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Fentanyl is killing hundreds of Missourians

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Nearly 800 Missourians died of opioid overdoses in the first half of 2021, and there's one major cause: the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Plus, emails show how quickly the state of Kansas bent to a company’s wishes to keep information out of public view, reflecting a disturbing national trend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are projecting a nearly 20% jump in overdose deaths in Missouri this year. In the first half of 2021 alone, almost 800 Missourians died of an overdose. KBIA health reporter Sebastián Martínez Valdivia says experts attribute the spike to the prevalence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Across the country, journalists are struggling to get public documents that involve private companies. Places like Kansas are even letting corporations black out public records, and that makes it harder to scrutinize government actions. Celia Llopis-Jepsen of the Kansas News Service reports.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byron@kcur.org.