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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

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Hutson sentenced to life in prison

For killing Holts Summit man

Life plus 15 years, plus another 15 years. A Cole Circuit judge ordered those sentences Wednesday for Calvin Hutson, St. Louis, convicted last May of killing Andre Hudson, 41, Holts Summit, on Dec. 27, 2012, while the two men were sitting in a car on a gravel parking lot.

‘Medicaid 23’ plead not guilty in Cole County court

Pastors seek to have charges against them dismissed

The 23 pastors charged with trespassing and obstructing government operations for a May 6 protest in the Missouri Senate Gallery pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning.

Incumbent, challenger vie for state Senate 6th district

Incumbent state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, wants to serve a second, four-term representing Mid-Missouri’s seven-county 6th District.

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Rotarians 'speed meet' with some Cole County candidates

One Jefferson City Rotary Club’s members met four of the Cole County candidates on next week’s ballot in an unusual way Monday.

Money poured into judge’s race in October

The political battle for the Cole County Division 4 circuit judge’s job generated more than $158,000 in campaign contributions to the candidates during October — making it the most expensive during the month.

New postcard questions Joyce’s ‘qualifications’

Cole County voters on Friday received another postcard from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee, promoting arguments for voting against incumbent Democrat Pat Joyce in her re-election bid for a third six-year term as a circuit judge.

Poll: Cole County voters concerned about ‘outside money’ in judge’s race

At least two-thirds of Cole County’s voters are concerned about “outside, special interest money pouring into” the county’s circuit judge’s race, according to a poll released Thursday by the Washington, D.C.-based “Justice at Stake” group.

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Another postcard accuses Joyce of being ‘weak’ on sexual predators

Cole County voters received two more postcard advertisements this week, questioning Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce’s record in deciding controversial cases.

D.C.-based campaign slams Joyce again

Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce is “Missouri’s most liberal judge,” according to a recent campaign ad from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee.

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After 40 years, ‘Mama’ Guerrant prepares to … retire?

She told the ROTC’s students and the Army professionals she didn’t want to spoil last Friday’s “Hall of Fame” celebration — that they shouldn’t make a big deal of her announcement that she’ll retire next summer, at the end of this school year.

Big contributions, spending: Looking at campaign finance reports

On Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee gave another $10,700 to the RSLC-Missouri PAC — bringing its total donation to the Missouri political action committee to $210,700.

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Lincoln University ROTC adds 5 to ‘Hall of Fame’

In the last 40 years, Lincoln University’s ROTC program has commissioned 383 second lieutenants for the U.S. Army.

Missing man found dead in Three Creeks Conservation Area

Victim told authorities he'd fallen from bluff in Three Creeks Conservation Area between Ashland and Columbia

Kehoe leads area candidates in regular fundraising

Third-quarter finance reports tell story up to end of September

Incumbent state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, was the biggest Mid-Missouri fundraiser among candidates filing reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission for the period from July 1 to Sept. 30.

Joyce targeted in TV ad by Washington-based GOP group

According to a television ad that started airing Tuesday, Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce is “groovy” for “radical environmentalists.”

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Rasmussen a finalist for Joplin city manager’s job

Former Jefferson City Administrator Steve Rasmussen is one of four finalists for the Joplin city manager’s job.

Supreme Court suspends Trapp’s law license

Jefferson City lawyer Sam Trapp can’t practice law for at least a year, the Missouri Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Battle over ‘Better Courts’ name a sidelight to judges’ race

Last week, in a news release on Better Courts’ letterhead, Harris questioned Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce’s accepting campaign contributions from attorneys who try cases in her courtroom. But lobbyist Randy Scherr said Harris no longer controls the “Better Courts For Missouri” name.

LU Homecoming Week begins today

Although the focus is on the end of the week, Lincoln University’s 2014 homecoming events begin today with a Gospel music show from 5-7 p.m. in the Mitchell Auditorium.

Business, farm groups question EPA rules

More than two dozen representatives of Missouri business and agriculture groups met Thursday morning at the Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters, to discuss ways to get the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop trying to expand its authority over water resources.

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Helping high school students understand ‘military’ leadership

Since mid-August, 22 Jefferson City High School students have been learning more about the military and military leadership — with the help of Lincoln University’s ROTC program.

Joyce announces launch of new ‘Veterans Court’

After more than nine months of planning and discussion, Cole County’s circuit court soon will offer a “veterans treatment court” as another alternative to prison, for some people facing criminal charges.

‘Better Courts’ urges Joyce to return lawyer contributions

Incumbent Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce should return any campaign contributions she has received from lawyers who argue cases in her courtroom, a Jefferson City lobbyist said Wednesday.

‘Sunshine Law’ compliance brightens, audit finds

Although there’s been some improvement since his last audit, State Auditor Tom Schweich said Tuesday that government agencies still need to do more work following the Missouri’s “Sunshine Law.”

Local governments, agencies need to pay more attention to 'Sunshine'

Report of "Sunshine Law" compliance based on nearly 300 audit reports over two-year period.

Stumpe gets $100,000 from national GOP group

Brian Stumpe’s campaign for Cole County circuit judge is $100,000 richer this week, thanks to the Washington, D.C.,-based Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC).

PSC decisions don't please everyone

The Fair Energy Rate Action Fund, or FERAF, thinks the Missouri Public Service Commission got it wrong last week.

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Pawley to be honored for contributions to fraternity, LU

Thomas D. Pawley III, 97, already is a noted playwright, author, actor, poet, university professor and community leader.

Federal judge rejects Missouri lawsuit challenging California egg law

A federal judge in California has blocked Missouri’s lawsuit challenging a California state law affecting egg production.

Cellphone tracking challenged in JC murder conviction

Most of the evidence used to convict David Russell Hosier was obtained improperly and shouldn’t have been allowed, Assistant Public Defender Craig A. Johnston told the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday morning.

Local lawyer faces censure

Sam Trapp’s law license should be suspended indefinitely — at least for six months — for sloppy accounting practices and, at least in one case, misappropriating property of a client’s mother, Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel Sam Phillips told the Missouri Supreme Court this week.

Cole County Bar hosts prosecutor candidates

They use forum to tout their qualifications

When he was an assistant attorney general, incumbent Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson, a Republican, said his work on a death penalty case in the mid-1980s was one of the events that helped him know “that I wanted to be a prosecutor.”

PSC votes against Noranda twice

With unanimous 5-0 votes Wednesday afternoon, the Public Service Commission denied several motions to rehear Noranda Aluminum’s request for a reduction in the rates it pays Ameren Missouri for electricity, and denied Noranda’s complaint that Ameren has taken in more money than commissioners authorized in December 2012 when they set the utility’s current rate schedules.

Appeals court: Resentence man in New Bloomfield holdup

Judge Kevin Crane didn’t have enough evidence that Gary Leland Coleman, now 51, Jefferson City, threatened to use force during the Oct. 6, 2012, holdup at New Bloomfield’s Bank Star One branch, two judges from the appeals court’s Kansas City division ruled Tuesday.

Aluminum maker helps create new technician degree program

Thanks to the Troy-based Toyota Bodine aluminum manufacturing company, the State Technical College of Missouri next year will offer an “advanced manufacturing technician” (AMT) degree program.

Blunt focuses on lawmen's equipment needs

With the recent Ferguson violence — and the law enforcement response to it — still fresh on many people’s minds, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt spent Monday visiting with law enforcement officials in four Missouri cities.

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Supreme Court set to hear David Hosier death sentence appeal

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Angela and Rodney Gilpin’s murders. Thursday morning, the Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments on David Russell Hosier’s appeal of his conviction and death sentence for killing Angela, who was 45.

Central Bank looking to solidify ‘brand’

Last week’s announcement that First National Bank of St. Louis will change its name Nov. 14 to “Central Bank of St. Louis” may just be the first step in a series of changes for some of the 13 banks owned by Jefferson City-based Central Bancompany.

Central Bank’s St. Louis branches changing name this fall

St. Louis Cardinals fans hear ads for it on the radio broadcasts.

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Jefferson City couple pleased with same-sex marriage hearing

JoDe and Lisa Layton-Brinker didn’t hear anything in Thursday’s court hearing to make them less optimistic about their case.

Bar panel urges keeping judges

Missouri voters in November will be asked to retain two state Supreme Court judges and two appeals court judges for 12-year terms — and a special panel formed to study those judges recommends that voters keep them as judges.

Court upholds order for murder suspect to return part of father’s estate

The Missouri appeals court in Kansas City said Tuesday that a Lee’s Summit lawyer — charged with murdering her father and his girlfriend near Sunrise Beach nearly four years ago — can be held in the Clay County Jail until she repays at least part of her father’s estate.

Candidate backs ‘Free Mizanskey’ campaign

Congressional candidate Nate Irvin announced his support Monday for the campaign to get Gov. Jay Nixon to free Jeff Mizanskey from state prison, where he’s serving a life sentence for multiple marijuana convictions.

PSC poised to reject Noranda complaint

As early as Wednesday, Missouri’s Public Service Commission officially could reject Noranda Aluminum’s complaint that Ameren Missouri has earned more money than the PSC allowed when setting the utility’s rates almost two years ago.

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Oktoberfest returns to Old Munichburg

Starts Friday evening, not just Saturday

This year’s Old Munichburg Oktoberfest celebration in Jefferson City begins Friday, Sept. 26, instead of just happening on Saturday as in the past.

Lawsuit challenges state payments to support ‘Common Core’

A St. Louis man who successfully has challenged other state laws through the courts has sued Gov. Jay Nixon, Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and other state officials over the “Common Core” education standards designed to be the same for states that adopt them.

Helmig lawsuit dismissed

Osage County, sheriff, others cleared of freed inmate’s accusations

U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey has dismissed all seven claims Dale Helmig had made against Osage County, former Sheriff Carl Fowler, former deputy Paul Backues and former Highway Patrol trooper Robert Westfall.

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Jobs help turn back drug tide

Cole County Drug Court honors businesses who help recovery

Brenda Schell, director of the Jefferson City-based Missouri Recovery Network, says drug courts help save lives. 35 area businesses were honored Wednesday for their participation in the program.

'Fireball Run' blazing to Jefferson City

In just 2½ weeks, Jefferson City and some other Missouri locations will be featured on “Fireball Run — America’s Frontier,” an online television reality show starting its eighth season.

Rehearing sought in rate change for Noranda

Just over three weeks after the Public Service Commission said ‘No,’ Noranda Aluminum and the Missouri Office of Public Counsel both asked for a rehearing on Noranda’s request for lower electric rates.