The Associated Press

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers appear uninterested in Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal to end the business "border war" between the two states.

Brownback last week offered to reduce his state's efforts to lure jobs away from the Missouri side of the Kansas City metropolitan area if Missouri's lawmakers would in turn weaken a law they approved in 2014 addressing the issue.

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ST. LOUIS - Officials at Washington University in St. Louis say at least one person has been injured in a shooting near the school's student union and performing arts building, and are urging anyone on campus to remain in a safe place.

The shooting happened about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. University spokeswoman Sue Killenberg McGinn says one person was injured in a shooting near the university's Mallinckrodt Center. She says the person has been taken to a hospital with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

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JEFFERSON CITY - Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL draftee, is speaking out against a Missouri measure to protect some businesses that deny services for same-sex weddings.

Sam was among roughly 80 who rallied against the legislation Wednesday.

The former Mizzou football star came out as gay before the 2014 NFL draft and was selected by the St. Louis Rams before being cut in training camp.

Sam called a proposed constitutional amendment the opposite of respect and equality and said it doesn't reflect Missouri values.

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ST. LOUIS - One of St. Louis County's two election directors has been suspended and the other is mulling retirement in the wake of a mistake that resulted in ballot shortages at dozens of precincts.

Republican elections director Gary Fuhr said in an interview Wednesday that he's leaning toward retirement even though the St. Louis County Elections Commission is urging him to reconsider.

The commission on Tuesday suspended Democratic elections director Eric Fey for two weeks, and elections coordinator Laura Goebel for one week.

A massive fire broke out during a fireworks display in a Hindu temple in south India early Sunday, killing more than 100 people and injuring at least 200 others, officials said.

The fire started when a spark from the unauthorized fireworks show ignited a separate batch of fireworks that were being stored at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, a few hours north of Kerala's state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the state's top elected official.

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JEFFERSON CITY - More than a dozen companies want shields for businesses removed from a Missouri proposal creating religious protections for those objecting to gay marriage.

Company executives this week sent a letter to a House committee chairman asking to nix that provision.

The proposal would prohibit government penalties against those who cite religious beliefs while declining to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples. The religious protections would apply to clergy, religious organizations and some businesses such as florists and photographers.

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY - The top two elections officials in St. Louis County will testify before the Missouri House Urban Issues Committee after ballot shortages affected nearly eight percent of precincts on Tuesday.

Committee Chairman Courtney Curtis, a Democrat from Ferguson, announced the hearing Wednesday. Curtis initially asked that both Democratic elections director Eric Fey and Republican director Gary Fuhr testify Thursday. The directors requested a delay to allow more time to gather information on what went wrong.

A date for the hearing has not been set.

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.

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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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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