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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

State News

Headlines picked by editors
VA chief pledges end to whistle-blower retaliation (07/23/14)
ST. LOUIS -- The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs vowed Tuesday to crack down on whistle-blower retaliation after a private government watchdog released a critical report on the agency's treatment of employees who brought internal problems to light...
Lead cleanup at park nearing end (07/23/14)
PARK HILLS, Mo. -- A three-year project to clean up lead pollution is nearing an end at a popular Missouri state park on the site of a shuttered mine. St. Francois County's St. Joe State Park, known for its sand flats, hills and 2,000 acres set aside for all-terrain vehicles, sits on land in the eastern part of the state that once included a dump for mine waste called tailings, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this week...
Mo. delays vote on KC schools accreditation (07/23/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Parents and students in the Kansas City School District will have to wait until the final few days before classes begin to learn whether the urban school system will remain unaccredited. The school district had offered to end a lawsuit challenging its unaccredited status if Missouri education officials would grant it temporary provisional accreditation for the school year starting Aug. ...
Body found in Kansas City airport fountain (07/23/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are investigating how a woman's body ended up in a pond connected to a fountain near the Kansas City International Airport. Kansas City police on Tuesday identified the woman as 21-year-old Husenet Yassin. Her body was found Monday afternoon during a routine check by airport security...
Agency's move in St. Louis leaves history behind (07/22/14)
ST. LOUIS -- In the front parlor of a century-old mansion south of downtown sits a scale model of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The model was used to brief U.S. generals before military forces raided the compound and killed the terrorist mastermind...
Runway improvements underway at Sedalia Regional Airport (07/22/14)
SEDALIA, Mo. -- Officials at the Sedalia Regional Airport are hoping improvements to the main runway will make the central Missouri airport more attractive to heavier jets and business jets. Construction on the airport's main runway began in early July, five years after the airport received $450,000 to design the reconstruction. The funds were delayed by government slowdowns and other factors, The Sedalia Democrat reported...
Biden: U.S. won't rest until VA problems fixed (07/22/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Vice President Joe Biden told veterans gathered in St. Louis on Monday that the Obama administration won't rest until major problems at the Veterans Affairs Department are fixed. Biden spoke at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He said the country has learned that there are "many, many" things that must be done to fix the VA...
Springfield utility gets energy from solar farm (07/22/14)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- City Utilities in Springfield is receiving some power from a solar farm in Greene County and soon will begin looking for customers willing to pay higher prices to receive some of their power from solar energy. The nearly 40-acre solar farm northeast of Springfield began producing power June 26 and a formal dedication is planned for August, City Utilities spokesman Joel Alexander said. ...
Mo. woman dies in house fire (07/22/14)
SEYMOUR, Mo. -- Authorities say a southwest Missouri woman died in a house fire but a man and three children were able to escape. The fire was reported early Sunday near Seymour. The woman's identity has not been released. Southern Webster County authorities say the home was 80 percent involved in flames when firefighters arrived at the home early Sunday, and the flames were too intense to rescue the woman...
10 basset puppies rescued in Mo. (07/22/14)
ST. LOUIS -- The Humane Society of Missouri says its Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued 10 critically ill basset hound puppies from a Missouri breeding facility. The dogs were taken Friday from a facility in Douglas County. Authorities say all 10 dogs are very thin. Some have pneumonia, parasites and ear and eye infections...
Memorial planned for builders who died on the job (07/22/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When Christie Goodman and her two daughters drive past the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, everyone goes silent. Husband and father Ryan Goodman was killed in a mechanical accident about five years ago while helping to build the center. Seeing the glass-and-steel building break the Kansas City skyline is difficult for the family...
Crucifix buried in Joplin tornado returns home (07/21/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- The original crucifix at St. Mary's Catholic Church has come home. It had hung behind the altar since 1968, until the 2011 tornado destroyed the church and nearly everything in it, along with the nearby rectory, school, parish center and more...
Mo. school district seeks boy's records in lawsuit (07/21/14)
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. -- Lawyers for a southwest Missouri school district being sued by the parents of a boy who killed himself last year have filed a request seeking all of the Facebook messages, photographs, videos and other communication saved by the student...
Jackson County officials plan Freedom Memorial Wall (07/21/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jackson County officials are planning a memorial wall to honor up to 1,000 people who contributed to the county's success, with an emphasis on black leaders. If the plan becomes reality, the Freedom Memorial Wall would be erected in a park honoring Leon Jordan, an important black civil rights leader who was slain in 1970, The Kansas City Star reported...
Mo. airports sign emergency plan (07/21/14)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Airports at Fort Leonard Wood and in Springfield have signed an agreement to share facilities for emergency planning. KYTV-TV reported the agreement formalizes the relationship between the post and airport during emergencies or military drills that require use of the airport's facilities...
Billboard company sues Columbia over permit denial (07/21/14)
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- One of the nation's leading outdoor advertisers is suing the city of Columbia, claiming its refusal to allow the company to erect new billboards and alter two others violates a 1998 settlement involving billboards. Lamar Advertising Co. ...
Auction barn caters to exotic tastes (07/21/14)
MACON, Mo. -- The auction stretched into its sixth hour. Cage after cage of tortoises, hedgehogs and tiny gliding possums had slowed sales and thinned the crowd. But by midafternoon, seats began to refill. A pair of marmoset monkeys hit $3,000. A 6-month-old red kangaroo, held aloft in a baby blanket by its handler, crested $4,000. A leopard-spotted serval kitten stalled at $4,100...
Price coming down for low-income students at UMKC (07/21/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The University of Missouri-Kansas City finally has some good news for its lowest-income students. Its net price is coming down. Net price is the cost of attendance -- tuition, books, housing, food, transportation and personal expenses -- minus the scholarships and grants a student qualifies for from the federal government and the university. It's the amount students and their families are expected to borrow or pay out of pocket...
Supreme Court dismisses appeal on gun amendment (07/21/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would enhance the right to keep and bear arms in the state. The justices on Friday unanimously ruled they are bound by a state law forbidding courts from adding issues to a ballot within six weeks of an election...
Body found in Mississippi River in St. Louis (07/21/14)
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis police say a man whose body was found in the Mississippi River apparently had been dead for several days. Firefighters who were doing water training pulled the body out of the river in downtown St. Louis Saturday near the Eads Bridge after it was first seen by a tug boat crew...