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Over 90,000 Sexual Assault Charges Filed In Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Case

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Over 90,000 Sexual Assault Charges Filed In Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Case

Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

Almost 90,000 sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America as the deadline of Monday for filing claims in the bankruptcy case of the organization has come.

This far exceeds the initial projections of lawyers across the US who have signed up to clients since the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February, following hundreds of lawsuits alleging decades-old sex abuse by Scout leaders.

Paul Mones, a lawyer who has worked on Boy Scouts cases for almost two decades, said to AFP, “It is by far the biggest sexual abuse scandal in the U.S.,” adding that scouting has long offered a “perfect petri dish” for pedophiles: “boys have taken the oath of loyalty, they are away from their parents, in the wilderness.”

Press TV reports: “We are devastated by the number of lives that have been affected by past Scouting abuses and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward the Boy Scouts said in a statement. “We’re torn to the core because we can’t erase their suffering.”

A couple of hours before the 5 p.m. EST deadline, the total number of claimants was 88,500, lawyers said.

Eventually, proceedings in the Federal Bankruptcy Court will lead to the creation of a compensation fund to pay settlements to abuse survivors whose claims are upheld.

The potential size of the fund is not yet known and will be the subject of complicated negotiations. The national association is expected to contribute a large portion of its funds, including capital investment and real estate. Boy Scouts’ insurers will also donate, as will the Boy Scouts’ nearly 260 local councils and organizations that have insured them in the past.

Andrew Van Arsdale, a lawyer with a network called Abused in Scouting, said about 16,000 applicants had signed up. He said that the number doubled after the Boy Scouts, under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge, launched a nationwide publicity campaign on August 31 to inform the victims that they had until November 16 to seek compensation.

“Millions have been spent trying to persuade people to come forward,” Van Arsdale said. “The question now is whether they can make good on their commitment.”

The Boy Scouts said that it “intended to develop an open, accessible process to reach out to survivors and help them take an essential step towards receiving compensation.”

“The response we saw from the survivors was intrusive,” the organization added. “We’re deeply sorry about that.”

Insolvency has been traumatic for the 110-year-old Boy Scout, who has been a cornerstone of American civic life for decades. Its finances have also been strained by child abuse settlements and dwindling membership—now fewer than 2 million from a high of more than 4 million in the 1970s.

Many of the unresolved sexual assault claims date back to the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s when the Boy Scouts implemented criminal background checks, abuse awareness instruction for both staff and volunteers, and a requirement that two or more adult representatives must be present during events.

Among the contentious issues still to be addressed in the bankruptcy case is the extent to which the local councils of Boy Scouts are contributing to the compensation fund.

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Goldschmidt homers twice, Cards beat Brewers for 12th in a row

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Goldschmidt homers twice, Cards beat Brewers for 12th in a row

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.

On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth, and one in the ninth.

The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.

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Should I get a flu shot if I’m getting a COVID vaccine booster?

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Should I get a flu shot if I’m getting a COVID vaccine booster?

ST. LOUIS – COVID-19 booster shots could become more widely available right as doctors recommend that people get their flu shots. But is it okay to get both vaccines at the same time?

The flu season is upon us at a time when the country already is battling a resurgence of the coronavirus. Doctors are urging Americans to avail themselves of any and all vaccines they are eligible for.

An FDA advisory panel is endorsing the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for people 65 and older and those with certain health conditions that compromise their immune systems. The CDC says, yes, you can get the COVID vaccine and the flu shot at the same time and one won’t interfere with the other.

“Flu vaccine influenza vaccine has been co-administered with other vaccines for decades people needed their tetanus or some other vaccine at the same time we always did that we do them in separate arms because if you have redness or a reaction you want to know which one it was,” said Dr. Peter Montgomery, a physician with SSM Health Family Medicine.

Montgomery says the flu shots are available now.

“We want to get people vaccinated hopefully by Thanksgiving and it will take a while to get everybody in to get that done, ideally for the whole population around Halloween, so I would say if you can get it now, get it now,” he said.

The flu season can run from now until spring. SSM Health is reporting zero flu cases throughout its system so far this flu season. Last year, there were few flu cases reported. That is attributed to widespread mask use and social distancing.

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Two suspects arrested for shooting death of Denver man in Adams County

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Two suspects arrested for shooting death of Denver man in Adams County

Two suspects have been arrested in the shooting death of a Denver man in an Adams County apartment complex parking lot.

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico

WASHINGTON — Fossilized footprints discovered in New Mexico indicate that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago, researchers reported Thursday.

The first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park in 2009. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently analyzed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from around 22,800 and 21,130 years ago.

The findings may shed light on a mystery that has long intrigued scientists: When did people first arrive in the Americas, after dispersing from Africa and Asia?

Most scientists believe ancient migration came by way of a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. Based on various evidence — including stone tools, fossil bones and genetic analysis — other researchers have offered a range of possible dates for human arrival in the Americas, from 13,000 to 26,000 years ago or more.

The current study provides a more solid baseline for when humans definitely were in North America, although they could have arrived even earlier, the authors say. Fossil footprints are more indisputable and direct evidence than “cultural artifacts, modified bones, or other more conventional fossils,” they wrote in the journal Science, which published the study Thursday.

“What we present here is evidence of a firm time and location,” they said.

Based on the size of the footprints, researchers believe that at least some were made by children and teenagers who lived during the last ice age.

David Bustos, the park’s resource program manager, spotted the first footprints in ancient wetlands in 2009. He and others found more in the park over the years.

“We knew they were old, but we had no way to date the prints before we discovered some with (seeds) on top,” he said Thursday.

Made of fine silt and clay, the footprints are fragile, so the researchers had to work quickly to gather samples, Bustos said.

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Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey out at Texans with hamstring injury

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Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey out at Texans with hamstring injury

HOUSTON — Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey left Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans with a hamstring injury and will not return.

McCaffrey had a 2-yard run early in the second quarter and went to the medical tent on the sideline soon after that. The team announced he was out for the rest of the game later in the second quarter.

McCaffrey had seven carries for 31 yards and two receptions for nine yards before he was injured.

McCaffrey has been great in the first two games for the Panthers. He entered the game with 45 carries for 170 yards and 14 receptions for 154 yards.

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MLB, union send notices of intent to seek labor changes

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MLB, union send notices of intent to seek labor changes

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the players’ association sent the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service letters of intent to seek new labor terms as the Dec. 1 expiration of the sport’s collective bargaining agreement approaches.

The notices, a formality under federal labor law required during every negotiation, were exchanged Aug. 26 by Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and Ian Penny, the general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Under federal labor law, a collective bargaining agreement may not be modified or terminated unless a side seeking to make changes notifies the other side more than 60 days in advance of expiration and tells the mediation service within 30 days of giving notice.

Baseball has not had a work stoppage since the 7 1/2-month strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series. The sides reached agreements without work stoppages in 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2016, but the relationship has become more strained in recent years as the salary escalation has slowed.

The average salary rose from $3.97 million in 2016 to just under $4.1 million in 2017, according to union figures, then dropped to $3.9 million in 2020 before accounting for a shortened season caused by the pandemic that reduced the figure to about $1.6 million.

Based on opening day figures, the 2021 final average is likely to be in the $3.6 million to $3.7 million range.

Negotiations have proceeded slowly, and both sides appear to be bracing for a lockout that could start either on Dec. 1 or when players are scheduled to report to spring training in February.

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House Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Trump advisers, associates

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House Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Trump advisers, associates

WASHINGTON -- A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has issued its first subpoenas, demanding records and testimony from four of former President Donald Trump’s close advisers and associates who were in contact with him before and during the attack.

In a significant escalation for the panel, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., announced the subpoenas of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. The four men are among Trump’s most loyal aides.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote to the four that the committee is investigating “the facts, circumstances, and causes” of the attack and asked them to produce documents and appear at depositions in mid-October.

The panel, formed over the summer, is now launching the interview phase of its investigation after sorting through thousands of pages of documents it had requested in August from federal agencies and social media companies. The goal is to provide a complete accounting of what went wrong when the Trump loyalists brutally beat police, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory — and to prevent anything like it from ever happening again.

Thompson says in letters to each of the witnesses that investigators believe they have relevant information about the lead-up to the insurrection. In the case of Bannon, for instance, Democrats cite his Jan. 5 prediction that ”(a)ll hell is going to break loose tomorrow” and his communications with Trump one week before the riot in which he urged the president to focus his attention on Jan. 6.

In the letter to Meadows, Thompson cites his efforts to overturn Trump’s defeat in the weeks prior to the insurrection and his pressure on state officials to push the former president’s false claims of widespread voter fraud.

“You were the president’s chief of staff and have critical information regarding many elements of our inquiry,” Thompson wrote. “It appears you were with or in the vicinity of President Trump on January 6, had communication with the president and others on January 6 regarding events at the Capitol and are a witness regarding the activities of the day.”

Thompson wrote that the panel has “credible evidence” of Meadows’ involvement in events within the scope of the committee’s investigation. That also includes involvement in the “planning and preparation of efforts to contest the presidential election and delay the counting of electoral votes.”

The letter also signals that the committee is interested in Meadows’ requests to Justice Department officials for investigations into potential election fraud. Former Attorney General William Barr has said the Justice Department did not find fraud that could have affected the election’s outcome.

The panel cites reports that Patel, a Trump loyalist who had recently been placed at the Pentagon, was talking to Meadows “nonstop” the day the attack unfolded. In the letter to Patel, Thompson wrote that based on documents obtained by the committee, there is “substantial reason to believe that you have additional documents and information relevant to understanding the role played by the Defense Department and the White House in preparing for and responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

Scavino was with Trump on Jan. 5 during a discussion about how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden, according to reports cited by the committee. On Twitter, he promoted Trump’s rally ahead of the attack and encouraged supporters to “be a part of history.” In the letter to Scavino, Thompson said the panel’s records indicate that Scavino was “tweeting messages from the White House” on Jan. 6.

Thompson wrote that it appears Scavino was with Trump on Jan. 6 and may have “materials relevant to his videotaping and tweeting” messages that day. He noted Scavino’s “long service” to the former president, spanning more than a decade.

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Major Case Squad called to St. Clair County for investigation

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Major Case Squad called to St. Clair County for investigation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some Missouri senators want to give the Department of Social Services the ability to block abortion providers from Medicaid funding for unethical behavior. 

After a special session over the summer to renew the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA), the tax from health care providers that funds Missouri’s Medicaid program, Senate leaders formed a committee to address some members’ concerns over Medicaid funds going to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. 

The Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection met for a third time Thursday since July. The focus during the hearing was to discuss a committee report that made changes to the state’s Medicaid system. Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin, is the committee chairman and he read the six-page report. 

“The state has the authority in Medicaid programs to establish qualification standards for Medicaid providers and to take action against providers that fail to meet those standards,” White said.

One of the proposals would allow joint investigations into Medicaid providers from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). This regulatory proposal would need to be approved by members of the committee and then sent to the department. 

“The committee urges DSS and DHSS to collaborate in modifying and expanding the existing rules to incorporate consideration by DSS of any state law,” White said.

“These violations of state law may include failure to ensure informed patient consent, failure to retain medical records, failure to cooperate with DHSS during an investigation, failure to ensure adequate facilities and sterilized equipment, and failure to provide required printed materials to women referred to an out-of-state abortion facility.”

White and other members are asking DSS and DHSS to draft emergency rules and put them into effect as soon as possible. Under this change, DSS would be able to consider revoking or denying a license based on DHSS reports. 

Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, is concerned the language could affect more health care providers than what’s intended.  

“If this is a backdoor attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, I do worry about the impact it would have on health care access,” Arthur said. “It doesn’t seem like there’s solution for who would feel that gap.”

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Couer, told the committee she’s worried the investigations could cause a gap in health care coverage for Missourians. 

“I’m concerned about what we are pushing ahead and trying to move forward quickly in a process that ends up perhaps taking away necessary healthcare from our recipients,” Schupp said.

“I’m not sure how that’s beneficial to the state or to the recipient. I think this has the intention of allowing DSS to have more control without having to do their own investigation.”

One proposed law change in the report allows the state to deny or revoke Medicaid funding to MO HealthNet providers, like abortion facilities which in Missouri is only Planned Parenthood, for unethical behavior. 

“That Missouri has an interest in protecting unborn children throughout pregnancy and ensuring respect for all human life from conception to natural death,” White said. 

This law change would require approval from the General Assembly when members return in January. Arthur said she can’t support the language because she’s worried it could affect the entire state’s Medicaid funding. 

“Until there is that assurance that we are in compliance, I think we are taking a gamble that I’m not comfortable with,” Arthur said.

Planned Parenthood is already prohibited from using Medicaid funds for abortions. Another key part of the proposal means if an abortion facility, like Planned Parenthood, fell out of compliance in another state, Missouri could force the location in the Central West End in St. Louis to close. 

White said members are expected to sign off on the report in the coming days with the report being sent to the departments by early next week.

The committee will meet again Oct. 4 to hear from MO Healthnet about transparency issues. 

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Where do the bulk of Missouri’s medical marijuana Missouri patients reside?

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Missouri veterans fund receives $6.8M from medical marijuana

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some Missouri senators want to give the Department of Social Services the ability to block abortion providers from Medicaid funding for unethical behavior. 

After a special session over the summer to renew the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA), the tax from health care providers that funds Missouri’s Medicaid program, Senate leaders formed a committee to address some members’ concerns over Medicaid funds going to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. 

The Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection met for a third time Thursday since July. The focus during the hearing was to discuss a committee report that made changes to the state’s Medicaid system. Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin, is the committee chairman and he read the six-page report. 

“The state has the authority in Medicaid programs to establish qualification standards for Medicaid providers and to take action against providers that fail to meet those standards,” White said.

One of the proposals would allow joint investigations into Medicaid providers from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). This regulatory proposal would need to be approved by members of the committee and then sent to the department. 

“The committee urges DSS and DHSS to collaborate in modifying and expanding the existing rules to incorporate consideration by DSS of any state law,” White said.

“These violations of state law may include failure to ensure informed patient consent, failure to retain medical records, failure to cooperate with DHSS during an investigation, failure to ensure adequate facilities and sterilized equipment, and failure to provide required printed materials to women referred to an out-of-state abortion facility.”

White and other members are asking DSS and DHSS to draft emergency rules and put them into effect as soon as possible. Under this change, DSS would be able to consider revoking or denying a license based on DHSS reports. 

Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, is concerned the language could affect more health care providers than what’s intended.  

“If this is a backdoor attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, I do worry about the impact it would have on health care access,” Arthur said. “It doesn’t seem like there’s solution for who would feel that gap.”

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Couer, told the committee she’s worried the investigations could cause a gap in health care coverage for Missourians. 

“I’m concerned about what we are pushing ahead and trying to move forward quickly in a process that ends up perhaps taking away necessary healthcare from our recipients,” Schupp said.

“I’m not sure how that’s beneficial to the state or to the recipient. I think this has the intention of allowing DSS to have more control without having to do their own investigation.”

One proposed law change in the report allows the state to deny or revoke Medicaid funding to MO HealthNet providers, like abortion facilities which in Missouri is only Planned Parenthood, for unethical behavior. 

“That Missouri has an interest in protecting unborn children throughout pregnancy and ensuring respect for all human life from conception to natural death,” White said. 

This law change would require approval from the General Assembly when members return in January. Arthur said she can’t support the language because she’s worried it could affect the entire state’s Medicaid funding. 

“Until there is that assurance that we are in compliance, I think we are taking a gamble that I’m not comfortable with,” Arthur said.

Planned Parenthood is already prohibited from using Medicaid funds for abortions. Another key part of the proposal means if an abortion facility, like Planned Parenthood, fell out of compliance in another state, Missouri could force the location in the Central West End in St. Louis to close. 

White said members are expected to sign off on the report in the coming days with the report being sent to the departments by early next week.

The committee will meet again Oct. 4 to hear from MO Healthnet about transparency issues. 

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Home explosion in Cahokia Heights

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Home explosion in Cahokia Heights

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill.– There was an apparent home explosion in Cahokia Heights with smoke and flames darting out of the roof.

Fire crews worked to knock out the flames and Bommarito Automotive Skyfox is over the scene.

This incident happened on St. Bartholomew Street in Cahokia Heights. Occupants of the home made it out safely with no injuries.

The family’s two cats and hamster are missing.

This is a developing story and we will update this story as new information becomes available.

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