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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Fees will be rising on some consumer loans under a law enacted when Missouri legislators overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon.

   The fee increase will primarily affect smaller loans that are repaid over several months or years. It's not meant to affect payday loans, which can last no more than 31 days.

   The measure doubles the origination fee that lenders can charge from 5 percent to 10 percent of the principal. But it leaves in place a $75 fee ceiling. The means lenders can charge the full 10 percent fee only on loans of up to $750 and can collect a few more dollars on loans of up to $1,500.

   Lending industry lobbyists describe it as a minor change. But some consumer advocates don't like the new law.

 

Published in Local News

CHILICOTHE, Mo. (AP) — A 60-year-old woman has been arrested in the almost 13-year-old abduction of a child in Florida.

The Kansas City Star reports that Sandy Hatte is being held on $25,000 bond in the Daviess/DeKalb County Regional Jail in Pattonsburg. She was arraigned Friday on a charge of felony child abduction. No attorney is listed for her in online court records.

Authorities took custody of the child Wednesday after a school official raised concerns. The biological father traveled to Chillicothe this week to be reunited with his child.

A Livingston County's sheriff's office news release described Hatte as being "somehow related to the family" of the child. Hatte and the child had only lived in Livingston County for about a month.

Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri legislators who favor relaxing the state's marijuana laws are weighing a renewed push for reforms.

House Democrats Chris Kelly of Columbia and Rory Ellinger, of University City were among the speakers Thursday at a Columbia forum on marijuana policy.

Kelly and Ellinger backed legislation this year that would have made possession of small amounts of marijuana a low-level misdemeanor with no jail time, similar to a traffic ticket. Columbia and St. Louis already have such laws.

The Columbia Missourian reports Kelly says he would favor pursuing full legalization of marijuana only if there were enough organizational support from pro-legalization groups.

Kelly's also uncertain whether it would be wiser to seek legislative approval of lower penalties for marijuana possession or to put any proposed reforms on a statewide ballot.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 19 September 2013 12:50

Missouri household income drops in 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) - New U.S. census data shows that Missouri is one of just two states where median incomes fell in 2012 from the previous year, as many residents continue to grapple with a slow-to- recover economy.

Median household income in the state was $45, 321 last year. That's a 1.6 percent decline from 2011. Nationally, the median income for U.S. households in 2012 was $51, 017. That figure remained flat after two previous annual declines.

The federal Census Bureau also reported a statewide poverty rate of 11.7 percent. But for single mothers with dependent children, the poverty level hovers around 44 percent.

Statewide, nearly 270,000 of the 1.5 million families who participated in the annual American Community Survey reported household incomes under $24,999.

 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 15:17

Missouri hunter who died in sinkhole was a marine

BUCKHORN, Mo. (AP) - A south-central Missouri man who died after falling into a sinkhole was a Marine from Fort Leonard Wood who lived in a rural area near the fort.

Pulaski County authorities say 31-year-old Curtis Powelson died after he fell into the sinkhole Monday evening in the backyard of his home near Buckhorn. He was searching for a deer that he shot when he disappeared. Emergency personnel and neighbors spent hours looking for Powelson before discovering his body early Tuesday in the sinkhole, which was an estimated 70 feet deep.

Sheriff Ron Long told KSPR that the sinkhole was covered by foliage and debris, and some firefighters almost fell into it because it was so hard to see. Several people had to rappel into the sinkhole to recover Powelson's body.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials are seeking an additional $6.8 million to help an unaccredited school district in the St. Louis area.

The State Board of Education approved the budget request Tuesday for the Normandy district. That's the first step in a process that ultimately requires the support of the governor and Legislature to become a reality.

Students started transferring out of the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts this year under a state law that requires unaccredited districts to pay the costs for students who want to attend other public schools.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Normandy is projected to run out of money in March.

The additional funding recommended Tuesday would come as a supplemental state budget item to be considered after lawmakers convene in January.

 

Published in Local News

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) - The family of an 83-year-old southeast Missouri woman missing since late August is offering a $25,000 reward in hopes of her safe return.

The Sikeston Standard Democrat reports the reward was announced Monday following another intensive search for Barbara Stoffer, of New Madrid.

Stoffer was last seen on the afternoon of Aug. 20. She drove a green 1993 Volvo, and friends said she visited the nearby Mississippi River daily.

Assistant New Madrid Police Chief Joey Higgerson says the reward is being offered for Stoffer's return or for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.

Dozens of volunteers joined law enforcement officers from Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois in a renewed search Saturday. An earlier search included dive teams from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

 

Published in Local News
Monday, 16 September 2013 15:34

Water main break forces closures in O'Fallon

A water main break in O'Fallon, Missouri has forced the closure of Main Street.

Crews are on the scene, but is is uncertain as to how long drivers will be detoured. Officials hope the road will be  re-opened for this afternoon's rush hour. Main Street is currently closed from Civic Park Drive to Elm Street.

Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 17:09

3 others sentenced in Missouri sex slave case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The wife of a southwest Missouri man who tortured a young woman he kept for years as his sex slave has been sentenced in federal court along with two other men who participated in the abuse.

The Kansas City Star reports 48-year-old Marilyn Bagley received probation in Thursday's proceeding. Forty-seven-year-old James Noel and 65-year-old Michael Stokes both received five-year prison sentences.

Prosecutors say Bagley's husband, Edward, enticed an underage girl to be his sex slave. They say he held her captive for six years and tortured and mutilated her. Others were allowed to view the torture sessions at the Bagley home in the southwest Missouri town of Lebanon.

Edward Bagley was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Wednesday. Two other men also were sentenced Wednesday for their roles.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 14:17

Missouri loses arbitration with tobacco companies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.

The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.

A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.

Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.

 

Published in Local News

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