Associated Press

Thousands of customers of an internet and television company have experienced service interruptions in three states after two large fiber-optic cables were accidentally cut.

Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters tells the Columbia Missourian that customers in Georgia, Illinois and Missouri experienced service issues after a road crew mower severed a cable Thursday near Fitzgerald, Georgia. A construction crew severed another cable just over a half hour later near Carrollton, Missouri.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are at a standstill on broad anti-abortion legislation more than a month after Republican Gov. Eric Greitens called them into a special session to deal with abortion issues.

The legislation calls for several new regulations, such as annual state inspections of abortion clinics. But one of the provisions causing the most confusion addresses a St. Louis ordinance intended to prevent discrimination based on reproductive health decisions, such as pregnancy and abortion.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The $10 per hour minimum wage law in St. Louis will be short-lived, but an effort launching Friday will encourage and pressure businesses to honor the higher wage even if state law doesn't require it.

Organizers on Thursday detailed the "Save the Raise" campaign to The Associated Press. It will urge employers to keep paying workers at least $10 an hour. Businesses agreeing to do so will be listed on the campaign's website. On the other side, organizers vow to protest businesses that roll back wages.

mrkw / flickr

Two claims of sexual violence at St. Louis' Washington University and another at a ministry school in Springfield, Missouri, are under federal investigation.

  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opened the probes this week. Details of the investigations involving Washington University and Springfield's Baptist Bible College weren't released.

A Washington University statement says that school "will be responsive and work to resolve these cases as quickly as possible."

Missouri Republican state Rep. Paul Curtman is weighing a bid for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat.

Curtman on Thursday announced he's starting an exploratory committee for the campaign. That will allow him to start raising money as he considers officially entering the race.

Curtman is a former Marine and first was elected to the Missouri House in 2010. He's from Pacific and has never before run for statewide office.

He's one of several Republicans who have entered the race against McCaskill or are weighing a bid.

Michael Coghlan via Flickr

An investigation has found that Missouri prison workers failed to properly check on an inmate whose cellmate repeatedly sexually and physically abused him.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the state investigation it obtained through an open records request showed that workers falsified logs and failed to follow procedures aimed at protecting inmates from other prisoners. Austin Gallup's prison term was extended 22 years after he pleaded guilty to abusing the St. Louis County man in 2013 at the state prison in Farmington.

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit group is planning a statewide television advertising campaign pushing the governor's promise to balance the state's budget without raising taxes.

The Kansas City Star reports papers filed this week with the Federal Communications Commission show the group, A New Missouri Inc., has purchased about $78,000 in air time on a Springfield station and nearly $70,000 of time on a St. Louis station.

JEFFERSON CITY — The cost for Missouri's special legislative session on abortion policies has surpassed $73,000 and is likely to keep growing.

Figures provided Wednesday show the House has spent over $53,000 — mainly on lodging, meal and mileage payments to lawmakers.

The Senate's cost stands at nearly $20,000. But that's likely to rise when senators return to the Capitol, perhaps later this month, to consider the House version of an abortion bill.

 

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Gov. Eric Greitens says his administration wants to hear suggestions from Missouri citizens on how the state can reduce government red tape.

Greitens on Wednesday announced the launch of a website, www.NoMORedTape.com. The website allows Missourians to submit recommendations to reduce what Greitens calls burdensome regulations.

The governor says government red tape kills jobs and hurts working families. He says the state has more than 113,000 regulatory requirements, using more than 7.5 million words.

Old Missouri State Penitentiary
KBIA

Jefferson City officials are excited about the potential for 32 acres of land at the old Missouri State Penitentiary that the city now owns.

Gov. Eric Greitens on Tuesday signed a law that transferred the land to the city, which is discussing ways to develop the area to attract tourists.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports 128 of the site's 140 acres are undeveloped. With the land transfer, the state will still control 95 acres at the site.

Backpage.com has filed a federal lawsuit aiming to block an investigation by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley who says the classifieds website promotes human trafficking via adult-oriented ads.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the company says federal law and the First Amendment bar attempts to shut down or censor the website. The company says it takes efforts to prevent illegal activity with warnings and filters that block and remove improper ads.

BRIDGETON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri test results reveal that stormwater from just outside a landfill complex contains radioactive contaminants.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri Department of Natural Resources found levels of alpha particles that exceeded the threshold allowed for drinking water outside the West Lake Landfill.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says she has more than $5 million to spend on her 2018 re-election campaign.

McCaskill's campaign in a Monday statement announced she raised more than $3 million between April and June.

She's building a war chest ahead of an upcoming fight over her Senate seat. She's among 10 Senate Democrats running in 2018 in states won by President Donald Trump.

So far there's no front-runner Republican candidate to face off against McCaskill. GOP U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner has said she's instead running for re-election.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Protesters in St. Louis have used a news conference setting to express their anger at Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for his decision to allow a law to take effect next month that returns the city's minimum wage back to the state minimum.

The Republican spoke Monday at an outdoor news conference to announce a plan to reduce violent crime in the city he called the most dangerous in the United States. Among other things, the plan calls for a special operations unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to target interstate highways in St. Louis in an effort to find violent criminals.

vote here sign
KBIA file photo

Missouri voters are flooding Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office with calls expressing concerns about his decision to give some voter registration information to a national commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections.

Ashcroft's spokeswoman, Maura Browning says his office received "literally hundreds of calls" about the issue this week.

Jason Rojas / Flickr

A central Missouri sheriff's official is accused of improper sexual contact with a woman he was transporting from a state prison late last year.

Pulaski County sheriff's Cpl. Donald Sapp was charged Wednesday in Morgan County with felony sexual conduct with a prisoner.

Court documents allege Sapp was transporting the woman from a Chillicothe prison to Pulaski County when he touched her inappropriately, took nude photographs with his cellphone and made her perform sex acts.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

A spokesman for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he's expanding his call for lawmakers to pass new abortion restrictions and wants to ensure they hold up in court.

The Republican governor filed a proclamation Wednesday citing additional provisions he didn't explicitly include in his order calling lawmakers back to work last month to address abortion issues.

Illinois broke its long-running budget stalemate Thursday when the House followed in the Senate's footsteps by voting 74-37 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto. Both Democrats and Republicans backed the measure.

Without a budget for two years, Illinois racked up billions in unpaid bills and had to significantly cut funding to social services and education. The $36 billion spending plan for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, retroactive to Saturday, is paired with a $5 billion increase in income taxes. 

Roebot / Flickr

A Missouri-based nursing home operator has agreed to pay $8.3 million to settle claims that it and its affiliates provided unnecessary therapy to residents and billed Medicare.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the deal announced Wednesday resolves claims involving questioned therapy by Reliant Care Group of the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights from January 2008 to April 2014.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri residents are questioning U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill during town halls.

More than 100 people peppered the Democrat with questions during an evening town hall Wednesday in Ashland, Missouri.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri revenue growth appears to have reached the threshold to trigger income tax cuts.

Data released Wednesday by the state budget director show net general revenues hit more than $9 billion during the fiscal year that ended Saturday. That's a 2.6 percent increase compared to the year before.

Revenues appear to have grown enough in recent years to trigger gradual income tax cuts passed by lawmakers in 2014. Missouri Office of Administration spokeswoman Ryan Burns said whether the cuts will take effect is currently under review.

thisisbossi / Flickr

Crews at Kansas City International Airport have restored water service to one of its terminals, a day after a water main break prompted travelers to rely on shuttles to go to another terminal to use restrooms.

Officials say the 12-inch pipe failed Tuesday afternoon, forcing crews to shut off water to the airport's Terminal B. Portable toilets were brought in. Water service was restored shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Airlines that use Terminal B include Southwest Airlines, Delta and Alaska. Flights were unaffected by the water disruption.

 

Null Value / Flickr

A former south central Missouri sheriff's deputy accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in 2011 will be tried in suburban St. Louis' St. Charles County. 

gavel
Flickr / steakpinball

A parent has sued the Blue Springs School District alleging an unchecked culture of bullying contributed to the suicides of one student and the subsequent suicide of that student's best friend.

The Kansas City Star reported the lawsuit filed last week says the two teenage boys were bullied, harassed and discriminated at one of the middle schools and a high school. The lawsuit filed by Rebecca Lewis accuses the school district of violating anti-bullying laws by downplaying complaints.

Lincoln University / flickr

  Lincoln University in Jefferson City is struggling to respond to a budget gap created by cuts in state and federal appropriations and a history of being mostly forgotten by government officials.

The university is one of two historically black colleges in Missouri. It says it will lose $3.8 million in state and federal funds for the 2017-2018 academic year. In response, Lincoln is cutting 48 positions and reducing employee pay by 0.5 percent. It's also increasing tuition by 2 percent.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Top Republican recruit U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri says she's not running for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat in 2018.

Wagner said in a statement Monday that she's instead running for re-election to her suburban St. Louis House seat.

Wagner's announcement creates a vacuum for Republicans hoping to win the U.S. Senate seat. McCaskill is among 10 Senate Democrats running in 2018 in states won by President Donald Trump.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed legislation to make it tougher to prove workplace and housing discrimination in court.

Greitens signed the measure late Friday.

The legislation has been blasted by Democrats and groups such as the state NAACP. The Missouri NAACP last week cited the measure in issuing an advisory telling travelers to be careful while in the state because of a danger that civil rights won't be respected.

Zoe Moffett, Colorado College

A project involving scientists from Missouri is designed to help bumblebees by tracking their buzzing and activity.

The Columbia Missourian reports scientists developed an acoustic listening system to monitor bee activity in a specific area. The goal is to analyze bee activity for several years and give warnings if bee populations are declining.

KBIA

A major financial ratings agency has downgraded the University of Missouri system's credit outlook from stable to negative, citing enrollment declines on the flagship campus in Columbia and declining state revenue.

Moody's Investor Services on Thursday also affirmed the university's Aa1 credit rating, the second highest rating possible. Moody's said the university's revenue and overall financial health give it the flexibility to deal with year-to-year financial challenges.

gavel
Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer is the state's next chief justice.

Fischer's term begins Saturday and ends in 2019. In Missouri, Supreme Court judges take turns serving as the chief justice. The chief justice acts as the administrative leader of the state's judicial system.

Former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Fischer to the high court in 2008. Voters in 2010 chose to keep him on the court for a 12-year term that expires in 2022. Before that he was elected as an associate circuit judge in Atchison County in 2006.

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