Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s hard to imagine a time in which laptops, iPhone and satellite television weren’t immediately accessible and yet, in 1991, those opportunities were merely considered a brave new world. Imagine trying to set up a system of governance for a world that doesn’t exist yet. That’s exactly what former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Alfred C. Sikes, a Missouri native, was tasked with doing.

As the New York Times wrote in 1991:

Law enforcement had blocked off this house along Highway H in Tyrone. It's one of multiple scenes being investigated.
Scott Harvey | KSMU

The Texas County, Missouri, coroner says all seven people killed in an overnight house-to-house rampage were adults.

The victims were found at four homes in Tyrone, about 40 miles north of the Arkansas border. The gunman was discovered in a neighboring county. He was dead from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He has been identified as Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, of Tyrone. He is believed to be a cousin of the victims: ​

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

The path to a high school equivalency certificate in Missouri is about to be rewired.

Starting in January the GED exam, which has been used in the state since the 1940s, will be replaced.  It’s a move driven by digital change and an age old consideration -- cost.

Keyboards replace pencils

U.S. CDC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 2008-2011. *Represents statistically significant annual decrease or increase in obesity.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.  to adjust y-axis units on graph and to add second map.

It's not a big change, but it's at least in the right direction.

According to a new report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity among low-income preschoolers (ages 2-4) declined by at least one percentage point over the period from 2008 to 20011 in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Screen capture)

Missouri is awesome. That's it. 

It's the premise behind a new effort to launch a clothing line representing the Show-Me state's excellence. 

The Springfield, Mo. folks behind the effort have also put out a video highlighting some of what they say makes Missouri awesome - which is what really got our attention.

Do you agree with their selections? What would you add or subtract? Do you think Missouri is, indeed, awesome?

KellyB. | Flickr

A new report shows Missouri gaining nearly 18,000 jobs last month while the state's unemployment rate held steady at 7.2 percent.

The state Department of Economic Development released the figures Tuesday. 

The agency says the net gain of 17,900 nonfarm payroll jobs from July included 4,900 jobs in manufacturing and 10,200 jobs in the government sector - nearly all of those at the local level. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri lawmakers are returning to the state Capitol and must decide whether to override any of Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes.

The Democratic governor vetoed about a dozen bills, but attention for a possible override has focused on measures dealing with health insurance and vehicle taxes. Lawmakers are meeting Wednesday, and a successful veto override requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of a failed effort to place initiatives on the November ballot in Missouri that would cap interest rates on payday loans and raise the minimum wage rallied in St. Louis today.

From priests to teenagers, around 100 people marched around a payday loan shop on Grand Ave.

Jamala Rogers is with Jobs for Justice and helped collect signatures for the ballot initiatives.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

The nation’s drug czar was in Fenton Wednesday highlighting the fact that Missouri does not have a prescription drug monitoring program.

It’s the only state in the US without a tracking system or that hasn’t passed legislation to create one.

National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske says it’s a good way to identify patients who are "doctor shopping."

via Flickr/J_D_R

Missouri exports are growing at a record-setting pace this year and trade with markets in Asia is up more than 24 percent this year alone.

Tim Nowak, executive director of World Trade Center St. Louis, said low paying manufacturing jobs in Asia have created a consumer market for Missouri products.

Nowak said that, in turn, translates to jobs in St. Louis.  

Albrecht Dürer / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit late this afternoon that takes issue with part of Amendment Two, which deals with prayer and religious expression in Missouri.  

Amendment Two specifically protects public prayer and lets students avoid assignments that violate their religious beliefs.

Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU’s eastern Missouri division, said the lawsuit is focused on this specific phrase:

This section shall not be construed to expand the rights of prisoners in state or local custody beyond those afforded by the laws of the United States.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Malory Ensor)

Dry conditions are expected to get worse in the coming days, and it will take a whole lot more than scattered thunderstorms to break the drought. 

“We’re way, way, way below normal in rainfall,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Fred Glass said.  “Most of the area is in severe drought conditions, it’s going to quite a bit of rain to make that up, probably in many areas 8-12 inches, and in some areas in excess of 12 inches.”

(via Flickr/kevindooley)

Missouri closed out its 2012 fiscal year with slightly better-than-expected revenues. But that doesn't necessarily translate to a budget surplus.
Figures released Tuesday show Missouri had more than $7.3 billion in general revenues during the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's up more than 3.2 percent compared with the 2011 fiscal year. And it's also better than the 2.7 percent growth rate upon which the budget had been based.

(via Flickr/frankjuarez)

A new spending plan for K-12 education in Missouri is now law.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the education budget last night at a Kansas City-area Boys State event.

The budget includes record funding for public schools, but remains below the levels called for in the state's education funding formula. A fix was supposed to be a priority for lawmakers in the last legislative session, but the Republican Party couldn't agree on a solution.

(via Flickr/KellyB)

Unemployment figures are out for the "Show-Me" state for April.

Missouri added about 6,000 jobs in April as its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down slightly.

Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development also show that:

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. General Assembly sends probation and parole reforms to Gov. Nixon

The Missouri General Assembly has sent Gov. Jay Nixon a measure that could reduce the amount of time some non-violent felons in the state spend on probation and parole.

The state Senate approved the measure yesterday 24-3, shortly after the state House did the same thing without opposition.

(via Flickr/KellyB)

Missouri's 7.4 percent jobless rate is the lowest it's been in more than three years - but that's bad news for about 9,000 of the state's 112,000 people receiving unemployment benefits.

State lawmakers last year outlasted a determined filibuster by Republican Senator Jim Lembke to approve an additional 20 weeks in benefits - funded entirely by the federal government - for Missouri residents who had been out of work for 79 weeks, or more than a year and a half.

The state of Missouri has stayed within a constitutional revenue limit for the 12th budget year in a row.

State auditor Tom Schweich released the yearly report on the Hancock amendment today. That amendment, passed in 1980, uses a mathematical formula to set a limit on the amount of personal income that can be used to fund the operations of state government. Any amount above that limit must be refunded to Missouri residents.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Missouri's revenues are up over last year - they're just not growing fast enough to keep the state's budget in balance.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

CVC: Rams do not accept dome proposal

According to a statement from the the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission released this morning, the St. Louis Rams have turned down the CVC's $124 million plan to overhaul the Edwards Jones Dome.

The CVC's plan included adding 1,500 new club seats, installing a massive 96 foot-long scoreboard over the center of the field and adding windows for more natural light.

The CVC says the team "will submit their own proposal to improve the Edward Jones Dome on or before May 1, 2012."

Score one for Silicon Valley

Jan 22, 2012

Over the past week, Silicon Valley's internet powerhouses out-communicated Hollywood, stopped internet piracy bills pushed by the big studios and even prodded the Republican presidential candidates and President Barack Obama to agree on something -- that Hollywood's internet piracy bills threatened the innovation of the web.

(website of Sen. Ridgeway)

Updated at 2 p.m. with information about potential third Democratic candidate.

The Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Missouri may get even more crowded.

State Sen. Luann Ridgeway, a Republican from the Kansas City area, said Monday she is "very committed" to the race, though she has not officially declared her candidacy.

Joseph Leahy

The director of a sexual abuse support group is denying that he helped violate a gag order in a lawsuit against a Catholic priest in Kansas City.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Missouri's unemployment rate declined last month to its lowest point in more than 2 1/2 years.

The state Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in October - down two-tenths of a percentage point from September. It was the lowest mark since an 8.4 percent rate in February 2009.

Missouri's unemployment rate also was better than the national average of 9 percent in October.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 10:43 a.m. Oct. 13 with corrected location of hearings

A judicial panel charged with redrawing Missouri’s State House and Senate districts will begin taking comments from the public tomorrow.

The six-judge panel will draw new maps because two panels made up of Democrats and Republicans failed to reach agreements on them before the August deadline.

(via Flickr/bigburpsx3)

Missouri voters could be asked to raise the state's minimum wage to $8.25 an hour.

A group that backed a successful wage increase in the 2006 elections is now pushing to get the minimum wage issue back on the ballot in Missouri's 2012 elections.

An open-records request from The Associated Press shows that the minimum wage initiative already has been submitted to the secretary of state's office, which must approve a ballot title before supporters can begin gathering signatures.

(via Flickr/LarimdaME)

Updated 2:46 p.m. with additional contextual information

A newly released report shows that nearly 15 percent of people in Missouri are poor.

The Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year.

Nationally, nearly 1 in 6 people were classified as poor.

Meanwhile, the share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent - or 49.9 million people - after the Census Bureau made revisions to numbers of the uninsured. That is due mostly to continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.

In Missouri, 14 percent of residents lacked insurance.

But how does today's data compare with the numbers in years prior?

(via Flickr/Aranami)

The postmaster of the suburban St. Louis town of Festus has been sentenced to two years in prison for her role in a scheme that defrauded the Postal Service of nearly $4 million.

Teresa Tremusini was convicted in June of two counts of receiving illegal gratuities. She was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

The owner of SG Print & Mail, an employee of that business and another Postal employee previously entered guilty pleas in the $3.8 million scheme.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Mo. Gov. Nixon signed SB54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, into law in July - making national news regarding some of the bill's provisions on educators and social media.

Now the law is being challenged in court by the Missouri State Teachers Association.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A federal judge has rejected a challenge by Missouri prison inmates to the state's execution procedure.

The inmates' lawsuit argued that Missouri does not get valid medical prescriptions for the drugs used to put prisoners to death.

The lawsuit cited the state's use of non-medical personnel to administer the chemicals intravenously.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said the inmates' lawsuit failed to show actual harm to anyone.

Missouri's execution process has been the subject of legal wrangling for several years.