Rae’s Café gets new judge to hear challenge to Jackson County closure order

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Rae’s Café in Blue Springs is getting a new judge to hear its challenge to Jackson County’s order closing the restaurant for refusing to comply with the public health mask mandate.

A hearing on the future of the restaurant will be rescheduled before a new Jackson County court after Judge James Kanatzar granted the restaurant’s motion for a change of judge.

In his order, Kanatzar wrote only that “good cause” has been shown to make the change and reschedule the hearing.

Owner Amanda Wohletz claims her employees have done nothing wrong.

Customers of the restaurant reported violations of the county’s mask order to the health department, which prompted the investigation.

She contends they all have medical reasons for not wearing masks, which makes them exempt from the county’s mask mandate.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt visited the café Saturday to express his support, but so far, the AG’s office has taken no legal action.

Supporters of Rae’s Café say they are gathering at the Capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday for a rally.

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