JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Constitution should be amended to prevent courts from examining the constitutionality of the state formula for funding public schools, three Republican senators said Thursday. The senators, all members of the joint Senate-House committee responsible for recommending how to fix the existing formula for school funding, proposed a resolution calling for the amendment.
JEFFERSON CITY — Failure to update criminal records in a timely fashion puts highway patrol troopers and other law enforcement officers in danger, according to a report released today by State Auditor Claire McCaskill.
At a news conference Thursday, McCaskill said the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Criminal Records and Identification Division, or CRID, is a year behind on updating criminal convictions records, and from one week to six weeks behind on data entry for arrest records, case dispositions and prosecutorial charges.
Columbia residents can avoid the hassle of heading downtown or mailing their utility payments since the city made online bill payments available on its Web site at the beginning of the month.
Some Columbia banks already offer the option of paying utility bills online, but the new service allows residents to pay their utility bills online directly through the city.
Lenora Retirement Community and New Haven Elementary School are across the street from each other, but the elementary students and the retirees don’t interact much.
That’s changing thanks to a writing project where fourth-graders interview and talk with older residents of Columbia about their childhood, careers and hobbies.
For most of Columbia, Valentine’s Day is already a distant memory.
But at the Truman Veterans Hospital, thousands of brightly colored hearts and other reminders of the holiday continue to line the hallways and patient rooms. Still more wait to be distributed.
JEFFERSON CITY — A measure to restrict awards for lawsuits cleared another obstacle on Thursday.
The bill, approved in the House of Representatives and introduced in the Senate, would restrict a case’s venue to the location where the injury took place and cap most punitive damages at $250,000. For health-care providers, it would limit punitive damages to $250,000 without regard to the number of people named in the case.
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress on Wednesday to take a go-slow approach in setting up the private Social Security accounts favored by President Bush. The president said he wasn’t ruling out taxing high-income workers more to help the retirement program.
Bush, who has been stumping across the country for the personal accounts, kept up that effort in New Hampshire. But his comments about levying Social Security taxes on more of big wage-earners’ income got the attention.
JEFFERSON CITY — Protesters dumped a large trash bin full of prosthetic limbs, discarded walkers and empty prescription bottles in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday to demonstrate their disdain for Medicaid cuts proposed in Gov. Matt Blunt’s budget for fiscal 2006.
The spectacle was intended to call attention to Blunt’s proposal to eliminate Medicaid coverage for durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs. Participants at the rally said Blunt’s plan suggests such equipment is refuse that the state need not fund.
A bill that would drop the “Southwest” from Southwest Missouri State University’s name moved to the state House of Representatives on Wednesday for a first reading.
Senate Bill 98 passed, 25-7, its third and final reading in the Senate on Wednesday morning. Senators perfected the bill’s wording early Tuesday morning after an almost 14-hour filibuster.
Tracy Benton has spent 22 years riding motorcycles, the past five in Missouri. Much has changed in that time — bikes are faster, more powerful and more popular. But in Missouri, one thing has remained constant for Benton: Helmet-wearing is required by law.
Benton, who leads the mid-Missouri chapter of the Freedom of the Road Riders, said he should be entitled to make up his own mind about helmet-wearing.
The city wants your input, and that’s news to some people.
In an effort to better increase communication between the public and city planners, the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission formed a 12-member committee last week that includes representatives from various public organizations and private companies.
Undercover agents with the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control on Sunday arrested Zachary Riley, 36, and Autumn Cox, 41, on charges of operating a nightclub, the Corn’s Lake Bar in rural Boone County, without a state liquor license.
A court date has been set for Feb. 24 for a misdemeanor charge of selling alcohol without a license.
Elementary students are celebrating Black History Month by participating in the second annual U.S. Cellular-sponsored art competition.
Columbia Public School students in grades one through five can participate by submitting an original portrait of a famous historical or present day African-American person using any art medium. The competition began Feb. 1.
Only two weeks before a self-imposed deadline, a legislative committee charged with fixing the formula for distributing state money to school districts discussed what some members called a novel plan to replace local property taxes with a statewide earnings tax.
The plan is the brainchild of Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia. Robb is a former MU economics professor who specialized in governmental budgeting.
Aspiring filmmakers from mid-Missouri can win a chance to have their short film screened at the upcoming True/False Film Festival.
The CATapult Cinema Showdown is a contest of three- to five-minute films inspired by “This Charming Couple,” an 18-minute educational short filmed in Columbia in the 1950s by the government. The film explores the dangers of hasty marriage in the face of rising divorce rates and focuses on the engagement, marriage and ultimate divorce of a young couple, Ken and Winnie.
Officer Molly Bowden’s police cruiser was draped in black as its radio
crackled in the crisp air at Memorial Park Cemetery in Columbia on Tuesday afternoon.
For the second month in a row, the Columbia Housing Authority tabled a resolution Tuesday that would restrict door-to-door solicitation in Oak and Paquin Towers.
A standing room only crowd of about 30 people filled a meeting room in the Housing Authority building. Most were present either in support of or opposition to resolution 2277, which would ban all uninvited visitors from the residential hallways of Oak and Paquin Towers. Certain groups would be allowed to set up tables in the lobbies of the two buildings with permission from the Housing Authority’s executive director.
Although it appears the bill allowing Southwest Missouri State University to drop the “Southwest” from its name will clear the Senate today, it has a long way to go in the House of Representatives.
Members of Boone County’s delegation in the House oppose the name change and said Tuesday they were unsure how it would work its way through the lower chamber.
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House debated a measure Tuesday that would limit the awards Missourians can expect in civil cases.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard Byrd, R-St. Louis County, would cap most punitive damages at $250,000 or three times economic damages awarded in the case, whichever is higher. It would also limit the trial venue to the location of the injury, unless the injury occurred outside the state.
The Missouri Supreme Court sided against anti-tax activist Henry Lane on Tuesday and upheld the legality of the Columbia Public Schools’ method for setting its tax rate in 2001.
The seven-member court ruled unanimously in favor of the district and Boone County Collector Pat Lensmeyer.