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(Washington, DC) -- Six Missouri businesses will take part in a federal program providing 60 million dollars in grants and loans to improve broadband internet access in rural areas. Fiber optic lines will bring high-speed service to parts of Missouri that have little or no access now. One of the businesses, the Gascosage Electric Cooperative, will get seven million dollars in grants and another seven million dollars in low-interest loans to lay the fiber optic cable in three phases in five counties – Camden, Maries, Miller, Phelps and Pulaski.

(Springfield, MO) -- The only female firefighter in the Nixa Fire Protection District has filed a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, gender discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation. Dana Osborne’s attorney says her fellow firefighters would watch pornographic videos on their cell phones at the dinner table, showing her pictures of naked women and making comments about the way she looks in uniform. Osborne was hired in August 2017 and filed her first formal complaint eight months later. She says her superiors have known what is going on and done nothing about it.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- The Missouri House has debated requiring the creation of a statewide prescription drug monitoring system. Missouri is the only state in the nation to not have such a database to check for cases of misuse and abuse. Bill sponsor Holly Rehder (RAY-derr), a Republican from Scott County, says the state needs to battle drug addiction problems on the front end. Representative Justin Hill, a fellow Republican and former police officer from the St. Louis suburb of Lake St. Louis, says the proposal will not stop illegal drug problems. The bill is supported by both the GOP House Speaker and by the House Democratic Leader. The House did not vote on the legislation.

(Jefferson City, MO) -- The state is suing a company that helps consumers get out of their timeshare contracts. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the suit against Martin Management and its owner, Steve Martin. It alleges that Martin Management employees, at the direction of the owner, asked for large sums of money from customers on the promise to get customers out of their timeshare agreements within 180 days or their money back, guaranteed. According to the lawsuit, when consumers complained about the delay in getting released from their timeshares, Martin Management would take more money from its clients by promising that only one more fee stood between them and final release from their timeshares. Despite paying the company for services, consumers claim that Martin Management never delivered on its promise.