The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri on January 26, 2014 · A1
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The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri · A1

Kansas City, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 26, 2014
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KANSAS CITY EDITION WWW.KANSASCITY.COM SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014 A+E CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS $10 for $20 of food and drink at Joe’s Pizza Buy the Slice Check out the ad on Page A2 to find out how to get this deal, or go to $2.00 SUNDAY SAVE UP TO $354.53 IN COUPONS IN TODAY’S STAR SPORTS DAILY VAHE GREGORIAN: IF NOT NOW FOR THE ROYALS, WHEN? | B1 GO TO KANSASCITY.COM FOR THE LATEST NEWS AND PHOTOS FROM TONIGHT’S GRAMMY AWARDS A+E D1 CAREER BUILDER F1 CLASSIFIED F2 DEATHS A19-21 H+H C1 LOCAL A4 LOTTERIES A5 MOVIES D11 OPINION A22-23 SPORTS DAILY B1 SUNDAY HOMES E1 TODAY’S WEATHER: LOW 32, HIGH 53. VARIABLY CLOUDY AND BREEZY. | B14 134TH YEAR | NO. 131 | 9 SECTIONS J ennifer Hall had a com- pelling reason to ask that her face be sha- dowed when The Kan- sas City Star photo- graphed her for this story. The Shawnee woman is ac- cused in civil court records of be- ing a serial killer. Lawsuits, affidavits and deposi- tions allege that 12 years ago, Hall intentionally injected at least five patients, perhaps as many as nine, at a Chillicothe, Mo., hospital, poi- soning them to death. Or could it be that Hall is ex- traordinarily jinxed — a two-time victim of false allegations? She was initially convicted of setting a fire at another hospital in 2001, when Hall was just start- ing out as a respiratory therapist. She served a year in prison and then her conviction was over- turned. In a retrial, she was cleared. Now she faces accusations as frightening as they come, that she is an angel of death. “Never,” she said, more calm than angry in a recent interview at her attorney’s office. “No, nev- er.” And Hall has no legal recourse to defend herself. She is not a de- fendant in the lawsuits, which seek wrongful-death damages from the deep pockets of Hedrick Medical Center and St. Luke’s Health System, not from her. “My name is just thrown out there, and it’s for horrifying rea- sons,” she said. She has never been charged in the deaths. But even the Missouri Court of Appeals, in what lawyers called an unusual move, included the name of Jennifer Hall in a recent opinion that detailed the lawsuits’ allegations. The appellate court’s opinion laid bare claims of a “spike in deaths” at Hedrick in the first half of 2002, when Hall was a hospital newbie. JENNIFER HALL | Hospital deaths cast a shadow over her ANGEL OF DEATH OR VICTIM OF FATE? Jennifer Hall is named in several lawsuits, accused of killing patients at a Chillicothe, Mo., hospital. But since she is not a defendant, she has no legal recourse to defend herself. “I want my name to be cleared, yes. … At the same time, I don’t want my character destroyed,” she said. DAVID EULITT | THE KANSAS CITY STAR She is accused of fatally poisoning patients. But Shawnee woman says she is again wrongly accused. By RICK MONTGOMERY The Kansas City Star At 37, David Harper was the youngest of the patients deemed to have died suspiciously. He left behind his wife, Sherri Harper. KEITH MYERS | THE KANSAS CITY STAR SEE ALLEGATIONS | A8 AMSTERDAM, Mo. | At dawn these cold mornings, pick- ups with license plates from all over the country roll off the blacktop and into the gravel in front of McBee’s General Store in this little Bates County town. “Looks like a truck lot out there,” said store manager Jason Dunlap. The guys in rugged boots don’t want yogurt and a ba- nana. They arrived in early fall to build a stretch of a 600-mile oil pipeline from Illinois to Oklahoma. They’re out there sunup to sundown, 12 hours a day, six days a week, freezing cold, snow, wind, rain and mud. Only a Sunday stops this bunch. Needing lodging along the route, which passes within 40 miles of Kansas City? Bet- ter have a relative. The pipe- line gangs have pretty much claimed every rental unit, motel room and RV slot in the small towns along the way. Operators say business is great, a real economic boon. Same with restau- rants. The Fishing Dock in Archie, Mo., even started serving grits because so many of the workers are from down South. Did the cook know how to make grits? “Says how on the box,” waitress Jocelyn Fenton said. But the nearly $3 billion Flanagan South pipeline, de- signed to carry 600,000 bar- rels daily, is not without op- position. Its purpose will be much the same as the con- troversial Keystone XL pipe- line — to help carry tar sands crude from western Canada to refineries in the Welding crews on the Flanagan South project use shacks to protect themselves and their exterior welds from the elements. Shacks were lowered into place last week at the project site in Linn County, Kan. SHANE KEYSER | THE KANSAS CITY STAR Pipeline work pumps energy into economy Needs of employees fuel towns as the contentious project snakes across Midwest. By DONALD BRADLEY The Kansas City Star SEE PIPELINE | A12 It’s long been the stuff of science fiction: computer chips implanted in your brain to enhance your physi- cal and intellectual powers. At Randolph Nudo’s lab at the University of Kansas Medical Center, it’s a step closer to reality. Nudo, a brain researcher who directs KU’s Landon Center on Aging, and elec- trical engineer Pedram Mohseni of Case Western Reserve University have de- veloped an implant the size of a quarter that bridges gaps in damaged brains to restore communication be- tween different parts of the brain. In a dramatic experiment, brain-injured rats equipped with this “neural prosthesis” were able to reach their front paws through a gap in a plastic glass window, simi- lar to a miniature teller’s window, to successfully snatch pellets of food. But when researchers switched the implant off, the rats bat- ted clumsily at the pellets and rarely grabbed one. Although its use in people may be a decade or more away, experts already are calling the neural prosthesis a technological break- through that may change the course of research to assist the 1.7 million Americans who suffer traumatic brain injuries and the hundreds of thousands of people a year Implant could help with brain injuries KU researcher aims to bridge gaps in damaged brains with “neural prosthesis.” By ALAN BAVLEY The Kansas City Star SEE IMPLANT | A11 Lots of people root for the Rainbows, a cheerleading squad of enthusiastic special needs children. STAR MAGAZINE

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