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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

I-70 to be a two-lane road all summer, north of Sedalia

A stretch of Interstate 70 in west-Central Missouri is about to be a one-lane-in-each-direction road, for the summer.

Judge blocks campaign limits petition

One of the proposed state constitutional amendments to impose campaign finance limits in Missouri is unconstitutional, Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled Friday.

Saving a life more than its own reward for LU nursing student

Receives scholarship from her benefactor

One day last fall, Taylor Laughlin recalled Thursday, she was lifting weights on one side of the Planet Fitness gym when Lana Jennett had a heart attack while using a treadmill on the other side.

Lincoln University honors its best students

Lincoln University presented 211 achievement awards and scholarships Thursday to its best students.

Growth adds pressure on Lincoln facilities

University's housing nears limit as applications surge

Lincoln University has received almost 1,700 more student applications this year than at the same time in 2014.

Senate advances bill changing DNR oil, gas permits

Missouri has a growing problem that means the Natural Resources department needs more people, state Sen. Mike Kehoe told colleagues Wednesday.

Progress Missouri sues state Senate

Some Missouri Senate committees are violating the state’s Sunshine Law, the group Progress Missouri said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in the Cole County circuit court.

Senate sends welfare reform measure to House

Only one more vote is needed to send a welfare changes bill to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Nixon tabs Boone County treasurer as next auditor

Nicole Galloway will become Missouri’s 38th auditor when she takes the oath of office during the week of April 27.

2 senators remember Charles McClain

Noted Missouri educator died last week at age 83

Sens. Scott Sifton and Eric Schmitt remembered Charles McClain Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors association takes a deal

Compromise with Sen. Dixon on multi-county jurisdictions

If the Senate, House and governor agree, some Missouri counties could be given a chance to become part of multi-county prosecutor areas.

Mo. Senate approves resolution asking California lawmakers to change egg rules

Missouri’s state senators want California’s lawmakers to overturn two laws affecting the way eggs are produced anywhere in the nation.

Missouri to feds: Don’t redefine ‘waters of the U.S.’

Missouri lawmakers want the federal EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop their effort to redefine what waters the federal government can regulate.

EPA, MoDOT settle clean water complaints

US 54 work in Osage Beach one of two cited projects

Missouri’s transportation department will pay a $750,000 civil penalty and create a statewide compliance program to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Water Act at two construction sites, one along U.S. 54 in Osage Beach, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesay.

Judge takes Metternich case under advisement

State rests, defense presents no witnesses

Ann Metternich’s guilt or innocence now is in the hands of Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green.

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Businesswoman on trial

Former owner of Victoria’s Bridal on trial for stealing

Years before Ann Metternich decided to close Victoria’s Bridal and Formal Wear last October, she was accused of stealing from a tuxedo supplier.

Municipal court reform making legislative progress

Some Missouri lawmakers are unhappy the Legislature hasn’t done more to resolve issues brought to light by last summer’s killing of Michael Brown, 18, by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

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Providing pastoral care to lawmakers

Chaplains try to bring a sense of peace to General Assembly

How do you provide religious leadership in a “congregation” comprised of people of different faith backgrounds?

How the Capitol Complex benefits from released funds

Two Jefferson City projects will happen because Gov. Jay Nixon last week released $43.23 million in withheld funds.

LU, Capitol benefit from Nixon releasing funds

Lincoln University got another $250,000 from the state Friday — to be used to match its federal land grant money. Another $250,000 now is available for renovations in the Capitol Complex.

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Labor official, lawmakers seek state wage plan

Missouri needs a better plan to help state employees get pay raises, lawmakers and labor officials said Thursday.

Audit chastises MoDOT

Agency accused of misspending millions meant for road work

State Transportation officials disagree strongly with a state auditor's report that MoDOT may have violated the state Constitution in some of its spending.

Bill would change law so people can get passports more easily

Last November’s Miller County audit exposed a problem other Missouri counties didn’t know they had — current state law only allows circuit clerks to handle U.S. passport applications.

Bill seeks extra marshal in Fulton

Callaway County needs another marshal at the courthouse.

Lawmakers asked to require some judges to recuse themselves from some cases

Under current Missouri laws and Supreme Court rules, lawyers for each side in a court case are entitled to ask for one change of judge.

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Schweich's spokesman an apparent suicide, too

Police: Spence Jackson left note after shooting himself at Jefferson City home

Within hours of the one-month anniversary of his boss’ death, state Auditor spokesman Robert “Spence” Jackson, 44, apparently took his own life this weekend.

Lawmakers begin home stretch

Mid-Missouri legislators still pushing to get state pay raises into budget

Gov. Jay Nixon didn’t propose any raises this next year for Missouri government employees.

Passing budget is first priority when lawmakers return this week

The Missouri House has already passed a state budget, and a Senate committee is reviewing the bills to see what changes, if any, the Senate wants to make — before conference committee members negotiate a compromise version to send to the governor.

Century-old agency takes new name

Jeanette Mott Oxford had to re-send a news release — because the first one she sent identified her as with the Missouri Association for Social Welfare. But the group this year changed its name to “Empower Missouri,” which the rest of the release included.

JC woman charged after Thursday high-speed chase

A Jefferson City woman was released Friday after posting a $25,000 bond, following the filing of formal charges in a case that included a high-speed chase along parts of U.S. 54 in Miller and Cole counties.

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Long chase ends in Jefferson City

Lone woman arrested as officers stop vehicle for Kansas

A woman driving a car thought to be involved in a Kansas home invasion was arrested as she headed into Jefferson City Thursday afternoon.

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Westboro protesters back in Mid-Missouri

Four local churches targeted; members urged to ignore pickets

For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is a day to remember that day nearly 2,000 years ago when Jesus entered Jerusalem, cheered by palm-waving crowds.

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Former lawmaker has ‘good attitude’ about cancer

Carl Vogel thought he had flu before going to hospital

Jefferson City businessman and former state lawmaker Carl Vogel said Thursday he’s got “a good attitude” about his now three-week battle with pancreatic cancer.

Carl Vogel has 'good attitude' about cancer

Vogel, 60, is undergoing chemotherapy and has 'confidence' in his doctors

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JC school board candidates answer questions at forum

Five candidates seeking to win one of two Jefferson City school board seats faced and answered a dozen question over a two-hour period Tuesday night.

Audit questions AG financial procedures

A state audit said Missouri’s attorney general needs a stronger conflict of interest policy when it comes to taking or rejecting campaign contributions from people or companies the office is dealing with.

Auditor questions AG financial procedures

Audit report includes comments on conflicts of interest and campaign donations

Mid-Missouri lawmakers pleased with session, so far

Mid-Missouri lawmakers generally are pleased with the progress made so far, in the General Assembly’s 2015 session.

Heartland Institute says Missouri has lowest ‘welfare reform’ grades

Claims of ‘dreadful welfare system’

When it comes to welfare reform, the Chicago-based Heartland Institute said Thursday, Missouri earned four “F”s and two “D”s — and ranked last in the nation, down from 49th in the institute’s 2008 report.

Senator wants Missourians to add ‘parenting rights’ to Constitution

Voters would be asked to protect choice in raising, schooling kids

It’s already a part of state law, but a Missouri senator wants the state’s voters to guarantee “the right and duty of parents to raise and educate their children” as they see fit.

Businessman challenges state law on political ads

‘Paid for by’ under attack

Like them or hate them, Missourians know who’s behind political ads and materials. But a businessman said in a federal lawsuit that the “paid for by” requirement violates his free speech right to back a candidate anonymously.

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Civics test urged for graduation in Missouri

Former teacher Riddle helping lead push

Missouri students would be required to pass a civics test before they could graduate from high school or receive the equivalent General Education Degree (GED), under the terms of two bills discussed in the state Senate’s Education Committee Wednesday.

Mo. Senate backs state probes of child-on-child abuse

Missouri senators on Tuesday endorsed a bill giving the state’s Children’s Division more authority to investigate complaints that a juvenile has molested or abused another child.

Babysitter sentenced for endangering welfare of child

Shelley Richter was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for her conviction of endangering the welfare of a child.

Proposal would require paper copy of every election ballot cast

Although many people talk about technology leading us to a “paperless” society, freshman state Sen. Bob Onder wants to make sure our elections have plenty of paper.

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Fiber retreat brings variety of art, artists to LU farms

This year’s Fiber Retreat is an annual festival that attracts people from throughout the Midwest, to learn more about knitting, weaving, spinning, crocheting, making dyes and soap, caning chairs and even basket weaving.

State Senate ready to work on budget

Now it’s the Senate’s turn to work on the Missouri government’s $26 billion state budget.

‘Progress Missouri’ threatens lawsuit over video at Senate hearings

A group that supports liberal issues has threatened to sue the Missouri Senate if it’s not allowed to record proceedings in some state Senate committee hearings.

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Hancock plans to work at improving Missouri GOP

Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock not only has no plans to step aside from the job he won three weeks ago, but has promised to improve the party and its operations.

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No state worker pay raises in budget

Missouri lawmakers say hopes pinned on Senate

State Rep. Jay Barnes voted against one of the 13 budget measures the House passed Thursday and sent to the Senate.