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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
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 16:48

UPDATE: Franklin Executed

   Confessed white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been executed after two federal stays were vacated just after midnight Wednesday.

   U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughery ruled late Tuesday afternoon that a lawsuit filed by Franklin and 21 other death-row inmates challenging Missouri's execution protocol must first be resolved.

   Later in the day, a second federal judge stayed the execution, saying a defense appeal over Franklin's mental competency needs more review.

   After an appeal by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the 8th circuit U.S. District Court vacated both stays. 

   Only the U.S. Supreme Court can intervene to stop Franklin's execution now.

   The 63 year old inmate was scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing 42 year old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

   It was one of as many as 20 killings committed by Franklin, who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980.

 
Published in Local News

VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) — One of three suspects in the February killings of a central Missouri couple has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

The Lake Sun Leader reports that 43-year-old Derrell Spellmeyer, of Eldon, also pleaded guilty Thursday to armed criminal action. Sentencing is scheduled Jan. 16 in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Spellmeyer was accused of shooting 53-year-old Carol Wilson and stabbing 66-year-old Freddie Wilson on Feb. 4 at their home in Versailles (vur-SAYLZ'). He was arrested by detectives responding to a call from Carol Wilson saying she had been shot.

Forty-five-year-old Garland Mitchell and 28-year-old Mandy Mitchell, both of Jefferson City, are awaiting trial on the same charges.

The Mitchells told investigators the three went to the home to obtain drugs, but that only Spellmeyer went inside.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A hearing to consider the request of a Missouri teen to have her guilty plea in the killing of a 9-year-old neighbor vacated, corrected or set aside has been rescheduled.

Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 killing of Elizabeth Olten. Bustamante now is 19 years old and was 15 at the time of the killing. They lived in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City.

Online court records show a hearing scheduled for Friday has been moved to Jan. 30.

Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and ordered to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action. She was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that only 751 Missouri residents selected a health insurance plan through a federally run online marketplace during the first month of its troubled launch.

HHS released the figures Wednesday. The department said the insurance exchange had about 14,100 completed applications from Missouri from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2. Those applications sought coverage for about 28,000 people.

The federal government did not say how many of the people selecting a health plan had started paying premiums.

Nationally, HHS says fewer than 27,000 people signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange.

The federal health care overhaul set up online marketplaces to help people find affordable insurance, but the rollout of the HHS website has been rocky from the start.

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - An endowment for memorial scholarship at Ozarks Technical Community College has reached $10,000 in honor of a Missouri soldier who died in Afghanistan.

Dennis and Debbie Peters of Springfield pledged a $7,500 gift to endow the Special Agent Sgt. Joseph M. Peters Memorial Scholarship Monday during a Veterans Day ceremony at the college. The gift, along with earlier contributions, brings the total endowment to $10,000.

Sgt. Peters, an OTC graduate, died Oct. 6 in Afghanistan. The scholarship will go to eligible veterans attending the community college in Springfield.

Peters was posthumously awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Dennis Peters is the community college's Veterans Student Services representative.

Published in Local News

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