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ST. LOUIS (AP) - New filings in a class action lawsuit challenging Missouri's treatment of convicted sex offenders seek the release from custody of more than 200 men in the program.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the legal challenge to the Missouri Department of Mental Health claims its Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services program is mismanaged, overcrowded and essentially a prison disguised as a mental hospital.
 
The program was created to treat sex offenders who complete prison sentences but are deemed unsafe to be released. They are held indefinitely as mental health patients at secure facilities in Farmington and Fulton
 
Since the program was started 14 years ago, no one has successfully completed treatment. The suit was first filed in 2009. Missouri is among 20 states with similar treatment programs.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Women with dense breast tissue would have to be notified about the need for additional screenings at their mammograms under legislation passed by the Missouri Senate.
 
The measure was passed 32-0 by senators on Thursday and it now heads to the House. Sponsoring Republican Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, says mammograms might not pick up cancer if a woman has dense tissue. He says his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer only after a biopsy was taken after several mammograms turned up negative.
 
Starting in 2015, the bill would require facilities that perform mammograms to notify patients that if they have dense breast tissue that additional tests might be required to detect cancer.
 
Legislature: Mammograms is SB 639
Published in Local News

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is warning Missourians to be on the lookout for possible price gouging by towing companies.

 

Koster says it is normal to see slightly higher rates during winter storms as the companies try to cover overtime hours. What is not acceptable is when the tow service adds on un-disclosed fees at the end of service. Koster encourages anyone needing a tow to ask for a full estimate before having your vehicle hooked up to the truck.

 

Drivers should also look for tow trucks that have a license from MoDOT--the license should be easily visible on the truck.

Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court says the Archdiocese of St. Louis must release the names of  church employees accused of sexual abuse over the past 20 years.
 
The Wednesday ruling upholds a St. Louis judge's earlier decision. The names will be released only to an unnamed woman suing the diocese and her attorneys, not to the general public.
 
The archdiocese subsequently released a list of 240 complaints made against 115 priests and other employees since 1986. A court order keeps the names sealed to the public.
 
The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a 19-year--old woman who claimed the abuse began when she was 5 years old and attended St. Cronan's parish.
 
The priest had been convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy at a parish in University City decades earlier.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers appear ready to embrace a proposed truce with Kansas in a tax-break battle for businesses.
 
Missouri House and Senate committees each heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would call for a moratorium on tax incentives for businesses in the Kansas City region relocating from one side of the state line to another.
 
The legislation would apply to businesses moving between the Missouri counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass and the Kansas counties of Wyandotte, Johnson, Douglas and Miami.
 
Missouri's bill says its moratorium will kick in as soon as Kansas takes a similar action. No one testified against it Wednesday.
 
A study by the Hall Family Foundation found that Kansas and Missouri have waived $217 million of taxes through two programs to shuffle businesses in recent years.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 13:37

Senate panel blocks MU curator appointment

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate committee has blocked one of Gov. Jay Nixon's nominees to serve on the University of Missouri Board of Curators.
 
The motion to endorse Cape Girardeau lawyer Michael Ponder failed Wednesday on a 5-5 vote.
 
Ponder was first tapped by Nixon for the post in January 2013. The Senate did not act on his nomination last year, but Nixon reappointed Ponder in June and he has been serving on the board since then.
 
It was Ponder's previous position in state government, however, that concerned members of the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee. Ponder previously served on the State Board of Education, where senators say he made controversial decisions to implement education standards and a school funding law.
 
Ponder declined to comment on the vote.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An attorney for a Missouri death row inmate is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn his conviction because prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that he was beaten by police before confessing.
   The attorney for Reginald Clemons on Tuesday urged the high court to use the findings of a specially appointed judge to set aside Clemons' conviction for the 1991 deaths of sisters Julie and Robin Kerry.  Prosecutors say the sisters were shoved off the Chain of Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River in St. Louis after being raped.
   Clemons was one of four people who were convicted or pleaded guilty in the case.
 
   Special Judge Michael Manners concluded last year that prosecutors suppressed evidence that police may have beaten Clemons while questioning him.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering a one-cent sales tax increase to fund state transportation projects.
 
Transportation officials said Tuesday the penny tax could generate $8 billion over the next decade. They say the tax increase is necessary for the state to maintain roads and bridges, and to fund new infrastructure projects.
 
If approved by the Legislature, the tax would go on the statewide ballot in November. The tax would need to be re-approved by voters after 10 years to remain in effect. Ten percent of funds raised by the sales tax would go toward local transportation projects.
 
The measure cleared both the House and Senate but failed to win final passage in the waning days of last year's legislative session.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation that would change the ability of certain public employee labor unions to collect fees.
 
The Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee heard public testimony Monday on the measure its supporters call "paycheck protection."
 
If passed, the measure would go to the voters for approval. Sponsoring Rep. Holly Rehder, of Sikeston, says that would get around a likely veto from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.
 
Rehder's bill would require annual written authorization in order for union fees to be automatically deducted from a person's paycheck. Unions would also need authorization to spend a person's fees on political activities.
 
Unions representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would not be affected under the measure.
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon has set an August 5th special election to fill three vacant Missouri House seats.

Nixon announced the House election dates Friday, but he did not call for a vote to replace Senator Ryan McKenna, who he appointed in December as the state labor director.

The 120th House District has been vacant since Republican Jason Smith of Salem resigned in June upon winning a special election to Congress.

The two other House seats opened up in December. Democratic Representative Steve Webb, of Florissant, resigned while facing criminal charges. Republican Representative Dennis Fowler of Advance resigned when Nixon appointed him to the state Board of Probation and Parole.

The special election announcements come as Nixon is facing a lawsuit seeking to compel him to call the elections.

Published in Local News

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