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Ex-Missouri fire chief convicted of sex crimes gets prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A former southwestern Missouri fire chief convicted last year of raping a young woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Springfield television station KYTV reports that 70-year-old Larry McConnell was sentenced Friday following his November convictions of three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of second-degree rape. Until his conviction, McConnell had been the chief of the Brookline Fire Department for 20 years. Investigators said McConnell repeatedly raped a young woman at his farm and at the fire station. Court documents showed that the woman told investigators McConnell forced her to have sex with him for more than a year.


4 firefighters injured when roof of burning home collapses

SIKESTON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Missouri say four firefighters were injured when the roof of a house where they were battling a fire collapsed on top of them. Cape Girardeau television station KFVS reports that fire crews responded Friday evening to the house fire in Sikeston. Arriving firefighters found flames coming from the roof and went inside the house to try to knock down the blaze. Officials say moments later, the roof collapsed. The four firefighters were taken to local hospitals for treatment, and all are expected to recover. Officials say two firefighters suffered minor injuries, a third suffered a broken hand and the fourth was kept overnight.


University of Missouri tracks student attendance with phones

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri is tracking all new students on campus this semester through a cellphone app to learn whether they're attending class. It's a test expansion of a program the university has used for four years to track class attendance of freshmen student athletes and athletes in academic trouble. Supporters of the program say it helps attendance, which improves academic performance. Critics worry that the university may one day add uses for the program that could violate student privacy. The Kansas City Star reports that the university will help students who don’t have a phone participate.


Missouri man who was shot by police facing criminal charges

CLEVER, Mo. (AP) — A 48-year-old southwest Missouri man who was shot by police last week has been charged after authorities allege he pointed a gun at the officer who shot him. Cliff Meny was charged Thursday after a Jan. 18 confrontation with police in Clever. The Springfield News-Leader reports a probable cause statement says Meny called 911 that day and said he had a gun and needed help. The statement says Meny pointed a gun in a shooting position at Clever officer Logan High, who fired several shots. Meny remained hospitalized Friday. He was charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.


Former Missouri police officer sentenced to second murder

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Grandview police officer already serving life in prison for a 2008 murder has pleaded guilty to committing a second killing two years later. Jeffrey Moreland pleaded guilty Friday in the October 2010 death of 75-year-old Nina Whitley in south Kansas City. He was sentenced to 20 years for second-degree murder and 10 years for armed criminal action. Moreland is already serving life without parole in the death of 30-year-old Cara Jo Roberts, who was killed in her Harrisonville home. DNA evidence connected Moreland to both murders.


Lawmakers slam Missouri Supreme Court over bail rules

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Dozens of Missouri lawmakers are asking the state Supreme Court to undo new rules that limit when judges can impose bail. Republican Rep. Justin Hill says the new rules made it difficult for judges to set bail and have led to some dangerous criminals walking free as court proceedings play out. Judges can still set bail under the new rules. But they can only set bail at an amount necessary to ensure either public safety or that the defendant will appear in court. The changes are aimed at reducing court costs that can sometimes derail the lives of low-income defendants.


Missouri grants licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri health officials have posted the list of recipients of the first 192 licenses to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The move Friday brings Missouri closer to joining the many other states that already allow at least some form of marijuana use. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services awarded 24 dispensary facility licenses in each of Missouri's eight congressional districts. The state received nearly 1,200 applications. Voters made medical marijuana legal in 2018, but because the drug must be grown at approved sites and tested, sales aren't expected to begin until this summer.


Columbia-based rental company to offer hundreds of new jobs

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A high-tech rental company based in Columbia says it plans to hire hundreds of new employees by the end of the year. William Schlacks, a co-founder of EquipmentShare, announced Thursday about 800 of those new jobs will be in Missouri. EquipmentShare rents everything from small tools to earth-moving equipment. It uses technology such as key pads to operate the equipment and cameras to ensure productivity. Schlacks and his brother started the company in San Francisco but decided to move back to their native Missouri. Gov. Mike Parson attended the announcement Thursday in Columbia and said it was a “win-win” for the state.