KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Continuous News Continuous News en-us Copyright 2017, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:03:07 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Sustain Mizzou to build bee hotels to help endangered population http://www.komu.com/news/sustain-mizzou-to-build-bee-hotels-to-help-endangered-population/ http://www.komu.com/news/sustain-mizzou-to-build-bee-hotels-to-help-endangered-population/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 3:06:54 PM Jared Koller, KOMU 8 News Reporter Sustain Mizzou to build bee hotels to help endangered population
COLUMBIA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed native bumblebees on the endangered species list at the start of 2017. Now, environmental group Sustain Mizzou is building native bee hotels to help give bees a sustainable habitat in Columbia.
Recycled material, drilled wood, flowers, dirt and bamboo fill garden pallet shelves to make up a traditional bee hotel.
Megan Tyminski, founder of Sustain Mizzou Beekeeping, said there are 452 native bee species in Missouri that require a different type of habitat than honey bees.
“Native bees don’t really get headlines and they don’t really get the same kind of concern, but those populations are also really important to conserve,” Tyminski said. “There are so many other bees that need our attention that I really think this project can benefit.”
The new hotels offer long-term habitats that are specific to native bee demands. Tyminski hopes they will help increase the bee population. She said she started Mizzou beekeeping because of the concern over the honey bee decline, but soon learned that native bees play just as important of a role with farming.
“Honeybees can be considered an agricultural product because we manage them in a system, but native bees are kind of just out in the wild,” Tyminski said. “To me, bees aren’t just about environmental issues, but also a social and economic issue.”
A recent study from the University of Vermont piqued Tyminski’s concerns, as the research measured native bee populations in relation to the number of farms and bee-dependent crops in each U.S. county. More than 30 counties in Missouri do not have enough native bees to meet farming demands, especially in the northern parts of the state.
“Some counties may be at risk for food security because of dwindling native bee populations, so it’s definitely an issue that stems larger than just protecting bio-diversity,” Tyminski said.
Native bees are declining across the nation due to widespread pesticide use on farms, climate change, increasing foreign pests and natural habitat loss. Chemical pesticides that farmers use to spray their crops limits options where native bees can pollinate.
“One of every three bites of food we take are thanks to a pollinator,” Tyminski said. “Plus, our earth would look very different and ugly without them.”
Many flowers are totally dependent on bee pollination. Almonds, pears and grapes are among the many foods also dependent on bees.
Sustain Mizzou hopes to spread the new bee hotels across Sanborn Field on MU’s campus within the next month. THe hotels are meant to be permanent structures and will only need annual upkeep and restocking when needed.
Tyminski says she sees the project as a small way to a make a big difference in improving Missouri’s environment.
“Missouri is very centered on agriculture, so making sure we do set aside and integrate habitat with these kinds of places is really important in conserving pollination services for years to come,” Tyminski said.
Tyminski said she hopes pollinator conservation will one day be more of a priority at the state level and encourages those interested to get involved with the Mizzou Botanical Garden, Missourians for Monarchs or Sustain Mizzou.

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Police: Man apparently killed woman, then self in Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/police-man-apparently-killed-woman-then-self-in-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/police-man-apparently-killed-woman-then-self-in-missouri/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 2:20:53 PM The Associated Press Police: Man apparently killed woman, then self in Missouri

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police said an investigation found that a man apparently fatally shot the mother of his children before killing himself in northern St. Louis County.

County police said in a news release that officers responded shortly before 9:30 p.m. Monday to a shooting at a home. The body of 29-year-old Sheena Engstrom was found on the porch, and 31-year-old McKinley Jackson was dead on the driveway.

Police said they were formerly a couple and had a history of domestic violence. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.


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Greitens says Trump might intervene on Missouri IDs http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-says-trump-might-intervene-on-missouri-ids/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-says-trump-might-intervene-on-missouri-ids/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 1:49:23 PM The Associated Press Greitens says Trump might intervene on Missouri IDs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says people should have the option of getting IDs that allow them to enter airports and military bases, but he says he first wants to see if the Trump administration will intervene.

Greitens told reporters Tuesday that he spoke with administration officials about the federal Real ID Act during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. He says the administration might act so Missouri doesn't have to undo a state law that prohibits compliance with the law. Critics cite privacy concerns.

If nothing is done, Missourians next year won't be able to use driver's licenses to board planes or visit some federal facilities.

A pending Senate bill would give Missourians the option to get compliant or noncompliant IDs.


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Missouri House votes to repeal public construction wage law http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-house-votes-to-repeal-public-construction-wage-law/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-house-votes-to-repeal-public-construction-wage-law/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 1:45:07 PM The Associated Press Missouri House votes to repeal public construction wage law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led House has endorsed a bill to repeal the state's "prevailing wage" requirements for public construction projects.

The 93-60 vote Tuesday is part of a Republican push to revamp the state's labor laws by limiting union powers.

Missouri law currently requires governmental entities such as cities and school districts to pay wages above the state's basic minimum wage for construction and maintenance projects.

Those "prevailing wages" are set for each construction trade on a county-by-county basis. They're determined based on voluntary wage surveys submitted by contractors working in each county, but when no wages are reported the union rate for that trade is used.

A second House vote is needed to send the prevailing-wage repeal to the Senate.

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Greitens still against expanding Medicaid in Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-still-against-expanding-medicaid-in-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-still-against-expanding-medicaid-in-missouri/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 1:17:00 PM The Associated Press Greitens still against expanding Medicaid in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens says he's still against expanding eligibility for Medicaid in Missouri following failed efforts in Congress to overhaul health care.

Greitens told reporters Tuesday in Jefferson City that he doesn't support broadening eligibility under former President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

Greitens was among Republican governors who wrote to congressional leaders in support of a House plan to overhaul health care. Efforts to pass the bill collapsed last week, but Greitens says he still supports repealing and replacing the federal law.

Neighboring Kansas and other Republican-led states including Maine, North Carolina and Virginia now are looking to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Some Democratic lawmakers in response are renewing calls to do the same in Missouri.

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Missouri governor signs change to expert witness vetting http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-governor-signs-change-to-expert-witness-vetting/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-governor-signs-change-to-expert-witness-vetting/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 1:06:19 PM The Associated Press Missouri governor signs change to expert witness vetting

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new Missouri law will change the standard for vetting expert witnesses in jury trials.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed the legislation Tuesday at a Jefferson City trucking company. He's touting it as a way to boost the economy by improving the legal climate for businesses.

The new law will set a different standard for judges to gauge the quality of expert witnesses, requiring their testimony to be based on "sufficient facts" and "reliable principles" that are applied reliably to cases.

Supporters say the change will ensure experts are truly qualified. Opponents say it will make it more expensive to go to court by requiring more time from attorneys to get expert witnesses.

The Republican-led Legislature last year passed a similar bill that was vetoed by the former Democratic governor.

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Sen. McCaskill to lead congressional probe of prescription drug makers http://www.komu.com/news/sen-mccaskill-to-lead-congressional-probe-of-prescription-drug-makers/ http://www.komu.com/news/sen-mccaskill-to-lead-congressional-probe-of-prescription-drug-makers/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:53:07 PM Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter Sen. McCaskill to lead congressional probe of prescription drug makers

JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri legislators debate the merits of a state prescription drug monitoring program, five of the nation's largest prescription opioid producers are coming under investigation.

The companies, which include Depomed, Mylan, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Insys, received letters from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) Tuesday as part of a probe into the pharmaceutical industry by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

The letters request the companies' internal estimates of addiction cases, overdoses and deaths involving prescription opioids each year. The probe also seeks audits of the companies' sales and marketing programs, including information regarding sales quotas.

The investigation is a response to the growing number of prescription drug overdoses and deaths nationwide in recent years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from prescription drug overdoses quadrupled since 1999, with nearly 15,000 deaths reported in the U.S. in 2015.

In a statement, McCaskill said, "This epidemic is the direct result of a calculated sales and marketing strategy major opioid manufacturers have allegedly pursued over the past 20 years to expand their market share and increase dependency on powerful — and often deadly — painkillers."

Insys, one of the companies involved in the investigation, was scrutinized by the  U.S. Department of Justice last year. The company allegedly bribed doctors to prescribe fentanyl medications, even when those prescriptions were not medically necessary.

In Missouri last year, an estimated 235,000 people misused prescription drugs. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, a tracking system that prevents patients from "doctor-shopping" to obtain opioid prescriptions.

Although Missouri has not yet passed a statewide program, several cities and counties throughout the state are building a monitoring network. The Columbia City Council voted to become part of the developing database earlier this month, joining Jefferson City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Kansas City and a handful of others.

Ron Fitzwater, CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, said he applauds efforts by cities and counties to adopt prescription drug monitoring programs, but a statewide system would be more effective.

"Our concern is if we don't get every county in the state of Missouri as a part of the program, then those folks that want to abuse the system are just going to go to pharmacists in counties that have not adopted the prescription drug monitoring program," Fitzwater said.

The Missouri House of Representatives is expected to begin debate Wednesday on a bill that aims to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston).




Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article141130218.html#storylink=cpy




Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article141130218.html#storylink=cpy

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Missouri man convicted in shooting that killed 2, wounded 1 http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-convicted-in-shooting-that-killed-2-wounded-1/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-convicted-in-shooting-that-killed-2-wounded-1/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:45:22 PM The Associated Press Missouri man convicted in shooting that killed 2, wounded 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has been convicted for his role in a shooting that left two men dead and a third wounded.

Twenty-two-year-old Jimmie Verge was found guilty Monday of eight felonies, including two counts of second degree-murder. Another man also is charged in the deadly shootings of Fanandous Groves and Gerrod Woods. The victims both were 23 and from Kansas City.

Court records say they were attacked in December 2015 after being lured to a supposed marijuana deal. Woods died at the scene and Groves at a hospital. A third man was shot in the face but survived.

Witnesses told police that Verge was standing outside a vehicle as shots were fired. Prosecutors say other shots were fired inside the vehicle.

Sentencing for Verge has not yet been scheduled.

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Greg Halderman out as Sturgeon police chief http://www.komu.com/news/greg-halderman-out-as-sturgeon-police-chief/ http://www.komu.com/news/greg-halderman-out-as-sturgeon-police-chief/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:15:06 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Greg Halderman out as Sturgeon police chief

STURGEON - The Sturgeon Board of Aldermen voted to remove Greg Halderman from his position as police chief by a 3-1 vote Monday night.

The vote was held following a two-and-a-half hour closed hearing in which Halderman and his attorney presented 12 witnesses, two written statements and 12 exhibits.

Halderman has been accused of harassment, drinking on the job and being verbally abusive with suspects. He has called the allegations "bogus" and said he was the victim of a "witch hunt."

The three Aldermen who voted in favor of Halderman's ouster were Rhonda Dawson, Travis Sutton and Tyler Patterson. Alderman Danny Joiner was the lone opposition to the motion.

The firing is effective immediately.


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Area man arrested on suspicion of burglary and drug posession http://www.komu.com/news/area-man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-burglary-and-drug-posession/ http://www.komu.com/news/area-man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-burglary-and-drug-posession/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:50:13 AM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Area man arrested on suspicion of burglary and drug posession

CALIFORNIA - A Kansas City man was arrested on suspicion of burglary Tuesday morning after attempting to evade police.

According to a release from the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office, an employee at the Watering Hole Bar in Jamestown allegedly saw Irvin J. Rill, 59, inside the bar before it was opened. 

The release also says that Rill fled the scene in his vehicle as the employee alerted authorities.

Deputies arrived and tracked the vehicle to Wingate Ford road, located a couple of miles south of Jamestown.

Deputies, along with Jamestown Police Department, did locate Rill's vehicle which had sustained damage to the front end and rear tire, but Rill was absent.

Deputies located Rill approximately 150 yards in the surrounding woods and was taken into custody.

Deputies were able to recover burglary tools used in the alleged break in laying in a brush pile across the street from the bar in town. Also recovered was a glass smoking device which tested positive for methamphetamines.

Rill is currently being held at the Moniteau County Jail on several felony warrants for burglary out of Missouri, Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

The Moniteau County Sheriffs Department said that they will have several charges on Rill for first-degree burglary, stealing, possession of drugs, property damage and possession of burglary tools.




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Missouri teen gets 25 years for sister's shooting death http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-teen-gets-25-years-for-sister-s-shooting-death/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-teen-gets-25-years-for-sister-s-shooting-death/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:56:01 AM The Associated Press Missouri teen gets 25 years for sister's shooting death

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A southwestern Missouri teenager has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting his 12-year-old sister.

The Joplin Globe reports that 15-year-old Tristan Potts was sentenced Monday in Joplin. Potts pleaded guilty in December to charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and attempted first-degree arson.

Potts was 13 in October 2015 when he killed Teresa Potts outside their home near Jasper. Authorities say the siblings were adopted out of foster care.

Potts had been certified to stand trial as an adult.

A judge assigned Potts to a program in which a juvenile and adult sentence is simultaneously imposed, with the adult sentence suspended while the inmate undergoes treatment and vocational training. When he turns 21, the court determines whether he should remain in custody.

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Woman shot outside store; man sought by police found dead http://www.komu.com/news/woman-shot-outside-store-man-sought-by-police-found-dead/ http://www.komu.com/news/woman-shot-outside-store-man-sought-by-police-found-dead/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:37:43 AM The Associated Press Woman shot outside store; man sought by police found dead

LADUE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in suburban St. Louis say a man found dead inside a van was wanted for questioning in a shooting that injured a woman outside a grocery store in Ladue.

An officer heard shots fired outside the Schnucks store in Ladue around 5 a.m. Tuesday. The officer found a middle-aged woman shot by the entrance to the store. Her name and details about the severity of her injuries have not been released.

About two hours later, a man described as a "person of interest" in the shooting was found dead inside a van in Richmond Heights, another St. Louis suburb just a few miles from Ladue. Officials believe the van was the same one seen leaving the store after the shooting. Officials believe the man committed suicide.

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Officials probe cause of Kansas City apartment building fire http://www.komu.com/news/officials-probe-cause-of-kansas-city-apartment-building-fire/ http://www.komu.com/news/officials-probe-cause-of-kansas-city-apartment-building-fire/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:15:16 AM The Associated Press Officials probe cause of Kansas City apartment building fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Fire investigators in Kansas City, Missouri, are trying to pinpoint what sparked a three-alarm blaze that damaged an apartment building, destroying four of the units.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi says no injuries resulted from the blaze reported about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday on the city's south side.

The Kansas City Star reports that about 16 people were displaced by the fire, and media outlets say about 20 apartment units were impacted by the fire.

Berardi says the fire appears to have started outside the building.

One of the tenants, Jacque Mitts, told WDAF-TV that she was working on her computer and noticed flickering lights, then looked outside and saw a pickup truck on fire. She says that by the time she alerted her husband, their apartment's blinds already were melting.

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St. Louis County police: 2 dead in suspected murder-suicide http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-county-police-2-dead-in-suspected-murder-suicide/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-county-police-2-dead-in-suspected-murder-suicide/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:03:49 AM The Associated Press St. Louis County police: 2 dead in suspected murder-suicide

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police say the shooting deaths of a former couple found outside a home appears to be a murder-suicide.

Police say officers responding shortly before 9:30 p.m. Monday to a reported shooting in north St. Louis County found the bodies of a 30-year-old man on a driveway and a 29-year-old woman on a porch. A police spokesman says a gun was found at the scene.

Police say the victims were formerly a couple and had a history of domestic violence.

Police did not immediately release other details of the shooting or the names of the man and woman.

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Man accused of causing Missouri wreck that killed fetus http://www.komu.com/news/man-accused-of-causing-missouri-wreck-that-killed-fetus/ http://www.komu.com/news/man-accused-of-causing-missouri-wreck-that-killed-fetus/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 9:56:48 AM The Associated Press Man accused of causing Missouri wreck that killed fetus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 26-year-old man jailed on $200,000 bond after being accused of drunkenly causing a Kansas City-area wreck that injured a pregnant teenager and caused her unborn baby to die.

Jackson County prosecutors have charged Jonathan Marquardt of Lee's Summit with two felony counts of driving while intoxicated, causing injury and death. He's also charged with leaving an accident scene.

Court documents allege that Raytown police responded early Saturday to a wreck on Missouri 350 involving an 18-year-old man who said his disabled car was hit from behind by a pickup truck that fled the scene.

Authorities say the crash injured the man's 16-year-old girlfriend, who was sitting in the disabled car. Her unborn child later died at a hospital.

Online court records don't show whether Marquardt has an attorney.

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St. Louis-area health care worker admits fraud, ID theft http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-area-health-care-worker-admits-fraud-id-theft/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-area-health-care-worker-admits-fraud-id-theft/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 9:46:53 AM The Associated Press St. Louis-area health care worker admits fraud, ID theft

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sentencing is scheduled for this summer for a Missouri home health care worker who admitted in federal court that she defrauded senior citizens.

Twenty-seven-year-old De'Janay Noldon pleaded guilty Monday in St. Louis to one count each of mail fraud and identity theft.

Federal prosecutors say that while working early last year as a certified nurse's assistant caregiver at a Webster Groves provider of home health care for the elderly, Nolden victimized 13 elderly people and six financial institutions, creating a loss of roughly $30,000.

Prosecutors say she used a nursing home resident's personal information to open lines of credit that she used to pay her own bills, make purchases, and pay bills for relatives and friends.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 27.

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St. Louis pastor accused of sex misconduct with teen http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-pastor-accused-of-sex-misconduct-with-teen/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-pastor-accused-of-sex-misconduct-with-teen/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 9:40:07 AM The Associated Press St. Louis pastor accused of sex misconduct with teen

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis church pastor is accused of sexual misconduct with a teenager.

St. Louis prosecutors on Monday charged 59-year-old Ronald P. Ewing of Jennings with three counts of second-degree statutory rape.

Without identifying where Ewing serves as pastor, court documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch allege that he met the 16-year-old through church and had sex with that person last November and December at three St. Louis hotels.

Online court records don't show whether Ewing has an attorney.

A judge has set Ewing's bond at $75,000 cash.

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Missouri Job Corps converges on Jefferson City to speak with legislators and public http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-job-corps-converges-on-jefferson-city-to-speak-with-legislators-and-public/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-job-corps-converges-on-jefferson-city-to-speak-with-legislators-and-public/ Continuous News Tue, 28 Mar 2017 7:32:07 AM Matt Vereen, KOMU 8 News Reporter Missouri Job Corps converges on Jefferson City to speak with legislators and public

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri branches of the Job Corps program are meeting at the capitol for the first time on Wednesday in hopes of educating lawmakers and Missourians about its services.

 Job Corps will bring admissions counselors, career placement staff and graduates from all over the state to the capitol building to do an information fair for legislators and public.

 Kim Stockstill, an admissions counselor for Job Corps, says the program needs events like these to help spread awareness of their service.

 “Job Corps is a word of mouth program. We rely heavily on providing information at events like this so we can get job core information out to the youth who need the training and to the Missouri businesses who need the certified employees,” Stockstill said.

 Job Crops is a free education and training program for eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income.

 The program has three centers in Missouri in Excelsior Springs, Mingo and St. Louis as well as an office in Jefferson City.

 Its impact on Missouri and across the country has helped train and connect numerous unemployed people with the training and jobs they need.

 “We’ve been around for over 50 years. We’ve helped three million young people in getting trained, certified and employment and starting their careers. It’s important for individuals to realize that we are an option. We are something they should definitely take a hard look at.”

 Job Corps will be on the third floor of the capitol building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow and will also have staff and graduates at the Jefferson City office to meet with prospective Missourians.

 For more information on the program and how to sign up, you can visit Job Corps’ website.

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Eastbound I-70 bridge at Rocheport down to one lane for several days http://www.komu.com/news/eastbound-i-70-bridge-at-rocheport-down-to-one-lane-for-several-days/ http://www.komu.com/news/eastbound-i-70-bridge-at-rocheport-down-to-one-lane-for-several-days/ Continuous News Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:02:54 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Eastbound I-70 bridge at Rocheport down to one lane for several days

BOONE COUNTY – The I-70 bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport will be down to one lane until Wednesday or Thursday.

MoDOT told KOMU that the Missouri Department of Transportation crews are making emergency repairs to an expansion joint on the bridge to allow the bridge to expand and contract.

Motorists should expect heavy congestion and traffic delays on the bridge for the next several days, especially during morning and evening rush hours.

The speed limit on and near the bridge is reduced to 45 mph while the work takes place.

MoDOT advises drivers to alter their travel times or consider taking alternate routes around the bridge, such us Routes 50 and 36.

Wear and tear on the aging bridge is the cause for the expansion joint problem, MoDOT officials said.

MoDOT officials added that the westbound side of the bridge is not affected by the work, and traffic should move normally.

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Missouri man poised to crisscross US on bike http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-poised-to-crisscross-us-on-bike-85886/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-poised-to-crisscross-us-on-bike-85886/ Continuous News Mon, 27 Mar 2017 9:44:45 PM The Associated Press Missouri man poised to crisscross US on bike

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who for more than a decade envisioned crisscrossing the United States by bicycle is about to try to make the trek a reality.

The Kansas City Star reports that 26-year-old Richie Wolfe of Kansas City expects to launch his 7,000-mile journey next Saturday 30 miles east of San Diego in Escondido, California.

Wolfe's five-month Journey Towards Hope ride is a fundraiser for Restoration House. That's a Greenwood, Missouri-based residential recovery program for victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Wolfe plans to cycle from California to Georgia, then north to Maine before visiting the Great Lakes states and heading west to Washington state and Oregon. He hopes to finish up by late September in San Francisco.

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