St. Louis nonprofit isn't raising money for Wilson
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis nonprofit that provides assistance to families of emergency workers who die in the line of duty says it is not raising money for the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Backstoppers released a statement on Monday dispelling reports on social media, saying the organization is not participating in, and has not benefited from, any fundraising to support Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. Wilson remains on paid administrative leave while a state grand jury and the Justice Department continue investigations into the Aug. 9 shooting.
Backstoppers says that if it receives any funds related to the Ferguson matter, the money would be rejected.
St. Louis-area schools not likely to allow guns
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Many superintendents in the St. Louis area say they don't want guns in their schools despite a new state law allowing designated staff to carry them.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the state Legislature on Wednesday overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the bill that gives school districts the ability to appoint "school safety officers." The chosen teachers and administrators can undergo training, and then carry the concealed weapons on school property.
A Clayton School District spokesman says the state's districts aren't required to enforce the law, and there may not be any situation that would cause Clayton to consider appointing the school protection officers. Most other superintendents and school district representatives agreed, saying they will continue to rely on local law enforcement.
Missouri education commissioner to resign
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's top education official says she will resign at the end of this year.
State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro announced her departure Monday. She has served as head of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education since 2009.
Over the past year, Nicastro had been criticized by some state legislators and officials for her handling of high-profile issues.
An audit released last month faulted the department's process for hiring a consultant for a potential overhaul of the Kansas City School District. Some state lawmakers also have been upset with the way the department has handled a student-transfer law for unaccredited districts in the St. Louis area.
During Nicastro's tenure, the department implemented the Common Core educational standards, which some lawmakers oppose. It also adopted a new school accreditation system.
Couple sentenced in nearly $4 million fraud
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A northern Missouri couple was sentenced to federal prison after the woman embezzled nearly $4 million from a company where she worked and she and her husband filed false income tax returns.
Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Donna Preszler was sentenced Monday to five years and 10 months in prison without parole. Her husband, 64-year-old Terrance Preszler, was sentenced to three years without parole.
The couple, formerly from Chillicothe, also was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction Corp. and $1.2 million to the Internal Revenue Service. They also must forfeit a nearly $4 million money judgment, vehicles, several trust accounts and two residential lots.
Donna Preszler was an accounts manager at the construction firm in Hamilton.
RIGHT TO FARM
Missouri farming amendment passes in recount
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri amendment creating a constitutional right to farm has prevailed after a recount.
The secretary of state's office certified the outcome of the recount Monday, showing that the amendment passed by a margin of 2,375 votes out of nearly 1 million cast in the August election.
That's a slightly smaller victory than the 2,490-vote margin from the original count.
Opponents of the ballot measure had requested a recount under a state law that allows it whenever the margin of victory is less than one-half of a percentage point.
Constitutional Amendment 1 on the Aug. 5 ballot created a constitutional right to engage in farming and ranching.
Missouri is just the second state behind North Dakota to place farming rights in its constitution.
KANSAS CITY AIRPORT-WI-FI
Kansas City airport officials promise better Wi-Fi
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Officials at Kansas City International Airport say they've heard the complaints from travelers about spotty Wi-Fi service and they're working to make it better.
The Kansas City Star reports the city's Aviation Department plans to spend $250,000 to completely upgrade Wi-Fi service and make other technological improvements.
The airport started offering Wi-Fi about a decade ago. Overland Park-based Sprint Co. agreed to pay for and install the necessary infrastructure. Customers paid $9.99 for up to eight hours.
When the agreement with Sprint expired, the Aviation Department took over the service and made it free.
Officials say that there have been upgrades since, but not enough to keep up with demand, which has increased dramatically as more people travel with computers and phones they want to use to access the Internet.
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