Associated Press

KBIA file photo


  Is the death penalty in America gradually dying?

There have been just two executions since May 1. And the total for 2016 probably will hit a 25-year low.

Execution drug shortages, errors in death chambers and legal challenges to sentences imposed by judges have contributed to a dramatic decline in the number of states that are carrying out executions.

Attorney General's Office

  The National Rifle Association is backing Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster for Missouri governor.

The NRA's political action committee on Tuesday announced it endorsed Koster over his Republican opponent Eric Greitens.

Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation plans mandatory inspections of deer killed in 29 counties during the opening weekend of the November firearms season as part of an effort to battle a deadly deer disease.

The department has established a "Chronic Waste Disease Management Zone" in northern and central Missouri for the weekend of Nov. 12-13, the busiest period for deer hunting in Missouri.

It is the state's first-ever mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease, which produces holes in brain tissue and causes the animals to die. There is no cure.

cindyt7070 / Flickr

A recent state audit says Missouri is making in-state and out-of-state students bear more of the costs at public universities and colleges, prompting Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to respond that the state is a national leader in college affordability.

Nixon touted Missouri's lowest-in-the-nation in-state undergraduate tuition increases since 2008. He says including money for scholarships and capital improvements, state spending on higher education went up 3.9 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2015.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

The construction of a wind farm in DeKalb County is on pace to be completed this fall.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Next Era Energy Resources is working on a 97-turbine wind farm that will be able to produce 200 megawatts of electricity. Kansas City Power & Light will purchase the electricity.

Construction on the wind farm began in May. Work is scheduled to be completed at the end of November.

Ladue School District

A suburban St. Louis school district has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that it failed to protect a high school student from "severe, pervasive and persistent" harassment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports that a judge granted a motion last month to dismiss the case against the Ladue School District. The student sued in August 2015, alleging that he was subjected to anti-gay slurs and threatened during the 2014-2015 school year at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court has disbarred a former St. Louis city prosecutor who helped cover up a police detective's beating of a handcuffed man.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the state's high court last month revoked Bliss Barber Worrell's Missouri law license.

Worrell was sentenced in July to 18 months of probation and 140 hours of community service. She pleaded guilty in October of last year to misprision of a felony, or helping conceal a crime.

Missouri State Highway Patrol

A Missouri judge has fined the state Highway Patrol $5,000 after finding that it violated open records law in responding to requests from the family of an Iowa man who drowned while in custody.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued the order Wednesday. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Beetem ruled that the state's delays in turning over documents to Brandon Ellingson's family amounted to a "purposeful violation" of law. The fine is the maximum allowed.

Republican candidate for Missouri governor Eric Greitens has outraised Democratic opponent Attorney General Chris Koster in recent weeks, but Koster still has more cash to spend.

Reports provided to The Associated Press on Thursday in advance of campaign finance filings show former Navy SEAL officer Greitens raised about $4.6 million from July 21 through Aug. 27.

Koster's campaign says he raised about $3 million.

But Koster has nearly three times the amount of cash as Greitens, with close to $9.5 million compared with Greitens' $3.2 million.

A Missouri circuit judge has ruled that an electric car maker cannot sell its vehicles directly to customers.

Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled Wednesday that the Missouri Revenue Department violated state law by licensing California-based Tesla Motors as a franchise.

That designation gave company the ability to sell cars to customers instead of working through a dealership. The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association in response sued the Revenue Department, saying it gave Tesla special privileges.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Figures from a survey of supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states have risen slightly but still suggest slow or no economic growth ahead.

A report issued Thursday says the Mid-American Business Conditions index inched up to 47.8 in August from 47.6 in July.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says he expects the regional economy to underperform the national economy because of the region's heavy dependence on manufacturers linked to the weak sectors of agriculture and energy.

claire mccaskill
studio08denver / flickr

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has confirmed that she'll run for re-election in 2018.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the Missouri Democrat said Tuesday while visiting a National Guard facility at Springfield-Branson National Airport that she'll be "asking for another tour."

A McCaskill spokesman confirmed she intends to seek re-election.

Voters first elected McCaskill to the Senate in 2006. She defeated Republican Rep. Todd Akin to win re-election in 2012. She underwent breast cancer treatment this year, including surgery.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

Two years after Michael Brown's shooting death put a national spotlight on Ferguson police, the suburban St. Louis city is struggling to maintain the number of officers it needs.

The department is facing 13 vacancies. It's down to a staff of 36 compared with 55 in 2014. Some officers have retired, while others who spent months dealing with protests and heavy scrutiny left for different jobs.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

  A Missouri audit says less money from the state has meant students and families are shouldering more costs for public higher education.

Auditor Nicole Galloway released a report Tuesday that found full-time students paid 25 percent more in net tuition and fees in fiscal year 2015 to go to public four-year schools than in fiscal 2009.

Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

  While the University of Missouri is dealing with a sharp drop in enrollment this fall, many other four-year universities in the state reported an increase in the number of students.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri attorney general's office is reviewing a recent state Supreme Court ruling that may impact the criminal charge of felony stealing.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's former Republican U.S. Sen. John Danforth is endorsing GOP candidate Eric Greitens for governor.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland has settled a lawsuit over claims the company was behind a now-imprisoned grain broker's scheme that gouged millions from dozens of Missouri farmers.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A Missouri judge is blocking the state public defender director from appointing Gov. Jay Nixon to a case.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

State lawmakers say they'll hold a hearing to talk about damage caused from the illegal spraying of the dicamba herbicide on crops in southeastern Missouri.


Attorneys for the police force and prosecutor that oversaw the grand jury investigation after Michael Brown's 2014 death in Ferguson have asked a federal judge to consider blocking the release of "grisly" photographs of the black 18-year-old's body to his family's attorneys, worried they could prompt violence if leaked.

Sully Fox / KBIA file photo

Missouri voters will have some additional choices on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Former two-term state Sen. Betty Sims of St. Louis County, a Republican who championed efforts to improve the health of women and children, has died.

Sims' daughter Molly Sims Weber told The Associated Press that Sims died Monday of complications due to pancreatitis. She was 80.

Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University is offering gender-neutral bathrooms at the request of gay rights leaders.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens often recounts how he volunteered in Bosnia helping children separated from their families by a horrific ethnic war.


Defense attorneys in the wrongful-death lawsuit by Michael Brown's parents cite recent rampages that killed police in warning against expanding who can see unredacted grand jury transcripts related to Brown's death.

Timothy Smith / flickr

Preliminary testing shows lead contamination in the water in some St. Louis school buildings.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that tests conducted this summer revealed lead contamination in several buildings. St. Louis Public Schools spokesman Patrick Wallace says drinking fountains and sinks are shut off in several school buildings until pipes and faucets are replaced.

Joe Monin / flickr

Four groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union are asking Walgreens for reassurance that the drugstore's partnership with a Catholic system to run in-store clinics in the St. Louis area won't limit access to birth control.

SSM Health, a St. Louis-based Catholic system, owns 27 clinics in Walgreens stores in Missouri and Illinois. The clinics open later this month.

zensmom1 / Flickr

A judge has denied a motion to set aside a $1.4 million judgment against a developer that Joplin hired to help with tornado recovery work.

Jasper County Circuit Judge David Dally on Thursday denied the motion by Costa Bajjali to set aside the $1.4 million judgment, which was obtained by Joplin and the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. for default by the firm on its city contracts.

  A Missouri lawmaker is resigning to avoid a new waiting period for legislators to become lobbyists.

Hartville Republican Rep. Tony Dugger stepped down Friday. In an interview with The Associated Press, he cited a law set to take effect Aug. 28 that will require lawmakers to wait six months after their terms end before becoming lobbyists.

Dugger said he doesn't have a lobbying job lined up but wants to keep his options open.