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.
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.
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.
IBERIA, Mo. (AP) - A missing 13-year-old girl has been found dead in rural central Missouri.
The Miller County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the body of the girl was found in a wooded area at an unoccupied farm near Iberia.
Macala Shelton has been reported missing Saturday by her grandmother, and the sheriff's office had issued an endangered person advisory for her. The grandmother told authorities that Macala had gone to bed shortly before midnight Friday but was not there the next day.
The sheriff's office says an autopsy is being conducted.
VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) — A man charged with kidnapping a University of Missouri student has been captured after eluding officers for several days.
The Morgan County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that 23-year-old Brian Adkison of Columbia was caught while authorities were investigating a residential burglary call. He is jailed in Morgan County. His attorney didn't immediately respond to an email or phone call.
He is charged in Caldwell County with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, inflicting injury and terrorizing her before dropping her off at a Columbia hospital Sunday morning. He also is charged in Boone County with first-degree burglary, rape and deviate sexual assault.
The search has involved a helicopter, more than 50 officers and dogs. Authorities also conducted door-to-door searches.
Lieutenant Mike Nienhuis says Adkison stole several boats before he was caught.
The jobless rates in Missouri and Illinois are moving in opposite directions.
Despite adding 4,600 jobs in May, Missouri's rate climbed to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent in April. For the first time in several months, the government sector added jobs.
In Illinois, the unemployment rate fell in May to 9.1 percent. It was the second straight monthly drop after a series of increases earlier this year. State officials says that May's decrease was due in part to gains in construction employment.
Illinois' jobless rate still remains much higher than the 7.6 nationwide unemployment rate for May that was reported earlier this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's frogging season is about to begin.The hunting season for bullfrogs and green frogs begins at sunset on June 30 and ends Oct. 31. Missourians can capture the frogs with a hunting or a fishing permit.
Options for grabbing hopping prey include by hand, net, gig or pole and line. People who have a hunting permit also can use a .22-caliber rifle, pellet gun or bow.
Permits aren't required for those younger than 16 or older than 65.
Artificial light can be used and the daily limit is eight frogs. The possession limit allows people to store no more than 16 frogs at a time. After a frog is speared, it must be kept.
Mizzou is looking for a new Chancellor. Brady Deaton announced he will leave the position effective November 15.
Deaton became chancellor in 2004 and will continue to serve as chancellor emeritus. The school has not named a successor.
DUTCHTOWN, Mo. (AP) - Residents of tiny Dutchtown can breathe easier.
Rising floodwaters threatened the southeast Missouri town for the second time this spring, prompting vigorous sandbagging. The Mississippi River crested last week, and now the waters are receding.
The Southeast Missourian reports that on Monday, two state highways that run through the town of just over 90 residents, Missouri 74 and Missouri 25, reopened. Both had been closed about a week due to backwater flooding from what's known as the Diversion Channel.
Dutchtown frequently floods and residents there have been seeking a government buyout.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state audit says Missouri paid more than $170,000 to child-care providers that did not open or expand their facilities as planned.
The report released Monday by Auditor Tom Schweich looks at grants provided through a Department of Social Services program during the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years.
The audit says one facility received $22,500 to open an in-home child-care facility that no children attended. Another facility got $60,000 for a center that never was built. A third facility was paid $89,000 to expand but did not add as many children as projected and then sold the facility.
The department says the program no is longer funded by the Legislature. It sent letters in April seeking repayment from two of the facilities but said the third one met contractual obligations.