State News

Mo. House leader outlines details of special session

Lawmakers likely will address an economic development bill and fix problem delaying bridge repair work. Gov. Blunt has not officially called for the session, but Republican lawmakers were informed of the plans Thursday.

Anti-affirmative action group enlists help of Missouri curator

As a University of Missouri curator, David Wasinger has sworn to uphold affirmative action laws in hiring and admissions at the system’s four campuses.

As a private attorney, Wasinger and a colleague are aiding the effort to persuade voters in 2008 to dismantle racial and gender preferences in public employment, contracting and education.

Transportation department approves $550 million in bonds

The state transportation commission gave the go-ahead Wednesday to issue an additional $550 million in bonds to improve Missouri’s roads.

Judge rejects law protecting midwife care

A judge struck down a new law Wednesday that would have allowed certain trained midwives to deliver babies in Missouri without facing the threat of criminal charges.

44 more plaintiffs in lawsuit involving popcorn plant

Forty-three current or former workers at a southwest Missouri microwave-popcorn packaging plant have joined in the suit claiming they sustained lung damage by working with a butter flavoring.

Hot, humid air blankets South and Midwest; 3 deaths blamed on heat

Much of the nation continued to sweat Tuesday under oppressive heat, made worse by high humidity, that stretched from the Midwest to the East Coast. Three deaths were blamed on the heat, and the nation’s biggest public utility said its 8.7 million customers set an all-time peak record for power consumption Monday.

Public safety director calls for cell phone fee for 911

The state’s public safety director advocated Monday for imposing a 75-cent fee on cell phone customers to improve the state’s 911 service for wireless calls.

Eighteen counties in Missouri — about 16 percent - lack local 911 service on landline phones. Tracking cell phone calls is even spottier.

Neighbors claim dairy manure getting into well water

One winter day this year, Sandra Heasley was taking a shower when suddenly the water turned a dark brown and a revolting smell filled the bathroom.

It turns out her home near West Plains in southern Missouri is across the road from a large indoor dairy farm where manure was piled several feet deep outside.

Harris undaunted by prospect of unexpected challenger

Former Democratic House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, who represents Columbia and is a candidate for Attorney General, is not at all concerned about potential Attorney General candidate Sen. Chris Koster’s switch from the Republican Party to Democratic Party.

Devlin trial to stay in Washington County

The Michael Devlin kidnapping trial in the Shawn Hornbeck case will be heard in Washington County — but with an imported jury. Lawyers for both sides agreed to allow for a jury to be brought in.

Higher calling: 2-1-1 offering information

On May 11, Missouri’s Public Service Commission granted the United Way of Greater St. Louis permission to implement the service, which offers information on services located near communities.

State senator cited for using false ID at casino

A state senator faces charges after state gambling officials say he used a false ID to enter a casino.

Sales tax holiday weekend under way

Friday marked the beginning of the state’s sales tax holiday weekend. No state sales tax will be collected statewide on back-to-school items, from clothing to notebooks and pencils to computers, up to a certain amount.

Legal standing

Lawyers representing midwifery advocates and opponents debated the constitutionality of the midwifery provision before Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce on Thursday.

Repairs on Missouri’s bridges delayed

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s plan to repair 800 of the state’s worst bridges has been delayed until September because of legal issues, said Eric Schroeter, assistant central district engineer.

Mo. to inspect 11 bridges with designs similar to collapsed Minnesota bridge

ST. LOUIS — Missouri officials have identified 11 bridges in the state highway system that will be inspected to confirm their safety. One of the bridges is a deck arch truss bridge, the same that collapsed in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Routes set for state cycling tour

One hundred twenty professional cyclists will come to the state in six weeks, and routes for the Tour of Missouri are now set.

Mo. senator leaves GOP, aligns with Democrats

Missouri state senator and likely attorney general candidate Chris Koster announced Wednesday morning that he is leaving the Republican Party and joining the Democrats.

State senator switches parties but declines to announce bid for higher office

COLUMBIA — Sen. Chris Koster announced Wednesday that he was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party, as he prepares for a likely run for attorney general.

Former head of public defender's office pleads guilty to marriage scam

ST. LOUIS - The former head of the state public defender's office in St. Louis has pleaded guilty to federal charges of arranging a sham marriage to keep his boyfriend in the U.S.