Several telemarketers in the Ozarks have been banned from calling people in their own state. According to a report, Attorney General Chris Koster announced this past week that he’s filed a lawsuit against The Buzz Marketing and Communications along with their owner Kim Bascom for placing nearly a quarter million calls to Missourians who are on the state’s no call list during a six month period back in 2012 to sell Ozark area tours. An agreement was struck up prohibiting them from making calls to Missouri residents from now on and if they violate the agreement, they face up to $175,000 in fines and they must reimburse the state for the court costs.
A special prosecutor has been assigned to decide the charges against Moniteau County Prosecutor Shayne Healea who was arrested last weekend for crashing his truck into Addison’s Restaurant in Columbia, injuring four people. Assistant Attorney General Julie Tolle has now been assigned to the case. Healea has been charged with felony assault in the second degree and leaving the scene of an accident.
Snow is not in the local forecast yet, but the Missouri Department of Transportation is preparing for the winter months with a statewide drill this Wednesday, November 5th. The drill will test MODOT’s winter battle plan to ensure its readiness to get motorists back on the roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms. During the drill employees will react to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. Motorists may notice increased numbers of MODOT vehicles on state routes during the drill.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s rural crime investigative unit is being honored with a special award. The unit is the recipient of the international association of Chiefs of Police, Thomson Reuters award for excellence in criminal investigation. The award is bestowed upon the law enforcement agency, unit or task force that has shown exceptional innovation and excellence in the area of criminal investigations. The patrol’s rural crimes investigation unit focuses its resources and efforts on crime that targets the state’s agricultural industry and farming communities.
There could be some bad news on the horizon for a Mid-Missouri task force. The Missouri internet crimes against children task force which consists of 12 agencies statewide could get shut down due to a lack of state funding. For the past several years the task force has received a grant of around $1.5 million dollars; however so far this year, no money has been released. Governor Nixon’s office says the reason is due to budget issues. However, his office says the governor will reevaluate restricted spending areas if funds become available.
Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order creating a holiday for state employees the day after Thanksgiving. Nixon’s action means state offices will be closed on November 28th. However, public safety and other essential service personnel will remain on the job. State workers had black Friday off the past two years but had to work in 2011.
State lawmakers are finding it difficult to fight a Judge’s order that Missouri must recognize same sex marriages from other states. Recently Attorney General Chris Koster said he would not challenge the court ruling. A number of Republican legislators looked for ways to defend the State’s Constitutional Amendment; however, House Speaker Tim Jones says they didn’t find any.
Jones says Missouri might not be done with the issue as it could come up in the legislature next year. Two additional court challenges against the state’s ban on same sex marriage are still pending.