Archives for September 2020

MSHP Releases Labor Day Traffic Stats

Labor Day Traffic Statistics have been released with an increase in fatal crashes. The 2020 counting period ran from 6pm Friday until 11:59pm Monday evening. Statewide, 13 people died in traffic crashes this year, compared to 9 deaths last year. During the long weekend, there were 274 crashes, 124 injuries, 145 DWIs and 89 drug arrests. In 2019, MSHP investigated 284 traffic crashes, including 118 injuries. Troop B in Northeast Missour worked 14 crashes resulting in 0 fatalities and 5 injuries. There were 5 DWI arrests and 7 drug arrests.

Adair County Latest COVID-19 Numbers

Over the Labor Day weekend, 17 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among Adair County residents.
On Saturday, September 5, eight cases were confirmed among females ages 21 and 20, and males ages 21, 25, 30, 19, 20 and 22. Four cases confirmed onSunday were females ages 25, 16 and 21, and a 30-year-old male. Five cases confirmed on Labor Day was a 21-year- old female and males ages 19, 15, 40 and 49. Nine of weekend cases involved the higher education sector and one the K-12 Adair County schools sector. One case was related to travel and the rest were the result of community spread. Seven cases involved households with other positive cases.

The Adiar County Heath Departmetn reported another three cases of COVID-19 yesterday, which brings the year-to-date total to 287. Tuesday’s cases involve males ages 65, 22 and 19. Two are in the higher education sector.

Currently, 51 cases are active, 236 have left isolation, and no county residents are hospitalized at Northeast Regional Medical Center. The Adair County Health Department has
completed 1,284 contact-tracing calls.

Macon County Reports 9 New COVID-19 Cases

Elsewhere in Northeast Missouri, the Macon County Health Department announced nine new cases of COVID-19. Five of the new cases are under the age of 19, two between the ages of 50-59, and one age 70-79. These positives were reported after Saturday’s press release. Macon County currently has 123 positive cases, 23 are active, 2 are hospitalized and 100 have been released from isolation.

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.