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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A group of Missouri school superintendents has developed an alternative to a state law allowing students to transfer from unaccredited to accredited districts.
The Kansas City Star reports that under the plan, students in struggling districts could transfer to better-performing schools in their home districts. And after five years of failure, districts could be dissolved and distributed to accredited districts.
Twenty leaders from around Missouri drafted the school-improvement plan and provided it to The Star on Monday. The draft says the existing transfer law "is not in the best interest of all students and will not lead to improvement of unaccredited districts."
A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro hasn't yet had a chance to review the proposal.
Prosecutors have 15 days to decide whether to retry a man convicted in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.
A state appeals court panel Tuesday overturned Ryan Ferguson's 2005 conviction. The court ruled 3-0 that he didn't get a fair trial because prosecutors withheld evidence from Ferguson's defense team.
The case had garnered national attention because Ferguson's friend Chuck Erickson had testified that he had remembered in a dream that he and Ferguson had been involved in Heitholt's death after a night of heavy partying.
Erickson is serving a 25 year sentence as part of a plea agreement, but later recanted his testimony. So did a security guard who had testified that he saw Erickson and Ferguson at the newspaper offices the night Heitholt was robbed, beaten and strangled to death.
Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she has petitioned for her client's release on bail while prosecutors decide whether or not to retry him.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has allocated $33 million to set up a program designed to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms.
Lawmakers voted 96-17 for the $50 million supplemental appropriation Tuesday. Rep. Luis Arroyo - a Chicago Democrat - says about $500,000 is new general-revenue spending.
The legislation gives the Illinois State Police authority to use money from $150 concealed-carry permit fees to pay for the additional staff and equipment necessary to set up the program.
Lawmakers approved concealed carry last summer after a federal appeals court said Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban was unconstitutional.
Several complained the measure does not include $112 million a court has ordered be paid to union workers who didn't get their full raise in 2011.
Former Illinois state trooper Matt Mitchell is asking for the fourth time to have his driver's license reinstated at a hearing Tuesday morning at the Secretary of State's Mount Vernon office. A similar appeal in July was denied.
Mitchell lost his license after pleading guilty to causing the 2007 crash that killed Collinsville sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl. Mitchell had been driving his patrol car in excess of 120 miles an hour and texting when he slammed into the Uhl's car.
A decision on Mitchell's license reinstatement is not expected for 90 days.
Pattonville officials won't have to cut $10 million from the school district's budget after taxpayers overwhelmingly approved their first tax increase in 22 years. Preliminary figures from the St. Louis County Board of Elections indicate that more than 6,100 votes were cast Tuesday and more than 70 percent of the voters approved Proposition P.
Several other communities held elections as well Tuesday. '
Voters in Edmundson and Woodson Terrace both approved hotel sales taxes.
And it looks like the latest effort to dissolve the Village of Uplands Park has failed. That needed 60 percent approval and received just over 50 percent.
The Missouri Ethics Commission says a former Rockwood School Board member has violated the state's conflict-of-interest law.
The commission found that over a two year period Steve Smith voted more than a dozen times on construction orders that allowed his employer, Glenn Construction to raise its fees on contracts with the school board.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Smith has been hit with a $10,000 fine, but if he pays within 45 days, the amount drops to $2,000. If he violates the conflict-of-interest law again in the next two years, Smith would be on the hook for the other $8,000.
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich had come to the same conclusion in his February audit of the Rockwood School District.
Smith served on the Rockwood Board of Education as a Glenn Construction employee between May 2010 and June 2012.
St. Louis County Police asking for help to find a burglar who has hit Lutheran North High School for a fourth time.
The most recent incident occurred October 27. The suspect stole an Apple desktop computer from the school's counseling room. The suspect is described as a black man in his 30's. He has a mustache. The suspect was last seen wearing a green jacket, with a tan collar, gray jeans or Dockers, black shoes and black skull cap.
If you have any information on the burglary or suspect, please call Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
Many people complain about red light cameras, but statistics show that they are changing people's driving behaviors.
American Traffic Solutions, who installed the cameras across the city, recently analyzed the effects of the cameras. They say 84 percent of drivers who received and paid a citation, never got another one. They also say that cameras more than halved the number of citations issued each month.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Ameren Missouri says it is delaying the planned construction of a coal ash landfill in Franklin County.
The St. Louis-based utility wants to build the landfill next to its Labadie power plant. Environmental groups have fought the landfill because of its proximity to the Missouri River flood plain.
The Washington Missourian reports that the Missouri Public Service Commission has canceled project hearings scheduled for November so that Ameren can file a revised construction permit application with the state Department of Natural Resources.
Franklin County has asked the utility to include six additional groundwater monitoring wells at the landfill, despite DNR assurances that Ameren's groundwater monitoring plan is adequate.
More information about an accident in North St. Louis County.
Three kids, aged 5, 17, and 18, were walking home from school, when the driver of an SUV hit three. Police say the driver tried to flee the scene, but flipped the SUV and ran into a home. The driver is in police custody.
The three victims were all taken to the hospital with serious injuries.