Wednesday, January 20States Top Leading News (STL.News)
Missouri News: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announces transportation initiative for rural America
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri News: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announces transportation initiative for rural America

St. Louis, Missouri (STL.News) -  There’s a new initiative to address disparities in transportation infrastructure in rural America.  On Tuesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was in St. Louis to deliver a keynote address at the annual American Association of State Highway and Transportation meeting.  It was there that Chao announced the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success initiative, also known as R.O.U.T.E.S. “Rural America, which has a disproportionately high rate of fatalities and is historically neglected, needs to have its transportation needs addressed,” said Chao. “We will bring together leaders and staff in key infrastructure modes – Highways, Aviation, Transit, and Railroads – to examine grant programs’ potential to better support the Nati...
Missouri News: Rally held in Wentzville, Missouri for United Auto Workers in strike against General Motors
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri News: Rally held in Wentzville, Missouri for United Auto Workers in strike against General Motors

Wentzville, Missouri (STL.News) - There was a strong show of support for striking United Auto Workers on Friday during a rally in Wentzville. About 500 supporters, including members of other unions, along with lawmakers attended the Hold The Line Rally outside of the Local 2250 United Auto Workers Hall in Wentzville.  Nearly 49,000 UAW workers across the country went on strike earlier this month after contract talks broke down with General Motors.  The strike impacts about 4,500 workers at the Wentzville GM Plant. Among those in attendance at the rally was Missouri State Auditor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway. “You deserve more and you deserve better, and your unified solidarity brings power.  Never forget that.” Galloway said to the crowd. Missouri State Senato...
Missouri State Releases August 2019 General Revenue Report
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri State Releases August 2019 General Revenue Report

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) - Missouri State Budget Director Dan Haug announced today that net general revenue collections for August 2019 increased 10.2 percent compared to those for August 2018, from $730.5 million last year to $805.3 million this year. Net general revenue collections for 2020 fiscal year-to-date increased 9.4 percent compared to August 2018, from $1.27 billion last year to $1.39 billion this year. MISSOURI STATE GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE Individual income tax collections Increased 4.1 percent for the year, from $931.7 million last year to $969.6 million this year. Increased 5.1 percent for the month. Sales and use tax collections Increased 6.2 percent for the year, from $388.7 million last year to $412.9 million this year. Increased 4.5 percent for the month. Cor...
Big Air Trampoline Park Jumps into Branson, MO with Grand Opening
Missouri, Missouri General News

Big Air Trampoline Park Jumps into Branson, MO with Grand Opening

BRANSON, MO (STL.News) - Come celebrate with us on Saturday, September 7th.  Big Air Trampoline Park® is thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of our new location in Branson, MO. We will open our doors at 10:00 AM with door prizes to be given away for the first 50 guests in line. Big Air Trampoline Park Branson will feature over 57 fun attractions including Dodgeball, Mechanical Bull, Battle Beam®, Ninja Warrior Course, and many more attractions.  Big Air Branson will also spotlight premium attractions which include Spin Cycle, Flight Simulator, and Zip Line. "Big Air is honored to help create an even more exciting Branson, bringing something fun and exciting to the entire community," says Kevin Odekirk, President of Big Air.  "We are so happy to provide a destination filled with attrac...
California Man, Ronald Ean Taylor, Sentenced to 18 Years for Sex Trafficking Six Victims
Missouri, Missouri General News

California Man, Ronald Ean Taylor, Sentenced to 18 Years for Sex Trafficking Six Victims

KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) - A Sacramento, Calif., man was sentenced in federal court today for the sex trafficking of six victims. Ronald Ean Taylor, 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to 18 years in federal prison without parole.  The court also ordered Taylor to pay $5,000 in restitution to one of his victims, and $6,100 in restitution to the father of another victim for funeral expenses as a result of her death from a drug overdose while in California with Taylor. On March 19, 2019, Taylor pleaded guilty to six counts of the sex trafficking of an adult.  Taylor admitted that he used force, fraud or coercion to cause six victims to engage in prostitution, from which he benefitted financially.  Taylor trafficked six separate victims at various times between Nov. 1,...
Missouri News: Gun Violence Town Hall held in St. Louis
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri News: Gun Violence Town Hall held in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri  - (STL.News)  Lawmakers and community leaders are coming together to combat gun violence in the St. Louis-area.  US Congressman Lacy Clay and the St. Louis Aldermanic Black Caucus held a town hall Wednesday night at Harris Stowe State University to address the issue. It was packed house of about 250 people at the town hall where the theme among the speakers was to push for stricter gun control laws.  This was especially apparent with Clay, who promoted his gun control bill, H.R. 3435, the Local Public Health and Safety Protection Act. “Our nation and this community have reached a tipping point. We are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence that’s inflicting and devastating carnage on our community because of the culture of easy access to guns.” Clay said. “If y...
Missouri Agent, Richard Joos, sells $925,000 in life settlement, allegedly misleads 14 investors
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri Agent, Richard Joos, sells $925,000 in life settlement, allegedly misleads 14 investors

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Richard Joos to cease and desist after he allegedly sold unregistered, non-exempt investment contracts and promissory notes to at least 14 investors, including residents of Kansas City and St. Louis. From approximately January 2013 to February 2017, Joos sold $925,516.94 in unregistered, non-exempt securities in the form of life settlements — life insurance policies insuring the life of the owner of a policy.  Joos represented that the securities would provide good or guaranteed returns but he failed to disclose that he was not registered to sell securities, that he had previously filed bankruptcy and that he would earn commissions from the sales. Owners of the policies sold them to Con...
St Louis News: DHS S&T, St. Louis Launch Smart Cities Tech Pilot
Missouri, Missouri General News

St Louis News: DHS S&T, St. Louis Launch Smart Cities Tech Pilot

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is leading the effort to bring smart cities standards to the nation’s public safety community St Louis, MO (STL.News) - Today, DHS S&T is launching a smart cities technology integration pilot in St. Louis, Missouri, in collaboration with both the city and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Through this pilot, taking place at T-REX, the downtown St. Louis technology innovation center, the partners will research, design and test the Smart City Interoperability Reference Architecture (SCIRA) as an interoperable framework that integrates commercial proprietary Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for public safety applications at the community level. The intended outcome of this smart city effort is to enhance public safety and efficient and effe...
Fort Leonard Wood Man, Kevin Omar Martin, Sentenced for Domestic Assault
Missouri, Missouri General News

Fort Leonard Wood Man, Kevin Omar Martin, Sentenced for Domestic Assault

SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) - A civil service employee at the Fort Leonard Wood Army Base has been sentenced in federal court for assaulting his ex-wife and another person. Kerwin Omar Martin, 51, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Tuesday, Aug. 27, to two years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Both Martin and his ex-wife were out of active duty service in the U.S. Army.  They were employed in the civil service at Fort Leonard Wood and resided on base. On April 10, 2019, Martin pleaded guilty to one count of domestic assault and one count of assault.  Martin admitted that he smashed the living room window and climbed into his ex-wife’s residence on Oct. 9, 2018, while she was with their child and another person, identified in court documents as S.P. Mar...
Sarcoxie Man, Leng Lee, Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearms, Including Machine Gun
Missouri, Missouri General News

Sarcoxie Man, Leng Lee, Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearms, Including Machine Gun

SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) - A Sarcoxie, Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally possessing firearms, including a machine gun. Leng Lee, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Monday, Aug. 26, to one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and to one count of illegally possessing a machine gun. According to court documents, law enforcement officers participated in the controlled delivery of an international mail package from China addressed to Lee at his residence on April 23, 2019.  The parcel contained seven parts (selector switches) that are used to convert a Glock semi-automatic pistol to fire in full-automatic mode. Lee is a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms and is not licensed to possess a machine gun...
Missouri News: Application Deadline Approaching for Disaster Unemployment Benefits for Flood, Tornado Victims in Six Counties
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri News: Application Deadline Approaching for Disaster Unemployment Benefits for Flood, Tornado Victims in Six Counties

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – The Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Employment Security will accept applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for individuals in six Missouri counties through September 5, 2019 whose employment was lost or interrupted due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began April 29, 2019 and ended July 5, 2019.  A disaster assistance amendment was declared on August 5, 2019 that allowed Missourians in the six additional counties of Callaway, Jefferson, Lewis, McDonald, Newton and Saline to apply for DUA.  The DUA application deadline for individuals in the original twenty Missouri disaster-declared counties was August 9, 2019. Eligibility for DUA is determined on a week-to-week basis and individuals can only receive benefits for as ...
Missouri Announces Finalists for 2020 Teacher of the Year
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri Announces Finalists for 2020 Teacher of the Year

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) - After receiving more than 240 nominations from citizens, school districts and charter schools throughout the state of Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced seven finalists for the 2020 Missouri Teacher of the Year award.  This year’s finalists represent five different regions throughout the state and highlight the broad range of course options that are helping prepare Missouri students for success beyond graduation. The seven finalists include: Dan Brinkmann, Washington – automotive technology, Four Rivers Career Center Melissa Grandel, Fordland R-III – English language arts, Fordland High School Zachary Hamby, Ava R-I – English language arts, Ava High School Denise Henggeler, Northeast Nodaway Co. R-V – fo...
FBI Agent, Jason Ramsey and KCPD Sergeant, Eric Ramsey, Honored for Significant Investigations
Missouri, Missouri General News

FBI Agent, Jason Ramsey and KCPD Sergeant, Eric Ramsey, Honored for Significant Investigations

Guardian of Justice Award KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) - Tim Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced Tuesday that two local and federal law enforcement officers were recognized for the work on several significant cases as recipients of the 2019 Guardian of Justice Award. FBI Special Agent Jason Ramsey was recognized for his investigation into a kidnapping conspiracy that involved carjacking, robbing, and forcing drugs upon three young female victims.  Both defendants in that case were convicted following a three-day trial. Det. Sgt. Eric Greenwell of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department was recognized for his leadership role in investigating a number of violent crimes, including murders and armed robberies. Ramsey and Greenwell were honored on T...
Grain Valley Man, Andy Earl Crook, Sentenced for Child Pornography, Sexual Exploitation
Missouri, Missouri General News

Grain Valley Man, Andy Earl Crook, Sentenced for Child Pornography, Sexual Exploitation

While Under Investigation, Arranged to Meet for Sex with Undercover Officer KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) - A Grain Valley, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for traveling to North Dakota for illicit sex with a 14-year-old child, who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, while he was under investigation for distributing child pornography over the internet. Andy Earl Crook, 63, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to 12 years in federal prison without parole.  The court also sentenced Crook to 10 years of supervised release following incarceration. On April 25, 2019, Crook pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The investigation began ...
Former Cameron High School Teacher, William Derek Williams, Pleads Guilty to Using Hidden Camera to Produce Child Pornography
Missouri, Missouri General News

Former Cameron High School Teacher, William Derek Williams, Pleads Guilty to Using Hidden Camera to Produce Child Pornography

Faces at Least 15 Years for Secret Recordings KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) - A former Cameron, Missouri, high school teacher pleaded guilty in federal court today to secretly recording pornographic videos of a teenage victim in his bathroom, and admitted to secretly recording pornographic videos of two other teenage victims. William Derek Williams, 39, of Cameron, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to producing child pornography. Williams formerly was a high school language arts teacher and more recently a part-time high school multimedia teacher at the time of the alleged offense. During his guilty plea, Williams admitted that he secretly filmed three different victims over a five-year period from January 2013 to September 2018 while they were in the basement bathro...
Rogersville Business Owner, Michael David Dismer, Indicted for $4 Million Fraud Scheme, Failure to Pay Taxes
Missouri, Missouri General News

Rogersville Business Owner, Michael David Dismer, Indicted for $4 Million Fraud Scheme, Failure to Pay Taxes

SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) - A Rogersville, Missouri business owner has been indicted by a federal grand jury for a $4 million scheme to defraud his customers and his failure to pay federal income and employment taxes. Michael David Dismer, 51, was charged in a 28-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Missouri, on Thursday, Aug. 22.  That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Dismer’s arrest and initial court appearance. Dismer has operated at least eight different businesses (most recently, Worldwide Construction, Inc., and Lakeland Marine Builders, LLC, at Stockton, Missouri) that built large boats, barges, and tugboats for customers around the world since 1993.  The federal indictment alleges that Dismer engaged in a $4 million schem...
Former NFL Player, Saousoalii P. Siavii, Jr. Charged with Illegal Firearms After Being Tasered While Resisting Arrest
Missouri, Missouri General News

Former NFL Player, Saousoalii P. Siavii, Jr. Charged with Illegal Firearms After Being Tasered While Resisting Arrest

KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) - A former Kansas City Chiefs football player, who was tasered twice while struggling with officers and resisting arrest, was charged in federal court today with illegally possessing firearms. Saousoalii P. Siavii, Jr., also known as “Junior,” 40, of Independence, Missouri, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., with three counts of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms.  Siavii remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. Today’s federal criminal complaint alleges that Siavii, an unlawful user of illegal drugs, has been arrested on three occasions in which he was in possession of both illegal drugs and loaded firearms. Under federal law, it is illega...
Missouri AG Schmitt Announces First Federal Indictments in Western Part of Missouri Through the Safer Streets Initiative
Missouri, Missouri General News

Missouri AG Schmitt Announces First Federal Indictments in Western Part of Missouri Through the Safer Streets Initiative

Federal Grand Jury Indicted Chesley Mincks Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Friday the first federal indictments obtained by a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) under the Safer Streets Initiative in the Western District of Missouri were handed down in Springfield.  Tony Brown, one of the three Assistant Attorneys General deputized as SAUSAs as part of the Safer Streets Initiative in Kansas City and Springfield secured the public indictments, which were unsealed on August 22, 2019. On August 22, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Chesley Mincks with one count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user and one count of possession of an unregistered short-barrel rifle.  The indictment alleges that on August 5, 2019, in ...