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    A boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank Thursday night, killing at least eight people, the local sheriff said. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said seven people were hospitalized and several others remain missing after a Ride the Ducks boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson. The exact number of those missing was not immediately available. A spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center Branson said four adults and three children arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident. Two adults are in critical condition and the others were treated for minor injuries, Brandei Clifton said. Rader said the stormy weather was believed to be the cause of the capsizing. The National Weather Service tweeted that wind gusts of 63 mph were reported around 7:30 p.m. at Branson Airport. He also said an off-duty sheriff's deputy working security for the boat company helped rescue people after the accident. Multiple dive teams from a number of law enforcement agencies were assisting in the rescue and recovery effort. Rader said crews would stay on the scene all night. 'It's going to be a challenging night and tomorrow,' the sheriff said.
  • A Florida online publication asked a federal appeals court to order a trial be held on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking FBI documents that may reveal a U.S.-based support network for the 9/11 hijackers. The case heard Thursday before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals centers on reporting published by the Florida Bulldog about the FBI investigation into a Saudi Arabian family that abruptly left a Sarasota home two weeks before the 2001 terror attacks. One FBI document that was released said that agents had found 'many connections' in 2002 between the family and some hijackers who took flying lessons at a nearby airport, including ringleader Mohamed Atta. Florida Bulldog attorney Thomas Julin told a three-judge panel of the court that the FBI has been dragging its heels on releasing more FBI documents about the Sarasota case submitted to the 9/11 Review Commission, improperly redacted more material and claimed too much was exempt from FOIA release. Julin wants a lower court to hold a full FOIA trial on the dispute. 'Obviously, we don't know what is in those documents. We think there is severe over-classification,' Julin said. 'All of that is a huge deterrent to people using the Freedom of Information Act.' The judges did not immediately issue a ruling. Media organizations including The Associated Press filed briefs in support of the Florida Bulldog, as did former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham — a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham, who attended the hearing, said in an interview that the public needs the full picture of how the hijackers pulled off attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. 'The government's conclusion is that there is no evidence linking the Saudi government to a facilitation of the hijackers,' said Graham, also a former Florida governor. 'Our feeling, to the contrary, is that there is abundant evidence.' The former Sarasota residents, Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, have denied having any connections with or supporting the hijackers. They now live overseas. The FBI has discounted the accuracy of its own 2002 'many connections' memo but won't explain why. Justice Department attorney Thomas Byron told the judges Thursday that a lower court judge made the correct ruling for the government and that the FBI search for documents sought by the Florida Bulldog was reasonable. 'Reporters are not entitled to a perfect search. They are entitled to a reasonable search. We went way beyond that,' Byron said. 'It was above and beyond what was required.' The FBI has also asserted seven exemptions to the release of some material under FOIA, including that some would endanger national security and expose sensitive law enforcement techniques and sources. Previous stories on the al-Hijjis have reported on how the family left behind cars, clothes, furniture and even a refrigerator full of food when they left their Sarasota home before the 9/11 attacks. Possible connections to hijackers include records at the neighborhood's gate indicating some had visited the home as well as telephone calls involving them, authorities have said. Circuit Judge William Pryor suggested the best course might be to send the case back to Miami U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga for a full FOIA trial so that the documents and the FBI claims could be fully evaluated. 'Why am I not right about that?' Pryor asked Byron. 'I don't think you need to do that. The (lower) court did not abuse its discretion,' Byron replied. Separately, the Florida Bulldog is awaiting a different Florida federal judge's decision on whether some or all of the 80,000 pages of FBI files on the Sarasota investigation should be made public. That case has been pending for six years. ___ Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt
  • The Latest on severe weather and tornadoes in Iowa (all times local): 8 p.m. Seven people inside a Pella manufacturing plant when it was struck by a tornado have been treated for injuries at the local hospital and released. Pella Regional Health Center spokeswoman Billie Rhamy confirmed Thursday evening injuries were minor and all patients had been discharged. The factory, which has about 2,800 employees manufacturing industrial and agricultural equipment, was hit by a tornado around 4 p.m.  Vice President of Operations Vince Newendorp says the east half of the company's campus, which includes seven manufacturing buildings, sustained extensive damage. He says the plant activated its storm warning system and workers were in shelters when the storm hit. ___ 7:50 p.m. An official says four or five homes are destroyed on the northeast edge of the city of Bondurant. Fire Chief Aaron Kreuder says several other homes in the city just northeast of Des Moines have significant damage but appear to be repairable. A collapsed wall in one of the damaged homes ruptured, causing a major gas leak for more than an hour until a hole could be dug in the yard to shut off the line. Kreuder says a tornado dropped to the ground, rose back up and then dropped again. He said minor injuries were reported but nothing requiring emergency transportation to the hospital. ___ 7:45 p.m. The tornado hit Marshalltown just as clothing shop owner Stephanie Moz, her husband and their 2-month-old baby were taking a late lunch break. She says the storm broke out the shop's window, ruined the clothing and hats they had on display and destroyed her husband's vehicle, but she's relieved. She says, 'We went through a tornado and survived. I'm happy.' Moz says she heard a storm siren and her mother texted her to seek shelter, so she and her 2-month-old son, Fredy Jr., rushed to the basement. Her husband looked outside and then ran back, shouting 'Get in the basement. It's right over us.' They could hear booms and crashes, and a gust of wind blew through the basement, but they emerged safely. Moz says, 'We're OK. Not a scratch.' The baby? He barely noticed. Moz says, 'It didn't really bother him. He wanted to sleep.' ___ 7:15 p.m. A tornado has caused brick walls to collapse into streets, ripped roofs off buildings and blown a cupola off the top of a historic court house in the central Iowa city of Marshalltown. The damage from the Thursday afternoon tornado severely damaged many of the buildings in the city of 27,000, about 50 miles northeast of Des Moines. There were no reports of deaths from the tornado that slammed into the city, but the brick buildings that surround the 132-year-old courthouse were severely damaged. The city's wide streets were littered with bricks and downed trees. The courthouse also was hit hard, as the tornado caused its cupola to tumble about 175 feet to the ground. ___ 7 p.m. A spokeswoman for UnityPoint Health says that 40 patients are being evacuated from its hospital damaged by a tornado. UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, who is based in Des Moines, says it was unclear how severely the UnityPoint hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, but all of its patients are being transferred to the health system's hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center. ___ 6:50 p.m. A spokeswoman says a tornado has damaged a hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa, and 40 patients will be moved to other hospitals. UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, who is based in Des Moines, says it was unclear how severely the UnityPoint hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, but all of its patients are being transferred to the health system's hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center. ___ 6 p.m. Police say people have been taken to a local hospital after a tornado hit a factory in Pella where some people were working. Pella Police Lt. Shane Cox told KCCI-TV some people from Vermeer Manufacturing were taken to a hospital, but he didn't know the extent of injuries or the number of people. He says emergency responders are attempting to get inside the damaged building to see if anyone is trapped inside. One of the factory's several manufacturing buildings sustained extensive damage with metal strewn across the parking lot and across the street into a cornfield. Vehicles were overturned and piled onto others. ___ 5:40 p.m. Several buildings are reported damaged by a tornado in the main business district in Marshalltown, including the historic courthouse. Initial reports to the National Weather Service indicated the historic Marshall County Courthouse's tower was damaged in a Thursday afternoon tornado, and a weather service spotter reported vehicles overturned and numerous trees down. A woman working at Hammer Medical Supply in the city's downtown says her building has minor damage. She says other nearby buildings including The Orpheum, a theater built in 1948, also are damaged. Another nearby brick building is missing one side leaving the interior living quarters visible to the outside. Marshalltown is a city of 27,000 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines. ___ 5:10 p.m. A large factory in the central Iowa city of Pella has sustained damage from a tornado strike. Vermeer Manufacturing spokeswoman Liz Sporrer confirmed by email the company was hit. She says they were assessing the damage. The company makes agricultural machinery including hay balers and mowers and equipment for the pipeline and forestry management industries. Video from KCCI-TV showed damage to the building and cars stacked atop each other in a parking lot. ___ 3:50 p.m. A storm system moving eastward across central Iowa is generating several tornadoes. Several funnel clouds developed Thursday from the thunderstorm as it moved north of Des Moines near Bondurant. Additional funnels were reported as the storm moved east of Des Moines past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax. National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson in Des Moines says several tornadoes were confirmed but no serious damage was immediately reported. There were no reports of injuries by midafternoon Thursday. He says the funnel clouds are weak and smaller in scale. The weather service is continuing to issue tornado warnings as the storms move eastward. Additional funnel clouds were reported further north near Iowa Falls.
  • A flurry of tornadoes that formed unexpectedly swept through central Iowa Thursday, injuring at least 17 people, flattening buildings in three cities and forcing the evacuation of a hospital. The tornadoes hit Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant as surprised residents ran for cover. The storms injured 10 people in Marshalltown and seven at a factory near Pella, but no deaths were reported. Marshalltown , a city of 27,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines, appeared to have been hit the hardest. Brick walls collapsed in the streets, roofs were blown off buildings and the cupola of the historic courthouse tumbled 175 feet (53 meters) to the ground. The only hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, spokeswoman Amy Varcoe said. All 40 of the patients at UnityPoint Health were being transferred to the health system's larger hospital in Waterloo as well as one in Grundy Center, she said. The emergency room in the smaller Marshalltown hospital remained open to treat patients injured in the storm, Varcoe said. Ten people hurt in the storm had been treated, she said. She did not know how serious those patients' injuries were. Marshalltown resident Stephanie Moz said she, her husband and 2-month-old baby were in the downtown clothing store she owns when tornado sirens went off. The family sought shelter in the building's basement and heard 'cracking and booms and explosions' as the tornado passed. The storm broke out a window, ruining clothing and hats on display there, and destroyed her husband's vehicle. But she said she's relieved. 'We went through a tornado and survived,' Moz said. 'I'm happy.' Weather forecasters said the tornadoes formed suddenly and took them by surprise. Alex Krull, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, said forecasting models produced Thursday morning showed only a slight chance of strong thunderstorms later in the day. 'This morning, it didn't look like tornadic supercells were possible,' Krull said. 'If anything, we were expecting we could get some large hail, if strong storms developed.' Additional funnels were reported as the storm moved east of Des Moines past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax. National Weather Service meteorologist Rod Donavon said two primary storms spawned the series of damaging tornadoes. One developed in the Marshalltown area, causing damage there, while the other started east of Des Moines and traveled through Bondurant and into Pella. The exact number of tornadoes and their strength will be determined later. Iowa State Rep. Mark Smith, who lives in Marshalltown, told Des Moines station KCCI-TV that the area likely will be declared a disaster area. Smith said much of downtown was damaged. He said his house and neighborhood were spared, but surrounding homes were hit. 'There are houses with windows out, houses without roofs,' he said. 'It's just an absolute mess.' Another tornado hit agricultural machinery maker Vermeer Manufacturing in the town of Pella, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Des Moines. People were still working at the plant at the time. The storm scattered huge sheets of metal through a parking lot and left one building with a huge hole in it. Seven people injured at the plant were taken to Pella Regional Health Center, hospital spokeswoman Billie Rhamy said. They all were released after being treated for their minor injuries, Rhamy said. Gov. Kim Reynolds told WHO-TV in Des Moines that two of Vermeer's buildings in Pella were demolished in the storm. She said Vermeer was hosting 500 customers for an appreciation day when the weather hit. She credited the company's security team with moving them all to safety. Reynolds added that in Marshalltown, the state is providing a communications trailer and workers to help maintain emergency communications there. She said Marshalltown's building housing its local communications system was damaged. ___ Associated Press writer Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska, contributed to this report. ___ For The Latest on the tornadoes: https://www.apnews.com/25b4934564644a4ba91b02caddcd026c
  • Sesame Street is taking its beloved, critically acclaimed brand of educational television into the highly profitable world of classroom curriculum — a move that experts say could open the door for other companies to move into the sensitive learning space with possible influence on children. Sesame Workshop, the company behind Big Bird and Elmo, and McGraw-Hill Education, a billion-dollar for-profit company known for school textbooks, announced their partnership Thursday. Both declined to disclose the financial terms for their new line of classroom instructional materials. 'Sesame Workshop probably can be trusted to do this in an ethical way, but the door opens for other companies to do it in a less ethical way,' said Heather Kirkorian, a University of Wisconsin professor who studies the effects of media in young children. The TV program and Sesame Workshop's other educational pursuits have long been lauded for their record of helping kids learn, portraying diverse characters and offering sensitivity in addressing childhood experiences. The new classroom materials include videos featuring social-emotional and literacy lessons delivered by its famous characters and meant to be used at 'circle time,' when young children typically gather to sing songs or hear stories. They also are offering resources for teachers and parents to help reinforce the lessons. The instructional materials are on the market for children in preschool through fifth grade, and they are expected to be used in classrooms as early as fall 2019. Educators now have access to review the materials but they haven't been piloted in a classroom yet. They must be approved by school principals and administrators. Dr. David Hill of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which urges parents to be cautious and selective about screen time for children, said that by age 3, kids can learn from a limited viewing of high-quality TV programs like Sesame Street but that little research exists on such regular media use in the classroom. Hill, a pediatrician, said a young child's brain cannot distinguish between programming and advertising, which could raise questions about the precedent that Sesame Street is setting. 'When you introduce a commercial influence on a nonprofit endeavor, I think everyone naturally has some concerns about the tension that ensues,' Hill said. Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit and would have to invest its revenue back into its educational mission. 'With a proven whole-child curriculum that serves as a framework for everything we do, Sesame Workshop has put children first for nearly fifty years,' said Akimi Gibson, company vice president. A much-discussed study in 2015 indicated that preschoolers exposed to the show gained immense benefits, which were compared to that of the Head Start program for low-income children, though the authors of that study later rebuked the idea that the show alone could or should replace any actual school program. The researchers declined to comment on Sesame Street's latest classroom endeavor. Sesame Street has been a household brand since debuting in 1969 on public television. In recent years, it lost federal funding to produce the show and has partnered with HBO. Its name recognition is so high that it is equally known for its broad array of licensed merchandise, from bibs and backpacks to toys and games. It's also achieved cult status for its celebrity appearances and satirizing humor that serves as a hook for parents. ___ Follow AP Education Reporter Sally Ho on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_SallyHo
  • Two Jacksonville, Florida, Burger King employees were terminated after customers said a woman got out of line and began preparing food behind the counter. >> Read more trending news Jeffrey and Marcelita Jones told WJAX-TV that they were at the Burger King at 937 Dunn Ave. when a woman stepped out of the slow-moving line. They said the woman -- who was in plain clothing -- walked behind the counter and put on a pair of gloves.  A photo appears to show her preparing or handling food.  'She definitely, she had it her way,' Jeffrey Jones said. 'She didn’t even wash her hands.' The siblings said that employees and a woman who appeared to be the manager didn't seem to try to stop the woman. 'I said, 'No, you’re not about to fix my food. You’re not in uniform,'' Marcelita Jones said.  WJAX-TV went to the Burger King on Wednesday and asked a manager why the woman was allowed behind the counter, and if any of the food she reportedly prepared was served to customers.  The unnamed manager told the reporter: 'I appreciate you bringing that to my attention but please take it up with my company.' The witnesses said they believed the woman in plain clothes might have been an employee. WJAX-TV asked the manager if that was the case.  “It’s apparent that we don’t know anything about it, but we will look into it, and deal with it, and investigate it,” he said.  WJAX-TV called and emailed Burger King's corporate office for more information. A spokesperson sent a statement that said in part: “…The person in the photo was an off-duty employee who went behind the counter to prepare food. This should not have happened and as soon as the owner of this location was made aware of this incident, the franchise owner terminated the team member and manager for violating their company policies.' The witnesses said they believe more training for the employees would have been a more appropriate measure as opposed to termination.
  • The Trump administration said Thursday that it has reunified 364 children ages 5 and older with their families after they were separated at the border, still leaving hundreds to go before a court-imposed deadline a week away. The Justice Department reaffirmed in a court filing that it has identified 2,551 children who may be covered by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw's order. More than 900 are either 'not eligible or not yet known to the eligible,' the vast majority of them undergoing evaluation to verify parentage and ensure the children are safe. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said he was concerned about the high number of children who have not been cleared for reunification. The administration and the American Civil Liberties Union are due back in court Friday for the fifth time in two weeks as the judge holds tightly to a July 26 deadline for all children to be reunified. He set an earlier deadline of July 10 for dozens of children under 5. The government has identified eight U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement locations to reunify children 5 and older, and people have been getting released throughout the Southwest this week. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are taking the lead on helping families that have been released into the U.S. The faith-based groups provide food, clothing, legal aid and often money for a bus or a plane ticket, usually for them to join relatives across the country. Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, has served dozens of families. The shelter's director, Ruben Garcia, said 'the actual reunification process is a logistical nightmare.' On Monday, the judge put a temporary hold on deporting parents while the government prepares a response to the ACLU's request for parents to have at least one week to decide whether to pursue asylum in the U.S. after they are reunited with their children. ___ Merchant reported from Houston.
  • A 22-year-old Boy Scout leader who drowned saving a struggling young boy during a practice exercise in a Utah pond was a lifelong Scout himself who loved helping kids learn the wilderness skills he treasured, his family said Thursday. Younger children had always looked up to Wesley Robert Kratzer, who had blonde hair, a wide smile and dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur. 'He was very nurturing, compassionate, like he looked through your eyes and went straight to your soul,' his sister Lindy Kratzer said. Her younger brother, a newlywed, was one of three adults helping three 11-and-12-year-old boys learn swimming skills to advance in the scouting program Wednesday night when one of the kids started to struggle in the water, police said. He had only been a Scout leader for a couple of months. Wesley Kratzer pushed the boy to safety then dropped under the water and disappeared, said Salem police Chief Brad James. 'We don't know if it was fatigue, we don't know if he cramped up. We may never know,' James said. Members of the group were not wearing life jackets, police said. Divers searched the murky pond by feel for nearly an hour before finding the body under about 12 feet (4 meters) of water. On shore, his anguished family waited, holding out hope because they knew he was a good swimmer and a skilled outdoorsman who had swam in the pond before. 'We were hoping until the last moment that they would find him, that he went somewhere, maybe to the car, or to the restroom, that he would be found,' said his stepmother, Irina Kratzer. He dreamed about living in the middle of nowhere and surviving off the land, though his polite, gregarious nature also made him a natural salesman. He used to buy ice-cream bars and to sell them to women in the neighborhood with a price tag $5 apiece. He wanted to become wealthy so he could support a future family with his wife Diana; they married in February. His death rescuing a child makes a tragic kind of sense for the young man who always looked out for others, family members said. 'Yet another good deed. That happened to be where he needed to be,' said his father Tay Kratzer. The Boy Scout who was struggling in the water is safe, though the troop is mourning. 'They're really shook up,' James said. Medical examiners will perform an autopsy. Salem Pond is a popular summer spot about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, complete with picnic tables and pavilions, bordered by mountains in the distance. There have been a handful of drownings there over the past two decades. ___ This story has been corrected to show the leader was 22 years old, not 25, and the boys are 11 and 12, not 10 and 11, per updated information from police.
  • For six days, authorities combed Elbert and Madison counties in northeastern Georgia looking for any sign of Julie Ann Mosier.  >> Read more trending news  Mosier, 18, had been missing since July 12 when she went to visit a friend in the Bowman area, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. A massive search included a tricky stretch of road where an Elbert County sheriff’s deputy eventually spotted tire tracks that led to Mosier’s car, which had crashed into a pond, the Banner-Herald reported. “We’ve all ridden that road I’d say collectively two dozen times and didn’t see anything,” Danielsville police Chief Brenan Baird told the newspaper. “There is one spot you can stand to see what (the deputy) saw and we’re very fortunate he saw it.” Police think the teen, a recent high school graduate and new driver, missed a stop sign, lost control of the car and careened down an embankment into the pond.  Once the deputy spotted the submerged car, authorities had to bring in a dive team to confirm it was Mosier’s car because the water was so murky. They then found the teenager inside, according to the Banner-Herald. The search for the girl included several Athens-area law enforcement agencies. After several days coming up short, Baird told the newspaper officers were retracing their steps.  >> Related: Missing teen linked to site of Rainbow Family gathering found in S.C. “We went over everything that had been done and mapped out every area we had looked,” he said. And they finally found her. “It’s a rough time for the family, but they do have some resolution,” Baird said. The Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the crash. Chelsea Prince contributed to this story.
  • Dental and vision care benefits will be restored for hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients in a sudden reversal by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration following an outcry over the recent cuts. The coverage had been abruptly cut at the start of July after a federal judge rejected the Republican governor's plan to overhaul Kentucky's Medicaid program. The cuts triggered stinging criticism from Democrats and public health advocates. The sudden about-face was announced late Thursday by the state's Cabinet for Health and Family Services and was welcomed by the administration's critics. 'This was poor policy from the very beginning,' said Sheila Schuster, a longtime Kentucky advocate for the disabled and people without health coverage. The judge's ruling also marked a setback for President Donald Trump's administration, which has encouraged states to impose work requirements and other changes on Medicaid — the joint state and federal health insurance program for poor and disabled people. U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg's recent ruling blocks those requirements for now in Kentucky. The cuts in dental and vision benefits had affected nearly 400,000 Kentuckians. Public health advocates said the action caused widespread disruptions in health services. 'This is not just an inconvenience or a delay, this has absolutely caused pain and suffering for people,' Schuster said Thursday. While public health advocates had denounced all the cuts, their harshest criticism was aimed at cuts in dental services. They noted that dental abscesses and infection can be life-threatening, and said untreated dental pain can lead to addiction to painkillers, worsening the state's drug addiction woes. The state's Cabinet for Health and Family Services said Thursday the dental and vision coverage is being restored to 'mitigate the consequences' of the judge's ruling. The state also reinstated non-emergency transportation services for those recipients. The reinstatement of benefits will be retroactive to the first of July, state officials said. Bevin's administration has said its Medicaid overhaul had offered 'a sustainable path' to provide the dental and vision benefits, but noted the judge's ruling meant there was 'no longer a viable method' to provide the services. The federal health care law championed by former President Barack Obama gave states the option of expanding Medicaid coverage to able-bodied adults. Kentucky, under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, was among states that did so, and nearly 500,000 Kentuckians received Medicaid coverage as a result. But Bevin, elected in 2015, said the program was too expensive to continue. He sought permission to impose new rules, including charging monthly premiums and requiring at least 80 hours of 'community engagement' per month, which could include working, volunteering or going to school. His administration has said Kentucky faces a $300 million shortfall in Medicaid over the next two years, and the new rules would have helped the state save money. But a leading Democrat in Kentucky's legislature, House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, said the benefit cuts were a 'cruel action' that caused 'an immediate hardship' for Medicaid recipients and 'needless headaches' for many health care providers. 'I'm hopeful that our citizens will not be faced with the devastation of losing these benefits again,' Adkins said in a statement Thursday. But advocates warned that the reversal could be short lived, noting that federal officials will open a new comment period on proposed changes to the Medicaid program in Kentucky. Following the judge's ruling, state officials had hoped for quick federal action that they said would have triggered a program that Medicaid recipients could access to pay for routine vision and dental services. The cabinet said Thursday the benefits were reinstated to 'avoid a prolonged coverage gap' while the program is being reviewed. 'Unfortunately, changing benefits and coverage is not as easy as flipping a single switch,' the cabinet said in its statement.