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Senators urge changes to reduce Missouri River flooding

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Republican senators from four states that have seen severe flooding from the Missouri River are backing legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change its management of the river to reduce flood risk. The proposal would require the Corps to take steps to reduce flood risks along the lower Missouri River by changing the way it manages the dams and by strengthening levees along the river. The proposal is backed by all the senators from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Corps officials say flood protection remains their highest priority.


Missouri Senate passes bill targeting fake caller IDs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed legislation targeting telemarketers who try to trick people into answering the phone with fake caller identification numbers. The bill passed Thursday targets what's known as “call spoofing." The scheme displays a local area code or the name of a familiar business or person on a caller identification screen to hide the identity of the actual caller. The legislation expands upon an existing state law prohibiting telephone solicitors from blocking or circumventing someone's caller ID system. The bill now goes to the House.


Missouri House backs rear-facing car seats for babies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed legislation that would require children younger than 2 to be placed in rear-facing car seats whenever they travel in Missouri. Current state law requires children younger than 4 or under 40 pounds to ride in a child safety seat. But the law doesn't specify a rear-facing child-restraint system for infants. Supporters of the House bill say rear-facing seats will better protect young children. The House passed the bill by a 105-41 vote Thursday. It now goes to the Senate. Twenty other states require for rear-facing car seats, though they are split on whether to end that at age 1 or 2.


Mistrial declared for Arkansas man convicted of killing son

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A mistrial has been declared for an Arkansas man convicted of killing his 6-year-old son by sexually assaulting the child with a stick. KHOG-TV reports that the mistrial for Mauricio Torres was declared Thursday after Torres' stepson jumped up from the witness stand after a prosecutor asked about sexual abuse. Torres was found guilty Wednesday of capital murder and battery in Isaiah Torres' death. Investigators say Torres sexually assaulted Isaiah with a stick while camping in Missouri in 2015. The boy died at an Arkansas hospital a day later. Torres faced death or life in prison without parole.


Lawmakers try to alter voter-approved redistricting reforms

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — With the census approaching, some state lawmakers are attempting to alter voter-approved measures designed to reduce partisan gamesmanship when drawing new districts for the U.S. House and state legislatures. In Missouri and Utah, Republican-led legislatures have advanced proposals to unravel key provisions in independent redistricting plans. In Michigan, the Republican Party is suing to strike down new prohibitions on politicians’ involvement in redistricting. It’s not just Republicans who are pushing back against redistricting reforms. In Virginia, new Democratic majorities in the General Assembly have delayed action on a proposal for a redistricting ballot measure.


More states to use redistricting reforms after 2020 census

A growing number of states will be using special commissions to redraw congressional and state legislative districts after the 2020 census. The task of redistricting has traditionally been performed by state lawmakers and governors. But over the past decade, more states have adopted measures intended to reduce the potential for partisan gerrymandering. The latest could be Virginia, where only a final House vote is needed to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to create a bipartisan redistricting commission. That comes after voters in five other states approved ballot measures in 2018 that revamped their redistricting processes.


Businessman involved in St. Louis County scheme sentenced

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A businessman who admitted providing bribes as part of a pay-to-play scandal that led to the downfall of St. Louis County’s former top elected official has been sentenced to nearly a year and a half in federal prison. John Rallo pleaded guilty in July to three bribery counts as part of a scheme involving former Democratic St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. Rallo was sentenced Thursday. Stenger pleaded guilty in May to corruption charges for providing political favors in exchange for campaign donations. He is serving a sentence of nearly four years in prison. Two others also pleaded guilty as part of the scheme.


O'Fallon man wins $2 million in Mega Millions drawing

ELLISVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A St. Charles County man matched all five white-ball numbers in a recent Mega Millions drawing, earning him a $2 million prize. The Missouri Lottery on Thursday identified the winner as John Sheperd of O'Fallon. He purchased the ticket at a QuikTrip in Ellisville for the Dec. 3 drawing. Sheperd matched white-ball numbers 23, 43, 60, 63 and 69, and because he played the “Megaplier” feature, he doubled what would have been a $1 million prize when the Megaplier number drawn was 2. Sheperd claimed his prize at the Missouri Lottery office in Jefferson City last month.