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This Hour: Latest Missouri news, sports, business and entertainment

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Millions spent on Missouri road, farm proposals

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two proposals on Missouri's August ballot are attracting millions of dollars of campaign spending.

Finance reports filed Monday show supporters of a transportation tax already have spent $2.5 million and have nearly $1.7 million available for their final push.

By contrast, opponents of the three-quarters-cent sales tax have spent just a little over $22,000.

A proposal creating a constitutional right to farm has spawned a somewhat closer financial battle.

Missouri Farmers Care has spent nearly $800,000 in support of the Aug. 5 ballot proposal while Missouri's Food for America has spent more than $400,000 opposing it.

Supporters have drawn significant contributions from agricultural groups such as the state soybean, pork and corn associations.

Most of the opposition money has come from the Humane Society of the United States.


Interim St. Louis recorder of deeds wants to stay

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A member of the St. Louis Board of Alderman appointed as the city's interim recorder of deeds says she wants the permanent position.

Mayor Francis Slay named Jennifer Florida to the post through December after Sharon Quigley Carpenter decided to step down amid a nepotism investigation spurred by an opponent in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.

Carpenter acknowledges hiring a great-nephew for several summers but says she misinterpreted the state nepotism statute and still plans to campaign for re-election.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports that the city elections board on Monday certified Florida's independent candidacy on the November ballot after the Democrat submitted the required number of voter signatures to qualify.

Florida will face the winner of the three-way Democratic primary between Carpenter, Ed McFowland and Jimmie Matthews.


Ballwin woman sentenced in Medicare fraud

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County business owner has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution for bank and Medicare fraud.

Tina Kuehl of Ballwin was sentenced Monday in federal court in St. Louis. She previously pleaded guilty to felony bank and health care fraud as well as three counts of making false statements.

Federal prosecutors say Kuehl oversaw an organized effort at her home health business, Better Way Home Care of Ellisville, to defraud the federal insurance program by inflating the number of patient therapy visits eligible for reimbursement and submitting false diagnostic codes.

The bank fraud involved a foreclosed $305,000 property loan from a Maries County bank. Kuehl then submitted fraudulent checks to in an attempt to keep the home.


Contractor admits to role in bribery scheme

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The owner of a Washington state manufacturing company has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges, the fourth person to admit to a role in a bribery and kickback scheme involving military aircraft parts sold to The Boeing Company.

Jeffrey Lavelle, owner of J.L. Manufacturing of Everett, Washington, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to mail and wire fraud. Sentencing is Oct. 27.

Former Boeing procurement officer Deon Anderson pleaded guilty earlier this month, admitting he took bribes from companies seeking to sell parts for military aircraft in exchange for providing them with confidential information such as competitor bids. Another contractor and a consulting firm owner have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.


Express Scripts expansion could mean 1,500 jobs

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The nation's largest company that manages pharmacy benefits is opening a new office building in St. Louis County as part of an expansion expected to add 1,500 jobs over the next few years.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday helped Express Scripts mark the $56 million expansion project. The company received nearly $7 million in tax incentives from the state, and could be eligible for additional tax credits of nearly $25 million if all 1,500 jobs are created.

The project adds 11,500 square feet to the company's technology and innovation center. Express Scripts now occupies more than one million square feet in an area near the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.

The company, founded in 1986, provides pharmacy benefits for more than 85 million Americans.


Presbyterian Church named in abuse lawsuit

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A minister is taking his own denomination to task, claiming in a lawsuit that the Presbyterian Church was partly responsible for sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager.

The Rev. Kris Schondelmeyer, a 31-year-old youth minister in Toledo, Ohio, is seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit whose defendants include the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the First Presbyterian Church of Fulton, Missouri, and his alleged abuser, Jack Wayne Rogers.

Schondelmeyer says he was sexually abused at a youth conference in Maryland in 2000. The suit claims Rogers was a lay minister allowed to chaperone despite a 1992 child pornography conviction.

An attorney for the denomination declined comment.

Rogers has a long criminal history and is housed in a federal prison on child porn and obscenity convictions. He does not have an attorney.


Missouri considers electronic privacy amendment

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. A proposed Missouri constitutional amendment would explicitly extend those legal protections to text messages, emails and other electronic communications.

The Amendment 9 ballot measure would require police to first obtain a warrant in order to search or seize "electronic communications and data." Supporters say the legal protection is needed despite a recent federal Supreme Court ruling that upheld privacy protections against police cellphone searches.

Legislators who referred the measure to the Aug. 5 ballot say a state constitutional provision could help guard against excessive government intrusion, such as the recent National Security Agency eavesdropping scandal. The amendment also has the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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