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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:31

Sen. McCaskill puzzled by attack ad

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sen. Claire McCaskill has long been an advocate for victims of sexual assault in the military, so the Missouri Democrat is perplexed after being singled out in newspaper and Facebook ads calling her a roadblock to reforming the system.

Protect Our Defenders, a Washington-based advocacy group for military sexual assault victims, took aim at McCaskill in a half-page St. Louis Post-Dispatch ad over her opposition to an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Gillibrand's proposal would authorize military lawyers - rather than commanding officers - to decide which cases go to trial.

McCaskill favors reforms suggested by the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee. She says she finds the ad puzzling given her history criticizing the military's handling of sexual assault cases.

 

Published in Local News

  ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Officials at a northwest Missouri lake are working to prevent another big fish kill.

   One of two pumps was activated at Lake Contrary in Buchanan County last week. Joan Bennett, president of the Lake Contrary Development Association, says the pump will supply up to 2,000 gallons of water a minute to the lake. The pumps will cool the water and provide enough oxygen to try and prevent any more fish kills.

   The St. Joseph News Press reports dead fish already have been discovered at the lake this summer. An estimated 20,000 fish died last August. And hundreds of thousands of fish died at the lake in 2003.

   The pump costs $1,500 a month. The lake plans to run only one of the pumps for now to save money.

 

Published in National News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Columbia farmers market flap highlights the challenges of ensuring that products labeled as locally-grown are the real thing.

Wilson's Garden Center owner Chuck Bay says he was kicked out of the popular Columbia Farmers Market for violating the market's vendor rules.

Bay says the board of directors flagged his stand for selling starter plants that had been purchased at a wholesale produce market in the Morgan County town of Versailles. He calls the market's rules on such products vague and says the board resents that he also sets up shop at a competing farmers market with less restrictive rules.

Board members say the rules are clear: vendors must grow their own products.

Published in Local News

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon is joining President Barack Obama during his upcoming visit to the University of Central Missouri.

Obama is traveling Wednesday to the Warrensburg school and Galesburg, Illinois to make his case for spending on infrastructure and for universal pre-school programs. The president is also expected to highlight the economic benefits of overhauling immigration laws.

Nixon announced Saturday that he would join Obama during the Missouri stop. He noted that the University of Central Missouri is part of an Innovation Campus initiative that offers accelerated degrees in high-demand fields.

The trip will mark Obama's first visit to the state since a May 2012 commencement speech at Joplin High School. That visit marked the one-year anniversary of a deadly tornado that hit the southwestern Missouri city.

Published in Local News

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Almost 10,000 Missouri consumers are getting checks under a settlement with shoe maker Skechers USA.

   Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri is one of 43 states that participated with the federal government in a case alleging that Skechers deceptively advertised its toning shoes.

   The settlement was announced in May 2012. A court-appointed administrator started sending out the restitution checks late last week.

   Koster says 9,666 consumers will receive a total of $716,493. The majority of people will receive checks of about $34, but some will get more if they bought multiple pairs of shoes or other equipment.

   The lawsuits challenged Skechers' claim that its shoes could help people lose weight and strengthen muscles. Skechers admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

   

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Law enforcement officials say a southwest Missouri man charged in the theft of more than $100,000 worth of cattle and equipment might be part of a larger rustling ring.

DNA found on a paper towel near the scene of a cattle theft in May 2012 led to the arrest last week of 67-year-old Howard Perryman of Monett. Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott says Perryman was a cattle rustler when Arnott started as a deputy sheriff in 1988 and still is.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Perryman has more than 30 felony convictions. He was charged last week with two counts of felony stealing and one count of felony tampering.

He was being held in the Greene County Jail on $1 million bond. He didn't yet have an attorney Tuesday.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate edged up slightly even though businesses added thousands of jobs in June.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that employer payrolls grew by 12,800 jobs in June, compared with the previous month.

Despite that growth, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also inched up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in June.

The largest job growth occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 5,400 jobs. An additional 4,700 jobs were added in retail and wholesale trade, and 2,000 jobs were added in durable goods manufacturing.

 

Published in Local News

 ST. LOUIS (AP) - A law that takes effect Aug. 28 will give physicians assistants more freedom to provide care in areas of Missouri with a shortage of doctors.

   Currently, physician assistants must be supervised by a doctor located within 30 miles of where they practice. And a doctor must be present 66 percent of the time they are caring for patients.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the new law will allow the supervising doctor to be up to 50 miles away. The doctors also will have to spend only half of a day on site for every 14 days the physician assistant practices.

   Supporters of the new law say it allows physician assistants to provide more affordable care for people living in rural areas or in urban areas with understaffed clinics.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri consumers may soon find it easier to turn to their local banks to get a short-term loan until their next paycheck.

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation Friday that will double or triple the fees that Missouri-chartered banks can charge for short-term cash advances.

Bank officials have said that the state's current maximum-allowed fees of $25 or 5 percent of a loan don't provide enough financial incentive for many banks to offer the short-term loans. The bill raises the fee cap to $75 or 10 percent of a loan's value.

The legislation could help banks compete with payday lenders, but it faced no opposition from the payday loan industry.

Some consumer advocates raised concerns about the bill, but only after it passed.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's final tab has come in from a disastrous 2011 that included the Joplin tornado and widespread flooding. The costs are a lot less than what Gov. Jay Nixon originally anticipated.

Figures provided to The Associated Press by Nixon's budget office show that the state's share for the disasters is a little over $36 million.

That's merely a quarter of the $150 million that Nixon set aside for disaster aid in 2011.

Nixon's budget director, Linda Luebbering, says there was no dollar-for-dollar tracking of how the rest of the money was used. She says it simply got rolled into the general revenue pool for government operations and services.

Legislative budget leaders say Nixon's $150 million set-aside was an unnecessary budget manipulation.

 

Published in Local News

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