JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — AmeriCorps officials say the service group will increase the size of its volunteer force that’s working to help Joplin rebuild from last year’s deadly tornado. So far, two dozen AmeriCorps volunteers work in the city where thousands of buildings were destroyed and 161 people died.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is getting more than $700,000 from a settlement between states and one of the nation’s largest life insurance companies. The deal with MetLife resolves allegations that the insurer didn’t make adequate efforts to identify and pay beneficiaries of life insurance policies.

FRONTENAC, Mo. (AP) — More than three dozen suspected shoplifters could soon have a day in court after a law enforcement sweep in the St. Louis area. Officers from nearly a dozen departments arrested 38 people during the past week. The task force targeted people who’d failed to appear in court for a stealing charge related to shoplifting cases.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri fans will be able to whet their appetite for all things SEC tonight at the school’s new gymnastics center. Athletic director Mike Alden is scheduled to speak to the school’s football booster group. Missouri moves to the Southeastern Conference on July 1st.

KEARNEY, Mo. (AP) – Relatives and researchers say they want to determine if a former member of the Jesse James game is buried in a grave in northwest Missouri. The grave in Kearney purportedly holds the remains of Clell Miller, a James gang member who was shot in 1876. The Kansas City Star reports Miller’s relatives want the medical examiner in Jackson and Clay counties to petition Clay County authorities to exhume the body.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Court of Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of a former Columbia police officer in the 2004 killing of a college student with whom he had an affair. Steven Rios was convicted in 2009 of second-degree murder for the throat-slashing death of Jesse Valencia, a 23-year-old University of Missouri student. Rios is serving a life sentence.

MOSCOW MILLS, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri woman is accused of selling heroin to her father. Steve England of Moscow Mills was hospitalized after overdosing on the drug. His daughter, 26-year-old Jodi England of O’Fallon, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance and marijuana possession.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A barge worker is dead after trying to rescue stranded boaters in the Mississippi River near downtown St. Louis. A boat near the Poplar Street Bridge yesterday ran out of gas and began taking on water when two workers from a barge tried to help. One of the workers was critically injured after their boat capsized during the rescue attempt.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis alderman wants to ban gas stations from selling small containers of hard alcohol. Alderman Scott Ogilvie says various small containers of alcohol are being sold on the counter of many gas stations. Ogilvie says that tempts people to drink and drive, while also exposing minors to a culture of drinking.

CHICAGO (AP) — Rail upgrades needed for faster trains rides between Chicago and St. Louis will start in central Illinois this weekend. Work on part of the Amtrak route north of Bloomington, Ill., begins on Saturday. The work is to make way for an increase in speed to 110 mph from the current 79 mph.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Jefferson City man faces life in prison for shooting his estranged wife to death as she worked her part-time job at a McDonald’s restaurant. A Cole County jury took about three hours yesterday to convict 49-year-old Keith Kellner of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2010 slaying.