JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri officials will advise against swimming rather than close beaches at state parks when tests determine bacteria are high.
The changes come after Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation this month dealing with the Department of Natural Resources. The law took effect immediately.
Officials take samples each week at state park beaches during the recreation season. Beaches were closed when tests showed high E. coli. Now signs will be posted that state "Swimming is Not Recommended." A beach still can be closed when there is a documented health risk.
Supporters say the advisory better informs the public about actual water conditions and protects them without unduly alarming them. An environmental advocate says a sign does not prevent people from entering the water.
A fatal accident shut down Eastbound I-44 on Saturday.
A man driving a pickup truck ran into an empty police car that was parked there to divert traffic after an earlier accident. The truck ricocheted into a tractor trailer. The pickup then burst into flames.
The driver of the pickup truck died at the scene.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A steady stream of speakers at a Columbia Medicaid reform hearing urged a panel of citizens and Missouri lawmakers Saturday to not only reform but also expand the government-funded health care program.
The dozens of speakers included doctors, disability advocates, hospital executives and citizens who would become eligible for Medicaid under expansion envisioned by the federal Affordable Care Act.
The House Interim Committee on Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility and Reform is one of three special committees created by state lawmakers after the Republican-led Legislature repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion proposals in the 2013 session.
Committee chairman Noel Torpey of Independence and several other legislators on the 52-person panel emphasized that repairing what he called a "broken" Medicaid system is equally if not more important than broadening access.