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New Missouri law prevents local governments from imposing eviction moratoriums

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New Missouri law prevents local governments from imposing eviction moratoriums


KANSAS CITY, Mo — On Tuesday afternoon, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed SB 895 into law.

The legislation takes the power away from local governments to enact moratoriums on eviction proceedings and leaves it up to state and federal government.

During the pandemic, Jackson County and Kansas City joined several communities and municipalities that imposed the moratoriums.

The federal government issued a national moratorium for non-payment of rent.

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“Luckily, I have never, never had to evict any of my renters,” said Curtis Jay, a KCMO landlord. “There have been renters behind, and we worked through it.”

KSHB 41

Jay might be a familiar face to some people as a former KSHB 41 news anchor a decade ago.

Now, he’s a landlord with several properties in KCMO. The new state law goes over well with him.

“When someone tells you at the government level, ‘Hey, you can’t evict,’ but the government is not paying your mortgage, we’ve got an issue,” he said.

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There are 122,228 renter households in Jackson County and there have been 7,409 eviction filings in the past year, according to Eviction Lab, a national research team.

Gina Chiala’s team sees it on a regular basis.

“When you are a low wage worker and rents are as high as they are, it doesn’t take very much to put you in the cross hairs of eviction,” said ​Gina Chiala, executive director and senior attorney for the Heartland Center for Jobs & Freedom​.

Gina Chiala, Executive Director and Senior Attorney, Heartland Center for Jobs & Freedom

KSHB 41

Heartland Center for Jobs & Freedom represents people facing eviction.

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Chiala believes SB 895 takes away protections for vulnerable renters.

“This is troubling,” she said. “I think it’s important local governments have the power and authority and ability to respond to local communities as they see fit.”

The law won’t take precedent over a state or federal mandate.

“It was an important policy during the height of the pandemic to protect the most vulnerable people,” Chiala said.

The legislation is a message landlords like Jay want to send that when rent can’t be paid, the bill should not have to fall on him.

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“If the government stops the banks, then these landlords won’t have to evict, but will that happen? No,” he said. “Will utility companies offer free utilities? No. Will grocery stores offer free groceries during a pandemic? Didn’t happen. No. These are things — having shelter, having food, and having utilities are your basic needs. Were any of these things free during the pandemic? No.”





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Missouri

2024 Missouri Tigers Position Preview: Tight End

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2024 Missouri Tigers Position Preview: Tight End


If there was any more proof to show that Eli Drinkwitz has made progress in ‘locking down the (Missouri) borders,’ look no further than the Missouri Tigers’ tight end room. Not only is rising sophomore Brett Norfleet, a breakout player for Missouri last year, from the St. Louis area but so are two promsing incoming freshman in Jude James and Whit Hafer.

With the promising potential of Norfleet, the veteran experience of others, the Missouri tight end room could help take the Missouri offense to another level this season. Their contributions, especially as blockers, should make the job of every one on the offense easier. Here’s an early look at the position group.

Projected Depth Chart:

1. Brett Norfleet
2. Tyler Stephens
3. Jordon Harris
4. Whit Hafer
5. Jude James
Walk-ons: Adam Molitor, Tucker Miller

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Sophomore, 6’7″, 255* lbs

Norfleet’s freshman stat line, 18 receptions and 197 yards, doesn’t do justice to the impact he had on the field for the Tigers. His contributions as a blocker are obviously not visible in the box score. To become even more formidable of a force for defensive ends to get by, Norfleet bulked up from 235 lbs to around 255 lbs this spring (*atleast bythe account of offensive coordinator Kirby Moore).

He still earned a spot on the All-SEC freshman team and had impressive showings against LSU and Arkanas, catching two touchdown passes against the Razorbacks. The St. Louis product started to find his groove as a receiver later on in the season and should continue to develop that area of his game into his sophomore season to be a main weapon in the Missouri passing attack.

Senior, 6’6″, 243 lbs

Stephens brings size to the fleld but is a pretty one-dimensional tight end. He saw more playing time in 2022 than in 2023, but only caught five receptions in both seasons. In Moore’s offense, there’s not many opportunities for two tight ends sets. Stephens still saw significant playing time in the early part of the 2023 season but once Norfleet proved that he could play well in the SEC, Stephens’ playing time quickly diminished. Expect Stephens to be a goal line/short-yardage situation blocker this season.

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Sophomore, 6’4″, 239 lbs

Harris made his way onto the field for all 12 games of his freshman season in 2023, thanks to special teams. He did not record a single reception. He was a three-star prospect but is a project that could take some more time to develop. He didn’t start playing football until his senior season and tight end is not an easy position to learn. Expect him to mainly play special teams in 2024 while earning some more opporutunities on offense.

True freshman, 6’7″, 255 lbs

Whit Hafer, from Joplin, Missouri, has incredbile size that make him a difficult receiver for anyone to defend. He was rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 53 tight end in the Class of 2024 by 247Sports.

He was a two-sport athlete in high school, also playing basketball, evident with his vertical jump and impressive athleticism for his size. Hafer, like Norfleet, was a dominant blocker in high school that will hope to translate those skills to the SEC. Expect Hafer to get some looks as a receiver and blocker this season if he impresses in fall camp.

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True freshman, 6’2″, 211 lbs

Jude James was an overlooked prospect for most of his recruiting process before an impressive performance at a Mizzou prospect camp.

He was recruited simply as an athlete, also playing at safety at an elite level for Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He’ll likely have to add on some size to be a consistent blocker but he undoubtedly has the athleticism to be a receiving threat who can make some jaw-dropping catches. Playing at safety seemingly made James adverse to contact. He will not be afraid to handle the dirty work as a blocker once he develops.

Read more Missouri Tigers news:

Football Position Previews: Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver

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Watch: Top Storylines for Mizzou Football Ahead of Fall Camp

Former Missouri Infielder Trevor Austin Signs Free Agent Deal with Houston



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Missouri River 340 race makes its way through mid-Missouri

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Missouri River 340 race makes its way through mid-Missouri


The Missouri River 340 race also known as MR340 is a non-motorized boat race of over 400 teams participating that travel from Kansas City to St. Charles, Missouri. Participants paddle across the state in kayaks and canoes for a total of 340 miles in the Missouri River.
The race contains six checkpoints and six paddle stops, one of each in mid-Missouri. Checkpoint #4 is located in Jefferson City and the paddle stop is at Coopers landing in Columbia ahead of the Jefferson City checkpoint. Participants are not required to stop at any point in the race, but many do, the MR340 is considered to be the world’s largest non-stop river race.



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A Missouri prison again has ignored an order to free a wrongfully convicted inmate

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A Missouri prison again has ignored an order to free a wrongfully convicted inmate


ST. LOUIS — For the second time in weeks, a Missouri prison has ignored a court order to release an inmate whose murder conviction was overturned. Just as in the case of Sandra Hemme, actions by the state’s attorney general are keeping Christopher Dunn locked up.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser on Monday tossed out Dunn’s conviction for a 1990 killing. Dunn, 52, has spent 33 years behind bars, and he remained Tuesday at the state prison in Licking. “The State of Missouri shall immediately discharge Christopher Dunn from its custody,” Sengheiser’s ruling states.

Dunn wasn’t released after his conviction was overturned because Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey appealed the judge’s ruling, “and we’re awaiting the outcome of that legal action,” Missouri Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said in an email Tuesday.

The decision to keep Dunn incarcerated puzzled St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore, whose office investigated his case and determined he was wrongfully convicted, prompting a May hearing before Sengheiser.

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“In our view, the judge’s order was very clear, ordering his immediate release,” Gore said at a news conference Tuesday. “Based on that, we are considering what approach and what legal options we have to obtain Mr. Dunn’s relief.” He declined to specify what legal options were under consideration.

Bailey’s office didn’t respond to Tuesday messages seeking comment.

Dunn’s situation is similar to what happened to Hemme, 64, who spent 43 years in prison for the fatal stabbing of a woman in St. Joseph in 1980. A judge on June 14 cited evidence of “actual innocence” and overturned her conviction. She had been the longest-held wrongly incarcerated woman known in the U.S., according to the Midwest Innocence Project, which worked to free Hemme and Dunn.

But appeals by Bailey — all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court — kept Hemme imprisoned at the Chillicothe Correctional Center. During a court hearing Friday, Judge Ryan Horsman said that if Hemme wasn’t released within hours, Bailey himself would have to appear in court with contempt of court on the table. She was released later that day.

The judge also scolded Bailey’s office for calling the Chillicothe warden and telling prison officials not to release Hemme after he ordered her to be freed on her own recognizance. It wasn’t clear if the attorney general’s office similarly called prison officials at the prison where Dunn is housed.

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Dunn’s wife, Kira, said they would hold off really celebrating until he’s out of prison.

“We are overjoyed, and at the same time, we’re also afraid to really exhale until Chris actually takes his first free steps and feels the free ground against his feet,” Kira Dunn said at the news conference. “When that happens, I think all these feelings we’ve been holding onto for so long will finally erupt.”

Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting of 15-year-old Ricco Rogers. Gore filed a motion in February seeking to vacate the guilty verdict.

After weighing the case for nearly two months, Sengheiser issued a ruling that cited “a clear and convincing showing of ‘actual innocence’ that undermines the basis for Dunn’s convictions because in light of new evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find Dunn guilty of these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Lawyers for Bailey’s office said at the hearing that initial testimony from two boys at the scene who identified Dunn as the shooter was correct, even though they recanted as adults.

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A Missouri law adopted in 2021 lets prosecutors request hearings when they see evidence of a wrongful conviction. Although Bailey’s office is not required to oppose such efforts, he also did so at a hearing for Lamar Johnson, who spent 28 years in prison for murder. Another St. Louis judge ruled in February 2023 that Johnson was wrongfully convicted, and he was freed.

Another hearing begins Aug. 21 for death row inmate Marcellus Williams. Bailey’s office is opposing the challenge to Williams’ conviction, too.

The hearing comes with urgency. Williams is scheduled to be executed Sept. 24.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell filed a motion in January to vacate the conviction of Williams for the fatal stabbing of Lisha Gayle in 1998. Bell’s motion said three experts determined that Williams’ DNA was not on the handle of the butcher knife used in the killing.

Williams narrowly escaped execution before. In 2017, then-Gov. Eric Greitens granted a stay and appointed a board of inquiry to examine innocence claim. The board never issued a ruling, and Gov. Mike Parson, like Greitens a Republican, dissolved it last year.

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The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in June that Parson had the authority to dissolve the board and set the September execution date.

Copyright 2024 NPR





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