National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest website

Missouri 5th graders invited to participate in 40th annual National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

To help children learn about staying safe and to raise awareness of missing children, the Department of Public Safety is inviting Missouri fifth graders to participate in the annual National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. The national winner and his/her parents and teacher will be invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 40th annual […]

Chistmas tree scene in 19th Century home (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Decorate for the holidays with safety in mind

Procrastinators win the prize in the “Safest Holiday Decorations” category. “In days of old, people rarely brought holiday greenery into the home before Christmas Eve,” says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Doing so was considered bad luck for the coming year. Today, the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and lasts through New Year’s […]

GOP Reps. Jason Chipman, Curtis Trent and Phil Christofanelli speak during Missouri House debate (Photo by Tim Bommel-Missouri House Communications)

Missouri Republicans file bills to automate expungements for non-violent offenses

(Missouri Independent) – Crista Hogan estimates tens of thousands of people in Greene County are eligible to clean their criminal records of old non-violent misdemeanor and felony offenses — offenses she says limit their access to good-paying jobs and safe housing. But under state law, it requires people to file an arduous petition in court, […]

Recreational Marijuana News Graphic

University of Missouri alerts students, faculty and staff that marijuana is prohibited on university property

As of Thursday, the recreational use of marijuana is no longer illegal in Missouri. But there are still some places where it remains a crime, and that includes Mizzou and all other campuses within the University of Missouri System. Doctor Laura Bierut, who studies addiction, is worried that use among youths will increase:     […]

Guilty Verdict

Missouri man convicted of 12 counts child pornography charges from abuse of seven children in 4 states

United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Joseph Willard, 59, of Cole Camp, Missouri, was convicted at trial of 12 counts of child exploitation offenses arising from his abuse of seven minor children, ranging in age from eight to 17 while pretending to own an international modeling agency. In August 2019, the defendant was […]

Rape Kit or SAFE kit, sexual assault kit

Missouri Attorney General’s office secures conviction through SAFE Kit Initiative, 10 other cases headed to trial

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his Office had recently helped to secure a conviction because of the work his Office has done with the SAFE Kit Initiative. In October of 2022, Garrett Dewayne Belcher Jr. pled guilty to Felony Rape in the First Degree in St. Francois County and was sentenced to 15 […]

Missouri pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Dashboard

Missouri launches interactive dashboard displaying pregnancy associated deaths

Annually, an average of 61 Missouri women die while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is leading the nation in launching the first statewide, interactive dashboard displaying maternal mortality data. “The road to becoming a mother is not always easy. DHSS and the PAMR Board are looking […]

Indictment graphic with gavel and file folder

Former Missouri correctional officer indicted on civil rights and child pornography charges

A former correctional officer at a Missouri prison was indicted Wednesday on a civil rights charge and two counts of possession of child pornography.  Carl Hart, 36, of Farmington, was a corrections officer at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre at the time of the alleged assault, the indictment says. The […]

Guilty Plea News Graphic

Former Missouri university official pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

A former official at a Missouri university pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal possession of child pornography charge. Neil Anthony Outar, 44, of Rolla, could face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both at his sentencing hearing, set for March 14. The investigation began when the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department […]

Great seal of Missouri and US Flag with money

State awards $20 million to nearly two dozen postsecondary institutions for workforce innovation

Governor Mike Parson announced that the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development has awarded $20 million in funding to nearly two dozen postsecondary institutions to provide high-demand career training for new and underrepresented populations and to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture and supply chains. The Missouri General Assembly […]

Missouri Leadership Academy website

31 state employees graduate from Missouri Leadership Academy

The Office of Administration announced the graduation of 31 state employees from the Missouri Leadership Academy – a program helping develop the next generation of state government leaders. The graduates were chosen by senior leadership to participate in the cross-department leadership development program, which focuses on three core areas: leading themselves, leading others, and leading […]

Prison Sentence News Graphic

Three former St. Louis Aldermen sentenced to prison for corruption, including bribery and insurance fraud

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen R. Clark on Tuesday sentenced the former president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman and two other former aldermen to prison for accepting multiple bribes to misuse their official positions. One alderman was also sentenced for committing insurance fraud in a separate case. Judge Clark sentenced Lewis Reed, the […]

Missouri Marijuana News Graphic

Attempt to help states ease banking for marijuana businesses stumbles in Congress

(Missouri Independent) – The annual Defense Department policy bill members of Congress released late Tuesday did not include measures to loosen federal marijuana restrictions, to the disappointment of advocates. That leaves few avenues to pass marijuana measures that would be a boon to states where the drug is legal before Congress adjourns for the year. […]

Trevor Spars Sergio Martinez (booking photo courtey Cass County Jail)

Search continues for two inmates who escaped from the Cass County jail

A criminal complaint was filed today in the Western District of Missouri Federal Court charging two individuals with escaping confinement and a third individual with assisting them. Trevor Scott Sparks, 33, Kansas City, MO, and Sergio Perez Martinez, 43, Panorama City, CA, were charged in a two-count criminal complaint with an escape from confinement and […]

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving Lawsuit

ACLU Sues Independence, Missouri School District over book removal policy

(Missourinet) – The ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit against a suburban Kansas City school district.     The lawsuit seeks to overturn a policy that automatically removes library materials after receiving a challenge before a review or vote took place. The policy from the Independence School District allows for books to be removed pending […]

Recreational Marijuana News Graphic

Experts worry expungements under Missouri marijuana law could be procedural ‘nightmare’

(Missouri Independent) – Thursday is a big day for Missouri.  It’s the day the constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana use goes into effect, allowing Missourians 21 or older to legally buy or possess up to three ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants.  It’s also the day Missouri’s Department of Corrections says 565 people […]


End of public health emergency could cause spike in uninsured Missouri children

(Missouri Independent) – The rate of uninsured children in Missouri stabilized during the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a years-long trend that saw an increasing number of children losing coverage, according to a report released Wednesday by Georgetown University. But the researchers warn the end of the federal public health emergency, which will likely occur next year […]