This Hour: Latest Missouri news, sports, business and entertainment - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

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

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New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Calm has come to Ferguson, Missouri, after nights of violent unrest over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

But a crucial question lingers: What happens if the grand jury considering the case doesn't return a charge against the officer?

The fear among some local residents and officials is that such an outcome could stoke new anger and violence.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill told The Associated Press she's pushing for federal and local investigations to be completed around the same time so that all evidence can be made public. It's a step many consider important should prosecutors decide not to charge the officer.

Her office said Friday the Department of Justice hasn't given a timeline for the federal investigation of the Aug. 9 shooting.


Senators seek federal help for Ferguson businesses

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri's U.S. senators are asking Gov. Jay Nixon to seek federal help for businesses damaged during violent protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old.

In a letter to Nixon Friday, U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt say businesses in Ferguson have "suffered significant physical damage" during days of civil unrest following the death of Michael Brown. They say many of those businesses are struggling to recover.

The senators want Nixon to consider seeking a Small Business Administration disaster declaration. The declaration would give affected businesses access to low-interest loans.

To receive the declaration, the state must certify that a certain number of businesses have suffered economic loss.

A QuikTrip store was burned during protests over Brown's killing by a white police officer. Other businesses also were damaged.


Fraternity offers to pay for funeral of teen shot

BALTIMORE (AP) - A fraternity headquartered in Baltimore has offered to cover the funeral costs for a teenager fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Last week Alpha Phi Alpha sent a letter to the Austin A. Layne Jr. Mortuary in St. Louis, which is handling arrangements for 18-year-old Michael Brown, offering to pay the funeral bill.

Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Brown's death has prompted massive protests in Ferguson and across the country.

In the letter, Alpha Phi Alpha General Counsel Wayne Harvey writes that the fraternity, whose late members include Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, has a history of fighting for social justice and racial equality.

A spokesman said Friday that the fraternity has not yet received a response.


Ala teacher suspended after shooting lesson

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama schoolteacher is suspended without pay after being accused of having students re-enact the deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.

The Selma Times-Journal quotes Dallas County School Superintendent Don Willingham as saying the social studies teacher used poor judgment during a lesson on current events.

School officials haven't identified the teacher, who teaches sixth grade.

Willingham says the teacher told students to research and re-enact a current event of their choosing. He says they picked the killings of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

He says students used paper guns and bullets, and students portraying victims fell on pillows.

It's not clear exactly how the shootings were re-enacted since the exact circumstances of each death are in question.


Power restored after big outage in SW Missouri

OZARK, Mo. (AP) - A fire at a utility company's substation left thousands of people without power in southwest Missouri.

The Empire Electric substation in Christian County was destroyed by fire Thursday evening, leaving 4,500 people in the Ozark and Sparta area without power.

Utility employees worked throughout the night to replace the transformer and power was restored Friday morning.

Utility spokeswoman Julie Maus said the transformer was working within normal capacity when the fire started. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Ozark First Baptist Church opened its doors Thursday night for those who needed a place to stay during the outage.


Kansas City settles another discrimination claim

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Council has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a discrimination complaint from a former water department manager.

The council agreed to the settlement Thursday for Mable Ramey-Moore, who claimed she was discriminated against when she was laid off in May 2013 from the water department.

The Kansas City Star reports the city has paid nearly $3.4 million to settle discrimination claims from city workers since July 2013.

Ramey-Moore, a 62-year-old black woman who worked for the city for 17 years, was laid off after a reorganization of the water department and layoffs in other city departments. She had received positive evaluations throughout her career.

The city's legal department recommended the settlement, saying a jury could believe race, age, and/or gender contributed to her dismissal.


Volunteer firefighter sentenced to 20 years

OLD MONROE, Mo. (AP) - A volunteer firefighter from eastern Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting several fires last year.

Police say Dustin Matthew Grigsby was sentenced for setting four fires in occupied buildings last year in Lincoln County, although he admitted to setting several other fires. He was a volunteer with the Old Monroe Fire Protection District.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in one case a man had to be rescued after his home was set on fire.

Grigsby was arrested last August after a surveillance camera recorded his vehicle just before a garage caught fire. He pleaded guilty in April to four counts of arson.

Grigsby in April entered guilty pleas on the four counts. Five other counts were dismissed in a plea deal.


Man sentenced in woman's drive-by death

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A man charged in the death of a St. Louis woman who was killed by a stray bullet has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Twenty-one-year-old Ronnie Mottley was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Patrice Thimes. She died on St. Patrick's Day 2011 when she was hit by a bullet fired in a gun battle between people on the street and a car that drove by.

Two other defendants, Bernard Dorris, and his cousin Sheltkeem Brown, are awaiting trial.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports jurors in May could not reach verdict in a trial for Mottley and Dorris. Their attorneys argued that witnesses were wrong or lied to police to protect the real shooters.


State to ask for lower air permit fee increase

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A proposal to increase permit and emission fees charged to Missouri companies to regulate air pollution has fallen apart, forcing state officials to lower proposed increases and placing a department that monitors air pollution in financial danger.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Air Pollution Control Program enforces the federal Clean Air Act in the state. It faces insolvency by late 2016 unless fees paid by polluters increase.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a proposed fee schedule that received support earlier this year would have raised enough to keep the agency operating.

Kyra Moore, director of the air pollution control program, said last week some companies objected to the proposed fee increases, and lower increases were likely. She did not say which companies raised the late objections.

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

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