JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin roughly doubled his office payroll after losing a campaign for U.S. Senate.
Salary figures available through the online tracking site Legistorm.com show Akin paid his 14-person staff nearly $400,000 in the final quarter of 2012. That's twice as much as the $200,000 quarterly payroll that Akin averaged through the rest of the year.
Former Akin communications director Steve Taylor said Monday that the bonus essentially was a separation package for staffers who lost their jobs because of the Republican congressman's defeat by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Taylor said Akin's staff had a rough final few months. He said staffers were inundated with hateful messages by people upset by Akin's remark that women's bodies had ways of avoiding pregnancy in what Akin described as "legitimate rape."
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwest and Plains states jumped last month, suggesting improving economic growth for the region over the next three to six months.
The Mid-America Business Conditions index hit 58.2 in March, compared with 53.1 in February and 53.2 in January. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he credits the index jump to "the strongest new-orders growth in two years."
The survey of business leaders and supply managers uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline for that factor. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
St Louis area girl scouts set a new Guinness World Record for collecting more than 1.4 million personal care items last year.
The scouts teamed with 30 Walmart stores in the first ever “Showering the Community” event last year and is part of their April Showers program.
Donna Martin with the Eastern District of the Greater St. Louis area Girl Scouts says they're doing the same this year at area Walmart's on April 12th-14th. Martin says, ""We had nearly 18,000 girls and 14,000adult volunteers working on this last year and we hope to exceed that this year. Not because it's a record but because we fulfill a need in our community."
If you'd like to donate to this year's campaign, you have until April 20 to fill the bags with items printed on the outside.
You can also buy pre-packaged bags from Schnuck’s and Dierberg’s stores. Drop off boxes are provided at the stores.
Those who are unable to participate or who forget to donate during the week of the event may drop off items at any Dierberg’s market from April 20 to May 4.
You may also call 1.800.727.4475, ext. 4601 to arrange pickups.
Want to save money picking up a passenger at Lambert?
You might want to use the cell phone lots since parking rates go up today. They are doubling. The price to park per hour is going up from $2.50 an hour to $5.00.
The new parking rates, approved this month and set to go into effect on Monday, replace the $2.50-per-hour price now in effect in the two garages. They are expected to generate an extra $1.5 million a year.
The cell phone lot for Terminal 1 is one-half mile east of Cypress on Lambert International Blvd. The cell phone lot for Terminal 2 inside Lambert’s cargo city complex on Air Cargo Road.
A woman was trapped after her vehicle became lodged underneath the trailer of a semi-truck during a wreck in north St. Louis Monday morning.
Police say the woman was driving a red sedan on Riverview Dr. near Scranton Ave. when it got crashed sideways under the truck around 7 a.m.
The victim was rescued from her vehicle around 7:45 a.m. and emergency workers say she was in stable condition.
UPDATE: The identity of a woman shot and killed overnight in Jennings has been released.
Police say 32-year-old Antoinetta Davis was found dead from a gunshot wound. A suspect is in custody after six children inside the home ran to police for help just before 2:00am Monday.
According to police, officers responded to a home in the 7000 block of Florence Pl. around 1:55 a.m. after the victim’s children reported their mother had been injured.
Police said when they arrived, officers found Davis dead from a gunshot wound.
Authorities said the six children, all preteens, were inside the home when the shooting happened.
A 40-year-old suspect, an ex-boyfriend of the victim and father of some of the children, turned himself into Justice Services in Clayton around 5 a.m.
It is unknown if the children witnessed the murder, but police say some of them found the body.
Authorities said more information would be released as the investigation continues.
Police say one man has died in a shooting near the Riverview Plaza shopping center in St. Louis. The shooting happened in the 8900 block of Riverview just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Police say 20-year-old Tyrell Washington was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at an area hospital. Another man suffered a graze wound to his wrist but refused medical treatment at the scene. Police are looking for two male suspects.
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. (AP) - Ameren Missouri is experimenting with using coal ash as mine filler south of St. Louis.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/177BxfR ) reports that the ash comes from its Rush Island plant. The company is sending truckloads of it for disposal in an inactive section of Mississippi Lime Co.'s cavernous limestone mine near Ste. Genevieve.
For now the arrangement is part of a 60-day trial.
So far, there's been no public outcry and only limited regulatory review. Mississippi Lime says both companies benefit from the arrangement. But the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club has raised concerns that the effort could place the region's water supply at risk.
Mississippi Lime President Bill Ayers says Ameren is paying his company to take the ash. Ameren Missouri, however, declined to confirm that it's paying.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A suburban St. Louis man on probation for a drug conviction has been charged with wounding a 4-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting.
23-year-old Nathaniel J. Pool of Ferguson was charged Sunday with six counts of first-degree assault and seven counts of armed criminal action. He's jailed on a $200,000 cash bail.
No information is listed in online records, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney.
Police say Pool fired shots Thursday night from a passing car, injuring the girl as she walked up the steps of a home with her mother. Police say the girl was an unintended victim and that the target was standing nearby. Witnesses identified Pool as the shooter.
The girl was released Friday from a hospital.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State lawmakers have sent to Governor Jay Nixon an extra budget for the current fiscal year which includes a $14 million increase for a fund that reimburses schools for the cost of special needs children.
The "High Needs" fund pays schools for students that cost more than three times the amount of a typical student in the same district.
The spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says the fund typically increases by about 10 percent every year, but this year's increase is 18 percent, which she called "unusual."
The cost increase isn't only because there are more kids with special needs. School districts have also been getting better at documenting high-cost students and collecting the reimbursement money.