JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Entities affiliated with the Roman Catholic church have contributed more than $300,000 toward a Missouri ballot initiative that would authorize state tax credits benefiting private schools.
Records at the state Ethics Commission show the group Missourians for Children's Education was established this past week to support the potential 2014 ballot initiative.
It was launched with a $300,000 contribution from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and more than $11,000 from the Missouri Catholic Conference.
The initiative would allow a 50 percent tax credit for businesses and individuals who donate to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for children to attend private schools or that provide financial aid for public school programs.
Up to $90 million of tax credits would be allowed annually.
NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) - Several southwest Missouri school districts that have planned new safe rooms since a deadly May 2011 tornado destroyed much of Joplin say their projects could be delayed by the federal shutdown.
In Neosho that means more than $10 million in projects are on hold because there's nobody at the Federal Emergency Management Agency that can approve the work. Similar projects in Webb City, Avilla and Joplin also are in limbo because of the shutdown.
The Joplin Globe reports school officials believe a delay in awarding contracts could mean construction on the safe rooms might have to be pushed back until next year.
An architect for several of the projects says it takes six to eight weeks to complete the bid process after FEMA approves of the designs.
Most of the students who were given the chance to transfer out of the struggling Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts are still attending their new schools.
Nearly 2300 transfer students were attending classes in 24 districts across the St. Louis metro area, according to numbers compiled by Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis last month.
About 500 students who could have transferred, opted to stay in their home districts. Don Senti, executive director of Cooperating School Districts told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that transportation is a problem. Senti says it's too difficult for some students to get to school in districts where transportation isn't provided.
An off duty St. Louis police officer is fighting for his life after being ejected from his vehicle during a traffic accident early Sunday evening. Police say it happened at Jamieson and Fyler about 5:30 p.m.
The 25 year old officer and his girlfriend had been traveling south on Jamieson when their vehicle collided with an SUV. The officer's vehicle rolled several times.
Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the officer suffered head injuries. No one else was seriously hurt.
Accident reconstruction crews are investigating.
Dotson told the paper the injured officer has been with the department about a year, and works in the 5th district.
It may be a while before anyone knows what killed a Highland, Illinois teen found unresponsive in a friend's dorm room at the University of Missouri Sunday morning.
University Police say emergency crews arrived about 9:00 a.m. to find 18 year old Gregory Holthaus unconscious and not breathing. He was rushed to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police don't suspect foul play, but a cause of death has not yet been determined. The investigation is ongoing.
Friends and family held a memorial service for Holthaus at the Highland town square Sunday evening.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A travel-marketing firm based in southwestern Illinois says it will emerge from bankruptcy now that a judge has signed off on the sale of assets for $3.5 million.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an East St. Louis federal bankruptcy court has approved the sale of YTB International of Wood River, Illinois to Jamraval Incorporated.
YTB is a seller of Internet-based travel services and products. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.
The company's new owner, Sam Hathi, will oversee YTB's day-to-day operations.
YTB's president and CEO, Andy Cauthen, will remain at the 12-year-old company in an unspecified
CHICAGO (AP) — Shoppers in Illinois and other states were unable to use their food stamp debit cards because of an outage at the vendor that processes the payments on Saturday.
Xerox Corporation said Saturday night that access to food stamp systems has been restored in 17 states that were affected by a temporary outage.
People in Ohio, Michigan and Texas were unable to use food stamp debit-style cards for hours on Saturday. Xerox said a routine test of backup systems resulted in a temporary system failure.
Xerox Spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email that it took time to restore the system and make sure it was fully functional.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis lawyer who has worked as an assistant Missouri attorney general as well as the city's Circuit Court clerk has been appointed as city license collector.
Governor Jay Nixon on Friday announced the appointment of Mavis T. Thompson. She succeeds Michael McMillan, who resigned.
Thompson is a University of Missouri law school graduate who serves on the state's Division of Employment Security Appeals Tribunal. She has also worked as a city attorney for Berkeley and Wellston and as circuit clerk for the 22nd Judicial Court.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri education officials say it's in the best interest of students transferring from unaccredited to accredited school districts to do so at the beginning of the school year.
But the Missouri Department of Education said in its latest guidance to schools that if there are extenuating circumstances, receiving districts should consider transfers at the semester based on available room.
Two unaccredited St. Louis County districts are now subject to the transfer law. Figures reported at the start of the school year indicate 1,451 transferred from Riverview Gardens and 1,189 students left Normandy.
So far, no transfers are happening in Kansas City because of a pending court case. After faring well on a school performance report, the Kansas City district is seeking to regain accreditation before it's subject to the law.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon's administration is working on a proposal that could allow national parks to reopen in Missouri with help from the state.
Nixon said Friday that Missouri's proposal would specifically include plans to reopen the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park in southern Missouri.
He described the parks as "national treasures" that draw millions of visitors and "generate significant economic activity" for Missouri.
National parks have been closed because of the federal budget stalemate in Washington that has resulted in a partial government shutdown.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama's administration said it would allow parks to reopen if states are willing to pay the costs.
Utah and Colorado already have struck deals to re-open some of the national parks.