The Associated Press | KBIA

The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three Black female former detectives have accused the Kansas City Police Department of discriminating against them because of their race and gender during an internal probe of a unit that investigated sex crimes against children.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Conservation officials say three hunters in southwestern Missouri accidentally shot themselves during last weekend's opening of firearms deer season.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Enrollment in Missouri's public schools dropped 3.2% this school year as the education system grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. State education officials say 872,470 students are enrolled in preschool through 12th grade in Missouri public schools this year, a drop of nearly 27,500 students. A spokeswoman for the state education department says officials are trying to determine if the students who left are homeschooling, attending a private school that offers onsite learning, or have simply not enrolled yet.

Starting with the primary election in March, St. Louis voters will pick their mayor and other elected officials on a nonpartisan basis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that city voters on Tuesday approved a measure requiring nonpartisan elections for mayor, comptroller, aldermanic president and alderman. The measure passed with nearly 70% approval. Under the new system, the top two vote-getters in the March primary will face each other in the general election in April. The measure also allows residents to vote for as many primary candidates as they want.

Jackson County voters have rejected a proposal to remove statues of President Andrew Jackson that stand in front of the county's two courthouses.

Activists had pushed to have the statues removed because Jackson was a slave owner who also signed a law in 1830 that forced Native American tribes from their land, causing thousands to die. Jackson County, Missouri, was named after Jackson in 1826. The push to remove the statues from in front of courthouses in Independence and Kansas City coincided with similar efforts around the county this year after racial injustice demonstrations.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis police union founded by a group of Black officers nearly 50 years ago has a new president.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Sgt. Donnell Walters’ election as leader of the Ethical Society of Police was announced Tuesday. He replaces Sgt. Heather Taylor, who resigned upon her September retirement from the police force. ESOP was founded in 1972 to address racism in the city police department. Its membership is smaller than the other city police union, the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

The food concessions provider for Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Convention Center has announced it will lay off more than 550 workers at both venues.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s investigation of Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway over a GOP group’s allegations of campaign finance violations has prompted a legal fight. With Galloway engaged in a tight race for the governor’s seat with Republican incumbent Mike Parson, Ashcroft agreed last month to look into concerns raised by the Liberty Alliance that an opinion piece Galloway wrote on a restrictive state abortion law was submitted by one of Galloway’s state-paid press aides. The St.

Saturday’s game between Missouri and No. 17 LSU has been moved to Missouri’s home stadium and will be played in the morning because of Hurricane Delta. The Southeastern Conference announced the move on Wednesday. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement that moving the game was in the best interest of safety for Louisiana. The game will be played at 11 a.m. Central time in Columbia, Missouri, after being previously scheduled for Saturday night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The NFL says the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday after a new positive coronavirus test among the Titans.

The NFL announced the switch Wednesday. The previous day, the NFL said three Titans players and five team personnel had tested positive for COVID-19. The Titans have closed their facility at least through Friday and will not be able to practice in any fashion together until Saturday at the earliest.

The police chief in Missouri’s largest city says his department would have to cut staff by 400 people, close divisions and eliminate services to meet proposed budget cuts due to the coronavirus. The Kansas City Star reports that Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith, in a blog post, wrote that the cuts would be “devastating.” All city departments, including police, were asked to provide scenarios for what an estimated 11% budget cut would look like. At issue is a $60 million decline in tax revenue created by the fallout from the coronavirus. The city’s next fiscal year starts May 1.

Most of St. Louis’ Black aldermen say they oppose a Nov. 3 ballot proposal that would make future elections for mayor, alderman and other city offices nonpartisan. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the aldermanic African American caucus said in a statement that Proposition D would result “in the elimination of the Democratic Party in the city.” The caucus also criticized another part of the proposal that would allow residents in the city’s March primaries to vote for more than one candidate at the same time. The two top votegetters would move on to the April general election.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden is optimistic that the removal of the residency requirement for his department will help fill several vacancies -- perhaps leading to a net increase of about 100 officers over the next year. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the department is authorized to have 1,349 officers but is currently 129 officers short. On Monday, Gov. Mike Parson signed a law repealing the long-standing residency requirement.

St. Louis County is relaxing some restrictions on youth sports as coronavirus positivity rates have decreased among children in the region. The regulations announced Wednesday by County Executive Sam Page fall short of allowing high-contact high school sports such as football and ice hockey to resume. But Page says if the trend continues to improve, there may be a “path forward” to allow play to begin later this fall. Page's limits have drawn criticism from some parents. A few school districts have moved games elsewhere to skirt the regulations. St.

A state audit says Jackson County government spent millions of dollars on no-bid contracts or contracts that were not reevaluated for years. State Auditor Nicole Galloway says the audit released Wednesday also found the county was not transparent about millions it spent on legal, lobbying and other professional services. Galloway, the Democratic nominee in the Missouri governor's race, said Jackson County ignored requirements in its charter that all professional services contracts over $5,000 be competitively bid, except in emergencies.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for the coronavirus. His office confirmed the positive test Wednesday. Parson was tested after his wife, Teresa, tested positive earlier Wednesday. Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion. Gov. Parson postponed several events through the remainder of the week. Parson is 65.

A state audit released today accuses the former clerk of a tiny town in remote northeast Missouri of spending more than $300,000 in taxpayer money on concerts, vacations and other personal needs. Tracey Ray, the former clerk of Center, Missouri, hasn't been criminally charged with financial crimes, but she is facing four felony charges for an exchange of gunfire. The shooting injured the Ralls County sheriff and a deputy on July 2, 2019, the day city officials questioned her about financial concerns. Ray also was injured. She was fired the next day.

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus have risen across Missouri in recent days. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that three of the four highest days for hospitalizations have occurred over the past week, based on data from the state health department. The most recent data shows 1,021 patients in hospitals with confirmed or presumed cases on Saturday, the second-highest day on record. The highest was Sept. 9, when 1,040 patients were hospitalized. Missouri reported 1,191 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 106,587 since counting began in March.

A federal judge says St. Louis jails must stop holding inmates simply because they can't pay bail.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig issued her decision Tuesday. Her ruling gives officials a week to hold new detention hearings for current inmates and says new arrestees must have a hearing within 48 hours.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

 Recent rains have caused rivers to rise across Missouri and Kansas, and with more rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service is predicting minor flooding in several locations.

Hydrologists expect flooding along the Mississippi River starting in the next few days at Missouri towns that include Hannibal, Clarksville and Cape Girardeau. Minimal damage is expected but the concern is that the water will remain high into late March, so additional rainfall could be problematic.

Forecasts call for more rain Tuesday and Wednesday.

Missouri plans to license more than 300 medical marijuana-related businesses this year, and if that's not enough to meet patient demand, even more will be approved, the director of the state program said Monday.

The state is already planning at least 192 dispensaries, 60 cultivation facilities, 86 manufacturing facilities and two testing facilities. But Lyndall Fraker, medical marijuana program director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told hundreds of people attending a St. Louis conference that the state will do whatever is necessary to meet demand.

A 25-year-old political consultant and former state legislative aide pleaded guilty to engaging in activities related to child pornography.

In exchange for Carter Clinton Ballmann's plea on Thursday, a count of selling or buying children was dropped.

Cameron Kirby/Unsplash

Missouri's largest utility company plans to spend $6.3 billion on grid improvements over the next five years.

Ameren Missouri filed its plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Thursday. The highlights include installing 800,000 "smart meters" through 2023 as part of an effort to give customers more control over electrical costs, and a $1 billion expenditure on wind energy in 2020.

Nathan Lawrence

Sen. Josh Hawley has been subpoenaed to answer questions about his handling of Missouri's open records law while he was the state's attorney general. 

The Cole County Circuit Court issued the subpoena Monday as part of a lawsuit against Gov. Mike Parson's office.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Gov. Mike Parson is scheduled to announce who will replace Josh Hawley as Missouri's attorney general.

Parson is planning a news conference at around 9:45 this morning to fill the attorney general's post, which Hawley held after being elected in 2016.

Hawley will be moving to the U.S. Senate, after defeating Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in last week's election.

It is the second statewide office that Parson will fill since taking over as governor June 1.

KBIA

CHESTERFIELD — The former chief financial officer at Columbia Public Schools has admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from band boosters at a suburban St. Louis high school.

The Columbia Daily-Tribune reports that Anna Munson pleaded guilty Thursday in St. Louis County District Court to receiving stolen property.

KBIA

EDINA  — Three junior high school football players have been charged in juvenile court with felony harassment and their coach has resigned in a case of alleged escalating hazing involving members of a younger football team. Knox County R-1 School District Superintendent Andy Turgeon says he followed board policy in disciplining the students but provided no details, citing student privacy laws. He says the coach's resignation happened last month after an investigation.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A defense lawyer says three Nebraska farmers charged in an organic grain fraud scheme were working under a Missouri businessman who marketed ordinary corn and soybeans as organic. Tom Brennan, James Brennan and Michael Potter are expected to appear Friday afternoon in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to plead guilty to wire fraud. Prosecutors say each received $2.5 million from 2010 to 2017 from sales of corn and soybeans falsely marketed as certified organic.

Cameron Kirby / Unsplash

CARTHAGE — A city in southwestern Missouri that was recently left without a hometown newspaper will soon have two.

The Carthage Chronicle launched shortly after The Carthage Press closed without warning in August after more than 130 years in business, the Joplin Globe reported. The Chronicle is published by Sarcoxie Publishing Co. and offers subscriptions as well as free limited mailings.

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KBIA file photo

ST. LOUIS — Missouri supporters of medical marijuana will have their say in the November election. The only question: Do they cast a yes vote once, twice or three times?

Thanks to successful petition drives for three competing proposals, all three are on the ballot. Two would amend the Missouri Constitution; the other would simply change state law.

What happens if more than one passes? That's where things get sticky.

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