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Social media posts prompt review of decades-old abuse claims

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (AP) — School officials in a suburban St. Louis school district say they are reviewing decades-old complaints about teacher sexual abuse and misconduct after a former student turned to social media to voice concerns and others came forward. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Kirkwood police Capt. Scott Bailey said one case involving one former teacher has been referred to prosecutors. The cascade of allegations began after a former Kirkwood High School student alleged Tuesday on a Facebook page for graduates that she was groomed and then abused starting when she was 13 in the late 1990s. Other complaints have since surfaced along with criticism that administrators turned a blind eye to abuse.


Missouri cities requiring masks as reported virus cases rise

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The rapidly rising number of confirmed new coronavirus cases is prompting facial-covering requirements in several areas of Missouri. The state health department on Friday announced 662 new cases of COVID-19. Twice this week Missouri set new single-day highs. In the first five days of the week, Missouri has reported 3,225 new cases. Kansas City is extending its facial covering requirement through at least Aug. 15. Joplin and St. Joseph have issued new orders, and Springfield is considering requiring masks. St. Louis and St. Louis County both began requiring face coverings this month.


4-year-old St. Louis boy shot on July Fourth has died

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a 4-year-old St. Louis boy has died after being shot in the head on the Fourth of July, apparently by a stray bullet. Police on Friday confirmed the death of Michael Goodlow III, who had been hospitalized since being shot on Saturday. A police spokeswoman says homicide detectives were advised Thursday night that he had died. No arrests have been made. The shooting happened northwest of downtown. Police said it appeared that the child was hit by a stray bullet while outside, but officers were unable to confirm that the shooting stemmed from celebratory gunfire, which is common in St. Louis during holiday celebrations.


Missouri sees decline in opioid deaths

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — New data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that opioid overdose deaths decreased last year when compared to 2018. The state health department said Friday that the 3.4% decrease was the first time since 2015 that Missouri experienced a decrease in opioid overdose deaths. Deaths from overdoses have been rising steadily, including a 19% increase in 2018, when 1,132 deaths statewide were blamed on opioid overdoses. That number dropped to 1,094 last year — 224 from heroin, and 870 from other opioids, predominantly fentanyl. Despite the overall decrease in deaths, overdose deaths among Black men rose 15%.


Police move out protesters seeking St. Louis mayor ouster

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police have cleared out a crowd of protesters that had taken up camp outside the St. Louis City Hall calling for the ouster of Mayor Lyda Krewson. Officers moved in just before 4 a.m. Friday to remove protesters, who had painted “Resign Lyda Resign” in large, yellow and white block letters on the street in front of City Hall. Police say the crowd dispersed peacefully and had been moved out within two hours. City crews were seen around 5:30 a.m. trying to remove the street mural. Krewson has been the subject of protests since last month, when she publicly read the names and addresses of people who have called for taking away funding of police.


Kansas City official calls to remove more racist monuments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City councilwoman is calling for a plan to remove monuments and rename streets that honor figures who were slaveholders or racists. The Kansas City Star reported that councilwoman Melissa Robinson of the 3rd District introduced a legislation that would establish a 12-member commission to research and make recommendations to the City Council for removal of monuments of those “that held slaves, promoted racism or participated in the oppression and dehumanization of others.” Robinson said she did not have specific streets or monuments she wanted to see changed but many of Kansas City’s major streets. The legislation was referred to committee and is expected to be heard next week.


Missouri to get federal help for costly May storms

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved Missouri’s request for a federal disaster declaration for severe storms in early May. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office said Friday in a news release that the declaration means federal assistance will be available to help 19 counties with the expense of responding to and recovering from the storm that churned up 70 mph winds. One person died after strong winds knocked a tree into a home in western Missouri. The winds also tore the roof off a Mansfield school building. And there were several reports of downed trees, with thousands of people in the Kansas City metro area without power.


Wyoming sides with Arch, Peabody in coal joint venture case

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The state of Wyoming is siding with two major coal companies as U.S. regulators try to block their efforts to merge operations in the nation’s top coal-producing region. Arch Resources and Peabody Energy, both based in St. Louis, have five mines in northeastern Wyoming. Deputy Attorney General James Kaste filed  “friend-of-the court” documents Tuesday in federal court in St. Louis. He said the benefits of the regional merger would outweigh any anti-competitive effects. The companies say it would save them $120 million a year. Federal Trade Commission officials say it could stifle competition and increase coal prices.

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