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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a small southeast Missouri town after police allegedly threatened to arrest a homeless couple for holding a sign asking for help.
 
The ACLU filed suit Monday on behalf of the homeless couple, Edward Gillespie and Brandalyn Orchard. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau names the city of Miner and two unidentified police officers.
 
The lawsuit claims that in late September, Gillespie and Orchard were holding a sign that read, "Traveling. Anything helps. God bless." A Miner officer told them to leave.
 
The ACLU says the officer later showed copies of city ordinances related to vagrancy, begging and loitering. A second officer arrived and the couple was told to leave town or face arrest.
 
A Miner police spokesman declined comment.
Published in Local News
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - After months of legal wrangling and false starts in a battle to resume domestic horse slaughter, plants in New Mexico and Missouri are working to begin processing equine for human consumption.
 
   The efforts come on the heels of an order late Friday by a federal appeals court that lifted an emergency stay on the companies' plans.
 
   Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque who represents Valley Meat Co. of Roswell and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says the plants Monday "are pushing full steam ahead to be ready to go as soon as possible."
 
   Rains Natural Meats, he says, even has horses on site. But it's unclear if the plants will open before Christmas or wait until after the holidays.
 
   The Humane Society vows "the fight for America's horses is not over."
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers plan to try again to limit how much money people can receive in medical malpractice lawsuits.
 
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says the liability limits are a priority for the 2014 session. And Rep. Eric Burlison, of Springfield, already is promoting a bill.
 
Republican lawmakers want to reinstate a $350,000 limit on noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering that was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court in July 2012.
 
The court said the limit violated a common-law right to seek damages for medical malpractice that predated the adoption of a state constitution in 1820.
 
The proposed legislation would abolish that common-law right and instead make medical liability lawsuits subject to state law.
 
A similar bill stalled earlier this year in the Senate.
Published in Local News

CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — Wintry weather has contributed to four deadly crashes on Missouri roads in two days.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says one person died Friday morning in Camden County when a vehicle crashed into a minivan after sliding on ice. Later Friday morning in Phelps County, a second person died when a car lost control on an icy road and overturned.

A third person died around noon Friday in Franklin County when a vehicle lost control on an ice-covered bridge and veered into oncoming traffic. The fourth victim died Saturday morning in Henry County when a pickup truck began sliding and hit a tree.

The patrol identified the victims as 42-year-old Karla Brown of Camdenton, 16-year-old Charity Adams of Licking, 23-year-old Whitney Gabathuler of Herman and 80-year-old William Dulaban of Deepwater.

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A group of eight Missouri lawmakers are calling upon Missouri's governor and attorney general to investigate concerns raised about Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

The lawmakers made the request Wednesday after The Kansas City Star reported that newly disclosed emails raised questions about the selection of CEE-Trust as a consultant. The Indianapolis-based firm's bid for developing an improvement plan for the Kansas City district and other struggling schools was nearly three times higher than the closest competitor.

The emails also highlighted some of Nicastro's behind-the-scenes work to create a special district that would operate some of the state's lowest-performing schools.

The lawmakers say the emails raise concerns about Nicastro's "fitness to lead."

Nicastro says the focus should be on ensuring that children "have the quality schools they deserve."

Published in Local News

A new report places both Illinois and Missouri among the least health states in the nation.

The reports was released by the United Health Foundation and puts Illinois as the 30th healthiest state and Missouri in the 39th spot. The Show me State did move up one spot. The report says the state saw a decrease in smoking, binge drinking, and physical inactivity.

Smoking and high cardiovascular and cancer death rates remain problems for Missouri, and high levels of air pollution and binge drinking are trouble for Illinois.

The full report can be viewed here: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

Published in Local News
Monday, 09 December 2013 15:13

Nixon outlines plan for new mental hospital

FULTON, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the budget he proposes next month will include a bond issuance to rebuild the Fulton State Hospital.

The hospital admitted its first patients in 1851. Patients now include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment. It also is the statewide treatment facility for people who have been found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.

Nixon said Monday a new facility will mean better care for patients and safer working conditions for employees. Officials estimate a new facility will cost $211 million.

Missouri's budget taking effect in July includes $13 million to design the new hospital. Nixon initially froze all the money but released $2 million in September. He announced Monday he was releasing the remaining $11 million.

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - After going nearly three years without an execution, Missouri is preparing for its second in three weeks.

Allen Nicklasson is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing Richard Drummond, a businessman who stopped to help when he saw a car stranded along Interstate 70 in 1994. Nicklasson and two others forced Drummond to drive to a secluded area, where Nicklasson killed him.

One of the other men, Dennis Skillicorn, was put to death in 2009. The third, Tim DeGraffenreid, was spared the death penalty.

Missouri executed racist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 20, the state's first-ever execution using a single drug, pentobarbital.

Nicklasson's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to intervene and says she will also seek clemency from Gov. Jay Nixon.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Boeing employees who are Missouri lawmakers took different approaches when the House considered a package of incentives for their company to assemble a new passenger jet in the St. Louis area.

Rep. Doug Funderburk, who is a longtime Boeing electrician, passionately urged colleagues to approve the legislation Friday. He voted "yes" as the bill passed the House 127-20.

Funderburk told The Associated Press he didn't think it posed a conflict of interest because he plans to retire within a few years. He said Boeing officials had no conversations with him about the legislation.

Representative Clem Smith, who is a machinist on the Boeing F-18, abstained from voting. Smith told The AP the bill presented a conflict of interest, because it could mean more money in his pocket.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's low-income housing commission has delayed the approval of millions of dollars of tax credits - apparently as an outgrowth of the negotiations over incentives for Boeing Co.

   The Missouri Housing Development Commission voted 6-1 Friday to postpone a decision on about $14 million in tax credits until next March.

   Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is a member of the commission, said Gov. Jay Nixon's chief of staff requested the delay.

 

   Kinder said Nixon's staffer told the commission the governor had agreed with several senators to slow down the issuance of other tax credits in exchange for them not blocking legislation authorizing tax breaks for Boeing to assemble planes in St. Louis.

   The housing tax-credit vote came shortly after the House gave final approval Friday to the Boeing incentives.

 

Published in Local News

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