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(Jefferson City, MO) -- A standing-room-only crowd packed a Missouri Capitol hearing room for Monday afternoon's Joint Committee on Education discussion about Critical Race Theory and the 1619 project. Republican lawmakers are asking Governor Mike Parson to ban the teaching of the concept. Democrats were upset because no speakers were invited who support C-R-T. The hot-button issue is making headlines all across the country as some states pass legislation prohibiting that curriculum in their public school classrooms. A spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says it doesn’t issue guidance on the topic because this is a local control state.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- Missouri's governor is encouraging the state's youngest residents to get vaccinated against COVID. Governor Mike Parson took part in a Monday conference call with K-through-12 school superintendents about the upcoming school year and COVID. They also discussed how to educate and encourage vaccinations among Missouri's youngest eligible age groups. Missouri vaccinators have now administered more than five-point-one million COVID shots, which includes the first and second doses. The state Department of Health and Senior Services says 40 percent of Missourians are fully vaccinated.

(Dexter, MO) -- Hospital officials in Dexter say the emergency room at their tornado-damaged hospital is still closed but is expected to reopen sometime this week. An EF-2 tornado with 120 mile-per-hour winds slammed into Southeast Health hospital nine days ago, blowing out windows and destroying the ceiling. Hospital spokeswoman Sally Owen says the closest emergency rooms to Dexter are in Poplar Bluff and Sikeston – each about 20-to-25 miles away.

(St. Louis, MO) -- Federal prosecutors say a former bookkeeper at a firm that managed the D-E-W Trust has pleaded guilty to a 670-thousand dollar fraud scheme. The U-S Attorney's office says 68-year-old Paula Smith of O'Fallon has pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and to money laundering. Federal prosecutors say the D-E-W Trust was valued at one time at eight-point-six million dollars and had 20 named beneficiaries, including 12 charitable organizations in the St. Louis region.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- The latest campaign finance records show Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has the most money in his campaign bank account as he runs for U-S Senate. Schmitt reports he has brought in more than one-point-three million dollars since he announced he was running for the seat being vacated by fellow Republican Roy Blunt. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has raised about 890 thousand dollars and former Missouri governor Eric Greitens has raised about 350 thousand. Lucas Kunce leads Democrats with 630 thousand dollars and St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey has raised about 550 thousand.

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