State News

Excelsior Springs dog kennel destroyed by fire

Excelsior Springs fire officials are trying to determine what caused the fire that destroyed the Tails B Waggin kennel and an adjoining thrift store, Meet the Need. All 16 dogs in the kennel were rescued.

Families left without home after suburban St. Louis apartment fire

The fire happened Sunday morning at the River Crest Apartments in Shrewsbury, outside St. Louis, after a blanket was too close to a space heater, leading the evacuation of about 50 people. No one was injured.

Colleges offering video game courses and degrees

This year, 254 of the nation's colleges and universities in 37 states have such programs, up 27 percent over the year before. According to the Entertainment Software Association, which monitors the game industry, video-game design is the fastest-growing industry in this country.

Analysis: Money flows to four Missouri congressional races

Campaign finance reports show a strong challenge to three incumbent Missouri U.S. House members in the 2010 race. Early fundraising shows several aspiring politicians raising large amounts of money.

One in seven park employees in Missouri getting laid off

More than 100 jobs in the Division of State Parks and Historic Sites will be eliminated because of  "challenging economic times," said Bill Bryan, the deputy director of the Department of Natural Resources. The cuts are expected to save $3.7 million this fiscal year.

Missouri prison population reaches record high

Officials can't say whether the increase is coming from more crimes being committed, more criminals simply being convicted, or courts clearing out backlogs of cases.

Illinois woman guilty in husband's death out of prison

An Illinois woman who was convicted of slaying her husband in 1979, but cleared in the slayings of her husband's parents, was freed last week.

AmerenUE warns of scam on customers

People posing as AmerenUE representatives have been calling customers and asking for their credit card or checking account numbers. AmerenUE says customers who gave out their financial information in response to the scam should cancel their credit card, alert their bank and call the police.

More charges expected in fatal Missouri group home fire

The trial date for the Missouri couple who owned a group home that caught fire in November 2006 has been postponed. An attorney requested that the trial be pushed back after learning that further charges will be filed, though that has not been confirmed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri.

Nixon appoints new Missouri Revenue Department director

Gov. Jay Nixon picks Alana Barragan-Scott of Columbia to head the state Revenue Department. She has been serving as the department's interim director since July.

Ex-Sen. Talent launches group to promote free market principles

Former Missouri U.S. Sen Jim Talent is launching a think tank, to be known as the American Freedom and Enterprise Foundation, that will promote free market principles that he feels have drifted away from Washington in recent years.

Missouri family becomes organic farmers

An organic farming family in Clarksville talks about how they see the future of food. The Brabo family says the tide is turning toward locally grown food.

Low-income unemployed in St. Louis lack technological access

In a process where computers and Internet access are absolutely essential to identifying and applying for employment opportunities, it is an assumption that thrusts the impoverished job-hunters in the hole.

St. Joseph church targets youths, disconnected members

Inspired by a Christian author's book, Central Christian Church revolutionizes a service to better suit "nonchurchy" individuals.

Central Missouri hospital cans CEO for felony conviction in Illinois

Jeffrey Durham was convicted in late September of improper use of a corporate credit card that reportedly occurred in 2005.

Kansas City looks to reduce court backlog of red-light camera cases

Kansas City City Hall has set up public computers to allow ticketed motorists to watch video evidence as part of an effort to reduce the number of contested red-light camera tickets.

Templeton to be reinstated as DNR director

Templeton should return to work soon after  being suspended for providing false information about E. coli in water at the Lake of the Ozarks. Joe Bindbeutel, former deputy director of the DNR,  will no longer be appointed to the Administrative Hearing Committee.

UPDATE: Nixon reinstates DNR director

Current DNR Director Mark Templeton will return to work soon, but Nixon will not allow Joe Bindbeutel, former deputy director for the Department of Natural Resources, to sit on the state Administrative Hearing Commission.

Survey suggests improving economy in Midwest

Economic conditions are slowly improving in some Midwest states, including Missouri.

H1N1 six months later: relief, but winter looms

The H1N1 flu virus has not been as bad as originally anticipated, but the battle is not over yet. Health officials are concerned that the virus could mutate into a deadlier strain, or that it will team with the regular winter flu season to overwhelm hospitals.