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22 Dogs And Puppies Rescued From Unlicensed Breeder
Nearly two dozen dogs and puppies are being nursed back to health after being rescued from an unlicensed breeder in Gasconade County. The Humane Society's Animal Cruelty Task Force confiscated the animals yesterday, who were living in deplorable conditions. Humane Society officials say the dogs were suffering from a number of conditions, including being malnourished, tick infested, ear infections, and respiratory problems. One puppy was found dead on the property. The animals were taken to the Humane Society's St. Louis headquarters.

Update: Suspect Killed In Shootout With Police In Jeffco Identified
Police have released the name of the suspect killed in a shootout with police in Jefferson County. He has been identified as 45-year-old Terry Pfeffer of Arnold. Investigators say this all unfolded yesterday morning when police spotted Pfeffer in a stolen truck at the intersection of Broadway and Schirmer in St. Louis and attempted a traffic stop. That's when Pfeffer allegedly fired shots at officers and sped off, resulting in miles-long police pursuit. The chase ended when Pfeffer crashed behind an apartment complex on Westward Trails Drive in Imperial. Police say Pfeffer fired at officers, who returned fire, killing him. A woman who was in the truck tried to run after it crashed, but was quickly arrested. Police say Pfeffer had an extensive criminal history.

Update: Two Charged In Shooting Outside Of St. Charles Convention Center
Two people are facing charges after a shooting outside of the St. Charles Convention Center that left one man dead and two others injured. Gabriel Patterson and Keonta Hardin are charged on multiple counts, including second-degree murder. Police say Patterson and Hardin arranged to meet Wednesday night to exchange guns. Patterson told police that he walked over to Hardin's car to make the exchange and that's when Hardin pointed a gun at him. Police say Patterson then started shooting as the car drove away. The gunfire hit and killed the driver, 19-year-old Terrell Peete. Another victim was shot in the back, and Hardin suffered a gunshot wound to the arm.

JeffCo Man Sentenced To Decades For Child Sex Abuse
A Jefferson County man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for recording the sexual abuse of a minor. Matthew Gamel admitted in a guilty plea that he recorded the abuse of a victim under the age of 14 on at least four occasions. He was in possession of more than 17-hundred media files of child abuse. Gamel was sentenced in District Court in St. Louis yesterday. Authorities say the case was brought as part of the nationwide Project Safe Childhood.

MU Board Of Curators Approve Tuition Increase
Students at the University of Missouri are facing higher tuition fees. The University of Missouri System Board of Curators voted yesterday to approve a five-percent tuition increase for undergraduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition fees for graduate and professional students will increase by three-point-five percent. Officials say the tuition increases will pay for new classrooms, new laboratories and additional faculty and advisors.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For New Resort
A new resort is being built at the Lake of the Ozarks. A groundbreaking ceremony took place yesterday for the Oasis at Lakeport near U.S. Highway 54 in Osage Beach. The 350-million-dollar resort will feature a theme park, indoor water park with a retractable roof, an amphitheater and a 400-room Marriott resort and conference center. The first phase of the project is expected to open by May 2025.

Traffic Crashes
Two injured in a two vehicle crash in Franklin County. The patrol says it happened at 6:45 Thursday evening on Highway A near Highway YY. 66-year old Darla Weigle of Washington failed to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn from the Krakow Store onto A and pulled into the path of a car driven by 82-year old Robert Seamon of Washington. Weigle and a passenger in Seamon's car, 78-year old Kay Seamon of Washington, suffered moderate injuries and were taken to Mercy in Washington.

Two injured, including a small child, in a three vehicle crash in Franklin County.  The patrol says it happened at 4:45 Thursday afternoon on eastbound Highway 100 West of Highway AT.  The patrol says 35-year old Jeffrey Monzyk of Union failed to yield while turning into a private driveway and collided with a vehicle driven by 22-year old Kasondra Stollings of St. Clair.  The impact knocked Monzyk into a car driven by 38-year old Sondra Blake of Villa Ridge.  Stollings and a passenger, a four year old boy from St. Clair, suffered minor to moderate injuries and were taken to Mercy in Washington.

Two car crash in Osage County sends an Owensville woman to the hospital.  The patrol says it happened at 12:35 Thursday afternoon on Highway 50 East of Highway N.  The patrol says 19-year old Ashton Johnson of Mount Sterling crossed the center line and collided with 49-year old Michele Lowder of Owensville.  Lowder was taken to Capital Region Hospital with minor injuries.  

MSHP-Have A Safe Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend brings Missouri to life with busy state parks, lakes, and attractions, along with sporting events, barbecues, and gatherings of friends and family. Our state has a lot to offer, especially when the weather is nice. A little planning will go a long way to making your Memorial Day weekend activities a success. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds everyone to include safety when they plan their holiday weekend. Everyone should expect more travelers on Missouri’s roadways and an increase in boating traffic on the state’s lakes and rivers. Drivers and boat operators are reminded to follow all Missouri’s laws and be courteous. Always wear a seat belt when traveling in a vehicle, and wear a life jacket when near, on, or in the water.

This year's Memorial Day holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m., Friday, May 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 27, 2024. Every available trooper will be on the road or on the water, enforcing Missouri laws and assisting people. Troopers on our roadways will focus their attention on hazardous moving violations, speed violations, and impaired drivers. The Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) during Memorial Day weekend.

Over the 2023 Memorial Day holiday weekend, 13 people died and 403 were injured in 990 traffic crashes. (Troopers worked 287 traffic crashes involving 12 fatalities and 117 injuries.) The Memorial Day weekend is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2023 Memorial Day weekend, there were 10 boating crashes which included no fatalities and two injuries. No one drowned over last year’s Memorial Day weekend. Last year, troopers made 137 driving while intoxicated and eight boating while intoxicated arrests.

Always be courteous and pay attention, whether you're operating a vehicle or a vessel, and choose to be a sober driver on land and on the water. A safe, fun weekend is the result of planning and making good decisions.

Motorists or boaters in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol's Emergency Assistance number 1-800-525-5555 (or *55 on a cellular phone). For road condition reports, travelers can visit the Patrol's website at https://statepatrol.dps.mo.gov. Click on the Road Condition icon to view road construction areas as well as road conditions throughout the state or call 1-888-275-6636.

Motorists are encouraged to do their part to make Missouri’s roadways safer. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. Please obey all traffic laws and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint.

When you’re on the water, please be courteous to others enjoying Missouri’s lakes and rivers, wear a life jacket, and obey the law regarding safe operation of a vessel. Always observe no wake zones. Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability.

When you’re traveling up Missouri’s rivers in a jet boat, turn off the motor for a second and listen before navigating around that bend. River bends create blind spots. Listening for boats coming down the river allows you time to give way. Also, jet boats should stay closer to the center of the river to give floaters room.

When operating a power-driven vessel, it’s important to understand the rules of navigation. Power-driven vessels must give way to anchored or disabled vessels, vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver, and commercial fishing vessels. Power-driven vessels also yield to a sailboat under sail unless it is overtaking. Observing right-of-way rules makes our waterways safer for everyone.

Always treat other boaters and property owners as you want to be treated. Never operate a boat while you are impaired; never ride with an impaired operator. Remember: Life jackets save lives. Wear It!!

Follow the Patrol on “X” for the most current news @MSHPTrooperGHQ

Missouri Tornado Receives Rating
The National Weather Service is confirming that a tornado touched down in Henry County earlier this week. An EF-zero tornado touched down east of Calhoun, Missouri, on Tuesday and lifted the roof off a metal building. The tornado stayed on the ground for less than a half-mile and also caused minor tree damage.

Traffic Crash
Truck crash in Warrenton sends a man from Hannibal to the hospital. The state patrol says it happened at 10:15 Wednesday morning on South Rock Church Road when 34-year old Ronald Griffith lost control on a curve, ran off the road, struck an embankment and a mailbox. Griffith was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

MDC reminds public squirrel and black bass seasons kick off May 25

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds hunters and anglers that squirrel and black bass seasons open Saturday, May 25.


The hunting season on eastern gray and fox squirrels runs May 25 through Feb. 15, 2025. Allowed methods include shotguns, rifles, and other legal firearm methods, as well as archery equipment, slingshots, or atlatls. Squirrels may also be harvested with cage-style traps during the hunting season as long as hunters have a valid Small Game Hunting permit. Traps must be labeled with the hunter’s full name and address, or Conservation Number, be attended daily, and have an opening of 144 square-inches or smaller.

The daily limit for hunting, including the use of cage-style traps, is ten and the possession limit is 20. Hunters must have a permit valid for hunting small game or be exempt.

Get more information on squirrel hunting and trapping from MDC’s 2024 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations online at http://short.mdc.mo.gov/4ud.

Need recipe suggestions? Browse squirrel recipes at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZcQ.


Anglers may catch-and-keep black bass, such as largemouth, smallmouth, spotted/Kentucky bass, May 25 through Feb. 28, 2025. Black bass can be found statewide but have a closed season part of the year in most streams south of the Missouri River. Black bass can be caught and released legally throughout the year anywhere in Missouri, and legal-sized bass may be kept all year long from impoundments and streams with no closed season. In most state waters, the daily limit on black bass is six. Fish taken from most rivers and streams must be 12-inches long. Additional regulations may apply to specific waters or areas. Anglers must have a valid fishing permit or be exempt.

Find more information on bass fishing in MDC’s 2024 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold, or online at  http://short.mdc.mo.gov/4uW.

Find tips from MDC on cooking fish at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zrk.


Take your permits with you wherever you are in nature using MDC’s Mo Hunting or Mo Fishing mobile apps. Users can keep their hunting and fishing permits on the apps, find nearby places to hunt or fish, check area regulations, and more. Both Mo Hunting and Mo Fishing apps are available for download for Apple and Android users. Find more information at https://mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/mobile-apps.

Cicadas Loud & Getting Louder
The 13-year periodical cicadas are blasting areas of St. Louis. Fox 2 took a decibel meter around the metro and found the cicadas were louder than a tanker truck on the highway and louder than a MetroLink train arriving at the UMSL station. The decibel levels were consistently in the 90s which can cause permanent hearing loss with prolonged exposure of over a half-hour.

Teen Won't Be Charged As Adult In Brutal Fight Near Hazelwood East High School
A teen accused in a brutal fight near Hazelwood East High School which left another teen severely injured won't be charged as an adult. A judge ruled yesterday that the 15-year-old girl will remain in the juvenile system with an assault charge. The fight happened back in March where 15-year-old Kaylee Gain suffered a skull fracture and a brain bleed. It left her in a coma for several weeks. Gain's family says she's back home and is improving, but has to undergo another skull surgery. The video of the fight went viral.

Missourians To Decide On Ranked Choice Voting
Missouri residents will decide whether or not to adopt ranked choice voting. Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank the candidates on a ballot according to preference. Under the system, a candidate who gets an outright majority would win the election. Missouri voters will decide whether to approve a ranked choice voting proposal in November.

Third Of St. Louis Refuse Drivers Call In Sick Two Days In A Row
There's an apparent labor dispute between refuse drivers and the City of St. Louis. Fifteen drivers with the City of St. Louis' Refuse Division called in sick yesterday. This comes after eighteen called in sick on Monday. The Street Department's Director, Bethany Williams says she met with union leaders yesterday to discuss the situation. Pay and complaints of mistreatment are among the issues surrounding this labor dispute.

New Children's Hospital Set To Open
The new Children's Hospital is set to open in Columbia. The 232-million-dollar Children's Hospital is on University Hospital's main campus, and it will feature a neonatal ICU and 62 private rooms. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the hospital will take place tomorrow.

Severe Storms Lead To Power Outages
Severe storms are to blame for power outages across Missouri. Thousands of residents across the state were without electricity yesterday following the storms. In addition, I-70 was closed in both directions east of New Florence after the storms knocked power lines onto the road.

A Washington man was injured in a one vehicle crash in Franklin County. The state highway patrol says it happened at 9:10 Tuesday night on Highway 100 east of Betsy Lane. 76-year old John Meyer lost control due to wet conditions, traveled off the road and struck a utility pole. Meyer was taken to Mercy in Washington with minor injuries. 

Ameren crews were on the scene throughout the night making repairs to the pole and power lines.

Cards-Cubs Memorial Day Weekend
The Cardinals early season losses have had a big effect on attendance, vendors and businesses downtown. After a forgettable season last year fans expected a better performance by the Birds in 2024. But even after winning six of their last eight the Cards are five games under-500 at 21-and-26. Karen Boschert of K's Unique Dogs tells 5 On Your Side she lost 40-thousand-dollars in sales last season. This season business remains down by half on some nights but she's hoping this weekend's holiday series against the Cubs will bring a big boost.

Board of Aldermen votes to terminate Union Expressway Project

During a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen on May 20, 2024 the Board passed a motion to end the City's participation in the Union Expressway project. 

  • This project was the result of MODOT not having the resources available to fix their highway.  Construction, repair, and maintenance of states highways is more properly the responsibility of MODOT and not the County or the City.  MODOT’s task is to move traffic in a safe and efficient manner.
  • The County and the City recognized that something had to be done to make Highway 47 better to handle the increased traffic in the City of Union and to promote the safety of the traveling public, so we agreed to  partnering on funding for design and construction of the combination roundabout and expressway/bridge.
  • Since we initially partnered on this project, funding for Highway 47 improvements between Washington and St Clair have been committed by MODOT in the initial amount of $89 million.
  • MODOT has made it clear that the City of Union would be responsible for the maintenance of the new additions and that the right of way would no longer be MODOT property/responsibility, but that of the City of Union.  We believe that should be a MODOT responsibility.
  • With the change in circumstances since this project began, namely that MODOT now has funding available from the state gas tax increase and other taxpayer funded sources, we believe it is prudent for The City of Union and The County of Franklin to step back and instead push MODOT to take care of their highway as it should have been all along.
  • Inflation has caused the project to increase in cost by more than $4 million than the original estimate, making it difficult for the City to cover the increased costs.
Moving forward, Franklin County and the City of Union will be urging MODOT and East West Gateway Council of Governments to reappropriate any and all dollars initially awarded to County and the City for the project to MODOT,  so that they can do the project in it’s entirety without need of local Governments being encumbered with State responsibilities.

Day 2 Of Hearing To Vacate 1991 St. Louis Murder Conviction
It's day two of a hearing to determine whether or not to vacate the sentence of a man convicted of a St. Louis murder back in the early nineties. Christopher Dunn has already served 33 years of a life sentence for the murder of 15-year-old Ricco Rogers, a murder he claims he didn't commit. The key witnesses for the prosecution at trial back in 1991 were 12 and 14-year-old boys, who have since recanted their statements. Earlier this year, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office filed a petition to vacate Dunn's conviction.

Test your nature knowledge for Conservation Trivia Night at Busch Conservation Area May 31

Nature may be nothing to trivialize, but what could be wrong with having a nature trivia night?  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a natural take on a popular activity.

MDC invites families and friends to a Nature Trivia Night Friday, May 31 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the MDC St. Louis Regional Office, located on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area.  This a free event and is open to anyone age 12 years and up.

If you’ve been to a trivia night event before, you know how much fun they can be.  This one has a nature twist.  Questions will challenge participants on multiple nature-themed topics that will run a full gamut of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, plants, and fish. Attendees are free to form their own teams of up to six members.  Or MDC naturalists will help organize teams for those who don’t have their own.   Participants have the option to arrive up to 30 minutes early if they wish to decorate their tables to celebrate nature and show team spirit. 

Trivia competitors can both test and expand their knowledge of Missouri’s natural wonders.  Bonus points will be given to the team with the best table theme and décor. Attendees are also free to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages and snacks of choice. 

Participating in Nature Trivia Night is free, but advanced online registration is required for each person and all team members attending at http://short.mdc.mo.gov/4un.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D, about two miles west of Highway 94. 

Sign up for email or text alerts to stay informed of MDC’s latest programs and events by going to  https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoP.

Missouri Drivers Among The Worst In The Nation
Missouri drivers are receiving a low rating. Forbes Advisor has rated Missouri drivers as the 10th worst in the nation. The rankings were based on the number of deadly crashes per 100-thousand licensed drivers as well as the number of drunk drivers involved in deadly car accidents per 100-thousand drivers.

Road Closure
On Friday, May 24, 2024 the Franklin County Highway Department will be closing Glaser Road (Sullivan area) between 8 AM and 3 PM, for cross pipe installation. The closure will be three miles North of Highway 185 (or .25 miles West of South Service Road). The road will be closed to all traffic, including emergency vehicles. 

If you have questions, please contact the Franklin County Highway Department at 636-583-6361.

ECC Nursing Program Celebrates 31 Graduates
East Central College celebrated the achievements of 31 graduates from its Nursing Program during a pinning ceremony on May 11. This time-honored event brought together graduates from the Union and Rolla campuses along with their families, friends, faculty, staff, and administration. Highlighting the ceremony, five exceptional students were honored for their outstanding commitment and excellence both in the classroom and in clinical settings. The ECC Outstanding Nursing Students recognized were Bryan Lambeth from Rolla and Summer Fisher from Union. Additionally, the Spirit of Excellence Awards were presented to Josie Obermark (Mercy), Gracie Sohn (Missouri Baptist Sullivan), and Mary Romine (Phelps Health). The pinning ceremony, a cherished tradition in nursing, symbolizes the transition from student to professional nurse. Each graduate received a unique ECC Nursing Program pin, marking their entry into the community of nursing professionals. Dean of Health Science and Director of Nursing Nancy Mitchell commenced the ceremony with welcoming remarks, followed by an inspiring greeting from ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer. Class of 2024 graduate Caitlyn Linders then delivered a warm student welcome. The guest speaker, Dr. Connie Wissbaum, Director of Nursing Excellence at Mercy Hospital Washington and former ECC nursing instructor, shared invaluable insights and encouragement with the graduates. The ceremony concluded with poignant remarks from 2024 graduate Bryan Lambeth and closing comments from ECC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Robyn Walter. The Nursing program graduates are: Lori Anderson, Josie Obermark, Taryn Curtis, Michelle Parker, Emma Davis, Sarah Parker, Summer Fisher, David Pauly, Joey Guyton, Sarah Price, Dalton Halloran, Laura Roesner, Taylor Hanger, Mary Romine, Sophia Howell, Madelyn Ruszala, Allison Huddleston, Gracie Sohn, Gabriel Killian, Macie Steffens, Maria Krull, Claire Strubberg, Bryan Lambeth, Kalyn Thompson, Rebekah Lewis, Grace Turilli, Caitlyn Linders, Allison Wilson, Rachel Lottes, Ariana Young, and Shaniah Marlatt. Nursing Awards The ECC Outstanding Nursing Student award is given to those whose lives were significantly impacted by the college, often helping them realize their dreams of becoming nurses. These awardees have excelled in both academic and clinical settings. Additionally, Spirit of Clinical Excellence awards were given by ECC’s healthcare partners: Mercy Hospital Washington, Phelps Health in Rolla, and Missouri Baptist Hospital Sullivan. These awards honor graduates who demonstrate exceptional care, compassion, inquiry, critical thinking, and organizational skills. ECC Nursing faculty from Union and Rolla campuses presented the awards, recognizing the graduates' dedication and achievements.

Get hooked on fishing with MDC Free Fishing Days June 8 and 9

Want some free fun that gets family and friends outside in nature? Get hooked on fishing with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Free Fishing Days June 8 and 9. During Free Fishing Days, anyone may fish in the Show-Me State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout permit, or trout park daily tag.

Free Fishing Days is an annual MDC event that takes place statewide during the Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June.

Aside from not needing permits, other fishing regulations remain in effect, such as limits on size and number of fish an angler may keep. Special permits may still be required at some county, city, or private fishing areas. Trespass laws remain in effect on private property.

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish, and Free Fishing Days encourages people to sample Missouri’s abundant fishing opportunities. Missouri has more than a million acres of surface water, and most of it provides great fishing. More than 200 different fish species are found in Missouri, with more than 20 of them being game fish for the state's more than 1.1 million anglers.

For information on Missouri fishing regulations, fish identification, and more, get a copy of MDC’s 2024 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold, or online at mdc.mo.gov/about-us/about-regulations/summary-missouri-fishing-regulations.

Want to learn to fish? MDC’s Discover Nature – Fishing Program provides a series of free lessons throughout the state. All fishing gear is provided. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/fishing/discover-nature-fishing.

Need fishing gear? MDC works with numerous libraries and other locations around the state to loan fishing gear for free. Loaner gear includes fishing poles and simple tackle box with hooks, sinkers, and bobbers. Worms, minnows, or other bait are not provided. Find MDC Rod and Reel Loaner Program locations at mdc.mo.gov/fishing/get-started-fishing/rod-reel-loaner-locations.

MDC’s free MO Fishing app can help anglers find the best places to fish in Missouri, access regulation information, identify fish by species, and more. Anglers can also buy, store, and show fishing permits right on their mobile devices. MO Fishing is available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/mobile-apps/mo-fishing.

Justin Timberlake World Tour Coming To St. Louis
St. Louis is being added to Justin Timberlake's world tour. The "Forget Tomorrow" World Tour will be held at Enterprise Center on December 19th. Tickets go on sale this Thursday.

St. Louis City Hiring Again
The City of St. Louis is hiring non-essential workers once again. Mayor Tishaura Jones officials announced the end of the hiring freeze today. Her decision comes after the Missouri General Assembly adjourned on Friday without interfering with the city's ability to collect an earnings tax. The city has launched a new hiring website at StLouis-MO.gov.

Hillsboro Man Faces 252 Count Indictment In St. Louis
A Hillsboro man is facing a 252 count indictment for burglary and stealing crimes in the City of St. Louis. Police allege 36-year-old Gage Luttman broke into dozens of businesses, basements, storage units, and garages and stole thousands of dollars of firearms, tools, electronics, jewelry, musical instruments, and other property. The alleged crime spree happened between August of 2023 and March of 2024. The charges against Luttman include first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, stealing, and resisting arrest.

ECC Students Named to All-Missouri Academic Teams

Four standout students from East Central College have been recognized for their exceptional academic achievements by being named to the 2024 All-Missouri Academic Team.

The honorees are Hayden Loeb of Owensville, Donna Neulinger of Rolla, Chloe Nissen of Union, and Jagger Wood of Washington. These students were recognized by the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) National Honor Society during a special ceremony sponsored by MCCA in April.

In recognition of their accomplishments, each student received a medallion, a certificate, and a cash scholarship sponsored by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). The PTK, in partnership with corporate sponsors, organizes the Academic All-USA competition for students from two-year colleges across the nation.

The selection process is rigorous. PTK evaluates applicants on a national scale and forwards the top Missouri candidates to the MCCA. From there, the 40 highest-ranking students in the state are designated as Academic All-State award winners. These include 10 students on the first team, 10 on the second team, and 20 on the third team.

East Central College nominates two to four students from each campus annually for the All-USA Team, making them automatic contenders for the All-Missouri Academic Team. The nomination process requires a comprehensive scholarship application, detailing the nominees' campus and community activities and including a letter of recommendation that highlights a significant endeavor they accomplished during their time at ECC.

Missouri Legislative Session Wraps Up
The Missouri Legislature's 2024 session is over. The Columbia Tribune reports that 46 bills were passed during this year's session, and 28 of them were not appropriations bills that lawmakers are required to approve. Among the measures that failed to pass was a bill that would have raised the threshold to pass citizen-led constitutional changes through the initiative petition process.

Pinkel's Foundation To Host Golf Tournament
Former University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel's G.P. M.A.D.E. Foundation is set to host its annual golf tournament. The foundation has awarded more than 80 scholarships, provided more than 390-thousand-dollars to low-income seniors and distributed 285-thousand-dollars in grants to Missouri organizations since its establishment in 2019. The tournament takes place today at The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves's FAA Bill To Become Law
A U.S. House Member from Missouri says an aviation bill from the committee he leads is headed to President Biden's desk. U.S. Representative Sam Graves says the bill will reauthorize 105-billion-dollars for the FAA for the next five years. It increases funding for infrastructure improvements at airports of all sizes and requires more air traffic controllers to be hired across the country. The improvements also require airlines to automatically refund passengers on flights if they're delayed three hours or longer.

Bill Would Shield Pesticide Makers From Cancer Lawsuits
Missouri is now one of three states where lawmakers are trying to get legislation approved to make it harder for people to sue pesticide manufacturers whose products have caused harm. Supporters include the maker of Roundup, St. Louis-based Bayer. Some political leaders say the lawsuit is unfair because glyphosate has been approved by regulators who have determined it is "unlikely" to cause cancer in humans.

Republican Candidate Draws Fire For Homophobic Video
A real estate investor who's running in the G.O.P. primary for secretary of state in Missouri is catching a lot of pushback for her campaign video. In the piece, Republican Valentina Gomez talks about issues with what's perceived to be a homophobic slant. It includes images of her jogging through a St. Louis neighborhood telling voters that they can be anything they want and then admonishes them to not be "weak and gay" and to "stay hard." The 25-year-old immigrant from Colombia is also coming under scrutiny for using the music of "The Show Goes On" by hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco in the Instagram footage. He says in a statement that he's aware of the Republican video and that he's "currently taking action."

Two injured in a one car crash in Franklin County. The state patrol says it happened at 7:35 Thursday evening on Interstate 44 in Sullivan. Karen and Joshua Crousore-Herbert, both 41 of Indiana, were injured when their car slid off the highway and struck the median cable barrier. They were taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan with minor injuries.

USPS Pausing Plans to Bring Illinois Mail to St. Louis
The United States Postal Service says it is pausing plans to process mail from Springfield, Illinois at St. Louis' main facility. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced last week that plans to move operations from distribution center in the Illinois capitol will be put on hold until at least January 1st of 2025. The current proposal would have transferred all outgoing mail operations from Springfield to St. Louis with the Illinois facility being used only as a local processing center after that.

Robertsville Man Charged with Kidnapping

In the afternoon of May 14th, 2024, Franklin County Deputies were dispatched to Dollar General in Villa Ridge in regards to a kidnapping which had occurred within the city limits of Pacific.  Franklin County Deputies, Detectives as well as Pacific Police Department Detectives responded to the scene.  Upon the arrival of law enforcement, they met with the juvenile victim as well as the victim's mother.  It was learned the victim was outside her school within Pacific when she was approached by a white male subject in a white passenger car. The suspect ultimately coerced the juvenile into getting in the vehicle with him. He proceeded to transport her to numerous locations throughout the east side of Franklin County before releasing the victim at the Dollar General location.  The suspect provided the victim with evidence which investigators utilized to positively identify him as Leroy R. Walker, Jr a 53-year-old male from Robertsville, Mo.


On the morning of May 15th, 2024, Pacific Police Investigators with the assistance of Franklin County Sheriff's Office Investigators applied for and received warrants for Walker on the Misdemeanor charges of Kidnapping 3rd degree and violation of RSMO 566.149 Sex Offender present/loitering within 500' of a school building, grounds or conveyance location with a total bond amount of $10,000 cash only. A parole violation no bond warrant for Walker’s arrest was also issued through the Missouri Department of Corrections.


Due to Walkers extensive criminal history the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team served the arrest warrants on Walker at his place of residence in the 1600 block of Green Tree Acres, Robertsville, Mo. He was ultimately taken into custody without incident.  While deputies were serving the warrant at the residence, they encountered a female party identified as Harlie Glore a 31-year-old female from the St. Louis area who had an active felony warrant out of Jefferson County for Possession of a Controlled Substance.


Both parties were transported to the Franklin County Detention Facility. 


Walker was found to be on active parole through the Missouri Department of Corrections for Assault 1st degree which he had received a life sentence with parole. Walker has a criminal history to include felony convictions for Attempted Forcible Rape, Armed Criminal Action, Stealing Motor Vehicle, Tampering with Services 1st degree, Stealing, Burglary 2nd degree.

Mary Romine Receives President’s Spirit of ECC Award

Although East Central College Nursing program graduate Mary Romine received her diploma for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing on May 11, she has already been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) for five months.

Romine, from Rolla, who attends classes at ECC in Rolla, is described as a leader among her peers and someone who consistently exceeds expectations in every aspect as a student. Additionally, she excels academically and demonstrates leadership within the Student Nurse Organization.

During ECC’s Commencement Ceremony, Romine was recognized for those qualities, and more, with the President's Spirit of East Central College Award.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer presented the award to Romine, noting that she was graduating that day cum laude, and as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Bauer added that Romine is active and holds leadership positions in multiple student organizations while maintaining an outstanding 3.58 GPA in nursing school.

"Her commitment to giving back to the community is evident through her volunteer work with school-aged children, where she shares her passion for the nursing profession," he said.

In addition to the President’s Spirit award, Romine received the Phelps Health Spirit of Excellence in Nursing award during the Nursing program pinning ceremony earlier that day.

"I was utterly shocked to have received these awards..." she said. "When we took our seats at the commencement ceremony, I saw a section of the program that was all about me! I was so honored to have received both awards, and I was emotional because all my hard work paid off."

"I live by being kind to each individual I meet and trying my hardest at everything I do," Romine added. "Spreading this positivity and devotion aids in developing trust with others. To be appreciated and recognized meant the world to me, and I appreciate everyone involved in nominating and choosing me for these awards."

Healthcare Field

Romine is already working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Phelps Health in Rolla, and she will work as a full-time registered nurse now that she's graduated. She plans to graduate with a BSN in May 2025. Meanwhile, she will study for the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) exam.

Her next step will be to apply for the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) three-year program at MSU.

"If everything goes according to plan, I expect to graduate with my doctorate in 2029," Romine said. "My end goal is to be a DNAP at Phelps Health Hospital. I love the Rolla community and want to build my dream home and family here in my hometown."

"I want to thank everyone in my support system, including my family, fiancé, mentors, instructors, friends, the Rolla community, and the One Life ministry," she added. "None of this would be possible without God, my number one supporter, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'"

Introduction to Handgun class at Busch Shooting Range May 21 offers hands-on practice

Did you know that handguns are a valid hunting method for several game species, such as rabbits, squirrels, bullfrogs, deer, and coyotes?  Handguns offer a viable alternative to hunters who prefer to travel light or might have physical limitations or other restrictions regarding handling or carrying rifles.  They can also be used for recreational target shooting. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a class that will help new handgun shooters get the most out of these diminutive firearms.

MDC’s August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center will hold an Introduction to Handgun class Tuesday, May 21 from 5 - 8 p.m. The class is free and open to ages 16 and up.  It also includes hands-on shooting practice.

“Handguns offer yet another opportunity in shooting sports, including hunting and target practice,” said Bryant Hertel, MDC outdoor education center manager.

The program will begin in the classroom and introduce newcomers to all the aspects they’ll need to begin safely shooting handguns. Participants get a chance to learn important handgun fundamentals, including handgun actions, calibers, safety measures, and shooting techniques that include proper grip and stance.

After the classroom portion, participants will head to the range to practice their new skills in a live-fire session. MDC will provide .22 handguns and ammunition, but attendees may bring their own firearm and ammunition if they choose. Participants should leave their ammunition in their vehicle until it is time to shoot.

Introduction to Handgun is a free program; however, pre-registration is required online at  http://short.mdc.mo.gov/4uq.

The August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is located at 3550 Route D, approximately five miles west of Highway 94. 

Sign up for email or text alerts to stay informed of MDC’s latest programs and events by going to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoP.

You CAN Escape Cicadas, Somewhat
St. Louis residents who want to escape the coming cicada emergence may not have much luck if they can't get out of the city. Tad Yankoski of the St. Louis Botanical Garden says many people are planning to go to areas like St. Joseph or New Madrid - parts of the state where the bugs aren't expected to be so plentiful - or as loud. The emergence is supposed to hit within a week or two and could last up to six weeks.

Sen. Eric Schmitt Criticizes U.S. Treasury Department
Missouri Republican Senator Eric Schmitt says the U.S. Treasury Department is "trying to pull a fast one" on Congress. His comments came Thursday on the Senate floor before the lawmakers rejected efforts to roll back guidance from the Treasury on how states and municipalities can spend the rest of their COVID funding. Schmitt calls the idea a sleight of hand, saying it's the Treasury Department's attempt to "keep the COVID spending spigot on."

Homeless Advocates Discussing Mental Health
Homeless advocates are meeting in St. Louis to talk about ways to manage the mental health and other issues facing the homeless. The meeting was prompted in part by the two homeless men who were killed last week during a confrontation. Many area leaders say a regional approach needs to be taken when it comes to solutions for the unsheltered as several cities and local governments have redirected people in need of services to St. Louis City. That has left a heavy burden on the City of St. Louis.

MDC needs experienced birders to help with breeding bird survey

Calling Missouri birders who know their birds by sight and sound! The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) needs volunteers to assist with six vacant bird-observation routes in Missouri as part of the 2024 North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) May 27 – July 7.

The six Missouri BBS routes that need volunteers are: Akers, Blodgett, Cassville, Deventer, Madison, and New Hampton. Volunteers will need to conduct their survey one day during the May 27 – July 7 survey period.

BBS is a long-term, large-scale, international bird monitoring program that started in 1966. The purpose of the BBS is to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. Each year during mostly June -- the height of the bird-breeding season for most of the U.S. – BBS volunteers collect bird-population data along roadside survey routes to help. For more information on the BBS, visit pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

Each survey route is 24.5 miles long with stops at half-mile intervals. At each stop, volunteers conduct three-minute point counts where they record data on the bird species and numbers they see or hear within a quarter-mile radius. Surveys must start one-half hour before sunrise and take about five hours to complete. Volunteers need only conduct their survey route once during the survey period.

For more information or to volunteer, contact MDC Avian Ecologist and MDC BBS Coordinator Janet Haslerig by email at Janet.Haslerig@mdc.mo.gov or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3198.

Haslerig said volunteers need access to suitable transportation, must have good hearing and eyesight, and must be able to identify all birds in the area. All new BBS volunteers must successfully complete an online methodology training program before their data can be used.

She also stressed that knowing bird songs is extremely important. "Most birds counted on these surveys are singing males," said Haslerig.

The annual BBS helps scientists determine bird populations and their threats.

"Bird populations have numerous, widespread threats including habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, land-use changes, and chemical contaminants," said Haslerig. “The annual BBS is vital in determining how bird species are doing. For example, a recent article in the journal Science showed the loss of almost 3 billion birds in North America since 1970. These results were partially determined by long-term BBS data. This shows the necessity of these surveys and recruiting volunteers to conduct them over the long term.”

This year, volunteers will experience an unusual challenge with the mass emergence of periodical cicadas. The massive numbers of 13-year periodical cicadas will be present in Missouri and about 15 other states this spring and early summer. The population is expected to include trillions of individual cicadas with numbers ranging from 50,000 to 1.5 million per acre in healthy, forested habitats. Choruses of singing male cicadas can reach volumes of about 100 decibels, or the sound of a gas lawnmower or chainsaw. After emergence begins in an area, adult cicadas will be around for about six weeks.

“Most Missouri BBS routes will experience excessive noise levels from the cicadas,” said Haslerig. “As expected, this will reduce or drone out BBS volunteers’ ability to hear bird songs. Most periodical cicada adults will likely be finished singing in Missouri by the end of June.”

Haslerig hopes surveyors will commit to multiple years of collecting data on the same route. "It helps with the consistency in data collection," she said. "And volunteers also get familiar with the routes and have better ideas what birds they will encounter. And it’s fun!”

For more information on birds of Missouri, visit the MDC online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search.

Child Care Sales Tax Question Could Be On November Ballot
A member of the St. Louis Board of Alderman wants to put a one half of one percent sales tax question on the November ballot. If approved, the tax would fund early childhood education and care. A similar question may be on the ballot for St. Louis County voters. Election authorities have until late August to certify ballot language to place the idea on the November election.

Traffic Crash
Warrenton man injured in a Motorcycle crash in St. Charles County. It happened at 4:50 Wednesday afternoon on Highway 370 west of Harry Truman Boulevard. 30 year old Justin Christoff of Warrenton and 37-year old Trevor Stewart of O'Fallon were riding Harley's together. They collided and ran off the road. Christoff suffered moderate injuries and Stewart serious injuries. They were both taken to Mercy in St. Louis.

April 2024 Monthly Jobs Report

Missouri's smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point in April 2024, reaching 3.4 percent from the revised March 2024 rate of 3.3 percent. The April 2024 rate of 3.4 percent was half of a percentage point higher than the April 2023 rate of 2.9 percent. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 105,408 in April 2024, up 1,734 from the revised March total of 103,674.

The state's not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased in April 2024, declining by half of a percentage point to 3.2 percent from the March 2024 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.7 percent. A year ago, the not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 2.6 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for April 2024 was 3.5 percent.

Missouri's labor force participation rate was 63.3 percent in April 2024, six-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national rate of 62.7 percent. Missouri's employment-population ratio was 61.1 percent in April 2024, nine-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national rate of 60.2 percent. Missouri's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in April 2024, half of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent. Missouri's unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for nine years.

Carhartt and Metallica Foundation Award ECC $50,000

The band Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH) and Carhartt are awarding East Central College $50,000 through Carhartt’s “For the Love of Labor” grant.

The “For the Love of Labor” grant will support women seeking education in the skilled trades programs. Five community colleges nationwide will each receive $50,000 to bolster women in career and technical education programs and promote the Metallica Scholars Initiative.

“This award acknowledges the work ECC does to provide Manufacturing career opportunities for our area’s business and industry.” said Joel Doepker, ECC Vice President of External Relations. “There are great opportunities for well-compensated positions with benefits, and this award increases our ability to focus on women pursuing a career in Manufacturing.”

The grant is funded by a single day of online sales of Carhartt women’s apparel earlier this year.

AWMH is working with Carhartt to shine a light on and address the skilled trades gap and highlight the women entering these essential jobs. The organizations are pushing against the narrative that women are less capable of handling work in the trades.

ECC will spend a large majority of the award on scholarships for women registered in Welding, Heating and Air-Conditioning, Industrial Engineering Technology, and the Precision Machining programs in the fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters. The scholarship will assist students with the cost of tuition, fees, books, toolkits and provide a student stipend.

A primary reason ECC was selected is due to the number of women receiving a scholarship through the Metallica Scholars program, which provides scholarships in ECC’s Advanced Manufacturing programs.

“We were impressed with the number of women enrolled in the programs they profiled,” said Renee Richardson, Director of Philanthropy at Metallica’s Foundation, All Within My Hands. “It’s important to provide opportunities for women in the advanced manufacturing programs, and we think ECC will use the funding well.”

The Carhartt “For the Love of Labor” scholarship application is available online at www.eastcentral.edu/Carhartt.

Learn about hummingbirds at May 22 MDC virtual program

People are fascinated by hummingbirds. The way they dart and hover around feeders and some native flowering plants is truly remarkable.

People can learn about hummingbirds at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) virtual program “Naturalist Notes: Hummingbirds” on May 22. This free online program will be from 6-7 p.m. and is being put on by the staff at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center. It is suggested for ages 10-adult. People can register at:


At the May 22 program, MDC Naturalist Morgan Wyatt will discuss the annual life cycle of a hummingbird and will talk about native plants that attract these pollinators (as well as other native pollinating birds and insects). She will also have information on how to maintain hummingbird feeders throughout the summer. The May 22 program is part of an ongoing series of Springfield Nature Center programs in which MDC naturalists highlight some of their favorite topics.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate. Use the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

People can stay informed about upcoming programs at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center and other MDC facilities by signing up for text alerts and e-mail bulletins. People who have questions about how to sign up for text alerts from the nature center can call 417-888-4237.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual and in-person programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/events.

Sandy Lucy Named ECC Outstanding Alumni

Sandy Lucy of Washington was honored with the 2024 Outstanding East Central College Alumni award during the College’s 54th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 11. Lucy, a member of the Class of 1976, was celebrated for her pioneering contributions to her community.

Notably, she made history as the first female mayor of the City of Washington, serving in this role for 12 years.

Prior to that, she broke barriers as the first woman elected as chairperson of the Washington Chamber of Commerce. These achievements, along with her numerous other exceptional contributions to local politics and community service, led to her selection for the prestigious East Central College Foundation award.

Presented by ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer, the Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an ECC alum by the East Central College Foundation. It recognizes individuals who have brought honor to the College through their professional accomplishments, leadership, and community impact.

Drawing upon her experience as a transformative leader, Lucy delivered a message of empowerment to graduates, emphasizing the importance of being present in shaping the future.

“The world belongs to those who show up,” she said. “As life goes on, you will have many opportunities to get involved and participate — be someone people can count on.”

About Sandy Lucy

A graduate of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, Lucy embarked on her educational journey at ECC, where she earned an associate degree in general studies before obtaining a degree in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg.

Lucy's commitment to serving others has been evident throughout her career. Following her academic pursuits, she worked as a speech and language pathologist in rural schools in Lincoln and Pike counties, positively impacting the lives of countless students.

Mayor Lucy

During her tenure as Mayor of Washington from 2010 to 2022, Lucy made significant strides in economic development and transportation growth, including overseeing milestones such as the opening of the new Missouri River Bridge.

Lucy's leadership, characterized by respect, integrity, and a focus on community well-being, has earned her widespread admiration. Her dedication to ECC extends beyond her time in office, as she has served on the Foundation Board since 2005 and actively contributes to the ECC Alumni Association.

“It’s rare that our elected leaders are held in high esteem by the majority of their constituents,” her nomination read. Sandy Beste Lucy is one of those rare leaders.”

“She is a woman of exceptional character who shows everyone respect and leads with an eye focused on the big picture.”

In addition to her involvement with ECC, Lucy's philanthropic endeavors include establishing an endowed scholarship in 2021 and serving on various community committees, including those for tourism, historic preservation, and the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Managing the Gary Lucy Gallery, which she co-owns with her husband, Lucy is also engaged in organizations such as St. Francis Borgia Parish, Washington Rotary Club, and the Mercy Hospital Foundation Board.

Lucy's impact on her community and alma mater is immeasurable, making her a truly deserving recipient of the 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award."

Past Recipients

2023 – Ina “Cookie” Hays – Union – Higher Education
2022 – Tim Unnerstall – Washington – Business Management
2021 – Eric Park – Washington – Financial Planning
2020 – Scott Breckenkamp – Washington – Banking
2019 – Dorothy Schowe – New Haven – Public Relations
2018 – Ron Unnerstall – Washington – Engineer
2017 – Audrey Freitag – New Haven – Nurse
2016 – Dave Arand – Union – Attorney
2015 – Anthony “Tony” Kreutz – Union – Business Admin
2014 – Amy Wildhaber – Beaufort – ER Dept Manager
2013 – Joseph Purschke – Union – Attorney at Law
2012 – Linda Mahon – Union – History/Educator
2011 – Ted Coburn – Villa Ridge – Probation & Parole
2010 – Ann Schroeder – Union – Political Science
2009 – Chris Stuckenschneider – Washington – Journalism
2008 – Ken Schmidt – Union – Engineering
2007 – Tammy Watz – Sullivan – Allied Health
2007 – Dr. Frank Miller – Washington – Allied Health
2006 – Deborah Koelling – Washington – Education
2005 – Chris Manhart – Union – Education
2004 – Tom Robertson – New Haven – Engineering/HVAC
2003 – John Griesheimer – Washington – Elected Official
2002 – Tonya Voss – Sullivan – Education

Woods Road (Robertsville) will be closed as follows:
  • Woods Road (Robertsville) will be closed Monday, May 20, 2024, from 8am to 3pm, for crosspipe installation. The closure will be 1.3 miles east of Hudson Lane (500 ft west of State Hwy O from the east end of Woods Road).


  • Woods Road (Robertsville) will be closed Tuesday, May 21, 2024, from 8am to 3pm, for crosspipe installation. The closure will be 0.7 mile east of Hudson Lane (0.6 mile west of State Hwy O from the east end of Woods Road).


  • Woods Road (Robertsville) will be closed Wednesday, May 22, 2024, from 8am to 3pm, for crosspipe installation. The closure will be 0.6 mile east of Hudson Lane (0.8 mile west of State Hwy O from the east end of Woods Road).
  • Woods Road (Robertsville) will be closed Thursday, May 23, 2024, from 8am to 3pm, for crosspipe installation. The closure will be 0.3 mile east of Hudson Lane (1 mile west of State Hwy O from the east end of Woods Road).


  • Each day the road will be closed to all traffic, including emergency vehicles.

Traffic Crashes
A Pacific man was injured in a one car crash in Franklin County.  The state patrol says it happened at 9:30 Tuesday night on Westbound Interstate 44 about two miles west of Highway 50.  51-year old Brandon Strausbaugh lost control on wet pavement, struck the median barrier, ran off the right side and overturned down a steep embankment, partially blocking the outer road.  Strausbaugh was taken to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis with moderate injuries.

A Hermann woman was injured in one vehicle crash in Gasconade County.  The patrol says it happened at 3:10 Tuesday afternoon on Highway 100 East of Highway J as 30-year old Cara Forbes was eastbound.  The patrol says Forbes lost control on a curve, ran off the road, struck an embankment, went airborne and struck a tree.  Forbes was taken to Mercy in Washington with moderate injuries.   

Two Found Dead In Pacific Home
Neighbors say they are shaken to their core after a man and woman were found dead in a home in Pacific. Police were called to Cedar Ridge yesterday afternoon after a family member found the victims deceased. Police say a preliminary investigation indicates the deaths to be a murder-suicide. The identities of the victims have not yet been disclosed.

Wildfire Smoke Making Its Way From Canada
People with heart and lung issues may want to keep an eye on the smoke forecast for the metro area. Smoke from wildfires in Canada has been drifting down across Montana and the Dakotas and pushed through Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and northern Illinois. The smoke plume is expected in the metro area tomorrow. Young children and older adults may also be sensitive to poorer air quality.

Amtrak Service Could Return To De Soto After 50 Years
Amtrak could soon be making stops again in the small town of De Soto, Missouri. The move would mark the return of passenger rail service to the area after 53 years. As part of the budget approved by state lawmakers last week, the MoDOT received a one-million-dollar earmark that will partially pay for a train platform. The funding, which must be approved by Governor Mike Parson and matched with local funds, marks the latest step in a long process to restore service along Amtrak's Texas Eagle route. The train would stop twice daily in De Soto. The platform is set to be across from the De Soto Public Library on Main Street.

State Democrats Fight GOP With Filibuster Tactics
Democrats in the state House have successfully blocked GOP efforts to make it harder to change the state constitution. The party's filibuster stretched into its 15th hour Tuesday morning. Unless Republicans agree to ditch all of the extraneous issues known as "ballot candy" that are in the original bill, such as foreign fundraising and issues about immigrant voters, Democrats have vowed to block all action in the Senate until the session adjourns for the year Friday night.

Pacific Police Say the Death of Two Family Members was a Murder-Suicide
Pacific Police Say the Death of Two Family Members was the result of a Murder-Suicide. 
Police are reporting the murder victim, 56-year old Mary Gan and her 26-year old son, were found dead inside a home off Cedar Ridge Drive Monday afternoon.

A family member found the bodies and called authorities around 1:45. 

Police report Gan suffered a gunshot wound and the man suffered what a appears to be a self inflicted gunshot wound. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Mayor Jones Touches On Crime, Traffic, During State Of The City
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones has laid out her hopes for the city over the next year. During her third State of the City address Tuesday night, Mayor Jones also looked back on what she sees as her accomplishments over the past year. Those include a lower crime rate and traffic improvements along Union, Kingshighway and other areas that make them safer. She also highlighted her recently approved plan to bring red light traffic cameras back. The mayor is expected to announce that she's running for office again soon.

Motorcycle Crash
A motorcycle crash in Franklin County sends two people to the hospital. The state patrol says it happened at 11:45 Sunday night on Highway AD near North Bend Road. The patrol says 45-year old Nathan Amburgy of Union was westbound on a Harley when he struck a deer. Amburgy suffered moderate injuries and a passenger, 44-year old Jamie Sperry of Washington suffered serious injuries. They were both taken to Mercy in St. Louis by Union Ambulance.

Sales Tax Question For Early Child Care Could Be On November Ballot
A St. Louis Board of Alderman member wants to put a one half of one percent sales tax question on the November ballot. The tax, if approved, would fund early childhood education and care. A similar question may be on the ballot for St. Louis County voters. City aldermen held the first of what might be several hearings on the issue Monday but did not bring it to a vote yet. Election authorities have until late August to certify ballot language to place the idea on the November election.

Child Advocates Want More Oversight For Christian Boarding Schools
State leaders are being urged to launch an investigation into Christian boarding schools in Missouri. Several of the facilities have shut down in recent years after students alleged abuse by the people who ran the schools. Child advocates on Monday urged state Attorney General Andrew Bailey to work with local prosecutors to take action. The advocates say many of these kind of facilities face little oversight because they're in remote, rural areas and are mostly privately funded. Missouri reportedly has some of the most lax requirements for Christian boarding schools in the country.

Missouri Sun Bucks Program To Help Needy Kids Over Summer
A new Missouri program aimed at helping families buy groceries for their school-aged children over the summer is pending approval. The "Missouri SuN Bucks" program is administered by the state Department of Social Services. The payment of 120-dollars per child can be deposited on an EBT card. Officials say families who are current SNAP recipients or who are receiving are temporary assistance can log into their online account to update their information before the program launches. It's the program provides the extra help on top of any other benefits a family might be getting.

Governor Parson, First Lady Embark On Italian Trade Mission
Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson will travel to Italy next week for an international Trade Mission. State officials say Italy is a top source of direct foreign investment and a key trade partner for Missouri. He says more than 169-million-dollars in leather, machinery, and chemicals were exported last year. Governor Parson will meet with various government officials, diplomats, and business leaders to promote the state as a prime destination for business investment and expansion. The week-long trip for May 18th through the 25th, will be Parson's eighth Trade Mission since he became governor.

Trafffic Crashes
18-year old Annabelle Coleman of Sullivan was injured in a one vehicle crash on Highway T South of Highway A in Washington County Saturday afternoon. The patrol says she ran off the road and struck an embankment. Coleman was taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan with minor injuries.

23-year old Anthony D'Onofrio of Union was taken to the hospital following a traffic crash on Pottery Road at Boland Lane.  D'Onofrio was a passenger in a pick-up that ran off the road.  He was taken to Mercy in Washington with minor injuries.  It happened at 2:10 Saturday afternoon.

Catawissa man injured in a two vehicle crash on Highway O in Franklin County.  The patrol says 72-year old Tommy Strayhorn failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the side of a pick-up truck.  Strayhorn was taken to Mercy in Washington with minor injuries following the crash at 5:50 Saturday evening.  

Springfield man injured in a crash on Interstate 44 near St. Clair.  25-year old Tyler Lesue was struck in the rear by a tractor trailer.  His car was knocked off the highway into a tree.  Lesue was taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan with moderate injuries.   It happened before nine o'clock Sunday night.  

58-year old Patricia Lyons of St. Charles was injured in a motorcycle crash on Highway T near Bassett Road in the Labadie area.  Lyons ran off the road while making a u-turn and traveled down an embankment.  She was taken to Mercy in St. Louis with moderate injuries following the wreck at 3:30 Sunday afternoon. 

St. Clair man injured in a one vehicle wreck after three o'clock Sunday morning on North Bend Road.  21-year old Michael Beard was driving a pick-up when he ran off the road, struck a mailbox and overturned.  Beard was taken to Mercy in Washington with minor injuries.  

State Corrections Fined $60K For Sunshine Law Violations
The Missouri Department of Corrections must pay more than 60-thousand-dollars for refusing to comply with Sunshine Law violations. The Western District of the Court of Appeals upheld a Cole County trial court judgment that says the state prison system was "knowing and purposeful" in refusing to release Jahi Hynes' records to his mother. Willa Hynes is trying to find out how her son died three years ago while in state custody, officials had said he committed suicide. She is also now suing the state for wrongful death.

Lawmakers Make Deadline For Approving State Budget
Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a 51-billion-dollar state budget. The measure that boosts funding for education and infrastructure projects will go into effect July 1st once it's signed by Republican Governor Mike Parson. The plan makes sure teachers get a salary of at least 40-thousand-dollars each year, up from 25-thousand.

UFL Partners With State Tourism For 'Road To Missouri' Campaign
The state Division of Tourism is partnering with the United Football league for a new campaign. The collaboration comes as part of the inaugural season of the UFL's St. Louis Battlehawks and leading up to the league's championship game to be played at The Dome at America's Center on June 16th. Tourism Director Stephen Foutes says the partnership will feature various initiatives including exclusive game-day experiences, interactive social media campaigns, and special promotions highlighting Missouri's hidden gems. Additionally, select UFL games will feature activations, providing fans with a taste of Missouri's unique culture and hospitality.

County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Defers To Court In Teen Beating Case
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office says it's deferring to the court in the case of a 15-year-old girl who violently beat a fellow student near Hazelwood East High School. A court's decision Friday means Maurnice DeClue, who was charged with felony assault in the March 8th incident should be tried as a juvenile. Officials say the victim, Kaylee Gain, has been left with brain damage, including short-term memory loss. The beating incident was captured on cell phone video and went viral on the Internet. In it, DeClue can be getting seen repeatedly slamming Gain's head into the concrete. The judge in the case rejected DeClue's lawyer's request that the teen be released to her parents and remain on house arrest with a GPS monitor.

Roads Closed Due to Flooding
  • Jakes Prairie Road, between Hwy. AC and Hwy. H (Sullivan area) is closed due to flooding. OPEN
  • Old Highway K (St. Clair area), closed due to water over the road. OPEN
  • Jakes Prairie Road, West of Shawnee Ford Road (Sullivan area) is closed due to flooding. OPEN
  • Shawnee Ford Road, North of Jakes Prairie (Gerald/Sullivan area), is closed due to flooding. OPEN
  • Robertsville Road (Robertsville/Villa Ridge area), is closed due to the flooding. OPEN
  • Boeuf Lutheran Road (New Haven area) is closed at the slab. OPEN
  • Hoeman Road (New Haven area), closed at the slab due to flooding.
  • Detmold Road (New Haven area), closed at the slab due to flooding.
  • Old Cove Road (Union/St. Clair), closed due to flooding.


Continuing closures:

  • Bucklick Creek Road and Little Indian Creek Road continue to be closed.


Missouri Lawmakers Approve 51-Billion Dollar Budget
Missouri lawmakers gave final approval Friday to a roughly $51 billion state budget that boosts funding for education and infrastructure projects around the state. 

The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 now goes to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who had originally proposed spending more but can only cut — not add — to what the GOP-led Legislature gave him.

Lawmakers completed the budget just hours ahead of a 6 p.m. Friday deadline set by the state constitution, capping a sometimes tense and divisive debate among majority-party Republicans over how much to spend.

“The end product is a good, sound, fiscally responsible, conservative and prioritized budget,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Lincoln Hough said.

Democrats complained that the process was abnormally secretive and asserted that lawmakers should have spent more from the state’s budget surplus on public services and schools.

“We left out our vulnerable Missourians from our budget,” Democratic Rep. Deb Lavender said.

The budget plan includes $120 million more in baseline funding for public K-12 education, plus $33 million to help schools raise the minimum teacher salary to $40,000 a year.

Higher education institutions would get a 3% increase in core funding.

Building on a plan approved last year to widen Interstate 70 across Missouri, lawmakers this year agreed to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into expanding Interstate 44 to six lanes near Springfield, Joplin and Rolla.

In a departure from tradition, lawmakers also earmarked millions of dollars from general funds for particular local road projects, supplementing the funding decisions typically made by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

“Our roads and bridges are going to be vastly improved across the state,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Cody Smith said.

The budget was sprinkled with funds for numerous other local projects, including improvements to the Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball stadium and development near the newly built soccer stadium for the Kansas City Current.

Work on the budget had been delayed last week in the Senate amid a standoff between chamber leaders — who wanted to pass a $4.5 billion hospital tax program before tackling the rest of the budget — and the Freedom Caucus.

Members of the GOP faction spent the better part of two days last week filibustering in an attempt to pressure Parson to sign legislation defunding Planned Parenthood, which he had been expected to do and eventually did Thursday.

Meanwhile, House and Senate budget leaders had been negotiating behind closed doors to iron out a compromise rather than airing differences over spending priorities in committee hearings.

The biggest disagreement between the House and Senate was over the total cost of the budget, with the House pushing for roughly $50 billion compared to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s recommended $53 billion.

The final version was smaller than originally sought by Parson, who warned that underfunding could delay payments on inevitable bills.

“All you’re doing is just passing that on to the other legislators,” Parson told reporters Thursday.

The budget includes a 3.2% pay raise for state employees and also increases the state payment rate for some health care providers, including nursing homes and those serving people with developmental disabilities.

Senators in the Freedom Caucus on Thursday sought to amend the budget to ban government spending on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. But those amendments were voted down.

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