Associated Press

President Donald Trump will be visiting an Illinois steel mill that is boosting production as he faces opposition to his imposition of tariffs in international trade disputes.

The White House says Trump will talk about trade during an event Thursday afternoon at the U.S. Steel Corp. plant in Granite City, Illinois, near St. Louis for his first trip to Illinois since becoming president.

Missouri House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty is resigning effective Sunday.

The Kansas City Democrat gave her resignation letter Friday to Gov. Mike Parson. She's stepping down several months before her final term would have ended so that she can start a new job Monday as head of Jackson County's Assessment Department.

State conservation officials say six black bears have died after being hit by vehicles in Missouri this year.

Missouri Department of Conservation biologist Laura Conless says the number of deaths is higher than last year but is not an unusually high number.

Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump against claims that the president is too soft on Russia, telling a St. Louis crowd that Russian aggression has been met with "American strength and action."

Pence spoke Thursday at a downtown hotel. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Pence said Trump's policies are making a positive difference in St. Louis and around the country.

Donald Trump will visit Missouri next week to deliver his first address as president to the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump will head to Kansas City on Tuesday to address the gathering.

Missouri Senate Communications

The Missouri Democratic Party is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit challenging a governor's ability to appoint a lieutenant governor.

The appeal was filed Tuesday. The party has argued that ambiguity in Missouri's constitution and law mean lieutenant governors can only be elected, not appointed.

The former interim police chief in St. Louis who is white is alleging discrimination based on race or color in the selection of a permanent chief.

Lt. Col. Lawrence O'Toole was among six finalists for the permanent job late last year. The job went to John Hayden, who is black.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that O'Toole has filed complaints with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Mayor Lyda Krewson calls the complaints "unfortunate."

The Missouri branch of Americans for Prosperity says it's spending $1.8 million on ads against Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The television and digital ad announced Wednesday by the Koch-backed group accuses the Democratic incumbent of saying she supports tax cuts but voting against President Donald Trump's tax bill.

A proposal for a high-voltage power line carrying wind energy across the Midwest received a jolt of new life Tuesday as the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state regulators had wrongly rejected it.

The ruling is a major victory in the quest by Clean Line Energy Partners to build one of the nation's longest electric transmission lines. The $2.3 billion project would carry power harnessed from the wind-whipped plains of western Kansas on a 780-mile (1,255 kilometer) trek across Missouri and Illinois before hooking into an electric grid in Indiana that serves the eastern U.S.

Unions from around the country are pouring money into Missouri ahead of a statewide vote that could ban mandatory union fees at workplaces, just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that dealt a blow to public sector unions.

The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its opponents by nearly $6 million over the past four months.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees in his final months in office before he resigned amid scandals.

  Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Greitens' campaign spent about $610,000 for legal help between April and the end of June.

That doesn't include any personal legal fees Greitens paid as he worked to fend off multiple criminal charges and potential impeachment by the Republican-led Legislature. A felony invasion-of-privacy charge against him was later dropped.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators are standing by the intelligence community's conclusion that the Russians interfered in the 2016 elections after President Donald Trump questioned that.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt in a Monday statement said there's "no doubt" Russia tried to interfere in the elections. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Trump's comments "fly in the face of the consensus of the intelligence community." She says Trump's actions will "embolden the enemies of our country and erode the support of our allies."

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Friday raising the marriage age in Missouri from 15 to 16 and requiring parental permission for older teenagers to marry.

The bill was among several signed or vetoed by the Republican governor as he wrapped up his decision making on legislation just ahead of a constitutional deadline to do so. One of the vetoed bills included a legislative goof up in an attempt to replace a former politician's statue in the U.S. Capitol with one of former Missouri-born President Harry Truman.

KANSAS CITY — A program could help hundreds of Missouri families with a down payment on their homes.

The NeighborhoodLIFT program will provide homeowner training and $15,000 in down-payment assistant grants, The Kansas City Star reported .

Up to 300 families buying houses in Jackson, Clay and Cass counties will be accepted into the program. The program will begin accepting applicants July 27.

  

OMAHA — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal throughout the summer and fall to reduce the amount of water held in reservoirs along the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border in late June because more spring rain and more snow fell in the mountains.

Officials expect the amount of water in the Missouri River this year will be 157 percent of normal.

  

JEFFERSON CITY — A proposed ballot initiative aims to replace Missouri's system for drawing state legislative districts with a model designed to have the number of seats won by each party more closely reflect its statewide vote.

If election officials validate enough signatures collected by Clean Missouri, the group sponsoring the proposal, voters will have the final say Nov. 6.

The stakes are high: Another round of redistricting begins after the 2020 census.

  

Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Missouri next week for a tax event and will attend a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley.

Pence is scheduled to attend the tax event Thursday in downtown St. Louis. It was organized by America First Policies, a nonprofit that promotes President Donald Trump's agenda.

Gov. Mike Parson has signed a bill that raises the marriage age in Missouri from 15 to 16.

The measure, signed into law Friday, requires that 16 and 17-year-olds receive parental permission to be married. It also bars someone 21 or older from marrying anyone 17 or younger.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says federal drug enforcement officials didn't hold major drug distributors accountable while prescription opioids flowed into Missouri between 2012 and 2017.

McCaskill released a report Wednesday that she says found three major distributors reported wildly different numbers of suspicious shipments of opioids to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. She says the federal agency didn't use its authority to issue immediate suspension orders to stop the distributors from making questionable shipments.

 The University of Missouri raised a record amount of cash gifts in the just-ended fiscal year, pushing its fundraising campaign over $1 billion.

The university announced Wednesday that donors made $147 million in cash gifts during the fiscal year that ended June 30 to the "Mizzou: Our Time To Lead" campaign. The amount is almost 22 percent more than the previous record of $121 million set in fiscal 2017. The campaign has a $1.3 billion goal with two years left.

Missouri's Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has spent about $3.5 million on her re-election campaign in recent months.

Finance reports provided to The Associated Press on Thursday by her campaign show she spent more money between April and June than her top Republican challenger was able to raise in that same time period.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed legislation that his office says will cut the state's top individual income tax rate to 5.4 percent next year.

The Republican signed the bill Thursday.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The front-runner Republican candidate hoping to unseat Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill continues to lag behind her in fundraising.

Attorney General Josh Hawley's campaign spokeswoman Kelli Ford in a Wednesday email said he brought in about $1.87 million from April through June. That's less than half of the more than $4.3 million McCaskill raised.

Ford says Hawley has about $3 million in cash to spend. McCaskill's campaign says she has about four times that amount, with more than $12.2 million in cash on hand.

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she's raised more than $4 million for her re-election campaign in recent months.

Her campaign on Wednesday announced McCaskill raised more than $4.3 million from April through June. She has roughly $12.2 million in cash to spend. Her campaign didn't immediately provide how much she spent last quarter.

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is polling supporters as she considers whether to vote for President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee — a decision that could make or break her re-election campaign.

McCaskill in a Tuesday email asked campaign supporters to fill out a survey on the nomination of conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh, noting that "with so much at stake, I need to know where you stand on this ASAP."

The oldest railroad bridge over the Mississippi River is going to be rebuilt, despite the loss of a federal grant that would have helped fund it.

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis announced Tuesday that it's moving forward with a $172 million contract with Walsh Construction Co. to rebuild the Merchants Bridge, which opened in 1890.

The state of Missouri brought in 5 percent more in net revenue last fiscal year compared to the previous year.

Data released by Budget Director Dan Haug show revenue growth exceeded expectations for the state fiscal year that ran from July 2017 through the end of June.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit criticizing the Missouri Department of Conservation for paying out more than $120,000 to a former director.

Robert Ziehmer received money and benefits for months after he left the state agency for the private sector that appeared to be unnecessary and costly, according to the audit released Thursday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that part of that 10-month deal allowed Ziehmer to keep his health insurance and collect pension credits, which was "not in the best interest of the MDC or taxpayers," the audit found.

A safety inspection of a new Six Flags St. Louis waterslide was not conducted by government officials before a woman said she suffered whiplash on the slide.

Officials say it's no surprise the slide didn't have to pass a government safety review, even though an estimated 80 million people flock to about 1,000 water parks in the U.S. every year.

The "Typhoon Twister" in Eureka, southwest of St. Louis, is exempt from a Missouri law regulating amusement rides passed in 2004.

The national Republican party will begin spending money to support Josh Hawley in his race for the U.S. Senate even though 10 other GOP candidates are running for the nomination.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri Republican Party this week gave the national organization permission to help fund Hawley's campaign before the Aug. 7 primary.

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