Is it a retiree scam? Two Missouri officials are joining forces for an investigation to answer that question. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is raising concerns about deals in which retirees are signing over future pension checks in order to get quick cash. Zweifel says the deals typically involve an upfront payment to a retiree, under a contract in which the business then gets part of that person's future pension payments. Attorney General Chris Koster says he plans to join the investigation into such practices.
"It can wait." That's the message at Kirkwood High School where students are getting a crash course in the dangers of distracted driving.
The entire student body at Kirkwood High School is taking a pledge today not to text and drive as part of a national campaign. 16-year-old Gabe Masi went through the texting-and-driving obstacle course set up in the Kirkwood parking lot. He offers this advice to other teens who might be texting in the car.
"Never do it. I definitely learned my lesson today," said Masi. "A pedestrian could be a friend, it could be a family member. You never know what could happen."
According to AT&T, 78% of student drivers say they're not likely to text and drive if a friend tells them it's wrong or stupid. 90% say they'd stop if a friend in the car asked them to.
A four-day urban crime summit convened by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster comes to St. Louis Wednesday.
It began in Kansas City on Monday. Scheduled participants in St. Louis include Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson and their St. Louis County counterparts.
Other presenters include New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and law enforcement consultant William Bratton, a former top police official in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.
Ballpark Village may still be under construction, but officials say they're already hiring.
Ballpark Village Chief Operating Officer Jim Watry told Fox 2 News that more than 1,000 positions will have to be filled before the entertainment venue opens next spring.
Watry says he's already looking for candidates to fill director positions. "Sales, marketing, director of operations, we have a facilities director, people who run the overall district," he said. "And then by the first of the year, the tenants will be hiring all their people, the front line people, facilities people."
Watry says anyone interested in the current openings can send a message through the Ballpark Village Facebook page or by emailing him directly at Jim@stlballparkvillage.com.
A new report gives both Missouri and Illinois poor marks for delivering health care services to low-income residents. The Commonwealth Fund's scorecard was released Wednesday.
The report looks at 30 health indicators regarding health care coverage, prevention and treatment of low-income people -- defined as 200-percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $23,000 a year for an individual or $47,000 for a family of four.
According to the report, Missouri ranks 44th out of 51 states and DC. Illinois does slightly better at 36th. Hawaii ranked first among the states and Mississippi was last.
The complete report, along with an interactive map, can be found on the Commonwealth Fund's website.
Under Missouri's new rating system, the St. Louis Public Schools will lose accreditation in two years if things don't improve. And under the state's transfer rules, students who live in unaccredited districts can transfer to schools in better performing districts at the expense of their home district.
The potential transfer crisis losing accreditation could create prompted an unprecedented meeting Tuesday between the elected and appointed city school boards. It's the first time the two school boards have considered joining forces.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the two groups spent two hours discussing one idea: asking the state to grant accreditation status to individual schools rather than entire districts.
Superintendent Kelvin Adams says under that system, almost half of the city's schools would still be unaccredited, but the rest -- 38 of the district's 71 schools -- would receive at least provisional accreditation.
Adams and others argue that means only students in the city's lowest-performing schools would be eligible to transfer and some might choose to go to better performing schools within the district. After all, 20 schools in the city meet state accreditation standards, some with distinction.
Kirkwood Police are asking for the public's help to catch a burglar who broke into Vianney High School early Sunday morning. Police say a man used a BB or pellet gun to break a door window to get inside about 2 a.m.
Police say he pulled on a mask after getting inside and tried to enter several classrooms. But he was caught on camera, both inside and outside the building.
Police say the suspect approached and left the school on foot via Maryhurst Drive.
He's described as a white male, 18-25 years old, wearing a blue T-shirt with chest emblem, two tone knit hat, blue jeans, and black shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Tim Brand at 314-984-6903 or the Kirkwood Police Department at 314-822-5858.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials say the state saved about $44 million in five months because of a vendor's work to scrub unentitled Illinois residents from the Medicaid rolls. Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos detailed the savings Tuesday at a legislative hearing in Chicago.
The work by Reston, Va.-based Maximus resulted in the state canceling Medicaid for more than 125,000 people. Outsourcing that task will cost the state about $70 million over two years.
Hamos says 40 percent of the people kicked off Medicaid had no medical costs in the past six months, resulting in lower than projected savings.
She says Illinois officials still would like to complete the contract with Maximus and will appeal an arbitrator's ruling that would require the contract to be canceled Dec. 31.
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.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two members of the University of Missouri' s governing board say they did not order football Coach Gary Pinkel to dismiss a star running back after the player's 2010 arrest on sexual assault charges.
Derrick Washington was Missouri's leading rusher as a sophomore and junior until he was kicked off the team before his senior year after the accusations by a Tiger tutor. He was convicted in in 2011 of deviate sexual assault and served four months in prison.
Washington's mother told the authors of "The System," a book released Tuesday, that Pinkel wanted to keep her son on the team but was overruled by Missouri's Board of Curators.
Board chairman Wayne Goode and another curator told The Associated Press they never met with Pinkel nor discussed Washington.