Attendees this year will have access to a new warning system in the event of severe weather. Fair officials and the State Highway Patrol are offering the service, which will provide text messages to fairgoers if there’s a severe weather warning or other emergency situation. Marketing Director Tammie Nichols says it’s being provided, in part, because of last year’s severe storm that knocked out power and forced the fair to shut down for several hours.
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.
This fatal wreck along Interstate 44 in March 2010 was caused by a driver who was texting. A state senator hopes this accident, and a federal recommendation, lead to a statewide ban on texting while driving.
A Missouri House committee has wrapped up a series of hearings on improving 911 communications systems used by emergency responders. Supporters of proposed upgrades admit, though, that they have a hard case to sell to both politicians and the public.
Lawmakers and local-level officials at today's meeting stressed the need to use 911 systems that can integrate text messaging and even video communications. “Doc” Kritzer is a county commissioner from Callaway County.
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would expand the texting-while-driving ban to all motorists, not just those ages 21 or younger.
Although the bill passed, some senators opposed to the ban attached two amendments that have nothing to do with texting-while-driving, in an effort to kill the bill. But both were vehicle-related, so supporters changed the bill's title to include various topics related to motor vehicles.