The University of Missouri has started a research center on disaster and terrorism in hopes of boosting training for mental health workers.
Assistant communications professor J. Brian Houston recently received a $2.4 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He wants to study the long-term emotional turmoil faced by disaster and terror victims.
The center will employ a university social worker to train school teachers and counselors in Joplin, Kansas City, St. Louis and New Orleans in crisis intervention.
State lawmakers are considering several proposals to improve infrastructure that could hit Missourians' wallets.
One proposal could require residents to pay a higher sales tax in order to pay for transportation projects, and another would let electric utilities seek a surcharge to recoup costs from infrastructure projects.
A third measure would call for issuing several hundred million dollars in bonds to fund improvements on college campuses and state facilities. Taxes that Missourians pay could go to paying off the bonds.
People fired for sleeping on the job and missing work could have a harder time getting unemployment benefits under a bill endorsed by the Missouri Senate.
The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure expanding the definition of "misconduct" in the workplace. The change would make it harder for people to qualify for unemployment insurance after they are fired.
Supporters say the bill will protect businesses from liability and give them more freedom to fire employees who misbehave at work.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said he plans to launch a state website to gather tips about wasteful spending in Missouri government.
Kinder, a Republican, said the website should be running soon. He detailed plans for it while asking a legislative committee on Wednesday to increase his office budget by about $38,500, to get it back to its level in 2009.
Kinder said if the website and his staff don't identify enough wasteful spending to offset the appropriation, he'll return the additional money.
More Missouri students are training for future careers while still in high school.
Sixty-three percent of the state's high school students participated in at least one career or technical education program in the 2011-2012 school year. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says that's a 3 percent increase from the previous year.
The state of Missouri is holding a series of free financial aid workshops for prospective college students.
The events are known as "FAFSA Frenzy." The acronym stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a rite of passage for most college-bound students this time of year as the priority deadline for federal aid approaches.
Workshops are scheduled across the state on Saturday and Sunday, with a handful planned for later in February and early March.
Though just in business since 2006, a small doughnut shop in northeast Missouri has already topped the 1 million sold mark.
The Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig reports that Daybreak Donuts and Diner in Louisiana, Mo., recently reached the milestone. Owner Shaun Ross knows because he keeps detailed records on how many doughnuts he cuts each day on a coffee-stained spiral notebook.
A St. Louis senator is making a fourth attempt at raising fines for seat belt violations.
Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny wants to increase the fine from $10 to $50 for people caught not wearing seat belts in vehicles. His bill was to be heard Wednesday by a Senate committee, marking the fourth consecutive year that he has presented it.
The percentage of people using seat belts in Missouri lags behind the national average. Keaveny hopes a higher fine would encourage more people to buckle up.
The Missouri House is expected to consider a requirement for voters to show photo identification at the polls. State lawmakers have debated the concept previously, but this is the first time Republicans have held a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate. In the past, discussion generally fell along party lines with Republicans favoring the idea and Democrats opposing it.
A 33-year-old Sedalia man charged with killing a fellow VA hospital patient in Columbia now faces Pettis County assault charges.
The Columbia Missourian reports that Rudy Perez Jr. is charged with five misdemeanor assaults as well as resisting arrest in connection with several Sedalia incidents in the days before the Feb. 1 beating death of 78-year-old Robert Hill of Warsaw at Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital.
Perez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. His lawyer says Perez is mentally ill.