PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A southeastern Missouri sheriff’s office is looking for several men who are suspected of stealing payroll checks and petty cash from Perry County businesses. Investigators say they think the men are part of a larger criminal organization from out of state. They walk into businesses posing as job seekers and ask for employment applications before returning hours later to rob the businesses.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Days after the end of the Occupy the Midwest conference, several sites around St. Louis have been spray-painted with pro-Occupy graffiti. Members of the Occupy movement say the vandalism wasn’t official action by the group. The graffiti follows an angry confrontation last week between protesters and police at Compton Hill Reservoir Park.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Republican state senator from St. Louis County is running for re-election despite being upset about his district’s new boundaries. A bipartisan commission approved a new map of Missouri’s 34 Senate districts last week that reflects population changes. Senator Jim Lembke says the redrawn boundaries give Democrats an advantage.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City officials are applying for a $25 million federal grant to help pay for a proposed $101 million streetcar line to connect the Crown Center and the River Market. Mayor Sly James says the four-mile long streetcar would fill a transportation gap and promote economic development downtown.

ARNOLD, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis-area man found dead inside a burning home had shot himself in the head. Authorities say the body 48-year-old Paul Link of Arnold was found Monday afternoon in a house fire. An autopsy revealed the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but police haven’t said how the fire began.

ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A Rolla man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 death of 9-year-old Rowan Ford. Thirty-seven-year-old Christopher Collings was found guilty yesterday evening. Authorities say Rowan was taken from her home in the Newton County town of Stella, raped and killed in Barry County and dumped in a cave in McDonald County.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Governor Jay Nixon is releasing $1.6 million that he trimmed from this year’s budgets for social service programs, firefighter training and the state Senate. He had held back $172 million while approving the budget that took effect last July.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A former head of aerospace giant and defense contractor McDonnell Douglas Corporation died this week at his suburban St. Louis home. Sandy McDonnell was 89 when he died on Monday. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2010.