Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say two men are facing federal charges after nearly 2,500 marijuana plants valued at $10 million were discovered growing in rural northwest Missouri.

The men, 44-year-old Sergio Medina-Perez and 27-year-old Miguel Pulido-Maldonado, were charged Wednesday with manufacturing or distributing more than 1,000 marijuana plants.

Local and federal law enforcement agents raided the operation in Daviess County, northeast of Kansas City, in late August. The plants were in a clearing inside a large stand of timber.

The Cape Girardeau City Council approved a resolution to accept a bronze sculpture of a black, Civil War-era Union soldier to be placed in a city park.

The council approved the resolution Tuesday without comment. The Southeast Missourian reports the statue could be erected by June in Cape Girardeau's Ivers Square. The park already has memorials for Union and Confederate soldiers.

The mother of a former Missouri high school student is suing the school board and three current and former district administrators, alleging discrimination against her transgender child.

Natalie Murray alleges in the lawsuit that the district denied her child the right to use the boys restroom and locker rooms at Joplin High School. She says her 16-year-old was born female but has lived as a male since the age of 12.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he is "deeply concerned" about St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's exclusion list of police officers.

Gardner said last week that her office drew up a list of 28 police officers who will not be permitted as primary witnesses in criminal cases. She hasn't said specifically why other than citing credibility concerns.

During an appearance in St. Louis on Tuesday, Parson said he believes the list is "beyond the scope" of Gardner's job. Parson says he is concerned about crime victims and whether people accused of crimes will be prosecuted.

Authorities say three southwest Missouri jailers have been taken to a hospital and a white powdery substance that was found at the jail has tested positive for fentanyl.

The Sikeston Standard-Democrat reports that the three jailers were taken to a hospital and later released. Scott County Sheriff Wes Drury says the jail has resumed normal operations after a hazmat crews were called to the facility. The fentanyl was found during the investigation. Fentanyl — considered much more powerful than heroin — has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.

A former Jackson County detention officer has been sentenced to federal prison for smuggling contraband cellphones and other items to inmates in the jail.

Twenty-seven-year-old Andre Lamonte Dickerson, of Kansas City, was sentenced Friday to one year and four months in federal prison.

He pleaded guilty in April to two counts of using a telephone with the intent to further illegal activity.

In his plea, Dickerson admitted that he took a $500 bribe to take the phones and cigarettes into the jail.

One hurdle has been cleared in the effort to free a mentally challenged woman convicted in the kidnapping and killing of two elderly women.

Attention now turns to Iowa, where she's been imprisoned for more than two decades.

Angel Stewart was convicted of kidnapping in two states because one of the victims abducted in Des Moines was driven to Missouri and killed.

Missouri Capitol Building
j.stephenconn / Flickr

 

A Missouri judge is blocking portions of a new state law on meat inspections from taking effect.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported that Cole County Circuity Judge Jon Beetem temporarily blocked the law from being implemented. The order runs through Sept. 15.

Beetem issued the temporary ban in face of a lawsuit over which state department has the authority to inspect captive deer.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has been responsible for inspecting deer. Part of the new law would shift that authority to the Department of Agriculture.

A Missouri artist is covering racist tattoos for free to try and give people who've had a change of heart a second chance.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Springfield tattoo artist Justin Fleetwood announced last month that he was offering the free service. Fleetwood says he's been surprised by the amount of interest.

Fleetwood says he believes he'll only be able to cover one or two tattoos a week, but he hopes other tattoo artists will join him.

BRANSON CONVENTION AND VISITOR'S BUREAU

Attorney General Josh Hawley is suing the owners and operators of a tourist boat that sank in Missouri, killing 17 people.

Hawley filed the lawsuit Friday. He alleges that the owners and operators of the Ride the Ducks tours put profits above people's safety. His office is suing under the state's consumer-protection law.

The accident occurred July 19 at Table Rock Lake near Branson. The amphibious duck boat sank amid strong winds, killing 16 passengers and a crew member.

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson has appointed Judge Tom Chapman to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District.

Parson on Thursday announced he picked the Republican judge for the appeals court. Chapman replaces Judge James Welsh, who retired in March.

Parson in a statement said Chapman's "rural perspective" will provide balance to the court. Chapman is from the northwestern Missouri city of Chillicothe.

St. Louis-based electric utility Ameren Missouri says it's setting aside $5 million to help low-income customers with energy bills. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday appointed a local school board president and a former technical college president to the state's once-embattled K-12 education board, bringing it close to fully staffed.

A Christopher Columbus statue in a St. Louis park is being called into question about a year after a Confederate monument was removed from another park in the city.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a commission will review whether the 130-year-old statue belongs in Tower Grove Park.

David Lauber is the park's director of development. He says the panel will include historians, art experts, and representatives of Italian-Americans and Native Americans in St. Louis.

Claire McCaskill
studio08denver / Flickr

 

Americans for Prosperity's Missouri branch is spending another $2.1 million on ads against Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The television and digital ad campaign announced Wednesday by the Koch-backed group criticizes the Democratic incumbent for her support of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

McCaskill is running for a third term in November in a state President Donald Trump won by 19 percentage points. She's up against Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Columns at University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr

 

A Missouri Democratic Party email seeking interns ended up in the inboxes of most faculty, staff and students at the University of Missouri's Columbia campus, then opened the door for a phishing attempt.

Spokeswoman Brooke Goren in a Wednesday statement said the Missouri Democratic Party pulled emails from a public student directory. She said a staffer unintentionally used a block email list from the directory in a blast email sent Monday.

Nicole Galloway
Torie Ross/KBIA

 A judge is weighing arguments in a lawsuit alleging that Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway allowed text messages to be deleted in the face of an open records request.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that attorneys for the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, a conservative nonprofit, and Galloway made closing arguments Tuesday. A Cole County judge isn't expected to rule until late September or early October.

Federal prosecutors say in court filings that the U.S. Coast Guard found probable cause that the captain of a tourist boat that sank in Missouri, killing 17 people, committed misconduct, negligence or was inattentive to his duties.

The U.S. attorney's office also said in motions filed Wednesday that the captain of a second duck boat that made it safely to shore when a storm came up on Table Rock Lake near Branson July 19 acted in a "grossly negligent manner" that day. The filing doesn't elaborate on the allegations.

 

  A federal appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by The Satanic Temple against Missouri abortion laws, but there still are two pending lawsuits that could revive the complaints.

Judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit, which dealt with Missouri's "informed consent" counseling that is required 72 hours before abortions are performed.

A man on Missouri death row for killing three convienence store workers in 1994 will get another chance to argue that a medical condition would make lethal injection too painful. 

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the Eight U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a lower court mistakenly dismissed Ernest Lee Johnson's appeal in September 2016.

St. Louis philanthropises Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield are donating $50 million to St. Louis University, the largest donation in the 200-year history of the university.

The university said Tuesday that the donation will establish the St. Louis University Research Institute. The gift comes after the unversity's fundraising in 2017-2018 brought in a record $99 million.

Sinquefield is a graduate of St. Louis University and serves as a trustee.

Unions representing teachers and other public employees sued on Monday to try to block a new Missouri law that they claim imposes "a raft of harsh restrictions" that "effectively eviscerates" their right to organize and bargain on behalf of employees.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas City that stopped providing medication-induced abortions when its provider left five months ago is facing licensing issues as it works to resume offering the procedure.

Vegetarian food-maker Tofurky filed a lawsuit in Missouri on Monday seeking to defend its right to describe its products with meat terminology such as "sausage" and "hot dogs," as long as the packaging makes clear what the ingredients are.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is proposing requiring hunters to use nontoxic shot in more conservation areas across the state.

The department announced this week that it wants to require nontoxic shot on 20 conservation areas with heavy dove hunting. The department also is proposing adding 16 areas to its existing 21 conservation areas where nontoxic shot is required for all hunting with shotguns.

If the proposal is approved, it would take effect March 1.

The department said lead is a well-known poison to both people and wildlife.

Missouri Capitol Building
j.stephenconn / Flickr

 

Large donations are flowing into Missouri through independent political action committees after voters amended the state constitution to cap contributions to individual candidates.

The Kansas City Star reports that individual candidates can only collect contributions that are less than the voter-imposed $2,600 limit. But independent PACs face no such restrictions, and donations often are made with no disclosure of where the money comes from.

David Nichols / Flickr

Storms brought much-needed rain to drought-ravaged Missouri on Friday, but it was too much too quickly in some cases. Drought conditions are so bad in parts of northern and southwestern Missouri that they are severely affecting corn farmers and cattle ranchers.

Leaders of two Roman Catholic dioceses in Missouri have outlined plans to address concerns about clergy abuse.

Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight on Friday promised steps to "improve accountability and transparency."

They include establishing protocols for responding to abuse allegations, expanding membership of a review board, and scheduling a mass of healing. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau says it will conduct an independent inquiry of possible abuse cases.

The columns in front of Jesse Hall at the University of Missouri.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri has asked an electric scooter rental company to leave campus.

Karlin Seville is the communications manager with the university's Division of Operations. He tells The Columbia Missourian that the university doesn't have a contract with Bird, the California-based dockless scooter rental company.

Seville says the university will meet with company officials Friday to discuss the situation.

An eastern Missouri doctor has pleaded guilty in federal court for prescribing fentanyl and other opioids to women with whom he had personal relationships who had no medical need for the drugs.

The doctor, 62-year-old Philip Dean of Warrenton, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of illegally distributing opiate medications and making a false statement to the Medicare program. Sentencing is Nov. 20.

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