Jefferson City, MO – State and local officials have unveiled redevelopment plans for the old Missouri State Prison in Jefferson City.
Plans for the 140-acre site include government buildings, privately-owned residential and retail space, and preserving much of the historical prison facility. Kelvin Simmons heads Governor Nixon's Office of Administration:
"We'll continue to try to do the environmental, do the clean-up, get the infrastructure in place, and then the next thing is try to entice private developers."
Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon wants increased regulatory authority as a means of protecting water quality at the Lake of the Ozarks. And that proposal comes on the same day the latest test results are released.
Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Attorney General's office is warning the elderly to beware of phone calls from people claiming to be their grandchildren.
The scam works like this: A caller posing as the grandchild will phone the victim, claim that he or she's in Canada and has been arrested or injured in an accident, and ask for money to be wired there via Western Union.
Attorney General Chris Koster says 20 elderly people have fallen victim to the scam.
Jefferson City, MO – A group opposing abortion and a type of stem cell research they consider to be human cloning has filed a federal lawsuit against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and State Auditor Susan Montee.
Missouri Roundtable for Life accuses Carnahan of using language in their ballot questions designed to prejudice voters against their initiatives, and accuses Montee of drafting financial impact statements that are also designed to have a negative impact.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers are being urged to provide moral support, as well as funding, to the state's small business interests during the upcoming legislative session.
Mary Davis is president and CEO of Missouri Enterprise, a non-profit group that advocates for small business interests. She asked a House committee Wednesday to publicly commit to supporting the state's small and mid-level manufacturers:
Jefferson City, MO – An arrest warrant has been issued for former Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton in Scott County, for allegedly assaulting an unidentified female.
According to court documents, on or about November 15th, Jetton is alleged to have caused serious physical injury to the woman by, quote, "hitting her on the head and choking her, resulting in unconsciousness and the loss of the function of a part of her body," end quote.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and several lawmakers from both parties are backing legislation next year to provide insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism.
The legislation would also require state-regulated group insurance plans to cover the costs of "Applied Behavioral Analysis" for up to $72,000 annually for children younger than 21 with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
GOP Senator Eric Schmidt of St. Louis County has a son with autism.
Jefferson City, MO – An Audrain County prosecutor is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to let him prosecute a convicted sex offender for violating a state law that bars offenders from taking part in Halloween activities.
Charles Raynor of Mexico, Missouri, was arrested in 2008 after a woman at his house handed out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Jefferson City, MO – An environmental advocate is calling on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to return a campaign contribution made last year from a company that owns eleven hog farms in the northern part of the state.
Premium Standard Farms is under a court order to make improvements to its operations.
Ken Midkiff with the Missouri Clean Water Campaign says Koster accepted a $2500 donation from Smithfield Foods, which owns Premium Standard Farms, just days before the 2008 Democratic Party primary:
Jefferson City, MO – Bills addressing campaign finance reform in Missouri have been pre-filed, just over a month before the start of the 2010 legislative session
One bill would restore campaign contribution limits that were removed in 2007, restored by the Missouri Supreme Court later that same year, and then removed again by GOP lawmakers and former Governor Matt Blunt in 2008. The proposal to again restore limits is sponsored by Democratic Floor Leader Paul LeVota:
Jefferson City, MO – The board that oversees Missouri's State Employees Retirement System, or MOSERS, is crafting a proposal that would bar employees from receiving bonuses during years when the pension fund loses money.
Earlier this year, MOSERS staff members received around $400,000 in performance incentives, even though investments made by the system lost money in 2008. Democratic State Treasurer Clint Zweifel sits on the board and voted in favor of ending that practice.
Jefferson City, MO – Jefferson City Police are investigating what led to a false alert of a hostage situation at an office building two blocks away from the State Capitol Tuesday.
The Governor Office Building is home to the Public Service Commission and houses other state offices. Someone in the building activated an alarm system that alerted police to a hostage situation. But after a thorough search of the building, police found nothing to indicate that anyone had been taken hostage.
Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments over whether a convicted killer's death sentence should be commuted to life without parole.
Andrew Lyons was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the 1992 shotgun killings of his girlfriend, her mother, and the couple's 11-month-old son. Lyon's attorney, Frederick Duchardt argued before the High Court that his client is, quote, "mentally retarded:"
Jefferson City, MO – Several state and local officials, activists and attorneys met in Jefferson City ) to discuss ways to keep drunk drivers off Missouri's roads.
Dwight Scroggins is a prosecuting attorney from St. Joseph. He told the gathering that one of the biggest problems is that those pulled over for DWI are often treated as first-time offenders who just made a mistake.
Scroggins: "The reality is someone who gets arrested on a first-offense DWI is in all likelihood a multiple-time repeat drunk driver who has just gotten caught for the first time."
Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Public Service Commission wants to take over enforcement of the state's laws designed to protect underground utility lines.
Currently, the State Attorney General's office has the authority to go after people or companies that damage underground power or natural gas lines. The PSC's Natelle Dietrich says it makes sense for the commission to have that authority.
Jefferson City, MO – Two ballot initiatives sponsored by opponents of abortion and human cloning have been approved for signature circulation in Missouri.
The first ballot question would bar state tax dollars from being used to fund abortions or to fund the procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is considered to be human cloning by the sponsoring group Missouri Roundtable for Life. GOP Congressional candidate Ed Martin heads the group:
Kansas City, MO – Missouri officials are getting ready for the 2010 U.S. Census. And one of their main concerns is that some residents are afraid or apathetic when it comes to filling out census forms.
The state Office of Administration will chair the public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging Missourians to take part in the census. O.A. Commissioner Kelvin Simmons says no one should be afraid to fill out a census form:
Jefferson City, MO – More than 100 jobs are being cut from the Missouri Division of State Parks, due to the ongoing decline in tax revenues.
The job cuts will range from administrative positions in Jefferson City to jobs at various state parks, according to Travis Ford with the Department of Natural Resources:
Travis Ford: "There are a lot of details that still have to be worked out on exactly who is affected, how many vacant positions are being eliminated, versus positions that are occupied by full-time and part-time employees."
Jefferson City, MO – Mark Templeton is still on leave from his job as Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director, even though it's now been two weeks since his two-week suspension was handed down by Governor Jay Nixon.
Templeton was suspended without pay after the governor learned E-coli-contaminated beaches at the Lake of the Ozarks remained open during Memorial Day weekend, despite being told after the fact that they were closed.
Jefferson City, MO – A group of military veterans is taking a cross-country bus tour to tout climate change as a national security issue. They met with reporters Wdnesday in Jefferson City, across the street from the State Capitol Building. Matt Victoriano ( served in the Marine Corps in Iraq. He says clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are better alternatives than both domestic and foreign oil production.
Victoriano: "Oil is still an unclean energy source, and directly contributes to climate devastation, so that wouldn't solve our problems."
Jefferson City, MO – AT&T Missouri has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accuses the company of violating the False Claims Act in connection with an internet access program for schools.
The E-Rate program enables schools and libraries in low-income neighborhoods to gain access to the Internet. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller says the suit accused AT&T Missouri of colluding with school officials in Kansas City to engage in non-competitive bidding practices:
Jefferson City, MO – The state of Missouri has borrowed $150 million from its budget reserve fund, as state revenue collections continue to decline.
The latest dip into the fund brings the total borrowed this fiscal year to $350 million. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the $150 million borrowed this week will cover several current expenses.