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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

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Local lawmakers generally pleased with speech

Mid-Missouri lawmakers generally were pleased with Gov. Jay Nixon’s seventh State of the State address.

Silvey: Expand Medicaid at least for veterans

Coverage would aid families not eligible for VA care

State Sen. Ryan Silvey knows some of his colleagues don’t like the idea of expanding Medicaid. However, he’s hoping the opposition won’t include Missouri military veterans.

Ameren proposes new Noranda rate plan

Ameren Missouri has proposed a lower electric rate for Noranda Aluminum’s New Madrid smelters, as part of Ameren’s new rate increase case — and said its proposal would be a better deal for other customers.

Kehoe campaign committee collecting for ‘statewide’ race

Add second-term state Sen. Mike Kehoe’s name to the list of Mid-Missouri lawmakers considering a future statewide race.

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Transportation officials seek input on ‘325 System’ plan

Missouri Transportation officials last week rolled out their new, “325 System” plan for maintaining Missouri’s nearly 34,000 miles of roads and 10,400 bridges in the coming years.

Rural prosecutors challenge proposed changes

Six of Mid-Missouri’s 10 prosecuting attorneys are part of the nearly 40 percent of all Missouri prosecutors who don’t like two bills filed in the state Senate this year, proposing changes in Missouri’s prosecuting attorney system.

College president to step down next year

Don Claycomb, State Technical College of Missouri president since 1993, told the school’s board of regents Friday he plans to step down from that post on June 30 — next year.

Missouri auto dealers launch campaign to protect franchise marketing

Taking on Tesla over the issue

A week from Monday, Missouri lawmakers are invited to a reception at a downtown Jefferson City restaurant, where “a brief update of Tesla in Missouri” will be provided and Tesla cars will be available for test drives.

MoDOT leaders prepare for lean future

Public opinion sought on priorities for funding projects

In just two years, Missouri’s Transportation department won’t have enough money available to maintain the state’s roads and bridges in the current conditions.

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Majority at PSC hearing oppose Ameren rate increase plan

Power of the public

A few Mid-Missourians supported Ameren Missouri and its operations, but most of the 13 people who testified Wednesday night at a public hearing urged the five-member Public Service Commission to reject the utility’s latest rate increase request.

Court: Branch too young for ‘life without parole’

Cole County’s circuit court must re-sentence William L. Branch, because its 2000 sentence of life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, a three-judge appeals court panel ruled Tuesday.

Appeals court overturns Cardwell DWI conviction

A Cole County sheriff’s deputy never had probable cause to make a traffic stop, so Justin Cardwell’s DWI conviction and 45-day shock-treatment imprisonment never should have happened, a three-judge appeals court panel ruled Tuesday.

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Kehoe bill expands sexual assault reporting

Missouri law already requires long-term care facilites to report cases of suspected abuse and neglect of a resident to the state Health and Senior Services department.

Supreme Court blocks Welch’s early release

Larry Welch will stay in prison, for now.

Kehoe heads Energy panel

Mid-Missourians will chair the Legislature’s Energy committees in both houses this year.

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Schweich begins second term as auditor

State Auditor Tom Schweich officially launched his second four-year term Monday with a low-key ceremony in his Capitol office.

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Monitoring state 'ethics'

“Ethics” is a word that keeps popping up at the Capitol these days, as lawmakers talk about the 2015 General Assembly’s priorities.

Are grand juries needed?

State Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, wants Missouri voters to eliminate the grand jury, and has introduced a bill for lawmakers to consider, to place a constitutional amendment on next year’s statewide general election ballot.

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Missouri lawmakers: Session is about more than sponsoring, passing bills

What defines legislative success?

Lawmakers who still are in the Legislature this year have sponsored 488 bills or resolutions since 2009, then received enough support to get 51 of their original bills passed and sent to the governor — for a 10.45 percent success rate.

Missouri Senators ponder meaning of Wednesday’s protest

Before Missouri lawmakers went home for the weekend, state senators discussed Wednesday afternoon’s protest that disrupted the chamber’s opening day ceremonies, and caused the Visitor’s Gallery to be cleared.

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Missouri Legislature begins session

Leaders’ goals include less red tape for businesses, more money for schools

With veto-proof majorities in both the Missouri House and Senate, the Legislature’s Republican leaders expect a lot of support for their agenda in the 2015 General Assembly that began at noon Wednesday.

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Chappelle-Nadal urges Gov. Nixon to resign or be impeached

Demonstrators disrupt state Senate opening

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, on Wednesday afternoon introduced a six-page remonstrance urging fellow Democrat Jay Nixon to resign from the governor’s office “immediately” — or face impeachment by the Missouri House.

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Missouri Senate opening disrupted by protests

The Missouri Senate was forced to stand at-ease this afternoon as a number of demonstrators chanted loudly and disrupted the opening day ceremonies.

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Legislature returns for 2015 session

The state lawmakers are back in Jefferson City. At noon today, the 98th session of the Missouri General Assembly begins in both the House and Senate.

Perspective: Capitol life without Priddy?

Missouri lawmakers return to the Capitol and, at noon Wednesday, launch the 2015 General Assembly which will run through May 15. But the Missourinet’s first (and, until Dec. 1, only) news director, Bob Priddy, won’t be at the Press Table in the Senate when the session begins.

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Big party two days after Christmas celebrates twins

One family’s birthday ‘thank you’

Yvonne Rice Garrard and Yvette Rice Joyce were born 20 minutes apart — 58 years ago today. But in a large family — and with birthdays only three days after Christmas — well, birthday “parties” were rare.

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Celebrations set for New Years Eve

Ringing in the new year in Mid-Missouri

Mid-Missouri offers several options for area residents who want to be out on New Years Eve — including a new event, a “Roast and Toast” at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Jefferson City.

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LU president's salary near bottom of Missouri's four-year schools

Lincoln University curators last week voted to raise President Kevin Rome’s salary because he “was the lowest-paid university president in the state of Missouri,” Board President Winston Rutledge said.

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.