New Kansas chocolate plant capitalizes on America's sweet tooth

Mars Inc. officials had a grand opening Thursday for a sprawling, $270 million chocolate plant — which they say exists mostly to meet U.S. demand for its M&M's and Snickers-brand candy.

Missouri route announced for wind-power transmission project

Clean Line Energy Partners, based in Houston, hopes to begin construction as early as 2016 on its Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The company on Wednesday asked the Missouri Public Service Commission to approve the route through northern Missouri.

U.S. autism estimate grows to 1 in 68 children

The latest calculation means autism is more than twice as common as officials said it was just seven years go.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri gets high marks for training in mental health care

The training is designed to teach people how to recognize, understand and respond to signs of mental health. Similar to standard first aid, the knowledge and training can save lives.

Wacha pitches 5 strong innings for Cardinals

Michael Wacha looked sharp in his final spring start Thursday, giving up a run in five innings of the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Energy boom spurs growth west of the Mississippi

New 2013 census information released Thursday shows that cities are the fastest-growing parts of the United States. A majority of the metro areas showing that growth are located in or near the oil- and gas-rich fields of the Great Plains and Mountain West.

Snack delivery services offer element of surprise

Rather than letting people pick what they want, snack services usually assemble packages based on the customer's general preferences. Here's a look at what three companies promise.

Audit slams Kansas City use of cold case money

City and county authorities contend that they used the funds for cases they thought met the grants' criteria and that they didn't get a specific definition of what constitutes a cold case until after the audit, The Kansas City Star reported.

Fugitive arrested after deputy sees him eating in Missouri restaurant

Virgil Tillman of Kansas City, Kan., was eating a restaurant at the Country Club Plaza on Sunday when a U.S. marshal who'd been looking for him since February decided to eat there, too.

Hiking, biking trail in Springfield to be upgraded

The trail, built along former railroad tracks, is operated by Ozark Greenways through the federal rail banking program. That group's executive director, Terry Whaley, said its board recently met to discuss how to improve and preserve the track for another 20 years.

Pacers use rally late to beat Heat 84-83

The NBA's best home team ended a two-game losing streak, took a 2-1 lead in the season series against the two-time defending champions and rebuilt a three-game advantage in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed.

UConn women's basketball's dominance starts on the defensive end

Connecticut's opponents spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to slow the Huskies' offense. A bigger challenge may be finding a way to score on the nation's top-ranked women's team.