March 31, 2015

 

 

TRUMANN WOMAN KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK

A Northeast Arkansas woman died over the weekend following a single vehicle wreck in Craighead County.

According to the Arkansas State police, 29 year old Morgan Stephanie Smith, of Trumann, was driving a vehicle on State Highway 63 when she ran off the road and hit a culvert.

Smith was killed in the wreck.

 

IZARD COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT

An Izard County man is alleged to have sexually assaulted a young girl.

According to the Izard County Sheriff’s Department, 61 year old Theodore Shrout of Franklin, was taken into custody on Friday. Shrout is accused of inappropriately touching the child, who is younger than 10 years old. He has been charged with felony 2nd degree sexual assault.

Sheriff Tate Lawrence says that Shrout has a history of similar incidents with charges and convictions from the state of Kansas.

 

SILVA WOMAN FACING MULTIPLE DRUG CHARGES OUT OF WAYNE COUNTY

A Silva woman is facing multiple drug charges in connection to her arrest Monday afternoon in Wayne County.

According to the Highway Patrol, 29 year old Jessica Tooman was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance for methamphetamine and soma, possession of a controlled substance in a jail facility for diazepan and hydrocodone, and driving while intoxicated.

 

TWO ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING ITEMS FROM VEHICLE

Jackson Police say two Cape Girardeau residents are facing charges following the investigation of a vehicle break in.

According to Police, 22 year old Blaze Stephens and 18 year old Harper Johnson were allegedly found to be in possession of items stolen from the vehicle.

They are each charged with stealing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

 

BRIDGE COLLAPSES IN MADISON COUNTY

A bridge in Madison County collapsed over the weekend.

According to KFVS, the low water bridge was located over the Castor River on County Road 320.

The bridge reportedly collapsed due to water.

 

AUDITOR SPOKESMAN LEFT NOTE BEFORE APPARENT SUICIDE

(AP) – Police say the spokesman for the Missouri auditor’s office left a note before his apparent suicide, which came about a month after his boss killed himself.

Jefferson City Police spokesman Captain Doug Shoemaker said Monday that 44-year-old Robert “Spence” Jackson died Friday evening or early Saturday at his apartment.

Shoemaker says investigators found a note, but he declined to say what it said.

Jackson’s body was found Sunday evening after police responded to a well-being check. Police say they believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Shoemaker says Jackson’s mother called police Sunday after not being able to reach him.

Jackson’s boss, Auditor Tom Schweich, fatally shot himself last month at his home in what police also have described as a suicide.

 

MISSOURI PRESCRIPTION DRUG DATABASE EARNS INITIAL APPROVAL

(AP) – Missouri senators have given initial approval to a proposed prescription drug database, despite concerns that it could jeopardize personal information.

In a voice vote, senators on Monday advanced the measure, which has failed to pass the Legislature for years.

The measure would create a monitoring program to track when prescriptions for controlled drugs are written and filled.

The goal is to help prevent and catch so-called doctor shoppers who try to stockpile and abuse addictive pills, such as painkillers.

Missouri is the only state without such a program. Lawmakers have questioned the security of a government database tracking prescription pill use.

Compromises such as cutting the time that data is saved helped move the bill forward. Originally at two years, senators cut that down to 180 days.

 

MISSOURI HOUSE PANEL QUESTIONS PRIVACY IN BODY CAMERA BILL

(AP) – A Democratic proposal made in response to the fatal police shooting in Ferguson that would require mandatory body cameras for Missouri police is facing a Republican roadblock.

GOP House committee members questioned funding mechanisms and privacy protections during a hearing Monday.

But Democratic Representative Brandon Ellington, of Kansas City, says recording police interactions would protect law enforcement and citizens.

Ellington says he was once arrested after a fight with an officer and charges were dropped only because of video from a store camera.

Body cameras have been one proposed response to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson by a white police officer.

Ellington says he introduced the measure last year before the shooting. He said video would have answered questions about Brown’s death.

 

BRIDGE MAINTENANCE TODAY IN WAYNE COUNTY

Route 67 in Wayne County will be reduced to one lane as Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform bridge maintenance.

The bridge is located between County Road 212 and Route EE.

Work will be performed today from 6:30 am to 5 pm.

 

NEW MADRID COUNTY ROAD TO BE CLOSED TODAY FOR CROSSING REPAIRS

Route HH in New Madrid County will be closed today as Railroad crews perform railroad crossing repairs.

Work is scheduled to take place from 8 am to 5 pm today.

The crossing is located between County Road 609 and Route 61.

 

INTERSTATE REPAIRS TO BEGIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI COUNTY

Northbound Interstate 57 in Mississippi County will be reduced to one lane beginning today so Missouri Department of Transportation crews can perform bridge maintenance.

The bridge is located between Route 105 and Route UU.

Weather permitting; work will take place from 7:30 am to 3 pm daily through Friday, April 17th.

March 30, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 033015

 

TWO AREA TEENS FATALLY INJURED IN SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH

 

A single vehicle crash on Saturday in Dunklin County has claimed the lives of two area men.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 17 year old Corey A. Lee, of Paragould, was at the wheel when his vehicle travelled off the roadway and overturned.  Lee and a passenger, 18 year old Tyler M. Ellington, of Cardwell, were ejected from the vehicle.

 

Ellington was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Lee was transported to a regional hospital and then to a Memphis hospital, where he died Sunday.

 

Authorities say the wreck occurred around noon Saturday on Route V, about three miles south of Senath.

 

 

POLICE LOOK FOR MISSING PORTAGEVILLE WOMAN

 

Authorities are looking for a Portageville woman.

 

According to the Portageville Police Department, 54 year old Teresa Miller was last seen on March 25th.  Miller was wearing blue jeans, a black sweatshirt, a black jacket and white tennis shoes.

 

Anyone with information about Miller or her whereabouts is asked to contact the Portageville Police Department.

 

 

SIX YEAR OLD RECOVERS AFTER HIT AND RUN

 

Authorities in Cape Girardeau are looking for a man who witnesses say hit a six year old girl with his vehicle before speeding away from the scene.

 

The child, whose name has not been released, was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries after the incident Saturday evening.

 

The girl was crossing Ellis Street shortly before 7 pm on her bike, when she was struck by a vehicle.  The vehicle, which witnesses describe as a black or dark blue Crown Victoria or Chevy Caprice, fled the scene.  Witnesses say they believe the car was being driven by a light skinned black male.

 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Cape Police at 573-335-6621.

 

 

SCOTT CITY MAN ARRESTED OVER WEEKEND ON DRUG CHARGES

 

A Scott City man is facing drug related charges after his arrest over the weekend in Cape Girardeau County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 25 year old Andrew J. Wilson was taken into custody shortly before 2 am Saturday.

 

Wilson has been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, Hydrocodone; possession of marijuana, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

EAST PRAIRIE TEEN FACES DRUG CHARGES AFTER AUTHORITIES DISCOVER PILLS IN HER POSSESSION

 

An East Prairie teen is facing drug related charges after she was found with several pills in her possession.

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that 17 year old Bethany E. Sutton was arrested shortly after midnight in Mississippi County.

 

Sutton has been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, Hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and a unidentified pill.

 

 

CABOOL MAN CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR ASSAULT

 

A Cabool man is facing a vehicular assault charge.

 

A report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol says 30 year old Brandon W. Stark was arrested shortly before 9 am Friday in Texas County.

 

Stark was taken into custody on eight traffic warrants from Texas County, as well as the charge of vehicular assault.

 

 

MOREHOUSE MAN FACING DRUG CHARGES AFTER TRAFFIC STOP

 

A traffic stop has led to the arrest of a Morehouse man on drug charges.

 

According to the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Brian D. Lynch.  The deputy reports that during the stop, Lynch was exhibiting suspicious behavior.  The deputy initiated a search of the vehicle and discovered a glass pipe with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, several pills, and a small amount of marijuana.

 

Lynch has been charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

ROUTE F IN PEMISCOT COUNTY CLOSED FOR RAILROAD REPAIRS

 

A portion of Route F in Pemiscot County will be closed as Railroad crews perform railroad crossing repairs.

 

The affected section of roadway is between Second Street and Third Street.

 

Work is scheduled to take place roday through Wednesday from 8 am to 5 pm daily.

 

 

MISSOURI LAWMAKER WANTS TO CAP STATE’S 28 OFFICIAL SYMBOLS

 

(AP) – Missouri could limit the number of official creatures, foods and other state symbols under a bill up for a vote in the House.

 

Republican Rep. Tom Flanigan’s bill comes as lawmakers debate making “Jim the Wonder Dog” the state Wonder Dog and “Old Drum” the state historical dog.

 

Every state has a collection of official symbols. Missouri has 28. Iowa has the least with eight. Massachusetts has the most with 44.

 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Missouri’s collection includes the state dinosaur (the hadrosaur), state exercise (jumping jacks) and state dessert (the ice cream cone).

 

Representative Tom Flanigan, a Carthage Republican, is sponsoring the bill to block adding more Missouri state symbols.

 

 

BILLS WOULD BAN GENDER NEUTRAL HOUSING AND UNISEX BATHROOMS

 

(AP) – Gender-neutral university housing and many unisex public bathrooms would be banned in Missouri under bills that have been introduced in the Legislature.

 

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Representative Jeff Pogue submitted the bills last week. The Salem Republican says he wants to “protect the social norms of our state.” The legislation comes about one month after the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia announced plans to test out a new 16-bed housing option. MU officials say the goal is to create a safe place for transgender or gender nonconforming students.

 

Kyle Piccola, a lobbyist for the LGBT advocacy group PROMO, called Pogue’s legislation “disheartening.” Piccola said the group would monitor the legislation but stressed that bills filed this late in the session “don’t typically go anywhere.”

 

 

MISSOURI BILL WOULD ALLOW GROWLERS IN GAS STATIONS AND GROCERS

 

(AP) – Missouri beer lovers could buy freshly filled growlers of draft beers at convenience and grocery stores under two proposals brewing in the Legislature.

 

The Senate is set to review a bill approved earlier this month by the House that would allow stores that sell packaged beer to add growlers to their wares. The jugs currently can be sold at breweries and some bars, typically filled with unique brews that aren’t sold in stores.

 

The national Brewers Association reports craft beer sales increased about 17 percent in 2013, even as overall beer sales dropped.

 

House bill sponsor Republican Rep. Robert Cornejo homebrews and says the bill gives Missouri residents increased access to their favorite beers.

March 27, 2015

 

ARKANSAS BILL ADVANCES TO HELP RESTART EXECUTIONS

 

 

(AP) – Arkansas House members have endorsed a bill aimed at helping restart executions in the state by allowing different drugs to be used in lethal injections and shielding the drugs’ source.

 

Lawmakers advanced the bill to the Senate Thursday in a 73 to 3 vote. It would allow the Department of Corrections to either use a barbiturate or a combination of three drugs for executions. The agency would also be barred from releasing who makes or supplies the drugs.

 

A lawyer for some death row inmates say the secrecy provision in the bill violates a 2013 agreement with the Arkansas attorney general’s office and would open the state up to a lawsuit if passed.

 

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office says the agreement shouldn’t prevent the Legislature from amending the law.

March 26, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032615

 

TWO FACING CHARGE OF CONSPIRING TO COMMIT MURDER

 

Two people in Northeast Arkansas are facing charges in connection to an alleged plan to kill a woman.

 

According to the Blytheville Courier News, 32 year old Tylon King and 28 year old Diedre Bingham are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, engaging in violent criminal gang activity, and witness bribery.

 

 

MARBLE HILL MAN FACING RAPE AND ASSAULT CHARGES

 

An incident at an assisted living facility has led to charges for one man.

 

According to the Southeast Missourian, Joshua Bailey was a resident at the facility when he allegedly had sexual intercourse with another resident and also burned her with a cigarette.

 

The owner of the facility told authorities that the woman is not legally able to give consent due to being severely developmentally disabled.

 

Bailey has been taken into custody on charges of first degree rape, third degree assault, and 1first degree sexual abuse.

 

 

ONE INJURED IN CAPE GIRARDEAU AREA STABBING

 

A person reportedly suffered superficial injuries during a stabbing incident Wednesday night.

 

According to authorities, the incident occurred at a residential care facility in Cape Girardeau when a 29 year old man was stabbed multiple times.

 

A 23 year old suspect, whose name was not available, was taken into custody.

 

 

VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL EVENT SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY AT BESS ACTIVITY CENTER

 

An event recognizing veterans of the Vietnam War will be held Friday at the Bess Activity Center on the campus of Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff.

 

“Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans,” is an early celebration of Vietnam Veterans Day, which is March 29th. The event will include speaker Bill Kiefer; a Salute to Fallen Vietnam Veterans led by Bardis Dismuke; and the POW/MIA Ceremony led by John Fuller and Bob Lawson.

 

In addition there will be proclamations and resolutions presented by state Representative Todd Richardson & Representative Steve Cookson; state Senator Doug Libla; and Poplar Bluff Mayor Pro-tem Dr. Jack Rushin.

 

The event will begin at 11 am Friday and is open to the public.

 

 

MOTORISTS WARNED TO STAY ALERT IN FLOODING AREAS

 

Flood warnings are in effect in many areas near rivers in Souhteast Missouri and the Missouri State Highway Patrol is warning motorists to stay alert while driving in areas known to flood.

 

According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River was almost three and a half feet above the flood stage at Caruthersville at 8 pm last night. At 9 pm, it was just over a foot above the flood stage at New Madrid.

 

The Highway Patrol says to never drive through fast-moving waters; even a small amount of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway.

 

If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground.

 

 

RAILROAD CROSSING REPAIRS SCHEDULED FOR PEMISCOT COUNTY

 

Route M in Pemiscot County will be reduced today as railroad crews perform railroad crossing repairs.

 

The work zone is located from Route 61 to County Road 483.

 

Weather permitting, work is scheduled for 7 am to 6 pm today.

 

 

MISSOURI REPUBLICANS SPLIT ON POSSIBLE EXPERT WITNESS CHANGE

 

(AP) – A proposal supporters say would bring Missouri’s court procedures for expert witness testimony more in line with federal standards has encountered strong opposition from two Republican senators seeking statewide office.

 

The measure would require expert witnesses to base testimony on sufficient facts and data and apply reliable principles and methods. Missouri’s current law applies primarily to the facts, not the method by which they are analyzed.

 

Opponents, including Republican Sens. Kurt Schaefer and Eric Schmitt, say the legislation could increase litigation costs as expert witnesses are challenged more often.

 

Supporters say it would ensure the reliability of science used in court cases.

 

The opposing sides are set to work out concerns when lawmakers return from spring break next week.

 

 

NIXON TOUTS MISSOURI IN EUROPEAN TRADE MISSION

 

(AP) – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is touting the state’s central location and AAA credit rating during a trade mission to Italy, Germany and Spain.

 

Nixon said during a call Wednesday from Munich he hopes the trip will help persuade greater investment from German automobile manufacturers, such as BMW.

 

The Missouri entourage includes Republican House Speaker John Diehl and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, as well as Democratic lawmakers and economic development leaders.

 

The group has met with Italian cement producer Buzzi Unicem and the German chemical company BASF, among others. Both have Missouri plants.

 

Travel expenses were paid for by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit economic development group.

 

The trip follows a trade mission led by First Lady Georganne Nixon earlier this month to Cuba to promote Missouri agriculture.

March 25, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032515

 

ADVANCE MAN DIES WHILE DRIVING, AUTHORITIES SEEK CAUSE OF DEATH

 

Authorities are attempting to figure out what caused the death of an Advance man as he drove down a Sikeston road Monday.

 

According to Captain James McMillen with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, officers responded to a call about what appeared to be a vehicle accident near Highway HH and North Ingram Road. When officers arrived, they found a truck in a field.

 

The driver of the vehicle, 36 year old David Allen Leonard was deceased in the driver’s seat. Captain McMillen says there was no damage to the truck and no obvious evidence of trauma to Leonard.

 

According to authorities, it is believed that Leonard suffered some sort of medical event that led to his death.

 

 

BOLLINGER COUNTY MAN ACCUSED OF HITTING SON WITH PIECE OF TRIM

 

A Gipsy, Missouri man was recently taken into custody after his son told authorities that the man had hit him repeatedly with a piece of trim board.

 

According to the Southeast Missourian, Brian Elsworth is facing a child abuse charge in connection to the incident. Elsworth allegedly struck his son three times in the head with his hand, before using a piece of trim board to hit him three times on the buttocks causing the board to break.

 

The 13 year old child reportedly had substantial bruising.

 

 

  1. LOUIS MAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE DRUG CHARGES IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

 

A St. Louis man is facing multiple drug charges following his arrest Tuesday afternoon in New Madrid County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 36 year old John Montgomery was taken into custody on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of marijuana; and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

 

 

GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR NEW POPLAR BLUFF JUNIOR HIGH ADDITION

 

Work started earlier this month on a new addition to the Poplar Bluff Junior High School.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last Friday for the addition, which will include a FEMA safe room and nine new classrooms, among other renovations.

 

The project will also feature new restroom facilities, locker rooms and a road that encircles the campus. The safe room portion, which will double as a gym, is funded by a $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

The current gym will be converted to a shop classroom.

 

The deadline for the project’s completion is March 2nd, 2016.

 

 

FORMER COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHOSEN FOR INTERIM BUTLER COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR

 

A former county commissioner will be taking over as interim Emergency Management Director in Butler County.

 

According to a report from the Daily American Republic, Robbie Myers will be filing the spot on an interim basis. Myers had previously served as interim director in late 2012 and early 2013, along with his tenure as a county commissioner for 12 years.

 

Officials say they want to wait until after the storm season before a final decision will be made.

 

 

NEW COLLECTOR OF REVENUE APPOINTED FOR CARTER COUNTY

 

Governor Jay Nixon has named a new Collector of Revenue for Carter County.

 

Van Buren resident Lisa Goodwin was appointed to the position, which was made vacant by the resignation of Deborah Turley.

 

Goodwin is a former city clerk for the City of Van Buren, a post she held from 1997 until 2012.

 

 

SHOW TO BE PERFORMED THURSDAY AT JOHN J PERSHING VA MEDICAL CENTER

 

An entertainment show is scheduled to be performed Thursday for hospitalized veterans and guests at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center.

 

Re-Creation’s “40 Years of Entertainment” show will begin at 2 pm Thursday at the Medical Center’s main lobby.

 

Local VA Voluntary Services Officer, Donna Reynolds says the show is like a mini-Broadway performance featuring a group of talented young entertainers.

 

The public is welcome to attend the show and there will be no charge.

 

 

MISSOURI AUDIT FAULTS ATTORNEY GENERAL ON LOBBYIST POLICY

 

(AP) – A state audit says Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster hasn’t adopted a policy to address concerns that he’s been influenced by lobbyist perks.

 

Koster was criticized after a New York Times article in October listed him among a group of attorneys general who were soft on companies facing litigation after receiving campaign contributions and perks.

 

Koster later promised not to accept lobbyist gifts and put a freeze on campaign contributions from organizations under investigation by his office.

 

An audit released Tuesday says his office hadn’t formally adopted those policies as of February. Koster’s campaign spokesman Andrew Whalen says a policy is in place through his political committee.

 

Koster’s office says attorneys don’t pay attention to who contributes to his campaign.

 

Koster is the only Democrat running for governor in 2016.

 

 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER HARBORS TO BE DREDGED IN FOUR STATES

 

(AP) – A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official says 10 harbors on the Mississippi River in Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee are scheduled for dredging this year.

 

Col. Jeff Anderson, commander of the corps’ Memphis District, updated stakeholders and area officials on flood and water management projects during a meeting of the Mississippi River Commission in Memphis on Tuesday.

 

Anderson said dredging of silt and sediment deposits in ports and harbors is important because it clears them for barge traffic, which in turn bolsters commerce.

 

The meeting on the Motor Vessel Mississippi was part of the corps’ annual high-water inspection trip. The commission met Monday in New Madrid, Missouri.

 

 

MISSOURI MEDICAID PROGRAM DID NOT RECOVER FROM DECEASED

 

(AP) – An audit of federal funds says Missouri’s Medicaid program failed to recover as much as $27 million in medical expenses from deceased participants in the program.

 

The audit released Tuesday found claims were not filed quickly enough in more than 30,000 cases where the state may have been able to recover money.

 

Missouri law allows the state to recover Medicaid funds spent on a participant as a state debt. The state must file a claim against the person’s estate in probate court within a year of their death.

 

The Department of Social Services unit responsible for filing claims says it does not have sufficient staff to review all of the cases of deceased patients.

 

The audit also found continued eligibility verification problems in welfare programs overseen by the department.

March 24, 2015

 

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032415

 

MAN ARRESTED AFTER DROPPING METH ON CONVENIENCE STORE FLOOR

 

Two Northeast Arkansas men are facing charges after one of them reportedly dropped a bag of methamphetamine on the floor of a convenience store.

 

According to the Izard County Sheriff Department, 33 year old Robert Hobbs, of Floral, was at a Melbourne convenience store when he allegedly dropped a small bag of methamphetamine on the floor while purchasing items. The bag was located by a store employee and Hobbs was identified on an in store video.

 

Hobbs was located on a construction site in Melbourne on March 18th and arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

 

During Hobbs arrest, another worker was observed disposing of a bag of meth and a smoking device.

 

The worker, 36 year old Timothy Swaim, of Batesville, was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia for the purpose to use methamphetamine, tampering with physical evidence, and possession of marijuana.

 

 

MICHIGAN MAN ARRESTED IN NEW MADRID COUNTY ON DRUG CHARGE

 

A Michigan man is facing drug related charges in connection to his arrest Sunday night in New Madrid County.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 23 year old Demarcus Baber, of Saginaw, Michigan, was arrested on a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.   Baber is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

POLICE SAY NO CLEAR MOTIVE IN MISSOURI AUDITOR’S SUICIDE

 

(AP) – Police investigating the suicide of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich say law officers have no clear motive for why he shot himself.

 

Clayton Police Lt. Don Bass told KMOX radio that detectives have been conducting interviews and searching through Schweich’s text messages, emails and voicemails.

 

Schweich shot himself at his Clayton home February 26th, just minutes after telling a reporter that he wanted to go public with allegations that the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party had been telling people Schweich was Jewish.

 

Schweich, who was Christian, also had expressed angst to friends over what he perceived to be an anti-Semitic whispering campaign.

 

Bass says “there’s nothing to indicate a clear motive” and “there’s no substance to the whispering campaign” based on evidence brought to the attention of police.

 

 

JEFF SHAWAN STEPS DOWN AS BUTLER COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR

 

Jeff Shawan announced Monday that he would be leaving the position of Butler County Emergency Management Director.

 

Shawan says he resigned to pursue a new business opportunity. He had served since 2012 and said he could stay on as director until April 24th.

 

 

BERNIE HIGH SCHOOL TAKES TOP HONORS IN BATTLE OF THE BELT CHALLENGE

 

A local high school received top honors with a 100 percent seat belt usage during the 2014 Battle of the Belt Challenge.

 

Bernie High School was one of eight schools across the state to hit 100 percent seat belt usage and the only one in Southeast Missouri.

 

An assembly was held earlier this month where the school was awarded a Gold Banner and $500 check.

 

Participating schools launched two surprise seat belt checks at each school to measure student seat belt usage before and after an educational campaign. In addition, schools had the opportunity to submit a 30 second video spot to encourage their peers to buckle up.

 

Seven other Southeast Missouri schools recorded at least 90 percent seat belt usage.

 

 

SEVERE WEATHER POSSIBLE FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING AND NIGHT

 

We could be looking at possible severe weather this week.

 

According to the National Weather Service, a vigorous system is expected to pass across the area Wednesday and Wednesday night.

 

The system could bring severe storms Wednesday evening and night with large hail and damaging winds being the primary threat.

 

 

DEXTER POLICE SAY HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN WAS A SUCCESS

 

Dexter police say that their St. Patrick’s Day holiday enforcement campaign was a success.

 

From March 14th to 17th, the Dexter Police Department reported at least one drunk driving arrest, three minor in possession of alcohol violations and 65 citations were made.

 

Nearly 10,000 law enforcement agencies across the country participated in this year’s St. Patrick’s holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

 

 

PAVEMENT REPAIRS UNDERWAY IN BUTLER COUNTY

 

Highway 67 in Butler County will be reduced to one lane this week as Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform pavement repairs.

 

The work zone is located at Route 158/160 extending north and south one-mile.

 

Weather permitting, work will be performed through Thursday from 7 am to 4:30 pm daily.

 

 

MISSOURI REPUBLICAN PROPOSES FIX TO FELON GUN RIGHTS PROBLEM

 

(AP) – A Missouri Republican lawmaker says a legislative fix is needed to ensure the state’s prohibition on felons carrying guns won’t be thrown out.

 

Representative Kevin Austin, of Springfield, says the Legislature should move quickly to remedy a problem created by a court ruling involving Amendment 5, which expanded Missouri’s constitutional protections for gun rights.

 

The measure also gave legislators the ability to limit gun rights for “convicted violent felons.”

 

A St. Louis judge said in a ruling last month that’s being challenged that Missouri’s law barring all felons from possessing guns was unconstitutional because it was too broad.

 

Austin now is sponsoring a bill that would define the list of crimes included as a “violent felony.” He says that could ensure guns remain banned for at least some felons.

 

March 23, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032315

 

ONE DEAD FOLLOWING SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK IN PEMISCOT COUNTY

 

An Illinois man is dead after being injured in a single vehicle wreck Sunday afternoon in Pemiscot County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 40 year old Damon Gregory, of Marissa, Illinois, was driving on Interstate 55 when his vehicle ran off the side of the road and overturned.

 

Gregory was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

ORAN MAN CHARGED WITH STEALING

 

A Southeast Missouri man is facing a stealing charge for allegedly stealing from an Oran business.

 

According to Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter, 34 year old Kevin Kielhofner, of Oran, entered a business on March 8th to cash a $200 check.

 

After Keilhofner was given the money, the associate noticed that the check was not signed. The associate gave the check back to Kielhofner and informed him he needed to sign it.

 

The associate turned around to get an item and when she turned back around, Kielhofner was walking out the door and the check was not on the counter.

 

Keilhofner was arrested on Friday on a misdemeanor charge of stealing.

 

 

SIKESTON WOMAN REPORTEDLY FOUND WITH MULTIPLE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

 

A Sikeston woman is facing multiple felony charges following her arrest Friday afternoon in Mississippi County.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 32 year old Christina Haddock was taken into custody at 12:45 pm Friday. Haddock was arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine and distribution of a controlled substance.

 

Haddock was also charged with possession of a controlled substance for oxycotin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, xanax, and endocet.

 

 

CHAFFEE MAN FACING METH RELATED CHARGE

 

A Chaffee man is facing a meth possession charge out of Cape Girardeau County.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 20 year old Jared Roth was arrested Sunday morning.

 

Roth was taken into custody on charges of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING CAR FIRE IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

 

Authorities are investigating a weekend car fire in Jonesboro.

 

According to KAIT, a woman reported that she woke up Sunday morning and found that her car was burned.

 

She told police that she believed that a family member that she had been arguing with could have started the fire.

 

 

ALMOST $400,000 RAISED DURING WEEKEND TELETHON FOR KENNY ROGERS CHILDREN’S CENTER

 

Almost $400,000 was raised over the weekend during the 2015 Kenny Rogers Children’s Center Telethon.

 

The two day event in Sikeston raised $379,232. The telethon included multiple events such as a blood drive, 5k run, and a silent auction.

 

The Kenny Rogers Children’s Center provides a wide array of developmental and therapeutic services to children with all types of special needs and developmental delays including prematurity, cerebral palsy, and down syndrome.

 

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION TO BE HELD TODAY AS PART OF POPLAR BLUFF POLICE ACCREDITATION ASSESSMENT

 

A public information session is scheduled for today as a part of the accreditation assessment for the Poplar Bluff Police Department.

 

The session will be conducted in the community room on the bottom floor of the Poplar Bluff Public Library at 5:30 pm.

 

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Incorporated recently arrived to examine all aspects of the Poplar Bluff Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services.

 

Appearances at the public information session are limited to ten minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at the Poplar Bluff Police Department.

 

You can also provide comments to the assessment team by calling (537) 686-8622 today between 1 pm and 3 pm.

 

 

AREA STUDENT QUALIFIES FOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

 

A Three Rivers College Student has qualified for a national competition due to her performance at a recent state competition.

 

Jessica Sedrick, a Three Rivers student from Piedmont, has advanced to the Collegiate DECA national competition after qualifying with a fifth-place finish at the DECA State Career Development Conference in Jefferson City.

 

Sedrick, who is a sophomore in the business management program at Three Rivers, will compete in the hotel and lodging management category.

 

DECA is a national organization that helps high school and college students across the country prepare for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management through professional development, education, and networking opportunities.

 

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG DATABASE BILLS ADD SECURITY PROTECTIONS

 

(AP) – Two bills sponsored by Republican lawmakers address privacy concerns in an attempt to pass a long-unsuccessful proposal for a prescription drug database.

 

Missouri is the only state without a database, which allows doctors and pharmacists to track possible so-called doctor shopping. The practice involves obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors and then selling the pills or feeding a personal addiction.

 

Some lawmakers are wary of another government database with personal information, but both bills have safeguards so that the database is state-controlled and confidential.

 

That gained the backing of Republican Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who previously filibustered similar bills. His support could signal a higher likelihood for the bill to pass.

 

 

MUSIC THERAPISTS SEEK STATE RECOGNITION, FUNDING FOR KIDS

 

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers are pushing for music therapists to obtain state certification and access to funding through a program for infants born with developmental delays.

 

Music therapy uses music to help individuals reach therapeutic goals in the physical, cognitive and social-emotional areas.

 

Cape Girardeau Republican Representative Kathy Swan says she wants to find a way to help young children get access to a service that’s shown clinical results. She and a state senator are sponsoring bills, but neither have received a hearing yet.

 

Johnna Carrender is the caretaker and step-grandmother of a 7-year old with shaken baby syndrome. She pays out-of-pocket for music therapy because she says it’s a way to help him tap into his abilities and bring joy to his life.

March 20, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032015

 

TWO POPLAR BLUFF RESIDENTS DIED FROM INJURIES IN WEEKEND FIRE

 

Two Poplar Bluff residents who were injured in a house fire over the weekend have died.

 

According to authorities, 43 year old Tesson Trube and 25 year old Uriah Nelson had been hospitalized due to smoke inhalation after the early morning Sunday fire.

 

The DAR reports that family members removed both victims from life support Monday.

 

The fire was determined to be accidental.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF MAN FACING WEAPONS CHARGE

 

A Poplar Bluff man has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon after he was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol yesterday.

 

According to the Patrol, 32 year old Terrance J. Draggs was taken into custody shortly before noon in Butler County.

 

In addition to the weapons charge, Draggs has been charged with unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. He also had several misdemeanor warrants out of Poplar Bluff and Butler County.

 

 

BODY FOUND BY FARMERS IN CLAY COUNTY, ARKANSAS

 

A body has been discovered by two famers in Clay County, Arkansas.

 

Authorities say the man’s body, which is yet to be identified, was found at the edge of a ditch on County Road 256, north of McDougal.

 

A cause of death is yet to be determined.

 

Arkansas State Police are investigating.

 

 

SWIFT WATER LEADS TO NEED FOR RESCUE OF AREA FAMILY

 

An area family needed assistance Monday after their truck was swept away in swift moving water.

 

Authorities say a family of four was traveling on County Road 338, northeast of Hayti in Pemiscot County, when they attempted to go through some water over the road.  The vehicle was swept away in the current.

 

Members of the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Pemiscot County Rescue Squad and Caruthersville Police Department were able to reach the family by boat and remove them from the roof of the truck.

 

Authorities remind citizens that if there is water over a road, turn around and do not try to cross it.  In most cases, the water is deeper than it appears.

 

 

TRAFFIC STOP IN WAYNE COUNTY LEADS TO ARREST OF THREE

 

A traffic stop in Wayne County has led to the arrest of three men.

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that 21 year old Phillip E. Snipes, of Warrensburg 22 year old Ted J. Buckner, of Florissant; and 19 year old Adrian D. Sanders, of St. Louis, were taken into custody yesterday around 3:30 pm.

 

They have each been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and felony possession of marijuana.

 

 

KANSAS CITY RESIDENT ARRESTED IN NEW MADRID COUNTY ON DRUG CHARGES

 

A Kansas City, Kansas resident is facing drug charges after she was stopped in New Madrid County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 43 year old Joyce D. Boettcher was arrested yesterday shortly before 12:30 pm and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

 

 

FIFTH ANNUAL ART FOR ANIMALS TO OPEN APRIL 10

 

Artists will unleash their talents for a good cause when the 5th Annual Art for Animals exhibit and silent auction opens at Artfully Framed on Friday, April 10.

 

The opening reception is from 5 to 7 pm at the Artfully Framed gallery in the Bluff Estates Shopping Center. It will feature dozens of 5×7 original paintings by area artists, to be sold in a two-week silent auction.

 

Money raised by the event will benefit the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southeast Missouri.

 

The closing reception will be from 5 to 7 pm on April 24 and is open to the public at no charge.

 

Blank canvases are available at Artfully Framed for a $10 registration fee; $5 for children. Anyone can take part by creating a 5×7 painting of any subject in any style.

 

The artwork will remain on display at Artfully Framed during the two weeks between receptions. People can stop by the gallery and bid on their favorite paintings, or they can follow and submit bids on the Artfully Framed Facebook page:  facebook.com/artfullyframed.

 

For more information, call 785-6178.

 

 

HUNDREDS RALLY FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION

 

(AP) – Hundreds of people are rallying at the Missouri Capitol to urge lawmakers to expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults, despite resistance from Republicans leaders.

 

About 300 members of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition marched through the Capitol halls Thursday near the Senate chamber chanting, “Silence is violence. Have the debate.”

 

Republican legislative leaders have said that expanding Medicaid is a nonstarter this year.

 

Democratic House members have used debate on next fiscal year’s budget as an opportunity to criticize the GOP for blocking the measure, which could mean as much as $2 billion in additional federal money.

 

Republicans have cautioned that expanding the federal health care program might not have such a sweeping economic impact. They also say the current system is susceptible to fraud.

 

 

MISSOURI HOUSE OKS PROTECTIONS FOR RELIGIOUS STUDENT GROUPS

 

(AP) – A measure supporters say will protect religious student groups at Missouri universities is headed to the Senate after a House vote.

 

The Missouri House on Thursday approved a measure prohibiting public colleges from penalizing religious student groups for requiring members or leaders to adhere to the group’s religious beliefs and conduct.

 

Supporters say universities in other states have targeted religious groups under policies that require organizations to accept any student who wants to join, which sometimes prompts organizations to disband.

 

The bill would not allow universities to defund religious groups for activities or policies that are part of a sincerely held religious belief.

 

Opponents say that has not happened and that the measure would allow religious groups to discriminate against people based on gender, race and sexual orientation.

 

 

MISSOURI GOVERNOR SIGNS EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR LOCAL PROJECTS

 

(AP) – Local governments in Missouri that built storm shelters or repaired school and hospital buildings after disasters like the 2011 Joplin tornado will soon be reimbursed with federal funds.

 

Governor Jay Nixon Thursday signed a bill that gives the state the authority to send federal money for disaster relief projects to local governments.

Cities and towns are waiting for about $30 million for already-completed projects.

 

The bill authorizes up to $124 million in federal money be passed through by the state, plus $5 million in general revenue so the state can match those funds.

 

The bill also includes an additional $3.5 million for future emergencies. The state’s emergency fund was partially exhausted by the response to events in Ferguson after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked protests.

March 19, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 031915

 

FOUR YEAR OLD DIES IN RIPLEY COUNTY ACCIDENT

 

A four year old child has died after the vehicle she was a passenger in ended up in a flooded ditch yesterday.

 

Authorities say the child’s father was driving on Highway H in Ripley County, when his vehicle ran off the road, flipping on its side into a flooded ditch.

 

The man was knocked unconscious.  Two children were attempting to get out of the vehicle, when the four year old slipped and was carried away by the current.

 

The child’s body was later found by deputies.

 

 

MAN WANTED IN BUSINESS BREAK-IN LOCATED IN JAIL ON OTHER CHARGES

 

A man who was wanted in the Saturday break-in of a Jonesboro business has been located in the White County Jail on other charges.

 

Authorities say Earthly Coleman, of Benton, was identified as a suspect in the break-in of Express Mart on North Church Street.  Coleman allegedly used a vehicle to break down the doors of the business.

 

Cash and an iPad were taken during the incident.

 

Police say Coleman admitted to the break-in during an interview.

 

 

CARUTHERSVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH MAKING THREAT

 

A Caruthersville man’s idea of a joke has led to legal troubles.

 

Authorities say 55 year old William Taylor has been charged with making a terroristic threat.

 

According to Caruthersville Police Chief Tony Jones, Taylor posted a message about the Caruthersville Elementary School on Topix.com under the name of Karl Marx.  The message read, “Why don’t you go up there and shoot ‘em all.”

 

Police subpoenaed Topix to get the IP address for the message, which led them to Taylor’s home.  Chief Jones says Taylor told officers that he had made the post as a joke.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES STUDENT TRANSFER BILL

 

(AP) – A House bill aimed at addressing issues with Missouri’s student transfer law is moving forward.

 

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday voted 7-0 to support the measure, with one senator voting as present.

 

The transfer law requires failing school districts to pay for students to attend better-performing schools nearby. Lawmakers have crafted bills to allow students first to transfer to accredited schools within their district, which could alleviate the financial strain of paying for their tuition elsewhere.

 

But the Senate version stalled because of a more than $200 million price tag to implement it next fiscal year.

 

The more modest House bill would have cost about $13.5 million, although senators beefed that up with more than $20 million worth of additional provisions.

 

That legislation now moves to the full Senate.

 

 

MISSOURI TO RECEIVE $2.4 MILLION FOR MEDIAID FRAUD SETTLEMENT

 

(AP) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state will get more than $2.4 million from a Medicaid fraud settlement.

 

Koster on Wednesday announced the civil settlement with offshoots of APS Healthcare and Innovative Resource Group over claims that the companies submitted false Medicaid claims.

 

The companies will immediately pay the state and federal government $5 million.

 

APS contracted with Missouri from 2008 to 2010 to provide services for the state’s chronic care and administrative services programs. The company was responsible for managing preventative care for chronically ill patients on Medicaid to avoid emergency room expenses.

 

But Koster claims the companies didn’t do their part and submitted false claims for Medicaid payments.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE PANEL MOVES FORWARD WITH “BAN THE BOX” MEASURE

 

(AP) – The full Missouri Senate will consider a measure that would bar public employers from inquiring early in the employment application process into the criminal history of an individual.

 

A Senate committee on Tuesday voted 5-3 to send the bill to the floor.

It’s modeled on the ‘ban the box’ effort to prevent people with criminal histories from being ruled out early for a job opportunity. After a conditional offer has been made, an employer could inquire about any criminal history and would be able to withdraw an offer if the offense is related to the position.

 

Democratic Senator Jamilah Nasheed, of St. Louis, says the measure will give people a second chance.

 

Private employers or law enforcement agencies would not be subject to the law.

 

 

AMBER ALERT CHANGES ENDORSED BY MISSOURI HOUSE

 

(AP) – Changes to Missouri’s Amber Alert system are progressing in the Missouri House.

 

The House gave initial approval Wednesday to changes made in response to the kidnapping and death of a 10 year old girl last year in Springfield.

 

Springfield police responded within minutes to a call about fourth-grader Hailey Owens being abducted but a statewide Amber Alert was not sent for another two hours. The girl was found dead hours later in the basement of a Springfield man’s home.

 

The bill would integrate the Amber Alert system with the electronic law enforcement system, ending the need for local police to fill out paper forms before an Amber Alert is issued.

 

 

MISSOURI HOUSE OKS STRICTER WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR WELFARE

 

(AP) – Missouri residents receiving temporary cash assistance would be limited to 30 months of benefits under a proposal that is moving forward in the Legislature.

 

The Missouri House approved shorter lifetime limits and stricter work requirements for welfare programs by a 115-44 vote on Wednesday.

 

Supporters say the threat of losing half their benefits and eventually all of their benefits will encourage individuals on assistance to get employment or engage in work-related activities.

 

The measure would lower the lifetime limits on cash assistance from the current five years.

 

Opponents say that families may need the assistance for longer and that the cuts would harm needy families.

 

The House vote means the bill now goes back to the Senate, which previously passed a different version of the bill.

March 18, 2015

RIVER RADIO NEWS 031815

 

WANTED NORTHEAST ARKANSAS MAN FOUND IN IOWA JAIL

 

A Luxora, Arkansas man who was wanted for aggravated robbery has been located in a Souix City, Iowa jail.

 

Authorities say 23 year old Terrell Harrell was being sought in connection to the alleged abduction and robbery of Robert Birmingham in early March.

 

Harrell and 66 year old Robert Franklin, of Luxora, are accused of kidnapping and taking Birmingham, who is wheelchair bound, to Little Rock on March 2nd.

 

Officers received a call that day that led to a search of Birmingham’s home.  When they arrived, they found the house had been ransacked and Birmingham and his vehicle were missing.  Investigators checked for activity on Birmingham’s ATM card and were able to trace it to an apartment complex in Little Rock.  Birmingham was located at the apartment and sent to the VA hospital in Little Rock for treatment.

 

Two other men, Turod Jacobs and Terence Gordon, both of Little Rock, are being sought in connection to the incident.

 

 

JACKSON MAN FACES WEAPONS AND DRUG CHARGES AFTER SHOOTING AT INSURANCE ADJUSTER

 

A Jackson man is facing weapons and drug charges after he allegedly shot at an insurance adjuster Monday.

 

Authorities say 38 year old Mathew Thomas Copen has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, armed criminal action, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

The victim told officers that he was in the Bella Vista Subdivision to inspect two homes, when Copen demanded he leave.  Copen allegedly chased the man in his truck and fired a gun at him multiple times as he drove away.

 

 

PLANE FORCED TO LAND IN FIELD AFTER ENGINE TROUBLE

 

A crop duster pilot was forced to land in a field after he experienced engine trouble shortly after taking off from Corning, Arkansas.

 

According to authorities, Gary Cumbee was flying from Corning to Paragould for annual maintenance.  Cumbee says while in route, the plane’s engine failed.

 

The pilot was uninjured and was able to safely make an emergency landing in a field near the Paragould airport.

 

 

MISSOURI OFFICIAL ACCUSES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OF RACISM

 

(AP) – Missouri’s lieutenant governor is accusing Justice Department officials of racism, even as the federal agency is criticizing Ferguson police for alleged racial bias following the Michael Brown shooting.

 

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said Tuesday he stands behind statements he made a day earlier to Newsmax TV. Kinder told the station “there is more racism in the Justice Department than … anywhere I see in the St. Louis area.”

 

Kinder told The Associated Press on Tuesday he believes the Justice Department had been “fanning the flames of racial divisions” even before a white Ferguson officer fatally shot the black 18 year old last August.

 

The Justice Department cleared the officer of civil rights violations but cited widespread racial bias in Ferguson’s policing.

 

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

 

 

MISSOURI HOUSE OKS ADDING ADVERTISING TO SEX TRAFFICKING LAW

 

(AP) – The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that supporters say could help reduce sex trafficking.

 

The measure endorsed Tuesday would add the advertising of sexual acts with a minor to Missouri’s law against sexual trafficking.

 

Republican Rep. Elijah Haahr, of Springfield, says people exploiting minors are advertising children who have been trafficked online. He says giving prosecutors and law enforcement the ability to target websites that advertise sex acts with minors will help stop human trafficking in Missouri.

 

The bill mirrors an effort supported in the U.S. House by Rep. Ann Wagner to criminalize such advertising at the federal level.

 

The Missouri measure needs another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.

 

 

MISSOURI ADVANCES BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

(AP) – A Missouri bill aimed at cracking down on child sex abuse has earned initial Senate approval.

 

Senators in a voice vote Tuesday supported legislation to increase the reporting and responses to allegations of children who sexually assault other minors.

 

The measure would require the state Children’s Division to report claims of sex abuse between two children to local authorities. Those agencies then must assess the situation and potentially investigate the claims.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Jeanie Riddle, of Callaway County. She hopes the bill causes officials to intervene and prevent a pattern of lifelong assault among abusers.

 

Some Democratic opponents raised concerns about labeling children as sexual assailants.

 

A second Senate vote is needed before the bill can move to the House.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE ADVANCES BILL TO ACCESS $200 MILLION IN BONDS

 

(AP) – Missouri senators have given initial approval to use $200 million in bonds meant for a new mental health facility at Fulton State Hospital to instead pay for other state building repairs and some new construction.

 

Senators in a voice vote Monday approved lifting restrictions on those bonds. The measure needs another vote to move to the House.

The Legislature last year authorized $200 million in bonding to pay for the mental health facility, but Missouri later found a different way to finance it.

 

Republican Sen. Mike Parson’s bill would allow the state to use that bonding authority to pay for other building repairs and $75 million in new construction.

 

Proposals include $75 million to renovate the Capitol and convert the Department of Transportation headquarters into additional office space.

 

 

MISSOURI ADVANCES BAN ON AID FOR IMMIGRANTS IN US ILLEGALLY

 

(AP) – A bill to ban Missouri’s A+ Scholarship from going to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has passed the state Senate.

Senators approved the measure 25-8 on Tuesday. The legislation now moves to the House.

 

The bill would make the state’s A+ Scholarship available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The scholarship money pays for two years of free tuition at community colleges.

 

Republican bill sponsor Sen. Gary Romine says it’s unfair to open the scholarship to immigrants in Missouri illegally when money for the program already is stretched thin.

 

Immigrant advocates and Democratic opponents say it could pose financial barriers for students seeking a college education.

 

The House last week passed a similar measure that would prevent state money from paying for financial aid for those students.

 

 

MISSOURI UNEMPLOYMENT RATE KEEPS STEADY AT 5.5 PERCENT

 

(AP) – Missouri’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent last month while the economy gained several thousand jobs.

 

The state Department of Economic Development released data Tuesday showing no change in the seasonally adjusted jobless rate from January to February.

 

Unemployment fell to 5.4 percent in December – its lowest rate since April 2008. That rate went up slightly the first month of the year.

 

Data show the state gained about 8,400 nonfarm jobs in February.

 

The department also scaled back an earlier estimate that nonfarm employment went up 14,300 jobs in January. The new figures put that at closer to 11,200 new jobs, meaning nonfarm employment rose by about 40,400 jobs in the past year.