State News

UPDATE: Trafficking victims are often deported without being screened

The Kansas City Star reported that federal agencies commonly deport immigrants without checking to see if they are a victim of human trafficking. The story is part of a series and is based on numerous interviews, court documents and reports.

Collapse of funeral firm could cost state $18 million

The Insurance Guaranty Association assesses fees to other state licensed insurance companies to cover the policies of the bankrupt company.

Bothwell Regional Center to expand

An $18.3 million hospital expansion in Sedalia was approved by the Bothwell Regional Health Center's Board of Trustees.

Center at Washington University to focus on religion, politics

Officials at Washington University announced plans to create the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics, which will focus on the role of religion in politics. The center will open in January.

UPDATE: Fired Blunt aide cleared of misconduct allegations

An aide to former Gov. Matt Blunt who raised concerns about e-mail deletions, which led to a lawsuit over access to public records, has been cleared of professional misconduct allegations.

Jefferson City auto body repair shop helps out Santa

Kemna Collision is offering to assembly toys to ease parents' Christmas morning stress.

Former aide to Gov. Blunt cleared of misconduct charge

Attorney Scott Eckersley, who was fired by former Gov. Matt Blunt, was cleared of misconduct by Missouri's attorney discipline office.

Ozark allows city attorney to carry gun at meetings

The Ozark Board of Alderman voted in favor of allowing the city attorney to carry a city-issued concealed weapon during its meetings. Previously,  state law only allowed council members and alderman to carry a weapon in public meetings, not into a courtroom or council meeting.

Energy-efficient traffic lights can't melt snow

Bulbs in energy-efficient traffic lights don't burn hot enough to melt snow, which has caused some people to blame the lights for dozens of accidents. Many communities have switched to LED bulbs because they use 90 percent less energy than the incandescent variety.

Bipartisan ethics bill filed

Reps. Tim Flook, R-Liberty, and Jason Kander, D-Jackson County, worked together to file a bipartisan ethics bill that aims to create harsher penalties for obstructing ethics investigations. It would also change who would be considered a lobbyist.

Missouri received $14 million in food stamp bonuses on faulty figures

The state Department of Social Services said Tuesday that Missouri got federal bonuses because of the state's high participation rates in the food stamp program. The agency said a computer programming error inflated the numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

House majority floor leader proposes ethics overhaul

House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, proposed banning gifts and meals from lobbyists to individual legislators and requiring former legislators to wait 180 days before becoming lobbyists.

Missouri tax commission raises value for best farmland

The Missouri State Tax Commission set new values for agricultural land, which are used for calculating property taxes. The changes will take effect in January unless lawmakers reject them.

Nixon backs plan for biotechnology incentive fund

The proposed fund would be used to provide incentives to entrepreneurs or out-of-state firms.

Contracts show how Monsanto squeezes, squashes smaller competitors

A review of confidential Monsanto contracts shows some of the strong-arm tactics the seed company uses to control the vast majority of American seeds.

Advocates: Columbia's Battered Mothers Resouce Fund doesn't offer services

Columbia's Battered Mothers Resource Fund appears to be raising thousands of dollars for programs and properties that don't actually exist.

Outpouring of support for homeless in Wentzville motels

After a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about motels that provide a home to the homeless, donations have been pouring in to charities and churches that support St. Charles County's homeless community.

Names of more Missouri judge applicants to be released

After many complaints about the secrecy of the nominating process, names of all judicial candidates interviewed by nominating panels will be released to the public. The Missouri Supreme Court approved the new rule in an effort to increase transparency in the process without decreasing the number of people wanting to apply to be judges.

Department of Social Services: State food stamp reports inflated

A computer programming error resulted in years of inflated state food stamp recipient reports.

Missouri House GOP proposes economic development ideas

Missouri House Republicans highlighted several proposals for the 2010 legislative session designed to assist manufacturing, expand technology sector jobs and spur venture capital investing.