Missouri Gov. Nixon signs budget legislation
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed a mid-year spending bill with funding for social services, education and a financially troubled St. Louis County school district.
The supplemental budget signed into law Wednesday moves $69 million to the state Medicaid program to offset a shortfall in Missouri's settlement payments from tobacco companies. It also includes an extra $3 million to help low-income people pay utility bills, and $2 million to help the unaccredited Normandy School District.
The measure also provides additional funding for public schools and colleges through June 30 to make up for shortfalls in gambling and lottery revenues.
Nixon froze $22 million budgeted for schools and colleges earlier this month, saying lawmakers had not included enough money in the supplemental budget.
House panel OKs Missouri student transfer bill
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee has advanced legislation revising a law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay the costs when students transfer to neighboring districts.
The bill would limit the tuition paid by struggling districts and allow the receiving schools to set policies for how many students they accept. Students could transfer to better schools within their home districts. They also could go to other school districts, charter schools or nonreligious private schools within the same county or a bordering one.
Some members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee expressed reservations Wednesday. They said the bill is imperfect but that the issue is important enough for the measure to keep moving through the Legislature.
The measure cleared the Senate earlier.
St. Louis man charged in mother's death
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 32-year-old St. Louis man faces first-degree murder charges in his mother's death.
Police say Courtney Cunningham allegedly shot her at their north St. Louis home on Pope Avenue between Sunday night and Tuesday morning. He was charged Wednesday in the death of 56-year-old Joyce Boxx.
Cunningham also faces a charge of armed criminal action. He remains in custody with no bond.
AIR FORCE-PIPE BOMBS
Air Force staffer admits having pipe bombs in Ill.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - An Air Force staffer stationed in Illinois has admitted he possessed pipe bombs that officials say he planned to unleash on local sex offenders.
The Post-Dispatch reports 24-year-old Justin Vangilder entered the pleas Wednesday in East St. Louis federal court to three felony counts of possessing an unregistered destructive device. He was arrested and charged last October while he was assigned to Scott Air Force Base.
An FBI agent's affidavit says Vangilder had three pipe bombs in his home in Shiloh (SHEYE'-loh). Documents say he'd told an informant he fantasized about killing child molesters and sought to "inflict as many casualties as possible."
There's no indication Vangilder targeted anyone on the base.
He is to be sentenced August 1st.
COLD CASE SLAYINGS
Evidence argued in old Wyoming killing
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Prosecuting and defense attorneys argued Wednesday over what evidence and testimony to allow during an elderly Missouri woman's first-degree murder trial in Wyoming.
Attorneys for 75-year-old Alice Uden plan to argue self-defense. Prosecutors allege she shot 25-year-old Ronald Holtz in the head while he slept in late 1974 or early 1975.
Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday and eight days are reserved for trial in Cheyenne.
Uden's attorneys want Judge Steven Sharpe to bar jurors from hearing that Uden's current husband, 71-year-old Gerald Uden, killed his ex-wife and her two sons in Wyoming in 1980. Sharpe says he will rule on that at trial.
Gerald Uden pleaded guilty in November. Authorities arrested the Udens in Chadwick, Missouri in September but have not linked the two murder cases.
Branson begins study of ban on smoking in public
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - Officials in the southwest Missouri resort town of Branson are looking into a ban on smoking in public.
KTTS-FM reports that city leaders have been asked to draft an ordinance.
Branson aldermen have not set a timetable for public discussion of the proposal, but they're inviting public input as the details are crafted.
At least one official favors a ban. Alderman Mike Booth is a former smoker. He says Branson may be "a little late" in looking at a smoking ban, but adds, "better sooner than never."
A pizza restaurant called Mr. G's is one of the few Branson establishments that does allow smoking. Employee Ann Marie Pounds said she thinks Branson has better things to worry about. But customer Heather Holmes said she would support a city-wide ban.
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