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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

State News

Headlines picked by editors
Panel denies electric rate cut for smelting plant (08/21/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State utility regulators denied a request Wednesday from a Southeast Missouri manufacturer to cut its electric rates by about 25 percent and pass the difference to other customers of Ameren Missouri. In an order accompanying its 5-0 vote, the Public Service Commission said it was unconvinced by Noranda Aluminum Inc.'s assertion it faced a "liquidity crisis" or that the rate cut was crucial to the future of its large smelting plant in New Madrid, Missouri...
Holder says he understands mistrust of police (08/21/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Attorney General Eric Holder sought Wednesday to reassure the people of Ferguson about the investigation into Michael Brown's death and said he understands why many black Americans do not trust police, recalling how he was repeatedly stopped by officers who seemed to target him because of his race...
Utilities look to Kan. for wind energy (08/21/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Two Missouri utilities are looking to Kansas companies to help meet carbon dioxide emission targets proposed by a federal agency. In June, the Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal offering specific emission targets for each state, the first of which would kick in by 2020. The rule is expected to be finalized next year, but lawsuits challenging the regulation could change its final form...
Auditor's report criticizes Missouri's school reform deal (08/21/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri education department's process for seeking bids from consultants to study a possible overhaul of the Kansas City School District was biased and included potential conflicts of interest, according to an auditor's report...
Okla. teacher teams with Mo. company (08/21/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On the way to the pond in back of his house, Greg Dorris had to stop at an inflatable kids' pool for a demonstration of the lure he designed. "See, when I stop that lure and let it drop to the bottom?" he said, referring to the lure that he embellished with "whiskers," clumps of skirt material usually seen on spinnerbaits or bass jigs. "Those whiskers flare out and it looks just like a crawdad's pincers...
Man pleads guilty in Mo. paddlefish case (08/21/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking caviar from paddlefish that were caught in western Missouri. The U.S. attorney's office says 49-year-old Felix Baravik of Aurora, Colorado, entered the guilty plea Tuesday...
Tennessee man dies in crash in Branson (08/20/14)
BRANSON, Mo. -- The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a Tennessee man died when the scooter he was riding was hit near Branson. Joshua Wood, a 29-year-old man from Big Sandy, Tennessee, died Monday night in the collision on Highway 65 about a mile north of Branson. The patrol says Wood was either slowing down or stopped on the highway when he was hit from behind. He died at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was not injured...
Ferguson city government pledges outreach efforts after shooting (08/20/14)
FERGUSON, Mo. -- Ferguson city leaders urged people to stay home after dark Tuesday to "allow peace to settle in" and pledged to try to improve the police force in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police...
Columbia City Council approves downtown student housing (08/20/14)
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Columbia City Council has approved a Texas-based housing developer's proposal to build a downtown student apartment complex near the University of Missouri campus. The council voted to accept a rezoning request and development agreement with American Campus Communities, the Columbia Daily Tribune story reported...
EPA launches probe of alleged pollution by Tyson Foods (08/20/14)
MONETT, Mo. -- The Environmental Protection Agency has begun an investigation of Tyson Foods' role in a discharge of a food supplement that allegedly led to pure ammonia flowing into a southwest Missouri creek, killing more than 100,000 fish. The discharge May 16 allegedly caused the wastewater plant in Monett to fail and allowed a chemical to flow into nearby Clear Creek, The Joplin Globe reported...
Pathologist: Michael Brown may have had his hands raised (08/19/14)
FERGUSON, Mo. -- An unarmed 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by police has sparked a week of protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, a pathologist hired by his family said Monday...
Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm (08/19/14)
The U.S. Department of Justice has mounted an unusually swift and aggressive response to the death of Michael Brown, from an independent autopsy to dozens of FBI agents combing Ferguson, Missouri, for witnesses to the shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer...
Mo.'s public defenders overworked, study says (08/19/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new American Bar Association study repeats what others have said in the past: Missouri's publicly funded criminal defense lawyers are so overworked that it could raise constitutional issues because defendants are not getting enough attention from their attorneys...
Ex-Crime Stoppers treasurer sentenced for theft (08/19/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- The former treasurer of a southwest Missouri anti-crime group has been ordered to repay nearly $3,300 he stole from the group. Joplin resident Matthew Paige served as treasurer of Heartland Crime Stoppers from July 2012 to April 2013, when the group's directors noticed problems in its finances and requested an audit...
2 charged with scamming elderly woman (08/19/14)
FARMINGTON, Mo. -- A Southeast Missouri prosecutor has charged two people with scamming an elderly woman out of more than $300,000. The Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri, reported 54-year-old Cynthia Pennington and 47-year-old Randy Pennington of Farmington face one count each of financial exploitation of an elderly person...
Former superintendent enters plea in Springfield killings (08/19/14)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A former Missouri school superintendent has pleaded not guilty to killing a Springfield couple from whom police said he had requested a large loan. KOLR-TV reported 53-year-old Mark Porter appeared in court Monday on two counts of first-degree murder...
Joplin School District moves into new high school ahead of classes next week (08/19/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Three years after its high school was destroyed by a tornado, the Joplin School District is preparing to move into a new one, according to its superintendent. Hundreds of volunteers were to start moving equipment and supplies into the high school Monday, superintendent C.J. Huff told The Joplin Globe. Classes are scheduled to begin next Monday...