Associated Press

Missouri Capitol
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JEFFERSON CITY, MO. 

Lawmakers are questioning a newly revised policy allowing visitors to bring firearms into the Missouri Capitol.

Gov. Eric Greitens' administration lifted a month-old prohibition Monday on allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to carry their guns into the statehouse, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Two days later, members of a Senate panel recommended looking at potentially changing the rules that govern what happens with firearms inside the Capitol.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A threat that caused an American Airlines flight to be diverted to St. Louis has been deemed not credible by law enforcement, though the incident prompted an FBI investigation and use of bomb-sniffing dogs.

Flight 534 left Columbus, Ohio, and was heading for Phoenix when it landed at Lambert Airport at 8:14 a.m. Thursday. The FBI says the pilot decided to divert the plane, but spokeswoman Rebecca Wu declined to say what specifically led to that decision.

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed two new heads of the state's emergency management and fire safety divisions.

Greitens appointed Ernie Rhodes to be the director of the State Emergency Management Agency and Tim Bean as the state Fire Marshal in an announcement Wednesday at the St. Louis Fire Academy.

Rhodes currently serves as the fire chief for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District. He previously served as the director of Emergency Management in St. Charles, Missouri.

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  The University of Missouri is planning a mass immunization clinic next week as it works to control a mumps outbreak that has grown to more than 320 confirmed and probable cases.

Spokesman Christian Basi says the hope is that 2,000 students will receive a free booster shot during the Feb. 15 to Feb. 17 clinic. The state health agency is picking up the tab.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed after a firefighter died in a walkway collapse at a University of Missouri-run apartment complex.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports a judge will consider whether to approve the settlement Tuesday during a hearing in Boone County Circuit Court. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the widow and a daughter of Lt. Bruce Britt, who died in February 2014 while evacuating residents from the apartment complex.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says his budget plan won't take a "single penny" out of K-12 classrooms.

But school administrators from across the state say a 34 percent reduction in busing aid might keep districts across the state from hiring new staff or buying new textbooks and technology.

This year, the state covered just 16 percent of transportation costs. Next year it could cover even less if the budget proposal gets House and Senate approval.

Mizzou Columns
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Co-directors will be assistant history professor C. Harrison Kim and assistant political science professor Sheena Greitens, who is Gov. Eric Greitens' wife.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the institute will foster research on South and North Korea. Kim says the university has a long history of academic research on Korea but faculty members hadn't come together to establish an institute.

Two Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation that would remove former Gov. Jay Nixon's name from a new park in southeast Missouri.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the Missouri Department of Natural Resources revealed the park in early January and named it the Jay Nixon State Park, just as the former Democratic governor was finishing his final term in office.

University of Missouri School of Medicine

Gov. Eric Greitens' current budget proposal for the state's 2018 fiscal year won't fund the new expansions for the University of Missouri Medical School.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the information comes on the heels of the governor's January announcement to withhold $4 million of the MU Cooperative Medicine Program's $10 million appropriation for the current fiscal year.

Missouri Capitol
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  Opponents of Missouri's new right-to-work law are trying to put it to a public vote.

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis filed a referendum petition to do so with the secretary of state Monday, the same day Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed the ban on mandatory union fees.

If Louis' petition makes it to the ballot, voters would decide whether to remain a right-to-work state or dump the new law.

The petition first needs to be approved by Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, then backers can start gathering signatures to try to get it on the ballot.

Eric Greitens
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Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is about to make Missouri the 28th state to ban mandatory union fees

Greitens plans to sign the right-to-work bill into law Monday then travel around the state announcing his support for the measure.

The governor had pledged to sign right to work while on the campaign trail. He and other supporters say it will bring business and jobs to the state. Opponents say it aims to weaken unions and could lead to lower wages.

KBIA

  The University of Missouri Board of Curators has several vacancies after Gov. Eric Greitens withdrew the nomination of two of former Gov. Jay Nixon's appointees.

Greitens on Tuesday withdrew the nominations of Patrick Graham and Jon Sunvold. Last month, two other Nixon appointees, Tom Voss and Mary Nelson, resigned.

The board, which usually has nine members, currently has six curators because two are serving even though their terms have expired.

The director of the Missouri State Parks division says he's been removed from the job without explanation.

Bill Bryan told The Springfield News-Leader he was told Jan. 23 that his services were no longer needed. He says no explanation was given and he didn't ask for one.

Bryan was appointed by former Gov. Jay Nixon in 2009 to head the state parks department. During his tenure, the park system added seven new parks.

The News-Leader said spokesmen for Gov. Eric Greitens and the Department of Natural Resources declined to discuss Bryan's ouster.

Mumps have been reported at another Missouri university.

The Missouri University of Science and Technology said in a news release Wednesday that a single student has contracted the illness. Students at the Rolla school are urged to contact health officials if they believe they may be infected. Health officials are monitoring reports to determine whether further measures are needed.

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The Missouri House has passed a bill that could overturn a Missouri Supreme Court decision pertaining to breath-test evidence in drunken driving cases.

The bill allows courts to use breath-test evidence gathered from December 30, 2012, to April 4, 2014, in driving-while-intoxicated cases. The House passed the legislation Wednesday by a 127-37 vote. It now goes to the Senate.

The legislation effectively overturns a 2016 ruling throwing out breath tests from machines that weren't calibrated in compliance with the state law in effect at that time.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is laying out his plans for the state budget amid financial strain and lagging revenue.

Greitens is to announce his proposed budget Thursday at a Nixa public school. He broke from tradition by not outlining his budget during his January State of the State address.

Greitens' budget proposal will come during what's shaping up to be a challenging time for state finances. Revenues so far this fiscal year have been lower than expected, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been cut to balance this year's budget.

KBIA

Ozarks Technical Community College officials in Springfield, Missouri say they're dramatically increasing tuition should the state face budget cuts.

Chancellor Hal Higdon tells the Springfield News-Leader that the school didn't raise tuition this year because the state's Legislature promised they would quote "get us that money." But if the budget cut for next year is equal to the one this year, Higdon says he will have no choice but to propose a tuition increase.

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Missouri's No. 2 Republican state senator is proposing a $10 limit on lobbyist gifts to elected officials.

The legislation Majority Leader Mike Kehoe pitched to a Senate panel Tuesday wouldn't completely ban gifts, as Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has called on lawmakers to do.

Instead it would limit lobbyists to spending at most $10 per day on each elected official.

A proposal passed by the House would ban most lobbyist gifts to individual elected officials. Exceptions would include flowers, honorary plaques and catering meals at some events.

Missouri Capitol
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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is lashing out against two Republican senators who didn't vote against a pay raise for themselves and other elected officials.

Greitens in a Tuesday Facebook post accused Sens. Denny Hoskins and Paul Wieland of betraying their constituents.

At issue was a proposed pay increase for legislators and statewide elected officials. Senators voted 25-2 against it Monday. Only Hoskins and Wieland cast votes to allow the raise to take effect, but six other senators recused themselves and didn't vote.

Missouri Supreme Court
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The Missouri Supreme Court says a recent constitutional amendment allows prosecutors to present more evidence in child sex abuse cases, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.

 Supreme Court judges on Tuesday ruled past criminal allegations can be used in child sex abuse cases from December 2014 forward.

That's when a constitutional amendment to allow that took effect.

A Missouri man accused of a child sex crime in 2013 said allegations of past crimes shouldn't be used in his case. He argued the amendment shouldn't apply retroactively.

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  A Missouri man convicted of killing a woman and her two children in 1998 has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.

Mark Christeson is scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday evening. If carried out, it will be Missouri's first execution since May.

The main issue raised in Christeson's appeal Monday is that his trial lawyers were inept, noting they missed a 2005 deadline for a federal appeal, which is a standard procedure in death penalty cases.

columns at university of missouri
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The University of Missouri has hired college sports attorney Mike Glazier to help its investigation into allegations of academic fraud.

Glazier is a managing member of the Overland Park-based law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King.

The Kansas City Star reports Missouri and the NCAA are conducting a joint investigation into allegations made by Yolanda Kumar, a former tutor at the university. She has said she performed or taken online classes or tests and helped with tests for 15 student-athletes, which violates NCAA rules.

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Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says he met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.

Greitens announced on his Facebook page that he and the vice president met on Saturday.

He said he and Pence discussed how the Trump administration can help take Missouri "in a new direction with more jobs and higher pay." Greitens also mentioned safer streets and better schools for the state.

The governor says the two men also discussed the negative financial impact of Obamacare and said Pence promised relief for the state's budget is coming.

amazon logo
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  Online retail giant Amazon will begin collecting sales tax in Missouri next month.

Amazon spokeswoman Jill Kerr told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the online company will start charging Missouri state sales tax Feb. 1.

Amazon and its subsidiaries already collect sales tax on merchandise shipped to more than 30 states.

ferguson ruling
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  Ferguson officials have missed critical deadlines in the early stages of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, but the beleaguered Missouri town's city manager said the process is now moving "in the right direction."

Ferguson has been under Justice Department scrutiny since the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown.

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  A Missouri representative says the nearly $1 million it costs to pay for cable TV in state prisons is too much.

But in a committee Tuesday, Rep. J. Eggleston's proposal to take away cable service and replace it with free antennae channels was met with resounding bipartisan opposition.

Prisoners pay for cable through a portion of the cost for small items such as sodas and candy bars bought at prison canteens. The items are bought with money inmates earn from working each day or from family members.

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Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are one step closer to being able to operate statewide in Missouri.

In a 140-16 vote Thursday, the House passed a bill that would outline statewide regulations, such as a $5,000 fee, background checks and vehicle inspections. It will now go to the Senate for approval.

The legislation has moved quickly through the House after speaker Todd Richardson listed it as a priority at the beginning of the session.

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Missouri utilities want lawmakers to pass a law to help them get money more quickly from customers to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Ameren Missouri and other utilities told a panel of state senators Wednesday that a proposed bill to recover costs would enable modernization and could promote economic development.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is empaneling a committee to study and recommend how to reform the state's tax rates and credits.

The state's Republican chief executive signed an executive order Wednesday creating the 10-person "Governor's Committee for Simple, Fair, and Low Taxes." He says the current system is "broken," hurting Missouri's budget and job creation.

Greitens says the unpaid panel's tasks will compare Missouri's tax credit programs and tax rates to "peer" states and assess the economic impact of state tax credits.

Missouri Capitol
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Missouri's Republican-led Senate is advancing a right-to-work bill to ban mandatory union fees.

Senators voted 21-12 to give the bill initial approval Wednesday. It needs another vote to move to the House, which has already passed an almost-identical bill.

Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the proposal.

Right to work has new momentum with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' support. He says he'll sign it if the GOP-led Legislature sends it to his desk.

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