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Missouri's restrictions on funeral protests can be enforced.  That's the word from Attorney General Chris Koster. 
The Attorney General's announcement comes after a second federal judge ruled in favor of the law that bars protests within 300 feet of funerals from an hour before until an hour after the service ends.
 
Last April, a federal appeals court rejected a free-speech challenge to the buffer zone.  
This latest ruling on Tuesday dismissed a claim that the time restriction was unconstitutionally vague.  
 
Both lawsuits had been brought by members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.  
The group frequently protests funerals claiming God's vengeance for America's tolerance for homosexuals.
Published in Local News

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is warning Missourians to be on the lookout for possible price gouging by towing companies.

 

Koster says it is normal to see slightly higher rates during winter storms as the companies try to cover overtime hours. What is not acceptable is when the tow service adds on un-disclosed fees at the end of service. Koster encourages anyone needing a tow to ask for a full estimate before having your vehicle hooked up to the truck.

 

Drivers should also look for tow trucks that have a license from MoDOT--the license should be easily visible on the truck.

Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri concealed weapons permit holders can now bring their guns with them to Wisconsin.
Attorney General Chris Koster announced the two states had reached a reciprocity agreement when it comes to concealed weapons.
He says a new law requiring permit holders to undergo national background check upon renewal paved the way for the agreement. The same legislation also changed Missouri's gun permit to not include a photo of the holder.
Thirty-six other states also honor Missouri's concealed weapons permits. Missouri recognizes gun permits from any state that issues them.
 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State Sen. Kurt Schaefer is suggesting Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster could open an investigation into an alleged sexual assault in northwest Missouri.

Schaefer said Wednesday that an independent review of the evidence is needed after the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped charges against teenagers accused in a sexual assault of two younger girls.

Schaefer is a Republican running for attorney general. Koster is a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2016.

Koster's office has said it cannot intervene unless a local prosecutor or court asks him to do so.

Schaefer cited a Missouri law allowing subpoenas for witnesses or information to be provided to the attorney general regarding sexual offenses. That law only applies when the venue of the crime is in question.

 

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri attorney general's office says it has no power to reopen an investigation into allegations that two teenage girls were sexually assaulted by some boys at a party.

The case is drawing renewed attention after The Kansas City Star published the results of a seven-month investigation into the case in Maryville.

Melinda Coleman says justice was denied when Nodaway County authorities dropped charges in 2012 against the boys who her 14-year-old daughter claimed had sexually assaulted her and a 13-year-old friend.

County officials say the case against the boys fell apart because the Colemans would not cooperate. Coleman denies that.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Koster says Koster's office lacks the authority to review a local prosecutor's decisions in particular cases.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 14:17

Missouri loses arbitration with tobacco companies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.

The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.

A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.

Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.

 

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 13:23

AG Koster raises concerns over gun-rights bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is raising concerns about legislation attempting to nullify some federal gun-control laws.

Koster sent a letter Tuesday to lawmakers warning that the bill contains "flawed public policy."

The Republican-led Legislature is to meet Sept. 11 to consider overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the legislation.

Koster, a Democrat, says a federal judge likely would strike down provisions attempting to nullify some federal gun laws and making it a crime for federal agents to enforce them. But Koster says other parts of the measure that could be upheld are troubling.

He says the bill could restrict local police from working cooperatively with federal agents and could allow criminals to sue police who refer gun violations to federal prosecutors.

 
Published in Local News

A warning to members of Missouri Credit Union: Attorney General Chris Koster says there was an accidental release of personal information earlier this summer.

Koster is encouraging members of the credit union to monitor their accounts. Missouri Credit Union officials alerted Koster that the information was only available for a short time and they quickly fixed the problem. The credit union has 39,000 members. Koster also listed several warning signs that your identity may have been stolen.

They included receiving unexplained mail, receiving several phone calls for another person, and being denied credit. 

Addition signs that you may be the victim of identity theft include:

- Receiving unexplained mail; 

- Having mail rerouted or stopped; 

- Receiving multiple phone calls for another person; 

- Being denied credit; 

- Learning of unexplained changes to your credit score; 

- Seeing accounts which are not your own on your credit report; 

- Receiving collection calls for another's accounts; 

- Being told by a service provider, lender or banker that your Social Security number cannot be verified or is already in use in their system;

- Receiving telephone calls from someone who wants to obtain additional information about you; 

- Being told by a vendor or provider that they cannot verify your account or locate your account: 

- Unexpected notices by mail, email, or text that your address or password have been changed; 

- Seeing unexplained charges or withdrawals from accounts; 

- Noticing unusual charges to accounts.

For more information on reporting and protecting yourself from identity theft, visit the attorney general's website or call the Consumer Hotline at 800-392-8222.

 

Published in Local News

   Two Missouri death row inmates now know when they're slated to die.  The state's high court on Wednesday set execution dates for long-serving inmates Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.  

   Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster last month had asked the court to move forward with their sentences.  

   The court didn't explain why it decided to set the dates.  Executions in Missouri have been on hold since 2012 when a federal court challenge was raised over the use of the drug propofol in executions in the state.   

   Nicklasson's execution is set for October 23rd and Franklin's is November 20th.

   Nicklasson was convicted of the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70 in Callaway County.  Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.

   Franklin was convicted of the 1977 sniper shooting of Gerald Gordon as a crowd dispersed from a bar mitzvah at the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation in Richmond Heights. Two others were wounded.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants the state Supreme Court to set execution dates for two inmates before the state's supply of an execution drug expires.

Koster has renewed a request for execution dates to be set for Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. The state's highest court refused to do so last August, citing a legal challenge to the state's newly planned use of the drug propofol as its execution method.

The attorney general's office said Monday that the Department of Corrections has a limited supply of propofol and much of it will expire next spring.

Nicklasson was convicted for the 1994 killing of a businessman traveling on Interstate 70 in Callaway County.

Franklin was convicted of killing a man outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

 

Published in Local News
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