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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House interim education committee is recommending changes to student transfers, more funding for early childhood education and increased learning time for students.

The panel held 11 public meetings throughout the state this fall and released its report Tuesday to the House speaker.

One of its major topics was Missouri's law allowing students in unaccredited districts to transfer to neighboring districts.

The committee recommended setting a fixed rate of tuition that schools receiving transfer students could charge. It also suggested prescribing the scope of receiving districts' control over the numbers and conditions of transfers they accept.

The panel also recommended that the Legislature look at providing more money for early childhood education, and longer school days for students, especially those who struggle academically or attend troubled districts.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - New details about Missouri's bid for a Boeing assembly plant show the state could offer more than $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades.

Gov. Jay Nixon's office released details about the incentives Tuesday to The Associated Press as lawmakers prepared to hear testimony about it in a special session.

Nixon also said a new agreement among St. Louis labor councils could help Missouri compete for the Boeing 777X airplane.

Boeing solicited proposals to build its next-generation commercial aircraft after union members in Washington state rejected a proposed contract that sought concessions.

Missouri's potential package of incentives is based on the jobs created. If Boeing adds 2,000 jobs, the incentives could total up to $435 million by 2040. If Boeing adds 8,000 jobs, the incentives could total $1.74 billion.

 

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A recent Missouri Department of Transportation study estimates that the annual economic output of the state's airport system is $11.1 billion.

   The study examined the nine commercial and 99 public-use airports that the agency supports. Combined, the airports contribute more than 100,000 jobs with a payroll of $3.1 billion.

   Using Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the study examined direct and indirect impacts. It found that the economic contribution of Missouri airports grew 17.1 percent in the past decade despite the economic recession. The growth was fueled largely by an increase in business activity.

   In 2012, an estimated 6.2 million travelers arrived in Missouri via commercial airports and more than 260,000 arrived on general aviation aircraft.

More information about the Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study can be found online:  http://www.modot.org/othertransportation/aviation/aviationgeneralinformation.htm

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — It soon will look a lot more like the holidays at the governor's mansion.

The Christmas trees for the inside and outside of the mansion are arriving Monday.

The outside tree is a 30-foot blue spruce that was donated from the yard of Jose and Floetta Carrera of St. Peters.

Inside, the grand staircase will feature a gold- and burgundy-clad eastern white pine from Tannenbaum Tree Farm in Armstrong. Pea Ridge Nursery, near Hermann, is supplying trees for the parlor and library. The two parlor trees will feature a Victorian theme, and two in the library will have a musical theme.

A tree-lighting ceremony is planned for next Friday. Visitors also will have the opportunity to see the indoor Christmas trees during tours given that Friday and the following day.

Published in Local News

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A former Lindenwood University student faces additional charges accusing him of exposing four more people to the HIV virus that causes AIDS without the victims' knowledge.

St. Charles County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Michael L. Johnson in October with potentially exposing a 19-year-old Lindenwood student to the virus. Police said Johnson and the victim had unprotected sex in the wrestler's Lindenwood dorm after Johnson was diagnosed as HIV-positive.

Police asked anyone else who had an intimate relationship with Johnson to contact investigators.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports prosecutors last week added four felony charges to the initial charge. The St. Charles County prosecutor's office says the additional counts of recklessly risking infection of another with HIV were developed in the investigation.

Johnson's lawyer didn't immediately return a call for comment.

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of pending child welfare investigations are at risk of being thrown out because they weren't completed fast enough.

The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri law requires child welfare workers to complete abuse and neglect investigations within 30 days after the initial hotline call unless there's "good cause" for a delay. The law also requires that those accused be notified of the conclusion within 90 days of the hotline call.

Two accused women, one from West Plains and another from the Kansas City area, sued to clear their names. Lower courts sided with the women, finding the 90-day deadline wasn't met. Now, the Missouri Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments in the cases.

Child welfare advocates say the litigation has created uncertainty.

Published in Local News

UNION, Mo. (AP) - The eastern Missouri publisher of an anti-government newsletter who was shot by state troopers after pulling a gun has been sentenced to a 30-year prison term by a judge he likened to a terrorist.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 47-year-old Jeffrey Weinhaus called the judge who sentenced him Monday in Franklin County "a black-robed terrorist, an enemy combatant no different than Osama bin Laden."

A jury convicted Weinhaus last month of charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and illegal morphine possession, as well as a marijuana misdemeanor.

Authorities say Weinhaus pulled a gun on Missouri state troopers serving him with an arrest warrant when the officers shot him in in the chest, neck and head.

Weinhaus's attorney says his client plans to appeal.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri National Guard is processing requests from same-sex partners for military ID cards.

A Pentagon policy taking effect in early September makes same-sex spouses of gay military members eligible for health care and other benefits that also are available to opposite-sex partners. The decision does not apply to unmarried gay partners.

Missouri National Guard spokeswoman Major Tammy Spicer says the guard is following the Department of Defense's policy and processes requests for those who can provide proof of marriage. She says ID cards have been issued to same-sex partners but that the exact number of couples who received the IDs was not available this weekend.

Officials in other states have refused to issue the ID cards at their facilities.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses will pay higher unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down a state debt to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing from the federal government in 2008 to pay jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund. That debt has remained outstanding for several years.

Businesses are paying a surcharge of $42 per employee this year to help pay down that debt. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses will have to pay $63 per employee in 2014.

The chamber says Missouri is one of 14 states being hit with a higher tax rate to help pay down its federal loan. The chamber says Missouri owes $308 million to the federal government.

 

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration will work quickly and aggressively to land Boeing Co.'s next-generation commercial aircraft.

Boeing is expected to choose a location for producing the 777X by early January. Nixon said Thursday that he met with company leaders in St. Louis. The governor said the meeting was productive.

Nixon says production of the 777X would be a "massive shot in the arm" for Missouri's economy.

Boeing currently employs about 15,000 people in Missouri.

Published in Local News

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