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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate edged up slightly even though businesses added thousands of jobs in June.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that employer payrolls grew by 12,800 jobs in June, compared with the previous month.

Despite that growth, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also inched up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in June.

The largest job growth occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 5,400 jobs. An additional 4,700 jobs were added in retail and wholesale trade, and 2,000 jobs were added in durable goods manufacturing.

 

Published in Local News

 ST. LOUIS (AP) - A law that takes effect Aug. 28 will give physicians assistants more freedom to provide care in areas of Missouri with a shortage of doctors.

   Currently, physician assistants must be supervised by a doctor located within 30 miles of where they practice. And a doctor must be present 66 percent of the time they are caring for patients.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the new law will allow the supervising doctor to be up to 50 miles away. The doctors also will have to spend only half of a day on site for every 14 days the physician assistant practices.

   Supporters of the new law say it allows physician assistants to provide more affordable care for people living in rural areas or in urban areas with understaffed clinics.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri consumers may soon find it easier to turn to their local banks to get a short-term loan until their next paycheck.

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation Friday that will double or triple the fees that Missouri-chartered banks can charge for short-term cash advances.

Bank officials have said that the state's current maximum-allowed fees of $25 or 5 percent of a loan don't provide enough financial incentive for many banks to offer the short-term loans. The bill raises the fee cap to $75 or 10 percent of a loan's value.

The legislation could help banks compete with payday lenders, but it faced no opposition from the payday loan industry.

Some consumer advocates raised concerns about the bill, but only after it passed.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's final tab has come in from a disastrous 2011 that included the Joplin tornado and widespread flooding. The costs are a lot less than what Gov. Jay Nixon originally anticipated.

Figures provided to The Associated Press by Nixon's budget office show that the state's share for the disasters is a little over $36 million.

That's merely a quarter of the $150 million that Nixon set aside for disaster aid in 2011.

Nixon's budget director, Linda Luebbering, says there was no dollar-for-dollar tracking of how the rest of the money was used. She says it simply got rolled into the general revenue pool for government operations and services.

Legislative budget leaders say Nixon's $150 million set-aside was an unnecessary budget manipulation.

 

Published in Local News

The long holiday weekend was deadly on Missouri's roadways.

From July 3 through Sunday, July 8, 17 people were killed in traffic accidents across Missouri--that includes a crash in St. Louis city that left three people dead. Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers worked over 350 accidents and performed nearly 200 arrests fro driving while intoxicated.

Both of those numbers represent large jumps over last year, but there is no fair comparison.Last year's holiday weekend counting period spanned just 30 hours, while this year's included parts of five days.

Three people drowned on Missouri's waterways, but none died as the result of a boating accident.

 

Published in Local News
Monday, 08 July 2013 11:46

Missing Missouri teen found in Florida

A St. Louis teen who had been reported missing in Florida over the weekend, has been found.

Florida authorities say Nicole Crowder was found this morning in Seminole County, which is north of Orlando. Police did not release any information on Crowder's condition. The girl was last seen with an unknown couple on the beach Saturday afternoon.

Authorities did not say if the couple was with Crowder when she was found. 

Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri's first year as the northernmost outpost of the Southeastern Conference cost the school an extra $1 million in unanticipated travel expenses.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Missouri spent $7.1 million on travel in the 2012-13 academic year. That's $1 million more than what athletics officials expected and nearly $2 million more than travel costs during the school's final season in the Big 12 Conference.

Missouri shared the top spot for SEC travel costs with fellow Big 12 exile Texas A&M among the seven SEC public schools that provided data to the Tribune.

Commercial flights from Columbia to most SEC campuses are limited, and the move from the Big 12 eliminated games at three schools within driving distance: Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new report from a libertarian-leaning think tank rates Missouri's highway system eighth in the nation for overall condition and cost-effectiveness.

The annual survey by the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation was based on data from 2009, the latest year with full spending statistics available.

With about 34,000 miles of highway under state control, Missouri's is the seventh largest state-administered system in the country.

The report ranked Missouri first in the nation for the condition of rural interstate pavement, but 18th for urban interstate pavement condition. The study also ranks Missouri 16th in urban interstate congestion, 28th in fatality rates and 37th in deficient bridges.

 

Published in Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal officials have granted a southeastern New Mexico company's request to open a horse slaughterhouse. Officials also say Friday that they plan to grant similar permits to operations in Iowa and Missouri.

With the action, Valley Meat Co. of Roswell is set to become the first operation in the nation licensed to process horses into meat.

The company has been fighting for approval from the Department of Agriculture for more than a year with a request that ignited debate over whether horses are livestock or companions.

The decision comes months after Valley Meat Co. sued the USDA, accusing it of intentional delays because the Obama Administration opposes horse slaughter.

Valley Meat Co. wants to ship horse meat to countries where people cook with it or feed it to animals.

 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 15:14

Gov. Nixon vetoes union paycheck bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have required public employees to give annual written consent before union dues could be deducted from their paychecks.

Nixon said in a veto message Tuesday the bill would have placed what he called "unnecessary burdens on public employees for the purpose of weakening labor organizations."

The Democratic governor said the bill would have unfairly singled out one group of workers. He noted it would not have imposed similar requirements on other automatic paycheck deductions, such as savings accounts for college or retirement.

The bill also would have required public employee unions to get a separate, annual written permission to use dues for political purposes.

Republican lawmakers who supported the bill said it would have protected the rights of individual union members.

 

Published in Local News

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