KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (AP) — Members of an Air National Guard wing at Whiteman Air Force base have become the first citizen airmen certified to take part in dropping nuclear bombs.
The Kansas City Star reports the Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base has passed the Pentagon's stringent Initial Nuclear Surety Inspection, which means it can assist in delivering nuclear bombs.
The wing's certification by the Air Force Global Strike Force Command enables more than 700 Guardsmen, working alongside active-duty airmen, to load nukes into B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and fly them on the orders of the U.S. president.
The Air Force keeps secret the details of the process for certifying air units for nuclear missions. The inspection at Whiteman took four days, and certification was awarded this month.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year-old Julian Gates told the St. Clair County judge Friday that he "snapped" when the girl urinated in her bed.
Gates, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, told investigators he beat Mia Caito with a belt, his hand and an extension cord.
Investigators say the girl was covered "head to toe" in bruises and died of blunt force trauma in the January 2012 assault.
In a victim impact statement, the girl's mother, Brandy Johnson, told the court the little girl loved hugs and kisses, wearing her hair in a ponytail and watching "Dora the Explorer."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lead company wants lawmakers to override a veto of a bill shielding it from large legal costs.
The Doe Run Company contends its very future is at stake, along with hundreds of jobs.
At issue is a bill limiting punitive damages in liability cases related to old lead mining facilities. Several such lawsuits are pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October.
Lawmakers are to convene in September to consider whether to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto. He said the bill violated the state constitution by retroactively limiting damages and by benefiting only certain legal defendants.
Doe Run faces an uphill battle. The bill originally passed the Missouri House 94-63, with six absentees. That means supporters need 15 more "yes" votes to override Nixon's veto.
WILDWOOD, Mo. (AP) — Three teens are dead and one injured after a convertible slammed into a deck and a tree in the St. Louis County town of Wildwood.
The accident happened Thursday night. KSDK-TV reports that county police identified the victims as sisters Kathleen and Lauren Oliver of Chesterfield.
Kathleen was 17 and her sister 18. Both were riding in the back seat of a 2013 Infinity G37S convertible that ran off Homestead Manor Drive and hit a deck on the back of a house, then went into a wooded area and hit a tree.
Eighteen-year-old Chris Lenzen, the car's driver, also died. A fourth teen from Eureka was injured but survived the wreck.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.
The union said Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.
Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.
St. Louis-based Patriot says it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts says a deal may let that happen.
The settlement would restore most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization.
Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.
Pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained, and active employees would continue earning pension credit.
STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has found probable cause for the second-degree murder trial of 59-year-old James Crocker, accused of killing a man on a float trip who stopped on or near Crocker's property.
Crocker, of Steelville, is charged in the death of 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. Crawford County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Bernstein heard more than an hour of testimony Friday before ruling the case should move forward.
The shooting happened in July after Crocker spotted people from a Meramec River float trip party on a gravel bar that Crocker considered part of his property. Dart was shot in the face during the confrontation.
Defense attorney Michael Bert says Crocker was protecting himself and his property, and felt threatened by rock-wielding members of the float party.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Majority Leader John Diehl (deel) is promising to raise money for the Republican cause - not his personal political aspirations - if colleagues nominate him as the next House speaker.
The fundraising pledge is one of several promises contained in a letter Diehl sent colleagues as part of a behind-the-scenes campaign.
A similar letter was sent to House Republicans by Diehl's rival for speaker, Rep. Caleb Jones. But Jones' letter makes no mention of fundraising.
The Associated Press obtained copies of both of the lawmakers' letters.
Republicans are meeting in St. Louis to discuss the potential override of Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes of several bills. They're expected to vote during the September veto session on a nominee for House speaker in 2015.
A reminder to parents to keep an eye your teen's cell phone. A 20-year-old Swansea man faces charges for sexting with a minor.
Police say that the teen's mother contacted police earlier this month after discovering the explicit images. Kordale Cotton was arrested and now faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim between the ages 13-17.
He remains jailed on a $125,000 bond.
ROLLA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri University of Science and Technology is expecting a record enrollment this fall.
The Rolla Daily News reports that Missouri S&T officials estimate the total fall enrollment at about 7,900, which would break the record of just under 7,800 set in fall 1982.
The university also says the number of its first-time freshmen is expected to be 1,225, which would be the fourth-largest freshman class in Missouri S&T's history.
Classes begin Monday at the school in Rolla.
Saint Louis University officials now have a timeline to move forward replacing President Lawrence Biondi. He announced today that he will retire September 1.
On May 4 Biondi told students and faculty he intended to retire, but today's announcement is the first time he has give a specific date for the move. In a statement from Biondi, he says “Just as I helped lead SLU’s transformation when I arrived here more than 25 years ago, I know it is now time for the next transformation to begin.”
Biondi is one of the longest serving presidents at an American Jesuit college or university.