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Kickin’ It with Kiz: After Broncos honor Mike Shanahan, what’s next stop for coach? Canton, Ohio

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: After Broncos honor Mike Shanahan, what’s next stop for coach? Canton, Ohio

Mike Shanahan belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. No question. Why? From back-to-back Super Bowl championships to an average of 10 victories per season, not to mention all the current young, successful coaches who have come from the Shanny tree.

G.J., Lakewood

Kiz: While Shanahan the general manager eventually got Shanahan the coach fired in Denver, taking a chance on a running back named Terrell Davis in the sixth round ranks alongside the Nuggets’ selection of Nikola Jokic as the greatest (and luckiest) draft pick in the history of this dusty old cowtown. If T.D. is in the Hall, the Mastermind belongs in there, as well..

I’m a longtime Kansas City Chiefs fan and there’s zero reason why Shanahan isn’t in Canton.

Brad, Chiefs Kingdom

Kiz: When a hated rival gives Shanny love, you can be assured that being fitted with a gold jacket is only a matter of time.

Kiz, I thought all the Broncos’ offensive issues were Drew Lock’s fault? That was all you had to say during the offseason. It was all going to be fixed once Teddy Bridgewater was named the starting quarterback, based on your columns heralding his veteran leadership. Now you think the issue is offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Who is the next scapegoat? I’m sure you will continue to find someone convenient to bury.

D.D., has Pat’s back

Kiz: I appreciate you reading my stuff. When I called for his ouster after the loss in Pittsburgh, Shurmur claimed to local media wretches that he never reads our stuff. “I’d love to read all your stuff, but I just can’t do it,” Shurmur said. “I won’t do it, and I really have never done it.” I have no reason to doubt the man. Shurmur doesn’t have to read my stuff. In my experience, somebody the coach knows well, whether it’s a public-relations director or a spouse, often reads my stuff to him.

The same Avalanche fans saying “no big deal” about Gabe Landeskog’s hit on Blackhawks center Kirby Dach in the season-opener would be screaming bloody murder and demanding a 20-game suspension if the same hit was on one of their favorite players.

Ron, fair and balanced

Kiz: I love Landy. In nearly 40 years of covering sports in Colorado, he’s among my favorite people. But boarding Dach was precisely the type of dumb penalty that can get a team beat in the playoffs.

I guess this is a love letter. Your writing is the highlight of my morning newspaper. I laughed out loud at the “Hamburger Helper” analogy used to describe the Broncos’ offensive game plan, and appreciated your excellent perspective on Jon Gruden. You are good people, Kiz.

Polly, gentle soul

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Festus daycare center to shut down, affecting more than 100 children

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Festus daycare center to shut down, affecting more than 100 children

FESTUS, Mo. – A daycare center in Festus will permanently close its doors this month, forcing families of more than 100 kids to find new help.

The Wee Care Learning Center plans to shut down on Dec. 17 due to costs. Staff members said they received notices over the past couple of months, warning them that the daycare would eventually close — but the owner’s decision to shut down earlier than anticipated hit them hard.

“It was so sudden. We don’t know what to do, and we’re in limbo,” said Dianne Russom, the lead teacher at the Wee Care Learning Center.

Retirement isn’t in the cards, but it’s the kids they’re more concerned about.

“I mean there are some still starting next week,” said Russo. “They’re going to do the last two weeks that they can do with us because they were on maternity leave, and they have nowhere else to go.”

Parents like J.R. Hamilton said they don’t know what to do, as many daycare centers in the area have a waitlist.

“Everyone is scrambling, not just ourselves to find childcare, but the whole Jefferson County is just inundated,” said Hamilton.

Some parents said they will have to temporarily leave their jobs or reduce their work hours to stay at home with their kids.

“I’m going to have to take three to six months off from work just to be home,” said parent Nicole Kilian.

Another parent, Ryan Fonner, said: “My wife and I both work at Mercy at the outpatient treatment center and we’re actually having to go down to part-time care for them.”

Donna Ames, the assistant director at the Wee Care Learning Center, said the closure is especially hard because the staff has built a connection with all the children.

“You can tell that the parents have told their kids that they’re going somewhere else, and they’re having the same emotions that we all are,“ said Ames.

In 2019, a ballot measure was approved by Festus School District voters to raise taxes to pave the way for new projects, including an early childhood program.

In a statement, the Festus School District Superintendent said: “It is a facility that checks all of the boxes that would be required to start an early childhood education program in the district. The district has not yet closed on the facility, but we are hopeful that will occur in the coming weeks.”

The district’s early childhood program, won’t start until later in 2023.

For those still looking for new childcare, the school district is in talks with other childcare agencies to provide care after they close.

A Wee Care parent also made a Facebook group called “Families of Wee Care” to connect parents from the past and present.

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Lincoln County schools to loosen COVID protocols after health order ruling

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Lincoln County schools to loosen COVID protocols after health order ruling

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. — The Winfield R-IV School District is the first in the St. Louis area to loosen COVID-19 protocols for its students after Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that health orders such as quarantines violate the Missouri Constitution’s separation of powers clause.

The judge ordered that all existing health orders issued by local health authorities are “null and void.”

During Monday night’s school board meeting, district leaders approved modifying their close contact protocol to align with the court ruling. The district will no longer require students or staff to quarantine if they do not have symptoms and were a close contact with someone who tested positive to COVID-19.

“Once we saw that court ruling come out last week, we were very motivated to take action,” said Winfield R-IV School District Superintendent Daniel Williams. “Following judge Green’s decision last week, we met Monday night and really recognized that the original guidance from DESE and DHSS were not valid at this point.”

Superintendent Williams said students who have symptoms will still have to quarantine unless they test negative for the virus, or have a note from a healthcare professional.

 “We’ve been extremely blessed here in Winfield that our numbers have stayed extremely low,” the superintendent said.

Among the more than 1500 students across the district’s four schools, there are currently seven students and two staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19. Six students are considered close contacts, according to the district’s data released this week.

“The data that really helped drive our decision is that the large percentage of students who we were quarantining from school and restricting their ability to have in-person instruction where we had such a very low percentage of student and staff testing positive,” Superintendent Williams said.

Tom Ellersieck, a grandparent of four students in the district said some of his grandchildren had to be quarantined in the past.

“I’m an ex-teacher and I think they need to be in school and they need to be safe in school,” he said.
Superintendent Williams said the community overall has welcomed this change of loosened protocols but will continue to keep an eye out on cases.

“In many communities throughout the country, there have been very different opinions on how to approach mitigating measures on covid, and I think at this juncture our Board of Education is certainly representing their constituents well.”

FOX 2’s Zara Barker asked Williams if there was some concern due to the Omicron variant.

 “I think over the last 18 months there is concern with everything that is mentioned, I think right now it is a really wait and see, we really rely upon the officials that are in a position to give schools guidance,” he said.

View the letter district officials sent to parents below:

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Witnesses describe moments before crash that killed St. Louis County officer

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Witnesses describe moments before crash that killed St. Louis County officer

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Witnesses remember the moment they saw a driver speeding down the road and plowing into a county police car Wednesday afternoon.

FOX 2 Bommarito Automotive Group SkyFOX captured debris scattered all over the area of Chambers and Crete Road in North Saint Louis County.

“Just crazy and for them to come over this hill like that — it’s just tragic,” witness Anthony Davis told Fox 2.

Davis said he lives nearby and saw several cars speeding down Chambers before the crash. He believes the suspect was going at least 70 miles per hour, even with the speed limit being 40mph.

“As I was coming down Chambers, I see two cars like they were flying each other coming this way,” Davis added.

Another witness, Boyd Kipp, said he saw the moment the crash happened and says the suspect hit the police car head-on.

“A big loud boom and that was it is a cloud of smoke and then the police,” said Boyd Kipp, “He just flew over. He tried to veer over to smack him.”

Davis said speeding happens all the time around the area.

“Every other night. There’s always somebody speeding, drag racing, or start the car off and see how fast the car is going,” Davis explained.

Davis said something needs to be done before another life is lost. “I just feel for the loss of anybody. But, from what I’ve seen, as far as the damage, it doesn’t look good at all,” Davis admitted.

County police have not yet released any details on what exactly led up to the crash.

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