KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Continuous News Continuous News en-us Copyright 2018, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 20 Jan 2018 HH:01:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 CNN reports FBI opened inquiry into Gov. Eric Greitens http://www.komu.com/news/cnn-reports-fbi-opened-inquiry-into-gov-eric-greitens/ http://www.komu.com/news/cnn-reports-fbi-opened-inquiry-into-gov-eric-greitens/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:19:05 PM CNN CNN reports FBI opened inquiry into Gov. Eric Greitens

(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he fights an allegation of blackmail and faces calls to resign just a year into his job.

While the FBI has not commented on the existence of any inquiry or formal investigation into Greitens, the St. Louis circuit attorney's office announced last week that it is investigating Greitens' conduct following an explosive story that forced the Republican governor to acknowledge having had an extramarital affair and confront an allegation of blackmail.

James Bennett, Greitens' lawyer, told CNN on Friday that the governor "has not been contacted at any time by the FBI, and we are not aware of any interest by the FBI in this personal matter that took place years ago." Bennett added that they are also not aware of any interest by the FBI in matters unrelated to the affair.

"It is the long-standing policy of the US Department of Justice that the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation," an FBI spokeswoman told CNN.

The scope of the FBI inquiry or when it began was not immediately clear. The FBI will at times begin an inquiry as a preliminary step before deciding whether an investigation is warranted.

On Thursday, a 22-year-old man who said he volunteered to help with Greitens' transition team in December 2016 approached CNN to say he was interviewed by the FBI in November 2017.

Eli Karabell told CNN in a phone interview that his conversations with two FBI agents lasted about an hour. He did not offer specifics on what he told the agents, and it is not clear whether the conversation Karabell said he had with the FBI was related to the open inquiry that the two US officials confirmed to CNN.

Al Watkins, a Missouri attorney that Karabell retained this week, told CNN that he separately confirmed with the FBI that the bureau interviewed Karabell.

The news of an FBI inquiry into Greitens comes one week after a local TV station in Missouri broke the news that Greitens had an extramarital affair. The ex-husband of the woman alleged to have had an affair with Greitens said Greitens blackmailed his ex-wife during a sexual encounter.

In a recording obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV, and later also obtained by CNN, a woman is heard saying, "He used some sort of tape, I don't what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me."

She goes on to say that Greitens said to her, "'You're never going to mention my name,' otherwise there will be pictures of me (the woman) everywhere."

Greitens has acknowledged having had an extramarital affair before he became governor, but has vehemently denied blackmail.

Watkins also represents the woman's ex-husband. He told CNN this week that he provided law enforcement with multiple hours of privately recorded conversations between his client and his ex-wife about her affair with Greitens.

Karabell told CNN on Thursday he did not know whether the interview the FBI conducted with him was in any way related to the latest revelations about Greitens' extramarital affair.


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Research finds berries effective in cancer treatment http://www.komu.com/news/research-finds-berries-effective-in-cancer-treatment/ http://www.komu.com/news/research-finds-berries-effective-in-cancer-treatment/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 8:06:28 PM Joe Rossetti, KOMU 8 Reporter Research finds berries effective in cancer treatment

COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.

Dr. Yujiang Fang says a key component in blueberries is resveratrol, which can be used to treat cancer.

"Plus blueberry also contains other chemicals like flavonoids, which has been shown to have killing effect to cancer cells," he said. "So it's very, very reasonable to assume that blueberry can be used as a radiosensitizer because of it contains reseveratrol, plus it contains flavonoids."

Radiosensitizers are often used to help increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy, while also lowering the dosage necessary.

At the moment, Fang's research is focusing specifically on cervical cancer. 

Fang said it's one of the most common cancers in females worldwide, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12,000 women are diagnosed each year. 

In the latest stages of cervical cancer, Fang said it's necessary for patients to undergo radiation therapy.

"The problem's that if you give higher dosage, it not only kills cancer cells, but also kills healthy cells," Fang said. "So we need to find a chemical, or something which has little side effect, but is productive, very effective to kill cancer and at the same time reduce killing healthy cells". 

At the moment, Fang said his research is in the early stages. He and his team are currently applying the blueberry extract to cancer cells directly - in vitro. 

In the study, Fang and his team divided the cervical cancer cells into four groups. The groups included a control group receiving no treatment, a group receiving only radiation treatment, a group receiving only blueberry extract and a group receiving both. 

Fang said the group receiving only radiation decreased cancer cells by about 20 percent, the group receiving only blueberry extract reduced cancerous cells by 25 percent, and because of the synergistic effects, the group receiving both experienced a 70 percent decrease in cancerous cells.

"We didn't see any harmful effect," Fang said. "So that's why we think compared with chemicals, drugs, this really has a lot of advantage.

He said blueberry extract will be beneficial because of it's multiple effects. 

"In this study, we emphasize that you need to use radiation first, and adding blueberry is going to help you to get a better treatment," Fang said. "The reason's that blueberry adding to radiation can inhibit proliferation of cancer cells, and promote death, or apoptosis, of cancer cells."

The next step for Fang and his team is studies on mice and eventually human trials. 


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Poster campaign designed to fight human trafficking in Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/poster-campaign-designed-to-fight-human-trafficking-in-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/poster-campaign-designed-to-fight-human-trafficking-in-missouri/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 6:43:32 PM Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter Poster campaign designed to fight human trafficking in Missouri

COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the beginning of next year. 

Missouri Rep. Patricia Pike, R-Adrian, sponsored House Bill 1246. It was recently passed. If it becomes law, places like truck stops, strip clubs, urgent care centers and airports would be required to hang posters with the number to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. 

The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It is also accessible in 170 languages for non-English speakers. 

The Department of Public Safety would make the posters available online or by mail for the establishments. 

Those that fail to hang the poster will receive a warning, and cited for any later violations. 

Columbia resident Neil Kumar said the posters will make a difference for those who are in trouble. 

"It will be really helpful for them having this information to be visible to all the public so they can get help immediately from the officials," he said. 

Some people said they did not think the posters would make a difference because they aren't addressing trafficking at the source.

However, Nanette Ward, a founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, said the posters will help raise awareness in local communities. 

Ward said operators at the national hotline could be more helpful than 9-1-1 operators for people affected by trafficking.

"That person who's, you're calling 9-1-1, they're dispatching fire department, police department. That kind of thing and not necessarily, 'Hey, there's a domestic violence shelter that you can go to,'' Ward said. 

The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate before it can become law. 


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Current mental health screenings alone not enough to help students http://www.komu.com/news/current-mental-health-screenings-alone-not-enough-to-help-students/ http://www.komu.com/news/current-mental-health-screenings-alone-not-enough-to-help-students/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 4:09:04 PM Maia McDonald, KOMU 8 Reporter Current mental health screenings alone not enough to help students

COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that 80 percent of state students who needed treatment for serious mental health issues, did not receive sufficient public health support. According to the study, there was a high variance between mental health screenings performed by teachers and administrators for more than 97,000 young Missourians in 2015. 

"We were looking at the accuracy of mental health screenings done for elementary students and we used data that reflected three different districts from across three different states and we're basically looking to try to understand how much of the variance between student ratings was coming from the students themselves or other sources,"  Melissa Maras, a research consultant at MU’s Assessment Resource Center.

According to Maras, they wanted to find out whether teacher differences or other factors may have had an effect on mental health screenings for potentially at-risk students. 

"We're trying to identify students who need additional support, looking not only to the teachers who are terrific reporters but also if there's a school counselor or administrator, asking there parent or guardian, other adults who may be involved in their lives, a coach or someone out in the community." Maras said. 

Maras said getting information for multiple sources like this can help to create a more well-rounded picture of a students needs. She also said that the data helps shed a light on the issues Missouri faces.

"Our schools are doing a really great job with the resources they have but unfortunately they have very limited resources. In terms of statewide data none of the ratios in terms of student to professional are at the recommended level. So we just simply don't have enough school counselors, school psychiatrists, school psychologists to meet these needs," Maras said.

Currently, the ratio of school-employed mental health professionals to students in Missouri for the 2016-2017 school year was 1 social worker for every 2,065 students while the ideal ratio is 1 social worker for every 250 students. Daniel Rector of the Hook Center for Educational Leadership and District Renewal, who works alongside Maras, said there's a lot that can be done to support young students. 

"When I think about how we can best support all students I think there should really be a focus, an emphasis, across the state, across the nation is really systems for collaboration. What I think about when supporting the child, what does the school do, what does the parents do, it's really about how do we come together as a structure as an entire process to support our kids," Rector said. 


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Annual Molly Bowden blood drive comes at crucial time http://www.komu.com/news/annual-molly-bowden-blood-drive-comes-at-crucial-time/ http://www.komu.com/news/annual-molly-bowden-blood-drive-comes-at-crucial-time/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 3:56:29 PM By Jalyn Johnson, KOMU 8 Reporter Annual Molly Bowden blood drive comes at crucial time

COLUMBIA- The annual blood drive for fallen officer Molly Bowden came at a time when collecting blood is vital.

The American Red Cross has paired with this specific drive since 2012 and a representative said the organization has cancelled 500 blood drives in 2018 due to weather.  

"We're under urgent appeal.  That's where hospitals are using blood as fast as we can collect it.  This drive today, along with all the other drives, is so very important so we can have blood product for our patients," Red Cross Account Manager Jennifer Books said.

Just one unit of blood can save up to three lives.

Molly Bowden, 26, was a officer with the Columbia Police Department for over three years.  She was killed in 2005 during a routine traffic stop.  Bowden was the first Columbia Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty.  

Bowden's family and friends believe the blood drive is something she would be proud to have her name attached to.

"I think she would be so excited to see the impact that her life has been able to have on the community," family friend Beth Cowgill said. 

Bowden inspired Cowgill to pursue a career in law enforcement but family life interfered with the opportunity.  In order to still show support for first responders in the Columbia community, Cowgill founded a holiday campaign called Operation Holly Jolly Heroes. 

"We raise money to create these little care packages that we hand deliver to law enforcement, first responders and EMT's in the area," Cowgill said.

Volunteers and the Columbia Police Department say that even though Bowden is no longer here, her spirit is shining down over the blood drive.

"We've got spectacular weather.  This is the warmest day we've had in quite a while. So we like to say that Molly's looking down on us, smiling and very happy that we're all coming together as a community," Columbia Police Department Sergeant Chad Craig said.


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Essential services open if the government shuts down http://www.komu.com/news/essential-services-open-if-the-government-shuts-down/ http://www.komu.com/news/essential-services-open-if-the-government-shuts-down/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 2:23:40 PM Gabrielle Hays, KOMU 8 Reporter Essential services open if the government shuts down

COLUMBIA- While the government heads toward a possible partial shut down many government agencies in mid-Missouri will remain open. 

In Washington, lawmakers are working to reach an agreement over a spending bill that would extend government funding for a short period of time. The bill passed in the House late Thursday with a 230-197 vote but still has to make it past the Senate. 

Despite the possibility of a shut down mid-Missouri agencies like Columbia Regional Airport will still remain open.

Mike Parks is an airport manager at Columbia Regional Airport. He said people tend to think everything ends when the government shuts down. 

"I think people have a misunderstanding how things would occur, we want to emphasize that we will continue to operate."

One of the only parts of the airport considered to be government affiliated is the Transportation Security Administration. Parks said even those workers will still report to work.

"TSA will continue to operate, it's considered an essential service and same with the air traffic control tower, those are both considered essential services," Parks said.

Other essential services include social security, military and mail delivery would continue to function as well.

In order to avoid the shutdown, lawmakers must come to an agreement over spending by 12 a.m. Saturday morning. 


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College students may soon be required to take civics test to graduate http://www.komu.com/news/college-students-may-soon-be-required-to-take-civics-test-to-graduate/ http://www.komu.com/news/college-students-may-soon-be-required-to-take-civics-test-to-graduate/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 2:21:17 PM Mackenzie Huck, KOMU 8 Reporter College students may soon be required to take civics test to graduate

JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Dean Dohrman, (R-La Monte) has introduced House Bill 1528 to the Missouri Legislature. The bill requires that "any student attending a public or private institution of higher education score at least 70% of the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination as a condition of graduation from the institution."

The exam would consist of between 50 and 100 questions and may be administered online. 

Dohrman said the exam would be similar to the United States citizenship exam, including questions which cover the United States Constitution, the United States Bill of Rights, governmental institutions, historical manifestations of federalism, and history of constitutional interpretation and amendments.

As an American government teacher himself, Dohrman said the test would just put a framework around the learning that currently takes place.

"We passed a similar statute a few years ago for high school students," Dohrman said. "They're required to take a civics exam and I looked at that and said, 'That's a good piece of legislation on our part.' It's a class we can use all our lives."

MU political science professor Peverill Squire said he thinks the effort is admirable, but not necessary.

"It's a laudable goal to aim for a more informed citizenry," Squire said. "However, I don't think it's needed at this time in Missouri. All students are required to take an introductory course on American government or history so they learn this content already. It's just whether or not we want to institute another requirement and have them go through another set of tests to demonstrate their mastery of the material."

Dohrman said the test would not have any costs associated with it.

"What people may be unclear about if they just glance at the bill is that this test can be integrated within any other exam that is administered on this kind of material," Dohrman said.

Squire said he is concerned about costs associated with the addition of another test.

"It's going to come with some costs and time and energy both with administering the test and on the part of the students," Squire said. "The cost is probably not exorbitant but it comes at a time when universities are being cut so it's not like there are a lot of slack resources around to cover those costs."

Jared Kester, an MU student, said he would initially feel frustrated at an additional workload, but he appreciates the sentiment.

"I like that they want students to have some basic level knowledge of how our government works," Kester said. "I just don't particularly want to take another test."

House Bill 1528 is currently in committee. 


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Greitens' attorney says "no truth" to resignation rumors http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-attorney-says-no-truth-to-resignation-rumors/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-attorney-says-no-truth-to-resignation-rumors/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 1:21:31 PM Maggie Madro, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Greitens' attorney says

ST. LOUIS - Governor Greitens' attorney said Friday the rumors about Greitens possibly resigning hold "zero truth".

Rumors of Greitens' resignation are all over social media, but his attorney, James Bennett, said, "There is zero truth to the rumor and the governor is at work and looking forward to serving our state."

Last week, KMOV in St. Louis reported a woman had an affair with Greitens in 2015. The woman's ex-husband said Greitens also tried to blackmail the woman by taking a nude photo of her and threatening to release the photo if she came forward.

Greitens has admitted to the affair but denies the blackmail allegations.


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Homeless teen charged in death of young Missouri mother http://www.komu.com/news/homeless-teen-charged-in-death-of-young-missouri-mother/ http://www.komu.com/news/homeless-teen-charged-in-death-of-young-missouri-mother/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:56:28 AM The Associated Press Homeless teen charged in death of young Missouri mother

SEDALIA (AP) — An 18-year-old staying at a Missouri ranch for homeless boys has been charged with killing a woman whose body was found in a trailer home with her two unharmed children.

Noah Kelliker was arraigned Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and three other felonies in the death of 21-year-old Cassandra White. Bond is set at $250,000. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

The Sedalia Democrat reports that White's body was found Jan. 9 at a trailer park near Sedalia, with the door shattered apparently by gunfire. Her baby was on a couch near her and the toddler was in a bedroom. Marijuana was found inside, and her boyfriend is charged with drug possession. Kelliker was arrested two days later at the Masters Ranch in Oregon County.


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Brothers charged in killing of man found dumped in park http://www.komu.com/news/brothers-charged-in-killing-of-man-found-dumped-in-park/ http://www.komu.com/news/brothers-charged-in-killing-of-man-found-dumped-in-park/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:11:22 AM The Associated Press Brothers charged in killing of man found dumped in park

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two Kansas City brothers have been charged with killing a man and then dumping his body near a park.

Prosecutors announced Thursday that 25 -year-old Antonio Love and 26-year-old Miguel Love are charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Michael Anthony High-Frump. His body was found wrapped in a sheet in the grass next to a road in August.

Court records say a tipster later reported that a man had been bound, beaten, and stabbed in an Independence home before being placed in a car trunk. Blood was found in the home.

Witnesses told authorities the killing was in retaliation for the February 2016 beating of Antonio Love, which stemmed from a drug dispute.

Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 bond for each of the brothers.


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African American Heritage Trail gets approval from parks department http://www.komu.com/news/african-american-heritage-trail-gets-approval-from-parks-department/ http://www.komu.com/news/african-american-heritage-trail-gets-approval-from-parks-department/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 7:43:44 AM Pat Mueller, KOMU 8 Reporter African American Heritage Trail gets approval from parks department

COLUMBIA - "From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the Sharp End business district was a city within a city for Columbia's black community."

That's the first sentence of a plaque on East Walnut Street commemorating the historic Columbia community. 

On Thursday, Columbia's Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the African American Heritage Trail in downtown Columbia. 

Over the past five years, the commission has placed markers downtown to reflect on the history of Columbia's black community. The commission's services manager Gabe Huffington said the individual markers evolved into a bigger project: a full path going through downtown.  

"This entire project started with citizens in our community wanting to recognize some key African American businesses, storefronts, churches and some other areas of Columbia in our history that are very important to our African American citizens in our community," said Huffington. 

The trail's markers are funded by private individuals, organizations and businesses. The commission said it needs donations for four more markers to complete the trail. Each marker needs about $2,000 to $3,000 in donations to be put in. 

The Sharp End district was torn down during the city's urban renewal plan in the 1960s. 

Other markers of note include the John William "Blind" Boone Home and the Lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge. "Blind" Boone was a black composer and concert pianist who lived in Columbia in the early 20th century. The house at 4th and Broadway was bustling with music, community and faith. 

The marker at the foot of MKT Trail on Providence Road has a bleaker connection to history: a lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge occurred in April of 1923. James T. Scott, a black janitor at MU's medical school at the time, was hanged on the bridge by a mob. Charges were filed against the mob, but no one was convicted. 

The African American Heritage Trail still needs approval from the city council. The commission also needs to get an easement from the Lambda Alpha Chi Fraternity, since part of the trail runs by the fraternity's property near the cemetery. Right now, there is no set completion date for the trail.  

 


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Man in debt over DUI pleads guilty to robbing Kansas bank http://www.komu.com/news/man-in-debt-over-dui-pleads-guilty-to-robbing-kansas-bank/ http://www.komu.com/news/man-in-debt-over-dui-pleads-guilty-to-robbing-kansas-bank/ Continuous News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 5:32:30 AM The Associated Press Man in debt over DUI pleads guilty to robbing Kansas bank

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who was thousands of dollars in debt from a drunken driving case has pleaded guilty to a Kansas bank robbery that netted just $615.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Ryan Michael Cothern pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing a U.S. Bank in Overland Park in October 2017.

Investigators say Cothern handed a teller his cellphone with a message demanding she put money into a bag. The teller placed $615 and a GPS locator in the bag and pulled the alarm. Cothern was arrested about 7 miles from the bank.

Johnson County records show Cothern was released from jail four days before the robbery. He was under court order to pay back more than $14,000 he owed in an earlier DUI case.


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Program teaching students with autism job skills holds open house http://www.komu.com/news/program-teaching-students-with-autism-job-skills-holds-open-house/ http://www.komu.com/news/program-teaching-students-with-autism-job-skills-holds-open-house/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 7:22:05 PM Olivia Gerling, KOMU 8 Reporter Program teaching students with autism job skills holds open house

COLUMBIA – Some students were “striving” for a new learning experience Thursday night. 

Parents of students with autism gathered at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders on January 10 to learn about a program called “STRIVE.” It stands for “Self-Determined Readiness Through Individual Vocational Experiences.”

STRIVE is a program designed for 18-to-25-year-olds with autism. It is a post-secondary program that offers two semesters of non-credit classes to help with the development of skills for seeking employment.

“The first semester is based on direct instruction, work experience and peer mentorship,” said the STRIVE program coordinator Cortney Fish. “The second semester we offer competitive paid employment for individuals based at one of the sites that they've worked at.”

2018 is only the second year the program has been around. Last year the program had five participants, and all of them are currently employed.

Participants job shadow while in the program, which may later lead to jobs. 

John Frangenberg was one of the past participants of the program. He came to visit some of the workers at the open house.

After doing STRIVE last year, he now has a job at MU Accounting.

“I was a job shadow, kind of an internship type thing,” he said. “After the program ended, they liked me enough that they decided to keep me.”

Participants rate the jobs they shadow from highest to lowest, then they get to shadow one of the workers. Frangenberg said he now has his own STRIVE participants shadowing him.

“I was in a dark place around the time that I stumbled upon this program,” Frangenberg said. “It’s been something of a godsend.”

He said the program taught him things like goal-setting techniques and how to be interviewed.

According to the center’s website, STRIVE has three pillars to prepare participants for employment: 

  • Direct skill instruction led by staff from the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Job experience and coached feedback
  • Peer mentoring for participants; parent liaison for caregivers

 

 

 

 


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Callaway County turns drug money into a benefit for Missouri schools http://www.komu.com/news/callaway-county-turns-drug-money-into-a-benefit-for-missouri-schools/ http://www.komu.com/news/callaway-county-turns-drug-money-into-a-benefit-for-missouri-schools/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 7:08:19 PM Daytona Everett, KOMU 8 Reporter Callaway County turns drug money into a benefit for Missouri schools

FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff’s Office is using more than $16,000 seized during a 2013 drug investigation for a public schools state fund.

“It’s probably the biggest case I’ve had,” Callaway County Treasurer Debbie Zerr said.

The office obtained the money through civil forfeiture, a process that’s sometimes controversial.

“There’s a misconception that when we seize drug money, that that money comes back to law enforcement or the sheriff’s office or the county, and that is not accurate,” Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said.

Under state law, money seized during cases like this goes through a court disposition then to the state treasurer. That money is then transferred to the state which later returns it to local school districts, Chism said.

This particular case was somewhat lengthy, according to Chism.

“Frankly, I’m happy that money can be used as an asset for a good cause,” Chism said. "The children here in Callaway County and elsewhere in the state of Missouri.”

The office posted the following on their Facebook account on Jan. 17:

“The point of us publicizing over Facebook last night was just to let our residents know some background information on what else goes on here at the sheriff’s office,” Chism said.

Zerr will not turn the money over to the state until September. Then the state will distribute all of the money collected throughout the year.


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Missouri Senate approves 3 Greitens' department directors http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-approves-3-greitens-department-directors/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-approves-3-greitens-department-directors/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 5:01:08 PM The Associated Press Missouri Senate approves 3 Greitens' department directors

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Several department directors for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens have finally won Senate confirmation for their jobs.

Social Services Director Steve Corsi, Economic Development Director Rob Dixon and Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anna Hui all had originally been announced by Greitens last spring.

They had been serving on an acting or interim basis until Senate confirmation Thursday. The directors are among 56 Greitens' appointees to receive confirmation this week.

The Senate has until early February to act on dozens of additional appointments that had been announced by Greitens while the Legislature was not in session.


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St. Louis, Kansas City fail to make final list for Amazon HQ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-kansas-city-fail-to-make-final-list-for-amazon-hq/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-kansas-city-fail-to-make-final-list-for-amazon-hq/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 4:57:51 PM The Associated Press St. Louis, Kansas City fail to make final list for Amazon HQ

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Amazon has announced its list of 20 cities for a second headquarters, and both big cities in Missouri failed to make the cut.

St. Louis and Kansas City were among 238 cities making a bid to be the site of a second headquarters. The 20 finalists were announced Thursday.

The online retailer in September opened the search and promised to spend more than $5 billion on the site. The Seattle-based company expects it will bring up to 50,000 jobs. A final selection will be announced later this year.

Missouri officials also submitted a bid separate from the two cities that would have involved an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis rather than a single location in one of the state's major metropolitan areas.


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Cold weather means increase in frozen pipes http://www.komu.com/news/cold-weather-means-increase-in-frozen-pipes/ http://www.komu.com/news/cold-weather-means-increase-in-frozen-pipes/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 3:48:55 PM Caroline Peterson, KOMU 8 Reporter Cold weather means increase in frozen pipes

COLUMBIA – This season’s frigid temperatures mean a rise in frozen pipes around the city.

Lucia Bourgeois, communications specialist for Columbia Water and Light, said “On average we usually have between one and two every one or two weeks. This winter we have seen as many as 6 in one day. We didn’t have the same kind of cold as we did last year.”

She said there has been 40 or so water main issues in the city this year.

Even though the weather is warming up, the city of Columbia and local property managers are urging residents to be aware of frozen pipes.

Property manager for Callahan and Galloway, Laurie Overweather, said of the 500 properties they manage, most of them are older homes. She said they remain proactive in reminding residents how to prevent problems.

“For some reason a tenant's door didn’t shut all the way, probably because of the wind, leaving the door barely opened caused the pipes to freeze in the common area. Once they got warm they burst,” Overweather said.

There is a difference between the city’s water mains and service pipes for your home.

“Water mains are the pipes that run underneath the streets and sidewalks, they are connected to our three different water towers and they actually bring water to the supply lines and the supply lines are where you are getting the water in your home for,” Bourgeois said.

You can’t prevent water mains from breaking, but you can take steps to make sure pipes in your home do not break.

The city suggests you:

  • Leave a faucet run at a fast drip. Moving water will transfer heat from the ground to the pipe helping to prevent freezing.
  • If you have plumbing running through unheated areas, open cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate
  • Temporarily keep the thermostat set at the same temperature during the day at night
  • If you will be away from your home for a long time, set the thermostat to at least 60 degrees
  • Check to see if crawl spaces are secure
  • Keep garage door closed
  • Check that the lid for your water meter pit is sealed

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Macon County Jail torn down http://www.komu.com/news/macon-county-jail-torn-down/ http://www.komu.com/news/macon-county-jail-torn-down/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 2:07:03 PM Rob Veno, KOMU 8 Reporter Macon County Jail torn down

MACON - Crews tore down a 100-year-old piece of Macon's history Thursday. Four years ago, courts condemned the old Macon County Sheriff's Office and Jail as unsafe, due to structural problems.

The county built a new jail and sheriff's office and moved in the space in early 2017. According to Macon County Sheriff Kevin Shoemaker, this was the right call.

"Fortunately we were able to build a new one quick and get out of this one fairly quick before it did come down on us," Shoemaker said.

The community had talked about turning the century-old building into a historical site, but Shoemaker says the building was simply unusable.

"It would take a complete teardown to almost do anything safe enough with it." Shoemaker said.

Macon resident Junior Johenson said while he understands the building has to go he will miss it.

"This one here I just thought was pretty unique, I just thought that we ought to just try and preserve it if we could, but I know it has to come down," Johenson said.

Johenson's not the only one who enjoyed the building. Macon County Assessor Alan Spencer said he remembers having his restaurant cook for the inmates.

"Twice a day, seven days a week, we used to take food up there," Spencer said.

Shoemaker said all the time he spent at the sheriff's office created a connection to the building.

"You know you spend half your life here at work you get attached to things," Shoemaker said

Even with all the nostalgia, Shoemaker says he won't be heartbroken to see it go.

"Oh boy, I don't know that I'm going to miss anything actually," Shoemaker said.

He added that the building served it's purpose for long enough, and it's run its course.

"It's definitely time to go," Shoemaker said.

The building was built in 1909 and had stood in Macon for more than 108 years.


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Greitens releases outline for tax reform plan http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-releases-outline-for-tax-reform-plan/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-releases-outline-for-tax-reform-plan/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 1:28:50 PM Elli Fitzgerald, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Greitens releases outline for tax reform plan

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Eric Greitens released an outline of his plan for state tax reform on Thursday. The outline focuses on the main principles that Greitens and his team hope to include in the final, more detailed tax reform plan.

According to a press release, some of the principles include cutting taxes for working families, lowering taxes for business and ending loopholes that benefit big businesses and high earners.

In the release, Greitens called his plan "the boldest state tax reform in America because it's tax reform for working families--not lobbyists and special interests."

The plan would, according to the release, cut taxes for 97% of Missourians, and cuts the personal income tax rate for those making more than $9,072 a year. It would also reportedly "eliminate taxes entirely" for nearly 400,000 Missourians.

Greitens and his team said they plan to lay out the plan in more detail and work over the next few weeks, working with the general assembly to create draft legislation.


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Former Camden County deputy facing more child sex charges http://www.komu.com/news/former-camden-county-deputy-facing-more-child-sex-charges/ http://www.komu.com/news/former-camden-county-deputy-facing-more-child-sex-charges/ Continuous News Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:47:39 PM Steve Lambson, News Content Manager Former Camden County deputy facing more child sex charges

CAMDEN COUNTY - A former sheriff's deputy already facing charges of child pornography and child molestation faces more charges in a separate incident.

Prosecutors charged Leonard Wilson in late December with two counts of statutory sodomy and one count of child molestation. The charges stem from an incident in April 2017.

According to court documents, Wilson went to a foster home in Mack's Creek while on duty to look into a situation with one of the children there. While at the home, two girls - including the victim - went outside to look at Wilson's patrol car.

As they went back inside, Wilson allegedly told the victim to come back to the car. He then told her he'd always had a crush on her and wanted her to move in with him. 

Wilson then allegedly started touching and kissing the girl, and made her touch him. At one point she said she tried to pull away but he didn't let her and escalated the sexual contact.

Afterwards, Wilson reportedly told the girl to send full-body photographs of herself to him. She only sent photos of her face, and said he sent photos of his genitals to her.

Investigators said they found on the girl's phone contacts in various apps and programs for "Lenny Wilson," "Lenny" and "mr.wilson119."

In October 2017, prosecutors charged Wilson with child molestation, child pornography, furnishing pornography to a minor and stalking for an incident that happened over the summer.


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