KANSAS CITY-PLAZA FIRE
Delay in final report on KC Plaza explosion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Public Service Commission says it needs more time before it issues a final report on a fatal explosion at a Kansas City restaurant.
The commission's attorney, Robert Berlin, said Tuesday investigators have interviewed more than 60 people and conducted several tests. But he says some test results aren't back and more investigation is needed.
The February explosion and fire destroyed JJ's restaurant on the Kansas City Country Club Plaza, killing one person and injuring 15.
The commission was scheduled to issue the report June 27. The Kansas City Star reports a status report will be issued July 26. A deadline for the final report has not been set.
The commission is investigating whether Missouri Gas Energy was complying with state regulations at the time of the explosion.
FLEEING FAILING SCHOOLS
Mo. releases guidance for student transfers
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's education agency says parents wanting to transfer their children from failing schools should provide notice by Aug. 1.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released guidance Wednesday on how to handle student transfers. That comes a week after the state Supreme Court upheld a 1993 law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay for students to transfer to nearby schools.
The state wants school districts to adopt class-size policies by Aug. 1. It's also urging parents to notify districts of their intent to transfer their students by that date. If schools can't accommodate all the new students, they are supposed to adopt an admissions process ensuring that all applicants have an equal chance of transferring.
Missouri currently has three unaccredited districts - Kansas City, Normandy and Riverview Gardens.
St. Louis city, county merge bomb and arson units
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis and St. Louis County police are merging their bomb and arson units.
The deal was formalized Wednesday at a meeting of the city's Board of Police Commissioners.
County Police Chief Tim Fitch and city chief Sam Dotson say the merger makes financial sense and will be effective July 1. The merged squads will operate out of the city police headquarters. The unit will consist of 4 detectives and one sergeant from the city and the same from the county. Two dogs from the county will continue to serve.
Earlier this week the county approved a 10-year agreement to merge its economic development agency with the city's.
2 in custody in death of Kirkwood teenager
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (AP) - Two men are now in custody in the shooting death of a recent high school graduate in the St. Louis County town of Kirkwood.
Eighteen-year-old Keenan Miller of Oakland, Mo., was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder. Meanwhile, police captured the other suspect Tuesday night, and will seek charges against him. By midday Wednesday, charges had not been filed. Police say the second suspect was the gunman.
The men are accused in the death of 18-year-old Brandon Richards. Police say Miller was delivering marijuana for sale Monday at a home in Kirkwood where Richards was killed. Richards graduated from Kirkwood High School shortly before his death.
Miller is jailed on $100,000 cash-only bond.
St. Louis agency grant to help inmates get jobs
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis organization is getting a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide job training for inmates.
Federal officials on Wednesday announced $20 million in grants nationwide, including funding to the Fathers' Support Center of St. Louis.
The grants are part of the Training to Work-Adult Re-entry initiative. The goal is to provide work skills, education and support services to help soon-to-be released inmates find and keep jobs.
WORLD FOOD PRIZE
World Food Prize goes to 3 biotech scientists
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - This year's World Food Prize is going to a Belgian scientist and two researchers in the United States for their innovations that brought the world genetically modified crops.
The prize organizers say the technology that allows for the stable transfer of genes into plant cells has improved yields, resistance to insects and disease, and tolerance of extreme climate variations.
Sharing the prize are Marc Van Montagu of Belgium; Mary-Dell Chilton, a researcher at biotechnology company Syngenta; and Robert Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto.
Van Montagu and Chilton independently developed the technology in the 1980s. Fraley genetically engineered the first herbicide-resistant soybeans, meaning farmers can spray their fields to kill weeds while leaving their soybean plants intact.
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