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State News

Court upholds conviction for 2001 slaying near Springfield

The state Supreme Court rejected various claims that David Zink had ineffective legal aid in his 2004 trial.

Senate passes change to highway building law

Legislation passed Wednesday by the Senate would give the Missouri Department of Transportation greater power to award design-build contracts for road and bridge projects.

Missouri House votes to exempt more businesses from franchise tax

The Missouri House voted 143-17 Wednesday to exempt companies worth $10 million or less from paying business franchise taxes. A business franchise tax is a levy on a corporation's assets, inventory and property.

Judge drops eye drop poisoning case

The first-degree assault case against 40-year-old Tonia Peterson was dropped Monday because of lack of evidence. Peterson was accused of poisoning her husband with Visine eyedrops in his tea.

Senate panel rejects red-light camera ban

A Missouri Senate committee rejected a ban on the use of automated cameras at red lights. Proponents of the ban contend that the cameras are unconstitutional and lead to rear-end accidents.

Grocery distribution center to add jobs in Republic

Gov. Jay Nixon and leaders from the town of Repulic announced plans for a new McLane Company grocery distribution center that is expected to create 400 jobs. The 400,000-square foot warehouse is expected to open in 2010.

Union man pleads guilty to shooting death of father

Michael Hunt, 29, pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge Tuesday in the 2008 shooting death of his father. His sentencing will be on May 5.

Officials consider privatizing Kansas City airport

Kansas City officials are thinking about applying for one of the remaining spots in a federal program to privatize airports. Officials estimate the sale would bring in $1 billion for city operations and construction.

Senate approves bill to create child support courts

Under the bill, people convincted of failing to pay child support could have their sentences reduced if they complete court-ordered treatment or resume payments. The bill will now be sent to the House.

Two people killed in crash near Fulton

The crash occured on Old Business 54, as a 17-year-old driver turned off of U.S. 54 in Callaway county Tuesday evening, colliding with another vehilcle, killing a 38-year-old man and 18-year-old man.

Insurance industry does not support autism mandate

Insurance lobbyists argued in front of Congress that covering additional programs for autistic children is not feasible.

Regulators concerned Ameren bill could up commission's workload

Some members of the Missouri Public Service Commission said they're worried a bill that would affect how utility companies recoup financing costs for new power plants could increase the commission's workload.

Forsee recommends MU Extension project be spared from budget cuts

"Extension is viewed as a core part of what we do," Forsee said. "As we think about our budget and the tough allocations, we certainly look at the total of that budget."

UPDATE: Missouri high court upholds execution procedures

The dispute over the legality of the procedures' adoption has halted Missouri executions since 2005. It is unclear when executions will resume. The state has more than a dozen pending requests for execution dates.

Missouri House endorses four-day school week option

Districts that choose the four-day option could lengthen their school days by an hour and shorten their school year by 32 days.

Federal stimulus could expand rural broadband in Missouri

The stimulus includes $7.2 billion in competitive grants and loans for broadband expansion aimed at rural areas. About one-fifth of Missourians live where there is no high-speed Internet access.

Missouri Senate backs new tax powers for river ports

The legislation would allow for the creation of port improvement districts that could impose property and sales taxes.

Missouri House approves tax break for saw mills

The bill would classify saw and planing mmills as agricultural and horticultural land instead of commercial property. Supporters say the new zoning could drop the mills' tax rate from 32 percent to 12 percent.

UM System president turns down bonus

UM System President Gary Forsee says he won't accept $100,000 in bonuses he is entitled to receive and said he would also forgo a performance award in 2010 and doesn't want a salary increase in 2009.

UPDATE: State sues over diversion of Missouri River water

A lawsuit filed against the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contends that environmental issues and the effect of diverting Missouri River water to North Dakota was not considered when the plan was approved.

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