Kansas City

Leavenworth police say incident that started with active shooter leads closure of Centennial Bridge

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Leavenworth police are investigating a shooting that happened on the Centennial Bridge Wednesday morning that started as an active situation, that person was eventually disarmed by a soldier.

The bridge was closed at about 11 a.m., and is still closed as of 2:30 p.m., there’s no estimate for when it may reopen.

So far FOX4 has learned that a 30-year-old victim was shot and suffered unknown injuries, we’re still gathering details about everything that led up to the shooting and whether anyone else was injured during the same event.

There will be a 3 p.m. news conference from Leavenworth police that you can watch on this page for the latest updates.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/leavenworth-police-say-incident-that-started-with-active-shooter-leads-closure-of-centennial-bridge/

Kansas City

LIVE UPDATES: NASA astronauts arrive at launchpad ahead of historic crewed SpaceX mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WFLA) – Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley bid farewell to their families Wednesday afternoon before starting their journey to Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s first crewed commercial mission.

If Florida’s weather cooperates, Behnken and Hurley will be the first humans to be launched from U.S. soil since 2011.

The latest forecast from the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron gives a 50 percent chance weather will cooperate for the historic launch of the Demo-2 mission. The primary concerns listed are flight through precipitation, the anvil cloud rule and the cumulus cloud rule.

“Residual moisture with the passing low-pressure system and increased low-level convergence will threaten the Space Coast with showers and thunderstorms this afternoon,” the 45th Weather Squadron wrote.

The Demo-2 mission has a targeted launch time of 4:33 p.m. ET. If all goes according to plan, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center and carry Behnken and Hurley to the International Space Station.

“I don’t have to tell you all how exciting it is to have the first flight of humans to space from the Kennedy Space Center in nine years,” Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana said Tuesday.

The Demo-2 mission marks a new era of human spaceflight. NASA describes is a the final major step before the Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for long-duration missions to the space station.

Nexstar will be bringing you live coverage throughout the day of the historic crewed launch. Check back here for updates.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/live-updates-50-50-chance-weather-will-cooperate-for-historic-crewed-spacex-launch/

Kansas City

Lake of the Ozarks business owner defends actions

O’FALLON, Mo  — The owner of a business that hosted crowded pool parties over the Memorial Day weekend at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks says no laws were broken and safety measures were in place to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

Social media postings over the weekend showed large crowds of mostly young people without masks and not adhering to social distancing guidelines at pools along the central Missouri lake that is a popular weekend getaway for people in the state and the surrounding region. Many of photos and videos showed people in an area of the lake nicknamed “Party Cove.”

Political leaders in St. Louis, St. Louis County and Kansas City, along with Kansas’ health secretary, encouraged 14-day self-quarantines for anyone involved in the parties. Some labeled the gatherings “reckless” and worried that revelers would return home after becoming unwittingly exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and potentially spread it to others.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, a Democrat and a medical doctor, noted studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. Those people can then spread the virus to older adults and people with existing health problems who are more vulnerable to more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

“The pictures that emerged from Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend were an international example of bad behavior,” Page said Wednesday.

Backwater Jacks, a bar and restaurant that has a pool, was among the places with big crowds. Owner Gary Prewitt said in a statement that no laws were broken, though the images appeared to show people violating Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s state order requiring social distancing.

Prewitt’s statement said temperatures were checked at the pool entrance by medical staff hired for the event and free bottles of hand sanitizer were distributed. Staff members were given the option not to work.

The statement noted that the business is seasonal and about one-third of its busy season has already been lost due to coronavirus-related closures.

“We stand by our decision to move forward with Memorial Day Weekend plans,” Prewitt’s statement said.

Although Missouri’s social distancing order gives enforcement authority to both the state and local health departments, Parson has said enforcement responsibility lies with local health departments.

The health director in one lake-area county, Osage, said he had no enforcement authority. The health director in Camden County, where Backwater Jacks is located, did not respond to email messages seeking comment.

Parson allowed businesses and attractions to reopen May 4, but the state order requires 6-foot (2-meter) social distancing through at least the end of May. St. Louis and St. Louis County are just now phasing in reopening because COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, was so devastating there. More than half of Missouri’s 12,291 confirmed cases have occurred in those locations, along with more than two-thirds of the state’s 686 deaths.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/tracking-coronavirus/lake-of-the-ozarks-business-owner-defends-actions/

Kansas City

Jackson County says swimming pools could open as soon as June 1

JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. — Jackson County, Missouri officials announced Wednesday that swimming pools will be allowed to open under Phase 2.

This means pools could open as soon as June 1.

The county issued a list of guidelines for homeowner associations, hotels and other shared pool proprietors to follow when opening pools for the season. They include setting up six feet by six feet squares for guests to ensure proper social distancing. This also applies to the surface area of the water.

Facilities will also be encouraged to routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces including door handles, lifeguard chairs, pool chairs, flotation devices, pool handrails, lifesaving equipment, etc., at least twice a day.

Swimmers may also notice posters or signage at the entrance of the facility and in high visibility areas asking those who feel ill to stay out.

Facilities are also asked to turn in a written plan to Jackson County Environmental Health for approval prior to opening. Email to dsees@jacksongov.org or celledge@jacksongov.org.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/kc-comeback/jackson-county-says-swimming-pools-could-open-as-soon-as-june-1/

Kansas City

Missouri students may know by mid-July if they’ll return to classroom this fall

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Department of Education Commissioner, Dr. Margie Vandeven is answering some of the questions on the minds of parents across the state.

The CDC recently put out guidelines for school districts. This includes distancing desks, teachers wearing masks, and keeping students with the same teacher throughout the day.

There are a lot of different options that educators are considering to return students to schools this fall. The state of Missouri is working to address the digital divide in distance learning. But, they are ready to pivot to a number of different scenarios depending on the health situation.

Schools shut down two months ago to in-person learning. Schools regularly start three months from now. They are working with health officials to determine if that is possible.

“It is going to be a tough year,” said Dr. Margie Vandeven.

Budgets are expected to be slashed at many Missouri schools. They are also working to determine what students will need when they come back after an extended summer break. Many students will have different levels of summer drift when they return.

An announcement on returning to schools this fall may come in mid-July at the earliest.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/missouri-students-may-know-by-mid-july-if-theyll-return-to-classroom-this-fall/

Kansas City

Brittany Murphy documentary reignites interest in her death

LOS ANGELE — Brittany Murphy’s death has long been cause for speculation.

The “Clueless” and “8 Mile” actress died in 2009 at the age of 32.

Murphy’s death was ruled accidental and determined to have been caused by a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and “multiple drug intoxication,” the Los Angeles County coroner said at the time.

But the death months later of her husband, Simon Monjack, which was also ruled as caused by severe anemia and acute pneumonia added to some believing there was more to it.

The Investigation Discovery documentary “Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery” aired Tuesday and has renewed interest in the deaths.

“Brittany Murphy is a rising star who had it all, beauty, fame, and success … but she also had secrets,” a press release for the doc stated. “When she is found dead in her Los Angeles home at just 32 years old, Hollywood and legions of fans are left in disbelief. While her autopsy reveals that she died of natural causes, many believe foul play is involved.”

The program focused in part on Monjack and the actress’s mother, Sharon Murphy, who according to the documentary “embark on a bizarre media blitz, creating more questions than answers.”

“Then, within months, Monjack perishes under strikingly similarly circumstances — in the same bed he and Brittany once shared, only this time, allegedly with Brittany’s mother sleeping beside him,” the press release stated.”In an exclusive final interview, the late Angelo Bertolotti, Brittany’s father, casts doubt on the conclusion that she died of natural causes and reveals bizarre allegations against other family members.”

Bertolotti died in 2019 at the age of 92.

The documentary can currently be streamed for free on the Discovery ID site.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/brittany-murphy-documentary-reignites-interest-in-her-death/

Kansas City

Looking to take a Missouri road trip? Check out these destinations

ST. LOUIS – Summer travel plans have changed for many families due to the pandemic. It has some trying to figure out what close-to-home options there are this year.

The Missouri Department of Tourism shared some road trip stops from across the state. They encourage visitors to check on an attraction’s website or social media to check on hours or operations and read about requirements related to COVID-19. Some of Missouri’s state parks have limited facilities and services.

Highway 36 – The Way of American Genius stretching across the northern part of Missouri, The Way of American Genius connects towns, individuals, and events that embody American innovation. Locations – and their claim to fame – along the route include:

  • Hannibal: Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), best known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, spent his boyhood years in Hannibal. Take a riverboat ride on the Mississippi and learn more about Twain at museums such as the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, shows and other attractions including Mark Twain Cave – featured in five of Twain’s novels. Samuel Clemens’ signature was recently discovered – and authenticated – on the wall of the cave.
  • Kirksville: Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founded osteopathic medicine in 1974. Today, there are more than 30 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. and more than 70,000 doctors of osteopathic medicine worldwide. Learn about Still at the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine.
  • Marceline: As a boy, Walt Disney spent several years in Marceline. He modeled Main Street USA at his Disney theme parks after Marceline’s downtown area. Learn more about Disney at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.
  • Chillicothe: The small town is known as The Home of Sliced Bread. In 1928, the Chillicothe Banking Company was the first company in the world to sell commercially sliced bread. See the machine invented by Otto Rohwedder – on loan from the Smithsonian. The community has a Sliced Bread Festival every July.
  • St. Joseph: Visit the birthplace of the Pony Express, the mail relay system designed to deliver correspondence to the west in the fastest way possible.

Highway 19 – Wine and Rivers:

Begin a road trip down Highway 19 in historic Missouri wine country (about 75 miles east of St. Louis) and travel south into an area crisscrossed by crystal-clear rivers perfect for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. The route runs through the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the first national park area in the United States to protect a river system, and a section of the Mark Twain National Forest.

  • Hermann – Located in the heart of Missouri’s historic wine region, Hermann is a charming small town located on the Missouri River. Historic brick buildings line the downtown, offering an array of dining and shopping, including the Hermann Wurst Haus where you can find freshly made sausages and other German specialties. The Hermann Wine Trail includes the award-winning Stone Hill Winery (prior to Prohibition, it was the second-largest winery in the United States) and 10 other wineries, many located along the Missouri River. The town offers a number of lodging options including bed and breakfast inns and “treehouses.”
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways – The Jacks Fork and Current rivers make up this nationally-protected area where visitors enjoy the lush green forests and rock bluffs while they canoe, kayak or raft down the sparkling rivers. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways was the country’s first national park area to protect a river system.
  • Springs: Some of Missouri’s most beautiful natural springs are located just minutes from Highway 19. Near the town of Eminence, picturesque Alley Mill – which now operates as a museum – sits alongside the teal-colored waters of Alley Spring. Short hikes take you the brilliant blue water of Round Spring and Blue Spring, one of the deepest springs in the United States.
  • Near Alton: Take a longer hike through the Ozark terrain to reach Greer Spring, the State’s second-largest spring, churning out more than 200 million gallons of water a day.

Highway 21 – Ozark Beauty and History

Highway 21, running southwest out of St. Louis, takes you straight into the rugged beauty of the Ozark Mountains, some of the oldest mountains in the United States. Just minutes from the highway, you’ll find some of Missouri’s most interesting natural attractions. Visit in the spring and you’ll be treated to forest views filled with blooming Red Bud and Dogwood trees. In the autumn months, the hillsides are brilliant with fall color.

  • Washington State ParkWashington State Park is filled with history. It contains the largest group of petroglyphs ever found in Missouri and provides clues about the Native Americans who inhabited the region dating back to 1,000 AD. Many years later, the African-American company of the Civilian Conservation Corps began work in the park after it was established in 1932. They built several structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places that are still used today. Cabins and campsites offer lodging, and you can rent a canoe or kayak to float down the Big River.
  • Elephant Rocks State Park – Marvel at billion-year-old giant pink granite boulders lined up like a row of circus elephants. A mile-long paved trail at the park makes the park easy to explore.
  • Caledonia – The tiny village of Caledonia is a national historic district and is home to several restaurants and the 1909 Old Village Mercantile that offers homemade ice cream and more than 600 varieties of candy. The village, which celebrated its 200 anniversary and Scottish heritage in 2019, hosts several festivals throughout the year including the Caledonia Pumpkin Festival. Bed and breakfast inns offer lodging.
  • Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site – Visit the site of one of Missouri’s largest and hard-fought Civil War battles. The Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site visitor center and museum interpret the conflict with exhibits and presentations.
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park – Take a dip in Missouri’s most unique “swimming hole” where the Black River has carved out pools and chutes in ancient volcanic rock, creating a natural “waterpark.” Campsites and camper cabins provide lodging options.
  • Arcadia ValleyThe Aracadia Valley sits in the middle of some of Missouri’s most interesting geologic features born from long-extinct volcanoes. Bed and breakfast inns and cabins provide lodging. Arcadia’s train depot is home to a visitor’s center and museum.

Route 66 – Missouri’s Section of the Mother Road

Route 66 is the Show-Me State’s most famous road trip. Missouri’s section of the route runs from St. Louis to Joplin. Many towns along the way pay tribute to the road and what it meant to America. Here are just a few of the stops along the way:

  • Meramec Caverns: Meramec Caverns has been a tourist attraction since 1933 and is possibly the oldest stop along Route 66. The cave is reputed to have been used by Jesse James and his gang as a hideout. It is the largest commercial cave in Missouri.
  • Cuba: The town is the Route 66 Mural City. More than a dozen outdoor murals depict scenes from Cuba’s history and famous visitors to the town.
  • Carthage: Located on Old 66 Boulevard, the 66 Drive-In Theatre – with its original neon sign – has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 2003. The theater opened in 1949 and had a 34-year run before shutting down. Renovated and reopened in 1

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/looking-to-take-a-missouri-road-trip-check-out-these-destinations/

Kansas City

When can you be around others? CDC updates coronavirus guidance

(CNN) — People who have been sick with coronavirus infections should stay away from other people until they’ve gone at least three days with no fever, have seen symptoms improve, and until it’s been 10 days since they first noticed symptoms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidance.

The CDC updated guidance on when it’s safe to leave quarantine, as well as some consumer-friendly guidance on using public transit and ride shares as states loosen restrictions on opening schools, businesses and leaving home.

People who have been infected need to be sure they won’t spread the virus, even if they feel better, the CDC advised.

“Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you will be tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart,” the CDC said in the new guidance.

Waiting to mingle

People who tested positive but had no symptoms can still infect others, and the CDC says people should wait for 10 days after a positive test before mixing with other people again.

“People with conditions that weaken their immune system might need to stay home longer than 10 days,” the CDC said.

And people who are exposed to someone with coronavirus need to stay at home for at least 14 days, the CDC said, since it can take that long for symptoms to develop.

The CDC’s updated practical advice for using public transportation, ride shares and other transportation was consistent with other advice on preventing infection: wash your hands and be careful what you touch.

But the CDC also advises opening windows when possible to improve air circulation, especially in cars.

Wash again and again

“Limit touching frequently touched surfaces such as kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons, and benches as much as possible,” the CDC advises.

“If you must touch these surfaces, as soon as you can, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or rub your hands with sanitizer containing 60% alcohol,” it adds.

“Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors when available. Exchange cash or credit cards by placing them in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand, if possible.”

Social distancing is also important in both cars and on public transit, the CDC said.

“When possible, consider traveling during non-peak hours when there are likely to be fewer people,” it advises. “Follow social distancing guidelines by staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people who are not from your household. For example:

• Avoid gathering in groups, and stay out of crowded spaces when possible, especially at transit stations and stops.

• Consider skipping a row of seats between yourself and other riders if possible.

• Enter and exit buses through rear entry doors if possible.

• Look for social distancing instructions or physical guides offered by transit authorities (for example, floor decals or signs indicating where to stand or sit to remain at least 6 feet apart from others).

In taxis and ride shares, the CDC advises touching as few places as possible, frequent hand cleaning and avoiding taking water bottles or other items being offered. “Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary,” it adds.

“Avoid pooled rides or rides where multiple passengers are picked up who are not in the same household. Sit in the back seat in larger vehicles such as vans and buses so you can remain at least six feet away from the driver.”

And, open the windows. “Ask the driver to improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible — for example, by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.”

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/when-can-you-be-around-others-cdc-updates-coronavirus-guidance/

Kansas City

Local governments differ on reopening plans after Gov. Kelly scraps mandatory phases

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday that she’s giving some control back to the counties, and her statewide restrictions will expire at the end of the day.

But now local municipalities differ on how they’ll implementing COVID-19 restrictions.

Officials in Wyandotte and Douglas counties said that they plan to continue with the state’s Phase 2 guidelines for the time being.

Johnson County, however, will not impose additional limits on businesses. Instead, the county is now encouraging voluntary compliance with the Ad Astra plan.

Kelly changed her mandate for a phased reopening into a set of recommendations. The move leaves decisions about how and when to reopen up to each of the state’s 105 counties.

Shortly after the announcement, Wyandotte County officials announced the Phase 2 restrictions would remain in place at least until June 8.

RELATED: Kansas Gov. Kelly vetoes bill limiting her emergency powers

“The Health Order we issued on May 20 remains in effect, and the Public Health Department strongly encourages everyone to continue the practices that have helped us slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. Erin Corriveau, Deputy Medical Officer.

“Wyandotte County has a significant number of residents who are at high risk from a COVID-19 infection. The decisions we make every day to wear a mask, wash our hands, and practice social distancing help protect the most vulnerable members of our community and our friends, families, and neighbors.”

Douglas County followed suit, issuing a local order that lasts until June 8.

“This gives people of Douglas County the message that we’re going to stick with the current public health measures to guard against the spread of COVID-19 as part of a phased reopening, and we think it’s a good plan that is working in our area,” Douglas County Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino said.

Phase 2 restrictions include a ban on mass gatherings of more than 15 people. Nightclubs, large entertainment venues, fairs, festivals, parades and most swimming pools will remain closed under the plan.

Although compliance with Phase 2 of Kelly’s Ad Astra plan is strongly encouraged, Johnson County officials said they won’t mandate it.

“We cannot stress highly enough the importance of residents and businesses continuing to follow the guidance of the Ad Astra plan,” Johnson County Local Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster said. “This will give us the time we need to monitor the data and see the impact of loosening restrictions, reopening businesses and the gatherings that occurred over the Memorial Day weekend.”

Kansas has seen its reported coronavirus cases increase by 76% since the statewide-stay-at-home order expired three weeks ago, to more than 9,200 as of Monday, the state health department said.

Much of the increase has been driven by outbreaks among employees of meatpacking plants and at the state prison in Lansing.

Kansas reports 188 COVID-19-related deaths.

In addition to announcing that compliance with the Ad Astra plan would become voluntary, Kelly vetoed a bill that would have limited her emergency powers and called a special legislative session starting June 3.

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/kc-comeback/local-governments-differ-on-reopening-plans-after-gov-kelly-scraps-mandatory-phases/

Kansas City

Missouri Town Hall: Parson discusses pandemic, Ozark party, testing concerns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson sat down with FOX4 and St. Louis sister station FOX 2 for “Moving Forward: A Missouri Town Hall” to answer the questions from viewers from across the state about Missouri’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At Lake of the Ozarks this Memorial Day weekend, several videos went viral, showing masses of people not social distancing, swimming together, dancing and eating.

The governor said the mass gatherings at the lake were unfortunate, and it’s not something he wants his state to be known for that around the country.

“I don’t think we want to brand everybody in…Missouri for what a few did down at the lake,” he said.

Parson said it’s important to remember the majority of people in the state — and even those visiting the Lake of the Ozarks — were doing the right thing, practicing social distancing and wearing masks when out in public.

The governor believes Missourians have done an excellent job in responding to the virus. He reiterated his stance that people must exercise personal responsibility and that it’s up to local authorities to handle their own enforcement of any stay-at-home order.

“We don’t live in a police state. We’re not going to live in a police state. That’s not who we are,” Parson said. “…I’m not saying they’re bad people (at the lake). They just made bad judgment for the time.”

Parson said he wouldn’t like the federal government coming to Missouri and telling him what to do, so he doesn’t want to go to a city or county and tell them how to handle matters.

The governor said the decisions he’s made regarding the state’s fight against COVID-19 have only come after examining data from experts.

With the governor’s restrictions soon coming to an end, Missourians have wondered what the summer will hold.

Will entertainment venues reopen? Will people be able to attend concerts or sporting events, participate in summer programs?

While Parson said he’d like to see people be active and things reopen, the governor stressed it’s important to pay attention to the data. That means waiting to see if there’s any bump in cases from Memorial Day weekend.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can take as long as two weeks to appear, so any fallout from the previous weekend will take time to reveal itself.

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The governor said he receives — and relies on — feedback and counsel from 10 infectious disease doctors across Missouri during weekly conference calls.

Regarding testing, Parson said the state now has the capacity to test anybody who wants one.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Missouri was lacking in testing resources but is now averaging approximately 60,000 tests per week. Parson said the federal government has set a goal of completing 120,000 tests per month.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services admitted Saturday that it had combined PCR and antibody tests following CDC guidelines, which created an artificially lower percentage of positive cases. State leadership only learned of it Thursday night.

Now, tests are separated for the department’s public dashboard.

Meanwhile, Missouri is expecting a massive budget shortfall. The governor has warned cuts and furloughs will be coming. He expects special sessions in the state legislature to address some of the financial woes.

“We’ll deal with it. People are just going to have to take a bite of the apple and that doesn’t leave anybody out; the governor’s office included,” Parson said.

“Everybody’s going to have to kind of suck it up here a little bit and do a better job financially. But we’ll get through it and the economy will turn around!”

And while the state’s pandemic response is at the forefront, Parson said other problems facing the state haven’t gone away – issues like violent crime and storm recovery.

Face masks have now become a political issue, as those in favor of masks point to recent information from the CDC confirming that wearing a mask offers some protection while others believe being told to wear one infringes on their rights.

“I’ve always been under the assumption that if somebody asks me to wear a mask – I went into Ford Motor Company the other day. They said, ‘Hey, we want everybody to wear a mask.’ Fine. I want to go in there, so I’m going to wear a mask,” Parson said.

“But it doesn’t necessarily mean everybody has to wear a mask if you don’t feel comfortable and you don’t want to wear one. Just remember social distancing is what you should be doing more than anything. The mask got to be such a hot-button issue…it goes back to your individual responsibility and your individual right. If you want to wear one, wear one; if you don’t, don’t.”

from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports https://fox4kc.com/news/missouri-town-hall-parson-discusses-pandemic-ozark-party-testing-concerns/