Associated Press

Questions are being raised about Gov. Eric Greitens' use of campaign funds to bring his pick to be the state's next school commissioner to the capital city this summer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the issue with using campaign money to pay for Kenneth Zeff's trip is restrictions on how such money may be spent. The Missouri visit was part of an ill-fated effort to replace Margie Vandeven as the state's education commissioner.

Missouri Capitol
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Missouri officials are proposing an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis for a new Amazon location instead of a single headquarters in one of the metropolitan areas.

Missouri is submitting the application on Thursday. Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann says an innovation corridor could also include Columbia, the home of the University of Missouri. Erdmann says the cities could be connected if a high-speed Hyperloop track is built in the state.

A judge has fined a central Missouri prosecutor more than $12,000 for failing to provide records to a man doing research for the marijuana activist group Show-Me Cannabis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the fine stems from records Aaron Malin sought from Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson in 2015 in an effort to show how the drug war is fought in the state.

 

Missouri's unemployment has dropped slightly.

The state's Department of Economic Development data ,released Tuesday, show the unemployment rate dropped slightly from 3.9 percent in August to 3.8 percent in September. Unemployment has held fairly steady in recent months.

Data show the state also lost 10,500 jobs between August and September. Local government faced the biggest hit.

Missouri's U.S. senators are pitching the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas as potential sites for Amazon's second headquarters.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt touted the state's infrastructure, central location and hiking trails as big pluses in a copy of a letter to Amazon provided by McCaskill's office Monday.

McCaskill and Blunt say Missouri has a "rich history of fostering technology companies." They also touted public transportation, professional sports teams and the state's colleges and universities.

Missouri has more time to comply with stricter identification requirements under the Real ID Act.

The Department of Homeland Security is giving Missouri a grace period through Jan. 22, 2018 as it reviews the state's request for another extension. The last extension expired Tuesday.

At issue is a federal law with tougher proof-of-identity requirements needed at airports, some federal facilities and military bases.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia has received a license to begin offering abortions.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced Tuesday the clinic received its license and its first counseling appointments will be scheduled for Monday.

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The University of Missouri System says it is no longer looking for a staff lobbyist to replace employees who were laid off three months ago.

President Mun Choi said in a news release Tuesday that rather than hiring a lobbyist, he will work with campus chancellors and contract lobbyists to promote the university system's legislative priorities.

The release did not explain why the search was canceled.

Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has made it official: He's running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2018.

Hawley, a 37-year-old in his first year of elected office, will release a video Tuesday morning announcing his candidacy. His campaign made the video available to The Associated Press.

Missouri has re-emerged as a potential location for a Hyperloop track despite not earning a spot last month in a top 10 list of possible future routes for the mode of transportation.

The Kansas City Star reports that Hyperloop technology comprises a tubular track through which a train-like pod carrying passengers or cargo travels at high speeds. Hyperloop One is a company working to commercialize Hyperloop transportation.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is asking the Board of Aldermen to spend $1.3 million so her office can appoint a team to handle all police use-of-force investigations.

Gardner told the board's Public Safety Committee on Tuesday that the team would include four prosecutors, five investigators and two support staff.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' deputy chief of staff is leaving to become vice president of an influential electric cooperatives' organization.

On Wednesday, the Association of Electric Cooperatives announced Caleb Jones' departure from the Republican governor's office for a top spot at the organization, which represents 47 electric cooperatives.

Authorities have arrested several people after a group of protesters blocked lanes of traffic on Interstate 64 in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports many demonstrators were taken into custody Tuesday night after they got off the interstate and began marching down another street. The exact number of arrests is unknown.

State Rep. Bruce Franks of St. Louis said on his Twitter page that he was getting "locked up!"

Abortions will be covered by state health insurance and Medicaid under a bill that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Thursday.

“No woman should be forced to make a different decision than another woman would make purely based on income,” the Republican said during a news conference, after which he signed the measure privately.

He is running for re-election in 2018, and the move could prompt Republicans to put up a challenger in the primary.

Tyson Poultry Inc. pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the federal Clean Water Act in 2014 with discharges from its plant in Monett.

Under a plea deal announced Wednesday in federal court in Springfield, Tyson agreed to pay a $2 million fine, serve two years of probation and pay $500,000 to maintain and restore waterways in the Monett area.

The discharge of an animal feed ingredient into Monett wastewater treatment system disrupted the plant's operation and killed more than 100,000 fish in a nearby stream.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another Navy veteran is running for statewide office in Missouri.

The Springfield News-Leader reported Courtland Sykes on Tuesday announced his candidacy for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat. Sykes is touting himself as a Republican outsider.

McCaskill up for re-election in 2018. Other Republican contenders include Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Toyota Motor Corp. says it is investing $374 million at five U.S. plants to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain.

The Japanese automaker announced the upgrades Tuesday at facilities in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Toyota says 2.5-liter engines made in Kentucky and transaxles produced in West Virginia will be used in North American-made hybrid vehicles, such as the Highlander SUV manufactured in Princeton, Indiana.

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About 300 demonstrators gathered outside a Cardinals and Cubs game in St. Louis to protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect.

Old prison
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment.

The Kansas City Star reports Missouri has been ordered to go smoke-free by April 1 because of the lawsuit Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington filed.

Missouri already bans smoking inside prison buildings, but it allowed it in designated areas outside. The evidence at trial showed that inmates are commonly written up for smoking in their cells.

St. Louis police could be wearing body cameras within 60 to 90 days.

After a contentious meeting Wednesday, the St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment voted to begin a free one-year trial while pursuing a longer contract.

The new mayor of St. Louis is calling for the city to be a leader in addressing racial inequity as thousands of people protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black suspect.

But Lyda Krewson, who is white, faces criticism from those who want her to do more and others who want strong support for police or insist racism is not an issue.

Krewson won the Democratic mayoral primary in March after dominating on the city's mostly white south side. Three black candidates split the vote on the predominantly black north side.

Joplin and one of the counties surrounding the southwest Missouri city have joined a prescription drug monitoring program that municipalities across the state have banded together to create.

The Joplin Globe reports that the Joplin City Council voted Monday and the Jasper County Commission on Tuesday to join the effort to fight opioid addiction. The program was created when Missouri was only state without a monitoring program.

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

A third person appointed by Gov. Eric Greitens to the state board of education won't serve on the board.

Two current board members criticized the governor after Springfield resident Heidi Crane's declined to accept the appointment. They say the governor has been incompetent in his efforts to remake the board with his own people in an effort to replace current Education Commission Margie Vandeven.

Protesters gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis to show solidarity with those who remain behind bars, but there was no repeat of the vandalism that occurred over the weekend.

More demonstrations are expected Tuesday, four days after a judge found ex-officer Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Organizers did not give any details about Tuesday's protests.

Smith's mother, Anne Smith, was among those outside the jail on Monday.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House panel will look into an ethics complaint about a colleague who remarked on social media that he hopes whoever vandalized a Confederate monument will be "hung from a tall tree with a long rope."

House Speaker Todd Richardson said Wednesday that he will refer a resolution about Republican Rep. Warren Love to the bipartisan House Ethics Committee, whose proceedings are secret.

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty has said Love should be disciplined for essentially encouraging lynching.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court will rehear a lawsuit stemming from the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Tuesday to hear Dorian Johnson's lawsuit.

Johnson was with Brown when Brown was shot by officer Darren Wilson in 2014. Wilson was not charged and later resigned, but the shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white officer led to months of protests.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri legislative leaders say they want to develop a proposal over the next three weeks to reverse cuts to services for the elderly and disabled.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richardson said Wednesday that they have asked colleagues to develop a plan to undo cuts to in-home and nursing care for about 8,300 people.

A police union that primarily represents black officers in St. Louis is calling for the conviction of a white former officer accused of killing a black suspect.

The Ethical Society of Police said in a statement Tuesday that its board believes evidence in the case against Jason Stockley warrants a conviction. But the organization also says it does not condone violence if Stockley is acquitted.

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has assured black faith leaders in St. Louis that the rights of peaceful protesters will be protected if unrest occurs after a judge rules in a former police officer's murder trial.

But after the meeting Monday at an AME church in St. Louis, the Republican governor stressed that any protest veering into violence will not be tolerated.

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The Missouri Supreme Court is putting a public defender on probation after he admitted to neglecting indigent clients while he dealt with illness and a heavy caseload.

The state's high court on Tuesday put Columbia-based public defender Karl Hinkebein on probation for a year. The court could suspend his license if he doesn't follow his probation.

The case hit on larger concerns that have been raised by the head of the public defender system about underfunding and unmanageable caseloads.

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