JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Weeks before candidates begin filing for office, the Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether new congressional boundaries were gerrymandered to benefit incumbents. The court is to hear arguments Thursday over two lawsuits contending the new congressional districts are not compact and serve partisan Republican ends. The Missouri attorney general’s office is defending the new districts.

PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri man jailed in the hatchet killing of one woman and the razor attack of another will be arraigned today. Quintin O’Dell was charged Saturday in Platte County with one count of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the May 31st hatchet attack that killed Alissa Shippert. The attack occurred while Shippert was fishing at the Platte Falls Conservation Area.

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — New homes and businesses are sprouting throughout Joplin, replacing the thousands destroyed in the deadly May 22nd storm. The tornado killed an estimated 98 percent of the trees in the storm’s main path, stretching about a half mile wide and four miles long. Now steps are being taken to restore the trees.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City is studying the feasibility of a downtown arts campus. The school says it has hired one real estate business and two architecture firms. They’ll craft a preliminary cost estimate for UMKC, look at potential downtown properties and talk to the community over the next several months.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The leader of the Missouri Senate hopes two measures targeting the federal health care law will be among the first debated this year in his chamber. Dexter Republican Rob Mayer supports a measure that would ask voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit government mandates to have health insurance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — For the second time, Mary Ratliff has been elected to continue her term as president of the Missouri NAACP by a single vote. Her challenger, Rod Chapel of Jefferson City, says he might again contest the election results. In September, Chapel lost to Ratliff by the same margin.

WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri plant will shut its doors this spring, costing about 300 people their jobs. Washington, Mo., Mayor Sandy Lucy says the Harman-Becker plant is scheduled to close in May. Lucy says the plant made car radios for Chrysler.

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A convicted killer in Missouri has admitted she killed an Oklahoma woman in 1994. Odessa Brown was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty last week in the strangulation death of 83-year-old Elnora Riley. Brown was serving a life sentence in Missouri for killing a Kansas City man when she says God told her to confess to killing Riley.

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon is set to announce a new jobs plan with stops in two western Missouri communities. Nixon has scheduled news conferences today at businesses in Excelsior Springs and Hopkins. The governor says the “Missouri Works” proposal was conceived from a report designed as a five-year blueprint for economic development.