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(Jefferson City, MO) -- Missouri's governor has unveiled a new incentive program that is designed to boost the state's COVID vaccination rates. Under the plan outlined by Governor Parson Wednesday in Jefferson City, Missourians who receive COVID vaccinations have a shot at 10-thousand dollars. The first drawing will take place on August 13 and the drawings will continue until October. Federal funding will pay for the nine-million dollar incentive program. The governor says the Missouri Lottery will be conducting the drawings.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- Missouri's new health director is from the state of Illinois and has more than 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management. Governor Mike Parson announced the selection of Don Kauerauf during a Statehouse press briefing. Mr. Kauerauf served as the assistant state health director in Illinois from 2016 until he retired in 2018. He replaces Randall Williams who held the position for just over four years.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- Missouri's attorney general will be announcing a major opioid settlement later today (Thursday) in St. Louis that he says is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the state. Attorney General Eric Schmitt will be announcing a major opioid settlement with "a number of distributors and Johnson and Johnson." Schmitt will be joined by families of victims of opioid abuse and overdose. The settlement will be worth a total of 26 billion dollars nationwide. It was reached with three drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson and Johnson.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- A key Missouri lawmaker is asking Governor Mike Parson to call a September special session on the state I-T overhaul issue. Lawmakers heard more than three hours of testimony this week about the state's outdated systems, which include fax machines. Excelsior Springs State Representative Doug Richey, who chairs the House Subcommittee on federal stimulus spending, says the issue has strong bipartisan support. Missouri's Office of Administration testifies that it will cost 83-million dollars to overhaul the system, along with an annual 36-million dollar maintenance cost. Lawmakers want to tap into federal stimulus funding to pay for the project.

(Kaiser, MO) -- Authorities in Miller County are investigating to see if a building fire in Kaiser is connected to last week’s fatal shooting on the Lake Ozark strip. Although several people live in the building, it is also apparently the home of the Midwest Drifters, one of the three motorcycle clubs involved in the fight. State, local and federal agencies are investigating the fire. Authorities are calling it a criminal investigation, but they are unwilling to speculate on the fire’s cause.

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