Associated Press

Civic officials are firing back after the Rams' application for relocation to Los Angeles questioned fan support and the economic viability of the St. Louis market.

The Rams' application highlights the potential benefits of owner Stan Kroenke's planned stadium in Inglewood, California. And much to the anger of St. Louis fans and officials, it is critical of the St. Louis region, even questioning if it can support three pro sports teams.

A task force at the University of Missouri is recommending making improvements for graduate students, including higher pay.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the task force's recommendations include raising graduate student stipends and improving their access to housing and childcare. Graduate students have been asking for the changes throughout the school year.

The task force was formed by the university last spring and was charged to look into long-term options. Graduate assistants get a stipend in exchange for their research and teaching for the university.

Missouri House of Representatives

Former Missouri Senator Paul LeVota has transferred more than $100,000 from his campaign committee to a political action committee that lists his wife as treasurer. 

The Missouri National Guard says more than 600 of its troops are returning home after responding to flooding, although a small number will continue helping. 

highway
Dreamstime

After two years of declining numbers, Missouri recorded more than 800 traffic fatalities in 2015.

  A Missouri bill would require lobbyists to report sexual relationships they have with lawmakers or their staff.

The legislation filed this week defines those sexual relations as "gifts," which lobbyists would have to regularly report to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Republican sponsor Rep. Bart Korman says taxpayers should know about those relationships. He says the relationships could lead to influence.

Gov. Jay Nixon says state law needs to change so that Missouri drivers' licenses can come in line with federal requirements.

The federal government has said drivers' licenses from Missouri and several other states will be unacceptable for entry to federal buildings and military bases beginning Sunday.

The 2005 federal Real ID Act set minimum standards for licenses in response to security concerns following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Enforcement of those requirements had been delayed.

Macy's plans to close a store in Columbia that employs 81 people and a call center in Bridgeton that employs 750 people.

The McClatchy Co. has promoted Tony Berg to president and publisher of The Kansas City Star.

The company announced the 38-year-old Berg's appointment on Wednesday.

Berg joined the Star in April 2015 as vice president for advertising after holding a similar job at the Wichita Eagle since 2012. Under his leadership, both newspapers restructured their sales forces, launched new products and services and posted double-digit growth in digital sales.

Faculty members have come out in support of University of Missouri Assistant Professor Melissa Click, who drew criticism for trying to stop a photographer from taking pictures during campus protests in November.

The Kansas City Star reports that the faculty on Tuesday made public a letter of support that had been sent in December to university leadership after more than 100 Republican Missouri lawmakers called for Click's firing earlier this week.

Three new Missouri House members are serving in the Legislature in the session that kicked off Wednesday.

GOP House Speaker Todd Richardson swore in two Democrats and a Republican on the first day of session. They were picked in special elections held because of vacancies.

Democrat Rory Rowland is serving in the suburban Kansas City seat vacated when Republican Rep. Noel Torpey resigned before the start of the 2015 session.

Democrat Daron McGee succeeds former Democratic Rep. Kevin McManus of Kansas City.

Missouri Dept. of Conversation

The reward is growing for information in the death of a bull elk that was found mutilated in southeastern Missouri.

The Conservation Federation of Missouri matched a $1,000 reward offered by Operation Game Thief and then began receiving more donations from businesses and individuals. Federation executive director Brandon Butler says the reward hit the $4,340 mark earlier this week.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says changing ethics laws is a priority during his final legislative session as the state's top executive.

During a Tuesday press conference on the eve of the 2016 session, Nixon said he wants to restore campaign contribution limits and ban lobbyist gifts.

Other changes Nixon recommended included stopping the practice of allowing lawmakers to immediately become lobbyists after leaving office.

This is Nixon's final year as governor. He's barred from seeking re-election because of term limits.

A Missouri State University official at the center of an investigation into discrimination complaints has resigned.

Ken Coopwood, the vice president of diversity and inclusion, said Monday his resignation would be effective April 30.

The resignation comes less than a week after an independent investigation found "no credible evidence" that the university had discriminated against Coopwood, who was its top black official.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers will try in 2016 to tighten ethics laws in response to allegations that former lawmakers acted inappropriately toward interns.

Republican leaders of the state House and Senate say ethics is a priority in the session beginning Wednesday. House Speaker Todd Richardson says the culture of Jefferson City needs improvement.

Just three days after ascending to record levels and forcing hundreds of people from their homes, the Meramec River in suburban St. Louis is already back below flood stage in two hard-hit towns.

The Mississippi River tributary reached 4 feet above the previous record at some spots on Thursday, causing damage to hundreds of homes and precautionary evacuations of hundreds more.

Record-high water levels are disrupting train traffic in Missouri and Illinois.

Union Pacific says two sections of track in Missouri and two in Illinois are out of service because of rising waters. The Missouri stretches span from Jefferson City to St. Louis and from St. Louis to De Soto. The Illinois stretches span from Mount Vernon to Percy and from Springfield to Nelson.

The Jefferson City to St. Louis closure has disrupted an Amtrak route, forcing passengers to be rerouted on buses.

Nearly 10 million fewer people walked through the doors of Missouri's casinos in 2015 than in 2010, but the number of arrests at those facilities has nearly doubled in that time.

Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. John Hotz says the increased arrests can be attributed largely to better training of security and staff. He says the most common arrests at casinos are for stealing, underage patrons trying to gamble, trespassing and outstanding warrants.

Missouri Dept. of Conversation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is investigating a dead bull elk that was found mutilated in southeastern Missouri.

The agency said Wednesday in a statement that the male was one of about 130 animals that are a part of the department's efforts to restore the elk population.

The Conservation Department says the elk appears to have been shot and its skull plate and antlers removed with a chainsaw.

A hiker who saw the animal in an area along the Current River notified conservation agents Tuesday.

MODOT

Authorities have confirmed a 14th Missouri flooding victim.

The latest victim was found Wednesday in Crawford County. The Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O'Connell said the victim died when a vehicle was swept off a roadway.

All but one of the Missouri victims have died when their vehicles drove into flooded roadways, and searches for missing people are also underway in Polk and Vernon counties.

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Missouri Department of Transportation

Thirteen flood-related deaths have now been confirmed in Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon announced the new total yesterday in Perry County, where a record crest along the Mississippi River is predicted.

Nixon said nearly all of those who died in Missouri were in vehicles that drove onto flooded roadways. He urged motorists to stay away from roads with even low levels of water because fast-moving current can push cars and trucks off the roadway.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri a preliminary injunction against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday.

This prevents the Department from revoking the Columbia clinic’s ambulatory surgical center license, which allows abortion services to be offered. 

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic cannot offer abortion services at the moment because their doctor’s privileges at the University of Missouri Hospital were eliminated back at the beginning of December.

Authorities say two people have died after a crash on an ice-covered highway in north-central Missouri.

Warm and wet weather over the last several weeks followed by storms that brought a deluge of rain in recent days have produced a severe threat of flooding along the Mississippi River, where water could reach record high levels soon in some places. The winter flooding is unusual and could portend even worse problems in the spring depending on weather the rest of the season. Here's a look at what is prompting the concern:

Crews are searching for a man who was seen with four international soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood before they drowned in floodwaters.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the state's death toll from days of pounding rainfall has risen to 10, and he expects that number to grow.

Nixon told reporters Monday that the majority of the victims drowned after driving into floodwaters.

Republican lawmakers in Missouri will try again in 2016 to require voters to present photo identification at the polls.

Lawmakers pre-filed measures to change the state constitution and state law to require photo ID for voting.

Senate sponsor Will Kraus says photo ID could prevent fraud by individuals impersonating other voters. Kraus is running as a Republican for Missouri secretary of state in 2016.

Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander says he's not aware of a case of voter impersonation in the state.

A Missouri sheriff says four soldiers from another country who were temporarily stationed at Fort Leonard Wood are among the six people who have died in flooding in the state.

Pulaski County Sheriff Ronald Long said in a statement late Sunday night that a witness saw a car drive into a flooded roadway a day earlier. It was swept downstream. First responders found two men inside the sedan who apparently had drowned, and the bodies of two other men who had been in the car were found Sunday.

MODOT

Missouri's governor has declared a state of emergency because of widespread flooding that has led to at least eight fatalities.

Governor Jay Nixon's office said in a release Sunday that weekend flooding has led to eight deaths, dozens of water rescues and evacuations. More flooding is expected while river levels continue rising around the state.

Several roadways have also been closed because of flooding, including a section of Interstate 70 outside St. Louis.

David Shane / Flickr

  Missouri's governor has declared a state of emergency because of widespread flooding that has led to at least eight fatalities.

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