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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The former director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture is denying allegations that he created a hostile workplace.
Jon Hagler was replaced as agriculture chief Oct. 11 by Gov. Jay Nixon and until now has remained silent about the reasons. His departure came a day after a former employee distributed a letter alleging Hagler created a workplace of "hostility, disrespect, intimidation and fear."
Hagler sat down for an extended interview this weekend with The Associated Press. He described himself as a tough manager who expected a lot from employees - but wasn't hostile.
Hagler says he told Nixon's staff he was ready to leave and planned to interview for a university job. He says the timing of the employee's allegations and his departure was mere coincidence.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The outcome of a Texas abortion dispute could have an impact on Missouri.
A federal appeals court is considering a challenge to a new Texas law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.
Missouri has a similar law that has been in place since 2005.
A federal judge originally issued a temporary restraining order against the Missouri law after it was challenged by a Springfield abortion clinic. But that clinic later dropped its lawsuit and closed, and the law has remained in effect since then.
The Missouri law is cited by both abortion providers and opponents as one of the reasons why the state has few abortion clinics.
Flags across Missouri will be flown at half-staff Monday in honor of longtime Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, who died last week in Arlington, Virginia.
Skelton had represented Missouri's fouth district in the U.S. House from 1977 to 2011.
Funeral services will be later this morning at Wentworth Military Academy and College in Lexington, Missouri.
Skelton was 81 years old when he died.
SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Once again Illinois lawmakers are considering a list of tax breaks and other incentives to keep some companies in the state and attract others.
The most widely publicized proposal is a $24 million tax break aimed at persuading Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its new global headquarters in Illinois.
Legislators at this week's fall session in Springfield also could be asked for a tax break to retain the company that emerges from a merger between OfficeMax Inc. of Naperville and Office Depot Inc., among others.
Some lawmakers say the state's bad finances make timing difficult for new such breaks.
Others say the state needs to take a harder look and adopt a more comprehensive way to scrutinize such incentives in the future.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — After months of investigation, authorities are dismissing an inmate's claim that he knew what happened to a 9-year-old St. Charles boy who disappeared 25 years ago.
Scott Kleeschulte was 9 when he went missing on June 8th, 1988 while walking near a wooded area not far from his home.
Chuck Miceli claimed a former cellmate abducted Scott. Miceli is a former Chicago-area police officer turned informant. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2010 on a federal fraud charge.
Miceli was brought to St. Charles County by U.S. Marshals on June 17th and stayed while police investigated his claims.
St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the investigation yielded nothing new. Miceli was sent back to a federal prison in Florida.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County man has been sentenced to five years in prison for shooting and paralyzing his 2-year-old son while loading a gun.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 29-year-old Vincent Sanders was sentenced Friday. Sanders pleaded guilty in July to endangering the welfare of a child, marijuana possession and unlawful use of a weapon after the March 2012 incident.
His son was shot in the chest while Sanders was loading his gun. Prosecutors say the child is paralyzed from the waist down.
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A 39-year-old man has been charged in the shooting death of a Missouri Southern State University football coach.
Joplin police said Saturday that the Jasper County prosecutor's office has charged Jeffery Bruner of Joplin with felony murder and armed criminal action in 37-year-old Derek Moore's death. Moore died after he was shot Friday night as he left a Joplin movie theater.
Bruner is being held without bond in Joplin. Jail officials say it's not clear if he has a lawyer.
Moore was in his first year as a Missouri Southern offensive line coach. He came to MSSU after three seasons at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.
The university canceled its Homecoming activities and said in a statement the school was "stunned and deeply saddened" by Moore's death.
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The former police chief in the southeast Missouri town of Perryville is facing charges of felony theft, forgery and misdemeanor making a false report.
The Southeast Missourian reports that charges were filed Thursday against Keith Tarrillion by the Missouri Attorney General's office, which had been investigating Tarrillion on allegations made by city employees earlier this year.
Tarrillion does not have a listed attorney.
He resigned as chief in March, but remains on the city payroll as part of a resignation agreement.
In the wake of Tarrillion's resignation, Perryville city officials decided to ask voters whether the police chief position should be elected or appointed. A vote on the issue is Tuesday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has decided not to run for a southeast Missouri congressional seat next year.
Kinder announced his decision in a written statement Friday, about a month after he publicly said he was considering a congressional bid.
A campaign would have meant a primary challenge against Republican U.S. Representative Jason Smith, who won a special election for the 8th Congressional District in June.
Kinder noted in his statement that campaigns can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. He said, quote: "An all-out run for Congress over the next year just isn't in the cards."
Kinder was elected last year to his third term as lieutenant governor. He said he plans to serve the remainder of the term, which runs until January 2017.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A microburst is being blamed for storm damage in Cape Girardeau.
The storm struck Thursday night, making for a treacherous Halloween, but there were no reports of injuries.
The Southeast Missourian reports that winds of up to 95 miles per hour were reported on the city's south side.
The National Weather Service concluded the storm was the result of a microburst, though officials with the service say a weak tornado struck East Cape Girardeau, Ill. The twister had winds peaking at 80 mph.
Rain was heavy during the storm, and winds knocked over trees and downed power lines in Cape Girardeau. At one point, more than 2,000 customers of the utility Ameren Missouri were without power. Most electricity was restored by Friday afternoon.