BC-MO--Missouri News Digest, MO

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 9:30 PM

Missouri at 5 p.m.

Dana Fields 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.

NEW AND UPDATED:

— HORSE SLAUGHTER. New.

— COLUMBIA SHOOTING. New.

— KANSAS CITY-DOUBLE HOMICIDE. APNewsNow.

— CHASE-FATAL CRASH. APNewsNow.

TOP STORIES:

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES-WRONG AIRPORT

DALLAS — A third person in the cockpit of a Southwest Airlines plane that landed at the wrong Missouri airport was a company dispatcher who had authority to be there, airline officials said Tuesday. The airline and federal officials say they're continuing to investigate why the Southwest Boeing 737 with 124 passengers headed for the main airport in Branson, Mo., instead landed several miles away at a smaller airport with a runway roughly half as long. By David Koenig And Jim Salter. SENT: 350 words, photo.

STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER

JEFFERSON CITY — A Democratic lawmaker called on Missouri's education commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign or be fired Tuesday, accusing Nicastro of being "less than truthful" about her involvement with a ballot measure that would end teacher tenure and require student performance to guide employment decisions. Nicastro also has been criticized for the way she negotiated a contract with a consulting firm last year to improve the failing Kansas City schools. The bid went to a firm that was nearly three times as expensive as the closest competitor. By Jordan Shapiro. SENT: 500 words.

MISSOURI ETHICS

JEFFERSON CITY — Secretary of State Jason Kander announced an ambitious proposal Tuesday to cap campaign contributions, ban lawmakers from accepting gifts and institute a cooling off period before lawmakers can become lobbyists, the latest in a string of attempts to rein in Missouri's ethics laws. Kander, who serves as Missouri's chief election officer, said it's time for the state to update its loose ethics laws. Missouri is the only state that has no limits on campaign donations or lobbyist gifts, and the state also doesn't have a revolving door policy restricting lawmakers from becoming lobbyists the day they leave office. By Jordan Shapiro. SENT: 590 words.

PAROLE BOARD-LAWMAKER

JEFFERSON CITY — A former Missouri lawmaker said Tuesday that he will defend his appointment to the state parole board in the face of opposition from some senators who remain upset that he voted against an income tax cut sought by Republican leaders. Dennis Fowler was a Republican House member from southeast Missouri when he was appointed to the Board of Probation and Parole in December by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. He has begun working on the board, but must win Senate confirmation to remain in his job. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 470 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

SWEETENER FACILITY-LAWSUITS

MOBERLY — A federal bankruptcy trustee has filed a new round of lawsuits seeking nearly $80 million from former officials with Mamtek, the company behind a failed plan to build a Randolph County sweetener facility. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that trustee Bruce Strauss filed several lawsuits last week seeking actual damages of $72 million and punitive damages, alleging a fraudulent scheme by the company's leaders. The suits also are asking for repayment of $7 million received by former Mamtek officers and agents. SENT: 590 words.

HORSE SLAUGHTER

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State and federal lawsuits that have repeatedly delayed the opening of horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Missouri could be moot if the budget bill up for a vote in Congress this week passes without changes. The spending bill released Monday night would effectively reinstate a federal ban on horse slaughter by cutting funding for inspections at equine facilities. By Jeri Clausing. SENT: 550 words, photo.

COLUMBIA SHOOTING

COLUMBIA — Criminal charges connected to possible civil rights violations won't be filed in the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old mid-Missouri man, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Kansas City-based U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson opened a preliminary investigation in October into the May 2013 death of Brandon Coleman, a University of Missouri groundskeeper. SENT: 250 words.

MISSOURI-WOLF

CAPE GIRARDEAU — A canine shot and killed by a southeast Missouri man in November has been identified as a wolf, a rare find that scientists call a migratory shift of the endangered species from the more populous Great Lakes states where it still thrives. The Missouri Department of Conservation said Tuesday that tests by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the 80-pound female was a gray wolf, about 2 years old and similar to those from wolf populations in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. SENT: 270 words.

CHUCK BERRY

UNIVERSITY CITY — Music legend Chuck Berry is about to make his 200th performance at Blueberry Hill in University City, and he hopes to make 200 more. At 87, the rock 'n roll legend famous for hit songs including "Roll Over Beethoven," ''Sweet Little Sixteen," and "Johnny B. Goode" says he's not ready to retire. The St. Louis native has been performing in the Duck room at the Blueberry Hill venue on the Delmar Loop since 1996. He is scheduled to mark his 200th performance on Wednesday. SENT: 430 words.

HEROIN OVERDOSE-CHARGES

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A southwestern Illinois woman who was charged in 2011 with providing the heroin that killed her boyfriend and another man went on trial again Tuesday on charges that she injected a woman with a nonfatal overdose of the drug. Jury selection began for 29-year-old Angella Halliday's Madison County trial on an aggravated battery count linked to the overdose last July of a Wood River woman who was revived by paramedics. Prosecutors allege that two women bought the heroin in St. Louis and returned to the victim's home to inject it. SENT: 300 words.

BUSINESS:

EXPRESS SCRIPTS-CFO

ST. LOUIS — Express Scripts Holding Co. has named Wal-Mart executive Cathy R. Smith to become its next chief financial officer, several months after the last CFO's departure surprised some analysts who cover the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager. The St. Louis company said Smith, 50, also will serve as executive vice president and will start her new job Feb. 10. She has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart International since March 2010. SENT: 220 words.

IN BRIEF:

— KANSAS CITY-DOUBLE HOMICIDE — Kansas City police say two people have died and another is hospitalized after someone opened fire on a pickup truck at an intersection. SENT: 100 words.

— CHASE-FATAL CRASH — A 22-year-old Independence man has been charged with second-degree murder — or an alternative count of first-degree manslaughter — for a crash that killed a 35-year-old Kansas City man and seriously injured two passengers. SENT: 130 words.

— CHILDREN'S MERCY-JOPLIN — Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City says it plans to open a pediatrics care clinic in Joplin as part of an affiliation with Freeman Health System. SENT: 100 words.

— HEALTH DEPARTMENT-SUICIDE — St. Louis County officials first learned about a multi-million dollar embezzlement committed by a high-ranking employee who later committed suicide one month before his death. SENT: 130 words.

— REPUBLIC-TEEN KILLED — A southwest Missouri man who stabbed his classmate to death because he thought he was a police informant has been sentenced to life in prison. SENT: 110 words.

— BROTHERS-BURGLARIES — Two brothers are facing charges alleging they are responsible for dozens of smash-and-grab crimes at businesses in south St. Louis County. SENT: 100 words.

— MISSING CHILD FOUND — A 1-year-old St. Louis County child is in good condition after a car was stolen with the baby inside, then abandoned. SENT: 100 words.

— LAWMAKER-IMPEACHMENT — A mid-Missouri Board of Aldermen voted to drop efforts to impeach one of the board's members. SENT: 130 words.

— CAPE GIRARDEAU-EMPLOYEES CHARGED — Four Cape Girardeau city employees are accused of recycling city property and splitting the proceeds for themselves. SENT: 130 words

— HEROES HONORED — An eastern Missouri firefighter and three other people are honored for quick actions that saved a man in a burning truck last fall. SENT: 110 words.

SPORTS:

FBN--NFL-COLLUSION CASE

ST. LOUIS — Attorneys for the NFL and the players' union went before a federal appeals court Tuesday, arguing over whether to reopen the so-called Reggie White case that helped set league labor policy for years amid allegations that team owners set a secret salary cap. Both sides had 20 minutes in oral arguments before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and both sides left the proceedings feeling optimistic. The word collusion was uttered exactly once. By Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom. SENT: 550 words, photos.

BBO--PUJOLS-CLARK STEROIDS

ST. LOUIS — Jack Clark's comments implying that Albert Pujols used steroids were too vague to do any real harm and a court should dismiss the lawsuit pitting the two former St. Louis Cardinals stars against each other, Clark's attorney said Tuesday. A motion filed Monday on behalf of Clark seeks dismissal of the defamation lawsuit filed by Pujols in October. The suit followed comments Clark made on his St. Louis radio show, "The King and the Ripper Show," in August. Among other things, Clark said he knew "for a fact" that Pujols was "a juicer." By Jim Salter. SENT: 360 words.

JOPLIN-INDEPENDENT BASEBALL

JOPLIN — The Joplin City Council has chosen a $4 million financing package to lure an independent baseball team from El Paso, Texas. The plan approved Monday by the council would require the city to take on $1.8 million in debt as its part of a project to renovate and improve Joe Becker Stadium, which would be the home of the former El Paso Diablos, The Joplin Globe reported. SENT: 330 words.

HKN--COYOTES-BLUES

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues have won seven of eight and are near the top of the Western Conference standings entering a matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m. CT.

Also:

— BKC--MISSOURI ST-MARSHALL — Missouri State guard Marcus Marshall, the team's leading scorer, is out indefinitely after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during a weekend overtime loss to No. 5 Wichita State. SENT: 120 words.

___

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.

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