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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Nixon vetoes 'religious freedom' and sales tax on out-of-state-vehicle purchase laws

Those were two of the 10 bills Nixon vetoed, along with 12 bills that he signed.

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Ray Price to leave state Supreme Court

To resign effective Aug. 1

Conference Committee recommends House pay raise plan

A final committee vote still must be taken.

Senate keeps pay raise plan on first test-vote

Nine senators want to cancel pay raises; got 15 votes

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Wilson pleads guilty to federal charge

2 other men named in charge involving Columbia insurance company

Barely 24 hours after being indicted, former Missouri Gov. Roger Wilson this afternoon pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge of misappropriating $5,000 from the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co.

Appeals court orders new hearing in FSH employment case

The state Mental Health Department has sovereign immunity and can’t be sued for monetary damages in a worker’s compensation case, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City ruled Tuesday.

House committee recommends ESP passage

The House Utilities Committee on Thursday morning recommended the full House debate, and pass, a bill encouraging Missouri’s electric utilities to seek a Nuclear Regulatory Commission early site permit for another reactor at the AmerenMissouri site near Reform in Callaway County.

House panel hears comments on Callaway early site permit bill

The plan to have consumers help pay for the planning work on a proposed second nuclear reactor in Callaway County got its first hearing of the year Tuesday afternoon.

Fulton State Hospital bill sent to Senate

A Fulton State Hospital employee told state Rep. Jeanie Riddle last August that he sometimes had to work double shifts several days in a row.

Kansas City Dem could be Callaway’s new state senator

Unless there’s a change in the next couple of weeks, Callaway County’s state senator could be a Kansas City-based Democrat for the next two years.

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Bustamante sentencing expected Wednesday morning

A Boston psychiatrist told Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce this morning that no scientific study has shown a connection between the anti-depressant drug Prozac and an increased incidents of suicides or violence, including murder.

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Prozac part of Bustamante defense

Alyssa Bustamante’s prescription for Prozac may have helped lead her to killing Elizabeth Olten, 9, a consulting psychiatrist testified Monday afternoon.

Prescription drug part of Bustamante defense

Alyssa Bustamante’s prescription for Prozac may have helped lead her to killing Elizabeth Olten, 9, a consulting psychiatrist testified Monday afternoon.

Judge upholds Missouri congressional districts

The lawmaker-drawn congressional districts are constitutional, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Dan Green ruled this afternoon.

'Target' stickers placed on Capitol doors

Capitol Police investigating 'target' stickers placed on Capitol doors.

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Burglary probe ends in drug bust, firearms recovery

What began as a simple burglary investigation ballooned into a two-county cooperative venture, with charges being sought for several burglaries, stolen weapons and drugs.

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Bustamante pleads guilty to murder

At a half-hour hearing Tuesday morning, Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree murder and a charge of armed criminal in connection with the Oct. 21, 2009, death of Elizabeth Olten.

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‘Motion hearing’ set Tuesday in Bustamante murder case

A motion hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning in the Alyssa Bustamante murder case.

3 Mid-Missouri lawmakers talk about some of the pending issues

The 2012 General Assembly session begins at noon today. Its first-day action includes leaders’ speeches pronouncing this year’s leadership priorities — and the introduction of bills for lawmakers to consider.

Bustamante trial to be held in new federal courthouse

Trial delayed 3 more weeks, until Jan. 30, 2012

Day after Thanksgiving just another work day for state employees

For the second year in a row, the day after Thanksgiving is just another work day for Missouri government employees.

Commissioner: Missouri moving closer to waiver from federal education law

Missouri is moving closer to asking the federal Education department for a waiver from the requirements of the 10-year-old “No Child Left Behind” law, state Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told the state Board of Education this week.

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New federal courthouse open for business in JC

Although it hosted its first trial five weeks ago, the new “Christopher S. Bond United States Courthouse” formally was dedicated and opened for business Tuesday.

New Bloomfield schools get ‘accredited’ rating

The state Board of Education continued Callaway County’s New Bloomfield R-3 School District’s “accredited” status at Tuesday’s day-long board meeting in Jefferson City.

Sweet sentenced to 10 years

Mother pleads guilty to negligence in infant son’s drowning

Rachel Sweet will spend most of the next decade in prison.

Bustamante trial about a month away

Lawyers still gathering information for murder trial

Alyssa Bustamante’s murder trial is scheduled to be under way four weeks from now.

Luetkemeyer: Debt-ceiling debate a ‘wake-up call’

The political battle over the United States’ debt situation will “continue to play out over the next several months,” U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer told Jefferson City Downtown Rotary Club members Monday.

Judge: Can’t release Ferguson; ruling opens door to further appeals

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled late Friday afternoon he can’t release Ryan Ferguson from prison on Ferguson’s claim the jury selection violated state law because a trial court can’t hear an issue already decided by a higher court.

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Father pleased with court arguments seeking new trial for son

Bill Ferguson of Columbia told reporters Tuesday afternoon he was pleased with the arguments Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green had just heard — even though Green made no ruling to let Ferguson’s son, Ryan, out of prison.

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Experiences from 1993 help 2011 flood planning

Melva Fast got her first job with Jefferson City’s government because of the record-setting Floods of 1993.

Olten family: Bustamante confession gone

Elizabeth Olten’s family “is devastated over the loss of the confession,” spokeswoman Pam Cafourek said Wednesday, one day after Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce suppressed some evidence in the state’s case against Alyssa Bustamante.

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Corps may dump more water - rains create flooding hazards on Missouri River

Continuing rains in Montana and the Dakotas — on top of an already record-level snowpack this past winter — means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may have to release even more water through the Upper Missouri River dams before the year is over, Brig. Gen. John McMahon said during a Jefferson City meeting Monday morning.

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MoDOT cuts approved

Just five weeks after it was introduced to the public and the six-member Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal to “right-size” the state Transportation Department.

Kehoe asks governor to call special session

State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, on Wednesday asked Gov. Jay Nixon to call a special session to deal with the nuclear site permit issue.

Study of state pay endorsed

State senators may get to debate freshman Rep. Mike Bernskoetter’s proposal for an in-depth study of state employee salaries.

Former Greenpeace director tells Mo. commerce group nuclear power is safe

Nuclear power as an energy source is going to grow in the future, Patrick Moore told Missourians attending the state Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Energy Future” conference Thursday.

Senators soon could be debating nuclear bill

Missouri senators soon could be debating Ameren Missouri’s proposal to have ratepayers pay the costs of seeking an early site permit for a possible second nuclear power plant in Callaway County.

Prediction: Early site permit debate to begin this session

Supporters Wednesday predicted that lawmakers this session will debate a plan allowing a utility company to seek an early site permit from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and have consumers pay the application costs — if the company wins that permit.

Lawmakers urge continued need for nuke plant site permit

State Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, lives closer to the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant than any other Missouri lawmaker.

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Senate panel considers nuclear plant measure

Missouri needs to build another nuclear power plant to secure a low-cost power source for years to come, freshman state Sen. Mike Kehoe told a Senate committee late Wednesday afternoon, at the start of a more than five-hour hearing.

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Third nuclear plant bill surfaces

A southeast Missouri senator Tuesday tossed a third bill into the debate over a potential construction of another Callaway County nuclear reactor.

Can Prop B be fixed?

Nearly 1 million Missourians voted in November to change the state’s puppy mill laws and make them tougher, bringing more than 61,000 more supporters to the polls than those who cast ballots against that proposal.

Lawmakers suggest prisons go smoke-free

Lawmakers are being asked this year to ban smoking in Missouri prisons.

Mid-Mo. lawmakers reflect on Nixon address

Gov. Jay Nixon’s third State of the State address generated mixed reactions from Mid-Missouri’s 10 lawmakers.

Woman indicted in two bank robberies

A federal grand jury Thursday indicted a Jefferson City woman on two counts of bank robbery and, in a separate indictment, charged three men with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Boone, Callaway and Cooper counties.

Attorney General drops embezzelment lawsuit against HS woman

Because she’s repaid the stolen money, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Thursday he’s dropping his civil lawsuit against a Holts Summit woman and her husband.

Power outage at Capitol, St. Peter

For Principal Joe Gulino and the students and faculty at St. Peter Catholic School, the loss of electricity for a little more than an hour ended up being “no biggie.”

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Skelton: Dem losses were result of a 'political tsunami ...'

In his first speech after the first major loss of his political career, U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton made no bones about it: “I can’t deny that I wish the outcome of my particular election had turned out differently.”

Stealing case may link Maylee to victim

Even before his arrest Thursday afternoon as a “person of interest” in this week’s Holts Summit area killings, Joshua William Maylee, 23, had been charged in two stealing cases filed in Callaway County Associate Circuit Court.