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

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MISSOURI GOVERNOR-IMPEACHMENT

Missouri House panel mulls impeaching governor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican-led Missouri House committee is holding a hearing on multiple measures seeking to impeach Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The hearing on three separate impeachment resolutions includes one citing Nixon's decision to allow same-sex couples who married legally in other states to file joint tax returns in Missouri. Another measure is critical of the amount of time the governor took to call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.

The final measure under consideration by the Judiciary Committee would impeach Nixon for his refusal to fire officials involved with the Revenue Department's decision last year to scan driver's license applicants' personal documents into a computer system.

Committee chairman Stanley Cox, of Sedalia, said the panel will not vote on the measures Wednesday.

Nixon has called the hearings "some sort of show."

MISSOURI PRIMARY

Mo. House endorses June primary election date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has given initial approval to legislation that would move the state's primary elections to June.

Party primaries for Congress, the state Legislature and statewide offices are currently held in even-numbered years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in August. But the bill endorsed on Wednesday would move the primaries to the first Tuesday after the third Monday in June.

Supporters say the earlier primaries would give the winners more time to compete for November's general election. But opponents argue it could also cause lawmakers to campaign more aggressively during the legislative session, which runs through mid-May.

The measure needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.

MOTORCYCLE HELMETS

Mo. House endorses motorcycle helmet law change

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has endorsed a bill that would allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to forgo wearing helmets while travelling on the road.

Current law requires motorists to wear helmets or face a fine of up to $25 for each offense.

Supporters say adults should have the freedom to decide whether to wear a helmet and argue Missouri misses out on tourism because of the current law. Opponents say the helmet law protects riders during accidents and that the measure would cost the state in higher medical bills.

The measure given first-round approval Wednesday needs one more vote before moving to the Senate. Lawmakers adjourn May 16.

PRESCHOOL RATINGS

Mo. Senate backs potential for preschool ratings

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have endorsed legislation that could lead to the development of a preschool rating system by private or nonprofit groups.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday comes two years after a law was enacted barring the creation of a preschool rating system by the state, higher education institutions or quasi-governmental entities.

The new legislation leaves intact the prohibition on government involvement but would allow publicly funded preschools to participate in a rating system run by a private or nonprofit group.

Bill supporters say rating systems can help parents decide where to send their young children.

Two years ago, some lawmakers had raised concerns that a state rating program could have resulted in some early childhood centers becoming ineligible for state-subsidized child care.

COLD CASE SLAYINGS

Evidence argued as old Wyo. killing heads to trial

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Prosecutors and a defense attorney are set to argue over what evidence can be used at the upcoming trial of a Missouri woman accused of shooting her husband as he slept almost 40 years ago in Wyoming.

A lawyer for 75-year-old Alice Uden plans to argue self-defense in the death of 25-year-old Ronald Holtz in 1974 or 1975. Jury selection in her first-degree murder trial begins Tuesday.

Attorneys will argue over evidence at a hearing Wednesday in Cheyenne.

Court documents show Uden's attorney wants to exclude information that her current husband, 71-year-old Gerald Uden, killed his ex-wife and her two sons in Wyoming in 1980. Gerald Uden pleaded guilty last fall.

Prosecutors arrested the Udens in Chadwick, Mo., in September but have not linked the two murder cases.

JACKSON COUNTY-ROADSIDE BODY

Man pleads not guilty in southern Ill. killing

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) - A man accused of killing a Missouri woman and leaving her body along a southern Illinois road has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder.

KFVS-TV reports 28-year-old Brandon Banks was arraigned Wednesday in Illinois' Jackson County.

Prosecutors there allege Banks killed 40-year-old Marsha Ann Brown of Cape Girardeau, Mo., which also is Banks' hometown. Brown's body was found in January in tall weeds on a small embankment near Makanda (muh-KAN'-duh).

Banks was arrested in St. Louis two days after Brown's body was found, and he was returned to Illinois to face prosecution.

He's jailed on $1 million bond.

PLAZA FIRE-REOPENING

JJ's reopening across the street from former site

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A popular upscale Kansas City restaurant that was destroyed by a gas explosion last year plans to reopen this summer across the street from its previous location.

The Kansas City Star reports JJ's will open a 4,800-square-foot restaurant and bar on the south side of the lobby in the new Plaza Vista Building a few blocks from the Country Club Plaza.

Owner Jimmy Frantze says he expects about 90 percent of his former employees to return.

An explosion caused by a natural gas leak on Feb. 19, 2013, killed server Megan Cramer and injured several other workers. The blast leveled the restaurant and damaged two neighboring buildings.

Frantze and his brother David Frantze say they considered rebuilding at the original site, but the bids were way too high.

RESTAURANT-TRADEMARK FIGHT

Restaurant sues ex-Cardinal Edmonds over name

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Cincinnati restaurant owner is suing former Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds over the name of the Precinct, a restaurant he co-owns in downtown St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Jeff Ruby filed a federal lawsuit against Edmonds' business late last year. The suit alleges that Edmonds' steakhouse infringes on the Ohio restaurant group's trademark.

The St. Louis Precinct features police and sports memorabilia and is located next to the new city police headquarters building. The Precinct in Cincinnati opened in 1981 and occupies a former police patrol building.

Edmonds played for the Cardinals from 2000 to 2007. He retired from baseball in 2011.

KANSAS CITY-NEW AIRLINE

Spirit Airlines to begin flying out of Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Spirit Airlines will begin offering five daily flights out of Kansas City in August.

The low-budget airline announced Wednesday that it would offer flights to Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, beginning Aug. 7. A roundtrip flight to Houston will begin Aug. 8.

The airline, based in Miramar, Fla., offers inexpensive flights but also charges for amenities such as soft drinks, carry-on bags and assigned seats. It also has more seats, which don't recline, in its airplanes.

Kansas City will be the 56th city in Spirit's network.

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

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