Archives for December 2013

Population

Missouri’s population continues to grow at a slower rate than the rest of the country. New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Missouri’s population of 6 million grew by fewer than 20,000 people from in the past year. That’s a growth rate of about one-third of a percent. In the rest of America, the population rose slightly more than that.   Missouri’s growth of 0.3 percent was typical for the Midwest. It was better than Illinois, about the same as Arkansas, Kansas and Kentucky, but lagged behind the rest of its neighboring states. Missouri’s population growth rate ranked 35th nationally.

Crashes Injure Three

Three northeast Missouri crashes yesterday sent a total of three folks to the hospital.

The first crash was in Monroe County, happening around 10:10 am at the intersection of Routes C and M east of Middle Grove. A driver from Huntsville, 21 year old Adrian Albright, was airlifted to Coulmbia. He was driving through the intersection and was unaware of the car approaching from his left until the 96 GM C Dump Truck ran the stop sign, plowing into his driver’s side. Albright was not wearing a seat belt, according to reports.

The second crash happened about 11:20am in Macon county and resulted in 51-year old Don Baker of Kirksville being taken to the hospital in serious condition. Troopers say Baker was westbound on US36 at Anabel and rear-ended a dump truck driven by Meisner, as Meisner tried to turn left into a rural driveway. Baker was airlifted from the scene to University Medical Center in Columbia. MEisner was not hurt.

The third wreck was last hight. 18-year old Alexnmdra LeGrand of Higbee drifted off the south shoulder of Highway B, just a mile outside Higbee. She was alone in the 2001 Saturn SCI at abou 5:45pm, and not wearing a safety belt. The car had undergone a complete rollover. She was alone at the time, and ended up traveling by private car to Boone County Hospital for evaluation.

Min Wage

On January 1st, Missouri’s minimum wage will increase by 15 cents to $7.50 per hour, affecting about 104,000 workers in the state.  Missouri is joined by 12 states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – that will also raise the minimum wage on New Year’s Day, boosting wages for a total of more than 2.5 million workers.

Prayer

School-prayer controversy in one Missouri town…school leaders say, ‘let the kids pray’

The issue is a prayer meeting kids hold as members of the Fellowship of Christian students.  A group known as the American Humanist Association filed a legal challenge — claiming the prayer sessions are unconstitutional. 
But Fayette Superintendent Tamara Kimball is not backing down. She says the prayer sessions are held before classes start — and it’s voluntary and perfectly legal. The issue likely to end-up in court. 

SCHOOL PRAYER BATTLE

School prayer controversy  in the city of Fayette.  The school says ‘let the kids pray.’

The issue is a morning prayer session held by students at Fayette High School — they’re with the Fellowship of Christian students.  A group known as the American Humanist Association filed a complaint — saying the prayer sessions are not constitutional.  But Fayette’s superintendant is not backing down. She says the kids meet before classes start — it’s voluntary, no one is forced to show up and pray.  The matter is headed to court.

MoDOT Study: J-Turns Arre Much Safer, But Not Understood Well

A University of Missouri study of five intersections in Missouri where J-turns have been installed shows the alternative solutions to traditional intersections eliminated fatal crashes and cut injury crashes in half. None of the five sites studied experienced a fatal crash after the J-turns were installed, the study reported. The evaluation period varied between one and three years depending on the site. In addition, the study found that the number of crashes resulting in disabling injuries dropped by 86 percent, while the number of all crashes at the J-turn intersections declined by 35 percent.

J-turns are an alternative to traditional roadway intersections on a four-lane highway. Instead of motorists crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes, drivers at a J-turn intersection turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a left turn in the direction they intend to travel. The main goal of J-turns is to reduce the frequency of angle accidents, which are often severe crashes. The five-site analysis showed J-turns eliminated one of the most severe crash types – the left turn, right-angle crash – while right angle crashes decreased 80 percent.

The public opinion returned in the survey was mixed. While the majority of those surveyed said the J-turns did not adversely affect their travel time, they did register some concerns. The most common complaints about the J-turns expressed in the survey were: merging difficulty after the U-turn, insufficient U-turn radius to accommodate large vehicles, general driver uncertainty and improper use of acceleration and deceleration lanes.

Adoption Case

A decision in a heavily publicized adoption battle in Missouri.

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The Missouri Supreme Court is not going to take a child away from a couple in Carthage.  They adopted a little Guatemalan boy when he was just one — he’s 7 now.  And for the past five years, the boy’s real mother has been trying to get him back. But the state’s high court says Seth and Melinda Moser are the boy’s mom and dad, period.  The boy’s biological mother was challenging a ruling that took away her parental rights.

Newborns Screened

Something new for newborns in Missouri

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The state will begin screening every newborn for a heart disease that can cause developmental delays or death if left untreated. The screenings for critical congenital heart disease are required under a new state law that takes effect January 1st. The Department of Health and Senior Services says an estimated 140 babies are born in Missouri each year with the disease.

Misc

Flu is on the rise in the St. Louis region. St. Louis County had 158 cases this week, up from 73 last week before, for a total of 371 this season. Doctors around the region say they are seeing severe cases.

Three people are OK after being rescued Christmas morning by firefighters from a burning office building in  St. Louis. The owner of the building allowed the three people to sleep there in exchange for keeping an eye on the warehouse. A space heater apparently sparked the fire.

Missouri is preparing to start screening every newborn for a heart disease that can cause developmental delays or death if left untreated. The screenings for critical congenital heart disease are required under a new state law that takes effect January 1st. The Department of Health and Senior Services says an estimated 140 babies are born in Missouri each year with the disease.

Ralls County Crash Injures Teen

A crash early this morning has injured a Hannibal teen. Missouri State Highway patrol reports indicate 17 year old Logan Boyce was eastbound on Route N about 6 miles east of New London this morning around 12:30am when he lost control of his 1996 Olds Cutlass. Troopers say Boyce went off the south shoulder and overturned the car, which came to rest on its top. He was taken by car to Hannibal Regional Hospital with moderate injuries. Troopers say Boyce was in the car alone and was wearing a seat belt.