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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy is in critical condition after police say an officer shot him with a stun gun during a traffic stop.

Sgt. Darrell Schmidli says the driver was stopped Sunday afternoon because of an outstanding warrant. He says the driver refused to roll down the window or get out of the car. He says the officer used the stun gun on the teen, who allegedly struggled with police as he was removed.

The teen was hospitalized in critical condition. Police say they don’t know what caused the medical emergency.

A friend who witnessed the stop tells WDAF-TV the teen was using his cellphone to record the officer. Another witness tells the station she saw the teen convulsing.

Schmidli says police will review video of the stop.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis nonprofit that provides assistance to families of emergency workers who die in the line of duty says it is not raising money for the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Backstoppers released a statement on Monday dispelling reports on social media, saying the organization is not participating in, and has not benefited from, any fundraising to support Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. Wilson remains on paid administrative leave while a state grand jury and the Justice Department continue investigations into the Aug. 9 shooting.

Backstoppers says that if it receives any funds related to the Ferguson matter, the money would be rejected.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said Monday that she plans to resign later this year, ending a tenure during which she repeatedly came under criticism as the state adopted new school accreditation standards and dealt with struggling districts.

Nicastro has been head of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education since 2009, after previously serving as a school administrator. She said she will step down at the end of 2014.

In a written statement announcing Nicastro’s departure, the department noted her tenure has included the implementation of new educational and classification standards for public schools. The department also adopted an initiative intended to push Missouri into a top 10 ranking for student achievement by 2020.

“This is exactly the right time both personally and professionally for a change in leadership,” Nicasatro said in a written statement.

Nicastro had been frequently criticized by some state legislators and officials for her handling of high-profile issues, particularly during the past year.

An audit released last month faulted the department’s process for hiring a consultant for a potential overhaul of the Kansas City School District. Some state lawmakers also have been upset with the way the department has handled a student-transfer law for unaccredited districts in the St. Louis area. Other lawmakers have been opposed to the agency’s implementation of the Common Core educational standards.

One of Nicastro’s most outspoken critics has been Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of St. Louis.

Chappelle-Nadal said Monday that she was “ecstatic” to hear Nicastro was leaving, adding: “She made the right decision.”

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri amendment creating a constitutional right to farm has prevailed after a recount.

The secretary of state’s office certified the outcome of the recount Monday, showing that the amendment passed by a margin of 2,375 votes out of nearly 1 million cast in the August election.

That’s a slightly smaller victory than the 2,490-vote margin from the original count.

Opponents of the ballot measure had requested a recount under a state law that allows it whenever the margin of victory is less than one-half of a percentage point.

Constitutional Amendment 1 on the Aug. 5 ballot created a constitutional right to engage in farming and ranching.

Missouri is just the second state behind North Dakota to place farming rights in its constitution.

life3(West Plains)-Area residents joined together on Saturday, September 13, at the West Plains Elementary School track, in memory and in honor of those who have lost and won their battle with cancer during this year’s Howell County Relay for Life event.

Throughout the day’s events there were fun and games for the kids, lots of homemade food to choose from, a jail to toss your friends into, and at 6PM a survivors lap was made by all those attending the event who had won their battle against cancer.

Towards the end of the evening, a luminaria ceremony took place where friends and family could light a candle in honor or in memory of a cancer survivor or commemorate one who had lost their battle.



msu50(West Plains) – Students from area junior high/middle schools and high schools and area residents are invited to attend the 2014 Career/Job Fair set for 9 AM to 2 PM Thursday, September 25, in the Student Recreation Center at the corner of Garfield Avenue and West Trish Knight Street.

The event is being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains and the South Central Career Center. Also joining the hosts will be representatives from Missouri State University-Springfield, Missouri State University Outreach in West Plains, the Missouri Career Center and several area employers.

The free event will feature exhibits about the university’s degree and certificate programs, SCCC’s certificate programs, job opportunities at area businesses and social agencies needing volunteers. Representatives from the Missouri State Outreach office will provide information about the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered locally, and a Missouri State University admissions representative will be on hand to assist students planning to transfer to the Springfield campus.

Additional activities available to those attending will include internet research of current job openings in the state of Missouri by location, as well as projected jobs for the future, including educational requirements, average pay, and more. Resource ideas for further career exploration also will be provided.

Smith said several schools already have registered to attend, including Alton, Bakersfield, Doniphan, Gainesville, Glenwood, Howell Valley, Koshkonong, Norwood, Summersville, South Central Career Center, Van Buren and West Plains Middle School. Representatives of other area school districts who would like to register their groups can do so by calling 417-255-7230 or Registration is not required for area residents wishing to attend.

For more information about the fair, contact Smith at 417-255-7230.


(Jefferson City)- Missouri Senators came together for their annual veto session on Tuesday, September 9.

Lawmakers overrode the veto on Senate Bill 656, a measure that modifies provisions relating to firearms and corporate security advisors. Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, sponsors the proposal and says the main reason the executive branch turned thumbs down to it was because the bill would allow teachers to be armed in classrooms:

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Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, adds Senate Bill 656 is one of the bigger issues under consideration by lawmakers for veto session:

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The Senate would also vote to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 506, a measure relating to agriculture. Senator Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, explains a provision relating to captive deer. The measure passed the Senate but did not receive enough votes in the House to override the governor’s veto:

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Lawmakers also voted to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 731, sponsored by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis. The measure modifies provisions relating to nuisance ordinances and actions:

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The Veto Session of the 97th General Assembly would later adjourn sine die, pursuant to Missouri’s Constitution.


CBCOlogo(Springfield)- Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) has issued a Code Yellow Alert for type O Negative Blood.

There is currently less than a two-day supply of this type on hospital shelves and donations are needed immediately. Donors to Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) provide all of the blood for patients at thirty-eight area hospitals. Every five minutes on average, a transfusion takes place. It takes around 250 donations each day to meet the area’s blood needs.

A number of newly scheduled blood drives have been announced by CBCO:

The CBCO will be holding a blood drive at the Houston High School on Tuesday, September 23, from 9AM-2PM.

On Wednesday and Thursday, September 24, and 25, the CBCO will be at the West Plains Missouri State University from 12-5PM.

On Friday, September 26, the CBCO will be at the Mountain View Mercy St. Francis Hospital from 9AM-12PM, they will also be at the Summersville High School from 9AM-2PM

To be eligible to give blood, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and present a valid photo ID. For more information about sharing your good health with others, visit or call toll-free 1-800-280-5337.


(West Plains)- The West Plains Police Department has announced they are joining with law enforcement September 14-20 for an aggressive Child Passenger Safety Week Law Enforcement Campaign; to crack down on Missouri’s child safety seat law violators and to reduce highway fatalities and injuries to children.

Missouri law requires all children under the age of eight to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 lbs or 4’9” tall. Car crashes are the number one killer of kids. Nearly 73 percent of all child restraints are not used correctly. Is your child safe?

Police Chief Jeff Head said regular child safety seat and safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. For more information, visit


nixonsosa(Jefferson City)- Governor Jay Nixon has released more than $22 million for mental health services, reimbursements to local governments, job training and other priorities following the successful bipartisan effort to defeat a package of special interest tax breaks that would have reduced state revenues.

“The successful bipartisan effort to defeat these special interest tax breaks allows us to fund these critical priorities, while ensuring a balanced budget,” Gov. Nixon said. “We will continue to monitor revenue carefully to ensure that we keep our fiscal house in order.”

The Governor released $22,173,936 for the following:

• $9,876,876 for county assessment maintenance

• $1,756,552 to reimburse counties for costs related to state prisoners

• $241,404 for the Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center

• $384,628 for Autism Diagnostic Centers

• $752,490 for Regional Autism Projects

• $20,000 for the Southeast Missouri State University Autism Center

• $1,090,000 for grants to Federally Qualified Health Centers

• $3,000,000 to support high-tech startups through the Missouri Technology Corporation

• $1,000,000 for Missouri Works Training

• $2,000,000 for improvements to the Missouri River levee system protecting Rosencrans Memorial Airport and Air National Guard Base in Buchanan County

• $2,000,000 million to improve cyber-security and e-government services through OA-ITSD

• $51,986 for the State Milk Board

Gov. Nixon also announced the restriction of $54,365,962, including the line-item vetoes acted upon by the legislature, in order to prevent the growth of government beyond available revenues and ensure a balanced budget.