Top Stories

  • OPINION: Shame on Missouri GOP's sham attempt to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    That sure was a lot of fun on Wednesday, as some Missouri Republicans revved up their sham attempt to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon. Much — unless, of course, you’re a Missourian embarrassed and even offended by yet another inane waste of time by our taxpayer-supported lawmakers in Jefferson City. The charge by some GOP opponents is that Nixon must be booted out of office because he issued an executive order that same-sex couples legally married in other states should be allowed to file joint tax returns in Missouri. This homophobic-sounding attack on Nixon was generated, in part, by Rep. Nick Marshall, a Parkville Republican. The state of Missouri bans same-sex marriage, Marshall pointed out.

  • OPINION: GOP tax cut bill to cripple Missouri

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Republicans love tax cuts. The GOP-dominated Missouri legislature sees it as the answer to all problem, which is why they passed a $620 million tax cut bill. Fortunately for Missourians, Gov. Jay Nixon is taking a different view. The bad legislation will decimate state finances, wiping away all taxes for people who earn more than $9,000 a year. The $4.8 billion hole the GOP bill will leave in the state budget will put the state out of business. Schools will close. Already grossly underfunded mental health services will have to be shuttered. Prisons will have to close, and law enforcement agencies funded by the state will have to be cut. The Republicans deny that there will be such problems, saying Nixon is pushing

  • OPINION: Why should people celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education?

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Invitations have gone out to events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision ending legal segregation in public schools. First Lady Michelle Obama will even give the commencement address on May 17 for Topeka's high schools, marking the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education high court ruling. But to be honest, what will people really be celebrating? The Supreme Court ruling unlocked the doors that U.S. laws since 1896 kept firmly bolted, legalizing segregation. Inspired, the Civil Rights Movement then pushed to open up America, enabling blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans to integrate schools, businesses and communities.

  • Edmond YMCA's new memberships reach nearly 10,700 in three months

    By Diana Baldwin, Staff Writer | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Edmond’s Mitch Park YMCA has nearly 10,700 new memberships and breaks its goals for the year.

  • Hawaii may extend time to sue for child sex abuse

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Victims of child sexual abuse in Hawaii would have more time to file lawsuits against abusers if lawmakers and the governor approve one of two bills pending in the Legislature. In a highly publicized law, victims have been given a two-year window to file lawsuits in cases that had passed the statute of limitations, which led to a surge of filings. That window is set to close Thursday. In advance of the deadline, former child model Michael Egan III filed several lawsuits against Hollywood executives, claiming that "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and several others abused him as part of a Hollywood sex ring. Singer and others have denied the allegations, and the director's attorney has called the claims defamato

  • Oklahoma officials provide update on tornado relief funds, response

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Capitol Bureau | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Two disaster recovery funds formed in response to last May’s Oklahoma tornadoes have spent $9.4 million to date assisting victims, Gov. Mary Fallin and United Way of Central Oklahoma officials announced Wednesday.

  • Conjuring Images of a Bionic Future

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    c.2014 New York Times News Service Dick Loizeaux recently found himself meandering through a noisy New York nightclub. This was unusual; Loizeaux, a 65-year-old former pastor, began suffering hearing loss nearly a decade ago, and nightclubs are not really his scene. “They’re the absolute worst place to hear anybody talk,” he said. But this time was different. Loizeaux had gone to the club to test out the GN ReSound Linx, one of two new models of advanced hearing aids that can be adjusted precisely through software built into Apple’s iPhone. When he entered the club, Loizeaux tapped on his phone to switch his hearing aids into “restaurant mode.

  • Parish president indicted on sexual-battery charge

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted the president of St. Bernard Parish on a charge of sexual battery against his wife. Various news organizations reported Wednesday that the case deals with an accusation by Sharon Peralta that David Peralta sexually assaulted her in October. The reports said Sharon Peralta testified for about 90 minutes before the grand jury Wednesday, but declined to comment as she left the courthouse. Other witnesses also testified before the jury. In a March interview with The New Orleans Advocate, David Peralta said he and his wife engaged in bondage and frequently acted out "fantasy rape" but he denied sexually assaulting his wife. The Associated Press doesn't generally identif

  • Huggins: Tentative agreement on education plan

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Senate President Charlie Huggins says a tentative agreement has been reached on an education package. A conference committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday evening to discuss the details. The Senate's chief negotiator, Kevin Meyer, said Wednesday afternoon the House had made a "respectful offer" that he hoped to sell to his caucus. Word about the tentative agreement surfaced after the caucus broke around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Much of the day was marked by delayed meetings and floor sessions, while majority caucuses met and talks continued between the Senate and House's chief negotiators, Meyer and Republican Rep. Mike Hawker.

  • Hillary Clinton memoir sparks TV tussle

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    (c) 2014, The Washington Post. Hillary Rodham Clinton's forthcoming book is setting up a battle of the network stars. With Clinton's memoir, "Hard Choices," a likely bestseller and possible curtain raiser on her 2016 presidential ambitions, the television networks have begun jockeying to be the first to interview the former first lady and secretary of state when her publicity campaign begins in a few weeks. Each network — from ABC to CNN to Fox News Channel — is honing a pitch to the Clinton camp, which is likely to have its pick of programs, time slots and interviewers.

  • AP News in Brief at 10:58 p.m. EDT

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Syrian activists, medics accuse Assad government of chlorine gas attacks; Syria denies it BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent weeks and months, leaving men, women and children coughing, choking and gasping for breath, according to Associated Press interviews with more than a dozen activists, medics and residents on the opposition side. Syria flatly denied the allegations, and they have yet to be confirmed by any foreign country or international organization. But if true, they highlight the limitations of the global effort to rid President Bashar Assad's government of its chemical weapons.

  • Oklahoma City School Board wants to retain interim superintendent to run district operations

    BY TIM WILLERT, Staff Writer | Updated: 1 hr ago

    New Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu said he is open to working with Dave Lopez, but a role has yet to be determined.

  • Site of Washington state mudslide was shored up with ‘soft armor’ wood barrier

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SEATTLE — In 2006, after a major mudslide caused flooding and triggered concerns of more slides to come, the state of Washington funded separate projects to shore up two unstable hills that rose from the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River in Snohomish County. One project targeted Skaglund Hill, just south of the Stillaguamish, with Highway 530 near the bottom. The state Department of Transportation spent $13.3 million and built a rock wall, to protect drivers passing through. This defense was referred to as “hard armor.” The other project targeted the Hazel slope, just north of the Stillaguamish, a hill with such a long history of slides that it dumped more than a million cubic yards of fine sediment into the river.

  • Robert Heard, newsman wounded in University of Texas Tower shooting, dies at 84

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    AUSTIN, Texas — In the annals of Texas journalism, Robert Heard stands out for many things: a biting wit, a prolific career, a lawyer’s understanding of lawmaking, a determination to get the story even at considerable personal risk. It was the latter trait that catapulted him from news reporter to news figure on Aug. 1, 1966, when he was shot in the shoulder during Charles Whitman’s bloody rampage from the top of the University of Texas Tower. Heard, a 36-year-old Associated Press reporter, had followed two highway patrolmen on a wild sprint across a parking lot, but he forgot his Marine’s training to zigzag. Heard was among more than 30 people wounded by Whitman; 16 others died from their injuries, some years later.

  • Montana man will head Iowa schools for deaf, blind

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Regents has named a Montana man as superintendent of the state's schools for the deaf and sight impaired. The regents announced Wednesday the board had selected Steven J. Gettel to head the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton. Gettel is currently superintendent of the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind. He's been in that position since 2001. He will replace Patrick Clancy, who announced his resignation last December.

  • UN considering sanctions over South Sudan massacre

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday viewed "horrific pictures of corpses" from the scene of last week's massacre in South Sudan and discussed taking actions that could include sanctions, diplomats said. The U.N. has said hundreds of civilians were killed in the massacre last week in Bentiu, the capital of oil-producing Unity state. The top U.N. aid official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, has said "piles and piles" of bodies were left behind. Security Council members watched a video showing bodies lining a street and the interior of a mosque where civilians had sought shelter from rebel forces taking control from government troops amid ethnic tensions in the world's newest country. "Horrific pict

  • UMSL to save student newspaper

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    A month after a student budget committee at the University of Missouri-St. Louis decided to eliminate funding for the school's student newspaper, the university has stepped in to forgive the paper of its debt to keep it running. Members of The Current 's staff met with chancellor Thomas George and other administrators on Monday to discuss potential funding and production models for the paper. While the details aren't final, the university will now give the paper an editorial adviser and a business adviser and will likely provide about $20,000-$25,000 in funding, said Associate Vice Chancellor Bob Samples. The paper had been paying some staffers $300 to $800 per semester. In the future, Samples said, they might receive scholar

  • Mo. House committee OKs school transfer bill

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri House committee passed on Wednesday legislation that would lower tuition costs an unaccredited school district must pay when students transfer to another district. But not every member of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee was happy with the bill. Dissenters did not think the bill addressed the problems of the school transfer law, which requires unaccredited school districts to pay tuition and provide transportation for students who want to attend an accredited school in the same or adjacent county. After a Missouri Supreme Court ruling upheld the current law in June, about 2,000 students transferred from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts to higher-perf

  • Brownback signs health care compact bill

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill meant to separate Kansas from the federal government’s authority on health care issues. HB 2553 commits Kansas to join a proposed health care compact of states seeking to break away from the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The U.S. Congress still must decide whether to approve the compact. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and the AARP have voiced concern that the new law will disrupt Medicare in Kansas. Federal health care dollars would come to Kansas as a block grant for the state to administer. More than 448,000 Kansans rely on Medicare for their health care needs and this policy puts them at risk, said Maren Turner, the Kansas director of the AARP,

  • Cheo Feliciano, Grammy-winning salsa singer, dies at 78

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    (c) 2014, The Washington Post. Cheo Feliciano, a Grammy-winning salsa singer whose career spanned six decades and encompassed romantic boleros and masterful work as a sonero, a vocalist who improvises rhymes and melodies over thunderous rhythms, died April 17 in a car accident in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was 78. He was driving his Jaguar when he lost control of it and crashed into a post, CNN en Espanol reported. The news channel, quoting police, said speed may have been a factor. His wife told reporters that Feliciano disliked wearing a seat belt. Feliciano, a baritone, brought an intimate, conversational style to the bolero, a genre best known for its dramatic, forceful tenors. His suave stage presence enhanced the r