Back to profile

Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

6 arraigned in federal K-2 conspiracy case

It took 90 minutes Friday morning in Jefferson City for U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to handle all the procedures for six of the 13 people indicted by a federal grand jury on a conspiracy to sell synthetic drugs.

Kelley wants sex offenders to know when they must register

State Rep. Mike Kelley wants to make sure people expected to be listed on the sex offender registry know they must register.

Law professors question religious liberty proposal

A group of Missouri law professors has questioned the impact of the proposed religious liberty amendment to the Missouri Constitution, generally known as Senate Joint Resolution 39 or SJR 39.

Proposed law to raise age of ‘juveniles’ in court

Missouri should join 40 other states and raise the age for juveniles being handled by adult courts, as proposed in a Senate bill.

Appeals court upholds Hutson convictions, sentences

For murder of Holts Summit man

Almost 18 months after Calvin Hutson was sentenced to life in prison, plus 15 years, plus another 15 years for murder and other charges, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court upheld the jury verdicts and sentences.

Tease photo

House bill aims to shorten paid leave times

A Jefferson County lawmaker thinks too many public employees are getting paid for not working because they’ve been put on administrative leave.

Lawmaker: Impeach Attorney General Koster

Resolutions focus on lack of same-sex marriage appeal, influence of contributions

With four weeks to go in this year’s legislative session, a southwest Missouri state representative wants his House colleagues to impeach Attorney General Chris Koster.

Tease photo

Carl Vogel dies after cancer fight

Services pending for Jefferson City businessman and former lawmaker. Jefferson City businessman Carl Vogel lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Thursday night, 5½ weeks after his 61st birthday.

Senate panel hears House bill on Lake MyKee-Holts Summit merger

For the second time in a month, a Missouri Senate committee heard a bill to let Lake MyKee merge with Holts Summit.

Nixon meets with Richard about trade options

Gov. Jay Nixon and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard met for about 20 minutes Tuesday afternoon, in Richard’s third floor Capitol office.

Tease photo

NAACP rally targets voter photo ID

Just 13 hours after the state Senate ended its most recent discussion of the proposals, more than 100 members and supporters of the NAACP were told Tuesday that Missourians need to stop state lawmakers from imposing voter photo identification rules.

State employees’ compensation study underway

June 15 is the deadline for CBIZ Human Capital Services to complete its work and submit its report on how Missouri state employees’ salaries and benefits compare with others.

State employee pay raise moves forward

Plus more money for LU and State Tech

The Senate-passed version of Missouri’s 2016-17 state budget includes a pay raise for all state employees.

Lincoln University seeks reversal of 2015 jury verdict

State appeals court hears lawsuit on WWU campus

Lincoln University wants the state appeals court to overturn a Cole County jury’s March 2015 verdict that LU discriminated against Kenneth Ferguson when it terminated his job in August 2012 — and that the Jefferson City school owes Ferguson $104,901.

Senate hears adoption birth certificates bill

Years ago, Marge Wiederholt, of Farmington, gave birth to a daughter and gave the baby up for adoption.

Sen. Emery: Congress should give federal lands to states

Congress should turn all of the land it owns over to the states, Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, told fellow senators on the Rules committee last week — especially in the western states.

Senate backs bill raising Missouri fuel taxes

Missouri voters in November would be asked to raise the state’s motor fuels taxes under a bill winning first-round approval in the state Senate this week.

Mo. Senate panel weighs ‘popular vote’ for president

Four times in U.S. history — most recently in 2000 — the presidential candidate winning the most votes in the country didn’t win the office.

Senators push against rules based on ‘hysteria’

Remember “pink slime?”

Lawmakers prepare for final weeks of session

As Missouri lawmakers return from their annual Spring Break on Tuesday, they will have just seven weeks left in the session.

State Tech announces new president

Veteran educator starts July 1; experience includes 14 years at Missouri State.

Blunt launches 'ag tour' as part of re-election bid

Backed by several Missouri commodity and agri-business groups, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has launched a two-day campaign swing focused on agriculture.

Appeals court backs Fulton State Hospital release

A Southwest Missouri man currently being held at the Fulton State Hospital must be returned to Polk County to stand trial for a first-degree assault charge, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court in Kansas City ruled last week.

Riddle proposes bill for mobile app beer sales at events

San Francisco’s 49ers started using the idea at Levi’s Stadium in 2014 — letting customers order beer and other concessions through their smart phones. Now the backers want to bring the idea to Missouri.

Bill would let Lake MyKee, Holts Summit merge

Consolidating their strengths

At their closest point, Holts Summit’s city limits and Lake MyKee’s village limits are eight-tenths of a mile apart.

MU endorses Schaefer proposal for study group

The University of Missouri said Tuesday it welcomes Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s proposal for an outside group to review MU operations.

Missouri Senate bogs down in week of inaction

Leaders hope to regroup, move forward

It’s been a week since the Missouri Senate ended a nearly 40-hour filibuster by forcing a vote on a controversial proposed religious liberty amendment to the state Constitution.

Senate panel considers colleges expanding post-graduate fields

Missouri’s public colleges and universities should not have to get approval from another school before they launch a new master’s or doctorate degree program, state Sen. Eric Schmitt told the Senate’s Education Committee Wednesday afternoon.

Court rules in MoSMART case

After taking evidence in the case for a second time, Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce correctly sent the case back to MoSMART for its review, a three-judge appeals panel ruled Tuesday.

House-passed bill opens some adoptees’ birth records

It’s been more than 10 months since Annette Driver, of Jefferson City, and Aileen Woods, of St. Louis, “found” each other. So count Driver — whose jobs include lobbying Missouri lawmakers — among the people excited the House sent the Senate a bill making it easier for many adults to get their original birth certificates.

Missouri bill would limit lawmakers-turned-lobbyists’ funds

The Missouri Senate this week unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict donations from campaign funds of legislators who become lobbyists.

Senate passes bill canceling state income taxes for military in Missouri

Making the state more military friendly

With officials from Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base watching — because they were in the Capitol for Military Appreciation Day — the Missouri Senate voted 31-0 Thursday on Sen. Wayne Wallingford’s bill eliminating income tax obligations for active-duty Missourians stationed in the state.

Schaefer pitches bill to regulate legal fantasy sports games

Representatives from Draft Kings and FanDuel — the nation’s two biggest fantasy sports operations — testified together Wednesday supporting state Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s bill to regulate their businesses.

Riddle pushes bill to help Department of Mental Health in forced medication cases

Lawmakers asked to give DMH lawyers ‘standing’ in competancy cases

Sometimes when a person is charged with a crime, the judge will order a mental health exam.

State Senate approves 'paycheck protection' with changes

Bill now goes back to House, which can take the changes or seek a conference committee to find a compromise.

Lawmaker proposes review of University of Missouri System

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer wants lawmakers to order an in-depth study of the University of Missouri after months of turmoil, student unrest and voter unhappiness.

Higher ed officials concerned with proposals for weapons on campuses

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger said last week he’s working on a substitute for his bill allowing weapons on college campuses in Missouri. However, many of the state’s college administrators hope his bill goes nowhere.

Brown’s filing creates primaries in both parties

While he was standing in the slow-moving filing line at the secretary of state’s office last Tuesday, Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, said he was going to surprise some people.

Tease photo

Missouri top court hears challenge to video limits by Senate

At least three Missouri Senate committees and their chairmen — including Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City — last year violated the state’s Sunshine Law every time they prohibited a Progress Missouri representative from recording pictures and audio during a Senate committee hearing, the group told the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Tease photo

Ashcroft talks about past, future

It’s been more than 15 years since John Ashcroft held an elected office — and 11 since he last held a public office.

Senate passes bill quickly day after 13-hour debate

It took state senators just under six minutes Thursday to pass and send to the House the medical costs bill they spent 13 hours debating Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

13-hour filibuster at Capitol eventually finds a solution

The Missouri Senate is one vote away from approving a bill that would affect how damages are awarded in a trial involving medical care.

Schaefer proposes tougher punishments for sex offenders

Too many sex offenders aren’t getting the punishments they deserve, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer said Tuesday, and he wants lawmakers to change that.

Lawmakers asked to allow sheriff’s deputies to work other counties

Would let deputies temporarily help out

When there’s a major fire, surrounding fire departments are ready to move in and help the local department both fight the major fire and answer other calls. Missouri sheriffs want the General Assembly to give them power to do the same thing, Cole County Sheriff Greg White said Wednesday.

Warrants sought for cellphone tracking

Lawmaker wants to limit police use of cell tower simulators

Some law officers have special devices that can track cellphone usage.

Callaway County again seeks additional marshal for court

Callaway County needs another marshal for its circuit court, Sen. Jeanie Riddle told the Senate’s Judiciary committee members Tuesday.

Missouri Legislature eyes expanding Conservation Commission

Proposed constitutional amendment would add 2 members

Missouri voters could be asked this fall to expand the Missouri Conservation Commission from four members to six.

Tease photo

Nixon says South American trip yields results for Missouri

Claims $1 billion in new business

Gov. Jay Nixon is returning from South America today with agreements promising more than $1 billion in new business for Missouri businesses.

Changes eyed to state worker health plan operations

State Sen. Rob Schaaf thinks Missouri government can save money by changing the way it runs its employees’ health care plan.

Senate backs Conservation Commission changes

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger thinks the Missouri Conservation Commission needs to represent the entire state better than it does now.