JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in response to a winter storm sweeping across the state.
Nixon said Thursday that the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated. The declaration also allows state agencies to coordinate directly with cities and counties to provide emergency services.
The governor issued the declaration from his office in the Capitol, where he was one of only a few people actually in the building. The House and Senate canceled their sessions Thursday, and most of their offices were closed.
A lone tour guide staffed a Capitol reception desk, but no one had braved the snow to visit the Capitol.
Phil Pressey added 10 assists, seven points, six rebounds and three steals for Missouri (19-7, 8-5 SEC). The Tigers didn't have Bowers a month ago in a 31-point blowout loss at Florida.
Mike Rosario had 14 points for Florida (21-4, 11-2) but missed a 3-point try at the buzzer. The Gators had won 13 of 14 and led 49-36 with 10:51 left, then hurt themselves at the foul line.
Florida missed five straight free throws in the second half, three times on the front end of one-and-ones. The Gators made six of 12 foul shots overall, while Missouri was 12 of 15.
The Tigers improved to 15-0 at home this season. They are 30-1 the last two seasons under coach Frank Haith.
The bill given first-round approval Tuesday drew support from both Republicans and Democrats who said they hope a database will help stop people from abusing the workers' compensation system by repeatedly filing claims against employers.
Senators said employers already can get information on an applicant's workers' compensation claim. But must do so in writing, which can take a couple weeks. They said an online database could speed up the hiring process, benefiting both workers and bosses.
The state Division of Workers' Compensation says an online database initially would include 554,000 claim records, with about 13,000 records added annually.
The Springfield News-Leader reports Charles Laub was found guilty of one count Friday in Cedar County. The women say they were not legally married to Laub but had participated in a religious ceremony in Utah in 2001.
The women and their combined eight children fled their shared husband nearly two years ago. The 27-year-olds told authorities Laub had isolated them from family and friends and did not allow them to refuse sex.
Online court records indicate Laub was taken into custody after the trial and was being held on $25,000 bond. He is to be sentenced March 11.
The Senate voted 28-0 to send the bill to the House on Monday.
A Missouri Supreme Court decision last year has prohibited local governments from collecting sales taxes on cars bought from out-of-state dealers or from a private sale between Missouri residents.
The legislation would allow counties and cities to immediately collect local taxes on such sales. It would also require a vote between November 2014 and November 2016 in counties and cities on whether the tax should be kept.
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a version of the bill last year that would not have required a public vote.
Kyle Friesenhahn was pulled over on February 3 for suspicion of DUI. After being taken to the police station, officers say he spit on an officer and threw a punch, but missed. Lindenwood placed Friesenhahn on unpaid leave last week and he was released from a part-time job as diving coach for schools in the Ft. Zumwalt School District.
Pemiscot Memorial Hospital CEO Kerry Noble joined lawmakers at a Capitol news conference Monday as House Democrats announced legislation to expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults.
The federal health care law cuts payments to hospitals for treating uninsured patients on the assumption they will get more money from an expanded Medicaid program.
If Medicaid is not expanded, Nobel says his hospital system would lose around $1 million annually because of the reduced federal payments for the uninsured. He says that would eventually put the hospital at risk.
Gov. Jay Nixon also wants to expand Medicaid.
But Republican legislative leaders have expressed concerns about its potential long-term costs.
The Southeast Missourian reported that he earned 39 votes during his party's meeting in Poplar Bluff. De Soto funeral home director Todd Mahn got 27 votes, and former Blodgett mayor Markel Fitchpatrick earned only two votes.
Hodges, 64, of East Prairie, is a former grocery store owner and high school sports referee who spent a dozen years on a local school board and first won election to the Missouri House in 2006. Only after other likely candidates bowed out did he belatedly enter the race Wednesday night to run in a June 4 special election against Republican state Rep. Jason Smith, who was nominated by his party last weekend.
In accepting the nomination, Hodges recalled his son Andrew's valedictorian address at West Point. "He said opportunities sometimes only come along once in your life," Hodges said. "And he said it's your choice to decide whether to accept that opportunity or let it pass. I thought about it a great deal for several days this week and I thought I think God is presenting this as an opportunity for me. So I need to decide whether this is something I should take advantage of or let pass by because it's not going to happen again."
Missouri's 8th District stretches across 30 counties, from the outer suburbs of St. Louis south to the agricultural-base of the Missouri Bootheel and west to the rolling Ozark hills. The district's residents are the poorest and least educated in Missouri, with a median household income of less than $36,000 and more than 85 percent lacking bachelor's degrees. For 32 years, much of the area had been represented by either Bill Emerson or Jo Ann Emerson, who succeeded her husband after he died in 1996. Jo Ann Emerson resigned Jan. 22 to become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Although of opposite political parties, Hodges praised the Emersons and vowed to continue their legacies of supporting labor and agriculture. He also stressed the need to balance the budget.
Hodges described Smith, the Republican nominee, as a friend and said he hoped to conduct the campaign as friends. "That was the way I was reared," he said. "But in politics as Gov. (Jay) Nixon has said, `There is no second place.' There are only winners and losers, and I hope to give you a winner."
Smith, an attorney, farmer and real estate partner, won a special election to the Missouri House of Representatives in November 2005. Because of term limits, Smith, 32, is now one of the most senior members of the chamber. After serving as majority party whip, his colleagues elected him in January as House speaker pro tem - the No. 2 ranking position.
The estimate of lost tax revenues is being used by Sen. Mike Kehoe as one of his main arguments why lawmakers should enact a measure reinstating local taxes on vehicles bought from other states or sold in private deals between Missouri residents. The bill, which already has won initial Senate approval, is expected to receive a second vote this week that would send it to the House.
The legislation was prompted by a Missouri Supreme Court decision last year that said local sales taxes cannot be levied when vehicle purchases are made in another state. The ruling also applied to cars sold by one person to another, because sales taxes only can be collected from retail businesses. The court said a local "use tax" could be charged on such vehicles, but only if approved by local voters.
Almost all counties and municipalities had been collecting the tax on out-of-state vehicle sales before the Supreme Court's decision, but less than half had a voter-approved "use tax" and so have been unable to keep collecting the revenue.
State lawmakers reacted to the Supreme Court decision by passing a bill last May that would have allowed local governments to collect the tax. But Nixon vetoed the measure and said voters should have a say in whether the tax should be imposed. Some lawmakers launched an effort to override Nixon's veto over concerns that Missouri car dealers were at a competitive disadvantage, because customers were going out of state to avoid paying local vehicle taxes. The veto-override attempt ultimately failed.
Now lawmakers are trying again to re-instate the local taxes. "Who in their right mind would think it is right for the state of Missouri that we would tax our own local businesses, but not those out-of-state," said Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa.
This year's Senate bill would try to alleviate the governor's concerns. Republican Sen. Mike Kehoe, a former Jefferson City car dealership owner, said it's a "new version for the same conversation."
The bill would allow local governments to start collecting the sales tax immediately after Nixon's signature. But it would also require local governments to put a "repeal" vote on the ballot sometime between November 2014 and November 2016 in which voters would be asked whether they want to keep the local tax.
Kehoe said he thought his bill would be a "bit more palatable" to Nixon than the version he vetoed, because it lets voters decide whether to keep the tax.
One Senator said she was "a little nervous" about how the bill would allow taxes to be collected immediately without voter approval. But Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, said she still wants the bill's end result.
Since the issue has been unresolved, counties and municipalities lost $43 million in revenue between April and December 2012, according to figures compiled by Kehoe's office. During that period, $1.4 billion in motor vehicle sales were not subject to local sales taxes. Missouri dealers sold $5.1 billion worth of vehicles, which were subject to local taxes.
At the time of Nixon's veto, just 43 of Missouri's 114 counties and more than 90 of the roughly 950 municipalities had the ability to continue to collect a sales tax on cars not bought at Missouri dealers. Under the Senate bill, these local governments would not have to hold a "repeal" vote and currently can collect taxes on motor vehicles not purchased from Missouri car dealers. With Kehoe's bill still in the legislative process, some counties are looking to fix the problem on their own. At least 18 counties or municipalities have placed "use taxes" on the April ballot that would apply to vehicles sold in other states or between individuals, according to Americans for Prosperity, a group that advocates for lower taxes and limited government.
Scott County Central School District superintendent Alvin McFerren told The Associated Press Friday that the school board has agreed to revise a handbook policy that prohibits same-sex dates at school dances. McFerren says the policy was adopted 10-15 years ago because students were attending prom as couples simply to save money - the couples price was cheaper than the individual cost.
The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday threatened legal action on behalf of Stacy Dawson, a male student who wanted to attend prom with his boyfriend. McFerren says Dawson can attend the dance on April 20 with whomever he chooses.