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August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

Boone County could spend nearly $450,000 by the end of the year to defend itself and county employees in a lawsuit filed by a man whose murder conviction was vacated.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The shooting of Brown in Ferguson could alter the political dynamics of the upcoming election for St. Louis County executive.

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says the state and St. Louis-area economic development groups and lenders are committing up to $1 million in support to businesses affected by racial unrest that followed the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

Nixon says he's designated State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to oversee the distribution of no-interest loans to Ferguson businesses harmed by looting and rioting since the August 9th death of Michael Brown.

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A Missouri judge says he will likely reject a legal challenge to a November ballot measure that would link teacher evaluations to their students' performance.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit seeking to strike the initiative from the ballot. The lawsuit alleges the measure contains multiple subjects and amends more than one part of the Missouri Constitution.

Afterward, Green said he was leaning toward ruling for those defending the ballot measure.

Missouri Department of Tourism

Dozens of new Missouri laws are taking effect, including ones that could make it harder for some fired employees to collect unemployment benefits and easier for high rollers to bet big bucks at casinos.

Thursday marked the standard effective date for laws that were passed during annual legislative session.

But some of this year's most high-profile measures contained clauses delaying their effect until future years, including an income tax cut and a rewrite of the state's criminal laws.

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What one journalist, and former KBIA reporter, witnessed other reporters do in Ferguson, Mo. led him to stop filing stories. Al Jazeera freelancer Ryan Schuessler wrote a personal blog post detailing the disrespectful actions he saw and why he decided to leave (for now). Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.

Rainbow flag
File Photo / KBIA

A southwest Missouri fire department that was considering extending benefits to an employee who is in a same-sex marriage has been told the state's Constitution won't allow it.

Last week, the Ozark Fire Department appeared ready to change its policy so it could offer the benefits to female captain Andi Mooneyham.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the department's attorney told its board that the Missouri Constitution does not allow the policy change because of an amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Courtesy Columbia Daily Tribune

When the Columbia Daily Tribune published an editorial cartoon about looting in Ferguson, Managing Editor Jim Robertson said the intent was to be provocative. What some readers saw was racism. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.

roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is asking the Justice Department to help reimburse state and St. Louis-area law enforcement agencies for costs incurred while providing security in Ferguson this month.

Blunt said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday that many of the police agencies do not have the resources to respond to the level of unrest that occurred in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9th. Blunt, a Republican, says the unanticipated cost may force many agencies to seek out additional resources.

Updated at 4:47 p.m.

President Obama blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine and said its "incursion" into the former Soviet state will only carry additional costs.

"Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said at a White House news conference on Thursday.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

A prominent criminal defense attorney is raising concerns about a Missouri ballot measure that would allow allegations of past wrongdoing to be used against people facing child sex abuse charges.

Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer brought about an intense examination of the conduct, racial composition and “militarization” of local police departments.

But one topic that hasn’t been talked about that much is how elected representatives exert fairly little direct control over the region’s law enforcement agencies.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has nominated former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom to be the state’s new public-safety director, a move that will put Isom in charge of a number of diverse state agencies – from the Highway Patrol to the Gaming Commission.

Isom served 24 years on the St. Louis police force, and retired as chief 18 months ago. He holds doctoral degrees in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he has served as a professor for the past year.

An editorial cartoon in the Columbia Daily Tribune sparks cries of racism from readers, the Huffington Post names a new “Ferguson Fellow” to spend a year looking into how the St. Louis County police department got its military-grade equipment, and a young journalist speaks out on why it’s time step out of Ferguson and let the region heal.  Also, how Facebook comments led a cops reporter to quit and a police chief to lose his job, why CNN will soon be doing less with less and ESPN’s reporting on Michael Sam’s shower habits. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News. 

Courtesy Columbia Daily Tribune

This editorial cartoon, published in the August 20, 2014 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune drew cries of racism from readers who worry the imagery paints Missouri as a "racist and backwater region."

Managing Editor Jim Robertson said he thought it was provocative, but its intent was not racism.

The city council in Ferguson, has postponed a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, citing a need for a larger venue due to interest from residents following Brown’s death.

Opus Group

A lawsuit seeking to delay the Opus Group’s downtown student development project has been moved to federal court.

The United States Courts, Western District of Missouri will hear the case following a notice of removal filed last Thursday by attorney Christopher Rackers, representing the city of Columbia.

The lawsuit filed August 12 against the city of Columbia and City Manager Mike Matthes alleges a violation of the plaintiffs’ civil rights to free speech and to petition the government.

A federal appeals court in Denver is scheduled to hear arguments Aug. 25 in a dispute over whether Kansas and Arizona can require voters using a federal registration form to show proof of citizenship.

It's the first of several significant cases this fall that could determine who gets to vote, and how, in at least six states. The outcomes could also answer a much broader question: Who gets to decide?

Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.

Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.

"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."

Fifty years ago this summer — a half-century before the protests in Ferguson, Mo. — riots broke out in seven cities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania, sparked by confrontations between black residents and their predominantly white police forces.

In Philadelphia, the violence began after dark, in late August.

"It was a hot day and just wasn't too much activity in the hood, as they say," remembers Kenneth Salaam, who was 15 years old in 1964.

Three black people are among the 12-member grand jury hearing evidence in the Michael Brown case.

Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for St. Louis County Circuit Court, confirmed the racial and gender makeup of the grand jury on Friday. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said it will be several weeks before a decision is made on whether to charge Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9.

The grand jury consists of six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man. Nine votes are needed to indict.

Missouri's U.S. senators are asking Gov. Jay Nixon to seek federal help for businesses damaged during violent protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old.

In a letter to Nixon Friday, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt say businesses in Ferguson have "suffered significant physical damage" during days of civil unrest following the death of Michael Brown. They say many of those businesses are struggling to recover.

KBIA file photo

Missouri's lieutenant governor wants lawmakers to look into events related to the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder on Thursday called for the creation of a bipartisan panel of House and Senate members to review the state's law allowing the use of deadly force by police officers.

Kinder also wants the panel to investigate what he describes as a "failure in communication" by state, local and federal law enforcement agencies investigating the August 9th shooting and response to the protests.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom including:

Flickr user Kansas City Public Library

  Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Nixon announced what he called a systematic withdrawal of Guard officers on Thursday. He says they've effectively protected the city while other agencies worked to restore trust between law enforcement and residents.

freejamesfoley.org

The militant Jihadist group ISIS released video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in retaliation, it says, for the U.S. air strikes in Iraq. Foley went missing on Thanksgiving day, 2012, in Syria. In the video Foley is kneeling against a desert landscape, wearing something resembling an orange prison jump suit.  ISIS is threatening to kill another journalist they are holding if air strikes do not stop. Has the role journalists play in war zones changed? Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry, and Amy Simons discuss. 

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with comments from Chief Sam Dotson, Jeff Roorda, and Ald. Dionne Flowers.

On Tuesday, two officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shot and killed Kajieme Powell, who was 25 years old.

More than a ten journalists have been arrested, dozens more tear gassed trying to cover the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.  Governor Jay Nixon lost control of a nationally televised news conference, and cable news anchors turn into advocates on-screen.  What role is the media playing in the continuing conflict? From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Austin Federa / KBIA

So much has happened in Ferguson, Missouri.  Nearly a dozen reporters have been arrested while on the job.  We've learned the identity of Michael Brown's shooter: six-year police veteran Darren Wilson. St. Louis NBC-affiliate KSDK-TV aired video of his home.  Governor Jay Nixon instituted -- and lifted -- curfews and called in the Missouri National Guard.

And we saw it all live -- online, on air and in print.

A motion for judgment has been filed in a lawsuit accusing the state of violating Sunshine Laws for refusing to provide information related to Missouri executions.

The filing seeks to expedite a lawsuit filed earlier this year by stating there is no dispute in the core facts of the case, which calls on the court to order the Department of Corrections to release details about the drugs used in lethal injections. It also seeks to identify the pharmacies and laboratories that create and test the drugs.

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