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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Supporters of a Missouri initiative to restrict passengers on motorcycles can begin collecting signatures to get the proposal on the 2014 ballot.
The secretary of state's office announced Wednesday that the petition met standards for circulation. Proponents have until next May to collect enough signatures to get the proposal before voters.
The proposal would require Missouri motorcycle operators to be at least 21 and complete a rider-safety class before they could carry passengers. The restrictions would not apply to those who have had had a motorcycle license for the previous two years and were born in 1984 or earlier.
The first violation would be a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $300. Penalties would increase for repeat offenses.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party plans to step down from the leadership post next month.
Mike Sanders was elected state party chairman in November 2011 and was re-elected in January. He also is serving his second term as Jackson County executive.
Sanders announced his plan to step down in a statement Wednesday from the Missouri Democratic Party. He says he looks forward to working with the next chairman to advance the state and party.
The Democratic Party plans to select a new party leader during the state committee's meeting Aug. 24 at a hotel in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri health officials say they've been notified of two cases of intestinal illness from cyclospora.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services said Friday the reports came from health providers in Jackson County and southwest Missouri's Taney County.
The agency is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if Missouri's cases are linked to suspected outbreaks in several other states. The CDC says most of the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July.
Missouri officials have not yet confirmed the source of the illnesses. Cyclospora infections are mostly found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in past instances.
Health providers advise people with diarrhea, severe stomach cramps or nausea to seek medical attention.
An nationwide email scam is popping up in Missouri.
The email claims that the recipient is owed millions in unclaimed property. The email typically comes from someone named Alex James and says that the money comes from a dead relative. The sender then asks for personal information to claim the prize.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel reminds everyone that they can check for unclaimed property at showmemoney.com.
Changes are afoot at St. Louis area casinos.
The Missouri Gaming Commission approved Pinnacle Entertainment's plan to buy Ameristar Casinos. Pinnacle will buy the St. Charles and Kansas City casinos. Pinnacle is the current owner of Lumiere Place and River City Casino. They now have to sell Lumiere to meet federal regulators' requirements.
Pinnacle hopes to secure a buyer in the coming weeks.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sen. Claire McCaskill has long been an advocate for victims of sexual assault in the military, so the Missouri Democrat is perplexed after being singled out in newspaper and Facebook ads calling her a roadblock to reforming the system.
Protect Our Defenders, a Washington-based advocacy group for military sexual assault victims, took aim at McCaskill in a half-page St. Louis Post-Dispatch ad over her opposition to an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Gillibrand's proposal would authorize military lawyers - rather than commanding officers - to decide which cases go to trial.
McCaskill favors reforms suggested by the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee. She says she finds the ad puzzling given her history criticizing the military's handling of sexual assault cases.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Officials at a northwest Missouri lake are working to prevent another big fish kill.
One of two pumps was activated at Lake Contrary in Buchanan County last week. Joan Bennett, president of the Lake Contrary Development Association, says the pump will supply up to 2,000 gallons of water a minute to the lake. The pumps will cool the water and provide enough oxygen to try and prevent any more fish kills.
The St. Joseph News Press reports dead fish already have been discovered at the lake this summer. An estimated 20,000 fish died last August. And hundreds of thousands of fish died at the lake in 2003.
The pump costs $1,500 a month. The lake plans to run only one of the pumps for now to save money.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Columbia farmers market flap highlights the challenges of ensuring that products labeled as locally-grown are the real thing.
Wilson's Garden Center owner Chuck Bay says he was kicked out of the popular Columbia Farmers Market for violating the market's vendor rules.
Bay says the board of directors flagged his stand for selling starter plants that had been purchased at a wholesale produce market in the Morgan County town of Versailles. He calls the market's rules on such products vague and says the board resents that he also sets up shop at a competing farmers market with less restrictive rules.
Board members say the rules are clear: vendors must grow their own products.
WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon is joining President Barack Obama during his upcoming visit to the University of Central Missouri.
Obama is traveling Wednesday to the Warrensburg school and Galesburg, Illinois to make his case for spending on infrastructure and for universal pre-school programs. The president is also expected to highlight the economic benefits of overhauling immigration laws.
Nixon announced Saturday that he would join Obama during the Missouri stop. He noted that the University of Central Missouri is part of an Innovation Campus initiative that offers accelerated degrees in high-demand fields.
The trip will mark Obama's first visit to the state since a May 2012 commencement speech at Joplin High School. That visit marked the one-year anniversary of a deadly tornado that hit the southwestern Missouri city.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Almost 10,000 Missouri consumers are getting checks under a settlement with shoe maker Skechers USA.
Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri is one of 43 states that participated with the federal government in a case alleging that Skechers deceptively advertised its toning shoes.
The settlement was announced in May 2012. A court-appointed administrator started sending out the restitution checks late last week.
Koster says 9,666 consumers will receive a total of $716,493. The majority of people will receive checks of about $34, but some will get more if they bought multiple pairs of shoes or other equipment.
The lawsuits challenged Skechers' claim that its shoes could help people lose weight and strengthen muscles. Skechers admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.