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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Missouri is on pace for a record number of executions in 2014, with two more inmates on the verge of getting their execution dates.
 
The Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday issued show cause orders in the cases of Leon Taylor and Michael Worthington. The orders give attorneys for the two men until April 14 to show why an execution date should not be set.
 
Missouri executed two men late last year and has already put to death two other convicted killers in the first two months of 2014 -- Herbert Smulls in January and Michael Taylor in February.
Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled to die March 26 for abducting and killing a teenager in St. Charles County in 1989. In addition to Taylor and Worthington, the Supreme Court has issued show cause orders for five other death row inmates, meaning their execution dates could be set soon.
 
Missouri’s highest number of executions in a year was nine in 1999. The state executed eight men in 1938 and seven in 2001.
Friday, 14 March 2014 14:40
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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is urging federal regulators to require that publicly traded companies report any political spending to their shareholders.
 
Kander, a Democrat, says investors want to know how money has been spent for political purposes by the companies in which they invest.
 
Kander's office says he wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission to support a rulemaking petition submitted in 2011 by several law professors.
   
 
Friday, 14 March 2014 10:23
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis may follow the lead of urban school districts in places like Chicago, Philadelphia and New York and turn over the reins of the city's most troubled schools to outside groups.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that superintendent Kelvin Adams proposed Thursday night that if any of the district's 18 lowest-performing schools fails to meet specified targets next school year, nonprofit entities would be hired to run them in 2015-16.
 
Adams made the proposal to the Special Administrative Board that oversees the district.
 
Under that plan, the schools would be operated independently but still belong to the district. The operator could hire staff and set curriculum, but the district would remain accountable for test scores and enrollment.
 
Friday, 14 March 2014 09:43
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is planning a series of town hall meetings and other events across Missouri next week to discuss expanding job and business opportunities.
The tour, dubbed "McCaskill on Main Street," begins Monday. McCaskill says the meetings will give her a chance to answer questions from families and businesses about efforts to create jobs.
 
The Missouri Democrat says she has worked with Republican colleagues to write the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, designed to cut through federal red tape and expedite infrastructure projects.
 
McCaskill also says she has worked with a group of senators to introduce two proposals to provide billions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees for infrastructure projects without using federal tax dollars.
McCaskill's office said Thursday a schedule of the meetings was pending.
 
Friday, 14 March 2014 08:28
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The FBI has released surveillance images of a man who robbed a bank Thursday afternoon in The Hill neighborhood. The suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his late 20s or early 30s standing between 5'8" and 6'0" tall. He has a medium build and tattoos on his fingers near his knuckles on at least one hand. He was last seen wearing a dark knit hat, light-colored scarf, dark coat, and blue jeans.
 
Authorities say the man walked into the U.S. Bank in the 5300 block of Southwest Avenue around 1 p.m. and handed a teller a note announcing the robbery. He ran from the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash.
 
If you have any information regarding the identity of this man, call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
Friday, 14 March 2014 06:21
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state senator from eastern Missouri is forgoing a re-election bid, potentially setting off a scramble among Republicans vying to replace him in the reliably GOP district.
   Republican Sen. Brian Nieves (nee-EH'-vehz), of Washington, withdrew Thursday after initially filing for re-election.
   One candidate, House Republican Dave Schatz, of Sullivan, had already filed to challenge Nieves. But with Nieves' exit, Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka, is now also considering a run.
   Jones says he will take time next week to weigh his options. Nieves did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
   A potential primary could be an expensive contest. Schatz loaned his campaign $350,000, and Jones reports having $900,000 in his campaign account.
   The Senate district includes Franklin County and parts of western St. Louis County.
 
Friday, 14 March 2014 03:54
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's official consumer advocate wants regulators to publicly release information that could show whether Ameren Missouri has earned more than it's entitled to from its electricity rates.
   The request by Public Counsel Lewis Mills to the Missouri Public Service Commission deals with a report filed last November by the St. Louis-based utility company that has been kept confidential.
   In February, Noranda Aluminum and other Ameren customers filed a complaint alleging the utility was earning more than allowed by the regulatory commission. That complaint cited the confidential November report and asked the PSC to lower Ameren's allowable earnings - thus potentially cutting rates for consumers.
   Mills said in his recent filing that the public needs access to the confidential information to understand the basis for the allegation that Ameren is overearning.
 
Friday, 14 March 2014 03:51
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