Chris Koster

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

(Propofol: Wikimedia commons, Gurney: via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis, Needle: Flickr via prashant_zi)

Missouri is the first state in the nation to change its protocol for executing prisoners from a three-drug cocktail to the single drug Propofol. The switch is due to a shortage of a key drug, which has stalled lethal injections across the country.

Other states may eventually follow Missouri’s lead, but as St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, the drug known recently for killing pop star Michael Jackson is no silver bullet either.

"I just thought it was a good idea"

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Will be updated.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning the process for awarding contracts to private attorneys representing the state in lawsuits.

The attorney general's office can award contingency fee contracts by requesting bids or asking the state Office of Administration to request bids and establish an independent panel to choose the winner.

(via Flickr/denharsh)

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is warning the public of a new scam that’s targeting smartphone and cellphone users.

The scam is known as "smishing," and it involves text messages telling recipients that they’ve won prizes or gift cards from big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco and instructs them to claim them by clicking on a link.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says clicking the link will infect phones with malware that gives identity thieves access to personal information.

St. Louis Public Radio

A Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general says the office must do more to help veterans and those serving in the military.

St. Louis attorney Ed Martin is calling out incumbent Chris Koster for not making veteran’s mental health care a top priority.

“We have coming a tsunami of men and women," he said, "who are facing serious mental health PTSD issues and to not acknowledge it is to be making a terrible mistake and disrespecting our priorities.”

(via Flickr/teejay)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state's Medicaid program will receive about $42,000 from a national legal settlement with Walgreen Co.

The settlement resolves complaints that Walgreen's improperly tried to get people to switch their prescriptions to its pharmacies. The company has agreed to pay civil damages totaling $7.9 million to states and the federal government.

Koster says that from early 2005 to June 2010, Walgreen Co. offered gift cards and gift checks to people who receive government health care to entice them to transfer their prescriptions.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is urging the State Supreme Court to set execution dates for 19 death sentences. Koster says no legal barrier is barring the high court from moving forward with the executions. 

Koster says 10 cases of capital punishment have already been awaiting execution dates for over 3 years. He gave the court an additional 9 names today and says there is no legal ground for delaying punishment.

(Released by Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster)

The details of proposals to improve or change the Edward Jones Dome have been kept secret - until today.

Last week, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he would release the details of the proposals, in response to an open records request, and he's done so.

Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a consent decree to address environmental violations at Doe Run’s Sweetwater Mine and Mill in Reynolds County.

Here's a map detailing the approximate location of the mine near Ellington, Mo.:

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Study: Corps made the right choice in breaching Birds Point

A new study says the Army Corps of Engineers made the right choice when it blew up a southeast Missouri levee last year.

Study co-author Ken Olson, a professor of soil sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urban,a says river levels continued to rise even after the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was breached by explosives to relieve flooding pressure on Cairo, Ill.

(Official Portrait/Missouri Attorney General's Office)

Missouri attorney general Chris Koster, a Democrat, reports that he has raised more than $890,000 for his reelection campaign since January.

Koster's campaign reported Wednesday that it now has $2 million raised for Koster's campaign. Campaigns must report their fundraising activities over the last three months by Monday.

Koster's campaign officials say the strong fundraising shows he has momentum going into the final campaign.

(St. Charles County Department of Corrections)

Updated at 4:08 with comments from Attorney General Koster and Darain Atkinson's attorney.

Updated 3:58 with statement from the Better Business Bureau:

“US Fidelis left a trail of dissatisfied consumers from across the United States.  Today’s guilty plea by Darain Atkinson in St. Charles County illustrates the risks of unethical business behavior and the importance of the work of groups like the Better Business Bureau in exposing the underhanded practices in our marketplace,” Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO said.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is hosting 120 town-hall-style meetings across the state this week to help homeowners affected by lending abuses and improper foreclosure procedures. 

Attorney General Chris Koster  says qualifying Missourians will split about $155 million of a $25 billion settlement reached with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

(Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster plans to appeal a court ruling that invalidated a state fund designed to offer incentives to science or technology companies.

(Mo. Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) is urging Missouri lawmakers to either find a way to make the state’s Second Injury Fund solvent again or to get rid of it entirely.

The fund provides payments to workers who return to the workforce after being injured on the job, then are injured on the job again. The Attorney General’s office manages the fund, and Koster says it’s been losing money ever since lawmakers in 2005 capped the amount of money Missouri businesses have to pay to keep the fund afloat.

Missouri Attorney General's office

Koster wants U.S. Supreme Court to reject individual health insurance mandate

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an individual health insurance mandate but uphold other parts of the federal health care law. Koster, a Democrat, said Tuesday his office filed a written argument in support of a lawsuit by Florida and other states.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Troubled Missouri home owners can expect a degree of relief from a national mortgage settlement that has been reached with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

The Show-Me State is being awarded more than $196 million of a $25 billion settlement with banks -- including Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase -- over allegations of lending abuses and improper foreclosure procedures.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the settlement does not close the door on possible criminal charges against mortgage lenders.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. to make grammatical corrections and include information about transfer of money.

After flirting with a U.S. Senate bid before announcing his candidacy to replace Todd Akin in the U.S. House, Ed Martin has switched races once again.

Martin, the chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt, announced the switch earlier today on a revamped website. His announcement calls Democrat Chris Koster, the incumbent,  "President Obama's lawyer, not the people's Attorney General."

(via St. Louis County Police Department)

Girl returned to mom soon after abduction

A St. Louis County woman is facing child kidnapping charges after allegedly abducting a 5-year-old girl.

Police say the abduction happened Monday afternoon when 25-year-old Ashley White of Pine Lawn took the child from a baby sitter's home in Jennings.

White is an acquaintance of the mother. The mother told police that White had asked for money prior to the abduction.

St. Louis County police quickly found White and the child at White's home. The child was unharmed.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Missouri will receive nearly $14 million, as part of a settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against drug manufacturer Merck.

The lawsuit centers on the prescription drug Vioxx, which the company marketed as a painkiller for people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Merck has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for promoting the drug before receiving FDA approval, and it will pay $950 million in criminal and civil penalties.  The company halted sales of Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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