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Thursday, 19 September 2013 12:50

Missouri household income drops in 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) - New U.S. census data shows that Missouri is one of just two states where median incomes fell in 2012 from the previous year, as many residents continue to grapple with a slow-to- recover economy.

Median household income in the state was $45, 321 last year. That's a 1.6 percent decline from 2011. Nationally, the median income for U.S. households in 2012 was $51, 017. That figure remained flat after two previous annual declines.

The federal Census Bureau also reported a statewide poverty rate of 11.7 percent. But for single mothers with dependent children, the poverty level hovers around 44 percent.

Statewide, nearly 270,000 of the 1.5 million families who participated in the annual American Community Survey reported household incomes under $24,999.

 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 15:17

Missouri hunter who died in sinkhole was a marine

BUCKHORN, Mo. (AP) - A south-central Missouri man who died after falling into a sinkhole was a Marine from Fort Leonard Wood who lived in a rural area near the fort.

Pulaski County authorities say 31-year-old Curtis Powelson died after he fell into the sinkhole Monday evening in the backyard of his home near Buckhorn. He was searching for a deer that he shot when he disappeared. Emergency personnel and neighbors spent hours looking for Powelson before discovering his body early Tuesday in the sinkhole, which was an estimated 70 feet deep.

Sheriff Ron Long told KSPR that the sinkhole was covered by foliage and debris, and some firefighters almost fell into it because it was so hard to see. Several people had to rappel into the sinkhole to recover Powelson's body.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials are seeking an additional $6.8 million to help an unaccredited school district in the St. Louis area.

The State Board of Education approved the budget request Tuesday for the Normandy district. That's the first step in a process that ultimately requires the support of the governor and Legislature to become a reality.

Students started transferring out of the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts this year under a state law that requires unaccredited districts to pay the costs for students who want to attend other public schools.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Normandy is projected to run out of money in March.

The additional funding recommended Tuesday would come as a supplemental state budget item to be considered after lawmakers convene in January.

 

Published in Local News

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) - The family of an 83-year-old southeast Missouri woman missing since late August is offering a $25,000 reward in hopes of her safe return.

The Sikeston Standard Democrat reports the reward was announced Monday following another intensive search for Barbara Stoffer, of New Madrid.

Stoffer was last seen on the afternoon of Aug. 20. She drove a green 1993 Volvo, and friends said she visited the nearby Mississippi River daily.

Assistant New Madrid Police Chief Joey Higgerson says the reward is being offered for Stoffer's return or for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.

Dozens of volunteers joined law enforcement officers from Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois in a renewed search Saturday. An earlier search included dive teams from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

 

Published in Local News
Monday, 16 September 2013 15:34

Water main break forces closures in O'Fallon

A water main break in O'Fallon, Missouri has forced the closure of Main Street.

Crews are on the scene, but is is uncertain as to how long drivers will be detoured. Officials hope the road will be  re-opened for this afternoon's rush hour. Main Street is currently closed from Civic Park Drive to Elm Street.

Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 17:09

3 others sentenced in Missouri sex slave case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The wife of a southwest Missouri man who tortured a young woman he kept for years as his sex slave has been sentenced in federal court along with two other men who participated in the abuse.

The Kansas City Star reports 48-year-old Marilyn Bagley received probation in Thursday's proceeding. Forty-seven-year-old James Noel and 65-year-old Michael Stokes both received five-year prison sentences.

Prosecutors say Bagley's husband, Edward, enticed an underage girl to be his sex slave. They say he held her captive for six years and tortured and mutilated her. Others were allowed to view the torture sessions at the Bagley home in the southwest Missouri town of Lebanon.

Edward Bagley was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Wednesday. Two other men also were sentenced Wednesday for their roles.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 14:17

Missouri loses arbitration with tobacco companies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.

The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.

A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.

Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.

 

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 16:24

Missouri Legislature override session roundup

Lawmakers in both the Missouri House and Senate continue to debate which of Governor Nixon's dozens of vetoes they will try to override. Here's what has happened so far:

AGENDA 21: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have voted to override a veto of legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies infringing upon private property rights and traceable to Agenda 21.

Agenda 21 is a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development. Its title is a reference to the 21st century, and it encourages changes in global consumption, management and conservation practices.

Senators supported the override 24-6 on Wednesday. It now moves to the House, where it originally passed 118-37.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the legislation would require a costly analysis by cities and governmental bodies to determine if a zoning ordinance can be traced to the resolution. Supporters say their concern is infringement of personal property rights without due process.

Foreign ownership of farm land: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an agriculture measure.

The legislation includes changes to Missouri's animal abuse and neglect law and a longer maximum prison sentence for stealing livestock. It also would replace a prohibition on foreign ownership of farmland with a 1 percent cap.

Nixon had objected to the provisions on foreign ownership and animal abuse.

The Senate voted 23-10 Wednesday to override the veto, sending the measure to the House, where 109 votes are needed to override. The House passed the bill earlier 133-21.

Proponents of the bill contend changes to the animal abuse and neglect law are needed and that tougher punishment for stealing livestock could help combat cattle rustling.

Creation of an online database for worker's compensation claims: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation calling for creation of an online database of workers' compensation claims.

Wednesday's 25-9 Senate vote sent the bill to the House, which passed it earlier this year with less than the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Under the measure, businesses could provide a potential employee's name and Social Security Number to identify the date of workers' compensation claims and whether the claim is open or closed.

Supporters say the bill would help businesses control workers' compensation costs. Nixon cited privacy concerns when he vetoed the legislation and called it "an affront to the privacy of our citizens."

Lawmakers override veto of funding for vocational school

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have voted to override a line-item budget veto of $1 million to help rebuild a vocational education school in northeast Missouri.

The House's 112-47 vote was the first taken Wednesday as lawmakers considered 33 vetoes by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Senators then approved the override 28-5.

At issue is money targeted for the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, which was damaged by a fire. Although the school had insurance, bill supporters said it was not enough to outfit the building with computers and make it accessible to people with disabilities.

Nixon said he vetoed the bill because of the source of the money. He said lawmakers want to pay for the repairs from a fund dedicated for the state school funding formula.

Shield law for volunteer health care providers: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override a veto of legislation seeking to shield volunteer health care providers from lawsuits.

The measure would prevent civil damages against the volunteers unless there was a gross deviation from the ordinary standard of care or willful misconduct.

Supporters contend the bill would let doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others provide free health care for sponsoring organizations by protecting them against claims.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the legislation and said allowing coverage through the State Legal Expense Fund would encourage volunteerism and protect those who have been harmed.

Senators voted 25-9 on Wednesday to override the veto. The measure now goes to the House.

Bill would make it harder for fired workers to get jobless benefits: Senate approves override 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have voted to override a veto of legislation that could make it harder for workers to receive jobless benefits by expanding what counts as misconduct.

Jobless benefits can be denied to a worker who loses a position because of misbehavior. The unemployment legislation seeks to broaden it to include things like unapproved absences or the violation of a company rule.

The Senate voted 24-10 on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. The legislation now goes to the House.

Nixon had said the legislation would broaden the definition of misconduct to cover activities occurring outside the workplace and work hours.

Lawmakers could vote through videoconferencing: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override the veto of legislation allowing elected officials to cast votes remotely.

Currently, members of a governmental body comprised of elected officials must physically attend a meeting to vote. The vetoed legislation would allow them to vote through videoconferencing.

Senators voted 31-3 on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. The legislation now moves to the House, where it encountered little opposition earlier this year.

Nixon said elected officials should be able to use technology to participate in meetings but should be expected to show up to cast a vote.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation calling for creation of an online database of workers' compensation claims.

Wednesday's 25-9 Senate vote sent the bill to the House, which passed it earlier this year with less than the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Under the measure, businesses could provide a potential employee's name and Social Security Number to identify the date of workers' compensation claims and whether the claim is open or closed.

Supporters say the bill would help businesses control workers' compensation costs. Nixon cited privacy concerns when he vetoed the legislation and called it "an affront to the privacy of our citizens."

Published in Local News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a major disaster declaration for 18 Missouri counties hit hard by last month's floods.

The floods that resulted from nearly two weeks of heavy rain caused widespread damage across the southern tier of the state and left at least three people dead.

The White House said in a news release that federal funding is available to help local governments and nonprofits recover. The counties that will benefit are Barry, Camden, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Shannon, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Published in Local News

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