JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Opposition is starting to form around a ballot measure that would enshrine a "right to farm" in Missouri's Constitution.
A former Democratic state senator has started a political action committee to fight the ballot measure. Wes Shoemyer says the amendment would take away the people's ability to use the initiative petition process to regulate agriculture.
A coalition of farming and livestock associations, known as Missouri Farmers Care, argues the amendment is necessary to protect farmers from groups that use the ballot box to restrict farming and ranching.
Missouri lawmakers referred the measure to the ballot last year. It will appear on the November ballot unless Gov. Jay Nixon moves up the date. North Dakota voters approved similar constitutional protection in 2012.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is going to begin picking up the tab for students to take the ACT college entrance exam and dramatically reduce the amount of time some elementary and middle school students spend taking state assessments.
When the changes take effect next school year, Missouri will join more than a dozen states that already offer the ACT test to all their students. Missouri plans to offer the test once, free of charge to high school juniors.
Elementary and middle school students also will see changes as the state switches to new assessments tied to the Common Core standards for math and reading. Students in third, fourth, sixth and seventh grades will take a one-hour version of the test. Only fifth- and eighth-graders will take a longer seven-hour version.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe says he'll recommend that tuition at the system's four campuses not increase for the 2014-15 school year.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wolfe told the Post-Dispatch editorial board Friday he'd send his recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who would likely take up the matter at a meeting next week.
The last time tuition remained flat was four years ago. The university system's curators had been moving ahead on a plan that would have called for a 1.5 percent tuition increase.
Wolfe's recommendation comes after Gov. Jay Nixon proposed earlier this week to put more than $80 million into higher education. But in exchange, Nixon called on Missouri colleges and universities not to raise costs.
CREVE COEUR, Mo. (AP) — The former treasurer for a suburban St. Louis parent-teacher organization faces charges accusing her of stealing more than $50,000 from the organization.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 36-year-old Tenille R. Batsell of Olivette was charged Thursday in St. Louis County with felony stealing.
Police say Batsell was treasurer of the Spoede School Association at Spoede Elementary School in Creve Coeur. She's accused of pocketing about $53,000 that belonged to the group, which relies on donations to organize events for students. Members of the organization called police after discovering accounting discrepancies on its books.
The parent-teacher association said on its website that its members were aware of the charges but couldn't comment.
Online court records don't list a lawyer for Batsell.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has scheduled a February 26th execution for a man who pleaded guilty in the 1989 abduction, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl.
Michael Taylor and Roderick Nunley were charged with kidnapping Ann Harrison as she waited for a school bus near her home. She was raped, stabbed and left bleeding to death in the trunk of a car.
The high court set Taylor's execution date on Friday.
Taylor's lawyer said the scheduling was premature in light of ongoing lawsuits against Missouri's execution procedures. The state switched to a one-drug lethal injection method since drug companies stopped selling the traditional three-drug mixture for use in executions.
Nunley was scheduled to be executed in 2010, but was granted a stay.
It’s the last chapter for a Florissant book store.
The Post Dispatch reporting that Barnes and Noble is closing its Florissant location in Cross Keys Center. Some customers have been told the store will close at the end of February. Barnes and Noble plans to close between 15 and 20 stores a year for the next decade.
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - One local television station's undercover report on school safety, is the inspiration for a new piece of legislation.
Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman wrote on her blog, that she has filed House Bill 1522. The bill would make it a felony to "intentionally make a threat to the security of a public school or building” in order to expose security issues. Newman says the bill could stop situations like the one when a KSDK employee took a hidden camera in five schools, including Kirkwood High School.
The employee was not stopped at Kirkwood and the school was forced to go into lockdown when officials could not find the employee or verify that they were at the school as part of a story.
KSDK has apologized for the incident and the Kirkwood Superintendent accepted the apology.