Carjacking

Missouri man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole for carjacking

A Missouri man was sentenced in federal court for carjacking. Robert J. Rule, 38, of Grandview, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Rule to pay $500 in restitution to his victim. On July 9, 2021, Rule pleaded guilty to one count […]

Prison Sentence

Missouri woman sentenced to 9 years in federal prison without parole for illegal firearm

A Missouri woman who was arrested with 19 firearms and quantities of illegal drugs in her home was sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm. Robin A. Graham, 38, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to nine years in federal prison without parole. On June 22, 2021, Graham […]

Sex Offender graphic

Registered sex offender sentenced to 15 years in prison for possessing images of child sexual abuse

A man was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for possessing images of the sexual abuse of children. Ian Andrew Zearley, 40, of Louisa County, Virginia, pleaded guilty to possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children in July 2021. According to court documents, Zearley […]

Prison Sentence

Missouri man sentenced to 10 years in prison without parole for illegal firearms and marijuana grow operation

A Missouri man was sentenced in federal court for growing marijuana and illegally possessing dozens of firearms. Darrin Dale Smithee, 56, of Auxvasse, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 10 years in federal prison without parole. On Aug. 31, 2021, Smithee pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing marijuana and one […]

Justin Stephenson Booking Photo via Vinelink

Trenton man arrested on warrants for failure to appear

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Trenton resident on January 19th on two capias warrants for failure to appear. Thirty-six-year-old Justin Wayne Stephenson was arrested in Wyandotte County, Kansas, and picked up from there. His original charges were the felonies of stealing all other property, stealing involving a fourth or subsequent […]

Governor Parson talks with lawmakers as he leaves House Chamber after State of the State address (Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel - Missouri House)

Governor proposes record $47.3B Missouri budget as he taps surplus and federal aid

(Missouri Independent) – Gov. Mike Parson proposed massive new spending on infrastructure and college buildings, and still found money to set aside for pensions and future revenue shortfalls, in the budget submitted Wednesday to lawmakers. Missouri will enter the new fiscal year with nearly $3 billion in surplus general revenue, an anticipation of record future tax collections, […]

Missouri Governor Mike Parson delivers State address in Missouri House January 19, 2022 (Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel - Missouri House Communications)

Governor Mike Parson touts Missouri’s COVID-19 response in annual State of State address

(Missouri Independent) – Gov. Mike Parson praised his administration’s handling of the still-unfolding COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, telling a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly that the state has emerged ready to make long-term investments in its future.  “The bottom line is Missouri’s economy is strong,” Parson said in his annual State of the State […]

Heroin and Needle

Kansas man sentenced to 12 years in Missouri prison for heroin conspiracy

A Kansas man was sentenced in federal court for his role in a heroin trafficking conspiracy. Solomon B. Hawthorne, 31, of Kansas City, Kansas was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to 12 years and one month in federal prison without parole. The sentence includes a term of two years for violating his federal […]

Prison Sentence

Missouri man sentenced to 13 years in prison without parole for meth trafficking and illegal firearm

A Missouri man was sentenced in federal court for methamphetamine trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm. Jason A. Hamann, 48, Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 13 years and five months in federal prison without parole. On June 23, 2020, Hamann pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute […]

Governor Parson photo courtesy Governor's office

Audio: Governor Parson to deliver annual State of the State Address today

Missourians can hear Governor Parson outline his priorities during his annual State of the State Address today (Wednesday). The governor explains what citizens can expect to hear from him.      The governor says he plans to tout a workforce development program he launched.     The Governor is also expected to tout his accomplishments […]

Maximize Northwest Missouri Website

Community leaders celebrated for commitment to learning

Community leaders in six northwest Missouri counties were part of Maximize Northwest Missouri’s 2021 Regional Learning Collaborative that wrapped up late last summer.  “Some of the keywords that participants used to describe their learning experience include: enlightening, motivating, empowering, informative, inspiring, insightful, and team-building,” shared Mary Hinde, president of The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. […]

Elections (Vote or Voting)

Missouri bipartisan campaign seeks to switch to ranked-choice voting

A ballot initiative in Missouri is seeking to change the way statewide elections are run. Currently, in the Show-Me State, there are party primaries in August, and voters choose between the winners of the primaries in November. The Better Elections initiative seeks to move to what’s known as ranked-choice voting. Rosetta Okohson, a Democratic consultant and co-leader of the […]

Task force recommends ways to help Missouri small businesses with workforce, supply chain and other problems

A statewide task force is recommending a variety of ways intended to help small businesses in Missouri with a workforce, supply chain, funding, and broadband problems.      The suggestions include improving childcare access and affordability, expanding hospitality industry apprenticeships, updating the Fast Track workforce grant program, and enhancing help for women and minority-owned businesses. […]

Unemployment

Audio: The “Great Resignation” and what it could mean in Missouri

We’re hearing a lot about “The Great Resignation” – an unemployment trend seen as the cause of labor shortages and business shutdowns. Government reports show a record monthly high of 4.5 million Americans quitting their jobs this past November alone. University of Missouri economist and labor specialist Peter Muesser says the nickname for the trend […]

A partially melted tire hangs on a tree near Paradise, Kansas. The surrounding land was scorched by a wildfire in December 2021

December 2021 was the warmest on record in Missouri and Kansas – by a long shot

(Missouri Independent) – Kansas and Missouri logged their warmest average December temperatures on record last month, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Average temperatures over the last half of 2021 were higher than they’ve ever been in either state — and across the country. Meanwhile, despite a devastating cold snap that forced […]

University Of Missouri

University of Missouri President Choi won’t ask curators to reconsider vote against mask rule

(Missouri Independent) – The University of Missouri’s Columbia campus will begin the spring semester as planned Tuesday with no option for online classes, masking, or vaccination requirements, UM System President and campus Chancellor Mun Choi wrote to faculty leaders Friday. Choi’s response to concerns raised in a letter from the Executive Committee of the campus […]

Crime and Courts

Court news in Division One of Grundy County Circuit Court for Thursday January 13, 2022

Multiple court cases were processed Thursday at the Grundy County Courthouse. Associate Judge Matthew Krohn of Mercer County presided on behalf of Presiding Judge Thomas Alley in Division One of Grundy County Circuit Court. Trenton resident Devin Aaron Pierce pleaded guilty to the delivery of a controlled substance or synthetic cannabinoid from October 20th of […]