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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.

farmland
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.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

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.

culver-stockton college
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.

parking ticket
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.

prison cell
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.

gun
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. 

gavel
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.

roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

Missouri's two U.S. senators have been named to top positions in Republican leadership and legislative committees.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday announced he was re-elected vice chairman of the Senate's GOP caucus.

He said Republicans want to work with GOP President-elect Donald Trump on issues such as Democratic President Barack Obama's federal health care law, regulations and vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court.

forwardstl / flickr

Missouri's employment has reached an all-time high.

The state Department of Economic Development on Wednesday said nonfarm payroll employment grew by 9,300 jobs in October. That's a record high at more than 2.8 million jobs. The state gained close to 51,000 jobs in the past year.

Unemployment also dropped slightly from 5.2 percent to 5.1 percent.

Outgoing Gov. Jay Nixon praised the employment numbers Wednesday. He also touted Boeing Co.'s Tuesday announcement that the company would move 500 jobs to St. Louis County.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

  The man who took the NFL out of St. Louis won't be pursuing a mega-development in the St. Louis suburbs after all.

Officials in Maryland Heights, Missouri, said Wednesday that billionaire real estate developer Stan Kroenke and St. Louis attorney Alan Bornstein have ended plans to develop 1,800 acres near the Missouri River.

Maryland Heights officials blamed the struggling retail economy, saying the developers couldn't find enough stores for the project.

Messages seeking comment from Kroenke and Bornstein were not returned.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

  Missouri Supreme Court judges are weighing arguments over the constitutionality of a law passed in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson that would cap the amount of revenue cities can keep from traffic fines and court fees.

A lawyer for several St. Louis suburbs told judges in the capital courthouse Wednesday that the law unfairly targets those cities.

The law limits most cities to 20 percent of their budgets. St. Louis County municipalities face a 12.5 percent cap.

Adam Procter / flickr

  

  The number of confirmed mumps cases at the University of Missouri is growing amid a national rise in cases.

The university plans to provide an update each Wednesday. As of Nov. 9, the university had recorded 17 cases since the beginning of the fall semester. The school says all the students received the required two doses of a vaccine that protects against mumps, as well as measles and rubella.

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

school buses
Twix / Flickr

Members of the NAACP of St. Louis County plan to meet with Ladue School District leaders after white high school students chanting Donald Trump's name on a school bus suggested that blacks should move to the back of the bus.

NAACP member John Gaskin III on Tuesday called the incident "deeply disturbing." School district spokeswoman Susan Downing says the district not only wants to meet with the NAACP but hopes to begin a broader community discussion about racial diversity.

chelsea manning
torbakhopper / Flickr

A transgender soldier serving 35 years at a Kansas military prison for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks is asking President Barack Obama to commute her sentence to the 6 1/2 years she has already served.

Chelsea Manning says in her application for commutation that she's a "far different person" than she was in 2010, when her name was Bradley Manning and she was struggling to fit in as a male.

parking ticket
Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr

Hundreds of people who were illegally jailed in a St. Louis suburb are eligible to share in a lawsuit settlement, but with the deadline approaching, most of them have not come forward.

Officials with the non-profit law firm ArchCity Defenders and other advocates for minorities and the poor said at a news conference Monday that only about 400 of the roughly 2,000 people eligible have filed a claim in the settlement with Jennings, Missouri. The deadline is Nov. 24.

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