The House voted 149-2 Thursday to extend until 2019 tax breaks for contributions to food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and child crisis nurseries. Those tax breaks have either expired or will expire during 2013.
Donations to included charities that occur after Jan. 1 of this year would still receive a tax credit.
The legislation also extends the expiration date on incentives for the surviving spouse of a slain public safety officer and for homeowners who make renovations to accommodate people with disabilities.
The measure will head to the Senate, which passed similar legislation last week. Its version extends the incentives, but eliminates a tax break for parents adopting children from out-of-state.
Information officer Randy Vaughn says that Lieutenant Patrick Hayes has been placed on leave while the claims are investigated. An anonymous letter from a county officer accused Hayes of ordering officers in his command to focus on arresting black people in a mainly white part of south county. The Post-Dispatch reports that Police Chief Tim Fitch hopes to have the results of the inquiry within two weeks.
Hayes is a 19-year veteran of the force.
Under a bill outlined Thursday, first-time offenders for marijuana possession would be allowed to do community service and avoid jail. If offenders complete the sentence, the convictions would be removed from their record.
Rep. Rory Ellinger, a criminal defense attorney and Democrat from St. Louis, said the legislation would help people with marijuana convictions in their youth get jobs later by not having to disclose the conviction.
Ellinger said the measure could save the state money by keeping first-time drug offenders out of jail.
The new sentencing structure would apply only to people carrying less than 35 grams of marijuana.
Charles Smith said he grabbed the girl was she was walking to her bus stop on February 6 of last year. Smith forced her into his car at knife-point and drove her a few blocks away. That is when he ripped off the teen's pants and shoes. She was able to fight him off and got help from a passing driver.
Prosecutors will ask for life in prison when Smith is sentenced in April.
BENTON, Mo. (AP) - Those making court appearances in southeast Missouri's Scott County better start dressing for the occasion.
The Sikeston Standard Democrat reports that Circuit Clerk Christy Hency, after consulting with judges, is drafting a dress code. Bailiffs will be given the authority to send away those who don't dress appropriately.
Hency says the idea came up at a recent seminar she attended for the National Center for State Courts. She says people are showing up in clothing that indicates a lack of respect.
Among the clothing that will likely be banned: Pajamas, tank tops with offensive wording, and flip flops.
Those summoned to court for any reason will also get notification about the dress code.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Two southwestern Illinois women have been ordered to spend at least two years in federal prison and repay more than $54,000 each for their roles in an income tax scheme.
A judge in East St. Louis sentenced 39-year-old Angenita Smith of Alton to 24 months in prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Tammy Smith of Alton was sentenced to 26 months behind bars. It isn't immediately clear if the women are related.
The Smiths pleaded guilty last October. Prosecutors say they falsely prepared W-2 tax forms and provided them to relatives and friends to enable them to get refunds by filing bogus federal income-tax returns.
The U.S. government says the Smiths lied to investigators, resulting in an increase in their prison sentences.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is making a second straight appearance as the keynote speaker for a Missouri Republican conference.
The Missouri Republican Party says Jindal is to speak Feb. 16 at a banquet for its annual Lincoln Days conference in St. Louis. Jindal also was a keynote speaker during the Missouri Lincoln Days event last year in Kansas City.
Jindal was elected in 2011 to a second, four-year term as Louisiana governor.
The other headlining speaker at this year's Missouri Republican event is Sen. John Barrasso, of Wyoming.
St. Louis police are looking for three suspects who forced their way into a north city home overnight and robbed the man and woman who lived there. It happened about 1:30 this morning (Thursday) at a home in the 3900 block of North Florissant.
The man who lived there told police that someone had knocked on the door. When he answered it, three black males pushed past him. At least two of the suspects had guns.
The suspects stole jewelry and cash before fleeing on foot. Neither victim was injured.
On February 7th, 2008, disgruntled Kirkwood resident Charles "Cookie" Thornton gunned down six public servants during a city council meeting before being shot and killed by police.
Two police officers, two council members and the city's public works director also died that night. Several months later, Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda died from his injuries.
Thornton, a Meecham Park resident, had reportedly been upset because his company was denied the contract on a development in his neighborhood. Thornton had accused city leaders of bias in the racially divided city.
Since the shootings, several community groups have worked to try to bridge the divide.
There are no plans for a formal commemoration at tonight's city council meeting. Instead, Mayor Arthur McDonnell says they'll take a moment to remember the fallen at the end of the meeting.
The sixth grade suspect had allegedly used the weapon to terrorize several students over the past few days, even pointing it at some and making threats.
Two students spoke with Fox 2 news about their ordeals. A third grader said he thought he was going to die, "He came out of nowhere with a gun. He had put it to my head." The boy says the sixth grader pulled the trigger, but the gun clip fell out.
The victim's fourth grade cousin says the suspect threatened to shoot anyone who told on him. "I didn't tell nobody because I was scared to," the boy said. "I thought he was fixing to shoot me."
District spokesman Patrick Wallace acknowledged that a gun had been found at the school, but says the district can't comment because it involved a juvenile and it's still being investigated. Wallace did say the school is now reevaluating security.