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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Zweifel seeks more ‘transparency’ in MOSERS investments

Director supports idea

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel says the Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) needs a better system for measuring the total cost of fees from private equity investments.

Supreme Court: AG, Patrol should be part of sex offender case

Missouri’s attorney general and the Highway Patrol should not have been blocked from being part of a sex offender registry case, a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Missouri Supreme Court blocks Welch release

Fatal DWI accident ‘inherently involved violence’

Larry Gene Welch must stay in prison because Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green didn’t have the authority to reduce his prison sentence, a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Area man charged after foot chase

JCPD officer injured

A Lohman man faces several charges after a weekend foot chase with Jefferson City police.

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State Sen. Dixon jumps into GOP governor's race

A little more than eight months from now, Missourians will know how many candidates officially filed to run for the governor’s office. State Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, on Monday became the seventh Republican to announce a campaign or, at least, express an interest in it.

LU launches special ‘Freshman Academy’ this summer

Instead of enjoying their last summer after high school, a number of Lincoln University’s incoming freshmen already are on campus — and hitting the books.

Committee looks at Jefferson City School District policies

Three Jefferson City School Board members joined new Superintendent Larry Linthacum and two other administrators for nearly two hours last week, looking at a number of proposals to modify the district’s policies.

Inmates want federal court to order change in Cole Jail policies

Cole County’s Jail should change its laundry policies to protect inmates’ rights, a 16-page lawsuit filed late Thursday argues.

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Greitens brings 'listen and lead tour' to JC

State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, introduced Eric Greitens Thursday as “a man who, I think, could be the greatest conservative leader Missouri has ever had.”

Political scientist assails Missouri death penalty stats

A new study on Missouri’s executions shows a need to suspend them “so that a full investigation into systemic bias can be conducted,” the Missourians Against the Death Penalty said Thursday.

Judge's execution protocol ruling appealed

Plaintiffs have appealed Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce’s Monday ruling dismissing their challenge of Missouri’s use of pentobarbitol as an execution drug.

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Expressway change begins today

Today is the day.

Police: Gerloff may have been dead for 4 months

Marion Gerloff may have died as early as Feb. 1, according to a police probable cause statement filed Saturday with the second-degree murder charge lodged against Gerloff’s roommate, Karen M. Brinkley.

Public schools off MLK Day

School Board approves athletic trainer agreements, electrical contract, modified calendar at Linthacum’s first meeting

The federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — Jan. 18, 2016 — will be a day off school in January, Jefferson City’s Board of Education decided Monday night.

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Hospital expansion plan rejected

Fulton center sought to build 10-bed unit in Columbia

It’s back to the planning stage for supporters of a plan to build a 10-bed hospital in southern Columbia.

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Family reunion is exciting work in progress

Annette Driver was 19 and a college freshman when she became pregnant. At the time, she felt letting her daughter go to another family would be better for the child.

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Missouri's adoption laws still subject to debate

Missouri lawmakers this year were asked to change state law so adults who were adopted as children could get copies of their original birth certificates, but the bill failed to advance in the Legislature.

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National Guard launches center for mental health needs

The Chapel windows overlook the Missouri River and — in the distance — Clark’s Hill, where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped in June 1804, near the beginning of their 2½-year journey to the Pacific Ocean and back.

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Mildred Landwehr hits 100

Mildred Landwehr said Saturday she feels like she “might be about 65.” However, the calendar says she turned 100 on Friday.

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Sand dredge swamped in Missouri River

A Capital Sand Co. dredge got swamped in the Missouri River on Thursday night or Friday morning, and company officials are trying to determine what their next steps will be.

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Lafayette Interchange work to change traffic patterns

Missouri Transportation officials said Friday that, beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, the westbound U.S. 50/63 driving lane will be closed over Lafayette Street.

John Watson to be new MOSERS director

Starting Sept. 1, Gov. Jay Nixon’s long-time chief of staff will have a new job — executive director for the Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS).

Judge considering lawsuit challenging execution drug

After a hearing Friday, Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce said she’ll rule by Monday morning on a request for a temporary restraining order to block the execution of David Zink scheduled for Tuesday.

Ashcroft brings voter ID pitch to Capitol

Signature collection could start Monday on proposed amendment

Republican Jay Ashcroft, a secretary of state candidate, says he wants to gather 285,000 valid signatures on his petition to add a photo identification amendment to Missouri’s Constitution.

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‘Predatory’ lenders branded as ‘loan sharks’

A Missouri group used this week’s Discovery Channel “Shark Week” programming to highlight problems they see with “predatory” lending companies like “payday” and “title” loans.

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Helping volunteers teach youth

She was active in a 4-H program in her native Carrollton, Ill., but the young Jenny Flatt didn’t envision growing up to work with the program full time.

Cornerstone reminder of Capitol’s importance

A century ago, an estimated 3,000 people gathered on the Missouri Capitol grounds on June 24, 1915, to celebrate the installation of the cornerstone of the new Capitol — the one to replace a building destroyed by fire four years and 41/2 months earlier.

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'We are carrying that legacy forward'

Nixon announces items for 2015 time capsule

A Bible that spent the last century in a time capsule in the Capitol’s cornerstone is going back into the time capsule Missourians now are leaving for the next century.

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State curbs boat speeds on high waters at Lake of the Ozarks

Temporary ban will stay in place as long as lake levels are way up

Lake of the Ozarks visitors also shouldn’t count on water skiing, or ride jet skis or do anything else that causes a wake — because the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Water Division has ordered a Lake-wide No Wake zone, thanks to the high water levels.

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Beetem hears Dixon argument to keep his law officer’s certificate

One year to the day after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge, Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon was back in court in Jefferson City on Wednesday in a battle to keep his Missouri law officer’s certification.

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Breckenridge takes over as state chief justice

Today is Patricia Breckenridge’s first day as the Missouri Supreme Court’s chief justice. Gov. Matt Blunt named her to the Supreme Court in 2007.

Beetem rules for state Senate in committee complaints

The Missouri Senate can prohibit groups from recording Senate committee meetings because the state Constitution’s authorization for the body to create its own rules supersedes the state’s open meeting laws, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled Tuesday.

Missourians generally applaud EPA ruling

Missouri was one of 21 states that joined Michigan in suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its “toxic emissions” regulations.

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Capitol time capsule contained unexpected glimpse into past

Many of the items will be shown in some kind of permanent display — probably in the Missouri Capitol Museum. But those decisions still are being made.

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Schafer leaving DMH for retirement

Keith Schafer is leaving the Missouri Department of Mental Health for the second time — retiring this week after a combined 16 years as DMH director.

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Show-Me State political reactions varied to same-sex marriage ruling

Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-gender marriages throughout the nation, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster moved to dismiss two lawsuit appeals pending in state and federal courts.

State Tech regents set new budget, discuss bonding changes, presidential search

The State Technical College of Missouri expects to take in, and spend, almost $80,000 more in the 2015-16 business year than in the current one that ends Tuesday.

Blunt, McCaskill still working for federal transportation funds

Congress still is working on plans to continue funding for the nation’s transportation system, including roads and bridges, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters Wednesday.

Missouri state budget director Luebbering set to retire

Linda Luebbering, the director responsible for managing Missouri's roughly $26 billion budget, is retiring this summer.

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Russell reflects on 2 years as Missouri chief justice

Making courts better

In a week, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary R. Russell will just be Judge Russell — and Judge Patricia Breckenridge will be the state’s new chief justice.

Muslim inmate loses Ramadan appeal

Corrections officials didn’t violate an inmate’s rights when they prevented him from taking part in some of the 2010 Ramadan observances at the Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC), the state’s Appeals Court in Kansas City ruled Tuesday.

School budget approved

JC School Board picks financial consultant, but no decision on facilities

Jefferson City school administrators expect to get 1.3 percent more money in the 2015-16 school year, and they expect to spend 1.4 percent more than in the current business year that ends next Tuesday.

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State bonding money should help finish LU President’s House

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s approval of the General Assembly-passed bonding bill this year means Lincoln University can finish repairing the President’s House at 601 Jackson St.

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Cole County judge holds hearing in Sunshine lawsuit

Arguments presented in Senate committee recordings case

A Cole County judge on Friday gave an advocacy group and state lawyers more than a week to file orders in a lawsuit challenging restrictions on filming Missouri Senate committee hearings.

Blunt watching budget, environmental issues

Even as Congress continues debating federal defense spending, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt also is looking forward to the debates about environmental issues.

Stringer named new Mental Health director

Mark Stringer will be Missouri’s Mental Health department director beginning July 1, Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday, after the state Mental Health Commission made the selection.

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Library seeking consumers' input

Third ‘Coffee with the Director’ session today

Missouri River Regional Library Director Claudia Schoonover is holding “Coffee with the Director” sessions to learn more from consumers about the library she’s been running for nearly a year.

Lawmakers reject bid to drop Nixon from stadium lawsuit

Gov. Jay Nixon should remain a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month challenging plans to build a new NFL stadium in St. Louis, the six lawmakers who filed the suit told the court this week.

Trouble ahead if Obamacare benefit blocked, group says

If the U.S. Supreme Court blocks one of the Affordable Care Act’s benefits, one national group predicts 198,000 moderate- and middle-income Missourians could lose “critical financial assistance” for their health insurance premiums.

Coleman bank robbery conviction upheld

Gary Leland Coleman was convicted and sentenced correctly, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a 5-2 decision.