Morning round-up
9:39 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Morning headlines: April 7, 2011

Nixon Proposal Would Boost Oversight of Dog Breeders

Governor Jay Nixon proposed Wednesday to add $1.1 million to the state budget to hire 10 more inspectors, investigators, veterinarians and office staff for the Department of Agriculture program that regulates dog-breeding facilities. Nixon's office says the state currently spends about $600,000 a year on such efforts. The Senate Appropriations Committee considered the agriculture budget Wednesday but took no action on Nixon's proposal.

Dog breeding has gained increased attention recently in Missouri. Last year, voters narrowly approved a ballot measure tightening regulations on breeders. That new law is to take effect this November. But state lawmakers are considering legislation that would change many of the voter-approved provisions.

Missouri House Endorses Tax Break to Spur Trade at Lambert

Missouri House members have endorsed a new tax break designed to spur international trade at Lambert-St.Louis International Airport. The legislation is designed to help make Lambert a cargo hub for countries such as China. It would offer several incentives, including a state tax credit. The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday. A second vote would move it to the Senate, where several members have expressed concerns about creating new tax breaks.

Joyce Meyer Gives Testimony Privately in Coleman Murder Case

Televangelist Joyce Meyer has given pretrial testimony in the trial of her former bodyguard who is accused of strangling his wife and their two sons in 2009. Meyer left the Monroe County courthouse in Waterloo on Wednesday afternoon. Meyer's son, Dan Meyer, also gave a deposition.

Meyer told reporters she answered questions "honestly and truthfully" and "cooperated fully all the way through." She said she is praying for Christopher Coleman. Meyer didn't say what she was asked or how she answered questions. Court officials say the recordings could be played in open court during Coleman's trial.

The 34-year-old Coleman is jailed without bond. He has pleaded not guilty in the May 2009 killings of his wife, 31-year-old Sheri Coleman, and the couple's two children, ages 11 and 9.

Winfield High School Student Accused of Plotting Murders

An 18-year-old senior at Winfield High School is jailed and accused of plotting a massacre at the eastern Missouri school. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Donald G. Walters is charged with conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. He is jailed in Lincoln County on $50,000 bond. He did not yet have alisted  attorney.

Police say Walters wrote a note on his computer that read, "I hate everything and everyone; I wanted everyone to die." Walters allegedly crafted a plot to shoot as many students and school personnel as he could.

Authorities say the plan was stopped after two students who Walters had approached went to authorities.