Associated Press | KBIA

Associated Press

Jurors have ruled that an 86-year-old former southwest Missouri minister is a sexually violent predator who should remain confined even though he has completed a 15-year prison sentence for sodomizing teenage boys.

Missouri Department of Conservation officials say the state's elk herd is on track to be large enough in 2020 for the first hunt in more than a century.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that department officials outlined how a hunt will work if the rules get final approval by the conservation commission.

A St. Louis police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a female colleague while playing a variation of Russian roulette had a history of forcing other women to also play the game, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the dead officer's mother.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has sued two immigration agents alleging they mistreated an attorney who was accompanying her 3-year-old client to be reunited with his pregnant mother before both would be deported to Honduras.

The ACLU said in a news release Thursday that ICE agents separated immigration lawyer Andrea Martinez from the child last year at an ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Facility in Kansas City, Missouri. Its claims agents pushed her to the ground.

A newspaper's review of state records shows that Missouri taxpayers have spent $366,000 on private attorneys to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens' use of a self-deleting text message app. 

Reports show that the bulk of the spending was by the governor's office. About $161,000 of it came after fellow Republican Mike Parson became governor following Greitens' resignation in June 2018.

Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Vicky Hartzler are among Republicans who oppose President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. 

The Missouri Republicans typically side with the president. But they're asking him to rethink his decision on Syria considering America's ties to the Syrian Kurdish fights who have helped the U.S. fight the Islamic State.

Turkey views those fighters as terrorists, and Trump's move to pull back from the area leaves them vulnerable to military onslaught.

A Springfield defense attorney has been charged with paying a witness to lie on the stand in a murder case.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 38-year-old Adam Woody was charged Friday with perjury and two counts of tampering with a witness during the 2016 retrial of Michael Amick. The retrial ended with Amick being acquitted in the 2008 killing of his wife's grandmother, Leona "Maxine" Vaughn.

A suspect in a weekend Kansas bar shooting that left four dead and five wounded was given probation last year for trafficking contraband while imprisoned for aggravated robbery instead of more time behind bars.

Reports that the same Leavenworth County, Kansas, judge that allowed Hugo Villanueva-Morales to avoid prison in the case also made news earlier this year when he reduced the sentence of a convicted sex offender because he said the 13- and 14-year-old girls who were victims in the abuse were actually "aggressors."

A suburban St. Louis school district alleges in a lawsuit that a leading e-cigarette maker harmed its students through deceptive marketing and misconduct.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri taxpayers have spent $366,000 on private attorneys to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens' use of a self-deleting text message app, according to a newspaper's review of state records.

The bulk of the spending was by the governor's office, and about $161,000 of it came after fellow Republican Mike Parson became governor following Greitens' resignation in June 2018, The Kansas City Star reported.

The Justice Department is looking into a Missouri class-action lawsuit accusing national real estate brokers of conspiring to charge excessive fees.

The Kansas City Star reports that attorneys in the department's antitrust division noted in a recent court filing that it's investigating the matter.

A pair of Kansas City law firms sued major residential real estate brokerage companies this year on behalf of Missouri residents who have sold a house since April 2015.

Police have identified two suspects in a Kansas bar shooting that left four people dead and five others wounded.

Police in Kansas City, Kansas, announced early Monday that 23-year-old Javier Alatorre was arrested Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri, while 29-year-old Hugo Villanueva-Morales is still at large.

Travelers will have to more direct flights from Kansas City International Airport to Mexico beginning in February.

Airport officials announced this week that Vacation Express will fly one nonstop route to Cancun and another to Puerto Vallarta on Sundays.

The Kansas City Star reports other airlines serve Cancun from Kansas City but the airport has not had nonstop service to Puerto Vallarta since Frontier ended service there in 2015.

Vacation Express is a tour company that operates charter flights to sunny destinations.

Washington University in St. Louis will provide a free education to any student from Missouri or southern Illinois whose family income is under $75,000.

Andrew Martin, the university's new chancellor, announced the program on Thursday during his inaugural address, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The program, called the WashU Pledge, begins next fall. It will pay the tuition, room and board costs for full-time undergraduates who meet the financial requirements.

A federal judge has declined to block a Missouri law that bans companies from labeling plant-based meat products or meat substitutes as meat.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. said last week that he wouldn't issue a preliminary injunction to stop Missouri agriculture officials from enforcing the law, which says a product cannot be marketed as meat unless it comes from an animal with two or four feet, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .

Schnuck Markets Inc., one of the Midwest’s largest grocery store chains, will stop selling cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products as of Jan. 1.

Suburban St. Louis-based Schnucks announced the move Thursday. Schnucks is the largest grocer in the St. Louis area and operates 115 stores overall in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. The privately held company already does not sell e-cigarettes or vaping products.

Nathan Lawrence/KBIA

 

The fate of a key part of Missouri’s new voter photo identification law is now in the hands of state Supreme Court judges, who on Thursday questioned state attorneys’ requests to at least spare parts of the provision.

The law had directed voters to present a valid photo ID, or to sign a sworn statement and present some other form of identification to cast a regular ballot.

The head of Missouri’s public defender system is resigning.

Michael Barrett announced his resignation Thursday after four years as director of the Missouri State Public Defender system. He said he was returning to New York to be closer to family.

The Kansas City Star reports a six-member public defender commission will select a new director.

Barrett has been a vocal critic of the lack of resources for Missouri public defenders and the need for criminal justice reform.

The contractor overseeing stone restoration on the Missouri state Capitol plans to appeal federal fines for workplace safety violations. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommended a total of $19,890 in fines against Chicago-based Bulley & Andrews Masonry Restoration, which is overseeing the $28.69 million restoration of much of the Capitol's exterior stone work reports say the company plans to appeal OSHA’s findings. 

OSHA cited Bulley & Andrews for four serious violations and issued fines for three of them.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating 73 complaints of alleged illegal gambling machines across the state.

Reports say Patrol Capt. John Hotz said eight more investigations will begin soon. 

The Missouri Gaming Commission sent the complaints to the patrol. The commission argues the gaming terminals, such as slot machines, are illegal.

The commission’s lead attorney ruled in July that the terminals have functions that make them gambling devices, which are prohibited outside of licensed casinos.

The American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that a Missouri judge illegally jailed three relatives after a custody hearing, resulting in one of them, a diabetic man, undergoing a partial foot amputation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Springfield. It says Texas County Associate Judge Douglas Gaston ordered grandparents Norma and Arthur Rogers and their son-in-law, William Hale, to jail for drug testing after they appeared before him without attorneys in June 2017.

A Democratic lawyer says she's running to unseat Missouri Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Lindsey Simmons announced her campaign for Hartzler's seat Tuesday.

The 32-year-old is running as a political outsider. She pledged not to take donations from corporate political action committees.

Simmons attended Harvard Law School. Her husband is an Army helicopter pilot.

Simmons says her campaign will focus on issues facing military and veterans' families, jobs and health care.

Health officials in eastern Missouri have added a seventh person to the list of Missourians diagnosed with lung illnesses related to vaping.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Jefferson County Health Department says a male between the ages of 15 and 24 was diagnosed Sept. 12 with "vaping associated pulmonary injury."

Health officials in the county, which is located south of St. Louis, say there have been 22 reports of vaping-related illness in Missouri, with seven cases confirmed as of Sept. 20.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says it's premature be discussing the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump before hearings are conducted, calling it "a lot of political hype."

Parson said Friday during the Missouri Press Association Meeting in Kansas City that the training he received while serving in the Army was that the commander in chief is the military's highest-ranking officerHe says that, "to a certain degree, whether you like the president or not, is not as important as the fact that he is the president."

The Missouri Gaming Commission has received 84 complaints about possibly illegal slot machines and other gaming devices that are spreading across the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the complaints have identified at least 200 potentially illegal machines in stores and fraternal organizations this year.

A former Missouri lawmaker now running for mayor of Ferguson has been fined $77,500 after a state ethics panel determined he used campaign money on personal expenses. 

The Missouri Ethics Commission on Tuesday announced the fine for Courtney Curtis, a Democrat who served three two-year terms as a state representative from St. Louis County starting in 2013. The commission said it had probable cause to believe Curtis failed to report 722 expenditures that included visits to spas, casinos, bars and restaurants.

A nonprofit group that advocates for the separation of church and state alleges that a Missouri school district on the outskirts of Kansas City is forcing religion on students and threatened to sue if it didn't stop.

Oak Grove Superintendent Bryan Thomsen said the district is investigating the claims from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Water levels are rising again along the Missouri River after recent heavy rain, although none of the flooding is expected to be severe.

The National Weather Service is predicting moderate flooding in St. Joseph, Missouri, where the river is expected to crest tonight at a level that will inundate a park. Minor flooding is expected in several other Missouri towns, including Napoleon, Waverly and Boonville.

Attorneys for a Missouri death row inmate with a rare medical condition say the tracheostomy tube he relies on to breathe increases the risk of a "grotesque execution process" if he is put to death next week.

Clemency from Gov. Mike Parson may be the last hope for convicted killer Russell Bucklew, who is scheduled to die Oct. 1.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that the execution could proceed. A spokeswoman for the Republican governor says Parson supports capital punishment but will examine the clemency request.

Authorities say shootings left four people dead and two others wounded in a three-hour span in the St. Louis area as violence continues to wrack the city.

KSDK-TV reports that the first of Monday's shootings happened around 7:50 p.m. and left two men dead.

Police say two people were wounded around an hour later. Then, at 9:50 p.m. a man was fatally shot at a gas station. And at 10:50 p.m., a woman was found dead in an alley with multiple gunshot wounds.

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