JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Columbia-based Shelter Insurance has sued a bond underwriter for $390 million over municipal bonds issued by the city of Moberly for the failed Mamtek USA sweetener plant project. Shelter is suing Memphis-based firm Morgan Keegan in Cole County Circuit Court, contending the company did not perform adequate due diligence when it underwrote $39 million in municipal bonds for the ill-fated project.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Trauma surgeons, state troopers and the mother of a teen driver killed in a highway crash are urging the legislature to ban texting while driving for all ages in Missouri. Yesterday’s University Hospital press conference was part of a broader campaign that includes driving safety lessons for Missouri  students.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House panel is endorsing legislation that makes it a crime for federal officials to try to enforce the 2009 federal health care overhaul. The measure is sponsored by St. Charles County Republican Kurt Bahr. It now heads to the full House.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge is getting ready to hear arguments today on a proposed ballot measure that would replace the state’s income tax with a broader sales tax. The case focuses on a summary of the measure that would appear on the statewide ballot as well as the estimate of the proposal’s cost.

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Joplin educators are trying to get public support for a $62 million bond issue to rebuild or repair 10 school buildings that were damaged or destroyed by last year’s deadly tornado. City voters will consider the proposal on April 3rd.

ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A jury weighing the fate of a southwest Missouri man who confessed to raping and killing a friend’s young stepdaughter has heard from friends and relatives of the child. The jury convicted 37-year-old Christopher Collings late Tuesday of first-degree murder for the November 2007 strangulation of 9-year-old Rowan Ford, who was kidnapped from her home in Stella. Jurors will decide Collings’ fate – the death penalty or life in prison.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has endorsed a bill giving farmers what the measure calls “a right to raise livestock.”  The measure states that farms and agriculture businesses only have to follow the laws that are in effect at the time they begin operations — not those that are enacted sometime later.  House members gave the bill first-round approval Wednesday on a voice vote. It needs a second vote to move to the Senate.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation making it a crime to disturb a religious worship service. The bill given initial approval Wednesday would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a “house of worship” with profane language, rude behavior or noise. The crime would be punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, with harsher punishment for repeat offenses.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – This month’s unseasonably warm weather is prompting an increase in the number of mosquitoes and ticks in Missouri. Researchers say people who go into wooded areas should check themselves for ticks. An early-spring cold snap could still wipe out a big chunk of the mosquito population.