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(Cape Girardeau, MO) -- Some Missouri pharmacists were already participating in a prescription drug monitoring program before the governor signed a bill Monday starting one statewide. A Cape Girardeau pharmacy co-owner says the program helps make sure there isn’t abuse of prescription drugs. Abe Funk says it’s a way to combat the current opioid epidemic. State Senator Holly Rehder (RAY dur) of southeast Missouri has been pushing the monitoring program for several years. The pharmacists have already been working with a system run by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. It will be folded into the statewide program.

(Columbia, MO) -- The city of Columbia has won a 54-million-dollar judgment against a company for failing to paid business license taxes. A St. Louis County Circuit Court judge determined that Spectra Communications Group hadn’t paid the taxes dating back 14 years. As part of the same suit, Joplin will get a little over a million dollars. The total dollar amount included interest, penalties, and attorneys’ fees. Spectra had argued that those business taxes should apply to other services that weren’t supplied to Columbia and Joplin.

(St. Louis, MO) -- For the first time since March 2020, COVID-19 hospitalizations at St. Louis metro hospitals have dropped below 100. The head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, Dr. Alex Garza, says it is a benchmark number. Area health departments are transitioning away from holding only a few large mass vaccination clinics to smaller, hyper-local vaccination clinics and more of them.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- Landmark legislation establishing a Second Amendment Preservation Act will be signed into law Saturday by Missouri's governor, in Lee's Summit. Governor Parson will sign the SAPA Saturday at 2:00 p-m. The new law declares that it's the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. It also declares as invalid all federal laws that infringe on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Former Democratic State Representative and former judge Chris Kelly says the bill is unconstitutional, and that the "sponsors know it is unconstitutional. It has one purpose, to pander to the gun guys," Kelly says.

(Lee’s Summit, MO) -- Conservation canine officer Korra is already on the job. The Missouri Department of Conservation is launching a new unit to help it with enforcement investigations. Korra is going to be involved in evidence recovery and wildlife trafficking. The two-year-old black Labrador is the first for the state agency. She will work with search and rescue, wildlife detective, and also public outreach. Corporal Justin Pyburn says she’s not like police dogs who are involved in pursuits. Korra is non-aggressive and “won’t bite you.” But, if you’re lost she will find you.

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