Associated Press

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.

Officials believe the new trend may be a result of increased gas prices and successful summer promotions attracting new riders.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she's giving away $30,000 that fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken's leadership PAC donated to her campaign.

McCaskill's Friday tweet announcing that she donated the money to Missouri food banks came after a Los Angeles radio anchor accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour and of posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept. Franken has apologized.

McCaskill has said the behavior is unacceptable and called for an investigation.

Gov. Eric Greitens' efforts to replace Missouri's top education official are set to come to a head during a closed State Board of Education meeting.

But it appears unlikely that there's enough support among board members to oust Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven during Tuesday's meeting.

Three members recently appointed by the Republican governor requested the meeting.

A Missouri Democrat is suing Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley for not living in the capital city.

Donna Mueller sued Hawley Tuesday. She claims he's breaking a state law requiring the attorney general to reside in the seat of government.

Hawley has an apartment in Jefferson City but the neighboring county clerk says his permanent residence is in Ashland. Scrutiny over his residency intensified after he voted in an August election in Ashland.

Missouri has released its annual report cards on school districts and charter schools, but issues with state standardized tests make it difficult to know exactly how well schools did and how their scores compare to previous years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at data that include 2017 Annual Performance Report and Missouri Assessment Program scores for school districts around St. Louis. The reports released Wednesday are based on performance in the 2016-2017 school year.

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Two years after protests over racial discrimination rocked the University of Missouri-Columbia, participants at a forum, Monday, said the campus has changed but education efforts must continue.

 

Missouri System President Mun Choi, Board of Curators Chairman Maurice Graham and other officials were among about 200 people attending the forum Monday sponsored by the Department of Black Studies.

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, which recently came under fire by European Union regulators for antitrust violations.

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.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says fellow Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama should step aside unless he can prove sexual misconduct claims against him are false.

Hawley's statement came after a woman said Monday that Moore assaulted her when she was a teenager in the late 1970s. Hawley called the latest claim against Moore "incredibly disturbing."

He says Moore should step aside unless he can provide "rock solid evidence" to disprove the claims.

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Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a fifth person to the Missouri Board of Education.

Greitens appointed Marvin Jungmeyer of Russellville to the board on Thursday. Jungmeyer is a political independent from Jefferson City. He would replace Joe Driskill, who resigned this week, citing work obligations.

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The University of Missouri is planning to expand its ROTC scholarship program, with a goal of doubling the number of students on campus who are using the scholarships.

Missouri officials said Thursday that beginning next fall, the scholarship will cover room and board for the freshman year for incoming ROTC students who won national scholarships from the military branches.

National ROTC scholarships currently cover tuition and required fees, as well as providing a book allowance and monthly stipend up to $5,000 a year.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

The Attorney General's Office is auditing how many untested rape kits there are in Missouri.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the audit Thursday. The announcement comes after a Columbia Missourian report that Missouri has never done a statewide review of untested rape kits, so the number of unprocessed kits is unknown. The newspaper reported that at least 32 other states have conducted audits.

Republican House Majority Leader Mike Cierpiot has been elected to the Missouri Senate.

Cierpiot won a special election Tuesday to fill former Sen. Will Kraus' vacant seat. The Lee's Summit Republican resigned in July after the governor appointed him to the State Tax Commission.

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A former Missouri lawmaker is arguing to the state's Supreme Court that she shouldn't have to pay $230,000 for alleged campaign finance violations.

An attorney for former St. Louis Democratic Sen. Robin Wright-Jones told judges Tuesday that the charge amounts to an unconstitutionally excessive fine by the Missouri Ethics Commission.

A lawyer representing the commission said the amount is an appropriate fee for a couple hundred thousand dollars of expenditures and contributions the candidate failed to accurately report by state deadlines.

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A college education is no longer a requirement for new police officers in Columbia.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the city now mandates a high school diploma instead of at least 30 hours of college education — the equivalent of an associate's degree. City officials had discussed the change for some time before taking action in August.

An Associated Press analysis has found that a 2004 ballot initiative hasn't generated as much money as projected for Missouri roads and bridges.

Constitutional Amendment 3 shifted vehicle sales tax revenues away from the state general fund to a new account for highway bonds. But the Department of Transportation had to tap its regular road funds to help pay the Amendment 3 debt in 10 of the past 12 years.

The state of Missouri will pay $1.1 million to settle two sex and age discrimination lawsuits filed by a former state employee.

The Columbia Tribune on Wednesday obtained a copy of the settlement finalized this week on behalf of Cindy Guthrie.

Guthrie and former Missouri Division of Employment Security director Gracia Backer filed suit in 2014 naming former Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations director Larry Rebman, then-Gov. Jay Nixon, and others.

A Missouri coroner will stop fighting a judge's order that he must provide school officials a transcript of an inquest that determined a teenager killed himself after persistent bullying.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Howard County Coroner Frank Flaspohler agreed Wednesday to turn over the transcript to the Glasgow School District.

A Missouri appeals court upheld a ruling that the Missouri Veterans Commission and its executive director, Larry Kay, were guilty of age and sex discrimination against a former ombudsman for the commission.

A panel of the Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the commission didn't prove during the original trial in Cole County that judge improperly handled some evidence in a lawsuit filed by Pat Row Kerr.

In July 2016, Kerr was awarded $2.875 million in damages.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' office says it hasn't seen a feasible plan to restore budget cuts affecting services for the disabled, signaling that a special session on the issue is unlikely.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden said Wednesday that if anyone has said otherwise to reporters, "they are either confused or being dishonest."

Fellow Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard had said earlier this week that lawmakers presented a potential plan to Greitens for reversing those Medicaid cuts but hadn't heard back from the governor's office.

A panel created by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is recommending that nearly 450 gubernatorial appointments be eliminated.

Greitens in a Wednesday statement said government is "too big, too slow, and works too poorly." He said the recommendations are a good step toward shrinking government.

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Missouri is appealing a ruling that the state 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 that Attorney General Josh Hawley's office filed a notice Monday that it would appeal a Cole County judge's decision.

Mizzou Arena
KBIA

Former longtime Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart will be honored with a statue outside Mizzou Arena.

The Board of Curators on Tuesday voted to authorize the statue of Stewart, who coached at Missouri for 32 seasons.

Advocates against sexual violence say Missouri's lack of evidence testing in some sexual assault cases make it harder to link repeat offenders to more than one victim.

Law enforcement officials say many agencies don't send evidence for testing unless the victim wants to go forward with potential charges. They say testing every evidence kit would also add to Missouri's already extensive backlog.

The Columbia Missourian reports Missouri hasn't done a statewide audit on the number of untested evidence kits.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is tapping former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief of staff to lead his U.S. Senate campaign.

The Republican picked Kyle Plotkin to manage his 2018 campaign for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat. Plotkin was Jindal's chief of staff and later his spokesman in 2015 during the former Republican governor's failed presidential bid.

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District ruled on Tuesday that discrimination based on sex stereotypes is a legal basis for a sex discrimination lawsuit.

The court says the state law allows people to sue for sex discrimination if they believe they were treated unfairly because they didn’t conform to stereotypes of gender-based behavior.

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Public defenders are raising concerns after the Missouri Supreme Court disciplined an attorney with a large caseload of indigent clients and then told another public defender that she must ask permission before denying additional cases.

Missouri State Public Defender Director Michael Barrett said the two decisions have created a conflict. The first ruling was issued last month and led to a Columbia-based public defender being placed on probation for a year for neglecting clients. Barett blamed the issue on the attorney having too many cases.

Questions are being raised about Gov. Eric Greitens' use of campaign funds to bring his pick to be the state's next school commissioner to the capital city this summer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the issue with using campaign money to pay for Kenneth Zeff's trip is restrictions on how such money may be spent. The Missouri visit was part of an ill-fated effort to replace Margie Vandeven as the state's education commissioner.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri officials are proposing an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis for a new Amazon location instead of a single headquarters in one of the metropolitan areas.

Missouri is submitting the application on Thursday. Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann says an innovation corridor could also include Columbia, the home of the University of Missouri. Erdmann says the cities could be connected if a high-speed Hyperloop track is built in the state.

A judge has fined a central Missouri prosecutor more than $12,000 for failing to provide records to a man doing research for the marijuana activist group Show-Me Cannabis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the fine stems from records Aaron Malin sought from Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson in 2015 in an effort to show how the drug war is fought in the state.

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