pick for […]

American Rescue Plan Act Graphic with Missouri Seal

State of Missouri creates American Rescue Plan Act spending toolkits for local governments

 The State of Missouri has created and made available spending toolkits to help local governments identify allowable uses for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) local funds.  “We want to assist our local partners in making strategic, responsible investments that will serve Missourians for generations to come,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Our first priority is to ensure taxpayer […]

Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI to investigate threats made against school board members, teachers

(Missouri Independent) – The Department of Justice has directed the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies for dealing with increasing threats to teachers and school board members spurred by a conservative backlash against discussions of race in public schools. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to […]

Department of Justice announces Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grants awarded to Missouri in 2021

The Department of Justice announced that the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the department’s Office of Justice Programs, has awarded almost $187 million to support state, local, and tribal public safety and community justice activities. The awards, from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, are going to all 50 states, […]

COVID-19 Delta Variant

COVID cases among children rising as Missouri Delta variant wave enters fifth month

(Missouri Independent) – Clay LaRue, superintendent of the Van Buren R-1 School District, made a tough decision Sunday. With COVID-19 cases spiking in Carter County in southeast Missouri, and many of those infections among very young children, LaRue shut down the district’s pre-kindergarten program for two weeks. He had previously directed faculty, staff, and students […]

Notice of Eviction

Missouri fielding “high volume” of calls for rental assistance as evictions resume

(Missouri Independent) – Calls from tenants seeking emergency rental assistance are escalating in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that blocked a national eviction moratorium. The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) has 60 application processors working to distribute hundreds of millions in federal aid and has been fielding about 500 calls and responding to […]

Disaster Declaration

Major disaster declaration approved for Missouri

FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Missouri to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornados, and flooding from June 24-July 1, 2021. Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations […]

Audio: Push is on to make Missouri the 20th state to legalize recreational marijuana

There’s a push to make Missouri the 20th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Brent Palm has more on the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign,     The group filed a citizens’ ballot initiative with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office that would allow residents age 21 and older to possess, grow and use marijuana. The proposed […]

Hospital Bed (Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash)

Missouri ICUs filling as Delta variant wave moves into northeast, southeast regions

(Missouri Independent) – New cases from the Delta variant wave that has killed more than 1,150 Missourians since June 1 have plateaued, but hospital ICUs continue to fill — and small, rural hospitals are among the hardest hit. There were 690 patients in ICU beds across the state on Tuesday, the most recent day reported by the state Department of Health […]

Notice of Eviction

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

(Missouri Independent) -The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Disaster Declaration

Missouri requests federal disaster declaration to receive reimbursements for damage to public infrastructure

Governor Mike Parson requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approve a major disaster declaration for Missouri to provide federal assistance to a total of 21 counties in response to severe storms and flooding that began on June 19 and continued through July 1. “Due to extremely heavy rains and significant flash flooding in late June, Missouri experienced […]

Grants Graphic

Secretary of State announces grants awarded to local governments for records management, electronic records and preservation projects

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Local Records Division is pleased to announce 23 grants totaling $283,584.  These awards include 17 Local Records Grant Program awards totaling $144,809 and 6 Electronic Records Grant Initiative grants worth $139,775.   “My office is pleased to help local communities in our state with records preservation,” Secretary Ashcroft said.  “It’s a […]

COVID-19 vaccine generic graphic

Audio: Missouri’s Governor says state is considering incentive program to encourage more COVID vaccinations

The governor confirms the state is considering an incentive program to encourage more Missourians to get vaccinated. Governor Mike Parson tells Capitol reporters that he wants to do what he can to encourage more Missourians to take the COVID vaccine.     The details of the incentive program are unclear because it’s still being worked […]

University of Missouri Extension Neighborhood Leadership Academy

Statewide Neighborhood Leadership Academy now accepting registrations

The University of Missouri Extension invites northwest Missouri residents to register for Neighborhood Leadership Academy, a 10-session leadership training program focused on community building principles. NLA will be offered in a virtual format on Monday evenings September 13 through November 15. Registration is now open and can be found by visiting the University of Missouri […]

WOTUS or Waters of the United States

Coalition of lawmakers sound alarm on Biden administration’s plan to redefine “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS

Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, joined Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC) and other top Republican leaders in outlining their concerns regarding the Biden administration’s intention to undo the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.  The Biden administration’s recent announcement signaled its intent […]

Tax Graphic

State Auditor’s Office notifies local government entities that recent court ruling will impact allowable local tax rates

The State Auditor’s Office is notifying more than 2,800 local taxing authorities in Missouri that they no longer have the option to calculate local tax rates using a subsection of state law a recent court ruling found to be unconstitutional. The taxing authorities include local government entities such as counties, municipalities, and school and fire […]