COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri plans to use a $1 million gift to fund academic scholarships for military veterans.
The university announced Wednesday that it received the estate commitment from donors who wanted to remain anonymous. The donors did not attend the university but want the gift to honor Col. Dwight Schannep, a native of Versailles who fought in World War II for almost the entire conflict. Schannep died in a military plane crash shortly after the war.
Missouri officials say in a news release that the donors cited the university's full-service Veterans Center, its academic reputation - particularly its journalism schools - and Midwestern values.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Sick military veterans who want medical marijuana would get it more easily under legislation that's getting committee approval.
The House Judiciary Committee sent Rep. Lou Lang's bill to the floor for consideration.
The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of Illinois' first law legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed it in August.
But it requires a sick person to get a letter from a doctor. Veterans home doctors are federal employees - barred from approving cannabis use.
Lang's legislation would allow veterans to get a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health certifying he or she has a condition that qualifies for marijuana treatment under the law.
The committee voted 10-6 to move the bill to the House floor.
Veterans in Illinois will some be able to use their experience as military medics to become licensed practical nurses or emergency medical technicians. That's because the state was one of six chosen by the National Governors Association to participate in the "Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy."
Governor Pat Quinn on Monday announced Illinois' participation in the program that eases licensing requirements for medics and helps ex-military police officers transition to civilian police forces.
The other state chosen to participate include Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia.
Another group of Missouri veterans are back home after a successful day trip to visit Washington, DC. Tuesday's "Honor Flight" carried 25 veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
Those organizing the flights had again been concerned that the government shutdown might keep the vets from visiting the federal memorials, but again they were granted access. Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt welcomed the veterans in DC, along with Congresswoman Ann Wagner.
All federal monuments in Washington, DC are closed to the general public because of the federal shutdown, but the National Parks Service has stipulated that the vets will be allowed to visit the memorials despite the shutdown.
Despite the federal shutdown that has closed hundreds of National Parks Service sites, World War II veterans from St. Louis were able to visit their memorial in Washington D.C. yesterday.
It was initially feared the veterans, on Honor Flights from Missouri and Illinois, many in their nineties, wouldn't be allowed to view the memorial because of the shutdown.
On Tuesday, images of vets stepping past ribbons and barricades to access the site garnered negative national attention. But yesterday, 29 local veterans were welcomed by Park Service rangers at the site.
A Hiring Our Heroes job fair is scheduled for next week in downtown St. Louis.
At least 85 employers are expected to attend the fair. They will be looking to hire veterans and military spouses of all ranks, levels, and experience. The fair take place Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at America's Center Convention Complex. Job seekers should register in advance for free at hoh.greatjob.net, but walk-ins are allowed. Veterans must show proof of service.
Since its creation in March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 570 job fairs which hired more than 20,200 veterans and military spouses.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed seven bills dealing with the military and veterans.
Nixon was promoting four of the measures Wednesday during events in Springfield and Cape Girardeau.
One of the bills could help veterans qualify for lower in-state tuition rates at Missouri's public colleges and universities immediately after they leave the military.
Veterans with an honorable or general discharge will be required to "demonstrate presence and declare residency" to receive in-state tuition. Students currently must live in Missouri for 12 consecutive months, obtain a Missouri driver's license and earn at least $2,000 during a 12-month period.
Other newly signed measures are designed to help the state treasurer identify the owners of military medals that are unclaimed property and deal with voting by those overseas and in the military.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to help veterans and service members get jobs as police officers, emergency medical technicians and commercial vehicle drivers.
Quinn signed the bills Thursday before marching in the July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights.
One measure allows service members and veterans who have at least two years of experience operating a military vehicle to bypass the state skills test when applying for a commercial driver's license. Another eliminates the college degree requirement for veterans who've earned certain medals and want to become Illinois State Police officers.
Quinn says veterans are "some of the best-trained men and women in the world." He says anyone who performs those jobs in Iraq or Afghanistan should be qualified to do them in Illinois.
Enterprise Holdings is increasing their hiring of veterans as we head into Memorial Day Weekend.
The company says they have already hired more than 600 vets this year and plan to increase that number to 2,000 by the end of the year. Enterprise is part of the nation-wide 100,000 Jobs Mission--a campaign to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020.
Enterprise is named after an aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. Company founder Jack Taylor served as a Navy Pilot aboard the carrier.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Veterans moving to Missouri after leaving the military could immediately claim in-state tuition for public higher education under a bill passed by the state House.
The House voted 152-0 to send the measure to the Senate Thursday.
It would allow veterans to immediately claim the discounted tuition rate despite not having lived in the state previously. Typically, students seeking in-state tuition must reside in Missouri for 12 consecutive months before qualifying.
The measure is sponsored by Republican Rep. Charlie Davis, of Webb City. It also includes a provision that prevents university instructors from giving exams to National Guard members less than 24 hours after they return from training.