Associated Press

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  Opponents are suing to stop a new Missouri constitutional amendment to limit political giving.

Missouri Electric Cooperatives and Legends Bank on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against the amendment, which takes effect Thursday.

Voters in November approved capping direct contributions to candidates at $2,600 per election. Donations are limited to $25,000 for political parties.

Attorney Chuck Hatfield said he plans to ask the court to temporarily block the amendment as the court case plays out.

The attorney general's office did not immediately comment.

sheena greitens
Greitens for Missouri

Three teenagers are in custody in the armed robbery of the wife of Missouri Gov.-Elect Eric Greitens, who says it's a good thing police got to them before he did.

Eric and Sheena Greitens spoke at a brief news conference Tuesday. Sheena Greitens was robbed at gunpoint Monday while in her car outside a coffee shop in St. Louis. She was unharmed.

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The University of Missouri chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity will be suspended until at least the fall of 2018 for repeatedly violating fraternity and university policy and state law.

Delta Upsilon International announced the suspension Tuesday, citing incidents at three parties this semester. All operations of the Columbia chapter have stopped indefinitely and members are suspended.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the suspension is not related to a Sept. 27 incident at Delta Upsilon's Columbia house when members of the Legion of Black Collegians reported people shouted racist and sexist slurs at them. The fraternity was temporarily suspended after that report.

File / KBIA

The cost of funding Missouri's state employee pensions will increase nearly $50 million in the next fiscal year as investment losses and lower earnings expectations push taxpayer contributions to the highest share of state payroll in the program's history.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that $28.6 million in general revenue will be needed to cover pensions. That could deepen proposed cuts in other programs and further hurt a state budget suffering from feeble revenue growth and increasing demands from programs with mandatory costs.

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One day after Ferguson residents heard an update on racial reform efforts in their community, a federal judge will get an update of her own.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry is holding a hearing Tuesday to hear about efforts to eliminate racial bias and create more diversity in the St. Louis suburb that came under scrutiny following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014.

Stephen Webber
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The Missouri Democratic Party has elected Stephen Webber as the party's new chair.

Webber, of Columbia, was elected Saturday at the state party elections Saturday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. He replaces Roy Temple, who was elected chair in 2013. Webber, who served in the Missouri House, lost a race this November for state Senate.

Webber said in a prepared statement he's honored to lead the state Democratic Party as it fights for public education and working families.

A fire has gutted a landmark building in northern Missouri.

The Kirksville Daily Express reports that the Kirksville Arts Association building was hit Friday night by a fire that took hours to control and filled the downtown area with smoke. No injuries were immediately reported.

The building houses the Kirksville Arts Association gallery, as well as the association's office space and storage.

Fire Department Battalion Chief David Rigdon said he expected crews to continue working the scene throughout the day Saturday.

Adam Procter / flickr

The University of Missouri is urging student groups to halt some social events as the number of mumps cases continues to rise.

The Student Health Center said Wednesday that there are 128 confirmed and probable cases. The outbreak began in early November with four confirmed cases.

Most of them are linked to students in fraternities and sororities. Besides urging student groups to curtail events, steps to control the outbreak also include canceling a late night breakfast during exam week.

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Driver fatigue is blamed for a FedEx truck crashing into a closed Olive Garden restaurant in Columbia.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the driver was the only person injured. The driver told an investigator he began coughing and blacked out in October while traveling on Interstate 70.

A police crash report say the driver drove over a ditch, through a fence and across a road. The truck then continued for about a quarter-mile before hitting the restaurant and catching fire.

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File / KBIA

A monthly survey of business supply managers shows improvement but still reflects relatively weak economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released Thursday says the overall economic index for the region rose to 46.5 in November from 43.8 in October.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says he expects the overall regional economy will continue to underperform the national economy because of the region's dependence on agriculture and energy.

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Police in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, say they made roughly 140 arrests of protesters who pressed for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

KSHB-TV says Kansas City police confirmed that at least 110 people were arrested Tuesday while they blocked a street. St. Louis police took nearly 30 protesters into custody after they staged a sit-in on a street near a fast-food restaurant.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson had warned that protesters who blocked traffic would be arrested.

A General Motors plant in eastern Missouri is increasing security because of written threats against minorities.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the General Motors plant in Wentzville has beefed up security after threats of violence against minorities were scrawled on bathroom walls at the facility.

A former U.S. Army explosives expert has admitted in federal court that he illegally possessed grenades that authorities say were among a cache of explosives found in his Kansas home.

Forty-two-year-old John Panchalk of Overland Park pleaded guilty Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, to possessing two M-67 fragmentation grenades unregistered to him.

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Culver-Stockton college

Police say someone pointed a gun at a student on the campus of Culver-Stockton College, prompting officials to place the school on lockdown for two hours until a suspect was detained.

Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish says that at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, authorities received a report of the gun incident on campus. Parrish says no shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Immediately after the report, school officials put the campus on lockdown. The lockdown was lifted about two hours later after a suspect was detained.

Pixabay

Striking workers are protesting in Kansas City for a higher minimum wage as part of rallies nationwide.

The Kansas City Star reports that dozens marched around a McDonald's restaurant shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday before heading to a Burger King restaurant.

The rally participants included the Rev. Donna Simon, of St. Mark Hope and Peace. She says that no one can live on $15,000 a year.

The rallies in Kansas City and elsewhere commemorate the day four years ago that the Fight for $15 movement began in New York City when a group of fast-food workers walked off the job.

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Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr

The city of Jennings is making changes to its municipal courts to keep people out of jail for court debts stemming from minor infractions. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city agreed this year to pay $4.7 million in a class-action civil rights lawsuit filed by nonprofit law group ArchCity Defenders.

The city is now sending cases with uncollected court debt to collection agencies, rather than arresting people.

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mikecogh / Flickr

Missouri corrections officials are seeking bids from funeral homes in an effort to reduce the state's cost of burying inmates who die behind bars and have nobody to claim their bodies.

Bid documents request the cheapest wood boxes and least expensive grave liners as the Department of Corrections tries to spend less than the $62,000 it spent to bury unclaimed prisoners in 2015.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports burial arrangements for unclaimed inmates now are left up to local prison officials who work with a local funeral home. The state wants to formalize that process.

Adam Procter / flickr

Officials said at least 73 confirmed and probable cases of mumps have been reported at the University of Missouri.

The Columbia Missourian reports that many of the cases of the viral infection are linked to the school's Greek life community. The outbreak began in early November with four confirmed cases. The executive director of the university's health center said all infected students have been vaccinated, but the vaccine does not prevent 100 percent of infections. 

University of Connecticut

  The new University of Missouri system president plans to tour the state's four campuses.

The Kansas City Star reports that new University of Missouri System President Mun Choi will begin a four-campus tour Tuesday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Choi's scheduled to stop Wednesday at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, the Columbia campus on Thursday, and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Friday.

taylor.a / FLICKR

Missouri's education department is recommending a St. Louis County school district regain provisional accreditation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the State Board of Education could approve the upgrade for Riverview Gardens as early as its next meeting Dec. 2.

The school district has been unaccredited for nine years, allowing students to transfer to better performing schools nearby. That's been costly for Riverview Gardens, which foots the bill for transfer students' tuition.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Former Missouri Republican officials and candidates are helping GOP Gov.-elect Eric Greitens transition to power.

Greitens' primary rival Catherine Hanaway and former U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman are among the most well-known names aiding the future governor.

Greitens will succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in January.

Hanaway is a former state House speaker and U.S. attorney helping direct Greitens' transition. His campaign manager, Austin Chambers, is now his senior adviser.

  A Missouri lawmaker wants ramped-up penalties for those who assault police officers in the wake of what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks.

Republican state Sen. Doug Libla on Wednesday said he's drafting legislation for the session that begins in January.

Missouri law currently allows for increased penalties for so-called special victims, including law enforcement. Libla wants to take that further.

Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens also says he'll push for the "strictest possible punishments" for assaulting police.

Adam Procter / flickr

A former University of Missouri employee who admitted earlier this year that she embezzled more than $781,000 was sentenced to four years in federal prison without parole.

Fifty-five-year-old Carla Rathmann, of Mount Vernon, was sentenced Tuesday for one count each of mail fraud and credit card fraud. She also was ordered to pay $781,670 in restitution.

Rathmann stole the money while working as an administrative officer at the university's Southwest Research Center in Mount Vernon.

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Drab Mayko / FLICKR

Missouri colleges may have to prepare for measures pushing for the concealed carry of guns on campus when the state Legislature convenes in 2017, despite opposition. 

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Flickr / steakpinball

A Missouri state trooper charged in the death of an Iowa man who drowned while in his custody is scheduled for trial this summer. 

U.S. Army

Services were held in northern Missouri this weekend for a soldier killed outside a military base in Jordan earlier this month.

Matthew Lewellen was one of three U.S. Army sergeants from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killed in early November in a shooting outside the base in southern Jordan.

Two students with ties to Missouri have been named Rhodes scholars to study at the University of Oxford in England.

The Rhodes Trust said in a release Sunday that Kirk P. Smith, from St. Louis, and Olivia A. Klevorn, who is from Chicago, are among the 32 U.S. students awarded the 2017 scholarships.

The state of Missouri will pay $9 million to the family of an Iowa man who drowned while he was in custody of a state trooper.

The settlement announced Thursday ends a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Brandon Ellingson after he died in May 2014 on the Lake of the Ozarks. Ellingson, an Arizona State University student from suburban Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. While in a boat with Trooper Anthony Piercy, Ellingson fell into the water while wearing handcuffs and an improperly secured life vest.

Adam Procter / flickr

  A mumps outbreak at the University of Missouri continues to grow with 31 confirmed cases.

The university also said Wednesday that there are another 27 probable cases of people who have been in close contact with someone with confirmed mumps and have shown symptoms for at least two days. The university says it's working with health officials to control the outbreak.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling in the salivary glands and cheeks. Anyone with symptoms is asked to stay at home.

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  Officials with the Ladue School District and the St. Louis County chapter of the NAACP will meet Friday to discuss recent racial incidents at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

NAACP board member John Gaskin III told KMOV-TV that the district needs to find a way to get past the incidents.

More than 100 students walked out Wednesday in protest.

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