State News

Projected Missouri budget shortfall smaller than expected

The budget shortfall would have been even more severe had the state not been able to cover part of the gap with money that had been set aside by lawmakers and former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt. 

Missouri Senate bill would change basis for utility rates

If the bill passes, it would revoke a state law that prevents electricity companies from charging for services not yet being provided. The bill would help AmerenUE build a second power plant in Callaway County.

College presidents stress higher education value for state

UM System President Gary Forsee acknowledged that Missouri's universities must be more "efficient" in light of the state's multi-million dollar budget shortfall. He and Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel presented information supporting the financial value of higher education to the future of the state. Governor Jay Nixon will release his budget proposal Tuesday.

St. Louis hospital surpasses lung transplant milestone

Lung transplant surgeons at Washington University performed the 1,000th adult lung transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Wednesday, then did another one just a few hours later.

National Socialist Movement unit adopts section of Missouri highway

The Springfield unit of the National Socialist Movement has adopted a half-mile section of U.S. 160 near the city limits as part of the state's litter prevention program. The group's membership was noted when it recently picked up litter.

Missouri Supreme Court hears second round of arguments on execution method

The state's high court heard a second round of arguments Thursday on claims that Missouri's execution protocol is invalid because it was not adopted as an official rule by the Department of Corrections. But the department argues the protocol is an internal managment policy and is therefore exempt from formal rule-making.

Missouri college leaders seek support

University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee and Missouri State University's Michael Nietzel highlighted the economic value of higher education to lawmakers Thursday, while promising to continue to find ways to make campuses more efficient.

Missouri Senate approves first Nixon appointments

With almost no debate, the Senate approved Kelvin Simmons as commissioner for the Office of Administration, Col. Stephen Danner to lead the National Guard and Karen Mitchell to head the Revenue Department.

National Socialist unit adopts Springfield highway section

Signs on Highway 160 in Springfield indicating the group's highway adoption have stood since October. A U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled in a similar situation in 2005 that any group can be part of the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup effort.

Macon teen sentenced for bomb threat

Jackie Royer, 18, had pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat last year at Macon Vocational School and was sentenced Tuesday. He is on probation for five years and must apologize to his district's teachers and administrators and also the school board.

Nixon vows to avoid cutting higher education budget in 2010

Gov. Jay Nixon vows not to cut the state budget on higher education in return for low tuition costs.

Critics question Army's response to drug abuse cases

Painkiller use among troops has significantly increased, and some concerned say the Army has not handled addiction cases properly. The Army says Fort Leonard Wood now has a sufficient substance abuse prevention staff available to help.

Missouri lawmakers introduce statewide smoking ban

State Rep. Joe Fallert's smoking ban amendment to the Missouri constitution encompasses bars and restaurants but will exclude casinos.

New legislation would expand Missouri open records law

Legislators' plans to strengthen Missouri's Sunshine Law address some of the issues currently causing concern, but fails to provide a much needed system overhaul.

MoDOT strapped for funds, director says

MoDOT is unable to maintain roads due to rising costs, which means they could begin to deterriorate as early as next year.

UPDATE: Hunters receive citations after killing protected birds

Authorities say three different groups of hunters were responsible for shooting five trumpeter swans, which are not legal to target. Trumpeter swans are not common in Missouri but sometimes migrate here during the winter.

Lee Enterprises first quarter profit falls as ad sales drop

Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, said its fiscal first-quarter earnings tumbled 69 percent as the nation's recession exacerbated advertising declines.

Defendant in fatal stomping case rejects plea bargain

A southwest Missouri man charged with stomping his grandmother to death has rejected a deal with prosecutors and requested that his public defenders be taken off the case.

Missouri hunters warned not to shoot trumpeter swans

The warning on Wednesday follows a wrongful shooting near Columbia less than a month ago, when five trumpeter swans were killed.

Lamar seeks eminent domain over unused plant

The city administrator says that the city has started condemnation proceedings because a lawsuit filed by the plant's former owner hasn't gotten anywhere in a town where jobs are needed.