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In the News

Show Me Missouri: The Significance of 200 years

August 2, 2021

by Chris Six, Sarah Scarlett, and Brian Calfano

Missouri is celebrating 200 years this year and to honor that, OzarksFirst is taking a look at the past 200 years and what has made Missouri significant all this time.OzarksFirst Political Analyst Dr. Brian Calfano met with a former history teacher turned Missouri’s Senior Senator, Roy Blunt. Blunt has a master’s degree in history and taught history at Marshfield High School before moving to politics.“There are a lot of Missourians that have led the way in so many different fields. You know,... Continue Reading »


Lawmakers introduce bill to make breast cancer diagnostic tests more accessible and affordable

April 13, 2021

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) announced that they have introduced the bipartisan Access to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Act. The legislation would make breast cancer diagnostic tests more accessible and affordable.“Early breast cancer detection saves lives,” said Blunt. “Unfortunately, many Americans had to postpone preventive care – including breast cancer screenings – because of the pandemic. With experts warning there could be a spike in demand for care for health... Continue Reading »


Sen. Blunt promotes pro-vaccination message while touring Mercy clinic

April 9, 2021

by Kevin McClintock

Moments after Cynthia Hartner received the first of her two Pfizer vaccination shots Thursday morning, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., stopped to introduce himself to the Diamond resident.Even though she was wearing a mask, it was obvious she was smiling. She told him she definitely knew who he was: “All these years, and I’m finally happy to meet you.”After asking several questions concerning the vaccination procedure at Mercy Hospital Joplin, Blunt thanked Hartner for doing her part in helping slow... Continue Reading »


Sen. Blunt visits UMKC-Mosaic site

April 8, 2021

by Alexander Simone

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., made a trip Thursday to Mosaic Life Care, to mark the expansion of the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine’s program in St. Joseph.The new expansion is part of a Medical Student Education Program that Blunt helped start in 2019. The program demonstrates the importance of keeping a supply line to rural health centers, he said.“Obviously if you can get that training closer to places that are struggling to find doctors, it should apply in medicine just like... Continue Reading »


U.S. Sen. Blunt meets with school, local officials to discuss school reopenings

April 8, 2021

by Sarah Yenesel

COVID-19’s effect on education, and learning how schools and students dealt with the pandemic, brought U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt to Cape Girardeau on Wednesday.Blunt visited Central High School to be a part of a discussion with teachers, administrators and staff, and other local officials about the ongoing pandemic’s impact on the Cape Girardeau School District.Blunt and school superintendent Neil Glass guided the meeting at the front of the cafeteria with attendees seated, socially distanced. The... Continue Reading »


Senator Roy Blunt visits Columbia to talk vaccine, mental health

April 7, 2021

by Patterson Fallis

Senator Roy Blunt visited Columbia on Wednesday for the first time since announcing that he wouldn’t run for re-election next year.Blunt held a roundtable discussion at the Walsworth Family Columns Club at Faurot Field with many health leaders from MU Health Care, Truman Veterans' Hospital and the Board of Curators.Blunt discussed COVID-19 vaccines, efforts to improve mental health and his work to combat the opioid crisis.Blunt said he hopes everyone will get a vaccine when it becomes available... Continue Reading »


Lawmakers introduce legislation to prohibit permanent fencing around Capitol complex

March 25, 2021

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (Md.) introduced the No Fencing at the United States Capitol Complex Act. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) previously introduced the legislation in the House. Their bipartisan, bicameral bill prohibits funding for permanent fencing around the U.S. Capitol complex.  “The U.S. Capitol is the most iconic symbol of democracy in the world. How we respond to... Continue Reading »


Blunt helps introduce bill to provide disabled Veterans full military benefits

March 9, 2021

Last week, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) helped introduce the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation to provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits.“It’s long overdue that these heroes – who could no longer continue serving due to injuries they sustained in combat – get the benefits they earned,” said Blunt. “This bill will help us honor these men and women for the significant sacrifices they made in their service to our nation.... Continue Reading »


Blunt backs bill to require Congressional approval before any Iran sanctions relief is granted

March 3, 2021

Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced that he is an original cosponsor of the Iran Sanctions Relief Review Act of 2021. The bill, introduced by U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), would enable Congress to approve – or block – any administration effort to suspend or terminate U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime.“Easing sanctions on the world’s number-one state sponsor of terrorism would be a dangerous mistake,” said Blunt. “The Iranian... Continue Reading »


Mark Twain Behavioral Health gets $3.4 million from COVID relief funding

February 5, 2021

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the Republican leader of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, issued a release Friday that three Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Missouri were awarded a total of $8.7 million from COVID-19 emergency relief funding that was passed last year.Mark Twain Behavioral Health, which has locations in Kirksville, Macon and Hannibal, was awarded $3.4 million. Hi-Tech Charities in St. Louis... Continue Reading »


Mosaic finalizes partnership with UMKC for medical program

December 17, 2020

by Clayton Anderson

Mosaic Life Care and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine will open up a program in St. Joseph for medical students starting in January.The program will be titled UMKC School of Medicine-St. Joseph, and a combination of six-year medical program students and traditional medical students that applied will start in January. The program is designed for students looking to practice medicine in rural Missouri.“As part of the University Missouri system, UMKC has always recognized... Continue Reading »


UMKC will partner with local churches to increase COVID-19 testing with federal grant

November 23, 2020

by Brian Lowry

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has been awarded a $1.9 million federal grant to improve COVID-19 testing in underserved communities, Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s office announced Monday.UMKC was one of two Missouri universities to receive the grants from the National Institutes of Health. Washington University in St. Louis was awarded $2.3 million.UMKC officials said the university is partnering with local churches to expand testing in low-income areas of Kansas City.“By working... Continue Reading »


Ste. Genevieve gets newest National Park

November 2, 2020

by Becky Willeke

Missouri is home to one of the newest national parks. A ceremony was held today to celebrate the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in Ste. Genevieve.Sen. Roy Blunt helped lead efforts in Congress to establish the park.President Trump authorized the establishment of Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, when he signed the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017. Late last month, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David L. Bernhardt, took the last step necessary... Continue Reading »


Effort aims at making COVID tests cheaper, with quicker results

August 13, 2020

by Ken Newton

The abbreviated name of the program, RADx, suggests something from science fiction.But the initiative, formally called Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics, has a more low-tech goal when it comes to COVID-19 tests: Make them faster, and make them cheaper.Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who has been at the center of congressional efforts to encourage quicker and more accessible testing for the virus, relied on a reality-TV concept to propel this effort. He regards it as a “shark tank.”As in the televised... Continue Reading »


Our view: CORPS Act deserves Joplin's support

August 10, 2020

by Editorial Board

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, has announced that he will cosponsor the Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service Act, legislation that would expand national service programs to help the nation respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.The CORPS Act would double the number of AmeriCorps positions available to 150,000 and provide approximately 600,000 service opportunities nationwide over the next three years to those looking to assist their... Continue Reading »


Washington Times: NIH's 'Shark Tank'-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

July 20, 2020

by Tom Howell Jr.

Americans pining for better COVID-19 tests should see relief by the fall thanks to a $500 million federal effort to deliver rapid and portable tests, including a lunchbox-sized machine that reads pop-in cartridges and sample tubes that plug into computer tablets and spit out results.  The National Institutes of Health is shepherding thousand[s] of applicants through a “Shark Tank”-style competition that allows developers to pitch their ideas to experts and win millions of dollars in... Continue Reading »


Big step down the trail

June 26, 2020

Lost in all the drama of late was a milestone moment for conservation and public lands that deserves a resounding cheer. The U.S. Senate recently passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which commits $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for parks, conservation and outdoor initiatives. That's double what is being spent now. There's the Hip! It also commits another $1.9 billion per year to improvements at national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, including... Continue Reading »


Thanks, Roy Blunt

June 19, 2020

by Dalton Archer

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, marking a historic win for our national parks and public lands. This legislation addresses the National Park Service’s $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund.Our nation is facing many difficult challenges, so this bipartisan effort is encouraging for Missourians and Americans alike.In Missouri, the outdoors has a rich history. Natural areas and public lands help... Continue Reading »


Blunt asks AG Barr to revive post-Ferguson strategies to combat police brutality

June 3, 2020

by Bryan Lowry

Sen. Roy Blunt sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr Wednesday urging him to revive strategies to curtail racial profiling and excessive force by local police departments that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has abandoned during Donald Trump’s presidency.The Missouri Republican told Barr that measures taken after unrest in Ferguson in 2014 provide a model that DOJ should pursue in the wake of national protests against police violence.“I have seen firsthand how the federal government can... Continue Reading »


Senators introduce bill to improve access to mental health services for children in foster care

May 13, 2020

During National Foster Care Month, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Bob Casey (Pa.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) May 7 announced that they have introduced legislation to improve access to mental health services for children in the foster care system.Their bipartisan Timely Mental Health for Foster Youth Act would require states to provide an initial mental health screening to foster children within 30 days of entry into care. If a mental health issue is identified in the... Continue Reading »