JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A national trails magazine has awarded Missouri the title of "Best Trails State" for its commitment to maintain and improve its vast system of hiking and biking paths.
The award from American Trails was announced Wednesday at a conference in Arizona. It's given every two years to states that make the most significant contributions to maintaining and promoting their trails.
Missouri's state parks system includes nearly 1,000 miles of managed trails. Many historic trails pass through the state, including the Lewis and Clark, Trail of Tears and the Santa Fe National Historic Trails.
Attendance in Missouri state parks increased in 2012, with more than 18 million visitors.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri state senator is taking aim at health inspectors who he says are blocking charitable chili suppers.
Republican Sen. Mike Cunningham, of Rogersville, is sponsoring legislation that would let nonprofit groups prepare food in private homes and bring it to charitable fundraisers. The groups would need to post signs saying the food was prepared in a kitchen not subject to regulation.
Senators gave initial approval Wednesday to Cunningham's bill after a Democratic senator attached an amendment exempting the St. Louis area from its provisions.
Cunningham asserted that "rogue inspectors" are acting like "food Nazis" by shutting down charitable chili suppers.
Democratic Sen. Ryan McKenna, of Crystal City, says he has heard of no problems and supports food safety efforts.
Food safety bill is SB432
Online: Senate: http://www.senate.mo.gov
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has a plan to generate money for police: Pull the plug on the city's cable TV station.
The mayor spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the St. Louis Police Board and proposed eliminating STL-TV. The $650,000 in savings would be shifted to next year's police budget to help pay overtime and increase hot spot policing efforts.
The police department's proposed budget of $176.8 million for next year represents a 3 percent increase. But Chief Sam Dotson says pension and health care costs are rising so fast that job losses may be required unless additional money is found.
The force has 1,265 officers.