Archives for August 2011

Governor to change higher education funding formula

Governor Nixon says higher education institutions should be funded based on how well they perform, not how much they’ve gotten in the past. He says colleges need to be more efficient so they can be more affordable.

Nixon says he’s creating a task force that will put forth some goals schools will have to meet each year in order to receive funding. If a school wants the full amount of funding the government is offering, it has to meet 100 percent of the goals the task force lays out.

Some measures could be graduation rates or the rate at which students pass certification exams like the Bar exam for law students or the Certified Public Accountant Exam for finance students. The task force will report to Nixon by the end of the year, and this funding formula will go into effect next year.

Barber Gets $5000 Bond

Arnold Barber gets bond.

Barber was convicted on two counts of witness tampering and was sentenced to two concurrent five year prison terms was granted a five thousand dollar bond, and so got out of the Adair County Jail yesterday, The now former dentist is now waiting for the Western District Court of Appeals to rule on whether he’ll get an appeal or have to serve the five years in prison.

Nearly $52M in Building Permits Issued in Joplin for July

The dollar amount of building permits in Joplin last month was well into the tens of millions of dollars.

City officials say, stands to reason. When you’re building most of a city from scratch, lots of buildings are going to be built. There were nearly 16 hundred residential and commercial construction permits issued, and the permitting people said the nearly 52 million dollars in construction that that represents for July is well more than the just over 27 million dollars in permits in June, and there weren’t that many building permits issued in all of last year.

Budget Transparency Committee questions budget withholds

The House Interim Committee on Budget Transparency says Governor Nixon should have asked the legislature for money out of the budget for disasters, rather than withholding it from programs on his own.

The House Interim Committee on Budget Transparency had an hour’s worth of questions for the State Budget Director. Committee Chair Ryan Silvey questioned the constitutionality of Governor Nixon’s withholding. Nixon has withheld 150 million from the budget to pay for Joplin, and Budget Director Linda Luebbering says that’s justified. Silvey says it’s illegal.

Silvey says the constitution only allows the Governor to withhold money when there isn’t enough revenue to fund the budget. Luebbering says because the state knows it will have to help with disaster recovery, it should start holding back money now.

Luebbering says previous court cases have allowed Governors to withhold money for unforeseen circumstances. She couldn’t name any in specific, but says her office could provide the committee with a list of them.

The State Auditor has also called the Governor’s withholdings unconstitutional.

Committee Member and House Budget Committee member Chris Kelly also took issue with the flexibility in the budget this year.

Kelly says for the next two years the legislature will be repairing the damage done to the budget. He called Nixon’s withholdings a ”truck” driven through the budget. He says if it were up to him, there would be no discretion for the Governor to take money from other agencies. He says education and corrections have been hit hardest from these withholdings. He says it’s up to the legislature to write the budget so the Governor can’t take money from it the way he did this year.

Committee members agree that disaster recovery should be funded, but money should not be withheld until estimates for recovery cost come in.

Carnahan Reminds Non-Profits of August 31 Deadline

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today reminded Missouri non-profit organizations and businesses that their registration reports must be filed in her office by August 31, 2011.
“My office has worked hard to cut red tape and make these filings more convenient for Missouri businesses,” Carnahan said. “I encourage organizations and businesses to file their reports as soon as possible, and to save time and money by filing online.”
New to many non-profits this year is the option to file a registration report every two years. Any corporation incorporated in an odd-numbered year may select this option for their 2011 report. Corporations incorporated in an even-numbered year may select this option in 2012. This change is part of the Red Tape Reduction Act, which was championed by Carnahan and passed into law in 2009.
State law requires that if a registration report is not received by the Secretary of State’s office by August 31, a $5 late fee is assessed. In addition, failure to file the registration report by November 30, 2011, will result in the business being administratively dissolved under Missouri law.
Non-profit businesses and associations can save money by filing their registration reports online at www.sos.mo.gov/business/corporations/generalinfo.asp#annualReports. The fee for an online annual report filing is $10; a biennial registration report filed online is $20.
Alternatively, business owners can access and print a registration report form on the Secretary of State’s web site at www.sos.mo.gov/business/corporations/generalinfo.asp#annualReports. Registration reports not filed online should be mailed to the Corporations Division, P.O. Box 1366, Jefferson City, MO 65102. The fee for an annual paper filing is $15; a biennial paper filing is $30.
Non-profit corporations that have filed articles of incorporation in 2011 are not required to file an annual report until August 31, 2012.
Organizations and businesses without access to a computer or the Internet can call the Corporations Division toll-free at (866) 223-6535 to request a paper copy of the form. Questions related to registration report filings should be directed to the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State’s office.

Barber Appeals, Asks for Bond

His attorney says longtime Kirksville dentist Stephen Barber should be freed on bnod while awaiting an appeal of his witness tampering convictions, because Barber’s health is declining. Barber has filed an appeal with the Western District Court of Appeal. He was convicted in early June and is in the Adair county jail currenly, awaiting transfer to the state prison system as he begins serving a pair of five-year sentences a judge ordered be served at the same time. In the filing Barber, among other things, says his health has “degraded substantially” since his conviction.

90 Dogs Rescued

There’s a lot of barking about what the Missouri Humane Society did.

The society’s Animal Cruelty Task Force in Southeast Missouri and the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department took some 90 dogs from a home near Doniphan. Officials said the animals looked sick and malnourished, and were from puppies to elderly dogs. They also found the remains of several dead dogs. Now a hearing has been set in Doniphan to dispose the case. Nobody’s been arrested.

Servers leaning to spot fakes

This is the time of year when the state division of alcohol and tobacco control steps up its training sessions for people who wait on tables or tend bars. Division trainers have increased their sessions in college towns-because students are coming back and thousands of new students are moving in. Trainers teach servers of alcoholic beverages how to spot with customers who’ve had too much to drink and how to deal with them without getting hurt.

The three to four hour sessions also teach how to spot fake ID cards, among other things, although agent Nancy McGee says the quality of fake identification cards is getting better. She says she and other agents are seeing more and more foreign businesses making more sophisticated fake ID cards. But she says it’s hard to replicate some of the built-in security features in every state’s drivers licenses.

She says servers are not obligated to confiscate the cards but they can. They’re also not required to keep records of those who try to get illegal access to alcohol. She says it’s up to local or federal prosecutors to seek out the makers of false identification cards.

Rural Crimes Investigative Unit targets cattle, copper, equipment theft

The task force in charge of investigating agriculture theft has returned more than 2.8 million dollars in its two years of work.

Investigators in the Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Investigative Unit say cattle and copper are the two items stolen most from farmers. Sargent Jason Clark is an investigator with the unit, and he says this task force started two years ago and has been able to curb agriculture theft.

Clark says cattle are the most common livestock stolen, and copper is often stolen too, because both are easy to get rid of quickly, and both are very profitable.

He says cattle theft is very profitable – the average theft can bring in 15 to 18 thousand dollars. He says authorities have to act quickly in those cases because cattle can be moved quickly across state lines or sold to a slaughterhouse, and the victim can’t be compensated for it.

Clark says the best thing farmers can do is to lock up equipment and keep a neighborhood watch.

Teachers Want Compromise

Some Missouri teachers now say they’ll take a deal so they can use social networking.

The Missouri National Education Association says its working with those sponsoring the legislation that would all but ban them from using things like Facebook to communicate with their current or former minor-aged students. They’ve been told that their communications with students have to be public. Teachers and legislative staff members are working on changing the bill so that its still intact, but so teachers can also communicate with students. The Missouri State Teachers’ Association filed suit, saying the law violated teachers’ constitutional rights.