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On a bitter cold January day in 2014, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker met a crowd of cameras, microphones and shouting reporters on the steps of the Nodaway County Courthouse in Maryville, Missouri.

The story had been raging for months about why a hometown football player had been charged with raping an underage girl – and why charges were mysteriously dropped – in a case that made international headlines.

Rep. Stacey Newman (left) and St. Louis circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce (center) listen to Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker as Baker announces her support for Newman's legislation on February 29, 2016.
File photo I Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

An attorney for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens believes a special prosecutor won’t end up charging the GOP chief executive with any crimes.

This comes as Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has latitude to look beyond whether Greitens took a semi-nude photo of a woman he had an affair with, without her consent.

Taja Welton is ready for her daughter to be born. She’s moved into a bigger house, one with room for a nursery. She has a closet full of pink, Minnie Mouse-themed baby clothes. Her baby bag is packed right down to the outfit she plans to bring her baby home in that reads, “The Princess Has Arrived.”

“I can’t wait to put it on her,” Welton smiles. The princess even has a name: Macen.


Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

The woman at the center of a scandal that has rocked Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has spoken out publicly for the first time, saying she’s been dragged into a fight she didn’t want.

“I wasn’t out to get anyone,” the woman told 5 on your Side TV in an exclusive interview aired at 10 p.m. Monday. “I was really just trying to live my life.”

Gov. Eric Greitens makes a statement to reporters after his invasion of privacy case was dropped in this on May 14, 2018 file photo.
File photo I St. Louis Public Radio

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will serve as a special prosecutor in the invasion of privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

The move comes as St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner bowed out on Monday from being involved in the matter. And the decision to appoint a special prosecutor left open the possibility that Greitens could be charged with another offense.

How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask

May 21, 2018

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy.

But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits.

And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t have time to wait.

Students and supporters call for racial justice as they march toward St. Louis Metropolitan Police headquarters on Olive Street. (May 19, 2018)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Students in St. Louis raised their voices on Saturday morning to protest racial profiling and systemic police violence against African-Americans.

More than 50 people attended the Black Lives Matter youth protest in downtown St. Louis. Police cars flanked the marchers as they walked down the center of Olive Street to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, chanting and carrying signs with slogans like “Students for Black Lives” and “Don’t Shoot.”

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson addresses the House on the final day of the legislative session. May 18,  2018
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

For the first time in memory, the Missouri House skipped its traditional end-of-session celebratory paper toss at 6 p.m. Friday.

And outgoing House Speaker Todd Richardson quoted from Shakespeare’s great tragedy, “Macbeth.”

Such were some of this session’s significant differences, large and small, from its predecessors.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 10:22 p.m. May 18 with the latest on the special session.)

Missouri’s special legislative session to consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens has officially begun, but so far nothing much has happened.

House and Senate members briefly opened the session Friday to make a few motions, then adjourned until Tuesday to hold technical sessions, which last a couple of minutes and only require two or three lawmakers per chamber. But the committee that’s been investigating Greitens is meeting twice next week.

Flickr | Mike Mozart

Missouri voters will be asked in November to increase the state’s gas tax by 10 cents a gallon.

The Missouri House approved the proposal Friday, in the final hours of the legislative session, after the Senate had tacked it onto another bill.

The increase would be phased in over 10 years, and would be used to pay for road and bridge projects, and underwrite some of the costs for the Missouri Highway Patrol.

“We just can’t keep putting this off,’’ said state Rep. Kathie Conway, a Republican from St. Charles. “We need the money.”

Gov. Eric Greitens walks away from reporters after making a statement outside the Circuit Court building. May 14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Rachel Lippmann and Jo Mannies detail a dramatic week in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ legal and political saga.

This was supposed to be the first week of Gov. Eric Greitens’ trial for felony invasion of privacy. But as jury selection trudged along at a glacial pace, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office shocked many observers by dropping the case.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday delayed a final vote on changes to the city’s residency requirement for workers and the number of aldermen.

Supporters of reversing a 2012 public vote that cut the number of wards from 28 to 14, and of eliminating the residency requirement for most city employees, did not have the votes to send the measures to Mayor Lyda Krewson. She had already pledged to veto the ward reduction reversal.

Catherine Hanaway looks on as Eric Greitens speaks at St. Louis Public Radio's GOP gubernatorial candidate debate.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, it may seem odd that Catherine Hanaway decided to join Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ flourishing legal team.

The former House speaker and U.S. attorney ran against Greitens during a contentious GOP Republican primary, often trading sharp barbs against the eventual victor’s credentials and fundraising. Ultimately, Hanaway was an enthusiastic surrogate for Greitens after he won the primary — and several people from her campaign joined his administration.

Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson announced he will not charge Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for filing false campaign finance reports.

It’s a situation that stems back to April 2017, when Greitens signed a consent order with the Missouri Ethics Commission about a matter that may become a major rationale for his potential impeachment.

Paul McKee on March 28, 2018.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman is pushing for state and federal law enforcement to investigate St. Louis developer Paul McKee, whose 1,500-acre redevelopment project in north St. Louis has received millions in development incentives.

The investigation would pursue allegations that McKee inflated property values to gain more state tax credits when he purchased buildings, Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, said. Spencer introduced a resolution Friday calling for the investigation.

Lily Dayan, left, and Devin Corley, right, take part in a walkout at Kirkwood High School to protest gun violence on March 14, 2018.
Devin Corley

Kirkwood High School freshmen Devin Corley and Lily Dayan decided they were going to make a change, starting with themselves and other local teens.

At Corley and Dayan's instigation, students from across the region are set to participate Saturday in a Black Lives Matter Youth Protest at the Aloe Plaza in downtown St. Louis. 

Missouri Capitol on April 24
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated Friday, May 18, to reflect change in corporate tax rate)

The Missouri General Assembly has approved significant cuts in income-tax rates for individuals and is expected to do the same for businesses before it adjourns Friday.

But the exact impact on the state’s finances is not quite clear.

State Rep. Elijah Haahr, a Republican from Springfield, is chief sponsor of the bill that drops the individual income-tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5.1 percent over several years. The first rate cut goes into effect next year.

Gov. Eric Greitens, at top, faces a state House committee investigation. The panel members are shown in clockwise order: Rep. Jay Barnes, Rep. Don Phillips, Rep. Kevin Austin, Rep. Jeanie Lauer, Rep. Gina Mitten, Rep. Tommie Pierson Jr, Rep. Shawn Rhoads.
Office of Missouri House of Representatives, File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens has sued two political groups connected to the governor demanding they turn over documents.

“The Chair of The Committee, as a member of the House of Representatives, ‘has an absolute right to have a subpoena issue(d) to obtain evidence concerning an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction,” attorneys for the committee wrote in the suit, filed Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City. “The impeachment of an executive officer of Missouri, including a governor, is an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction.”

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks Thursday in Jefferson City to a group of mostly farmers and students about what he called "rip-off" artists who were out to get him.May 17, 2018
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Standing in a light rain in the shadow of the state Capitol, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens blamed “rip-off artists” in the state’s low-income housing program “who thought they ran Missouri” for many of his legal troubles and the threat of his impeachment.

But recalling his past as a Navy SEAL, Greitens declared Thursday that they won’t succeed because he was taught to never quit.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The first open hearing of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens featured some heated exchanges between members and the governor’s attorneys.

Committee members heard from Ed Greim and Ross Garber, two attorneys hired by Greitens “in his capacity as governor.” They appeared before the committee Wednesday to propose several rules and a tentative schedule for the 30-day, special legislative session, which begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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