Associated Press

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Information from the attorney general's office shows that Missouri has paid more than $52 million over the last five years to settle lawsuits against various state agencies.

The Kansas City Star reports the House budget committee received the list of settlements just before a public hearing on a bill that would require the attorney general to submit a monthly report to the Legislature detailing all activity regarding the state legal expense fund.

The fund is used to settle lawsuits against the state.

Kit Bond Speaking
File Photo / KBIA

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri is selling the home that was his primary base during his long political career.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican has granted few interviews during his first six weeks in office.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Greitens' approach of using social media sites to appeal directly to voters isn't that unusual, but he hasn't given reporters many chances to ask him questions.

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Applications for concealed carry permits in Missouri are dropping after passage last year of a law making them unnecessary in many places.

Highway Patrol data on fingerprints processed for concealed carry permits show submissions hit a low of fewer than 1,600 in December.

That's the fewest processed in the three years of available data. Patrol records only date back to January 2014.

Lawmakers and law enforcement officials say the drop was expected because of the new law.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The national "Day Without Immigrants" includes actions in both of Missouri's metropolitan areas.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cherokee Street, the hub of traditional Mexican cuisine in St. Louis, was mostly quiet at lunch hour Thursday after several restaurants closed in solidarity.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star reports that 400 to 500 protesters gathered near City Hall, many holding banners and signs such as "Somos America," which translates to "We're America."

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Democratic lawmaker is proposing a bill to make donations for gubernatorial inaugurations public records.

Liberty Rep. Mark Ellebracht in a Thursday statement criticized Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' decision to keep secret the cost of his privately funded January celebration.

Greitens did release a list of "benefactors," including Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Express Scripts, General Motors, Monsanto and Wal-Mart.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden declined to comment.

prison cell
mikecogh / Flickr

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers are questioning checks and balances in Missouri prisons following reports of employee harassment and costly settlements.

Potosi Republican Rep. Paul Fitzwater said the Corrections Department has been policing itself.  

The agency fell under scrutiny after the Kansas City alternative weekly The Pitch reported on harassment and discrimination claims by prison employees. Some say they were retaliated against.

The paper reported the state's paid more than $7.5 million in related settlements and judgments from 2012 to 2016.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley says he's appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling over a California law that prohibits the sale of eggs from chickens that are not raised in accordance with strict space requirements.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November said Missouri and five other states failed to show how the law would affect them and not just individual egg farmers.

MU Board of Curators
KBIA

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is appointing three people to the University of Missouri System governing board.

Greitens announced today that he picked former University of Missouri linebacker Darryl Chatman, a Democrat from Foristell. He's an attorney and the former deputy director of the Missouri's Agriculture Department.

The governor also appointed his former campaign finance chairman, Jeffrey Layman. Layman is a Springfield Republican and senior vice president with Morgan Stanley. He donated about $10,000 to Greitens' campaign for governor.

David Shane / Flickr

  Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a Tennessee official to lead the state agency that monitors financial industries and businesses to protect consumers and encourage job growth.

The governor announced Tuesday that Chlora Lindley-Myers is his choice to run the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.

Lindley-Myers currently is deputy commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

IBM says it will hire 100 new employees in Columbia in an effort to qualify for state tax breaks that were suspended last summer.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports when IBM arrived in Columbia in 2010, it promised to bring 800 jobs, which would have meant up to $28 million in state incentives. It had 453 employees at its innovation center in 2015 but reported only 287 employees last year, prompting the state to suspend job training tax credits until IBM met the minimum goal of 300 employees.

David Shane / Flickr

A Missouri Senate committee is considering a bill aimed at protecting minors in prostitution cases.

The Columbia Missourian reports the bill discussed Monday would prevent minors from being charged or prosecuted for prostitution. It also would increase jail time for engaging in prostitution with minors.

The bill's sponsor is Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

In-home care providers say that proposed cuts to a Missouri Medicaid program providing in-home care to the elderly and people with disabilities will end up shifting costs to hospital visits.

Gov. Eric Greitens last week proposed cutting $52 million from state revenue to a home and community based services program. The service provides an in-home care provider to help people with cooking, cleaning, bathing and organizing medicine.

The cuts would require people to show a greater level of need to qualify for in-home and nursing home care.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' pick for health department director has been embroiled in controversy over well water safety in his home state.

Greitens announced Thursday he's tapped North Carolina's former public health director Dr. Randall Williams for the job in Missouri.

Veteran North Carolina toxicologist Ken Rudo has accused Williams of acting unethically by saying well water near Duke Energy's coal ash pits is safe.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. 

Lawmakers are questioning a newly revised policy allowing visitors to bring firearms into the Missouri Capitol.

Gov. Eric Greitens' administration lifted a month-old prohibition Monday on allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to carry their guns into the statehouse, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Two days later, members of a Senate panel recommended looking at potentially changing the rules that govern what happens with firearms inside the Capitol.

dbking / Flickr

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A threat that caused an American Airlines flight to be diverted to St. Louis has been deemed not credible by law enforcement, though the incident prompted an FBI investigation and use of bomb-sniffing dogs.

Flight 534 left Columbus, Ohio, and was heading for Phoenix when it landed at Lambert Airport at 8:14 a.m. Thursday. The FBI says the pilot decided to divert the plane, but spokeswoman Rebecca Wu declined to say what specifically led to that decision.

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed two new heads of the state's emergency management and fire safety divisions.

Greitens appointed Ernie Rhodes to be the director of the State Emergency Management Agency and Tim Bean as the state Fire Marshal in an announcement Wednesday at the St. Louis Fire Academy.

Rhodes currently serves as the fire chief for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District. He previously served as the director of Emergency Management in St. Charles, Missouri.

KBIA

  The University of Missouri is planning a mass immunization clinic next week as it works to control a mumps outbreak that has grown to more than 320 confirmed and probable cases.

Spokesman Christian Basi says the hope is that 2,000 students will receive a free booster shot during the Feb. 15 to Feb. 17 clinic. The state health agency is picking up the tab.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed after a firefighter died in a walkway collapse at a University of Missouri-run apartment complex.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports a judge will consider whether to approve the settlement Tuesday during a hearing in Boone County Circuit Court. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the widow and a daughter of Lt. Bruce Britt, who died in February 2014 while evacuating residents from the apartment complex.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says his budget plan won't take a "single penny" out of K-12 classrooms.

But school administrators from across the state say a 34 percent reduction in busing aid might keep districts across the state from hiring new staff or buying new textbooks and technology.

This year, the state covered just 16 percent of transportation costs. Next year it could cover even less if the budget proposal gets House and Senate approval.

Mizzou Columns
David Chicopham / Flickr

Co-directors will be assistant history professor C. Harrison Kim and assistant political science professor Sheena Greitens, who is Gov. Eric Greitens' wife.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the institute will foster research on South and North Korea. Kim says the university has a long history of academic research on Korea but faculty members hadn't come together to establish an institute.

Two Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation that would remove former Gov. Jay Nixon's name from a new park in southeast Missouri.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the Missouri Department of Natural Resources revealed the park in early January and named it the Jay Nixon State Park, just as the former Democratic governor was finishing his final term in office.

University of Missouri School of Medicine

Gov. Eric Greitens' current budget proposal for the state's 2018 fiscal year won't fund the new expansions for the University of Missouri Medical School.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the information comes on the heels of the governor's January announcement to withhold $4 million of the MU Cooperative Medicine Program's $10 million appropriation for the current fiscal year.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Opponents of Missouri's new right-to-work law are trying to put it to a public vote.

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis filed a referendum petition to do so with the secretary of state Monday, the same day Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed the ban on mandatory union fees.

If Louis' petition makes it to the ballot, voters would decide whether to remain a right-to-work state or dump the new law.

The petition first needs to be approved by Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, then backers can start gathering signatures to try to get it on the ballot.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is about to make Missouri the 28th state to ban mandatory union fees

Greitens plans to sign the right-to-work bill into law Monday then travel around the state announcing his support for the measure.

The governor had pledged to sign right to work while on the campaign trail. He and other supporters say it will bring business and jobs to the state. Opponents say it aims to weaken unions and could lead to lower wages.

KBIA

  The University of Missouri Board of Curators has several vacancies after Gov. Eric Greitens withdrew the nomination of two of former Gov. Jay Nixon's appointees.

Greitens on Tuesday withdrew the nominations of Patrick Graham and Jon Sunvold. Last month, two other Nixon appointees, Tom Voss and Mary Nelson, resigned.

The board, which usually has nine members, currently has six curators because two are serving even though their terms have expired.

The director of the Missouri State Parks division says he's been removed from the job without explanation.

Bill Bryan told The Springfield News-Leader he was told Jan. 23 that his services were no longer needed. He says no explanation was given and he didn't ask for one.

Bryan was appointed by former Gov. Jay Nixon in 2009 to head the state parks department. During his tenure, the park system added seven new parks.

The News-Leader said spokesmen for Gov. Eric Greitens and the Department of Natural Resources declined to discuss Bryan's ouster.

Mumps have been reported at another Missouri university.

The Missouri University of Science and Technology said in a news release Wednesday that a single student has contracted the illness. Students at the Rolla school are urged to contact health officials if they believe they may be infected. Health officials are monitoring reports to determine whether further measures are needed.

File / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed a bill that could overturn a Missouri Supreme Court decision pertaining to breath-test evidence in drunken driving cases.

The bill allows courts to use breath-test evidence gathered from December 30, 2012, to April 4, 2014, in driving-while-intoxicated cases. The House passed the legislation Wednesday by a 127-37 vote. It now goes to the Senate.

The legislation effectively overturns a 2016 ruling throwing out breath tests from machines that weren't calibrated in compliance with the state law in effect at that time.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is laying out his plans for the state budget amid financial strain and lagging revenue.

Greitens is to announce his proposed budget Thursday at a Nixa public school. He broke from tradition by not outlining his budget during his January State of the State address.

Greitens' budget proposal will come during what's shaping up to be a challenging time for state finances. Revenues so far this fiscal year have been lower than expected, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been cut to balance this year's budget.

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