Region briefs 12/19/03

Friday, December 19, 2003

14-year-old arrested for making bomb threat

SIKESTON, Mo. -- A 14-year-old former student remains in custody after being arrested Tuesday for making a bomb threat at Sikeston Junior High School. The juvenile was at the school and left a note indicating there would be an explosion at 2 p.m. Tuesday, said Sikeston Department of Public Safety director Drew Juden. The building was evacuated and was searched, but no explosive devices were found.

Judge rejects second concealed guns challenge

ST. LOUIS -- Saying he wanted no further delays, St. Louis circuit judge Steven Ohmer on Thursday rejected a renewed challenge to Missouri's concealed weapons law. The Missouri Supreme Court is to hear the appeal Jan. 22.

Roark running for House, not spot as treasurer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A state legislator who was one of five Republicans in the race for state treasurer said Thursday that he instead will run for another term in the Missouri House. Rep. Brad Roark of Springfield said he would seek a third term in the House, abandoning a bid for treasurer in a crowded GOP field.

-- From staff, wire reports

Scientists affirm need for Missouri River low flows

WASHINGTON -- In a surprising setback to farmers and barge shippers along the lower Missouri River, government biologists have affirmed the need for more shallow waters to ensure survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon. The full impact of the biological opinion issued Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was not immediately clear. The opinion represents the agency's final word on what must be done for sturgeon and shorebird species listed as endangered and threatened. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the opinion to update river operations that have gone virtually unchanged for more than four decades.

Ethics commission holds line on fund-raising

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Ethics Commission declined Thursday to change the standards under which legislative leadership candidates raise money. House Chief Clerk Stephen Davis had asked the commission to clarify what is considered a statewide office for fund-raising purposes, and to say who is in charge of tracking those contributions. Candidates running for a statewide office can accept donations of up to $1,175 per donor, whereas candidates for House of Representative seats can accept donations of no more than $300. Under current practice, House members wanting to be speaker typically create two committees -- one for their House district election and another for the speaker's campaign, which can receive the larger donations. The speaker's committee financial reports are filed with the House clerk's office, while the regular election reports are filed with the Ethics Commission. The House speaker is elected by the 163 members of the House, not the general public.

-- From wire reports

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