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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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Fallen Sailor honored as body returns home

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Fallen Sailor honored as body returns home

ST. LOUIS – Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey Tucker was one of five U.S. Navy sailors killed in a helicopter crash in the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 31. His remains were recently recovered from the ocean floor and arrived at St. Louis Lambert International Airport Friday. 

A procession of military backers and supporters led the family from the airport to Baue Funeral Home in St. Charles County.  

Tucker was a 2018 graduate of Parkway North High School. Among those who stood near the Cave Springs exit off I-70 was Robbin Wolf. She said the Tucker family lives in her neighborhood and has always offered support to others.  

“The family is a giving family and loving,” Robbin Wolf said. Her husband also came to show his respects.  

“He showed up for us,” said Scott Wolf. “So, we are going to show up for him.” 

Several area fire departments raised American flags on overpasses as the procession traveled along I-70. 

“We’re just here to honor Bailey,” said Jason Meinershagen, Central County Fire Rescue public information officer. “We recognize that we wouldn’t have the freedoms and be able to do the things we do without him.”

Navy veteran Jodene Reppert traveled to St. Charles County to show her appreciation for Bailey’s service to his country.

“You need to be honored and your family should be honored and thanked for their sacrifice,” she said. 

The MH-60S crashed on Aug. 31 about 70 miles (112 kilometers) off San Diego during what the Navy described as routine flight operations. It was operating from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. 

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Keeler: Move over, Vic Fangio. Colorado State’s Steve Addazio is the worst clock-manager in town. And he just joined you on the hot seat.

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WATCH: CSU botches last-minute field goal attempt against Utah State

For a second there, you almost felt sorry for Steve Addazio. A little. At least until he started throwing his own players under the bus, one by one.

“I would say to you is they got caught up in the emotion of the game and took off on the field,” the CSU football coach said of the insanity that made up the final 11 seconds of Utah State 26, Rams 24. “I’m like, ‘Who sent them on?’

“And no one sent them on. So, it just happened. Which means that it’s my responsibility, because that can’t happen.”

Oh, but it did. Dazfoonery. Absolute insanity. A clown show in cleats.

Spike the ball!

Spike it! What are you do …

In a sequence they’ll be talking about for years, probably with calliope music playing in the background, the Rams had bravely and methodically driven the ball downfield, trailing by two.

Quarterback Todd Centeio, with no timeouts, had Elwayed CSU to the Aggies’ 24-yard line with half a minute on the clock.

Then all heck broke loose.

Or rather, the Rams’ field-goal unit broke loose.

With 11 seconds left, instead of spiking the ball or throwing a prayer to Trey McBride or Dante Wright, the CSU sideline turned into Piccadilly Circus. The offense, while still on the field, expecting a spike to stop the clock, saw their special-teams compatriots racing to the line of scrimmage, shooing them off.

Chaos ensued. CSU kicker Cayden Camper rushed onto the spot and rushed a 42-yard attempt with a second remaining on the scoreboard. It sailed wide left, and the stunned Homecoming crowd at Maverik Stadium erupted at their fortune.

“Having said that, we were perfectly set up and ready to kick the field goal,” Addazio continued. “I don’t believe that had any impact on that field goal whatsoever.”

Vic Fangio, you owe this man a beer. Or six.

Fangio, the besieged Broncos coach, uses timeouts in crunch time the way a toddler uses a plate of spaghetti. But compared to Addazio, Uncle Vic is the second coming of Bill Walsh.

They’re also both so in over their heads as head coaches here, it’s pitiful. In some alternate universe right now, Fangio is serving as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator. Addazio is coaching Urban’s offensive line.

Alas, we’re all stuck with this reality. And it bites.

“I could tell that they were obviously disorganized,” Utah State coach Blake Anderson told the CBS Sports Network immediately after the tilt. “It just didn’t look organized.”

The kicker to the kicker? Anderson admitted that he was going to call a timeout to try and ice Camper.

Instead, the Rams iced their own guy for him.

Spike the ball!

Spike it! What are you do …

“It’s frustrating,” said McBride, the tight end whose six receptions, along with tailback David Bailey’s 159 rushing yards, went for naught. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Especially given the stakes. Inside track within the Mountain West’s Mountain division. A 3-0 start to league play. More than halfway home to bowl eligibility.

What we got was an evening marred by the hallmarks of poor coaching, from preparation to execution: Painful, silly CSU penalties — nine in all, at least six of them on offsides calls — and ever sillier mental mistakes.

CSU sacked Aggies quarterback Logan Bonner eight times. The power and leverage advantages along the line of scrimmage were palpable. The bigger, badder Rams (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West) would win a slugfest with Utah State  (5-2, 3-1) 11 times out of 10.

But the Aggies weren’t interested in a stand-up brawl — Anderson wanted to duck and weave, to rope and to dope, and tire the heavyweight Rams into doing something dumb.

Team Daz, sadly, obliged. Repeatedly.

And we can’t say the Boston College faithful didn’t warn us: Since 2013, Addazio-coached teams are 9-18 in games decided by six points or fewer. Since 2018, they’re 0-6.

With Boise State (3-4) at home up next, a wounded franchise that CSU hasn’t beaten in 10 tries, followed by Wyoming (4-2) on the road and Air Force (6-1) at home, those aren’t exactly the kind of stats that inspire confidence along the Poudre.

Nor, frankly, did Friday. The Rams were having so much fun leading with their fists that they forgot, too often, to use their heads.

Four first-half penalties and two turnovers early gave the smaller, quicker and pass-happy Aggies seven first-half possessions to CSU’s six. And two of those came in the final five minutes of the second quarter thanks to the Aggies’ special teams. USU kicked a field goal, then lobbed the ensuing kickoff into a gap within the Rams’ return unit, recovering the rock at the CSU 24.

And because the Daz chose to sit on his timeouts at the end of the half rather than stop the clock on USU’s stunning post-kickoff possession, the Aggies got the ball three different times between the final six minutes of the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third quarter — while the Rams had it only once.

Guess what Daz did with that possession? He took a knee to run off the final 25 seconds of the first half. The hosts, meanwhile, turned those extra cracks with the pigskin into nine points, ducking and jabbing their way to a 23-14 lead that forced the Rams into catch-up mode.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Addazio said after the game about his thinking, or lack thereof, during that mid-game juncture.

“I just (felt) like we had too many penalties in the first half, we turned the ball over twice …”

Defense and a run game travel well on the road. Stubbornness and stupidity, however, do not. And never will.

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A refreshed Casa Bonita could accelerate redevelopment along West Colfax corridor

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A refreshed Casa Bonita could accelerate redevelopment along West Colfax corridor

Casa Bonita’s relaunch under new ownership won’t necessarily trigger a revival along the West Colfax corridor, but it could speed up one already underway and if done right, provide a model on how to both refresh and preserve an iconic tourist draw.

The Mexican restaurant with real cliff divers, faux shootouts and so-so food has served as a draw for generations of families ever since it opened in 1974 in a shuttered JCPenney’s store in a suburban strip mall sandwiched between Kendall and Pierce streets along West Colfax Avenue.

The restaurant shut its doors early in the pandemic and owner Summit Family Restaurants sought bankruptcy protection in April. But last month Summit finalized a sales agreement with a group headed by Colorado natives and “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

“While retail has had its challenges over the years, the ‘South Park’ creators’ rumored grand vision for Casa Bonita’s future could be a boon for local commercial and residential real estate in the West Colfax area. If anything, Trey and Matt’s purchase may serve as a model for preserving history throughout West Colfax,” said Philip Kranefuss, head of Colorado real estate for the brokerage firm Homie.

Parker and Stone made the restaurant legendary among their global fan base when they featured it in a 2003 episode of their animated series and they have continued to highlight it over the years.

Kranefuss said the restaurant is a Denver-area institution and a rite of passage for local children that could see its draw as a tourist attraction expand to the legions of “South Park” fans. Its preservation and continuation are not only a big deal for the nearby neighborhood but also the larger metro area.

He expects the neighborhood will look much different 10 years from now, and that Casa Bonita will be part of that transformation.

“We are very enthusiastic about what is happening with Casa Bonita. Anything that reactivates the restaurant is a good thing for us,” adds William Marino, board chair of the 40 West Arts District. “Good things are happening on West Colfax. There is real momentum and we need it to continue.”

The arts district, established in 2011, has purchased a building in the parking lot next to Casa Bonita that once housed a Denver Drumstick Restaurant. The once-popular eatery, known for a model train that ran around the restaurant, has sat vacant for about 20 years, a symbol of the larger decline the neighborhood was suffering, Marino said.

One goal of buying the building is to provide permanent gallery space for area artists so they don’t get priced out as the neighborhood stages its comeback, avoiding a pattern seen in some of Denver’s one-time artist havens, Marino said.

Lamar Station Plaza, the strip mall that houses Casa Bonita with its distinctive pink stucco bell tower, saw its revitalization start when Broad Street Realty acquired the dilapidated JCRS shopping center in 2014 for $8 million. In the late 1800s, the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society or JCRS treated tuberculosis patients on that site.

The shopping center, once limping along with a 30% vacancy rate, now houses a Planet Fitness and a Dutch Brothers, but also discount retailers and thrift stores catering to the area population.

“It is really about the redevelopment of commercial spaces. The general idea is to hold onto the funkiness of Colfax and the positive energy that comes with it,” said Robert Smith, Lakewood’s economic development director.

Lakewood has a total of 91 commercial and residential projects recently completed or underway, according to a development map the city maintains. Of that total, 38 were completed last year, 17 wrapped up this year and 15 residential projects and 12 commercial projects are currently underway.

Many of those projects are concentrated in the north end of the city, between the W light rail line and the Colfax corridor, which at one time served as the major connecting throughway for travelers driving between the Midwest and California and was filled with motels and eateries.

Once the wider and faster Interstate 70 to the north became the main highway, Colfax started to see more used car dealerships and pawnshops and vacant buildings.

Part of the challenge of redeveloping the area is that it was designed with setbacks and parking lots to accommodate a car culture. But the preference now is for denser and more walkable neighborhoods with amenities nearby.

“The West Colfax corridor is undergoing a renaissance,” Smith said, adding that the “South Park” purchase, which is awaiting approval in bankruptcy court, has done great things for marketing Casa Bonita. “Part of the value of that restaurant is that it has such a storied history. All parties involved want to maintain that legacy, augment and enhance it.”

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