Archives for September 2020

New COVID-19 Cases in Multiple NEMO School Districts

New COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in multiple Northeast Missouri School districts.

The Kirksville R-III School District’s second positive COVID-19 case was reported Friday after administrators learned Thursday evening that a student tested positive for the virus. District contact tracers identified at-risk staff and students who may have been close contact with the infected student, and by Friday morning, the Adair County Health Department had contacted those needing to be quarantined. The district says no staff members were affected by the positive COVID-19 case. Recent COVID virus data warrants that the Kirksville R-III School District will remain at Level II through at least September 11. School resumes today with the Middle School and High School “B” rotation students reporting.

The North Shelby School District received notification from the Shelby Co. Health Department Thursday night that a high school student tested positive for COVID-19. School administration contacted the parents of students who had direct and sustained exposure at the high school.

In a joint statement, Knox County R-1 School District and Knox County Health Department announced a positive case of COVID-19 on Friday night of an individual age 10-20. Seating charts for classes/lunch/buses and interviews with the individual have been used to identify close contacts and are being notified by the health department.

Macon Middle School is switching to all virtual instruction starting today after having several students test positive for COVID-19. The infections and subsequent quarantining of close contacts have resulted in one-third of Macon Middle School students to be under quarantine at this time. School officials are hopeful that the middle school will be able to return to in-person classes beginning on September 22nd. The switch to virtual instruction also means the cancellation of all extracurricular activities for Macon Middle School students during this period of time.

2nd Positive COVID-19 Case Reported at Kirksville School District

A second positive COVID-19 case has been reported within the Kirksville School District. Early Thursday evening, the Kirksville R-III School District was notified by a local health care provider of a student who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The student had not been in school since Friday August 28th. The District Contact Tracers and administrative staff initiated the first steps of tracing protocols and quickly determined that the student’s cohort of students would not be in attendance on Friday September 4, meaning there would be no additional exposure risk from this student or others in that cohort. By 8:45 am Friday morning representatives of the Adair County Health Department made contact with those they determined needed to be quarantined. No staff were affected by this case. The school district is continuing with the Return to Learn Level II plan.

This Labor Day Americans Worrying About Their Jobs

This Labor Day, Americans are worried about their jobs. A new poll from Gallup shows that over a quarter of American workers are worried about being laid off or having their hours cut. That amount of concern is the highest since 2013 and up from about 15-percent last year.  More than 500 adults were surveyed in the last month and about 28-percent said they were also worried their wages will be cut and half think they’ve worked harder since the pandemic began. The unemployment rate has jumped since the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of businesses across the nation.

MDC Offers CWD Sampling

With deer hunting in Missouri opening for archery season on Sept. 15 and for firearms portions in the coming months, the Missouri Department of Conservation will again offer statewide voluntary chronic wasting disease sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season at select locations throughout the state. Find locations and more information online at or by contacting an MDC regional office. Sampling and test results are free.

Highway Patrol Participating in Operation C.A.R.E for Labor Day Weekend

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the Labor Day holiday weekend. All available troopers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways and waterways. Troopers on the roadways will be enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt, and impaired driving laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are the leading causes of traffic crashes. In Missouri, nine people died and 431 were injured in 1,021 traffic crashes over the 2019 Labor Day holiday.

MoDOT Limiting Road Construction for Labor Day Weekend

The Missouri Department of Transportation will limit road construction on Labor Day weekend to accommodate expected increased holiday travel. Work on most maintenance and construction projects that would impact traffic will be suspended by noon today and resume at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8. Travelers should still be alert to sudden closures due to emergency situations like crashes.

MoDOT also advises drivers to not let their guard down as we enter Labor Day weekend and round out the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. 2020 has already surpassed 2019 in fatal crashes with 639 this year compared to 573 last year. 68-percent of people involved in this year’s fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.

KPD Investigating Drive-By Shooting

Kirksville Police are investigating a drive-by shooting. On Wednesday, at approximately 4:46 pm, KPD responded to the area of Baltimore and Illinois Streets in reference to a suspect that fired a weapon from a vehicle at the occupants of another vehicle. The suspect vehicle was described as a white Chevy Malibu traveling northbound on Baltimore. Officers contacted the victim who reported she was stopped, westbound on Illinois at Baltimore, and as the Malibu passed by, a male she recognized as Ethan Melka, fired a firearm at her vehicle. Police located the Malibu a short time later, and talked with those in the vehicle, but Melka was not inside. Wednesday night, LaPlata Police located Melka and arrested him on unrelated, outstanding arrest warrants. He’s being held at the Adair County Detention Center pending charges relating to the shooting. Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact KPD.

7 New COVID-19 Cases in Adair County Thursday

Seven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed yesterday in Adair County, all attributed to community spread. New cases include males ages 61, 42 and 56 and females ages 21, 24, 18 and 48. Three cases are located in households with at least one other positive case. One case is related to the higher education sector. The year-to-date case count now stands at 258. Forty-four cases are active and 214 people have left isolation. The Adair County Health Department has completed 1,244 calls in
contact-tracing efforts.

Free Masks Available in Kirksville

To help protect your loved ones, your neighbors, and yourself from COVID-19, the Adair County Health Department has free masks available for both children and adults. These free masks can be picked up at the Adair County Health Department’s office at 1001 S. Jamison St. in Kirksville. The free masks are in suport of the “Mask Up Kirksville” campaign to encourage mask wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Police Use of Force Incident

A video of Kirksville police officers using force during a recent arrest is making the rounds on social media. Kirksville Police Chief Steve Farnsworth says the 29 second video shot on a cell phone does not provide context for what happened before and after the recording.

On Sunday, August 30, 2020, at around 2:40 pm, Kirksville Police responded to a residence at 1915 N. Osteopathy St. in reference to an adult male trespassing and refusing to leave the property. Officers arrived and were informed the suspect, 24-year-old Kyle Wallace of Kirksville, had entered the caller’s residence, uninvited, and then refused to leave. Officers contacted Wallace who continued to refuse to leave and advised Wallace he was under arrest. Wallace then resisted arrest, assaulted officers, including biting one officer on the arm, and attempted to disarm officers of their Tasers. During the struggle to take Wallace into custody he and the three officers involved suffered injuries. Wallace received medical treatment and was transported to the Adair County Detention Center.

Chief Farnsworth says Kirksville Police policy dictates that every use of force incident is reported and investigated. This is done to ensure that appropriate use of force was used by officers. [ah-stee-AH-puh-thee]