Associated Press

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Missouri lawmakers effectively eliminated state spending on sobriety checkpoints beginning in July.

The move follows criticism by some Republican lawmakers who question the effectiveness of checkpoints and raised concerns about whether they represent unreasonable searches and violate due process rights.

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Missouri officials say the nearly all state tax refunds should be delivered by June 30.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said Thursday the only unpaid returns should be those that were flagged for various reasons.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that's an improvement over last year, when former Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the agency to use overtime or hire temporary workers to process tax returns. Some returns took up to 10 weeks to return and the state paid $294,837 in late fees to nearly 84,000 people.

New data show it's unlikely Missouri revenues will grow enough to fully fund the budget passed by lawmakers last year.

Acting State Budget Director Dan Haug on Friday announced state revenues grew 2.6 percent through May compared to the same period last fiscal year.

That's well under the 7 percent needed to fully fund spending outlined in this year's budget and the 3.4 percent legislators originally estimated.

Revenues also are below the scaled-back 3 percent-growth mark that Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and lawmakers predicted in January.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has named a community college leader to be the state's economic development director.

The new Republican governor on Friday appointed Missouri Community College Association President and CEO Rob Dixon to head the state's economic development agency. The appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.

The Department of Economic Development's primary goal is to bring jobs to the state.

File Photo / KBIA

A spokeswoman for Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says voters who need free identification cards required by a new state law can get them beginning Thursday.

A constitutional amendment approved by voters last November requires photo IDs for voting, with some exceptions. Voters without proper identification can cast provisional ballots.

St. Louis residents will vote July 11 to fill St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's seat on the Board of Aldermen. Special elections are scheduled in August for vacant legislative seats.

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New data show black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over last year.

The annual report by the state attorney general's office released Wednesday shows the disparity rate last year increased from the year before, when blacks were 69 percent more likely than white motorists to be stopped.

The state's disparity rate last hit 75 percent in 2014. That's the highest it's been since the state began compiling data in 2000.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri officials say more than 1,200 primary homes were badly damaged or destroyed in the spring flood, and total damage reached nearly $90 million.

State Emergency Management Agency Recovery Division manager Ron Broxton said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday that home damage in 37 counties cost $28 million. Public facilities in 46 counties suffered damage estimated at $58 million.

The state expects a determination soon on a request for a federal disaster declaration.

Sylvia Maria Gross / Harvest Public Media

Results from a monthly survey of business supply managers suggest a slight decline in the economic conditions for nine Midwest and Plains states.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released Thursday says the overall regional economic index dropped to 55.5 in May from 61.4 in April.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the index figures over the past six months point to healthy growth for regional manufacturing and nonmanufacturing through the third quarter of this year.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court won't review a lower court ruling that spares the state's prison system from having to reveal where it gets drugs used in executions.

Missouri's high court didn't comment Tuesday in rejecting a request to review the case from the American Civil Liberties Union, the nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other plaintiffs.

They say the state's source of execution drugs should be disclosed under open-records laws. The Missouri Department of Corrections has refused to divulge where it gets pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A top backer of Missouri's new photo identification voting law derided by critics as a disenfranchising poll tax says any registered voter can cast a ballot, with or without a photo ID.

The new law that takes effect Thursday is a state constitutional amendment approved by Missouri voters last November.

It generally requires photo IDs for voting, though provisions allow voting with just a utility bill or paycheck and a sworn statement of identity. Voters still can cast a provisional ballot.

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A month after severe floods ravaged several parks and campsites across Missouri, the vast majority of them are open again in time for summer visitors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that cleanup and repair is mostly complete at several parks and tourist sites along Missouri rivers. Many were damaged in late April and early May when torrential rains caused creeks and rivers to rise suddenly.

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of about 80 inmates serving life sentences in Missouri for crimes they committed as minors.

The MacArthur Justice Center at St. Louis alleges in the suit filed the case this month in the U.S. District Court's western district of Missouri that the state's parole process fails to give them a fair chance to be released.

Tailor Institute

A Cape Girardeau institute that helps autistic people will remain open despite losing its state funding.

Officials with the Tailor Institute say they were expecting state funding to arrive July 1, but instead were told the funding has been notified.

The institute works with autistic people to develop skills to become independent, particularly in the workplace.

The Southeast Missourian reports the institute operated on an annual $200,000 state grant.

Director Carrie Tracy says the institute's staff was not given an explanation for the funding cut.

Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

A preliminary assessment has found about $86 million of damage and costs from recent flooding and storms in Missouri.

The figures provided Thursday by the state Department of Public Safety include almost $58 million of public costs for damage to infrastructure, debris removal and emergency response efforts.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
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A Missouri Senate committee has advanced a proposal that would allow some companies that use a lot of electricity to negotiate lower rates.

The committee advanced a proposal Thursday after hearing a state Public Service Commission analysis that said average consumers wouldn't see significant rate increases under most scenarios.

The former interim president of the University of Missouri system will be the fill-in overseer of Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Lincoln University's governing board announced Thursday that Mike Middleton will take on the new role as of next Thursday.

Middleton will be the interim president at Lincoln until a permanent successor to Kevin Rome is named. After four years at Lincoln, Rome announced in March that he will become president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, as of July 1.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has given final approval to a proposal that supporters say would bring hundreds of jobs to the southeastern corner of the state.

The proposal passed Wednesday with a 120-17 vote.

The original bill would've allowed steel-works facilities and aluminum smelters to negotiate lower utilities rates than what is allowed under current law. Lawmakers later expanded the proposal to allow any new facility using more than 50 megawatts of electricity a month to negotiate lower rates.

University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton plans to retire at the end of the next academic year.

Morton announced his decision Tuesday in an email to faculty. He has been chancellor since 2008, after being an administrator at Aquila Inc.

KCUR-FM reports that Morton says he hopes to spend his final year at the school completing projects like the Downtown Arts Campus, Career Development Institute and fundraising for a new engineering lab facility. He called the chancellor's job one of the greatest privileges and blessings of his life.

Lincoln University
Kristina D.C. Hoeppner


Lincoln University in Jefferson City plans to cut 48 jobs and reduce salaries as it tries to respond to a budget deficit.

The school, which is facing a $3.8 million deficit in its fiscal 2018 budget, announced Monday that 32.5 staff and 15.5 faculty positions will be cut.

KRCG reports a statement from the school said the jobs services it provides to students will continue knowing that the workforce is already stretched too thin.

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A court ruling requires Missouri to at least temporarily remove GPS monitoring devices from some sex offenders.

The injunction was filed Monday in Cole County in a lawsuit filed against the state on behalf of a sex offender from St. Charles County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Department of Corrections Board of Probation and Parole installed 364 GPS ankle monitors on sex offenders in April because of new security requirements. Lifetime monitoring was not part of the offenders' sentencing agreements.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Some St. Louis Catholics are suing the city over an ordinance that protects women against workplace discrimination based on whether they've had an abortion, used contraceptives or are pregnant.

The federal lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of a group of Roman Catholic grade schools; a home for pregnant women; and a private company whose owner is Catholic. It seeks to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance, which opponents say makes St. Louis a sanctuary city for abortion.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has named a longtime banker as the acting director of the state's Division of Financial Institutions.

The governor announced in a news release Friday that Lee Keith will be the state's new finance director.

Keith was the former president of Gold Bank in St. Joseph, Missouri, and also led banks in Sullivan, Springfield, and Columbia, Missouri. He recently led a turnaround effort for Mercantile Bank in Quincy, Illinois.

Keith's appointment will be subject to Senate confirmation.

students in classroom
Rachel Rice / KBIA

Missouri school districts are looking forward to the possibility of more funding for early childhood education next year.

Lawmakers this year, for the first time in recent memory, hit their self-imposed target for school funding at roughly $3.4 billion. That triggers a law that requires the state to spend more next year on pre-K education.

It's a move that Republicans have lauded as a monumental step for education. But some educators and lawmakers question whether the state can afford it.

University of Missouri-Kansas City officials say the school plans to cut about 30 jobs as part of efforts to reduce the campus budget.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi said last month the system's four campuses must impose 8 to 12 percent budget reductions for fiscal year 2018 to prepare for an expected drop in state aid.

Missouri-Kansas City announced the layoffs Thursday but added no details about which jobs will be eliminated.

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Missouri is asking a federal appellate court to put on hold a judge's order blocking the state's abortion-restricting rules, insisting the requirements are justified.

The state's challenge Thursday to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came a day after U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs refused to delay enforcing the preliminary injunction he issued last month in favor of Planned Parenthood affiliates with Missouri health centers.

Steve Corsi/Missouri Governor's Office

 Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has named a new acting director of the Department of Social Services.

The governor announced Friday that Steve Corsi would take over the department.

A news release says Corsi currently serves as the director of the Wyoming Department of Family Services. He previously worked as a clinical director in several health care facilities and is currently an officer in the Army National Guard.

Corsi also spent nearly a decade in the Air Force and spent time as the CEO of High County Behavioral Health in Wyoming.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri Democratic Rep. Randy Dunn says he will be resigning from the Missouri House, effective May 31.

Dunn announced in a Facebook post Thursday and on the floor of the House last week that he will not be returning to the Legislature next year.

A Facebook post on Dunn's page says that he will accept a job in Omaha, Nebraska, as the executive director of a community development organization.

Dunn represents the 23rd district in Kansas City and has served in the Missouri House since 2012.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The interim chancellor and provost at the University of Missouri says she is not a candidate to become permanent chancellor.

Chancellor and Provost Garnett Stokes, who took over May 3, 2017, said Tuesday the she expects the new chancellor to be named within the next two weeks. She said that she is not a candidate, but she did not say whether she had been interested or not. 

school buses
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Turmoil continues at a suburban St. Louis school where several students were suspended after walking out in support for union teachers.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that students stood with signs outside Hazelwood West High School before classes Wednesday to protest the five-day suspensions of their classmates.

Seal of the State Auditor
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says a law to allow more people to request criminal record expungements and raise application fees could violate the state Constitution.

Galloway warned Tuesday that a 2016 law could go over limits on lawmakers raising fees without a public vote.