Missouri's Republican-led House has squashed an attempt by Democrats to expand Medicaid eligibility. Members voted 102-41 against a proposal by Columbia Democratic Rep. Kip Kendrick to broaden eligibility under former President Barack Obama's federal health care law. Kendrick tried to add the proposal to a Republican-sponsored bill that's advancing to create a taskforce on how the state can revamp health care in order to get a waiver from the law. While neighboring Kansas and other Republican-led states have taken steps toward expanding Medicaid eligibility, the House vote is another act of opposition in Missouri. Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens also this week told reporters he still opposes the law and wants an overhaul by Congress.
The Dongola School District has cancelled classes for the rest of the week due to a large amount of the student population being sick. The district dismissed school early on Monday and cancelled classes Tuesday after 25% of the students called out sick. Classes resumed Wednesday but the number of sick students increased to 39% prompting the district to cancel classes for the remainder of the week.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is facing more budget cuts as the state still is in the midst of a budget impasse. The university plans to cut $30 million in two ways: make $19 million in permanent cuts to state-funded accounts and implement a plan to pay back unrestricted funds being used to operate during the budget impasse. SIU Systems President Randy Dunn will bring the recommendations to the SIU Board on April 8th. The university has been operating without state assistance for the last 20 months and has suffered from enrollment losses.
A narcotics investigation in Mississippi County led authorities to arrest an East Prairie man on drug distribution charges. The Mississippi County Sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the home of Freddie Stokes after receiving information he was distributing drugs from the residence. During the search authorities located methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Stokes was arrested and charged with two counts delivery of a controlled substance but was released earlier this week on a medical bond.
Cape Girardeau Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are searching for a suspect after a car chase Wednesday night. The chase began at Hopper and Mt. Auburn when police attempted to pull over a vehicle and proceeded down I-55 south into Scott County. Authorities were able to take one person into custody but are still searching for another with a K-9 unit near County Road 333. The Scott County sheriff has placed the area on lock down as the search continues.
Drivers in Butler County are being warned of periodic lane closures on Route W over the next two weeks. As part of the construction of a trail in Poplar Bluff the roadway will have closures as contractor crews pour concrete in the area. The section of roadway that will see the closures is located from Business 67 to McLane Park in Poplar Bluff. Work will take place from 7 am to 4:30 pm daily beginning Wednesday, April 5th and running through Friday, April 14th.
Route 51 in Perry County will be reduced for three weeks as crews overlay asphalt. The roadway will be reduced with a 20 foot width restriction from County Road 917 to the Illinois State Line. Work will take place from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm daily beginning Monday, April 3rd and will run through Friday, April 21st.
Anna Police are seeking information on a suspect who is accused of stealing from a Wal-Mart. The suspect was caught on camera pushing merchandise under a fence and then retrieving it outside and exchanging it in the store. Authorities believe the suspect left in a newer model black Jeep Patriot. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact Anna Police at 618-833-8571 ext 1503.