ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants state lawmakers to approve a special gun court in St. Louis after city judges rejected the move earlier this week.
Koster reiterated his call for a new "armed offender docket" at the start of an urban crime summit Wednesday at the downtown St. Louis University law school. The four-day summit began Monday in Kansas City.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Dotson and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce also want the Legislature to step in. Slay, Dotson and Joyce are each participating in the summit as well.
The city's district court judges met Monday and instead adopted a compromise plan to expedite trial dates for those accused of violent crimes. Dotson called the move "window dressing" that won't adequately address gun violence.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to head to New York to meet with business leaders and talk about disaster response efforts at an event sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative.
Nixon is to participate Tuesday evening in a dinner discussion panel about lessons from recent disasters. During his five years as governor, Nixon has dealt with the deadly Joplin tornado as well widespread flooding, a blizzard and drought.
Nixon is to leave Sunday for New York and return three days later.
The governor's office says he also will meet with the leaders of companies that have a presence in Missouri, including IBM, Honeywell, Kawasaki, MasterCard International and Unilever.
His travel costs are being covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit group that often finances Missouri governors' economic development trips.
CHICAGO (AP) - With his top Democratic challenger out of the 2014 race, Gov. Pat Quinn says he remains focused on his day job.
Quinn addressed reporters Wednesday in Chicago. The appearance was his first since former White House chief of staff Bill Daley bowed out of the 2014 race.
Quinn shied away from addressing Daley's criticisms, including parting statements that Quinn wouldn't win.
With just one lesser known candidate left, he's widely expected to get the nod from his party during the March primary.
Quinn says he'll still attend a statewide slating discussion this weekend in Springfield by the state's Democratic party.
Four Republicans are running for governor. Quinn says it'll be a tough contest.
A former St. Louis city employee, convicted of wire fraud in March, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 71 year old Fred Robinson embezzled about $240-thousand from the now-defunct charter school, Paideia Academy, and collected more than $175-thousand in city paychecks as a "ghost employee". Robinson was the chairman of the charter school's board. Robinson's sentence includes five other charges of federal program theft, relating to his salary from 2006-10 under then-St. Louis Treasurer Larry Williams. Prosecutors say Robinson earned a $35-thousand city salary, but filed bogus time sheets and never did any work for the treasurer’s office. The judge also ordered Robinson to pay about $420,000 in restitution. He must also serve three years probation following his release from prison. Robinson is free on bail while his case is appealed.
Is it a retiree scam? Two Missouri officials are joining forces for an investigation to answer that question. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is raising concerns about deals in which retirees are signing over future pension checks in order to get quick cash. Zweifel says the deals typically involve an upfront payment to a retiree, under a contract in which the business then gets part of that person's future pension payments. Attorney General Chris Koster says he plans to join the investigation into such practices.
"It can wait." That's the message at Kirkwood High School where students are getting a crash course in the dangers of distracted driving.
The entire student body at Kirkwood High School is taking a pledge today not to text and drive as part of a national campaign. 16-year-old Gabe Masi went through the texting-and-driving obstacle course set up in the Kirkwood parking lot. He offers this advice to other teens who might be texting in the car.
"Never do it. I definitely learned my lesson today," said Masi. "A pedestrian could be a friend, it could be a family member. You never know what could happen."
According to AT&T, 78% of student drivers say they're not likely to text and drive if a friend tells them it's wrong or stupid. 90% say they'd stop if a friend in the car asked them to.
A four-day urban crime summit convened by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster comes to St. Louis Wednesday.
It began in Kansas City on Monday. Scheduled participants in St. Louis include Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson and their St. Louis County counterparts.
Other presenters include New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and law enforcement consultant William Bratton, a former top police official in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.
Ballpark Village may still be under construction, but officials say they're already hiring.
Ballpark Village Chief Operating Officer Jim Watry told Fox 2 News that more than 1,000 positions will have to be filled before the entertainment venue opens next spring.
Watry says he's already looking for candidates to fill director positions. "Sales, marketing, director of operations, we have a facilities director, people who run the overall district," he said. "And then by the first of the year, the tenants will be hiring all their people, the front line people, facilities people."
Watry says anyone interested in the current openings can send a message through the Ballpark Village Facebook page or by emailing him directly at Jim@stlballparkvillage.com.
A new report gives both Missouri and Illinois poor marks for delivering health care services to low-income residents. The Commonwealth Fund's scorecard was released Wednesday.
The report looks at 30 health indicators regarding health care coverage, prevention and treatment of low-income people -- defined as 200-percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $23,000 a year for an individual or $47,000 for a family of four.
According to the report, Missouri ranks 44th out of 51 states and DC. Illinois does slightly better at 36th. Hawaii ranked first among the states and Mississippi was last.
The complete report, along with an interactive map, can be found on the Commonwealth Fund's website.
Under Missouri's new rating system, the St. Louis Public Schools will lose accreditation in two years if things don't improve. And under the state's transfer rules, students who live in unaccredited districts can transfer to schools in better performing districts at the expense of their home district.
The potential transfer crisis losing accreditation could create prompted an unprecedented meeting Tuesday between the elected and appointed city school boards. It's the first time the two school boards have considered joining forces.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the two groups spent two hours discussing one idea: asking the state to grant accreditation status to individual schools rather than entire districts.
Superintendent Kelvin Adams says under that system, almost half of the city's schools would still be unaccredited, but the rest -- 38 of the district's 71 schools -- would receive at least provisional accreditation.
Adams and others argue that means only students in the city's lowest-performing schools would be eligible to transfer and some might choose to go to better performing schools within the district. After all, 20 schools in the city meet state accreditation standards, some with distinction.