BC-MO--Missouri News Digest, MO

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Associated Press

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Missouri at 5 p.m.

Bill Draper is on the desk and can be reached at 800-852-4844 or 816-421-4844. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

TOP STORY:

WOMAN KILLED-SMARTPHONES

ST. LOUIS — A court hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon in St. Louis for Keith Esters, accused of killing a Chicago-area woman Megan Boken — who was also a Saint Louis University athlete — in a robbery to take her smartphone. After the hearing, Boken's family plans a news conference to discuss their involvement in an effort to encourage the industry to implement a solution to the growing trend of robberies involving smartphones and other similar devices. By Alan Scher Zagier. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.

STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

BOEING-MISSOURI

JEFFERSON CITY — A top state senator said Friday that he would support special tax incentives to try to entice the Boeing Co. to produce a new airplane in Missouri. Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard said it should be "a no-brainer" for lawmakers to authorize incentives for Boeing as Missouri competes with several other states to produce the Boeing 777X commercial airplane. By David A. Lieb. SENT. 453 words.

MISSOURI RIVER DIVERSION

KANSAS CITY — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said diverting Missouri River water to Kansas would be "ill-advised" and urged the state to reconsider studying its feasibility. In a letter sent Thursday to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Nixon criticized a proposal to build a 360-mile aqueduct that would reroute as much as 4 million acre feet of Missouri River water to western Kansas to help support irrigated farming of corn and other crops. Water officials have expressed concerns that the current use of the Ogallala Aquifer to support agriculture is unsustainable. By Heather Hollingsworth. SENT: 400 words.

MEDICAID DIRECTOR

JEFFERSON CITY — The chief medical officer for Missouri's mental health agency is taking over as director of the state's Medicaid health care program. Gov. Jay Nixon said Friday that Joe Parks was selected the director of the MO HealthNet Division of the Department of Social Services. The division oversees the Medicaid program that provides health coverage to more than 850,000 lower-income children, custodial parents, disabled residents and seniors. By Chris Blank. SENT: 332 words.

CRIME:

HEALTH DEPARTMENT-FBI

CLAYTON — St. Louis County officials are asking the FBI to help investigate a $3.4 million fraud scheme created by a county health manager before he committed suicide. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that county police Chief Tim Fitch wants the bureau's expertise with financial investigations. Fitch also wants to know if any other county employees assisted Ed Mueth, the 39-year-old division manager for administrative services who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot on Sept. 19. SENT: 416 words.

POLICE OFFICER-CHARGED

KANSAS CITY — A Kansas City police officer has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for punching a suspect several times after the suspect resisted arrest. Carl S. Counti, 39, pleaded guilty Friday to third-degree assault and was sentenced to two years' probation and 30 days in jail. Counti, a 15-year veteran of the department, also had to resign from the department and will not be allowed to work as a police officer again. If he doesn't successfully complete the probation and other terms of the plea deal he could face one year in prison. SENT: 368 words.

COLUMBIA-CRIME SPREE

COLUMBIA — Columbia police say one man might be responsible for up to nine crimes including one rape and other incidents where the man crawled into bed with women before being frightened away. The suspect description, method and the times the crimes lead police to believe they are related, Assistant Chief Jill Schlude said. The man's main motivation seems to be sexually assaulting his victims — who have all been women between 18 and their early 20s — although he was scared off in some cases, she said. SENT: 288 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

KANSAS CITY MUSEUM

KANSAS CITY — A proposal being considered by the Kansas City Council would move responsibility for the Kansas City Museum's collection from Union Station to the city. The proposal, which was referred to a council committee Thursday, would sever ties between the museum and Union Station that have existed for more than a dozen years, The Kansas City Star reported. SENT: 260 words.

BUSINESS:

WAL-MART-SPARKS LEGENDS

SPARKS, Nev. — The Sparks Planning Commission has approved the special-use permit Wal-Mart needs to build a new 180,000-square foot supercenter on the edge of the Legends mall at the Sparks Marina. Commissioners voted 6-1 Thursday to approve the permit for the Sparks Legends Development Inc. to begin construction on 18 acres near Marina Gateway Drive northeast of the marina and west of Target. With Overland Park, Kan., interest. UPCOMING: 300 words by 2:30 p.m.

WEEKEND FEATURE EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-MOTHER'S ANGUISH-BOOK

ST. JOSEPH — Melodye Faith Hathaway decided to write a book on the anguish over her missing young son to help others know peace reigns after battles with grief. The Hiawatha, Kan., woman spent several hours on a recent Sunday at Hastings signing copies of her book, "In Search of Jeremy: A Mother's Story." The book details the account and reflections on the search for her missing 4-year-old boy in February of 1977. By Ray Sherer, St. Joseph News-Press. SENT: 455 words.

EXCHANGE-DEER DISEASE

MACON — For the moment, hunters in northeast Missouri weren't thinking about the ominous threat of the future that came in the form of a contagious, deadly disease among deer. The discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) put the region on the map . for all the wrong reasons. The region once was best known as Missouri's deer-hunting capital; a block of counties where both deer and hunters were abundant. By Brent Frazee, The Kansas City Star. SENT: 717 words.

IN BRIEF:

— ST LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO — University of Missouri curators have approved the merger of university-owned St. Louis Public Radio with the online St. Louis Beacon newspaper. SENT: 87 words.

— SUSPICIOUS DEATH-TROY — The husband of a 42-year-old woman found stabbed to death in her Lincoln County home two days after Christmas 2011 has been found guilty of her murder. SENT: 123 words.

— CLERGY ABUSE — Criminal charges against a St. Louis priest accused of molesting a teenage girl in northeast Missouri have been dropped. SENT: 115 words.

— FRAUD-VENUE CHANGE — A Scott County prosecutor is opposing a second change of venue for a Cape Girardeau man accused of defrauding an elderly couple. SENT: 130 words.

— JOPLIN-TORNADO PHOTOS — A group that salvaged photos after the 2011 tornado in Joplin is closing down. SENT: 130 words.

— TODDLER KILLED — A Missouri teenager has pleaded guilty after running over and killing a toddler in June. SENT: 110 words.

— KANSAS CITY MUSEUM — The Kansas City Council is considering a proposal that would have the city take responsibility for the Kansas City Museum's collection. SENT: 130 words.

— PORN SENTENCE — A 51-year-old southwest Missouri man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet. SENT: 110 words.

— SPRINGFIELD THEFTS-ARREST — Springfield police say a 31-year-old man has been charged with several recent thefts from churches and storage units. SENT: 70 words.

— 2012 RAPE-CONVICTION — A 37-year-old Missouri man has been convicted of raping a woman at an Elgin, Ill., motel last year. SENT: 130 words.

— MISSOURI-SEAT BELTS — Missouri continues to lag behind the national average for seat belt use. SENT: 90 words.

— ST LOUIS-EARNINGS — Earnings for the average worker in the St. Louis area are on the rise. SENT: 130 words.

— UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS — Missouri businesses will continue to pay higher unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down a state debt to the federal government. SENT: 120 words.

— MO-GRIEF COUNSELORS-PETS — Grieving pet owners can now receive counseling through a new University of Missouri program. SENT: 60 words.

— EXPLOSIVES ENGINEERING — The Missouri University of Science and Technology wants to add a doctoral program in explosives engineering. SENT: 100 words.

— TECH COMPANY-KC — A France-based business intelligence technology company is establishing a North American headquarters in Kansas City and is expected to hire 44 employees within the next five years. SENT: 110 words.

SPORTS:

FBN--CHARGERS-CHIEFS

KANSAS CITY — It was only a month ago that the San Diego Chargers were in the midst of the AFC West race, trying to keep pace with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Now, they head to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday playing for their season. The Chargers (4-6) have lost three straight by a combined 18 points, and their chances of slipping into the playoffs are quickly slipping away. But if they can somehow knock off the rebounding Chiefs (9-1), they have four of their final five games at home. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 750 words, photos for weekend release.

FBN--CHIEFS-WILLIAMS

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Chiefs had hoped wide receiver Kyle Williams would provide some speed and a spark to an offense that was desperately in need of both. Williams never got the chance to show it. By Sports Writer Dave Skretta. SENT: 546 words.

FBN--BEARS-RAMS

ST. LOUIS — Josh McCown has been efficient enough for the Chicago Bears to prompt the obligatory quarterback controversy questions. Kellen Clemens averaged an eye-popping 27 yards per completion his latest outing for the St. Louis Rams. Though jobs aren't in jeopardy for the hobbled starters, both teams' offenses are doing just fine heading into their matchup on Sunday. By R.B. Fallstrom. SENT: 750 words, photos for weekend release.

FBN--RAMS-SAFFOLD

ST. LOUIS — Rodger Saffold is open to change, to say the least. He began his NFL career as the St. Louis Rams' left tackle, then made room for Jake Long and moved to the right side to start this season. Now he will make his second start at right guard in place of injured Harvey Dahl against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. By Warren Mayes. SENT: 672 words.

FBC--T25-MISSOURI-MISSISSIPPI

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi's high-tempo offense loves to push the pace. But coach Hugh Freeze says the Rebels must be careful against a Missouri defense that leads the Southeastern Conference in both sacks and interceptions. By David Brandt. SENT: 700 words, photos.

BBN--ANGELS-CARDINALS TRADE

ST. LOUIS — Former World Series MVP David Freese was traded from his hometown St. Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Angels in a four-player deal Friday that reunites Albert Pujols with a pair of ex-teammates. St. Louis obtained a new starting center fielder in Peter Bourjos plus prospect Randal Grichuk, and the Cardinals also sent reliever Fernando Salas to the Angels. By Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom. SENT: 770 words.

AP Photos NY164, NY165.

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apkansascity@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. If you have questions about the Missouri AP news report, please contact News Editor Chris Clark at 800-852-4844 or cclark@ap.org.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Missouri and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.

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