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The 10 best jazz albums of 2021

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The 10 best jazz albums of 2021

December means “best of” list time. And here’s the list I think about putting together all year long.

My criteria are pretty simple: What albums, out of the hundreds that come my way every 12 months, am I liable to put on again and again? What surprises me every time I hit play? What invention and beauty sets one piano trio date, say, apart from the others?

It’s been a remarkable year for new music, and emerging old music was well represented in 2021, too. Here’s my top ten, followed by some terrific excavations. I hope you’ll dig in.

James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet — “Jesup Wagon” (Tao Forms)

The emerging tenor saxophonist and composer leads a thrilling band, featuring cornetist Kirk Knuffke. Lewis has his free jazz history down, and at times he sounds like Albert Ayler might in the 21st century.

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US military medical team to help with COVID staffing at a St. Louis County hospital

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‘Winter Surge’ pushes St. Louis area pediatric numbers to highest levels in three months

CLAYTON, Mo. – A team of US military personnel will be deployed to the St. Louis region to help hospital staff deal with the record numbers of COVID patients. They are expected to be at Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County next week.

The U.S. Navy team is coming to the region after a request from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. On Thursday, Dr. Alex Garza, Task Force Leader, told FOX2 that it’s the first time hospitals here have needed to make the request, as hospitals not only see the most patients they’ve seen during the pandemic, but are losing staff to sick days brought on by their own COVID cases or those close to them.

Christian Hospital was selected by the Pandemic Task Force to receive federal assistance. A team of 44 health care professionals, including doctors and registered nurses, will begin arriving on January 26.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force submitted requests to support 11 facilities in the region. The United States Department of Health and Human Services indicated that could only deploy resources to only one local hospital. The hope is that by adding resources to North County other facilities will benefit as well. 

“This is a reflection of where we are in the pandemic. We’re seeing more patients now than we have ever seen before in the pandemic. Unfortunately, we have our workforce is either getting ill or having that second order effect from the virus… having to take care of family members, schools closing down, things like that. We’re typically very self-sufficient in health care, we don’t like to ask for help but I think we’re at that point where we need to ask for help,” Garza said Thursday.

A 17-member Health Care Task Force team is currently helping to support staff at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. They have been in place since January 7 and were granted an extension to continue providing care through February 4.

“This team will help support our dedicated local medical professionals who work hard each day to care for Missourians. The best way Missourians can help aid our hospitals and health care workers is by considering vaccination to protect themselves and their families,” states Governor Parson.

“As we made clear in our letter to Governor Parson more than two weeks ago, St. Louis needed him to step up and request federal assistance to help our region respond to the Omicron variant,” writes US Rep. Cori Bush.

The move comes roughly three weeks after Missouri Governor Mike Parson ended the state of emergency which had been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Fake COVID inspector tries to test QuikTrip workers to pay rent

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Fake COVID inspector tries to test QuikTrip workers to pay rent

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A man was charged with false impersonation and identity theft Thursday after conducting COVID tests on employees at a Quik Trip.

A court document says Eddie Jameson, 27, posed as an inspector from the St. Louis County Department of Health and went to the Quik Trip located at 10739 Page Avenue. He said he was there to conduct COVID tests on store employees “so that county government could analyze the data to determine if certain restrictions should be eliminated or loosened.” He then had five employees fill out a form with their names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. After the form was filled out, “he administered a nasal swab to the employees.”

He then left the store and drove away in a red Pontiac Solstice convertible. “St. Louis County Health Department employees confirmed that no county employees were conducting tests of the type “performed” by [Jameson],” the court document said. Jameson then went to a market located at 11683 West Florissant and attempted to do the same thing. The employees there refused.

The court document said Jameson returned to the Quik Trip two days later. He told the employees their results would be ready the following day. Police then arrived at the store and arrested him.

Once arrested, Jameson told police that “he had not identified himself as a County health inspector but otherwise admitted administering the tests.” The court document said Jameson “had been working for an organization called Community Wellness America which provides testing for employees. [Jameson] provided the name of a supervisor who confirmed that [Jameson] was working for him but he was not to be administering tests, rather he was to provide the tests so that employees could administer the tests themselves.” Jameson admitted he was not trained on administering a nasal swab. He said he “had never performed one prior to swabbing the employees at the Quik Trip.” According to the court document, James said “he was supposed to receive $20 for every test that was submitted, and explained that he needed money to pay his apartment lease and was trying to obtain the tests in order to get money.”

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Get ready for warmer days with MSHP boating safety classes

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Get ready for warmer days with MSHP boating safety classes

JEFFERSON CITY – Want to think Summer on a cold Winter day? Then sign up for a Missouri State Highway Patrol boating safety course to get ready for the boating season. Missouri law requires everyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes to have a certified boating safety education card. This includes personal watercraft operators.

You can sign up for a certified course at: https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/WP02Web/app/safetyEdClasses

The courses are free, but registration is required and the boater ID card costs $15.

Don’t see classes in your troop location? Contact your nearest troop headquarters and ask to speak with a marine operations supervisor to check the possibility of additional classes.

Troop Headquarters Contact Information:
Troop A Lee’s Summit- (816) 622-0800
Troop B Macon- (660) 385-2132
Troop C Weldon Spring- (636) 300-2800
Troop D Springfield- (417) 895-6868
Troop E Popular Bluff- (573) 840-9500
Troop F Jefferson City- (573) 751-1000
Troop G Willow Springs- (417) 469-3121
Troop H St. Joseph- (816) 387-2345
Troop I Rolla- (573) 368-2345

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