The Associated Press

U.S. Department of Justice and Ferguson, Missouri, officials say the city is still poring over old municipal court cases trying to determine which should be dismissed as part of an agreement with the Justice Department.

About 90 people showed up Wednesday night for an update on reforms in the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown died in a 2014 police shooting that became a catalyst for the national Black Lives Matter movement.

Missouri transportation officials say this year's spike in Amtrak ridership continued to rise from July through October.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports the state Department of Transportation found a 5 percent growth in the number of Amtrak riders on the twice-daily trains at the Jefferson City station. The department counted nearly 13,950 riders this year, compared to about 13,330 riders last year.

KBIA file photo

  The St. Louis mayor's office says a medium-security jail that's the target of a lawsuit over its conditions is inspected multiple times a year and problems are addressed as they arise.

The office of Mayor Lyda Krewson on Monday issued a statement in responses to a lawsuit filed against the jail by former inmates who cited "inhumane conditions," alleging rodent feces in food, infestations of bugs and even snakes, and unbearable overcrowding.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

 A Missouri state school board member is among a growing list of people raising concerns with efforts by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to replace the state's top education official.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday that board member John "Tim" Sumners wants to delay a meeting during which his colleagues are expected to call for Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven's ouster.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri's attorney general says his office will investigate Google for potential violations of the state's antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

A statement released Monday by Attorney General Josh Hawley's office says the agency has issued a subpoena to the tech giant. The investigation comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion fine issued to the company by the European Union for antitrust violations.

gavel
joegratz / flickr

A central Missouri judge says the caseload for her county's public defenders is so big that something must be done to ensure clients are given adequate representation.

The News Tribune reports that Cole County Presiding Judge Pat Joyce made her finding yesterday after public defender Justin Carver testified that attorneys within his district are, quote, "overburdened with cases." Joyce set a hearing for next week to work on a solution.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

St. Louis voters have approved a half-cent sales tax increase to fund pay raises for police, even amid lingering anger at police over handling of recent protests.

About three-fifths of voters supported Proposition P on Tuesday.

The Sept. 15 acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of a black suspect led to angry demonstrations. Nearly two months later, protests continue, though the size of the gatherings has declined.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has scaled back its hours on St. Louis interstate highways following a 90-day pilot program aimed at helping to reduce crime.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained a police memo showing that starting Oct. 14, troopers reduced their presence along Interstate 55 and Interstate 70 to about six hours a day. Troopers had been patrolling those interstates for 21 hours a day since July, when Gov. Eric Greitens announced a plan aimed at allowing city police to focus on dangerous crime.

Sister72 / Flickr

Police who caught three teenagers orange-handed with 48 stolen pumpkins — and one gourd — are asking residents of a St. Louis suburb to view a "pumpkin lineup" online to see if their Halloween squash are among those recovered.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The Mount Vernon School District is the first and so far only district to participate in a new program designed to use local cattle ranchers to add more meat to school lunches.

The program, MO Beef for MO Kids, is a joint effort of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Beef Industry Council, Opaa Food Management and the school district. The Joplin Globe reports the program will double the beef included in the students' lunches, using meat from Lawrence County, which is the top cattle-producing county in the state.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones is expressing opposition to a proposed half-cent sales tax 

  increase that would be used to give police officers a raise, calling the proposal "tone-deaf."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Jones on Tuesday joined activists and advocacy organization in denouncing Proposition P, which will be decided by voters Nov. 7. The proposal would bring in about $20 million in revenue, $13 million of which would help hire more officers and raise pay.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax increase that would be used to give police officers a raise.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the special election's timing could make its passage a challenge, as St. Louis police are currently facing criticism and lawsuits over their handling of recent protests. The protests followed last month's acquittal of a former St. Louis officer who fatally shot a man.

Ameren

Missouri's only nuclear power plant is undergoing a nearly $130 million repair project that includes the first overhaul of its main generator since the plant began operating in 1984.

The Callaway Energy Center shut down earlier this month for a regularly scheduled refueling and is expected to be offline for 60 days while repairs are made.

 U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she didn't object to a bill weakening federal authority to stop companies from distributing opioids, despite previously saying she wasn't around when it came up.

McCaskill told CNN on Monday that she was away from the Senate receiving breast cancer treatment when the bill was voted on in 2016. The measure passed with unanimous consent, meaning no lawmaker objected.

File / KBIA

The Missouri House Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against a lawmaker who called for the vandal of a Confederate monument to be hanged.

Members agreed Monday to hold a preliminary hearing later on the complaint against Republican Rep. Warren Love. They did not announce a date.

Love expressed hope in a Facebook post that whoever vandalized the monument in Springfield, Missouri, would be "hung from a tall tree with a long rope."

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is headed to the United Kingdom and Switzerland on his second trade mission.

Greitens is leaving Monday on a trip that will include meetings with government officials, business executives and workforce development leaders. In a news release, Greitens' office said he chose the nations because he sees an opportunity to increase trade, investment and educational and cultural ties. Spokesman Parker Briden said Department of Economic Development acting director Rob Dixon and other staff members will accompany the governor.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says a new Missouri law doesn't provide the same protections from housing discrimination as federal law, and Missouri consequently will lose some funding.

Missouri Democratic House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty on Thursday said the state could lose between $400,000 and $500,000 a year. She's calling on legislative colleagues to repeal parts of the new law that will lead to funding losses.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in July signed the law, which creates a higher standard for proving discrimination in court.

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri

  A new report from the ACLU of Missouri says black students and students with disabilities are far more likely than whites to face school discipline, including corporal punishment, suspension and expulsion.

The report "From School to Prison" released Thursday in St. Louis found that students subjected to school discipline are less likely to succeed and more likely to face legal trouble as they grow up.

Jonathunder / Wikimedia commons

A judge ordered the Howard County coroner this week to release the transcript of an inquest that determined a Fayette teenager killed himself after persistent bullying.

Howard County officials said after the judge's ruling on Wednesday that they will appeal the ruling. Attorney Richard Hicks said the coroner's office will not follow the order because of the appeal.

David Shane / Flickr

A judge has ruled that the state of Missouri owes $26.3 million to more than 3,000 blind people who were underpaid by the Department of Social Services' blind pension fund.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the judgment by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce was entered last month but made public Sunday.

The blind pension fund was established in the 1920s to provide a social safety net for the blind. About 3,000 Missourians are paid roughly $728 a month from a special levy on property taxes.

St. Louis police say the 143 people arrested after a protest on a busy highway near downtown are accused of trespassing.

The protest happened Tuesday night on Interstate 64. Police late Wednesday released the names of those arrested, saying all of them will face the same municipal charge.

The list shows the vast majority of the protesters who were arrested are from the St. Louis area. Only six are from states other than Missouri or Illinois.

A judge in central Missouri has appointed nearly 40 private attorneys to represent criminal defendants after announcing last week that the public defenders' office needed the assistance.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to speak with President Donald Trump about campus sexual assault policy.

In a letter today, McCaskill both criticized the administration's handling of the issue so far and asked to talk with him about working together on new policy.

McCaskill said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' decision to roll back former President Barack Obama's administration policy on investigating campus sexual assaults is confusing for colleges. McCaskill says it also fails to offer needed support for survivors of sexual assault.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Missouri elected officials are pushing to expand state confidentiality programs that hide the home addresses of victims of domestic violence.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt introduced legislation Thursday to require federal agencies and courts to accept substitute addresses created through state programs.

Missouri is among 36 states with address confidentiality programs.

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved a North Dakota judge to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Senate voted 95-1 Thursday to confirm Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo to the St. Louis-based court. Clerk of the Court Michael Gans says Erickson will replace Kermit E. Bye, who retired last year.

President Donald Trump nominated Erickson in June. He's served in various judicial positions for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2003, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal judge.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has appointed a St. Louis attorney to investigate claims that Hawley's predecessor withheld evidence in a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Hawley, a Republican, on Thursday appointed Hal Goldsmith to investigate. The family of Anthony Lamar Smith has alleged in a letter to Hawley's office that former Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, and that the city of St. Louis withheld evidence in a civil suit over Smith's death at the hands of officer Jason Stockley in 2011.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

Ameren Missouri has announced plans to add enough solar and wind electricity to power 214,000 homes.

The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corporation said today that adding at least 700 megawatts of wind power would cost about $1 billion and take until 2020. Ameren says improving technology and renewable energy initiatives with large customers could boost wind investment. The new wind facilities would be located in Missouri and neighboring states, but a statement from the company provided no other details.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri's attorney general is calling for an investigation into claims that evidence was withheld in a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced today his office will hire an independent counsel to investigate allegations of wrongdoing under former Attorney General Chris Koster.

Smoking
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment.

The Kansas City Star reports Missouri has been ordered to go smoke-free by April 1 because of the lawsuit Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington filed.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A new report says low commodity prices and weak farm incomes are continuing to hamper the rural economy in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states.

The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region fell to its lowest level of the year at 39.6 from August's 42.2. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.

Pages