The Associated Press

Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered and rookie Ryan Merritt delivered shutdown pitching as Cleveland beat Toronto 3-0 to win the American League Championship Series in five games.

The Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997 and will host the first two games. Cleveland last won a World Series in 1948.

Mike Napoli's double off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada put Cleveland on top in the first inning. Estrada also gave up two home runs.

Hurricane Matthew is roaring across the Caribbean Sea as a monster Category 5 storm on a course that puts Jamaica, as well as parts of Haiti and Cuba, in the path of its potentially devastating winds and rain.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007, and said Matthew will be approaching Jamaica late Sunday night. It is expected to reach the eastern part of the island on Monday.

Missouri Capitol
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  At least 200 demonstrators are rallying at the Missouri Capitol to call for a higher minimum wage and expanded health care.

The rally Monday was one of 30 scheduled nationwide as part of the "Moral Monday" movement.

The movement began in 2013 against conservative policies that advocates say hurt the poor and minorities. The Rev. Will Barber, who gained attention when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention, is leading a protest in North Carolina.

Missouri Capitol
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 The Missouri auditor said the Republican-led House and Senate should be more transparent and should stop asking lobbyists for contributions.

Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway's office released findings Monday showing some legislative committees didn't record their votes. The findings also revealed that Sunshine Law policies for lawmakers are unclear.


  A federal judge has ruled that the process of electing board members for a school district that includes Ferguson, Missouri, is biased against black voters and must be revised before another election occurs.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel's ruling came seven months after he presided over the trial in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Missouri Capitol
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  Prosecutors are moving forward with a case against 23 clergy members involved in a 2014 protest of the Missouri Senate.

Authorities charged the clergy with obstructing government operations and first-degree trespassing after they and a few hundred others protested lawmakers’ refusal to expand Obamacare two years ago. 

Protesters had filled the Senate’s public galleries, chanted and sang before the police arrested 23 of the 100 protestors and clergy members.

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    The utility company Ameren Missouri is seeking approval from the state's Public Service Commission to build six public charging stations for electric vehicles between St. Louis and central Missouri.

Ameren Missouri announced the pilot program Monday. Mark Nealon, who is leading the project, said five of the stations will be between St. Louis and Boonville on Interstate 70, and one will be in Jefferson City on U.S. 54.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the north side is calming after violence in the wake of a police shooting that left one man dead.

The violence erupted a few hours after an officer shot and killed a 23-year-old man. Police said the man was fleeing a traffic stop and was armed with a gun. It wasn't immediately clear if he pointed it at or fired it at the officer.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the infield, hugged a reception line of teammates and was handed the final ball from his final game with the New York Yankees. He walked to the area behind third base, leaned down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

Baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades then headed back to the dugout after a Yankee Stadium finale Friday night that included a pregame ceremony punctuated by thunder cracks and cut short by a downpour, a first-inning RBI double and a surprising ninth-inning return to third base.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is defending his record after the head of the state's public defender system appointed him to a case in protest of recent funding restrictions.

Director Michael Barrett in a letter last week said budget cuts have prevented his office from hiring enough public defenders for those who can't afford representation.

So Barrett said he's appointing former attorney general Nixon to represent indigent clients.

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  Two police training courses in northwest Missouri have been canceled because of low enrollment.

The Livingston County Sheriff's Office and Missouri Sheriff's Association joined forces to offer the Basic Law Enforcement Training academies in Chillicothe and Kirksville. They were set to begin in August.

The St. Joseph News Press reports the academies have been canceled because too few people were enrolled.

Brunner campaign

  Missouri Republican candidate John Brunner said he wants to be the first businessman elected governor in 80 years.

The former chairman and CEO of personal care product company Vi-Jon Inc. told The Associated Press his business experience qualifies him to run the state.

If elected, Brunner said he'll support right to work and recruit businesses to come to the state.

Brunner has never held elected office before. He lost to U.S. Rep. Todd Akin in a three-way GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

A failed asylum-seeker from Syria blew himself up and wounded 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival in southern Germany in what officials said Monday may have been a suicide bombing. It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week — three of them carried out by recent immigrants.

The 27-year-old blew himself up at a bar shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, having been turned away from an open-air music festival in the southern town of Ansbach because he didn't have a ticket.

A burned body was found Saturday at the scene of a brushfire north of Los Angeles that has scorched 31 square miles and prompted the evacuation of 1,500 homes, authorities said.

The body was discovered outside a home on Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, and detectives are trying to determine whether the person was killed by the blaze or another cause, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Rob Hahnlein said. The home also may have burned, he said.


  Police in Missouri said four teens robbed victims after luring them to a specific location using the new Pokemon Go smartphone game.

Police said Sunday that four teens used the game to draw victims to a spot in O'Fallon, just outside of St. Louis, and then robbed them.

The recently released game sends players to locations to collect various creatures. Police said the robbers used the game to lure victims by putting a "beacon" at a location to draw in players.

Missouri Capitol
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 Backers of a school training program designed to respond to situations involving active shooters said budget cuts could hamper the Missouri program.

Lawmakers budgeted $700,000 for the program this fiscal year. But Governor Jay Nixon pared that down to $100,000 following lower-than-expected revenue growth. He said freezing funding was necessary to balance the budget.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Governor Jay Nixon announced he will not participate in a European Trade Mission because of recent violence, including the shooting of a suburban St. Louis police officer.

Nixon said in a news release Sunday that the week has been quote "sad and difficult, especially for the men and women of law enforcement." He said that the "safety and well-being of all Missourians" is his "top priority."

Wikimedia Commons

 The head of a Missouri-based hotel chain that has 35 properties in 16 states said her company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the weekend so it could better deal with ongoing legal battles.

John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts CEO Jacqueline Dowdy said she doesn't anticipate the company's business operations being disrupted because of the Sunday filing in federal bankruptcy court in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the bankruptcy filing puts the brakes on a trial in Delaware that had been scheduled to start in late July.


A U.S. Supreme Court ruling is calling into question whether some Missouri abortion regulations will stand.

  Supreme Court judges ruled 5-3 Monday that some Texas regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit women's abortion rights.

Missouri has similar laws requiring abortion doctors to have privileges at nearby hospitals and clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.

Spokeswoman Nanci Gonder said Missouri's attorney general is reviewing the ruling.

File Photo / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a wide-ranging bill that would have rendered the conceal-carry process unnecessary in Missouri. In his veto message, Nixon, a Democrat, cited his record on signing bills to expand Missourians’ rights to carry concealed weapons. 

He said the bill passed by Republicans goes too far because it would entirely toss out the conceal-carry process and would have revoked the ability of sheriffs to deny permits to those they think might be a danger to their communities. 


 A former St. Joseph school district superintendent who was overpaid more than $660,000 in pension payments has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

The U.S. attorney's office says 70-year-old Dan Colgan, of St. Joseph, faces one year and one day in prison under the plea he entered Monday in federal court in Kansas City.

Through the plea, Colgan admitted that his salary was improperly inflated to increase his retirement benefits.

He must pay $662,660 in restitution before his sentencing hearing. Colgan is free on bond, and the hearing hasn't been scheduled.

LGBT, pride
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St. Louis police plan to increase their presence at PrideFest events this month in the aftermath of the fatal shootings in Orlando, Florida.

Fifty people died in the shooting early Sunday at a gay nightclub. In a statement, organizers of the St. Louis event say PrideFest will go on as planned June 24 through June 26 at Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis. Several other events are taking place throughout the St. Louis region this month.

Creator closed with a rush and caught Destin at the wire to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, with Preakness winner Exaggerator finishing well back in the field.

The 3-year-old gray colt trained by Steve Asmussen came flying down the stretch as Destin tried to hang on to the lead. But it was Creator, who finished 13th in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, who won by a nose. It was the fourth time the Belmont was decided by a nose — the closest possible margin of victory.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - Lobbyists could spend up to $40 a day per lawmaker on meals under legislation pending in the Missouri Senate.

Republican Sen. Dave Schatz unveiled the proposal Wednesday that would ban most gifts to lawmakers and public officials but still leave them with a healthy limit for meals.

Lobbyist spending currently has no limit in Missouri.

Backers say the proposal is a step forward, but critics say it doesn't go far enough. House members previously had approved a ban on lobbyist gifts except for meals offered to all lawmakers and statewide officials.

stopnlook / FLICKR

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill reviving a tax break for small businesses that add employees.

The bill given final approval Wednesday by the House allows businesses with fewer than 50 employees to claim a $10,000 tax deduction for each job they create that pays at least their county's average wage. Those businesses could claim a $20,000 deduction if they also cover at least half the cost of their employees' health insurance premiums.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

KBIA file photo

ST. LOUIS - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt Earl Forrest's execution hours before the Missouri man is scheduled to die by injection.

The court issued its ruling without comment today. Forrest is scheduled to die tonight at the state prison in Bonne Terre for the 2002 killings of Harriett Smith and Michael Wells in a drug dispute and Dent County Sheriff's Deputy Joann Barnes in a shootout that followed at Forrest's home.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, denied a clemency request earlier today.

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JEFFERSON CITY - A proposal to legalize medical marijuana has again failed in the Missouri House.

Lawmakers voted down the measure today, 85-71. The legislation would have allowed doctors to recommend marijuana for patients suffering from debilitating illnesses, such as AIDS or epilepsy.

The proposal also would have created a licensing regime for commercial marijuana growers and retailers.

House lawmakers killed a similar measure in April after scaling it back to only cover hospice patients.

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COLUMBIA - A Missouri hospital that helped stop a competing effort to build a psychiatric hospital two months ago has proposed a $21 million facility to fill the necessity for more inpatient psychiatric services.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that a hearing on the application of CenterPointe Hospital's proposed 72-bed psychiatric hospital in north Columbia is scheduled for July 11.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri voters could get to decide whether to re-impose limits on the money flowing to political candidates and committees.

Supporters of campaign contribution limits said Wednesday they had submitted more than 272,000 petition signatures to try to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The measure would cap donations to candidates at $2,600 per election. Contributions to political parties would be capped at $25,000.