The Associated Press

Wikimedia Commons / Loavesofbread

FERGUSON - Ferguson's city manager says failure of a property tax increase should have no "major effects" on the city's agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice or efforts to adopt community policing in the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was fatally shot by an officer.

Ferguson voters on Tuesday approved a sales tax increase but rejected a property tax hike proposal.

Thomas Rome / Flickr

COLUMBIA - A Spike Lee documentary about the University of Missouri protests and its football team's threatened boycott is making premiering at a theater near the campus.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that a one-hour version of the documentary, titled "2 Fists Up," will be shown Wednesday night at the Missouri Theatre. Lee worked with ESPN to make the documentary.

North Carolina will look for its sixth NCAA championship when the Tar Heels meet the Villanova Wildcats, trying for their second, on Monday night.

The Tar Heels (33-6) last won it all in 2009 and Villanova's only title came in 1985.

Both teams advanced to the championship game with lopsided wins, but Villanova's was far more of a blowout than North Carolina's.

Karen Blaha / Flickr

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri says two residence halls already scheduled for demolition will not be used this fall because of declining enrollment.

University spokesman Christian Basi says closing Laws Hall and Lathrop Hall will save the university about $200,000 a year in utility costs. The halls, part of the Dobbs Group constructed in 1959, each have 340 beds.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Laws was scheduled to close for demolition in January 2017. Basi says closing the halls this fall could move up construction and demolition work.

Senator McCaskill / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill wants a hearing and Sen. Roy Blunt says he won't vote for President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Jesse Hall and the Mizzou columns
Darren Hellwege / KBIA

    

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri approves of a proposed outside review of the system's operations and rules.

Vice President for University Relations Steve Knorr said the university supported the proposal at a Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee hearing Tuesday.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers in both chambers say passing statewide regulations for app-based car services will lead to thousands of new jobs.

Uber's general manager for Missouri Sagar Shah said Wednesday that regulations making their way through the Legislature would allow the company to expand to Springfield, Jefferson City, St. Charles and St. Joseph. The company currently operates in Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia.

File Photo / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - The House has endorsed a bill creating a grant program to attract more conventions to Missouri.

Lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure authorizing grants for large conventions that could cover up to half the operating expenses. Eligible conventions would have to draw at least half their attendees from out of state, and their grants would be tied to how many hotel rooms their attendees are expected to fill.

The fund would be capped at $3 million annually.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers have trimmed about $7.3 million from Missouri's mid-year budget increase of nearly $500 million.

A House panel approved the reductions Wednesday along with limits on Governor Jay Nixon's travel expenses and less flexibility in how some health care funds are spent. Proposals for soil erosion projects and a grant program for ethanol-blended fuel pumps were also reduced.

Bernard Pollack / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon says a proposed constitutional amendment granting religious exemptions to some business owners opposed to gay marriage could be "harmful to our economy."

The Democratic governor also said Wednesday that the measure would "condone discrimination" and urged the House to oppose it.

Matthew Straubmuller / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is heading to Panama for a trade mission.

Nixon arrived in Panama City today in an effort to boost exports and attract investments in Missouri.

Nixon's entourage includes First Lady Georganne Nixon and the state's economic development and agriculture department directors. Nixon will meet with the Panamanian president and the country's trade and investment agency.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS.com / KBIA

COLUMBIA - Father Tolton Catholic high school in Columbia will no longer purchase its school uniforms from Lands' End after the company featured feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem in its spring catalog.

David Shane / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - A state senator running for attorney general wants Missouri to expand its "stand your ground" laws to make it easier for people to use deadly force in self-defense.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer told a senate panel Wednesday that people should be able to do whatever it takes to defend themselves without worrying about a lawsuit afterward.

Will / Flickr

SPRINGFIELD - A Missouri man has been charged with advertising on Craigslist for the identities of children he could claim as dependents on his taxes.

The U.S. attorney's office says 37-year-old Raheem McClain, of Ozark, was charged in a three-count indictment that was unsealed Tuesday. The indictment alleges that he was behind a January 2015 Craigslist posting that said: "If you have some kids you aren't claiming, I will pay you $750 each to claim them on my income tax."

j.stephenconn / flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers have passed a spending plan that includes about $69 million more for K-12 schools and nearly $10 million more in performance funding for higher education.

The House Budget Committee on Wednesday passed a package of bills outlining state spending. The measures cover the fiscal year that begins July 1.

KOMU News / Flickr

Advocates are lobbying in Jefferson City for Missouri Medicaid to expand access for young adults suffering with mental illness.

David Shane / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court is considering a claim that state senators violated the Sunshine Law by barring some people from taking videos at committee meetings.

The court heard arguments Wednesday in a case brought by Progress Missouri. The liberal group was denied permission to record videos in four Senate committee hearings last February and March.

Its lawsuit claims the Senate violated the open-meeting requirements of the state Sunshine Law.

Mika Jarvinen / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers are considering whether to allow concealed weapons on public transit.

Republican Sen. Bob Onder told a Senate panel Wednesday that his proposal is about safety. He said public transit can be dangerous, and allowing people to carry concealed guns on buses and trains would deter crime.

Karen Blaha / Flickr

  

KANSAS CITY - The committee that'll help search for a new president of the University of Missouri system will include representatives from each of the system's four campuses.

The system's governing board of curators signed off on Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, on the panel that will assist them in finding the successor to Tim Wolfe.

Wolfe and the Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin of the Columbia campus resigned November 9 in the midst of protests over what some saw as university leadership's indifference to racial issues.

Brandon Bartoszek / Flickr

 

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill changing how medical expenses are handled in court cases.

The Senate's endorsement Wednesday came after Democrats staged an all-night filibuster that dragged out a debate that began Tuesday.

The bill would require the actual costs — not the value of medical treatment for plaintiffs — to be considered as evidence in civil lawsuits.

20After4 / Flickr

SPRINGFIELD - An informal inquiry triggered by a complaint against the highest-ranking Hispanic official at Missouri State University is over.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the student who complained about Juan Meraz decided this week not to seek a formal investigation.

Missouri DIFP / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - A lawmaker from the St. Louis area has abruptly resigned from the Missouri House, citing rumors about "some personal issues" as he became the third state lawmaker to quit under pressure within the past year.

Republican Rep. Don Gosen of Chesterfield submitted his resignation Wednesday. Gosen told The Associated Press there were rumors he needed to address.

House Speaker Todd Richardson released a statement saying he'd asked Gosen to resign Tuesday night after he was "made aware of the situation." Richardson's statement didn't elaborate.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Michael Brown's family is urging Missouri lawmakers to overcome politics and pass a law requiring police to wear body cameras.

Brown's mother told a Senate panel Wednesday that body cameras are only one piece of police reform, but would help restore trust. A body cameras proposal failed last year.

The bill would require police in Missouri's largest cities to record all official interactions. Departments would store the footage for two years, and the public would have access to it as they do incident reports.

Mike Tigas / Flickr

The Justice Department has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, one day after the city council voted to revise an agreement aimed at improving how police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb.

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers are taking action to block a health department rule that would increase wages for home care attendants.

The House voted Wednesday on a measure blocking the wage hike after a similar vote by the Senate. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Lawmakers want to stop a proposed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services rule that would raise the pay for home care attendants from the $7.65 an hour to a range between $8.50 and $10.15.

The workers care for aging Missourians and others who can't care for themselves.

Danielle Kellog / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate panel is considering four bills that would change Missouri's laws on texting while driving, seatbelts and motorcycle helmets.

One bill reviewed in a hearing Wednesday would require everyone in a car to wear a seatbelt, including adults in the backseat who are currently exempt from seatbelt requirements.

Two other proposals would ban texting while driving, which currently is forbidden for commercial drivers and people younger than 22.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

A 34-year-old eastern Missouri man is jailed for allegedly attacking three deputies.

Shaun White of Lincoln County is charged with three counts of assault on law enforcement, along with a drug count and other charges. He is jailed on $25,000 cash-only bond.

Authorities were called to a home at 1 a.m. Wednesday. The resident said White tried to kick in his door and attack him with a knife.

Karen Blaha/Flickr

A national association is calling for the reinstatement of suspended University of Missouri assistant professor Melissa Click, who was involved in a run-in with a student journalist during campus protests in November.

Holley St. Germain/Flickr

  

An advocacy group is pushing the Missouri Legislature to reconsider how it awards scholarships for a 30-year-old program designed to keep the brightest college students in the state.

Loavesofbread / Wikimedia Commons

Charges have been dropped against six activists who were arrested during a protest in Ferguson.

The case was dropped just as their trial was about to begin. It was expected to include allegations of police brutality, claims of missing evidence and discussions about the shortcomings of body cameras.

The charges had included property damage, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ferguson prosecutor Stephanie Karr dismissed the charges Thursday without explanation.

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