State News

Gov.-elect Nixon fires 150 workers

Gov.-elect Jay Nixon issued pink slips to about 150 state employees Wednesday, ending their jobs the moment he takes office next week. The termination letters were sent primarily to employees in Cabinet-level, senior staff or policy-making positions, said Nixon spokesman Oren Shur.

D. Kent King, Missouri education commissioner, dies

D. Kent King, a longtime school superintendent who was Missouri's education commissioner for the past eight years, died Wednesday. He was 65. King died at his home in Rolla after deciding to forgo further treatment for a cancerous brain tumor diagnosed in October 2006, said Jim Morris, a spokesman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Legal tab at $1.5 million in Blunt e-mail lawsuits

The legal spat over Gov. Matt Blunt's e-mails and a fired staff attorney has cost Missouri taxpayers about $1.5 million. Records provided to The Associated Press under the Sunshine Law show the state has spent more than $900,000 to defend Blunt and several past and present administration officials against a lawsuit by former legal counsel Scott Eckersley.

New women's health program begins in Missouri

Jobs on top of agenda as Missouri lawmakers start 2009

Missouri legislators convened their 2009 session Wednesday with an emphasis on job creation in a struggling economy that has created financial concerns not only for individuals but for the state itself.

Moving trends: Heading for Mid-Atlantic

Americans continue to head west — and to the Mid-Atlantic states — while many are leaving the Great Lakes region behind, according to a study released Wednesday.

Nixon picks lawmaker to lead Missouri Health Department

Incoming Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday picked an outgoing state House member to lead the Department of Health and Senior Services. Margaret Donnelly, 54, of Richmond Heights, was picked to join Nixon's Cabinet on Wednesday, just before lawmakers were sworn in and Donnelly officially left the state legislature.

Study: Missouri among states that don't give overseas voters enough time

A  study by  the Pew  Center on the States said 16 states and the District of Columbia didn't allow military members enough time to vote, mainly because  the system relied on snail mail.

Gap in Missouri revenue narrowed in December

The late Thanksgiving and two extra working days helped.

Nixon to move into Missouri Governor's Mansion

He doesn't have to live there, and he already has a house in Jefferson City.  But the governor elect plans to spend inauguration night in the Governor's Mansion and then move in.

Incoming attorney general hires prosecutor, former Blunt aide

Lafayette County Prosecutor Page Bellamy was appointed to head the public safety division. Former aide Doug Ommen will lead the consumer protection division.

'Bipartisanship' is the word for state legislature

Democratic floor leader Rep. Paul LeVota says Missouri voters have sent the General Assembly a clear message for the 2009 legislative session, which begins Wednesday: "Work together; cooperation is key."

Luetkemeyer joins newcomers in Congress

Blaine Luetkemeyer, a conservative Republican businessman from Miller County, joined 53 new U.S. House members and nine new senators who were sworn in Tuesday in the 111th Congress. He is the state's only new addition.

941 Missouri traffic fatalities is a 25-year low

The total is the lowest since 1983, when 921 people were killed in traffic accidents.

Nixon names economic development director

Linda Martinez, 54, a St. Louis lawyer, has worked for 26 years advising businesses about tax credits, tax-exempt financing and other economic development tools.

Human remains found in central Missouri

Law officers are investigating the discovery of human remains on farmland in central Missouri, north of Lake of the Ozarks.

Missouri unemployment benefit call line closing two days a week

Missourians seeking to extend jobless benefits will have to start doing that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. An unemployment benefits hot line run by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will no longer be available on Tuesday and Thursday except for first-time applicants.

Text message led to ATV crash that killed toddler

The father of a 2-year-old who died in a weekend ATV crash said he looked down to check a text message while the boy somehow pushed the throttle, prompting the dad to fall off the vehicle before the toddler sustained fatal injuries.

Police: Pot found in Missouri prison visitor's shoe

Police say a St. Louis woman is jailed after suspected marijuana was found in her shoe while she was visiting an inmate at a state prison in south-central Missouri.

Missouri jobless benefits fund going broke, again

The unemployment fund could be insolvent by the end of the year. But the state can borrow from the federal government.