It may be September, but state officials have already started their Christmas shopping in Jefferson City -- for a holiday tree, that is. Missouri officials are looking for the next Christmas tree to decorate the lawn of the Governor's Mansion in state capitol. The deadline to submit entries to the state Department of Conservation is September 30. Trees must be at least 40 feet tall, fully branched and donated. The owner of the winning tree gets a personalized thank you from Governor Jay Nixon and an invitation to the tree lighting. Submissions must include photos taken from several angles and distances, contact information and the location of tree through an online mapping service. Entries can be sent to the Department of Conservation in Jefferson City.
The University of Missouri's journalism school plans to seek approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to resume the use of news-gathering drones.
The federal agency has ordered the university as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to stop flying the drones outdoors until they obtain government authorization.
Scott Pham of Missouri's university-owned station KBIA-FM said the school will apply for a federal permit known as a certificate of authorization. His counterpart in Nebraska has said the school also plans to seek the federal permit.
Journalism researchers and their students were using the airborne robots to shoot aerial photos and video from difficult-to-reach news scenes.
A congressional staffer won't face any charges after leaving his loaded handgun in a mens' room at the Missouri Capitol.
Police say the gun belongs to 64 year old David Evans, legislative assistant to House Speaker Tim Jones. And Evans has a conceal-carry permit.
Capitol Police say the Kahr CM9 9mm pistol was in a holster and had a hollow point bullet in the chamber, along with six others in the magazine. It was found Friday morning on top of a toilet paper dispenser in a restroom near a House hearing room.
Police say no charges will be filed because Evans didn't break any laws. State law allows Missouri lawmakers and their staff to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol, as long as they have a permit.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is coming out against a proposal to combine city and county crime statistics for FBI reporting.
County Police Chief Tim Fitch and City Chief Sam Dotson sent that proposal to the FBI Monday. They argue that reporting St. Louis crime stats regionally would be more accurate since other cities include suburban and rural areas in their figures.
McCulloch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that combining the numbers is deceptive because the city isn't part of the county. And he said, it would be unfair to county residents. McCulloch said the move would cut the city's murder rate in half, while increasing the county's murder rate more than 8 fold.
The STL County crime stats only include unincorporated areas and the municipalities that contract with County PD for protection...about 40-percent of county residents.
The paper reports that the proposed change would have ranked St. Louis 8th instead of 2nd in violent crime among cities with populations between 500,000 and 999,999 in 2010.