2 years before Mo. governor's race, Koster has $2M
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has more than $2 million in the bank for a likely gubernatorial campaign in 2016.
Koster reported his quarterly campaign finance figures Tuesday to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
He received about $539,000 of cash contributions from January through March and spent a little less than $130,000. When adding money he previously raised, Koster's balance stood at just over $2 million.
That's significantly higher than his potential challengers.
Republican Catherine Hanaway launched her gubernatorial bid earlier this year and has raised a little over $300,000.
Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich has nearly $835,000 in his campaign account. He's faces only a Libertarian and Constitution party candidate in his re-election bid this year and could carry over some of that money to a potential 2016 governor's race.
Missouri House endorses Bright Flight expansion
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have endorsed legislation that could offer additional financial assistance to persuade more top students to stay in the state after graduation day.
The legislation would add a forgivable loan to Missouri's Bright Flight scholarship program. Each year a student works in Missouri after school would count toward one year of loan forgiveness. Leaving before the loan is repaid would require repaying the loan with interest.
Bright Flight scholarships are awarded based on ACT or SAT scores.
The House gave the measure first-round approval Tuesday. It needs another affirmative vote before moving to the state Senate. Earlier, the chamber included the proposal in the state operating budget that they endorsed.
Bright Flight is HB1308
St. Louis-area man accused of sexual torture
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis-area man is accused of sexually torturing five women in his apartment over several years.
Authorities on Tuesday announced that 29-year-old Adam Michael Capriglione of south St. Louis County is facing 19 felony charges that include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, felonious restraint and domestic assault. He's jailed on $500,000 bond.
Police spokesman Brian Schellman says an investigation began after one of the victims contacted police in January. Capriglione is accused of raping, sodomizing and torturing five women dating back to 2006.
He also faces one count of sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly filming a child having sex in 2007.
Capriglione's attorney, Joseph Green, says facts will come to light in support of his client as the case moves forward.
ST LOUIS SCHOOLS
Appointed board renewed for St. Louis schools
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials have renewed the authority of an appointed board that has overseen St. Louis schools since 2007.
The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to extend the appointed board's authorization for another two years. It would have expired at the end of this June. Education officials also reauthorized the board in 2010.
St. Louis schools have been overseen by a three-member Special Administrative Board after St. Louis lost state accreditation in 2007. Appointments were made then by the governor, mayor and the president of the Board of Aldermen.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says keeping stable leadership is critical for St. Louis schools and students. State officials upgraded St. Louis to provisional accreditation in 2012.
Mo. payrolls, unemployment rates climb in March
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate increased in March, though the size of payrolls also grew.
The Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday that the jobless rate grew to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent last month. Employers added a net of 3,500 jobs in March.
Top gainers were the construction and education and health services. Construction jobs grew by 2,000 and education and health services grew by 1,600. On the other hand, the leisure and hospitality sector declined by 1,900 jobs.
Missouri's civilian labor force of about 3 million people grew by 8,450 during March. The labor force counts people with jobs and those who are on unemployment but looking for work.
Missouri court: No sales tax on balloon rides
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court says state sales tax should not be charged for hot air balloon rides.
The high court ruled Tuesday that a federal law prohibits states from imposing a tax, fee or other charge on people traveling by air commerce or the sale of air transportation.
Balloons Over the Rainbow Inc. had challenged the state's denial of a sales tax refund and its assessment of sales tax. The company takes passengers on roughly hour-long balloon rides that start in eastern Missouri's Jefferson County. Customers can purchase balloon rides through the company or a third-party vendor.
BABY DEATH-CONVICTION UPHELD
Mo. high court upholds conviction in death of baby
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a St. Louis County woman for the suffocating death of her daughter in 2008.
In a unanimous opinion issued Tuesday, the high court said there was sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Sharnique Jones, of Pine Lawn, of second-degree murder. Jones' convictions for second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child also stand.
Authorities say Jones suffocated her daughter and tried to suffocate her weeks-old son by holding a cloth over his face. Police say the boy had been taken to the hospital several times because he had stopped breathing, prompting the inquiry into the girl's death.
Jones is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for the murder charge.
Mo. court expands legal rights for injured workers
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.
In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers' compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.
Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers' compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.
State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.
4 charged in St. Joseph theater damage
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Three former employees and another man are each charged with second-degree misdemeanor property damage after police say they vandalized a movie theater when it permanently closed.
Court documents indicate the charges were filed Tuesday against former Plaza 8 manager Joshua Hall, co-manager Buck Wilson, former employee Michael Wilson and Edward Raymond Hudson, all of St. Joseph.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports (http://bit.ly/1l3Ckns ) damage was found throughout the building, including to the lobby, bathrooms, hallways and concession areas. Damage estimates were not available. The theater permanently closed on March 4.
Police say Hall reported a burglary, saying an employee called him about the damage and he found the theater trashed.
Online court records do not indicate if any of the men have an attorney.
Bones identified as missing Kansas City man
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City police say human remains found last year belonged to a man who was last seen in December 2007.
Police said Tuesday forensic anthropologists identified the body as Michael L. Henderson, who was 26 when his family reported him missing in July 2008.
Hikers found the bones in a wooded area of northeast Kansas City in September 2013.
The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/1l3x6b5 ) the family told police Henderson was mentally ill and was regularly in trouble with the law but always kept in contact.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner say the body appeared to have been in the woods for six weeks to six months. The anthropologist did not find any signs of violence.
Detectives have not found any evidence of foul play but homicide detectives are investigating.
Supremacist appears in court on murder charges
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - An avowed white supremacist has made his first appearance in court on charges he killed three people in a shooting spree at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City.
Frazier Glenn Cross was wearing a dark, quilted, sleeveless vest and crossed his arms as he appeared by video feed Tuesday in Johnson County court. He spoke only when answering routine questions from the judge, and requested a court-appointed lawyer.
He's charged with murder in the shootings of a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., and a woman at a nearby retirement complex.
Cross is being held on $10 million bond and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 24. Federal prosecutors are preparing a hate-crimes case that could result in charges later.
Man struck by semi on St. Louis-area interstate
FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) - An investigation continues after a 35-year-old man was struck and killed by a semi while trying to cross Interstate 270 in north St. Louis County.
Police say Renell Clower of St. Louis was crossing the westbound lanes in the Florissant area about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was struck by the tractor-trailer.
The accident shut down all westbound lanes for several hours. All but one lane opened by 7 a.m.
Police aren't sure why Clower was walking on the interstate.
MU chancellor vows changes after assault report
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The University of Missouri's new chancellor says he is prepared to make the school "accountable and responsible" after an independent review faulted its response to a former swimmer's rape claims.
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin's latest remarks amplify his comments when the Dowd Bennett law firm report was first released last week.
The review determined that the university fell short of federal standards for the reporting and investigation of sexual assault on campus. The report also found that administrators in Columbia should have investigated 20-year-old Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 suicide sooner. The swimmer alleged she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year by several football players.
Menu Courey's parents say they support the university's efforts to strengthen its policies.
Missouri House OKs limiting e-cigarettes to adults
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have given first-round approval to legislation that seeks to prevent children and younger teens from buying electronic cigarettes and other devices.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that is inhaled.
Missouri's legislation would prohibit sales to anyone younger than 18 years old. The bill was approved by voice vote on Tuesday and needs another affirmative vote before moving to the state Senate.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has said it plans to set marketing and product regulations for electronic cigarettes in the near future but hasn't done so yet.
Electronic cigarettes is HB1690
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