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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Wages will rise for Missouri's low-income workers and taxes will fall for some corporations when the new year arrives.
 
Missouri's minimum wage will increase for about 100,000 workers from $7.35 an hour to $7.50. The increase is a result of an annual inflationary adjustment included in a law passed by voters in 2006.
 
The state's corporate franchise tax rate also will ratchet down in 2014. That's the result of a 2011 law passed by legislators that gradually phases out the franchise tax by 2016.
 
Other new laws taking effect Wednesday are the result of bills passed in 2013. Those include additional health screenings for newborns and new benefit entitlements for workers' compensation claims stemming from serious illnesses.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Fourteen Missouri schools will share $7.5 million in federal funds aimed at low-achieving schools.
 
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded funding to eight schools in St. Louis and four in St. Louis County's Riverview Gardens School District. Also receiving money are Martin Luther King Elementary in Kansas City and Frederick Douglass High School in Columbia.
 
This is Missouri's third round of funding from the federal School Improvement Grants program.
 
State officials say schools generally use the money for hiring staff such as instructional coaches and career counselors. Other uses include special reading and math programs, professional development, and extended learning programs such as classes on Saturdays or during spring and winter breaks.
 
Published in Local News
Missouri has been awarded a $7.5 million federal grant to continue a program that helps the state's lowest-achieving schools.  
 
The U.S. Department of Education announced the award from the federal School Improvement Grants program on Monday. In all, the agency awarded more than $43 million in such grants to seven states.
 
Missouri's education department will distribute the federal funds to districts showing the greatest need and strongest commitment to improving achievement at their lowest-performing schools.
 
This is the third year Missouri has received a grant from the federal program
 
Published in Local News
A University of Missouri-Columbia professor is part of a group of researchers who have discovered a 1.4 million-year-old human hand bone.
 
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the bone is believed to be the earliest evidence of the modern hand. Pathology and anatomical sciences professor Carol Ward says the significance of the discovery is that researchers now know the modern human hand appeared very early in human evolution.
 
The bone was found near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
 
Published in Local News
Sunday, 22 December 2013 08:36

Missouri man admits defrauding Pulaski Bank

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 52-year-old has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans from a suburban St. Louis bank.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Michael Filmore of Chesterfield entered the plea Friday in federal court. Filmore admitted through his plea that he lied about the destination of the money and falsified a brokerage account statement claiming $5.5 million to back up a $1 million line of credit.

Filmore told Pulaski Bank that the loans would be used to broker and lease medical equipment. Many of the loans were in the name of his business, Healthcare Partners Group LLC.

According to court testimony, Filmore obtained more than $6 million through fraud and still owes more than $5 million.

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missourians who live in rural areas are far less likely to have health insurance than those living near big cities, according to U.S. Census data.

The Associated Press examined county-by-county data for 2011, the most recent year available.

The numbers show the uphill climb facing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in Missouri, which opted against setting up its own exchange and instead allowed the federal government to run it.

Missouri overall ranks right in the middle of the nation in the percentage of uninsured residents under age 65 — tied with Washington state at 25th with 16 percent uninsured. But in 34 of Missouri's 115 counties, one-fifth to one-quarter of non-senior residents lack health insurance. Twenty-seven of those 34 counties have fewer than 25,000 residents.

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A winter storm is moving into Missouri this weekend, bringing freezing rain and snow.

The National Weather Service said Saturday that winter storm warnings were in effect for much of the state, except the extreme southeast, where flood warnings have been issued.

Freezing rain and sleet began hitting south-central and southwest Missouri on Friday night. Throughout Saturday the freezing precipitation began spreading to the north and east. Accidents were reported in the Kansas City metropolitan area and points to the north and east.

The freezing rain was expected to switch to snow in the evening hours in west-central and northwest Missouri. Forecasters say accumulations will range from 6 inches or more in northwest Missouri to 1 inch or less in an area from Clinton to Columbia.

Temperatures are expected to begin dropping overnight and into Sunday.

Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers responsible for the budget have an agreement on a revenue estimate for next year's budget but say Gov. Jay Nixon did not sign off on it.
 
Legislative budget leaders and the governor typically reach a revenue estimate that is the foundation for the budget. Agreeing how much money is available lets officials focus on how to spend that money.
 
On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said they will use an estimate of 4.2 percent growth in revenues. The lawmakers say Nixon's office sought an estimate they do not think can be supported.
 
Nixon says he will propose a "fiscally responsible budget." He says the economy is gaining steam and officials have an opportunity to invest in students and schools.
 
Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Use of the death penalty declined nationally in 2013, but the punishment has seen a resurgence in Missouri.
 
The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released a report showing that 39 people were executed in the U.S. in 2013, just the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 were put to death.
 
Missouri has executed two men in the past month - Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 29 and Allen Nicklasson on Dec. 11. The executions were the first in Missouri since 2011, and the most in a single year since five in 2005.
 
Meanwhile, the number of new U.S. death sentences so far this year is 80, up three from 2012 but down from 315 in 1996. Three death sentences were imposed in Missouri in 2013.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new audit questions whether hundreds of Missouri welfare recipients are living out of state or using benefits for alcohol, tobacco and gambling.
 
The report released Tuesday by State Auditor Tom Schweich (shwych) looks at about $96 million of benefits paid through electronic cards in 2012 for a program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
 
The audit found 366 cases in which recipients used a total of $461,000 of benefits exclusively out of state for at least three months. Although nothing prohibits out of state use, the report says that may indicate the welfare recipients no longer live in Missouri.
 
The audit also found about 1,600 cases in which $261,000 of benefits were used at locations appearing to be associated with alcohol, tobacco, gambling or adult entertainment.
Published in Local News

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