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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Joyce, Stumpe thank supporters in judge’s race

Pat Joyce is looking forward to getting Cole County’s Veterans Court up and running in the next few weeks, and to “take care of people’s problems and the business” of being a judge.

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Nixon reacts to GOP expanding Missouri supermajority

Gov. Jay Nixon said Wednesday that Republicans’ expansion of control in both the Missouri House and Senate won’t change the way he seeks to work with lawmakers.

Voters keep Joyce on bench

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce won a third, six-year term Tuesday, with a 1,343-vote victory over Republican challenger Brian Stumpe.

Richardson re-elected prosecutor

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson won a third term Tuesday, fending off a challenge by former Assistant Prosecutor Anji Gandhi, by 2,594 votes of the 22,426 votes cast in the race.

Kehoe wins second term in Missouri Senate

When Mike Kehoe owned the local Ford-Lincoln dealership, his advertising slogan was, “Mid-Missouri loves a Mike Kehoe deal.”

Appeals court ruling blocks Koster on sex offender appeal

Attorney General Chris Koster’s office has not said, yet, if it will ask the Missouri Supreme Court to review last week’s state appeals court ruling that neither the attorney general nor the Missouri Highway Patrol (MSHP) has an automatic right to be included in a Sex Offender Registry case.

Qualifications to be a judge

During almost any hotly contested election, qualifications for an office can become an issue.

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Cole County candidates meet with public, LU students

All eight candidates for contested Cole County offices on next Tuesday’s ballot spent more than two hours at Lincoln University Thursday night, explaining their candidacies and answering questions.