The Associated Press

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Four Anheuser-Busch heirs say they worry that their brother, Billy Busch, will turn Grant's Farm into a subdivision.

Trudy Busch Valentine and Andy Busch say they have seen housing plat maps already drafted for the animal park.

The animal park is owned by six Busch siblings, and earlier this month, four of the siblings sued to force the sale of most of the farm to the St. Louis Zoo for $30 million.

Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.

The UAW said late Friday that Ford's contract passed with a 51.4-percent vote. The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants.

President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge's injunction blocking the administration's immigration initiative.

Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.

St. Louis Arch
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The towering, shimmering Gateway Arch that's St. Louis' famously defining feature is about to celebrate a monumental anniversary.

A half-century ago on Wednesday, crews in 1965 installed the final stainless steel section at the apex of the 630-foot-tall tribute to President Thomas Jefferson and the pioneers for whom St. Louis served as a gateway to the West.

KOMU-TV reports that traffic was backed up Monday morning on westbound I-70 after thousands of nails spilled along the highway in Columbia, creating a possible hazard.

Columbia police estimated that about 200 boxes of nails spilled, and each box contained about 2,000 nails. Police were still looking for the truck that spilled the nails.

Officials said the line of backed up traffic extended several miles, but the area was cleared and traffic was moving by mid-morning.

Via the PlanetReuse website

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says a weekend brush fire near a suburban St. Louis landfill makes a pressing case for a federal remedy to the area where a slow-burning underground fire could threaten a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste.

Koster says he's relieved that the Environmental Protection Agency's studies show no immediate public danger from the West Lake Landfill near Bridgeton.

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A pair of earthquakes hit southeast Missouri, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a 3.4-magnitude earthquake, followed 24 minutes later by a 3.2-magnitude aftershock, hit southeast Missouri on Friday afternoon.

The Daily American Republic reports residents in Butler, Ripley and Carter counties reported feeling the quakes.

File Photo / KBIA

Farmers Insurance has agreed to pay Missouri $575,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming its agents violated state telemarketing laws.

Attorney General Chris Koster says it's the largest amount ever paid to the state by a telemarketer for violations of the no-call list.

The company sells home, life and auto insurance.

Koster says his office received more than 275 complaints about Farmers agents in a four-year period. Some complained that they were contacted by agents even after consumers requested that they stop calling.

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A doctor says a virus found in Missouri in 2009 appears to be showing up in other states.

Dr. Scott Folk, director of adult infectious diseases at Heartland Clinic in St. Joseph, says the Heartland virus discovered 2009 was initially thought to be confined to the region.

But he told The St. Joseph News-Press that new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the Heartland Virus may extend through more of the nation than initially thought.

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Police say a Missouri man accused of fatally shooting a Kentucky trooper has been shot and killed after an hours-long manhunt.

Trooper Jay Thomas, a state police spokesman, says 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks was shot by police Monday morning when he refused to drop his weapon. He later died at a hospital.

Authorities say 31-year-old trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was conducting a traffic stop Sunday night when the driver fled. After a chase, the suspect stopped his car abruptly and fired several shots into Ponder's cruiser. He died later at a hospital.

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 A Columbia businessman charged with hiring a man to set a fire will remain in jail on a $5 million cash-only bond.

A Boone County judge Friday ruled bond wouldn't be reduced for 60-year-old Mehrdad Fotoohi Ghiam, charged with first-degree arson. Prosecutors allege he paid a man $500 to set a trailer on fire because it was on land he wanted to expand his electrical engineering business. A woman in the mobile home suffered second-degree burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

When officers tried to arrest him, Fotoohi Ghiam hid in an attic during a nine-hour standoff.

The Missouri Senate voted to confirm two lawyers, Maurice Graham and former Sen. Philip Snowden, to the UM Board of Curators on Thursday, February 5. 2015.

Senator Kurt Schaefer, who represents Columbia and the University of Missouri and is a lawyer himself, said there is only one reason why the board is filled with so many lawyers.

"What raises the red flag there for me is why," said Schaefer. "Why so many lawyers? And I think you have to look at the fact that these are lawyers that also have a relationship with the governor."

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

vote here sign
KBIA file photo

  Missouri voters will decide whether state lottery officials should create a separate ticket to fund veterans' programs.

The Senate voted 27-4 on Thursday to send the proposal to the November general election ballot. It passed the House earlier this year.

Supporters say revenue from sales of the lottery ticket would provide a dedicated funding source for cash-strapped veterans' homes. Opponents question whether the new ticket will siphon revenue from education, which currently is the sole beneficiary of Missouri lottery proceeds.

missouri capitol
File photo / KBIA

  Missouri legislative budget leaders have embraced a financing plan for a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.

The proposal calls for issuing bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board and paying them off over 25 years. The upcoming year's budget would include $14.2 million for payment on bonds. House and Senate negotiators are working today on a final version of next year's state budget.

The financing proposal approved today by the lawmakers follows Governor Jay Nixon's plan for the project.

File Photo / KBIA

  Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that could make it harder for people to collect unemployment benefits after being fired for repeated absences or other alleged misconduct.

The House passed the bill Tuesday by a 107-45 vote. Because it already had cleared the Senate, the measure now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

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  Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would let retailers sell beer by the bottle.

Stores currently must sell beer in packages containing at least three bottles. The newly passed legislation would allow sales of single bottles, cans or pouches of beer.

The change would take effect in 2015.

The state Senate approved the bill on a vote of 31-1 last month. The House passed it Tuesday on a vote of 143-1, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

  Missouri House members have endorsed a proposal for funding a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.

The hospital is Missouri's only maximum-security psychiatric facility and the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. Patients include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment, and people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.

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