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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Lawmakers take 4 hours of testimony on refugees’ settling in Missouri

Missouri government spends a little, but the federal government shoulders most of the financial burden when it comes to refugee resettlement in the state, lawmakers were told Monday.

ACLU sues ACT Missouri over Sunshine Law requests

Does Missouri’s Open Records law cover agencies that contract with the state and use state money for projects?

Missouri Republican leaders call hearing on Syrian refugees

State Republican legislative leaders have called a joint hearing that will review programs that could be used to provide assistance for refugee resettlement in Missouri.

Missouri's Catholic bishops support Syrian refugees

Bishops John Gaydos of the Jefferson City Diocese, James V. Johnston Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Thomas E. Reidy of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis expressed their "solidarity with all those terrorized by ISIS and other violent extremists."

Million-dollar difference in Wellness Center bids

9 bids opened seeking contract to build new JC Parks-LU project

Eleven construction firms want the contract to build the planned Wellness Center on the Lincoln University campus, across Lafayette Street from the Jefferson City High School complex. Architects opened nine bids Thursday afternoon, ranging from a low bid of $11.376 million to a high of $12.628 million.

Blunt: Press ‘pause’ button on refugees

Senator says bringing Syrians to U.S. isn’t in best interest of anyone

Before letting more Syrian refugees into the U.S., Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters Thursday: “We definitely need to hit the ‘pause’ button here, until we can figure out a way that you can determine that the refugees don’t put Americans at risk.”

New ballot summary ordered for home care petition

A three-judge appeals court panel this week rewrote the summary statement for a proposed ballot initiative, but rejected the sponsors’ complaints the fiscal note and fiscal summary were wrong.

Druzenko sentenced for role in marriage fraud cases

Almost 8½ years after Oleksandr Nikolayevich Druzenko married Patricia Anne Ewalt in Jefferson City — so he could stay in the United States after his student visa expired — he was sentenced Wednesday to “time served” for his role in two federal marriage fraud cases.

Appeals Court dismisses Common Core suit

Because the Legislature last spring prohibited the state from paying dues to support the Common Core education standards, a state appeals court panel in Kansas City ruled Tuesday, a lawsuit challenging those payments now is “moot,” or no longer active.

LU Faculty Senate seeks changes to ‘program review’ policy

Lincoln University’s Faculty Senate voted Tuesday to seek changes in administrators’ plans for a “program review” of LU’s course offerings.

JC NAACP endorsed resolution backing MU protest effort

Jefferson City’s NAACP Branch approved a resolution Monday night supporting the efforts by University of Missouri student protesters seeking culture change at the state’s largest college campus.

Judge backs state on jobless bill

A law that could reduce the number of weeks Missourians can collect unemployment benefits has survived its first court challenge.

Candiates to Nixon: say no to Syrian refugees

Gov. Jay Nixon should add Missouri to the list of states refusing to accept Syrian refugees.

GOP candidates to Nixon: Say No to Syrian refugees

Republicans say Nixon should block Syrian refugees without federal security clearances; Governor agrees state's security is vital.

Jefferson City NAACP promotes hotline for reporting discrimination

Jefferson City’s NAACP branch is promoting a toll-free hotline— 844-NAACPHELP (or 844-622-2743) — for people to report their experiences with discrimination and harassment.

LU re-branding effort happens at same time as 150th anniversary

Lincoln University President Kevin Rome said last week it’s a coincidence the school is launching its re-branding effort at the same time it celebrates its 150th birthday.

LU Faculty Senate’s resolutions presented to curators

When Lincoln University’s Faculty Senate members meet next Tuesday, they will likely be told curators received the report about last month’s two resolutions, but didn’t act on them.

Sierra Club urges Ameren to reduce coal use

Almost 80 percent of electricity generated in Missouri comes from coal.

Lincoln University curators approve renovations

Bond sale will fund dorm repairs

Lincoln University will spend $914,500 this year to renovate interior portions of Young Hall, the administration building.

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Veterans Day has special significance at Lincoln University

Reviving the tradition

Without veterans, Lincoln University wouldn’t exist, President Kevin Rome said Wednesday morning during an ROTC-sponsored Veterans Day celebration.

Appeals court overturns judge's ruling in child support case

A Jefferson City man must make back-child-support payments, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

AHC is state’s first tenant in old Post Office

Almost two years after state government signed a 20-year lease to use the top two floors of Jefferson City’s Main Post Office, 131 W. High St., Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission has become the first tenant.

Dahl retiring as CIO for MOSERS

For 21 years, Rick Dahl has been the Missouri State Retirement System’s chief investment officer.

Feds indict Georgia man for ID theft, tax fraud scheme

A Loganville, Georgia, man made his first appearance in a Jefferson City federal courtroom Tuesday on a grand jury’s indictment he had a fraud scheme in which he stole personal identity information from several victims in order to file fraudulent federal income tax returns.

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Road to fiscal stability

Broeker ready to return to dollars, leave MoDOT administration to others

For the last six months, Roberta Broeker has been Missouri’s interim transportation director.

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Jefferson City area ceremonies honor Wednesday’s Veterans Day

A day of ‘solemn pride’ in heroism

Wednesday marks the 97th anniversary of Armistice Day — the day the fighting of World War I, the “war to end all wars,” ended. Here’s a list of some of the events occurring in the Jefferson City area.

Effort renewed to revoke Sheriff Dixon’s certificate

Missouri’s Public Safety department this week renewed its effort to revoke Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon’s peace officer’s license.

Day-after-Thanksgiving declared state holiday

Gov. Jay Nixon issued an executive order to close state offices.

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MoDOT tabs New Hampshire man for director's job

Patrick McKenna will start Dec. 7.

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City amends its lawsuit over Buescher properties

Even though she paid some of her debt earlier this year, Jefferson City government officials told the Cole County Circuit Court this week that Barbara Buescher still owes $26,720.33 for work the city has done to maintain several of her properties.

JC man gets 12+ years in federal prison for heroin

Xavier Deprey Johnson will be in a federal prison until at least 2028, after pleading guilty to distributing heroin.

Two sentenced for role in K2 sales conspiracy

The owners of a Queen City smoke shop and liquor store will be spending time in federal prison.

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Similarities, differences on display at gubernatorial forum

One year before Missouri voters make their final election choices, the five Republicans who have launched campaigns to be the state’s next governor shared a stage for the first time, explaining some of their ideas and some of their differences.

'Wellness center' bid opening delayed

It will be at least two more weeks before we know how much it will cost to build the wellness center at Lincoln University — the joint project between LU and Jefferson City’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.

Local fraternity highlights Alpha Phi Alpha founder’s day

Dec. 4 is an important day for members of Alpha Phi Alpha — the nation’s first black intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity, which has an active chapter at Lincoln University.

Complaint dropped; Randy Henry retires from Patrol

Sgt. Randy Henry, a 29-year veteran of the state Water and Highway patrols, has retired. Henry had challenged the Patrol's plan to discipline him for "misconduct," based on a complaint from Osage County Prosecutor Amanda Grellner.

LU faculty want better communications with VP Sewell

There was no request for a “no-confidence” vote, as some pre-meeting rumors had suggested.

Attorney general sues Illinois telemarketers

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office filed a federal lawsuit Thursday charging the Automated Professional Marketing LLC and Safety Publications companies of Illinois with violating state and federal laws,when their employees called numerous Missouri residents who already were on the state’s No-Call list, or who asked the company not to call again.

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City reminds residents not all waste is hazardous

Some area residents were disappointed when they’re told the city can’t take some of the items the residents brought to the Cole County Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Feds indict Spinks in shooting

Leroy Jamase Spinks’ reported involvement in an Oct. 14 shooting on Monroe Street has landed him in trouble with the federal justice system, too.

Owner of 2 Lake businesses pleads guilty to money laundering

The owner of Puff N Snuff LLC, with locations in Camdenton and Eldon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to his role in a money-laundering conspiracy related to the distribution of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as “K2.”

Missouri’s Unclaimed Property program is a success story

Missouri was next-to-last among the 50 U.S. states in creating an unclaimed property program.

Supreme Court suspends Barding’s law license

Missouri’s Supreme Court last week suspended James “Doug” Barding’s law license, effective Nov. 3.

Sodomy case ruling faces appeal

Judge Joyce under fire for ruling accused child rapist didn’t get a ‘speedy’ trial

Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey already is working on his appeal of last Friday’s decision to end the criminal case against a Brumley man charged with sodomy of a 5-month-old girl in 2009.

Ameren disappointed in PSC decision

Ameren Missouri President Michael Moehn said the company is disappointed with this week’s unanimous state Public Service Commission decision rejecting the utility’s proposed energy efficiency plan.

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MoDOT maintenance work to protect bridge piers

No danger to the public, engineer says

In a river, “scour” is where the water flow washes away dirt and rocks from the river bank or from around the piers supporting a bridge.

State Tech adds 2 to presidential search panel

State Sen. Mike Kehoe and State Technical College Faculty Senate President Dwight Massey are the two newest members of the school’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Mizanskey urges supporters to change Missouri marijuana laws

Jeff Mizanskey — out of prison about seven weeks — wants Missourians to change the state’s marijuana laws that sent him to prison.

Nixon slashes $46.1 million from budget

A new farmer’s market planned for the Capitol lost its $250,000 in state funding Monday, as part of Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement withholding $46.131 million from the current state budget plan.

Nixon orders flags to half-staff to honor Marine

Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday ordered flags at all state buildings in Missouri to fly at half-staff Tuesday to “honor the bravery and sacrifice of Lance Corporal Dominic E. Schraft,” 19, of Vienna — a Marine who died Oct. 5 at Camp Pendleton, California.