JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill that would allow school districts to hire police resource officers.
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Sheila Solon, of Blue Springs, says the measure is part of efforts to keep schools safer after the Connecticut elementary school shooting that killed 20 children.
She says that school resource officers are considered county or municipal employees but her bill would allow school districts to hire them directly.
The bill would also strengthen the state's mandatory child abuse reporting laws by preventing supervisors from impeding a report.
The House voted 129-20 to the send the measure to the Senate Wednesday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill returned to Missouri to push for tougher punishments of military sexual assaults.
The Democratic senator and former Jackson County prosecutor met Wednesday with top officials from the Missouri National Guard at the Guard's Jefferson City headquarters.
Her appearance came one month after senior military leaders were chastised at a Senate hearing because an Air Force commander dismissed the conviction of a lieutenant colonel for sexually assaulting a civilian employee at Aviana Air Force Base in Italy.
McCaskill has introduced legislation to revise the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit commanders from overturning jury verdicts in military tribunals. Those leaders would also have to explain in writing any decisions to reduce sentences after guilty verdicts in court martials.
The man accused of spiking the soup at the Lafayette Center Dierberg's has been arrested.
Police say that John Schwendemann is the person who threw something into a soup crock. Fox 2 reports that Schwendemann voluntarily came to police last (Tuesday) night with his attorney. He says he was in the store on the day of the incident, but said he did not put anything in the soup. Schwendemann faces misdemeanor charges.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he's open to many of the Medicaid changes sought by Republican lawmakers as part of a plan to expand health coverage to low-income adults.
In an unusual move, the Democratic governor met privately for about 45 minutes Wednesday with House Republicans at the Capitol.
Republicans have repeatedly defeated Nixon's plan to expand adult Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the poverty level, which is about $32,500 for a family of four. A Republican-led House committee was to vote later Wednesday on an alternative that adds fewer adults to Medicaid while injecting more private-sector competition.
Nixon said he's open to a private insurance model for Medicaid and to new co-payment requirements for participants.
States that expand to 138 percent of poverty can receive full federal funding.
HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - One of seven Marines killed last month during a Nevada training exercise is being remembered in his southwestern Illinois hometown as an inclusive person concerned for people.
The body of 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was laid to rest Wednesday after a funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.
The 2005 Highland High School graduate was killed March 18 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the sprawling Hawthorne Army Depot.
His father says his son expected to return home for good next month.
The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/10rgMaZ) reports that Rev. Scott Snider told mourners that Ripperda is at peace, and "we look forward to the day when the warriors' work is done and the light of peace breaks across the world."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Monsanto says its net income increased 22 percent in the second quarter on strong sales of its biotech seeds.
The agricultural products company boosted its full-year earnings guidance, citing its strong performance in the first two quarters.
The St. Louis company says it earned $1.48 billion, or $2.74 per share in the three months ended Feb. 13. That compares to earnings of $1.21 billion, or $2.24 per share, a year ago.
Revenue climbed 15 percent to $5.47 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected Monsanto to report earnings of $2.56 per share on sales of $5.27 billion in revenue for the quarter.
Monsanto has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade. In recent years the company has focused on growing business in emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois businessman who prosecutors say was illegally using jobless benefits to pay tabs at a Hooters restaurant and a hotel in Costa Rica faces more federal charges.
A new indictment Tuesday added four counts against 58-year-old James Quirin of Sauget. Those alleged felonies include tax evasion and false filing.
Quirin's already facing eight counts related to his alleged theft of government money after investigators say he misused a debit card given to people collecting unemployment benefits. Authorities say Quirin charged his Hooters tab and hundreds of dollars in hotel expenses to the debit card in March 2010.
Quirin is accused of working for an excavating firm and fraudulently getting more than $44,000 in unemployment benefits.
A message was left Wednesday with his attorney, Ronald Jenkins.
MARION, Ill. (AP) - A man who resigned as a southern Illinois sheriff's deputy after being accused of drunken driving for the second time in five years has pleaded not guilty to his latest DUI count.
WSIL-TV reports that 48-year-old deputy Shaunn Curry entered the plea Tuesday in Williamson County Circuit Court. He's charged with driving under the influence.
Authorities say the Williamson County deputy was off duty in his own vehicle March 1 when he was stopped near Marion after several motorists called 911 to report a possible drunken driver.
Curry was found guilty in 2009 of DUI related to a December 2007 wreck he had while off duty. He was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge.
He resigned late last month.
Two St. Charles police officers are recovering from injuries after they were hit by two armed robbers in their getaway car.
Two 18-year-old men are in custody. They are suspected of robbing a St. Charles Steak 'n Shake and then ramming two police cars while trying to escape.
It happened just before four Wednesday morning outside a Steak ‘N Shake on First Capitol Drive in St Charles.
One officer was taken to the hospital and the other was treated at the scene.
More charges are expected later Wednesday.
Family and friends prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corporal Aaron Ripperda.
The 26-year-old Highland, Illinois native died in a training exercise in March in Nevada. A funeral Mass is set for this morning. Ripperda graduated from Highland High School in 2005.
The Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket at the funeral. They would protest what they call, “a nation of sodomites and hypocrites”.