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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

New JCPS superintendent discusses upcoming challenges

Jefferson City school board members hope hiring a new leader will allow the district to have a fresh — and less turbulent — start with parents, students and other patrons who had voiced complaints over problems with student discipline and teacher morale.

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ABLE helps newcomer learn how to read English

A Christmas Wish Part 4: Learning language No. 5

English is Uwizeyimana Judith’s fifth language. And she’s been working with ABLE — the Adult Basic Literacy Education program — to learn how to read better in her newest tongue.

ABLE tutors help people learn to read

Private sessions fit the student's schedule

With so much debate about education these days, it may be hard to believe some adults still don’t know how to read. That’s where ABLE comes in.

State approves LU plans to offer graduate ag degree

Lincoln University will offer a new master of science degree in Integrated Agricultural Systems starting next summer.

LU approves undergraduate recruiting contract

Lincoln University Curators this week approved a new, one-year contract with Royall and Company of Richmond, Virginia for marketing and undergraduate recruitment services.

Lincoln University president gets 11.5% pay raise

Curators cite number of successes achieved in Rome’s tenure

Lincoln University Curators like the job Kevin Rome is doing.

LU to offer scholarships for private, home-schooled students

Lincoln University curators approved a new scholarship program Thursday aimed at students who attend private high schools such as Helias Catholic, Calvary Lutheran or Lighthouse Academy — or are home-schooled.

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King, Sederwall earn state’s highest honor for life-saving effort

Night of fire and valor

Dec. 10, 2013 — just 53 weeks and two days ago — turned out to be a very extraordinary day in the lives of three Jefferson City employees.

Schweich raises questions in ag department audit

Department receives 'good' rating in report

Although he questioned some of the Missouri Agriculture department’s operations for the last two business years, state Auditor Tom Schweich on Wednesday gave the department a “good” rating — which, in the auditor’s scales, indicates “this entity is well managed.”

Audit questions Department of Agriculture pay raises

Schweich gives ag dept. overall 'good' rating

State Auditor Tom Schweich this morning questioned why Missouri’s Agriculture department gave larger raises to 10 employees over the two years than most state employees received during the same time.

Appeals court: Summers convicted correctly

Khiry Devon Summers won a small victory at the state appeals court Tuesday morning, when a three-judge panel ordered Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce to re-sentence Summers on his armed criminal action conviction.

MOSERS resumes members’ online access

Almost 700 Missouri government retirees renewed their online access to account information Tuesday, the Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) said.

Appeals court: SSM wrong to cut disability benefits

An employer should not have cut an employee’s disability benefits without first asking the state’s Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court’s Kansas City District ruled Tuesday.

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Dixon gains support at disciplinary hearing

Osage County sheriff took plea deal on 2013 felony, misdemeanor charges

Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon should know by mid-January if the state Public Safety department will discipline his law officer’s certification.

Appeals Court: Nolte entitled to third trial against Ford

It’s been nearly 11½ years since a May 22, 2003 fiery crash on Interstate 70 near the Missouri 13 interchange killed a Highway Patrol trooper and severely burned a former Chamois man.

State employees' online retirement system hacked

MOSERS: Attempts to get money detected; no money was released

Missouri government retirees won’t be able to access their information online until Tuesday morning — thanks to someone who managed to gain “unauthorized access” to four MOSERS members’ home pages.

Appeals court: Too soon to order state to pay $1 million

Even though a federal judge has ordered Missouri government to pay $1 million in damages to Zachary Snyder’s children, it’s too soon for state courts to force that payment, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court in Kansas City ruled this week.

Richter found guilty in shaken baby case

Jury deliberates 8½ hours on child endangerment charge

A Cole County jury has found Shelley Richter guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, at her home day care in Taos on Aug. 19, 2010.

Prosecution rests in Richter retrial

Prosecutors finished presenting their case against Shelley A. Richter Tuesday afternoon, and officials still expect the child endangerment case to go to the jury today for its deliberations.

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Richter retrial begins on child endangerment

Lane Schaefer will turn 5 on Jan. 10. But he still wears diapers because he hasn’t learned how to go to the bathroom by himself, his mother told a five-woman, nine-man jury Monday afternoon.

Sinquefield gave $300,000 to GOP group

Missouri billionaire Rex Sinquefield gave $300,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee in October, an RSLC filing with the federal Internal Revenue Service shows.

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Michael Brown’s mother makes impassioned plea for justice

Lesley McSpadden: ‘All lives matter’

Michael Brown’s mother told the NAACP’s “Journey for Justice” crowd during Friday’s rally at the Missouri Capitol that she and her family are grateful for the support and love they’ve received, since her son was killed in Ferguson on Aug. 9 by then-police officer Darren Wilson.

NAACP Rally to be inside Capitol

Organizers expect it to start about 1 or 1:15 p.m.

Cole County judge’s race drew attention, reports show

Last month’s election contest for one seat on the Cole County circuit court attracted national attention — and money.

Supreme Court asked to order new prosecutor in sodomy case

Missouri’s Supreme Court should erase Andrew Lemasters’ 31-year prison sentence and his June 2013 conviction for statutory sodomy — and order a new trial with a different prosecutor, the state public defender’s office argued Wednesday.

Surgical slip-up leaves legal scar

Since 1978 — well before lawmakers passed the 2005 tort reform law — Missouri law prohibited people from suing for medical malpractice 10 years or more after the negligence occurred.

Blunt increases effort to block EPA ‘Clean Power’ regulations

Last week’s EPA news release announcing new smog standards just added to U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s unhappiness with the federal agency.

McCaskill, Blunt seek delay in Postal Service changes

Missouri’s two U.S. senators were joined by 28 of their colleagues Monday in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, demanding that the U.S. Postal Service delay its plans to consolidate “up to 82 mail processing facilities” next year.

Barnes files measure to block pay raise

True to his promise, state Rep. Jay Barnes on Monday introduced a resolution so lawmakers can reject a proposed pay raise for themselves and statewide elected officials.

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Life-long mentoring urged by LU’s new VP, Provost

In the last four months, Said (sah-ED) Sewell moved from northeastern Ohio to Mid-Missouri, officially began his new Lincoln University job Aug. 15 and began his Listening/Learning Tour, “listening to the stories and the voices of the faculty, the students and the staff.”

Green blocks state Common Core payments

Temporary restraining order effective only 15 days from Nov. 25

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Lawmakers not happy with salary commission proposals

Barnes: No raises for legislators while state employee wages lag

State Rep. Jay Barnes has promised to introduce a resolution to block proposed raises for lawmakers and statewide elected officials, calling it "an insult" to state employees who've received only modest raises in recent years.

Draper urges more voter education about judges

Missouri voters need to know more about the judges they vote on, Supreme Court Judge George Draper III said Friday — and the Missouri Bar should be involved in that education effort.

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Nixon’s ‘state of emergency’ covers entire state

All of Missouri is covered by Gov. Jay Nixon’s Monday order declaring a state of emergency exists because of possible protests about a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision — or a U.S. Justice Department decision — in their separate investigations of last summer’s killing of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.

LU administrators proposing ‘honors’ dorm

Some of Lincoln University’s “best” new students soon could find themselves sharing space on the same floor of the same residence hall.

With increasing enrollment, need to improve LU education, community

Getting more students to attend Lincoln University is a goal that can bring many benefits, President Kevin Rome said last week.

Supreme Court reinstates robbery conviction for St. Charles man

A unanimous Missouri Supreme Court ruled this week that a man who slammed his hand against the counter during a bank robbery made enough of a threat to meet the state law’s definition of second-degree robbery.

LU: Curators hear ‘clean’ audit report

Lincoln University’s financial operations are sound. The Springfield accounting firm Baird, Kurtz and Dobson reported that finding this week in its annual audit.

Appeals court judges asked to order stay to pay $1 million judgment

Missouri owes Zachary Snyder’s children $1 million — and it should be required to pay now, an attorney told a three-judge Missouri appeals court panel Thursday afternoon.

Worker’s Comp follow-up medical exams argued

Before explaining its legal case to the three-judge appeals court panel visiting at Lincoln University Thursday afternoon, SSM Health attorney Kevin M. Leahy explained the basic case to students and faculty in the audience.

Death sentences affirmed in 2006 New Bloomfield murders

For the second time in five years, Missouri’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences Brian Joseph Dorsey received for the 2006 murders of his cousin and her husband.

Panel formed to probe influence on Missouri AG

Barnes doesn’t expect long process to investigate alleged Koster ties to lobbyists

State Rep. Jay Barnes said Wednesday his new committee has no pre-planned idea of what it will find. The panel will investigate allegations that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster had a too-cozy relationship with lobbyists for several major businesses.

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LU honors Skelton on Veterans Day

Lincoln University observed Veteran’s Day this year with special remembrances of former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton — who was 81 when he died just over a year ago, was a believer in education for all, a long-time friend of LU and a long-time student of military history.

New Cole County Veterans’ Court one of nearly 200 nationwide

Cole County officials expect to launch the new Veterans’ Court by the end of the year, Treatment Courts Administrator Larry Henry said Monday.

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LU campus locked down briefly on Monday

Lincoln University’s campus was locked down for about 30 minutes Monday afternoon.

Election aftermath: Some suggest Nonpartisan Court Plan for Cole County

During the campaign, several people wondered if the Cole County circuit court should be added to Missouri’s Nonpartisan Court Plan, where judges are appointed to vacancies by the governor and, after serving on the bench for at least one year, have their names placed on the general election ballot so voters can retain the judge for a full term or vote to remove the judge from the bench.

Limits on campaign funding and lobbyists’ gift-giving proposed

The Nov. 8, 2016 general election is 731 days away. However, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office has already received three proposed amendments to the state Constitution that supporters hope will be on that 2016 ballot for voters to consider.

Senate leaders still not interested in ‘Medicaid’ reform

With no success for several years, Gov. Jay Nixon has urged Missouri lawmakers to expand the state’s Medicaid program to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

First test of Amendment 10 could come quickly

Nixon, Senate disagree over use of withholdings

The TV ads urged Missouri voters to pass Amendment 10 and send Gov. Jay Nixon a message that they were tired of his using budget withholdings as political tools.

State senate leaders announced

Missouri Senate Republicans want President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, to keep that job for two more years.