Associated Press

Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

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The U.S. Department of Justice says Missouri counties are now eligible to receive federal funds for prescription drug monitoring programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

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A Missouri House panel has voted to advance a right-to-work bill to bar mandatory union fees.

House Economic Development Committee members voted 8-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

Gov. Eric Greitens announced at a Jefferson City steel manufacturing business Wednesday that he picked Drew Erdmann from McKinsey and Company for the job.

Greitens created the COO position through executive order. He didn't take questions from reporters.

Erdmann previously worked as the National Security Council's director for Iran, Iraq and strategic planning in 2005 under former Republican President George W. Bush.

images_of_money / flickr


Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to overhaul the state's Medicaid system without waiting for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress to act first.

A Senate committee heard testimony today on a bill that would direct the state Department of Social Services to seek a "global waiver" from federal Medicaid requirements to remake the state's program.

Lea Aharonovitch / flickr

Missouri lawmakers have defeated an effort to ban smoking in state Capitol offices.

Smoking already is prohibited in Capitol hallways and legislative chambers. On Tuesday, a House rules committee heard testimony from several high school students and the Jefferson City Council urging legislators to ban smoking everywhere in the Capitol, including in offices.

But the panel's Republican majority struck down a proposed amendment to the House rules on a 9-4 party-line vote.

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Bagnell Dam and Osage Energy Center at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks will get a $52 million upgrade starting this spring.

Ameren Missouri said Tuesday that new anchors and concrete will be installed on the downstream side of the dam that provides power to 42,000 homes.

Ameren officials say the last major structural update at Bagnell Dam was completed more than 30 years ago.

The new project is expected to take about 18 months. Ameren says the new anchors will help hold the dam to underlying bedrock, and more than 66 million pounds of new concrete will be added.

Missouri National Guard / flickr

Missouri's new Gov. Eric Greitens is putting a temporary freeze on new government regulations.

Greitens on Tuesday signed an executive order banning state agencies from creating new regulations through the end of February.

He said in a video announcement first released on Facebook that burdensome regulations hurt businesses.

St. Louis Arch
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An effort to target crime and improve life in 15 St. Louis neighborhoods is off to a slow start.

In December 2015 Mayor Francis Slay released a detailed plan to target 12 north St. Louis and three south side neighborhoods. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that halfway through the two-year plan, some aldermen are concerned about what they see as only limited progress.

The University of Missouri plans to be more aggressive in its approach to ticket sales after finalizing a contract with a sales solution company.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the university finalized Friday the contract with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, which will have a 13-person team serving as the school's outbound ticket sales unit.

The team will work on campus calling potential season-ticket buyers, and complement the university's ticket operations staff.

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Missouri State University has agreed to pay $25,000 to a former student who sued after he was removed from a counseling program because he wouldn't counsel gay couples.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the settlement with Andrew Cash was final last month. The newspaper reported the details after submitting an open records request.

Cash sued the university in April, saying he was removed from the university's master's counseling program in 2014 after he said his religious beliefs prevented him from counseling gay couples.

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Gov. Eric Greitens' inaugural festivities are being funded by some of the state's most prominent businesses.

Greitens has not revealed a cost for Monday's privately funded celebrations, but he has released a list of "benefactors" that have helped finance the events.

That list includes such businesses as Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Enterprise, Express Scripts, General Motors, Monsanto and Wal-Mart.

Also on the list is the ride-share firm Uber, which is providing free rides to people in the Jefferson City area during the inaugural festivities.

David Shane / Flickr

Former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves is the new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.

The Missouri Republican State Committee elected Graves on Saturday as the party's new statewide chief. Graves has served as western Missouri's top federal prosecutor and lately has been an attorney with the Kansas City, Missouri, law firm Graves Garrett.

Graves, who was endorsed by Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, succeeds John Hancock, who announced in November said that he will step down to return to political consulting.

A Kansas City group is seeking a required citywide vote before any streetcar expansion can occur.

The Kansas City Star reports that the group filed petition signatures with the city clerk's office Tuesday. The city attorney's office will review the petition.

Election authorities will see if the group meets the threshold of 1,708 valid signatures of registered voters to place a measure on a Kansas City ballot.

Adam Procter / flickr

Federal regulators have renewed the operating license for the University of Missouri's nuclear research reactor.

The university says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a 20-year operating license to the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, known as the MURR.

The reactor is used to create radioisotopes for medical use and to analyze artifacts.

The reactor began operating in 1966. Its infrastructure was updated before the university applyied for the operating license.

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  Missouri's Republican Senate leader is casting doubt on a proposal by Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens on a waiting period before elected officials can lobby.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard told reporters Thursday that he doesn't support Greitens' call for a one-to-one waiting period.

Under that plan, elected officials would need to wait a year for every year served in office before lobbying.

Richard says that would allow a lawmaker to resign after one year, wait a year and then lobby. Richard called that "backwards."

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  Missouri has spent more than $415,000 to buy and install new security equipment at the state Capitol.

Starting Tuesday, visitors will be required to pass through metal detectors at the Capitol. State employees who work in the building will be allowed to use electronic identification cards to enter through locked doors.

David Shane / Flickr

  Ridesharing company Uber will give free rides on Missouri's inauguration day in Jefferson City.

A statement from Uber provided to The Associated Press on Thursday says free rides through the app-based service are available from 7 a.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Incoming Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and four other statewide elected officials will be sworn into office Monday. Celebrations include a Capitol ball.

Rides are free for those going to inaugural events.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are kicking off the 2017 legislative session with flowers and a reading of the Bill of Rights.

Yesterday was the first day of session, which runs through mid-May.

Most House members wore red roses on their lapels, and senators wore orange boutonnieres. Ceremonies included listening to the National Anthem and a reading of the Bill of Rights.

Lawmakers were sworn in, and friends and family packed the chambers.

David Shane / Flickr

After meeting with investors in a proposed St. Louis soccer stadium, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens still opposes spending state money for the project.

Senior adviser Austin Chambers said Greitens met yesterday in Jefferson City with members of the group SC STL.

The group is seeking to build a $200 million soccer stadium downtown in hopes of attracting a Major League Soccer expansion team.

The group wanted $40 million in state tax credits to help fund the project.

j.stephenconn / flickr

A Columbia state lawmaker will be Missouri Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens' deputy chief of staff.

Yesterday, Greitens announced he picked Republican Rep. Caleb Jones for the job. Jones will work alongside Greitens' pick for chief of staff, Michael Roche of Anheuser-Busch.

Greitens has never before held public office and says he'll pick outsiders to lead state government. Jones has served in the House since 2011 and will bring government experience to Greitens' administration.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon set an aggressive agenda to attract jobs after the Great Recession.

An Associated Press analysis shows the Democratic governor promoted business deals projected to cumulatively create about 48,000 jobs in exchange for up to $2 billion of state incentives.

As Nixon prepares to leave office Jan. 9, those businesses have reported hiring a little over 21,000 employees. The state so far has paid about $166 million of incentives to those firms.

j.stephenconn / flickr

Missouri Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens is kicking off a statewide tour in advance of his upcoming inauguration.

Greitens started his tour yesterday at Truman State University in Kirksville. He thanked a crowd of supporters on campus and promised to remember them when he takes office Jan. 9.

He also planned stops in Kansas City and St. Joseph, and visits to cities including Springfield, Joplin and St. Louis later in the week.

The legislative session begins today.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens has named leaders for his public safety team.

Greitens announced Monday that Drew Juden, director of public safety in Sikeston, will be his director of public safety. Greg Favre, command staff officer for the St. Louis Fire Department, will be deputy director.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Greitens made the announcement at Zisser Tire & Auto, a Dellwood business that was looted in 2014 during protests after Michael Brown, who was black, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson.

Mike Parson, R-Bolivar / Missouri State Senate Website

Lt. Gov.-elect Mike Parson says he is recovering after undergoing heart surgery. He says he will be ready to take office on Inauguration Day next week.

Parson released a statement Monday disclosing the surgery. He said the heart problem was discovered during a routine medical checkup.

James Harris, an adviser to Parson's transition team, said doctors discovered some blockage in Parson's heart and he underwent surgery Christmas Eve at a Springfield hospital. Parson declined to say in which hospital he was treated.

Jonathunder / Wikimedia commons

First-time offenders convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana no longer will face jail time, and most adults will be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit under new Missouri laws.

Those laws and several others took effect Sunday.

Shorter prison sentences for some nonviolent drug crimes are part of an overhaul of the state's criminal laws.

USDAgov / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation says a beetle that is fatal to ash trees has spread to southwest Missouri. 

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Republican Governor-elect Eric Greitens will make budget cuts after he takes office.

Greitens' senior adviser Austin Chambers announced plans for budget cuts Thursday but declined to provide further details, including how much spending previously approved by lawmakers the next governor will restrict.

Greitens takes office January 9. He replaces outgoing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, who was barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

CameliaTWU / flickr

A recent report by a Missouri task force says the state's public universities and community colleges should not stray from the types of degrees their institutions can grant unless they have a good reason to do so.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri lawmakers asked the task force, made up of 16 state higher education leaders, to address the issue after a dispute between the University of Missouri System and Missouri State University.

Michael Allen / flickr

One of mid-Missouri's fastest growing tourist attractions is a place where nobody wanted to be prior to its closing in 2004 — the Missouri State Penitentiary.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports that 32,811 people this year visited the old state prison, a haunted-looking place that first opened in 1836. The number of visitors was a 25 percent increase over 2015. And Mayor Carrie Tergin noted that as recently as 2009, just 3,000 people visited the landmark.