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

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HIGHWAY SHOOTINGS

Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities say a man has been charged with 18 felony counts in connection with about a dozen recent random highway shootings that have wounded three people in the Kansas City area.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said at a news conference Friday that Mohammed Whitaker has been charged with two counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and injuring a person, seven counts of shooting into a motor vehicle and nine counts of armed criminal action.

At least six of the shootings occurred near Grandview. The Kansas City suburb is home to an area known as the Grandview Triangle, where three interstates and U.S. 50 intersect.

The last confirmed shooting believed to be connected to the case was reported April 6.

None of the victims' wounds was considered life-threatening.

CHILD ABDUCTED

Murder suspect wants statements thrown out

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - An attorney for a Springfield man charged with kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl want statements he made to police after his arrest to be suppressed.

Attorney Patrick Berrigan says in court documents that Craig Michael Wood was suffering from intoxication, emotional turmoil and psychological instability when he was arrested in February in the death of Hailey Owens.

The girl was abducted from her neighborhood and found dead hours later in the basement of Wood's house.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Berrigan contends Wood repeatedly asked police to stop questioning him so he could consult with an attorney.

Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson said motions to suppress are routine and he would have no further comment.

WOMAN KILLED-SMARTPHONE

Kill switch plan lauded by victim's father

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The father of a former Saint Louis University volleyball player killed for her cellphone says he is grateful that major makers have agreed to put so-called kill switches in new smartphones next year to deter thefts and robberies.

Megan Boken of Wheaton, Ill., was shot in St. Louis in 2012. She had graduated but was in town for a job interview and to play in a reunion game. Two men are now in prison for the crime.

Her father, Paul Boken, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he and his family will continue to push lawmakers to require technology in smartphones that would make them useless to thieves.

The Federal Communications Commission says cellphones are taken in 30 to 40 percent of robberies in big American cities.

PRIEST ABUSE

St. Louis priest suspended after second arrest

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis priest who was previously charged with felony child endangerment and witness tampering in Lincoln County has been arrested again on suspicion of having sex with a minor.

St. Louis prosecutors are reviewing the Thursday arrest of the Rev. Joseph Jiang and could decide Friday whether to file criminal charges.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis says it has revoked the priest's canonical privileges and that the abuse report came from the family of a child who had previously complained of being bullied by classmates.

The previous charges against Jiang were dismissed in November 2013. The 30-year-old priest from China was assigned to the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, where he lived with and was mentored by Archbishop Robert Carlson.

JOPLIN-SAFE ROOMS

Joplin prepares to open several new safe rooms

(Information in the following story is from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com)

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Joplin officials say some safe rooms to protect residents during storms are expected to open in the next few weeks.

Joplin school officials say final inspections will be conducted within a few days at community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools and at Junge Field.

The district's director of construction, Mike Johnson, says the remaining safe rooms - at Jefferson, Royal Heights, Kelsey Norman, Duenweg, Columbia and West Central elementary schools and at Joplin High School - are expected to be ready by the fall.

The Joplin Globe reports all the safe rooms will be open to residents who live within a 5-minute walk and a half-mile drive. They have an average capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 people.

DOG KILLED-DEPUTY

Missouri deputy shoots, kills dog

WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) - An investigation continues after an eastern Missouri deputy shot and killed a dog.

The Washington Missourian reports that Franklin County deputies went to a home on Monday to serve a search warrant. Sheriff Gary Toelke says they had been to the home many times before for various crimes.

Deputies had a search warrant, and when no one answered the door, they tried to enter through a window. Toelke says an aggressive dog charged at the deputy, who sprayed the animal with pepper spray.

A woman inside the home came forward and was told to secure the dog. Instead, the dog allegedly charged at one of the deputies, who fired a shot that killed the animal.

PRISON NO-SHOW

Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man who avoided prison because of a clerical error and led a law-abiding life for 13 years said he is overwhelmed by the support he's received since the story of his incarceration became public.

Meanwhile, the Missouri attorney general signaled that he would look for a way to take Cornealious "Mike" Anderson's many years of clean living into account in attempting to resolve the "difficult situation."

Anderson was convicted in 2000 of armed robbery for holding up a restaurant manager in suburban St. Louis. But he was never formally ordered to report for his 13-year sentence. So he never went and instead got married, learned a trade and raised several children.

When prison authorities realized their mistake last July, they took him into custody.

CANTON FERRY

Ferry stops service on Mississippi River

MEYER, Ill. (AP) - A farm cooperative has shut down a ferry service that shuttled agricultural products and other goods across the Mississippi River between western Illinois and eastern Missouri.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports that the Ursa Farmers Cooperative made the decision because it can't afford to make $618,000 in needed repairs. The ferry connected the cities of Canton in Missouri and Meyer in Illinois. The cooperative operated the ferry for the last two decades and shut it down about a month ago.

Roger Hugenberg is the cooperative's assistant general manager. He called stopping the ferry service a "tough decision" but says that the repair costs couldn't be justified. Hugenberg says it's possible the ferry could return but it would require new partnerships to share costs.

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

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