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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Road barrier

One of candidates’ transportation proposals would need people’s vote

At least three of the four Republican candidates wanting to succeed Jay Nixon as Missouri’s governor have proposed getting more money for the state Transportation department — by shifting the Missouri Highway Patrol to general revenue.

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Ashcroft talks about past, future

It’s been more than 15 years since John Ashcroft held an elected office — and 11 since he last held a public office.

Senate passes bill quickly day after 13-hour debate

It took state senators just under six minutes Thursday to pass and send to the House the medical costs bill they spent 13 hours debating Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

LU Curators drop course, add application fee

Incoming Lincoln University students will have to pay a new application fee, the school’s curators decided last week.

13-hour filibuster at Capitol eventually finds a solution

The Missouri Senate is one vote away from approving a bill that would affect how damages are awarded in a trial involving medical care.

Schaefer proposes tougher punishments for sex offenders

Too many sex offenders aren’t getting the punishments they deserve, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer said Tuesday, and he wants lawmakers to change that.

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Ashcrofts promote Scouting’s benefits

It’s important for one generation to transfer its values to the next — and the Boy Scouts play a key role in that, both John and Jay Ashcroft told Scouting supporters at a fund-raising breakfast Tuesday morning.

Cole County Democrats sponsor ‘Get Out the Vote’ event at LU

Cole County Democrats are sponsoring an event at Lincoln University at 6 p.m. tonight to promote the importance of registering to vote and being involved in the democratic process.

Proposal: Make amendment signatures harder to get

Missourians who want to change the state Constitution should have to gather more signatures to put their issue on the ballot, state Sen. David Sater said Monday.

Spotlight still not shining on Missouri

Presidential primary less than a month away, but candidates turning attentions elsewhere

Four weeks from today, Missouri voters can have their say in helping select the national presidential candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.

Lincoln University curators approve new strategic plan

Changes made to honorary degree protocol

Lincoln University curators this week approved a new strategic plan for the 150-year-old school.

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Lincoln University marks 150 years since founding

Ceremony revives wreath-laying at founder’s grave

Lincoln University celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Lawmakers asked to allow sheriff’s deputies to work other counties

Would let deputies temporarily help out

When there’s a major fire, surrounding fire departments are ready to move in and help the local department both fight the major fire and answer other calls. Missouri sheriffs want the General Assembly to give them power to do the same thing, Cole County Sheriff Greg White said Wednesday.

Barnes, Peters launch funding push for LU land grant match

State Reps. Jay Barnes and Joshua Peters said Wednesday they’re working to boost the state’s financial support for Lincoln University’s federal land grant program.

Luetkemeyer unhappy with IRS answer

Lone employee’s training closes local tax office

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen told U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer the agency closed its Jefferson City tax office last month because its one employee currently is in the middle of basic training.

Warrants sought for cellphone tracking

Lawmaker wants to limit police use of cell tower simulators

Some law officers have special devices that can track cellphone usage.

New hearing ordered in Columbia PD case

Fifty weeks after Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce ordered the Columbia Police department to reinstate Officer Rob Sanders “as if he had never been terminated,” a state appeals court panel told Sanders he has to fight for his job in another court proceeding.

Callaway County again seeks additional marshal for court

Callaway County needs another marshal for its circuit court, Sen. Jeanie Riddle told the Senate’s Judiciary committee members Tuesday.

Bill adds boat docks to trespassing law

For Lake of the Ozarks property owners and law officers, it’s a growing problem — people getting on boat docks that aren’t theirs.

Missouri Legislature eyes expanding Conservation Commission

Proposed constitutional amendment would add 2 members

Missouri voters could be asked this fall to expand the Missouri Conservation Commission from four members to six.

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VFW praises Blunt’s support for veterans

Missouri’s Veterans of Foreign Wars gave U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, their 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Saturday.

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St. Louis County towns seek to block municipal court reform provisions

Parts of last year’s law changing the way Missouri’s municipal courts operate actually violate the state Constitution — and Cole Circuit Judge Jon Beetem should block them, a lawyer for a dozen St. Louis County towns told Beetem Friday.

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Nixon says South American trip yields results for Missouri

Claims $1 billion in new business

Gov. Jay Nixon is returning from South America today with agreements promising more than $1 billion in new business for Missouri businesses.

Changes eyed to state worker health plan operations

State Sen. Rob Schaaf thinks Missouri government can save money by changing the way it runs its employees’ health care plan.

Answers sought on closed IRS office

Blaine Luetkemeyer wants to know why Jefferson City’s IRS office has been closed since Jan. 25 and will stay closed at least through next Friday.

Senate backs Conservation Commission changes

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger thinks the Missouri Conservation Commission needs to represent the entire state better than it does now.

Senators asked to update Missouri's deadly force laws

When is it appropriate for a law officer to use “deadly force” against someone?

Senate panel hears passion about sentencing teen criminals

A St. Louis woman urged Missouri senators Tuesday afternoon not to be too lenient when it comes to requiring a prison sentence for teen killers.

Photo voter ID arguments renewed

In August 2010, current Missouri House Majority Whip John J. Rizzo, D-Kansas City, won his primary election by one vote.

Senate committee hears bills on clearing felon records

Missouri lawmakers are being asked to help some convicted felons get their records cleared from public view.

Barding gets month in federal prison

3 others in marriage fraud cases ordered to probation

Jefferson City lawyer James D. “Doug” Barding, 63, will spend one month in federal prison for his role in two marriage fraud cases.

Barding sentenced to 1 month in federal prison

Three others in marriage fraud cases each ordered to serve three years probation.

Lincoln, State Tech reviewing plans for added budget money

Lincoln University and the State Technical College of Missouri would get more than $1.3 million in additional state aid under Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed budget for the state business year that begins July 1.

State Tech gets clean audit report, approves airport rehab project

For about the last two decades, State Technical College has gotten a “clean” audit report, President Don Claycomb said Friday.

Senate won’t delay on voter ID issue

A Missouri Senate committee already has taken testimony on Sen. Will Kraus’ proposal to require voters to show a photo ID when they go to vote at the polls.

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Nixon pitches state pay raise, Medicaid expansion, education funds

Governor's budget hits close to home

Among the proposals in his last state budget proposal, Gov. Jay Nixon wants lawmakers to approve a 2 percent pay raise for all state employees, starting July 1, and add more money for education, mental health services and economic development programs.

Kander releases 2016 policy agenda

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has released his 2016 legislative proposals.

Academy of Squires adds 9 members

The “Academy of Missouri Squires” has added nine new members, including several with Mid-Missouri ties, Gov. Jay Nixon’s office announced Friday.

Beetem agrees with ACLU in part of 'Sunshine Law' challenge to Corrections

Missouri’s Corrections department violated the state’s “Sunshine” law when it failed to provide information some of the people who asked to witness a state execution, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled on New Year’s Eve.

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MoDOT, lawmakers look at funding options for improving state’s highways

Missouri lawmakers said last week they will talk about more funding for the state’s highway system — although they don’t know what final proposal might succeed.

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Nixon proposes shorter legislative sessions as part of ethics bill

Missouri lawmakers could begin debating changes to the state’s ethics laws as early as this week, the Legislature’s leaders said as the 2016 General Assembly opened last week.

Rod Chapel elected state NAACP president

After falling one vote short in October 2011 and in January 2012, Nimrod (Rod) Chapel Jr. is the NAACP’s new state president in Missouri.

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Decisions in Hall of Fame football career used as lesson at Prayer Breakfast

Aeneas Williams preaches unity

Faith in God helps people live through and survive challenges, the Rev. Aeneas Williams told about 800 people attending the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

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Fast start predicted at Capitol

Debate on ethics reform could begin as early as next week

Missouri lawmakers could debate some bills as early as next week, the Legislature’s leaders said Wednesday afternoon.

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Jefferson City again to host bluegrass awards, convention

Jefferson City’s Capitol Plaza Hotel again will be filled with bluegrass music this weekend, as the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America holds its 42nd annual music awards and the 33rd SPBGMA Mid-West Convention.

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Nixon: 2016 is the year for ethics reform

This is the year for Missouri lawmakers to pass “ethics reform,” Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Franklin files bill to re-establish State Water Patrol

If state Rep. Diane Franklin has her way, Missouri once again will have a separate Water Patrol.

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Nixon sets Jan. 20 for final State of the State

Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver the final “State of the State” address of his administration at 7 p.m. Jan. 20.

Prayer breakfast Thursday

Football Hall of Famer turned pastor is featured speaker

A few spots remain for Thursday’s Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, where the Rev. Aeneas Williams will be the featured speaker.

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Let the lawmaking begin

2016 Missouri General Assembly begins at noon Wednesday

Wednesday at noon. That’s when Missouri lawmakers officially begin the 2016 General Assembly session to consider a new state operating budget for the business year that begins July 1 and to debate proposed new laws and changes to existing statutes.