The Associated Press

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The Missouri House Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against a lawmaker who called for the vandal of a Confederate monument to be hanged.

Members agreed Monday to hold a preliminary hearing later on the complaint against Republican Rep. Warren Love. They did not announce a date.

Love expressed hope in a Facebook post that whoever vandalized the monument in Springfield, Missouri, would be "hung from a tall tree with a long rope."

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is headed to the United Kingdom and Switzerland on his second trade mission.

Greitens is leaving Monday on a trip that will include meetings with government officials, business executives and workforce development leaders. In a news release, Greitens' office said he chose the nations because he sees an opportunity to increase trade, investment and educational and cultural ties. Spokesman Parker Briden said Department of Economic Development acting director Rob Dixon and other staff members will accompany the governor.

KBIA/file photo

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says a new Missouri law doesn't provide the same protections from housing discrimination as federal law, and Missouri consequently will lose some funding.

Missouri Democratic House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty on Thursday said the state could lose between $400,000 and $500,000 a year. She's calling on legislative colleagues to repeal parts of the new law that will lead to funding losses.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in July signed the law, which creates a higher standard for proving discrimination in court.

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri

  A new report from the ACLU of Missouri says black students and students with disabilities are far more likely than whites to face school discipline, including corporal punishment, suspension and expulsion.

The report "From School to Prison" released Thursday in St. Louis found that students subjected to school discipline are less likely to succeed and more likely to face legal trouble as they grow up.

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A judge ordered the Howard County coroner this week to release the transcript of an inquest that determined a Fayette teenager killed himself after persistent bullying.

Howard County officials said after the judge's ruling on Wednesday that they will appeal the ruling. Attorney Richard Hicks said the coroner's office will not follow the order because of the appeal.

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A judge has ruled that the state of Missouri owes $26.3 million to more than 3,000 blind people who were underpaid by the Department of Social Services' blind pension fund.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the judgment by Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce was entered last month but made public Sunday.

The blind pension fund was established in the 1920s to provide a social safety net for the blind. About 3,000 Missourians are paid roughly $728 a month from a special levy on property taxes.

St. Louis police say the 143 people arrested after a protest on a busy highway near downtown are accused of trespassing.

The protest happened Tuesday night on Interstate 64. Police late Wednesday released the names of those arrested, saying all of them will face the same municipal charge.

The list shows the vast majority of the protesters who were arrested are from the St. Louis area. Only six are from states other than Missouri or Illinois.

A judge in central Missouri has appointed nearly 40 private attorneys to represent criminal defendants after announcing last week that the public defenders' office needed the assistance.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to speak with President Donald Trump about campus sexual assault policy.

In a letter today, McCaskill both criticized the administration's handling of the issue so far and asked to talk with him about working together on new policy.

McCaskill said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' decision to roll back former President Barack Obama's administration policy on investigating campus sexual assaults is confusing for colleges. McCaskill says it also fails to offer needed support for survivors of sexual assault.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Missouri elected officials are pushing to expand state confidentiality programs that hide the home addresses of victims of domestic violence.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt introduced legislation Thursday to require federal agencies and courts to accept substitute addresses created through state programs.

Missouri is among 36 states with address confidentiality programs.

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved a North Dakota judge to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Senate voted 95-1 Thursday to confirm Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo to the St. Louis-based court. Clerk of the Court Michael Gans says Erickson will replace Kermit E. Bye, who retired last year.

President Donald Trump nominated Erickson in June. He's served in various judicial positions for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2003, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal judge.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has appointed a St. Louis attorney to investigate claims that Hawley's predecessor withheld evidence in a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Hawley, a Republican, on Thursday appointed Hal Goldsmith to investigate. The family of Anthony Lamar Smith has alleged in a letter to Hawley's office that former Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, and that the city of St. Louis withheld evidence in a civil suit over Smith's death at the hands of officer Jason Stockley in 2011.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

Ameren Missouri has announced plans to add enough solar and wind electricity to power 214,000 homes.

The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corporation said today that adding at least 700 megawatts of wind power would cost about $1 billion and take until 2020. Ameren says improving technology and renewable energy initiatives with large customers could boost wind investment. The new wind facilities would be located in Missouri and neighboring states, but a statement from the company provided no other details.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri's attorney general is calling for an investigation into claims that evidence was withheld in a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced today his office will hire an independent counsel to investigate allegations of wrongdoing under former Attorney General Chris Koster.

Smoking
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment.

The Kansas City Star reports Missouri has been ordered to go smoke-free by April 1 because of the lawsuit Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington filed.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A new report says low commodity prices and weak farm incomes are continuing to hamper the rural economy in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states.

The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region fell to its lowest level of the year at 39.6 from August's 42.2. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.

Jason Rojas / Flickr

There have been more fatal police shootings in St. Louis in 2017 than for a decade — with three months still left until year's end.

The new data comes as the city's police department struggles to contain daily protests following the acquittal of white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says it wasn't acceptable for police to chant "Whose streets? Our streets!" on Sunday after clearing out protesters and onlookers in the city's downtown.

The mayor decried the chant during a news conference Tuesday. Officers in riot gear were heard chanting after making arrests when an organized protest ended and vandalism ensued. The chant is one that protesters commonly use.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has put the National Guard on standby in case of protests that could follow a St. Louis judges’ ruling. The ruling would decide whether a former St. Louis police officer is guilty of murder.

Greitens said in a news release released today (Thursday) that activating the National Guard is a (quote) necessary precaution” to help protect infrastructure and free up police for security at protests.

KBIA/file photo

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — House budgeters and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' administration are clashing over money for a new program Greitens created to fight prescription drug misuse.

House Budget Committee members drilled administration officials Thursday over why they didn't get specific approval from lawmakers to spend money on the program. It's estimated to cost about $470,000 this fiscal year.

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The number of licensed abortion clinics in Missouri has grown from one to two, and a third clinic is expected to begin taking appointments soon.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains received a license to book appointments for nonsurgical abortions at its Kansas City clinic. The organization also is expected to receive a license for surgical and medication abortions at its Columbia clinic in the next few days.

Currently, only the St. Louis clinic is allowed to perform abortions in Missouri.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY — The Latest on developments in the Missouri Legislature, which is scheduled to end its annual session at 6 p.m. Friday:

5:25 p.m.

A long debate over which dog reigns supreme in Missouri could be over soon if Gov. Eric Greitens signs a bill designating Old Drum as the official historical dog of Missouri and Jim the Wonder Dog as the official state wonder dog.

Missouri lawmakers passed a bill Friday that gives each dog a designation as a Missouri state symbol.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation on sales tax increases for the St. Louis Zoo. On Thursday Senators voted to send the bill to Governor Eric Greitens.

If signed, the bill would allow ballot initiatives to be brought in St. Louis City and St. Louis County to raise taxes by up to one-eighth of a percent to fund the zoo.

The measure would also allow the zoo to charge admission for new facilities for people who live in counties that don't adopt a zoo tax.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has pledged to fund nearly 50 stream gauges used to monitor potential flooding along rivers.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the Missouri Water Science Center in Rolla manages more than 270 real-time gauges, but 49 of them were scheduled for deactivation in July due to unspecified threats to funding. Gauges cost $14,600 annually to operate.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri State Archive is helping preserve centuries of documents submerged in 8 feet of water during recent flooding.

The News Tribune reports that administrative archivist John Korasick was alerted early Monday morning that the Carter County Courthouse basement, where the county keeps its paper records, had been filled with water.

He and senior conservator Lisa Fox followed the state agency's plan for such an emergency and soon had a refrigerated semitrailer for the soggy, warped books and boxes.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have approved a spending plan to cut core funding for public colleges and universities by about 6.6 percent.

Greitens had asked lawmakers to cut higher education funding by nearly 10 percent to balance next year's budget. Legislators softened those cuts.

Legislators on Thursday sent the plan to Gov. Eric Greitens' desk. It's part of a package of bills outlining the state's $27 billion budget next fiscal year, which begins in July.

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A busy stretch of Interstate 55 in the St. Louis area has reopened after the Meramec River crested in the area.

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced the reopening of southbound lanes of the interstate in Arnold in a news release Thursday. The reopening will allow traffic from St. Louis to Jefferson County to resume. Northbound lanes of the interstate remained open Wednesday, even as the southbound lanes closed because of flooding.

selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Commons

St. Louis' embattled minimum wage hike will take effect Friday following a two-year legal fight over the city's effort to require employees to pay workers at least $10 an hour.

A circuit court judge lifted an injunction on Thursday that had blocked a 2015 ordinance from becoming law.

Under the ordinance, St. Louis' minimum wage will rise again in January, to $11 per hour, significantly higher than Missouri's $7.70 minimum.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri House members want more information on how much money the state is paying in lawsuit settlements and judgments.

House members voted 150-1 on Thursday to pass legislation to require the attorney general and administration commissioner to update lawmakers and others monthly on state legal expenses.

Jefferson City News Tribune

Police in Fulton say a body found encased in concrete inside a container is likely that of a man missing for nearly a week from a group home.

Police said in a statement Tuesday that the body discovered the day before in a Fulton storage unit may be 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie, but results of any autopsy on the body have not been released.

DeBrodie had been living at the Second Chance group home in Fulton for the past nine years and was reported missing April 17.

No other details were immediately released.

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