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Senate panel nixes Nixon Human Right appointment

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:16 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Senate panel has halted one of Gov. Jay Nixon's appointments to the Missouri Human Rights Commission.
The Democratic governor appointed former Democratic state House member Sara Lampe, of Springfield, to the board. The Republican-led committee stopped the nomination Wednesday because of concerns that there would be too many Democrats on the commission.
Republican senators said they would not proceed with Lampe's confirmation until Nixon fills more commission slots with Republican nominees.
The Human Rights Commission investigates complaints of discrimination in employment, housing and places that accommodate the public. It currently has two Republicans, three Democrats, and five vacancies. Nixon has one other Democratic nomination to the commission pending before the Senate.
Lampe served in the Legislature from 2005 to 2013 and is a former teacher and school administrator.
 

Chief Justice urges changes to Missouri's criminal code

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 11:11 Published in Local News
 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's chief justice is encouraging lawmakers to overhaul state laws detailing various crimes and punishments.
Chief Justice Mary Russell highlighted the need to revise Missouri's criminal code in her annual State of the Judiciary speech Wednesday to a joint session of the House and Senate.
Lawmakers have been working for the past couple of years on a potential criminal code revision. Russell said the last comprehensive overhaul occurred about 35 years ago. Since then, lawmakers have continued to add new crimes and penalties, some of which aren't enforced often.
Russell said there were 232 offenses that were charged only once in the entire state last year and an additional 130 offenses that were charged just twice. She also questioned the fairness of some penalties.
 

History Museum hires first female president

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:25 Published in Local News
A New Mexico archeologist, considered an accomplished fundraiser and longtime museum director, is the new president of the Missouri History Museum. 
Dr. Frances Levine was officially hired on Tuesday, ending the museum's search for a new leader since the 2012 departure of former embattled president Robert Archibald. Archibald's tenure was tainted with executive pay controversies and a suspect real estate deal. 
The 63 year old Levine, meanwhile, is the first female president of one of St. Louis’s five, tax-supported cultural institutions.
She has a doctorate in anthropology from Southern Methodist University and turned Santa Fe’s Palace of the Governors into the award-winning, 96-thousand square foot, New Mexico History Museum.
Levine will make $260,000 a year in total compensation, compared with the $515,000 made by Archibald. She reports for her new post in St. Louis on April 15.  

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