KCTV 5 Popular Stories

Extra help arrives in Springfield to assist in fight against COVID-19

Extra help arrives in Springfield to assist in fight against COVID-19

Hospitals in Springfield are getting some extra help, as several state medical teams have arrived in town.

... Continue Reading
St. Louis to create mask mandate. Is Kansas City next?

St. Louis to create mask mandate. Is Kansas City next?

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – When news broke Friday afternoon that St. Louis City and County has enacted a mask mandate requiring anyone age five and older wear a mask in indoor public places and on public transit, many people began to wonder if Kansas City will be next.

KCTV5 contacted the office of Mayor Quinton Lucas and was provided a written statement that didn’t commit one way or the other.

Some local business owners think the writing is on the wall.

At Mike’s Wine and Spirits, the staff never stopped wearing masks even though they’re all vaccinated. When the city mandate was lifted in May, some were nervous.

“You’ve got people here who have significant others with respiratory illnesses and even if they're vaccinated, they're still worried about carrying that virus with them home to one of their loved ones,” explained owner Andy Doohan.

Some, however, were glad to be done with what Doohan called “awkward” interactions with customers who didn’t want to comply, a situation that was complicated when the rules varied from city to city.

“Because maybe where they live, they don't have a mandate in place,” said Doohan, “so I think if they're going to do it, they need to do it together. I think if Kansas City puts it in and these surrounding cities don’t, then I think it’s a bad idea.”

The written statement Lucas provided Friday hints that his first effort will be just that, to try to get buy-in from other area cities and counties before deciding if he needs to go it alone.

“I am in regular communication with my friends in St. Louis and our local health leaders as we monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, particularly the Delta variant,” he wrote. “As we have done over the past year, I will continue to collaborate with our health leaders on steps forward.”

One example of collaboration was the <a href="https://www.marc.org/News-Releases/07_2021/KC-Metro-Health-Depts-Issue-Public-Health-Advisory.html" target="_blank">joint advisory last week</a> from health departments on both sides of the state line encouraging vaccination and mask wearing for the unvaccinated. It also gave examples of when those who are vaccinated should still wear a mask.

The mayor’s office pointed out that masks are already required on public transit That includes city buses and the streetcar. The same goes for public city-owned buildings like the libraries, city hall and the airport. Those mandates never went away.

The Chief Medical Officer at the KU Health System, who said he and fellow hospital leaders may soon recommended mask mandates, elaborated Friday.

“Chief medical officers live in a world characterized right now by no beds, a lot of full hospitals and concern about how we’re going to take care of all these COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Steven Stites, MD.

“I’m not a political leader. I’m just going to say, from my standpoint, we need to be masked because I think we are under siege by this delta variant. I know we are.”

He further pressed the message for vaccination. Yes, there are breakout cases, but he said approximately 99 percent of deaths and 95 percent of hospitalizations are people unvaccinated.

One Kansas City restaurant owner who did not want to be interviewed or named said she was fuming that more people haven’t been vaccinated, because if they had been, she believes mask mandates wouldn’t even be back on the table.

The full statement from Mayor Quinton Lucas is below:

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been proud of Kansas City’s decisive leadership—which saved lives—and Kansas City government will continue to act in the best interest of the health and safety of our community. “I am in regular communication with my friends in St. Louis and our local health leaders as we monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, particularly the Delta variant. As we have done over the past year, I will continue to collaborate with our health leaders on steps forward.“Still, the best way to save lives and beat the pandemic once and for all continues to be through vaccination: it is safe, highly effective, and free. While masks are not currently mandatory in Kansas City, we continue to encourage Kansas Citians to wear masks in large indoor settings, or if you are in close proximity to an unvaccinated person. Kansas City, please—please—take the vaccine if you have not yet.”

... Continue Reading
Another local BBQ joint closes because of COVID impacts

Another local BBQ joint closes because of COVID impacts

JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- Kansas City is known for its barbecue and the competition to be a top restaurant in this town is fierce.

Sadly, this weekend we will lose another good one, as Smokey's on the Boulevard will close its doors after nine years in business.

They say when the initial COVID mandate came out eliminating dine in, they flourished because of their drive thru, but now things have taken a turn.

For nearly two and a half years, John Sexton has been manning the meat at Smokey’s BBQ in Overland Park.

They’ve got it all, from ribs and brisket, to their specialty burnt ends.

“There may not be anywhere else in town that do burnt end quite like we did,” says Sexton the restaurant general manager.

The reason he’s speaking in past tense, is because on Sunday Smokey's will be closing, for good.

“This pandemic really has made everything just so unpredictable and that’s really one of the big reasons,” says Sexton.

Sexton says an example of that was both Chiefs playoff runs.

“Given that we went through the same championship game, Super Bowl last year, I was kind of expecting that we would see the same sorts of numbers,” says Sexton.

Instead, they saw pretty much the exact opposite.

“We did half as much business for the Super Bowl as we did for the AFC Championship Game, which was very surprising. I don’t know what the heck happened,” says Sexton.

The inconsistent business forced them to keep going back and forth between hiring and laying off.

Something the owner can’t afford to go through anymore, and a sad message they now must relay to the community.

“They have been very loyal. Customers are always saying we love your BBQ hope you don’t close, it’s too bad to actually have to give them that news,” says Sexton.

Smokey's is looking to get rid of all their meat and sides by their last day, which is Sunday.

If they don’t sell it all, they plan to give it to charity.

... Continue Reading
FORECAST: Heat index values will reach above 100 degrees on Saturday

FORECAST: Heat index values will reach above 100 degrees on Saturday

It's officially full on hot complete with an Excessive Heat Warning for the six Metro counties and a Heat Advisory for many of our surrounding counties.

... Continue Reading
Struggles continue for restaurants across the metro area

Struggles continue for restaurants across the metro area

An Overland Park BBQ spot is closing their doors after months and months of struggle through the pandemic.

... Continue Reading
Chiefs rookies: Expectations are high for the team

Chiefs rookies: Expectations are high for the team

Quarterbacks and rookies reported to training camp on Friday.

... Continue Reading
Some homeless individuals now camping out near Kansas City's City Hall

Some homeless individuals now camping out near Kansas City's City Hall

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) --- For the third time this week, some individuals experiencing homeless are moving.

People camping out at Penn Valley Park over the last few days found a new place to lay their heads tonight --- right next to city hall.

They are camped out in Davis Park on the north side.

Thursday morning people camped out at Penn Valley were grappling with the idea of yet another move. On Friday, most of the tents are gone and so are the people.

Holly Hicks, who is experiencing homelessness, said some are feeling like they've reached the end of their rope.

“Everything that they’ve promised every one of us, they’ve fallen short every time," Hicks said.

They’ve heard the news of city hall pushing through an emergency order upping funding.

They also discussed a lack of movement on pallet home legislation.

... Continue Reading
“Delta variant is a game changer:

“Delta variant is a game changer:" Dctors analyze COVID strategies

Fairway, KS (KCTV) – The Delta variant now accounts for 83 percent of new COVID-19 cases, according to the White House Vaccinations Coordinator, Dr. Bechara Choucair.

“It’s 50 to 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that started in the UK,” he said. “The Alpha variant is 50 percent is more transmissible than the original wild type. So, we know this variant is very transmissible.”

Choucair said all vaccines currently being administered are effective in preventing hospitalization and death. He insists people must get vaccinated to slow the spread.

“When you have communities with low vaccination rates and you have a rise of a variant that is very transmissible, that creates the recipe for a spike,” he said.

Infectious disease experts with the University of Kansas Health System say masks are still a powerful tool in the fight against coronavirus as well.

“From my standpoint, we need to be masked because I think we’re under siege by this Delta variant,” said Dr. Steven Stites.

Stites said if a person is fully vaccinated, they are unlikely to become sick with symptoms of the Delta variant. There is not enough research to determine how likely that person may be to spread the variant to an unvaccinated person.

He recommends, unless a person can be sure everyone around them is vaccinated, to wear a mask.

“Whether somebody tells you to or not, shields up. Put your masks on, because it’s going to keep you safe, along with being vaccinated.”

Stites said he understands if people are confused after receiving a different message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When the CDC backed off the masking a number of months ago, we didn’t have the Delta virus, really. The Delta virus has changed the story. It is so much more transmissible.”

KU Health System doctors originally predicted if 65 percent of the population received a vaccine then a community could be considered safe. Now that the Delta variant is known to spread easily, they <a href="https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/179523447540956" target="_blank">bumped the goal up to 80 percent.</a>

Jackson County, Missouri would have to double its number of residents to reach the new goal. It currently has 38.9 percent of residents fully vaccinated.

Though Missouri is one of the states with the most new cases, Choucair said its vaccination rate recently surpassed the national rate. Missouri averaged more than <a href="https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/data/public-health/statewide.php" target="_blank">11,000 doses</a> administered daily last week.

“I think people are realizing the impact of being unvaccinated and they are taking action,” he said.

Choucair recommended anyone who is unsure about signing up to get the shot to talk with their doctor or pharmacist to get reliable answers to their questions.

“The way I look at, if somebody is dying from COVID today, that’s a preventable death.”

... Continue Reading

New vaccination incentive: Metropolitan Community College to give away 1,000 free classes

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) --- Metropolitan Community College is offering a new incentive for college students to get their COVID-19 vaccination shots.

Free classes.

The college announced Friday that they will give up to 1,000 fully vaccinated individuals, which includes current students and potential students, a free course for the Fall 2021 semester.

“It’s all-hands-on-deck time,” MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said in a statement. “As a community, we need to get out the message that vaccinations are safe and effective. They save lives and will help turn this pandemic around. As far as incentives go, this is a $348 value — not to mention everything you’ll learn in an MCC course.”

In order to sign you, visit <a href="https://mcckc.edu/vaccine/" target="_blank">mcckc.edu/vaccine</a>.

The deadline to register for the free class is Aug. 10.

... Continue Reading

KU's Bill Self tests positive for coronavirus, was fully vaccinated

LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) --- Kansas Jayhawks head basketball coach Bill Self said Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Self, who is fully vaccinated, said he is experiencing minor symptoms.

Before the positive tests, Self was going to travel to see some recruits at tournaments this weekend.

"If you have not, please get vaccinated so we don't have to worry about this virus continuing to affect our communities and loved ones," Self said in a statement.

A statement from <a href="https://twitter.com/CoachBillSelf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CoachBillSelf</a> <a href="https://t.co/2U0EOHyOz8">pic.twitter.com/2U0EOHyOz8</a>&mdash; Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) <a href="https://twitter.com/KUHoops/status/1418695211107168260?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 23, 2021</a>

... Continue Reading

St. Louis city and county to require masks in some places

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis city and county officials say they will require masks in some public places starting Monday, citing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases spurred by the delta variant.

Masks will be mandatory in indoor public places and on public transportation for everyone age 5 or older, even for those who are vaccinated, officials said in a news release on Friday. Masking outdoors “will be strongly encouraged,” especially in group settings.

The decision comes as both of Missouri's urban areas are seeing a big uptick in cases in hospitalizations that began in rural areas of the state, especially in southwestern Missouri. <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://www.kansascity.com/news/coronavirus/article252958273.html">The Kansas City Star</a> reported Friday that medical leaders in that region appear to be on the verge of calling for a new mask mandate there as well.

Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the city of St. Louis, said more than 500 St. Louisans have already died from COVID-19, “and if our region doesn't work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems.”

Dr. Faisal Khan, acting director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, encouraged people to get vaccinated, and to adhere to the new guidelines.

“We must protect our most vulnerable residents as well as children under 12, who are not yet eligible for vaccinations,” Khan said in the release.

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System, said the Kansas City region is “past the tipping point,” with hospitalizations rising sharply.

In the Missouri part of the Kansas City region, information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that 319 people are hospitalized — nearly triple the number from early April. The number of intensive care unit patients has more than doubled since June, to 84.

“I think you are going to find the chief medical officers are going to call for a reinstitution of the mask mandates and social distancing because we had that discussion this morning and we were all in favor of it because we’re in trouble in the hospitals,” Stites said during a briefing on Thursday.

Southwestern Missouri continues to see the worst of the surge, and Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that 10 advanced life support ambulances, 20 medical professionals, two “strike team” leaders and a logistics specialist were being sent to Springfield. Their role will be to help with transporting patients in a city where hospitals are near capacity.

They were expected to arrive Friday from Arkansas, and will remain for up to two weeks. A news release from Parson’s office said a mutual aid agreement between states “allows for the sharing of critical resources when needed.”

Springfield and Greene County earlier this month asked the state to fund an alternative care site to help handle the overflow of patients. Parson said the city and county are specifically asking that a hotel be converted into a temporary medical facility. The request has been submitted to federal emergency management officials, Parson’s news release said.

State data shows 544 people hospitalized and 222 in ICU in southwestern Missouri, numbers that exceed the worst of the winter peak of the virus.

... Continue Reading

Lucas: Best way to fight COVID-19 in Kansas City is through vaccination

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) --- St. Louis will be bringing back a mask requirement next week, leading many to wonder about its neighbor to the west.

Will Kansas City?

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said that while there is no mandatory requirement, he is encouraging residents to wear masks in large indoor settings.

Lucas also said getting vaccinated is the best way to fight COVID-19.

“Still, the best way to save lives and beat the pandemic once and for all continues to be through vaccination: it is safe, highly effective, and free," Lucas said in a statement. "While masks are not currently mandatory in Kansas City, we continue to encourage Kansas Citians to wear masks in large indoor settings, or if you are in close proximity to an unvaccinated person. Kansas City, please—please—take the vaccine if you have not yet.”

Lucas says he is in "regular contact" with health leaders in both Kansas City and St. Louis regarding the spread of the Delta variant.

... Continue Reading

Kansas will continue extended federal unemployment benefits

TOPEKA, KS. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said the state does not intend to stop paying expanded federal unemployment benefits that began in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies, business groups and Republican leaders are pressuring Kelly to end the benefits, which include $300 weekly payments.

They argue the extra money is stopping people from seeking work, at a time when many businesses can't find enough employees.

But Kelly said Thursday the state has focused on improving child care programs and other programs that would help people return to the workforce.

The federal program is scheduled to end Sept. 6.

... Continue Reading

Police request help locating two missing children from Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) --- The Kansas City Police Department is asking for help in locating two kids last seen in the area of 37th Street and Mersington Avenue.

Police say Leneal Thomas, 13, and Kendell McKinney, 7, were last seen in that area on Friday.

Leneal was wearing a red, white and blue shirt with shorts, while Kendell was wearing a red shirt with a gold emblem and shorts.

Leneal is 5'4" and weighs around 110 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Kendell weighs about 85 pounds and is 4'6". He has black hair and brown eyes.

... Continue Reading

UPDATE: Missouri Attorney General to file suit in effort to stop new St. Louis mask mandate

ST. LOUIS (KMOV/KCTV) - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he will be filing a lawsuit in an effort to stop an upcoming mask mandate for St. Louis.

City and county officials said Friday that a mandate would return.

Friday night, Schmitt tweeted that he would file suit against those officials.

"The citizens of St. Louis and St. Louis County are not subjects — they are free people," he said. "As their Attorney General I’ll be filing suit Monday to stop this insanity."

------

ORIGINAL STORY

A mandate that everyone wear a mask in public places in St. Louis City and County is coming back.

Effective Monday, everyone 5 and older in St. Louis City and County must wear a mask in indoor public places and on public transportation regardless of vaccinated status. Officials are also urging people to wear masks in outside if they are in a group. Those who are seated in a restaurant or bar eating and drinking, and those who have disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the mandate.

The announcement comes as Delta variant spreads in the St. Louis region. St. Louis City and County officials previously said they were considering bringing the mandate back. Many local school districts are still deciding whether to require masks.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page will be discussing the mandate in more detail at a press conference Monday at 9:30 a.m.

... Continue Reading
Mask mandate returning to St. Louis City, County on Monday

Mask mandate returning to St. Louis City, County on Monday

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - A mandate that everyone wear a mask in public places in St. Louis City and County is coming back.

Effective Monday, everyone 5 and older in St. Louis City and County must wear a mask in indoor public places and on public transportation regardless of vaccinated status. Officials are also urging people to wear masks in outside if they are in a group. Those who are seated in a restaurant or bar eating and drinking, and those who have disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the mandate.

The announcement comes as Delta variant spreads in the St. Louis region. St. Louis City and County officials previously said they were considering bringing the mandate back. Many local school districts are still deciding whether to require masks.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page will be discussing the mandate in more detail at a press conference Monday at 9:30 a.m.

... Continue Reading
FORECAST: Weekend promises even hotter afternoon temps

FORECAST: Weekend promises even hotter afternoon temps

It's officially full on hot complete with an Excessive Heat Warning for the six Metro counties and a Heat Advisory for many of our surrounding counties. You can expect skies to stay clear this evening while temperatures remain in the 80s through midnight with a very sticky feel to the air. The weekend promises even hotter afternoon temperatures with some of the highest humidity levels so far this summer. Saturday will bring middle 90s in the afternoon as heat index values reach above 100 degrees followed by another hot day on Sunday. Sunday afternoon may bring temporary relief for a few areas with a brief flirtation with isolated showers between 2PM and 6PM. Stay as cool as you can and have a great weekend!

... Continue Reading

Kansas City-area medical leaders may urge new mask mandate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — As the delta variant of COVID-19 makes its way through the Kansas City area, the region's medical leaders appear to be on the verge of calling for new mask mandates.

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System, said that region is seeing a big increase in patients, the <a target="&mdash;blank" href="https://www.kansascity.com/news/coronavirus/article252958273.html">Kansas City Star</a> reported.

“We are past the tipping point,” Stites said. “We are in trouble.”

Missouri is at the epicenter of the summer surge of the coronavirus, a surge driven by the fast-spreading delta variant and low vaccination rates in rural areas.

The spread has made its way to the urban areas, too. St. Louis city and county leaders have not ruled out new measures such as a mask mandate or social distancing requirements, as that region faces increasing cases and hospitalizations.

In the Missouri part of the Kansas City region, information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that 319 people are hospitalized — nearly triple the number from early April. The number of intensive care unit patients has more than doubled since June, to 84.

Stites said medical leaders from the Kansas City area were in agreement about mandates.

“I think you are going to find the chief medical officers are going to call for a reinstitution of the mask mandates and social distancing because we had that discussion this morning and we were all in favor of it because we’re in trouble in the hospitals,” Stites said during a briefing.

Southwestern Missouri continues to see the worst of the surge, and Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that 10 advanced life support ambulances, 20 medical professionals, two “strike team” leaders and a logistics specialist are being sent to Springfield. Their role will be to help with transporting patients in a city where hospitals are near capacity.

They were expected to arrive Friday from Arkansas, and will remain for up to two weeks. A news release from Parson's office said a mutual aid agreement between states “allows for the sharing of critical resources when needed.”

“We will continue to do all we can to support the Springfield area and surrounding communities as we experience this increase in COVID-19 spread,” Parson said in a news release.

Springfield and Greene County earlier this month asked the state to fund an alternate care site to help handle the overflow of patients. Parson said the city and county are specifically asking that a hotel be converted into a temporary medical facility. The request has been submitted to federal emergency management officials, Parson's news release said.

State data shows 544 people hospitalized and 222 in ICU in southwestern Missouri, numbers that exceed the worst of the winter peak of the virus.

... Continue Reading

GM issues 2nd Bolt recall; faulty batteries can cause fires

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling some older Chevrolet Bolts for a second time to fix persistent battery problems that can set the electric cars ablaze.

Until repairs are done, GM says owners should park the cars outdoors, limit charging to 90% of battery capacity, and not deplete batteries below 70 miles of range. The company says the Bolts should not be charged overnight, and should be parked outside immediately after they are charged.

The second recall comes after two Bolts that had been fixed under a previous recall caught fire, one in Vermont and the other in New Jersey. It covers about 69,000 Bolts worldwide from 2017, 2018 and part of the 2019 model year. All have batteries made by LG Chem in South Korea.

The recall is another bug in a growing global rollout of electric vehicles by all automakers to replace internal combustion vehicles to cut emissions and fight climate change. Ford, BMW and Hyundai all have recalled batteries recently. Also, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board investigated a series of fires in Tesla vehicles and earlier this year said the high-voltage lithium-ion batteries pose safety risks to first responders after crashes.

GM says in a statement Friday that the faulty Bolt batteries can have two rare manufacturing defects in the same cell at the same time. So GM will now replace any defective battery modules and possibly the whole battery pack.

Spokesman Dan Flores says engineers are still working around the clock on how to find the battery defect and what the repairs will be. He said GM doesn’t know how long it will take to develop the fix. The number of Bolts with the defect is likely to be small, Flores said.

The previous recall announced in April didn't fully fix the problem. It was diagnostic software designed to look for battery anomalies. If one was found, GM said it would replace faulty parts.

Some 2019 Bolts and those from the 2020 and 2021 model years are not affected. Their batteries were made by LG in Holland, Michigan.

“We understand that the previous recall and this recall significantly inconvenience our customers,” Flores said. “We appreciate their patience and we understand their frustration.”

GM will handle customer complaints about the inconvenience and lower travel range on a case-by-case basis, he said.

The company says owners who haven’t had the first recall repairs done should still take their cars to dealers to get the fixes.

The first recall came after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the fires last year. The agency said in a statement Friday that it is evaluating GM's recall repairs and the fires.

GM says it has confirmed battery fires in nine Bolts. NHTSA said two people suffered smoke inhalation and the battery fire spread to one house.

Once the final recall repairs are made, the Bolts’ full range will be restored. Older Bolts can go about 238 miles (383 kilometers) per charge.

... Continue Reading
VIDEO: Brave little dog tries to protect 10-year-old girl from coyote attack

VIDEO: Brave little dog tries to protect 10-year-old girl from coyote attack

(Meredith) -- A brave little dog put up a big fight while defending its 10-year-old owner from a coyote attack.

Lily Kwan said she was walking her 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier, named Macy, in their Toronto neighborhood Tuesday morning when a coyote started chasing them.

Home security video shows the 10-year-old girl running and screaming for help as she pulled Macy by the leash.

“I ran to the sidewalk and started screaming for help. No one heard me,” Kwan told CTV News, adding that she dropped her dog’s leash in the process.

When she turned around, Kwan saw the coyote attacking Macy -- but the little Yorkie tried its best to fight back. A neighbor eventually came outside and chased the coyote away.

"She's a super brave dog. I love her so much," Kwan said. "And I just thought this tiny dog could protect this huge human being, trying to fight off this huge coyote."

Macy sustained about eight large puncture wounds from the attack and needed emergency surgery. The pup is currently recovering in the intensive care unit at an animal clinic, according to a GoFundMe page raising money for the veterinarian bill.

... Continue Reading