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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.

Eric Knapp breaks apart a burned pine cone, looking for seeds — in his line of work this is considered a clue.

"Going into an area after a fire, you almost feel like CSI, you know, sleuthing," Knapp says.

He is standing in a part of the Stanislaus National Forest that was severely burned by the Rim Fire. Knapp, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying how forests recover.

"It's completely dead," he says. "These trees won't be coming back to life."

A lot of the forest was charred like this.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A former campaign committee for Missouri House Democrats has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for campaign finance violations.

The consent order released Monday by the Missouri Ethics Commission says the Democratic group failed to include some expenditures and contributions that it had made on its 2012 finance reports. It also failed to list a deputy treasurer.

The Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee shut down in July 2013. It was succeeded by the House Democratic Victory Committee, which also no longer exists.

On Monday night, protesters clashed yet again with police in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot by police Aug. 9. National Guard troops deployed by Gov. Jay Nixon didn't get involved, and the officer in charge of security in Ferguson said police came under fire and were targeted by Molotov cocktails.

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: Latest News: Memorial Planned; Number Of Arrested Reportedly Doubles

At least six bullets hit Michael Brown, 18, when he was shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, according to a preliminary private autopsy report. Only one of those wounds — to the top of the teenager's head — was deemed not survivable by former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden.

Baden and another pathologist hired by Brown's family say they believe that the two bullets that struck Brown in the head "were most likely the last two" to hit him during a confrontation on a street last Saturday.

Ferguson protesters insisted at a raucous meeting on Saturday that Gov. Jay Nixon act quickly to charge Ferguson officer Darren Wilson with murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

St. Louis on the Air discussed this and other legal issues associated with Ferguson on Monday:

"St. Louis on the Air": The Legal Roundtable discusses issues surrounding Ferguson.

401k2013 via Flickr

Efforts to bar Missouri payday lenders from accepting payments for utility bills have been dealt a setback.

Opponents of the practice say utility customers who pay their bills at payday lending stores are vulnerable to taking out high-interest loans at the same time.

The opponents want Missouri's Public Service Commission to ban the practice. The PSC regulates utilities.

But The Kansas City Star reports the PSC staff has concluded there's no evidence of consumers being harmed by paying utility bills at payday loan shops.

One man is in critical condition from a gunshot wound after a group of protesters in Ferguson defied the curfew imposed at midnight Saturday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said police used smoke canisters and finally tear gas to disperse the group so that they could reach the gunshot victim. Johnson said the victim was found near the burned QuikTrip gas station that has become a staging area for many of the protests over the past week.

Protesters transported the victim to the hospital in their own vehicle, Johnson said.

Emotions continue to run high as people throughout the greater St. Louis area try to process the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed young man.

KBIA file photo

Members of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Violence discussed possibly bringing Juvenile Assessment Centers to Boone County at their meeting Wednesday night.

Juvenile Assessment Centers are designed help families with at-risk children get connected with services that can help their kids.

Second Ward Councilman and Task Force Co-Chair Michael Trapp said it provides options for families with troubled kids.

“It becomes an alternative way to provide access to resources to parents and kids who are struggling to help keep them on the right path,” Trapp said

KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon will skip several planned events at the Missouri State Fair to return to Ferguson after another night of conflict between protesters and police.

Nixon said in a statement early Thursday that he is closely monitoring the situation in the St. Louis suburb, which has been embroiled in violence and protest since an 18-year-old man was shot by a police officer Saturday.

The governor had planned to host the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast at the fair Thursday, meet with Sedalia business leaders and then attend a discussion on the State Energy Plan.

Updated at 9:41 a.m. with release of Antonio French:

Police moved to end an evening of confrontation Wednesday, beginning about 9 p.m. to disperse the crowds and end the demonstations along West Florissant in Ferguson.

Police in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an unarmed teen.  Was race a factor in the death of Michael Brown? Or has the framing of the story by local and national journalists made it one?  Also, keeping reporters safe during violent protests, the role of citizen journalists and hashtag activism in the aftermath. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Jim Flink: Views of the News.


Courtesy CNN

A police officer Ferguson, Missouri fatally shot an unarmed teen.  Was race a factor in the death of Michael Brown? Or has the framing of the story by local and national journalists made it one?  Also, keeping reporters safe during violent protests, the role of citizen journalists and hashag activism in the aftermath.

USDA

Many farmers own guns. Yet the right to bear arms fared better than the right to farm in Missouri's recent elections.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment enhancing gun rights by 61 percent of the vote. A constitutional amendment creating a right to farm got just 50.1 percent support.

There was a general city-country divide. The gun and farm measures fared better in rural areas than in bigger cities.

Yet the reason for the closer margin on the farming amendment wasn't solely because of weaker support for it in suburban St. Louis and Kansas City.

William Murphy via Flickr

A legal challenge to Missouri's gay marriage ban returns to court in St. Louis.

The city issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in June, setting up a court fight in a state where gay marriage is banned under a 2004 amendment to the Missouri Constitution. St. Louis officials have agreed to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples pending resolution of the legal case and others in state and federal courts.

Online court records list Monday's proceeding before St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison as a status hearing.

David Shankbone, 2007

The Reverend Al Sharpton says the shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a St. Louis-area police officer is "very disturbing," and the civil-rights leader is planning a visit to make that known.

Sharpton tells The Associated Press that he's spoken with a grandfather of Michael Brown and plans to meet with the family in person Monday night or Tuesday in Ferguson, Missouri.

This post was updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

In suburban St. Louis, business owners are cleaning up after a prayer vigil turned violent over the weekend. Meanwhile, protests continue over the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by police on Saturday.

Reporter Rachel Lippmann of St. Louis Public Radio says about 60 people gathered outside of the Ferguson, Mo., police department Monday. They're calling for police to identify the officer involved and to charge him with murder. Others want the police force diversified in the majority-African-American city.

Updated at 7 a.m. Monday
 
The situation in Ferguson has settled down following a night of destruction.
 
There is no more systematic looting, but small groups are still casing stores, according to St.

The Constitution does not permit police to fire at unarmed, nonviolent, fleeing suspects unless there is a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or the public.

The police account of Saturday's events is that Michael Brown fought for a gun in a police cruiser before being shot dead a short distance from the car. Given that account, one question in Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police is whether Brown would be considered a non-dangerous suspect.

steakpinball / Flickr

A lawsuit challenging Missouri's ban on gay marriage has been moved to federal court instead of state court. The lawsuit was originally filed in Jackson County by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses.

Through the first six months of the year, Missouri lawmakers accepted $675,000 in gifts from lobbyists.

On Monday, we'll be taking a look at some of the noticeable trends -- how this year stacks up with years past, which parties and lawmakers have been taking the gifts, etc. But today we're going to take a look at four noteworthy gifts from the first half of the year.

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