Associated Press

St. Louis schools are trying a new approach to hiring teachers as Missouri districts face a teacher shortage.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Public Schools opened a staff recruitment office last year to address issues in hiring that district officials say has likely contributed to the large turnover rate. Officials say it's typical to have 100 or more teaching vacancies during the school year.

An appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Missouri school district that includes students from Ferguson violated the federal Voting Rights Act in its method of electing board members.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a lower court judge who in 2016 ordered the Ferguson-Florissant School District to adopt cumulative voting, which allows people to cast as many votes as there are candidates and to use all of their votes on one candidate if they choose. The order was on hold pending appeals.

Business remains strong in nine Midwest and Plains states, but a new monthly survey suggests growth is slowing as concerns about trade and tariffs increase.

The region's overall economic index decreased to 61.8 in June from May's 67.3, but any score above 50 indicates growth.

Media outlets will now be allowed to use cameras and tweet from Missouri courtrooms following recent changes by the state's Supreme Court.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that judges starting Monday will be able to permit more than one photographer in the courtroom in some cases, depending on court approval. Tweeting from the courtroom will also be allowed with prior approval from a judge.

Jean Maneke serves as counsel to the Missouri Press Association. Maneke says compact camera technology spurred the new photography rules, which hadn't been modified since 1995.

A county sheriff's office in central Missouri is under investigation for inmate assault allegations.

Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism tells the Columbia Daily Tribune that his office is investigating the allegations made by Audrain County Jail inmate Richard Henry. Chism says Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller requested that Callaway County investigate the claims for transparency.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A liberal government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against groups that funneled $6 million of anonymous campaign money into Missouri to help Eric Greitens' campaign for governor.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's Republican opponents are criticizing her for her wealth as she makes a bid for a third term.

Much of McCaskill's wealth stems from the business success of her husband, Joseph Shepard, which was well-established when they married in 2002. Opponents have tried to paint her as out of touch.

Retired Missouri State University political scientist Mark Rushefsky says it's a funny argument considering Republican President Donald Trump's own personal wealth.

A judge has found that the head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol went too far in firing a trooper after he was convicted of a misdemeanor in the drowning death of a handcuffed Iowa man.

The Kansas City Star reports that Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce ruled Wednesday that the patrol's superintendent can't go beyond the recommendation of a disciplinary review board that found Anthony Piercy should be reinstated as a trooper and relocated. Joyce sent the case back to the patrol for consideration of a new, lesser punishment.

File / KBIA

 

A Missouri man is suing his state representative after being blocked by her Twitter account in a case reminiscent of a recent ruling against President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court on behalf of Mike Campbell, a personal injury lawyer living in Centralia. He was blocked from Republican Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch's account after he retweeted another state representative who criticized her.

The lawsuit argues that Twitter is a public forum and blocking constituents because of their political views violates their First Amendment rights.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri attorney says she fell and fractured her foot after an immigration agent pushed her while she taking a 3-year-old boy to join his pregnant mother who was being deported to Honduras.

Immigration attorney Andrea Martinez says she had arranged with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to meet in the parking lot of their Kansas City removal office early Tuesday so the boy could be reunited with his mother. A Netflix crew filming a documentary on immigration was at the scene.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The federal judge overseeing a reform agreement between Ferguson, Missouri, and the U.S. Department of Justice says she has seen substantial progress in efforts to eliminate bias in the town's law enforcement system.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry on Tuesday heard a quarterly update on progress in Ferguson, where the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 was a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers spent almost $110,000 during a special session and investigation into allegations against former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Final costs provided Tuesday to The Associated Press show that most of that money went toward mileage and daily allowances for lawmakers during a special session. About one-quarter of the expenses came from a special House investigatory committee.

Greitens resigned June 1 while facing potential impeachment over allegations of sexual and political misconduct.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley's campaign paid lawyers tens of thousands of dollars to review emails and other documents from his time as a University of Missouri law professor before complying with a public records request, according to newly released documents.

Top Missouri Republicans are helping U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley fundraise.

Gov. Mike Parson, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, U.S. Rep. Billy Long and other statewide-elected Republicans are set to be at the Thursday fundraiser in Springfield.

The campaign is billing the event as "an evening of Republican unity." It comes after tension between some Republicans over former scandal-plagued Gov. Eric Greitens.

Jay Barnes
Missouri House Communications

The chairman of a Missouri House panel investigating former Gov. Eric Greitens says the committee no longer has authority to act now Greitens has resigned.

Instead, Republican Chairman Jay Barnes in a Monday letter said he'll file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission against Greitens' campaign and a nonprofit that promoted his agenda.

The House committee was investigating allegations of personal and political misconduct against Greitens. Barnes says they turned up enough evidence to recommend his impeachment, but Greitens resigned on his own June 1.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

A new report found that more than 3,700 pregnant women and new mothers were hospitalized in Missouri for opioid abuse in the past two years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Hospital Association research indicates that the number of babies born suffering withdrawal symptoms could be underreported. State data has identified more than 1,080 newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome during 2016 and 2017.

Babies with the syndrome are more likely to be small and have respiratory issues, feeding problems, jaundice and seizures.

Mike Parson has signed his first five bills into law as Missouri's governor, including one that exempts small farms from parts of the state's clean water law.

That bill, whose signing was announced in a press release Friday, also restricts when the Department of Natural Resources can regulate toxic coal ash in some landfills.

Proponents say the changes remove needless regulation. Critics say the coal ash provision could endanger Missouri's groundwater.

Federal prosecutions of gun cases have doubled in St. Louis this year as part of an effort to reduce the city's gun violence.

An attorney suing former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his staffers says recently uncovered texts show two former employees used a message-deleting app to communicate about state policy.

Screenshots show former deputy legislative directors Brad Green and Jeff Earl texted about talking points on a prescription drug monitoring policy, The Kansas City Star reported.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Four years after Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill co-sponsored legislation targeting tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, her husband began investing in a hedge fund tied to the Caribbean nation — an investment that has paid off handsomely.

Missouri Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's new lieutenant governor says the state's constitution supports his appointment.

Mike Kehoe said Wednesday that he wouldn't have accepted the job if he didn't believe the office could be filled by a governor's appointment, but he said the courts will have the final say.

HAZELWOOD, Mo. (AP) — A federal report says people who lived near or played in a contaminated St. Louis-area creek from the 1960s to the 1990s may have increased risk of developing cancer.

A Missouri House member who served on a panel investigating former Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned from the Legislature.

The House said Tuesday that Republican Rep. Shawn Rhoads, of West Plains, had resigned effective at the end of Monday. His resignation letter did not cite a reason, and Rhoads did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press

Rhoads is a former police detective who first won election to the House in 2012. He could have served one more two-year term but had decided not to seek re-election this year.

Roy Blunt speaks at a podium.
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The Trump administration policy to force separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border is facing pushback from Missouri's U.S. senators.

The Missouri Department of Conservation aims to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer populations with the expansion of its disease management zone.

 

The Southeast Missourian reports the agency plans to expand the CWD management zone from 41 to 48 counties. It will now include Bollinger, Cape Girardeau and Perry counties.

 

According to a news release, the Wildlife Code of Missouri prohibits the placement of grain, salt products, minerals and other consumables used to attract deer year-round in a CWD management zone.

 

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says she's glad the state has declined to pay private attorneys who represented former Gov. Eric Greitens' office against potential impeachment proceedings.

Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman determined Thursday that the lawyers' work primarily benefited Greitens personally and not the governor's office.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will no longer block users on his social media accounts as he did when he served as lieutenant governor, according to the new governor's staff.

Parson and former Gov. Eric Greitens were the only Missouri statewide officials who regularly blocked critics and others on their social media accounts, drawing criticism from free speech advocates.

The Missouri Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley over pro bono legal services he received in 2016.

The complaint dismissed Thursday was filed by Democratic attorney Jane Dueker. She alleged that Hawley should have reported pro bono legal services as a gift or an in-kind donation to his 2016 attorney general campaign.

A Washington, D.C.-based law firm had represented Hawley in a lawsuit over a Sunshine request for his university emails when he was still a University of Missouri School of Law associate professor.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A top Missouri official has decided not to pay the legal bills for attorneys who represented former Gov. Eric Greitens' office against potential impeachment proceedings.

Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman said Thursday that it appears the primary beneficiary of their work was Greitens individually and that the attorneys weren't needed for the governor's office itself.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's voter ID law is facing a legal challenge from a national progressive organization alleging it creates undue burdens for voters who lack the required photo identification.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Democratic-aligned Priorities USA filed the lawsuit on behalf of 70-year-old Mildred Gutierrez of Jackson County.

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