KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Coverage From Callaway Coverage From Callaway en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 31 May 2016 07:05:05 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Three arrested in drug bust at Fulton prison http://www.komu.com/news/three-arrested-in-drug-bust-at-fulton-prison/ http://www.komu.com/news/three-arrested-in-drug-bust-at-fulton-prison/ Coverage From Callaway Sun, 22 May 2016 4:28:21 PM Carter Woodiel, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Three arrested in drug bust at Fulton prison

FULTON - Two women and one man were arrested Sunday morning in Fulton on drug charges. Police believe they tried to smuggle drugs to a prison inmate.

Callaway County sheriff's deputies arrested Dorothy Oliver, Terry Lambert and Laniesha Dill at 10:53 a.m. at the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center, a prison in Fulton.

Police say they arrested the trio after they arrived at the prison to visit an inmate and discovered two types of drugs in their vehicle. 

Officers suspicion of drug activity stemmed from an investigation from the Sheriff's office and the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Oliver, Lambert and Dill were sent to the Callaway County Jail, and were each held on $4,500 bond, according to police.

Police say their investigation is ongoing, and more arrests could take place in the future.


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High-speed chase west of Columbia leads to two arrests http://www.komu.com/news/high-speed-chase-west-of-columbia-leads-to-two-arrests/ http://www.komu.com/news/high-speed-chase-west-of-columbia-leads-to-two-arrests/ Coverage From Callaway Sun, 22 May 2016 5:13:07 PM Carter Woodiel, KOMU 8 Digital Producer High-speed chase west of Columbia leads to two arrests

COLUMBIA - A high-speed police chase that started west of Columbia early Sunday morning led to two arrests, including one on suspicion for stealing a car, according to the Boone County Sherriff's Department. 

Boone County Sheriff's deputies first saw Melinda Vandeventer, 20, on Highway WW, when acting on a tip about a stolen car. Once spotted, police say Vandeventer sped off.

Vandeventer, a Columbia resident, was driving about 100 miles per hour at one point during the chase before she drove off the road shortly after entering Callaway County, according to police.

Chasten Jordan, 33, was also in the car. Police say Both Vandeventer and Jordan were uninjured in the accident.

Vandeventer was arrested on suspicion of five different charges, including tampering with a motor vehicle, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $10,145. 

Jordan, a Mexico resident, was also arrested on suspicion of tampering and drug paraphernalia charges, as well as for failing to appear in court for earlier charges. Her bond was set at $16,000.


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Two in custody believed to be connected to Callaway Co. double homicide http://www.komu.com/news/two-in-custody-believed-to-be-connected-to-callaway-co-double-homicide/ http://www.komu.com/news/two-in-custody-believed-to-be-connected-to-callaway-co-double-homicide/ Coverage From Callaway Tue, 26 Apr 2016 8:41:18 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Two in custody believed to be connected to Callaway Co. double homicide

COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department confirmed deputies took two people into custody Tuesday night.

Lt. Lance Robbins said they were believed to be involved in a double-homicide investigation in Callaway County.

There was a heavy police presence on County Road 324 near Carrington Pits Picnic area, west of Fulton. A helicopter flew over the area.

Robbins said Boone County deputies were working with the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.

Boone County deputies were waiting on search warrants for a room at the Welcome Inn on North Providence Road connected to the two suspects, Robbins said.

He said deputies also located a suspect's vehicle.

(Caileigh Peterson contributed to this report.)



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Voter ID, ethics measures up next in Missouri legislature http://www.komu.com/news/voter-id-ethics-measures-up-next-in-missouri-legislature/ http://www.komu.com/news/voter-id-ethics-measures-up-next-in-missouri-legislature/ Coverage From Callaway Sat, 26 Mar 2016 9:45:43 AM The Associated Press Voter ID, ethics measures up next in Missouri legislature

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A number of Republicans' priorities have yet to be voted on at the midway point of what's already been a sometimes tumultuous legislative session in Missouri.

With the session ending May 13, the Republican-led Legislature has a little less than two months to try to pass a budget and legislation that would require voters to show ID at the polls and put forth to voters a constitutional amendment that would create protections for some businesses that object on religious grounds to providing goods or services for same-sex marriages.

The religious objections measure already disrupted work in the Senate for two weeks after Democrats staged a failed 37-hour filibuster and used stall tactics.

Another Democratic filibuster in the Senate appears likely after lawmakers return Monday on the voter ID proposal.


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Two structure fires early Saturday morning in Jefferson City http://www.komu.com/news/two-structure-fires-early-saturday-morning-in-jefferson-city/ http://www.komu.com/news/two-structure-fires-early-saturday-morning-in-jefferson-city/ Coverage From Callaway Sat, 26 Mar 2016 5:31:31 AM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Two structure fires early Saturday morning in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY — Two structure fires occurred early Saturday morning in Jefferson City.

At 12:44 a.m., the Jefferson City Fire Department (JCFD) was dispatched to 602 E. McCarty Street where a fire was reported at a four-unit apartment building.

Firefighters confirmed everyone was out of the building. One person was treated for injuries sustained during the evacuation.

The first units to arrive found smoke coming from an upstairs apartment and were able to limit damage by extinguishing a fire which originated on a stove. Other apartments had minor smoke damage.

10 residents are currently unable to return to their apartments. The Red Cross is providing assistance to displaced residents. 

Damage is estimated at $25,000.

At 2:18 a.m., Jefferson City firefighters were dispatched to 2307 Schott Road to help the Cole County Fire Department with a different structure fire.

The first arriving units found a mobile home 80% consumed by flames. Everyone was out of the building.

Cole County firefighters extinguished the fire with assistance from the JCFD.

The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation.  The mobile home was a total loss. 

The Jefferson City Fire Department said it would like to remind everyone the importance of working and properly maintained smoke detectors.

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Sheriff's office: Ax-wielding suspect shot after confronting deputy http://www.komu.com/news/sheriff-s-office-ax-wielding-suspect-shot-after-confronting-deputy/ http://www.komu.com/news/sheriff-s-office-ax-wielding-suspect-shot-after-confronting-deputy/ Coverage From Callaway Thu, 24 Mar 2016 9:50:52 PM Rose Schmidt and Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producers Sheriff's office: Ax-wielding suspect shot after confronting deputy

CALLAWAY COUNTY — The Callaway County Sheriff's Office confirmed a suspect was shot after confronting a deputy with an ax Thursday evening.

Sgt. Scott White with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the Troop F Division of Drug and Crime Control was investigating the incident, which happened on County Road 411.

The sheriff's office said authorities were called to a home near Old Highway 54, southwest of Fulton, for a domestic dispute. 

When the deputies arrived, they encountered a 21-year-old male wielding an ax. Officers report the man refused to step down, at which point he began to approach and was shot once.

White said the suspect received first aid before being flown to University Hospital with serious injuries. He is in stable condition.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include further information about the circumstances of the shooting and an update on the suspect's condition.

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Woman accused of hitting deputy with car http://www.komu.com/news/woman-accused-of-hitting-deputy-with-car/ http://www.komu.com/news/woman-accused-of-hitting-deputy-with-car/ Coverage From Callaway Tue, 22 Mar 2016 9:33:02 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Woman accused of hitting deputy with car

CALLAWAY COUNTY - A car chase through multiple cities ended with a deputy injured and the Callaway County Sheriff's Office arresting a woman. The suspect was wanted on felony charges in Morgan County.

Deputies arrested Ashley Stone, 32, of Barnett, on County Road 348 near New Bloomfield on charges of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and a felony warrant for narcotics. 

Deputies said they were surveying Tow Pro, a towing facility right outside of Jefferson City, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. They received information that Stone would come to the business to claim a vehicle.

When Stone arrived at Tow Pro, deputies said they ordered her to get out of her vehicle, but she accelerated and hit a deputy with her vehicle. This led the deputy to fire his gun at her vehicle, but she was not hit, according to the sheriff's office.

Authorities said Stone then led deputies on a car chase through Holts Summit and New Bloomfield, before her vehicle broke down, and she was taken into custody.

The sheriff's office said Callaway County Emergency Medical Services treated Stone at the scene for minor injuries before she was taken to the Callaway County Jail.

A local hospital is evaluating the deputy.

The Holts Summit Police Department, Cole County Sheriff’s Office, and Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted with the chase.

Deputies said Tuesday night that the jail is holding Stone without bond.


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Holts Summit police searching for pharmacy burglar http://www.komu.com/news/holts-summit-police-searching-for-pharmacy-burglar/ http://www.komu.com/news/holts-summit-police-searching-for-pharmacy-burglar/ Coverage From Callaway Fri, 11 Mar 2016 8:37:13 AM Melissa Zygowicz, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Holts Summit police searching for pharmacy burglar

HOLTS SUMMIT – Investigators are looking for a suspect who broke into St. Mary's Pharmacy early Friday morning.

According to the Holts Summit Police Department, officers were dispatched to an alarm at the pharmacy at 140 Northstar Drive around 3 a.m.

Video surveillance from the business shows the suspect carrying a “Spiderman” backpack. The suspect was also wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt, khaki pants and red gloves.

According to the department, St. Mary's Pharmacy was broken into almost a year ago and police were able to catch the suspect within a day.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Holts Summit Police Department at 573-896-4678. For individuals who want to remain anonymous call the Callaway County Crime Stoppers at 573-592-2464.

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Proposed bill could establish task force on school security http://www.komu.com/news/proposed-bill-could-establish-task-force-on-school-security/ http://www.komu.com/news/proposed-bill-could-establish-task-force-on-school-security/ Coverage From Callaway Mon, 7 Mar 2016 8:29:40 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Proposed bill could establish task force on school security

JEFFERSON CITY - A bill proposed Monday night would establish a task force on school safety improvement if passed.

Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, D-Black Jack, proposed House Bill 2118 to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

The proposed task force would be required to study school security features and practices.

The task force would be established with the intention to decrease the chances a crisis could happen and protect life and property.

"A lot of our parents are concerned for their smaller children," lobbyist Luana Gifford said. "Every time you turn on the TV there's been a mass shooting or an incident at school through bullying and everything."

Gifford said she believes the task force will be able to address these issues and give recommendations for school districts to follow.

"We have to provide a safe place for learning to take place," Gifford said. "For learning to take place, the children need to feel safe and not threatened and upset during the day."

No one at the hearing opposed the bill.


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Local radio league honors anniversary of "Iron Curtain" speech http://www.komu.com/news/local-radio-league-honors-anniversary-of-iron-curtain-speech/ http://www.komu.com/news/local-radio-league-honors-anniversary-of-iron-curtain-speech/ Coverage From Callaway Fri, 4 Mar 2016 6:24:15 PM Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter Local radio league honors anniversary of

FULTON - A Callaway County radio league honored the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill's famous speech at Westminster College on Friday. 

The Callaway Amateur Radio League established a radio station to transmit worldwide Friday evening. The group's radio operations allowed people to make contact with the station and discuss Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech, which informed the world of the spread of communism in Europe after World War II and took place at Westminster College.

"We do this to honor Winston Churchill," league member Dave Phelps said. "He's a world figure who forecast the spread of communism, and he was absolutely true."

Phelps and other league members said they transmit on the anniversary every five years to honor the speech. They said the event meant a lot to the Fulton community, and the radio transmission is a way to remember that.

"There are still a lot of people around here that were around in 1946," Phelps said. "Remembering the speech has a bit of nostalgia to it for them."

Phelps said people were excited for the speech because it also meant President Harry S. Truman, a Missouri native, would be visiting Fulton.

"At that time Fulton wasn't really known for anything," Phelps said. "It was a big deal for people to be able to see both the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of England in their hometown."

Phelps and other members said the transmission's impact isn't limited to Fulton.

"It's something special connected with our town, and it's something we can provide other people around the country and around the world to remember Churchill's speech and the history here at Fulton," league member David Mueller said.

He said the amount of people contacting the station during the anniversary broadcast has more than doubled in the past ten years, to more than 500. Phelps said the last time the league transmitted for the anniversary, 17 European stations reached out.

"People make contact for many reasons," Mueller said. "Some just want to stop in to tell us where they're listening from, others ask us questions about the speech and the event and others share their opinions and add to the discussion that way."

Phelps said people in England especially like to listen because they like to hear how others remember Churchill.

The transmission will continue into Saturday, which marks 70 years since the March 5, 1946 speech.

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Missouri bill would allow legislators to become lawyers http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-bill-would-allow-legislators-to-become-lawyers/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-bill-would-allow-legislators-to-become-lawyers/ Coverage From Callaway Sat, 27 Feb 2016 4:29:03 AM The Associated Press Missouri bill would allow legislators to become lawyers

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri proposal would allow lawmakers to become lawyers or judges after serving for two years, but the sponsor says he won't try to pass the bill.

Rep. Robert Ross says he sponsored the bill as a tongue-in-cheek move to show why continuing professional training is needed.

Ross says he proposed the legislation after an attorney told lawmakers that receiving a license to practice allows lawyers to provide a range of services. Ross says further education is sometimes needed.

The Yukon Republican said he doesn't want to become an attorney or judge.

Legislation passed in 2007 barred public universities from denying jobs to lawmakers because they don't have graduate degrees.

Critics at the time said it gave an advantage to lawmakers looking to work as professors after leaving office.

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Numerous cars catch fire at overflow lot off Old Hwy. 40 http://www.komu.com/news/numerous-cars-catch-fire-at-overflow-lot-off-old-hwy-40/ http://www.komu.com/news/numerous-cars-catch-fire-at-overflow-lot-off-old-hwy-40/ Coverage From Callaway Fri, 26 Feb 2016 4:28:05 PM Paxton DiBlasi, KOMU 8 Reporter and Fan Feng, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Numerous cars catch fire at overflow lot off Old Hwy. 40

CALLAWAY COUNTY - Fifty to 70 cars were damaged or destroyed from a massive fire Friday afternoon at Marcy Motors overflow lot off of Old Hwy 40. (See video below,)

Dense smoke poured from the burning vehicles, and at times it was so thick it blocked out the sun from certain angles.

KOMU 8's reporter on the scene heard loud pops, and according to the fire chief, they were the sounds of tires and airbags popping. 

Gene Nichols said he started the fire in a pit behind his home to burn garbage.

"It was boxes, clothes, some paper, but it wasn't that much. Like I said, turn your back on this stuff and it'll get ya," Nichols said.

He said that he ran to the front of his house to fill a bucket with water from a spigot, and when he returned, the fire was out of control.

No one was injured.


Editor's note: The story has been updated for clarity and with new information. 

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Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopefuls square off http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republican-gubernatorial-hopefuls-square-off/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republican-gubernatorial-hopefuls-square-off/ Coverage From Callaway Mon, 22 Feb 2016 9:28:33 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopefuls square off

JEFFERSON CITY - Three of the four Republican gubernatorial hopefuls faced each other for the first time Monday night in Jefferson City.

Businessman John Brunner, former Missouri House speaker Catherine Hanway and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder took the stage at the Revel building, formerly known as the Lohman Opera House in the debate.

According to his campaign, non-profit organizer Eric Greitens could not attend due to a scheduling conflict,.

The Missouri Times hosted the event, with publisher Scott Faughn handling host duties.

The event was sponsored by Missouri Right to Life, johncombest.com and the Missouri Alliance for Freedom.  

Discussion topics included repealing the Affordable Care Act, the recent MU protests and gun control.

"I don't know that any of the issues will completely convince anyone, but it gives folks a good opportunity to see how the candidate lands on their feet and responds to questions," lobbyist Sam Licklider said.

The Democratic Party is expected to be represented by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

KOMU 8 News will hold its own Republican gubernatorial debate on March 17.

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Deputies stop a vehicle in Callaway County; results in two arrests http://www.komu.com/news/deputies-stop-a-vehicle-in-callaway-county-results-in-two-arrests/ http://www.komu.com/news/deputies-stop-a-vehicle-in-callaway-county-results-in-two-arrests/ Coverage From Callaway Thu, 18 Feb 2016 2:24:51 PM Calli Luna, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Deputies stop a vehicle in Callaway County; results in two arrests

CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway county deputies stopped a vehicle on Thursday that resulted in two arrests.

After stopping the vehicle, deputies searched the car and found a pistol. The pistol was stolen from Fulton in January 2016. The driver, Stephen Palmer, was arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon and hindering prosecution of a felony. Palmer is currently in custody of the Callaway County Jail.

The passenger in the car, Rebecca Danner, allegedly gave deputies a false name and a social security number that did not belong to her. Deputies determined the passenger was Danner who had a felony warrant out of Cole County for narcotics possession and was charged with identity theft. Danner is in the custody of the Callaway County Jail. 

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New Fulton fire chief hopes to get involved in the community http://www.komu.com/news/new-fulton-fire-chief-hopes-to-get-involved-in-the-community/ http://www.komu.com/news/new-fulton-fire-chief-hopes-to-get-involved-in-the-community/ Coverage From Callaway Tue, 16 Feb 2016 2:55:50 PM Connor Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter New Fulton fire chief hopes to get involved in the community

FULTON - The new Fulton Fire Chief spent his first day learning a little more about the city. 

Todd Farley said, "I need to get to know people. I need to get to know the staff at the fire department, the city staff and the community."

Farley, a 28-year veteran, worked as the Deputy Fire Chief in Jackson County, Missouri, for the past eight years. He said he enjoyed being involved in the community outside of work and he hopes to do the same in Fulton.

"In Blue Springs, I was very involved civically in the community. It helped me as the deputy fire chief to get to know the community and ingrain myself into the community," Farley said. "I see the very same thing happening here." 

Last September, the Fulton firefighter's union and the Fulton City Council argued over pay raises for the city's fire department. The council had already approved a five percent pay increase to all city employees, and firefighters were asking for an extra nine percent raise. The city said if it increased firefighter wages then it would have to pay the raises to the rest of the city staff.

Farley said he understands relations between the union and city is one of the challenges he will have to face.

"I've been a fire chief with a union department for the last 12 or 13 years, and there's always something going on," Farley said. "To me, what it takes is someone who will lead the department, someone who will listen to all staff, not just the union, but all staff, and just learning about the wants, needs and desires." 

Farley said fire departments similar to Fulton's are dealing with the same issues across the state of Missouri, but said changes can't happen overnight. 

"That takes a little bit," Farley said. "I expect the first three to six months to be me getting to know the community and the community getting to know me as well." 



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Former Westminster AD named to SLIAC Hall of Fame http://www.komu.com/news/former-westminster-ad-named-to-sliac-hall-of-fame/ http://www.komu.com/news/former-westminster-ad-named-to-sliac-hall-of-fame/ Coverage From Callaway Thu, 11 Feb 2016 4:52:41 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Former Westminster AD named to SLIAC Hall of Fame

FULTON - Former Westminster College Athletic Director Terry Logue has been inducted into the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

Logue, who entered the Westminster College Hall of Fame last fall, will be the college's sixth representative to enter the SLIAC Hall of Fame. His career at Westminster began as sports information director and radio play-by-play voice for Blue Jays football in 1995 prior to becoming AD in 1998.

During Logue's six-year tenure as the head of Westminster Athletics, the program transitioned from the NAIA to NCAA Division III and won 20 conference championships. He also served as SLIAC president and was a member of the Division III Budget Committee.



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Missouri lawmakers act to block home care worker wage hike http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-lawmakers-act-to-block-home-care-worker-wage-hike/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-lawmakers-act-to-block-home-care-worker-wage-hike/ Coverage From Callaway Wed, 10 Feb 2016 4:40:52 PM The Associated Press Missouri lawmakers act to block home care worker wage hike

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are taking action to block a health department rule that would increase wages for home care attendants.

The House voted Wednesday on a measure blocking the wage hike after a similar vote by the Senate. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Lawmakers want to stop a proposed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services rule that would raise the pay for home care attendants from the $7.65 an hour to a range between $8.50 and $10.15.

The workers care for aging Missourians and others who can't care for themselves.

Some lawmakers say a wage hike should be up to the Legislature, and that the agency doesn't have the authority to give those workers raises.

But some Democrat critics say home care workers deserve higher pay.


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Missouri Senate backs fees for missed Medicaid appointment http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-backs-fees-for-missed-medicaid-appointment/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-backs-fees-for-missed-medicaid-appointment/ Coverage From Callaway Wed, 10 Feb 2016 4:18:12 PM The Associated Press Missouri Senate backs fees for missed Medicaid appointment

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Doctors could charge Medicaid patients a fee for missing appointments under a bill that has won initial approval in the Missouri Senate.

Senators endorsed the bill Wednesday after adding a section designed to make it easier for health care providers to advertise their cost estimates.

The legislation would allow doctors to charge $5 after a Medicaid patient misses a second appointment within a three-year period. The fee could rise to $10 for the third missed appointment and $20 for each one missed after that.

Supporters said the bill is intended to attract more Medicaid providers.

Some Democrats said adults on Medicaid already live well below the poverty level, and those fees could be the difference between eating or missing meals.

The bill needs another vote to go to the House.

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Ameren announces new energy efficiency programs http://www.komu.com/news/ameren-announces-new-energy-efficiency-programs/ http://www.komu.com/news/ameren-announces-new-energy-efficiency-programs/ Coverage From Callaway Wed, 10 Feb 2016 3:53:55 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Ameren announces new energy efficiency programs

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission approved an agreement Wednesday afternoon that will enact energy efficiency programs under Ameren Missouri's Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) filing.

Ameren Missouri will also give $1.5 million towards energy efficiency research and $2.75 million towards beginning a new program that would help schools and other tax-exempt organizations.

Ameren will also work with other interested groups to help out customers that are new, not being served, or not being served enough.

As a part of working with these groups, Ameren will identify energy-efficient strategies that could be used as early as 2017 if all customers benefit from the new strategies.

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Bills proposed to prevent texting and driving in Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/bills-proposed-to-prevent-texting-and-driving-in-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/bills-proposed-to-prevent-texting-and-driving-in-missouri/ Coverage From Callaway Wed, 10 Feb 2016 3:38:18 AM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Bills proposed to prevent texting and driving in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY - Two bills were heard Wednesday morning in the Missouri Senate that would make it illegal to text and drive within the state of Missouri, regardless of age. 

The bill was presented to the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee.

Currently, it is legal in the state of Missouri for someone 21 or older to use a cell phone while driving.

Missouri State Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur is sponsoring SB 821, which would make texting or reading while driving illegal except through a "hands-free voice activated mode."

Schupp said last month the current texting and driving laws make "little sense for the ban to apply only to young drivers."

"[All texting and driving] is the same," said Connor Brennan of Columbia. "If [a driver is] any age taking their eyes off the road for any reason is just not a good idea, no matter how much driving experience you have."

"I don't think age makes a difference in this situation."

Missouri State Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg has sponsored SB 569, which would ban all reading, texting, and/or sending of messages while driving, regardless of how the cell phone was being used.

Pearce said Missouri is one of six states who still allow people 21 and older to use phones while driving.

Representatives of cellular companies AT&T and Verizon Wireless testified at the hearing in approval of both bills.

KOMU previously said the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported in 2012 driver inattention was listed as the contributing circumstance in 22,491 traffic crashes in the state in 2012. This resulted in 8,952 injuries and 92 deaths. Additionally, during this same time period, there were 357 crashes where texting while driving was cited as a contributing cause, which ended in 108 injuries and two fatal crashes. 

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety said 20 percent of crashes are in result of some sort of distracted driving. Drivers texting typically have their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds.

Similar bills have been proposed multiple times, and a similar proposal failed last year.

The bills were not voted upon today, and will undergo further editing before being sent to the state senate.

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