MO.gov News Feed: Governor /news-rss?filter=governor MO.gov News Feed: Governor Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:49:19 +0000 en-us In St. Louis, Governor Parson Awards Missouri Public Safety Medals to Public Safety Responders and Civilian for Heroic, Live-Saving Efforts in 2017 https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/st-louis-governor-parson-awards-missouri-public-safety-medals-public-safety 846 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:16:56 +0000 In St. Louis, Governor Parson Awards Missouri Public Safety Medals to Public Safety Responders and Civilian for Heroic, Live-Saving Efforts in 2017 eistee Tue, 11/13/2018 - 16:16 November 13, 2018 Missouri’s Highest Public Safety Honors Awarded on Day Governor Proclaimed as Missouri Public Safety Recognition Day St. Louis (city) Governor Mike Parson this afternoon presented 31 public safety awards to first responders and a civilian who heroically saved the lives of people trapped inside two different burning buildings, a SWAT team member who despite being shot was able to end the threat posed by a gunman in a dangerous standoff with law enforcement officers, and a public safety leader who has worked to strengthen relations between police and his community through innovative programs designed to break down barriers.  In addition to awarding a total of 33 awards in St. Louis, Governor Parson proclaimed today as Missouri Public Safety Recognition Day in further recognition of the extraordinary acts of bravery and public service performed by Missouri public safety professionals and the risks they take to protect the public each day. “The public safety responders we honored today are more than role models; they represent the best among us,” Governor Parson said. “They raced into burning buildings to rescue people trapped by fire; heroically ended the threat posed by a gunman, despite being wounded and trapped inside a residence with him; and they worked to innovate in policing to make communities safer and bridge divides between police and the public. In addition, a civilian honored today selflessly accompanied a firefighter in a life-saving rescue from a burning building. I could not be prouder to stand with these exemplary men and women whose actions truly inspire.”   Family members and the responders’ colleagues were on hand for the awards presentation at Harris-Stowe State University for the acts performed in 2017. The award recipients and the acts for which they were honored are as follows: Medal of Valor: Missouri's highest award recognizing public safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. David Watkins, Jr., Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office – On March 10, 2017, a team from the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office was serving a search warrant to a convicted felon suspected of narcotics trafficking at a second-story apartment in Wyatt, Mo. Lieutenant Watkins had the lead as the team announced their presence and breached the apartment door. Lieutenant Watkins entered the front door and immediately took fire from the suspect. Other members of the entry team were forced to take cover on the ground outside. Shot in the left leg, and trapped in the apartment with the gunman, Lieutenant Watkins crawled into a nearby room. Unable to stand, he sat against a wall. Outside, his team called for Lieutenant Watkins. Watkins did not answer so as not to reveal his position to the gunman. The gunman, still armed with an AR-15, walked to the front door, where officers were taking cover, and looked outside. He then turned and saw Lieutenant Watkins and began raising his weapon. Lieutenant Watkins fired his weapon striking the gunman in the upper torso, ending the threat to him and the other officers. Watkins then staggered to his feet and held the gunman at gunpoint until his team members took control of the scene. While under fire and while wounded, Lieutenant Watkins demonstrated incredible courage while trapped inside an apartment with a gunman.   Leon Whitener III, St. Louis Fire Department – On April 22, 2017, a call went out for a structure fire with a person trapped in St. Louis’s Botanical Heights neighborhood. The closest fire station was responding to an earlier reported fire, so there would be a delay in the first company’s arrival. Captain Whitener, who was off duty, immediately responded. He found thick gray smoke pouring out of the two-story residential building. Residents outside the building told him a wheelchair-bound tenant was trapped on the second floor. Captain Whitener charged into the building and up the stairs without any protective equipment. He was followed by a tenant from another unit in the building, Raymond Rayford. The smoke was filling the hallway. Smoke billowed into the room where they found the woman in her wheelchair. She futilely covered her face to try to block out the smoke. Captain Whitener knew time was short because the smoke was building pressure in the room. They pushed the wheelchair to the apartment doorway but furniture blocked the exit. Mr. Rayford threw the furniture out of the apartment to clear a path. Whitener and Rayford then hoisted the wheelchair over the stair railing and down the stair, careful to protect the woman. Once outside, they heard glass shattering. The fire had grown tremendously and was now venting itself out of the room from which they had just rescued the woman. Captain Whitener’s swift and decisive action while off-duty resulted in the rescue of an elderly disabled woman who could not have survived on her own.      Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award: Awarded to a civilian who has provided valuable or courageous assistance to members of a Missouri public safety agency in an emergency situation. Raymond Rayford, nominated by the St. Louis Fire Department – For his selfless and critical assistance to Captain Whitener in the heroic effort to save the life of a trapped wheelchair bound woman, Mr. Rayford was awarded the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award. Though an untrained civilian, Mr. Rayford not only displayed concern for human life and a willingness to help a neighbor, but fearlessness and skill during a rescue in which he put his own life at risk. Director’s Leadership Medal: Awarded at the command or staff level to someone whose demonstrated actions in the areas of community-oriented engagement and collaborative community-based activities have promoted an environment of greater safety, security and cooperation for community members. Frank Mininni, Normandy Police Department, Chief of Police – Colonel Mininni became Normandy Police chief in 2009, after serving 22 years with the department and steadily rising through the ranks. His two decades of experience made him aware of the gulf that existed between law enforcement and many residents in the north St. Louis County community. Determined to get his officers out of their police “bubble,” a month after becoming chief, Mininni introduced the Normandy Area Policing Initiative. It is a community engagement program designed to create real relationships between police and residents. The program implanted officers from each of the department’s divisions into specific areas of patrol. As people interacted with police, citizen satisfaction rose in resident surveys conducted by the department. To expand contacts with youth, Colonel Mininni implemented a lunch program that encouraged officers to eat lunch at local schools and engage with students. In 2015, Normandy Police and a partner nonprofit were awarded an $800,000 federal grant to put school resource officers back into the Normandy Schools Collaborative. Through these and other community engagement efforts, Colonel Mininni has worked to break down barriers and develop greater trust between citizens and law enforcement, and increase public safety in his community. Governor’s Medal: Awarded to a group of public safety officers in recognition of acts above and beyond the call of normal duty during a critical incident in which the collective performance of the group was essential to the successful resolution of the incident. Private Louis Bollasina, Private Paul Clark, Captain Larry Conley, Private Marquis Hayes, Captain Michael Hostetler, Private Joe Johnson, Private Tim Mahnken, Private Patrick O’Brien, Private Patrick Pollihan, Captain Bryan Radley, Private Dave Ray, Private James Reynolds, Private Jeff Ronshausen, Private Dale Schultz, Private Tim Schultz, Battalion Chief Gary Steffens, Private Galen Taylor, Private John Vallero, Captain Joe Waring, EMT Andrew Beasley, Paramedic Daniel Goldfeld, Paramedic Dustin Lammert, EMT Antuan Knox, Paramedic Supervisor Colin McCoy, Paramedic Cameron Morton, EMT Nicholas Spiess, EMT Norman Walker, Paramedic James Wilson and Fire Equipment Dispatcher Angela Williams, St. Louis Fire Department – Shortly before 2 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2017, the St. Louis Fire Department was dispatched to a two-story, two family flat in north St. Louis that was on fire with multiple people trapped. Because of the extreme danger, multiple fire and EMS companies were dispatched to the scene, all of them made aware that a quick and coordinated search of the building was essential. On the scene within four minutes, firefighters learned several members of one family, including children, were trapped on the second floor, where the fire was burning. As firefighters climbed the stairs, they located the first victim on the stairs, unconscious and barely breathing. The victim was carried out of the burning building and resuscitated on the front lawn. Fighting high heat, flames and near zero visibility, firefighters conducting a coordinated search would locate another adult and five children on the burning second floor, all of them unconscious and in respiratory arrest. All of the victims were quickly removed from the building and revived. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson has said that in his 40 years in the fire service he has never seen a more coordinated and heroic search and rescue with such a positive outcome. This afternoon’s ceremony followed a ceremony in Jefferson City in which the Governor awarded medals to 17 first responders and three civilians.    Photographs for public use from today’s ceremony will be available on the Governor’s Flickr account,https://www.flickr.com/photos/141271541@N03/albums. Gov. Parson Awards Missouri Public Safety Medals to First Responders from Across State and Civilians Who Courageously Assisted Responders in 2017 https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/gov-parson-awards-missouri-public-safety-medals-first-responders-across 841 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:01:39 +0000 Gov. Parson Awards Missouri Public Safety Medals to First Responders from Across State and Civilians Who Courageously Assisted Responders in 2017 thurme Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:01 November 13, 2018 Missouri’s Highest Public Safety Honors Awarded on Day Governor Proclaimed as Missouri Public Safety Recognition Day Jefferson City Governor Mike Parson this morning presented five different Missouri Public Safety Medals for exemplary service to a total of 17 Missouri first responders from across the state and three civilians who assisted first responders in emergency situations during 2017. Governor Parson also proclaimed today Missouri Public Safety Recognition Day in further recognition of the extraordinary acts of bravery and public service performed by Missouri public safety professionals, and the risks they take to protect the public each day. “The public safety responders we honored today risked their own safety to directly confront violence, to race into burning buildings where people’s lives were threatened, and they performed heroic, live-saving rescues to save dozens of people from record flash flooding,” Governor Parson said. “We honored others for their life-long commitment to making communities stronger through their work to strengthen public safety professionalism and training. We also recognized civilians who made their own courageous sacrifices to come to assist first responders in dangerous emergency situations. I could not be prouder to stand with these outstanding men and women whose actions truly inspire.”  Family members and colleagues were on hand for the awards presentation during the Jefferson City ceremony. The award recipients and the acts for which they were honored are as follows: Medal of Valor: Missouri's highest award recognizing public safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. Logan Benjamin, Vandalia Police Department – On June 19, 2017, Corporal Benjamin responded to a residence to check on the welfare of a man who had been texting an ex-girlfriend that he was considering suicide. When he knocked on the front door, Corporal Benjamin heard a loud thud and gasping coming from inside. Corporal Benjamin immediately made entry and found a man hanging from a support beam from a belt that was around his neck. Corporal Benjamin grabbed the man around the legs and waist and lifted him to prevent certain strangulation. But the man repeatedly hit Benjamin in the head. Struggling to prop the man up, Benjamin’s portable radio microphone was knocked off, preventing him from calling for assistance. Despite the man continuing to fight violently, Benjamin managed to call for assistance and used his tactical knife to cut the belt the man was hanging from. As both men fell to the ground, the suicidal man went for Benjamin’s knife. Benjamin drew his service pistol and commanded the man to stop trying to hurt himself and Benjamin. The suicidal man complied and was transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. This man remains alive and well to this day because of Corporal Benjamin’s quick thinking and unwavering determination.                                  Michelle L. Vogel, Missouri Department of Corrections – On the night of Aug. 5, 2017, Corrections Officer Vogel was off duty when a window air conditioner caught fire in an apartment in Vogel’s apartment complex. Officer Vogel rushed into the burning building. The fire had spread throughout most of the first floor of the apartment. Inside, through thick smoke, and intense heat and flames, Officer Vogel searched to find anyone who might be trapped. As a result of her search, she found a four-year-old girl, who she quickly got out of the building to safety. Officer Vogel also made sure everyone else was out of the burning building. Outside, the girl’s mother, who was pregnant, was having trouble breathing. Officer Vogel attended to the mother until EMS arrived on the scene. Officer Vogel later took children’s clothing to the family to assist them in the aftermath of the fire. While off duty, Officer Vogel acted without hesitation and reached a young child trapped in a burning residence long before firefighters could have reached the trapped child. Public Safety Medal of Merit: Awarded in recognition of brave actions above and beyond the call of normal duty that played a critical role in successfully resolving a situation that endangered public safety. Ryan Windham, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E – On March 6, 2017, Trooper Windham was on routine patrol on southbound Interstate 57 in Mississippi County when he observed a motor vehicle that was missing a front license plate. Trooper Windham followed the vehicle and activated his lights and siren. The driver refused to stop. A pursuit ensued and ended when the driver slid of a roadway. As Trooper Windham approached the stopped car, the front seat passenger fled on foot. The back seat passenger exited and began firing a handgun at Trooper Windham. Trooper Windham returned fire and moved toward the rear of his patrol car for cover. The suspect fired at least six rounds, three of which struck Windham’s vehicle, one hitting the vehicle’s spotlight, directly in front of Trooper Windham. A manhunt later took place and all three occupants were taken into custody without incident. All three were convicted felons and members of a violent gang with outstanding warrants for their arrests. Trooper Windham’s attention to detail and bravery under fire resulted in the apprehension of these violent offenders. Christopher Papineau, Columbia Police Department – On the evening of May 13, 2017, a gunman, high on Methamphetamine, was firing a shotgun indiscriminately from the back of a residence. The gunman was in a tree and had a box of shotgun shells. Upon arriving, two officers were struck by shotgun pellets. The officers tried to negotiate with the gunman and set up a perimeter, but he quickly escaped with the gun and ammunition. The Columbia Police Department SWAT team was activated. As the first group of SWAT officers arrived in the area, the gunman was seen climbing onto the roof of an events center several blocks from the original scene. Inside, a graduation party was taking place. Many residents were also outdoors at a neighboring multi-story apartment complex. The SWAT team pulled within 60 yards of the gunman. He refused to comply with demands and stated he wanted to kill or seriously wound law enforcement officers and that he would not surrender. The gunman was in a prone shooting position when a pedestrian walked into his field of fire. Officer Papineau fired a single shot to prevent the gunman from harming the pedestrian. The gunman fell from the roof and was pronounced dead. Facing a gunman who had fired at civilians and officers, stated his intention to harm or kill others, and refused to negotiate, Officer Papineau acted to protect innocent civilians.  Hall of Fame Award: Presented to a senior or retired public safety professional in recognition of an exemplary career of service to the state of Missouri evidenced by devoting their talents to improving the safety and security of the state’s citizens. Chief of Department David Hall (Retired), Springfield Fire Department – For 34 years, David Hall served the citizens of Missouri as a firefighter, fire chief, fire service educator and homeland security leader. Beginning his career as a volunteer firefighter with the Mountain Grove Volunteer Fire Department in 1983, Hall moved to the Springfield Fire Department in 1989, where he would be elevated to chief of the department in 2009, and retire in 2017. As Springfield chief, Hall was known not only for advancing the department’s capabilities but for his skill as a manager. Hall’s impact was also regional and statewide, through his leadership efforts improving programs and the fire training curriculum provided by the University of Missouri Fire Rescue Training Institute (MUFRTI). Hall served as an adjunct instructor and in leadership roles for the MUFRTI fire school and co-developed the Fire Officer I and II curricula. Hall served since the inception of Missouri’s state homeland security program and had leadership roles in the Region D Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee, which plays a key role in Missouri’s regional approach to homeland security investment decisions. Hall now continues to lead as Missouri State University’s emergency manager. His career has served as a model of improving public safety through education, advancing training and professionalism, and commitment to public safety colleagues and the public. Governor’s Medal: Awarded to a group of public safety officers in recognition of acts above and beyond the call of normal duty during a critical incident in which the collective performance of the group was essential to the successful resolution of the incident. Shawn Bice, Chris Brockelbank, Jeremiah Jones, and M. Corbin Thompson, West Plains Fire Department and Christopher Kimes and Tyler Pond, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop G – On April 28, 2017, record flooding inundated West Plains as over 10 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours. The floodwaters swept vehicles off roads, homes and buildings off their foundations and put many people at great risk. Responders’ rescue boats capsized, were disabled or could not be deployed because of treacherous conditions. Country Meadows Trailer Park, east of West Plains, had quickly flooded, trapping residents. There were reports of a person having a heart attack and people on the roofs of trailers that were being swept away. West Plains Firefighters Bice, Brockelbank, Jones and Thompson, and Highway Patrol troopers Kimes and Pond, determined to approach the trailer park from railroad track on utility terrain vehicles. They then cut through thick brush and then waded across a field in chest-high water. Reaching the park, the four firefighters and two troopers’ rescues included three people who had been struggling to hold on in a trailer swept off its foundation and a woman who was experiencing chest pains and had to be carried to safety through the flooded field. The UTVs were used to transport the victims to waiting responders. A total of seven residents were rescued by the team, working as one unit, overcoming floodwaters, floating debris, heavy rain, lightning and many other obstacles.   Chris Bell, Gary Brower, Matt Cockrum, Richie Hammon, Grant Sholes and Kurt Wilbanks, West Plains Fire Department – On April 28, 2017, a second team of six West Plains firefighters and one civilian was focused on potentially catastrophic flash flooding that was turning small creeks into rushing rivers. Hundreds of homes were inundated. Howell County 911 was overwhelmed with rescue calls. Swift water rescue boats were not available. The team of Captain Wilbanks, Engineers Bell, Hammon and Sholes and Firefighters Brower and Cockrum, along with West Plains City Councilman Cary Stewart, proceeded in a firetruck, using a pike pole to find the roadway. They would continue to improvise in terribly adverse conditions – outfitting a borrowed johnboat and single paddle with forcible entry tools and rope rigging. They made rescues using the firetruck, boat and on foot through waist deep floodwater. In all, 92 people were rescued, with four patients delivered to the hospital by boat. Those rescued included the elderly, injured, a homebound elderly woman on oxygen and about three dozen college students who sought refuge on the roof of a dormitory.          Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award: Awarded to a civilian who has provided valuable or courageous assistance to members of a Missouri public safety agency in an emergency situation. Cary Stewart, nominated by West Plains Fire Department – On April 28, 2017, Cary Stewart, a West Plains resident and member of the West Plains City Council, participated as a member of the West Plains Fire Department team that rescued 92 people. The department considers his participation essential to the team’s success and worthy of commendation.  Charles Barney and Sandra Straw, nominated by Missouri State Highway Patrol – On Feb. 7, 2017, during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Lafayette County, Trooper Beau Ryun, of Troop A, observed the driver he had stopped reach into his waistline as he approached Trooper Ryun’s patrol car as instructed. Trooper Ryun had the driver place his hands on the patrol car and frisked him, finding a pair of scissors in the driver’s waistline. The driver refused to follow Trooper Ryun’s instructions and began to fight with him. Trooper Ryun’s handcuffs fell to the ground and were out of reach as he struggled with the driver on the ground. He was unable to radio to inform headquarters of his situation. It was then that two motorists stopped along the interstate and approached. Sandra Straw was already on her cell phone with 911, requesting additional officers, as she approached. Ms. Straw lay on Timmons legs in an attempt to control him and wound up being kicked in the face. The second motorist, Charles Barney, was now on the scene and Trooper Ryun asked him to retrieve his handcuffs. Trooper Ryun also instructed Mr. Barney on how to use his radio to advise Troop A of the situation. Mr. Barney then helped with the effort to restrain the driver. This assistance allowed Trooper Ryun to reach and use his pepper spray on the driver. With the assistance of Ms. Straw and Mr. Barney, Trooper Ryun was able to handcuff the driver. Ms. Straw and Mr. Barney both could have kept driving on Interstate 70. Instead, they both chose to put themselves into a dangerous situation and came to the aid of a trooper, who was able to make an arrest with their assistance. Governor Parson will present additional Missouri public safety awards to first responders and a civilian during a second ceremony in St. Louis this afternoon.  Photographs for public use from today’s ceremony will be available on the Governor’s Flickr account,https://www.flickr.com/photos/141271541@N03/albums. Governor Mike Parson Announces Eric Schmitt as the Next Attorney General of Missouri https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-mike-parson-announces-eric-schmitt-next-attorney-general-missouri 836 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 13 Nov 2018 10:16:49 +0000 Governor Mike Parson Announces Eric Schmitt as the Next Attorney General of Missouri swobos1 Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:16 November 13, 2018 Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson announced Eric Schmitt as the next Attorney General of Missouri. Governor Parson said, “As Governor, I take the responsibility to make appointments very seriously. Now that Josh Hawley will soon be serving in the United States Senate, I have the responsibility to ensure we provide stability and instill confidence for all Missourians that their government will continue to work for them.” “I am incredibly proud and pleased to announce that Eric Schmitt will be Missouri’s next Attorney General. It was important to appoint someone who has already been thoroughly vetted by the people of Missouri. Eric is someone who I highly respect, personally trust, and have full confidence to serve as Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer,” saidGovernor Parson. Incoming Attorney General Eric Schmitt said, “I want to thank Governor Parson for the opportunity to continue serving Missourians as their attorney general and chief law enforcement official. Governor Parson has been a truly outstanding governor for the state of Missouri who is moving our state forward on so many important areas for Missouri families. “It is an incredible honor to be named the lawyer for 6 million Missourians, and I promise to fight each and every day so that the next generation of Missourians have the same opportunities I’ve enjoyed in the greatest country on earth. I believe everyone is granted the right to be treated equally under the law.  No matter who you are, what race or religion you are, your background, your creed – every single person is entitled to equality of opportunity and a fair shake under the law,” said Schmitt. Attorney General Josh Hawley showed his support and said, "Over the past two years, the men and women of the Attorney General’s Office have taken on some of the most powerful forces in Missouri and across the country to defend the people of this state. We filed one of the largest lawsuits in Missouri history to hold accountable opioid manufacturers, fought the federal government to undo burdensome regulations on Missouri farmers, executed the largest human trafficking raid in Missouri’s history, and launched investigations of the country’s most powerful big tech companies.”  "The Attorney General’s job is to fight for Missouri families regardless how big or powerful the opponent may be, and I know Eric Schmitt will continue this important work.  He is a constitutional conservative and has a proven record of standing up for taxpayers in the Treasurer’s office. I applaud his willingness and commitment to fight for Missourians as the next Attorney General," said Hawley. Schmitt comes with great experience and qualification to this new role. Schmitt was sworn in as the 46th Treasure of the state of Missouri on January 9, 2017. During his time as State Treasurer, he has protected Missouri taxpayers, supported small businesses, and empowered individuals and families while overseeing the state’s $28 billion budget. Schmitt attended DeSmet Jesuit High School and continued his education to graduate cum laude from Truman State University, where he founded a Habitat for Humanity chapter. After graduation, he attended law school at Saint Louis University where he received his J.D. and served as an editor of the Law Review. Schmitt’s record of accomplishments serves as a reflection of his values and leadership. During his time as an Alderman for the city of Glendale and his two terms in the Missouri State Senate, he worked to cut taxes for working families, improve educational opportunities for Missouri children, and advocate for those with special needs. He and his wife, Jaime, have three children, Stephen, Sophia, and Olivia. Josh Hawley will resign from the Office of Attorney General effective January 3, 2019. Governor Parson to Recognize Mizzou Nobel Prize Winner https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-recognize-mizzou-nobel-prize-winner 826 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:37:56 +0000 Governor Parson to Recognize Mizzou Nobel Prize Winner Stephanie.Whitaker Fri, 11/09/2018 - 15:37 November 9, 2018 Will Present Proclamation to Dr. George Smith During Halftime at Faurot Field Jefferson City Governor Mike Parson will recognize Dr. George Smith for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry during Saturday’s football game at Faurot Field. At halftime, Governor Parson will present Dr. Smith with a proclamation for his achievement in science and being honored with this prestigious award. “Dr. Smith’s scientific breakthrough is a crowning achievement in the field of chemistry, and we are proud to have him right here in Missouri. This award highlights the incredible work that is being done at Mizzou, and is a great example of what our higher education can achieve,” said Governor Parson. “Dr. Smith’s devotion to science is a benefit to us all. All of Mizzou’s True Sons and Daughters should be proud of his achievement, not just for the University, but also for Missouri.” In October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that Dr. Smith of the University of Missouri was one of three researchers to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was honored with the award for his breakthrough of evolving new proteins under his development of phage display. The new discovery has the potential to help fight off severe and threatening diseases. Having retired in 2015, Dr. Smith is Mizzou’s Curators Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences. He first started at the University in 1975. Mizzou will host Vanderbilt on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. To view the proclamation, click here. Governor Parson Encourages Missourians to Honor Those Who Served Our Country This Veterans Day https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-encourages-missourians-honor-those-who-served-our-country 821 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 09 Nov 2018 14:14:28 +0000 Governor Parson Encourages Missourians to Honor Those Who Served Our Country This Veterans Day Stephanie.Whitaker Fri, 11/09/2018 - 14:14 November 9, 2018 Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson released the following statement regarding the observance of Veterans Day: “This Veterans Day weekend, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, let us take time to honor the service, sacrifice, commitment, and courage of all veterans, including the 488,000 veterans who call Missouri home. These men and women deserve the highest appreciation from their community, their state, and their country. I know that I would not be the person I am today without my military service. As your Governor, it is always a privilege to get to know each and every veteran I meet while traveling across the state. I pledge to continue working to make Missouri the nation’s most military and veteran friendly state, and encourage everyone to take the time to say thanks to our veterans—not only this weekend, but throughout the year. In doing so, we are teaching the next generation of Missourians the meaning of honor, freedom, integrity, and respect.” Governor Parson will participate in several events commemorating Veterans Day this weekend. On Saturday, November 10, Governor Parson will be traveling to the Mizzou vs. Vanderbilt Military Appreciation game and attend the 20th Annual Whiteman Day at Mizzou, addressing 650 military members and family members from Whiteman Air Force Base. On Sunday, November 11, Governor Parson will host a “Salute to Service” Tailgate to honor veterans of all wars before the Chiefs kickoff at noon. The Governor will also be joining 150 service members and the Fort Leonard Wood Army Color Guard in holding a large American Flag on the field during the National Anthem at Arrowhead Stadium. On Monday, November 12, Governor Parson will be speaking at the Mountain Grove (MO) High School’s Veterans Days Celebration and participating in the groundbreaking for the Wright County Area Veterans Memorial Wall at Cedar Center Park in Mountain Grove. Governor Parson Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-makes-appointments-boards-and-commissions-2 811 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 02 Nov 2018 16:04:52 +0000 Governor Parson Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions Stephanie.Whitaker Fri, 11/02/2018 - 16:04 November 2, 2018 Jefferson City Today, Governor Parson announced nine appointments to various boards and commissions. Sherman “Bill” Birkes, of Joplin, was appointed to the Missouri Ethics Commission. Birkes is a retired banker and financial analyst with over 30 years of experience. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserves and Missouri National Guard. He graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and a certificate from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Birkes is a former member of the Jasper County Central Fire District Board of Directors. He is also a current member of the Rotary Club of Webb City and Carl Junction and a member of the Military Officers Association of America. John Mallott, of Kennett, was reappointed to the Seismic Safety Commission. John Mallott is the Fire Chief for the Kennett Fire Department and the Emergency Management Director for the City of Kennett. He is also an Associate/Adjunct Instructor for the University of Missouri-Columbia Extension for Fire and Rescue Training. Mallott also served in the Missouri Air National Guard for 28 years. He has his Associate Degree in Fire Science from the Community College of the Air Force.  Dr. Brent Rosenblad, of Columbia, was reappointed to the Seismic Safety Commission. Dr. Rosenblad is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has conducted engineering field studies in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Dr. Rosenblad has his Doctor of Philosophy in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Texas, his Master of Science in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Texas, and his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He is a licensed professional engineer with the State of Missouri, a certified instructor for the National Highway Institute, and currently serves as Chair of the Seismic Safety Commission, which he has been a member of since 2012. Dr. Eric Sandvol, of Columbia, was reappointed to the Seismic Safety Commission. Dr. Sandvol is a Professor in Geological Sciences at the University of Missouri and an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University. He has numerous field experience and recently worked on measuring the seismic structure of the Central United States. Dr. Sandvol has his Bachelor of Science in Physics from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his Doctor of Philosophy in Physics with an emphasis in Seismology from New Mexico State University. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Seismological Society of America.  Kayla Sue Schoonover, of Fairfax, was appointed to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. Schoonover is a Speech Implementer, a High School Special Education Instructor, and the Head Volleyball Coach at Mound City R-2 Schools. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Mentally and Physically Handicapped and a Minor in Physical Education and Coaching from Missouri Western State University. She also has a Teacher Certification in Special Education from Northwest Missouri State University. Schoonover is a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, Mound City R-2 Community Teachers Association, Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association, and Local Area Special Education.  Lee Tieman, of St. Joseph, was appointed to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. Tieman is a Senior Partner at Tieman, Spencer, & Hicks, L.L.C., where he specializes in Business Law and Civil Litigation. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri and his Bachelor of Arts in History-Government and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Columbia College. Tieman is licensed in all Missouri state courts, United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, and a member of Missouri Western State University Gold Coat Club. Cheryl D.S. Walker, of St. Louis, was appointed to the Missouri Ethics Commission. Walker is Of Counsel to Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP. She has her Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Missouri University Science & Technology. She previously served on Board of Curators (January 2003-July 2009) and Co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee (March-October 2016) at the University of Missouri. She is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, American Bar Association, Mound City Bar Association, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Jay Wasson, of Nixa, was appointed to the Missouri Tourism Commission. Wasson is a former Missouri State Senator for the 20th District, serving from 2010-2018, and proudly before that was the State Representative for the 141st District, serving from 2002-2010. Prior to his time in the legislature, Wasson served as Mayor for the City of Nixa. He is also a member of the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce and is a real estate developer. During his legislative career, he received multiple awards, including the Missouri Community College Association Distinguished Legislator Award, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives Legislative Leadership Award, the Missouri Community College Association Workforce Champion Award, and the Missouri Economic Development Council Appreciation Award.  Kurt Witzel, of Oakville, was appointed to the Missouri Tourism Commission. Witzel is recently retired after 36 years in Sales and Marketing at Anheuser-Busch/InBev.  He is a member of the “Point of Purchase Advertising Institute” Hall of Fame and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri. Witzel serves as Vice Chair of the Missouri Mansion Preservation Board of Directors and is also a member of the Missouri Athletic Club. Governor Parson and Secretary Ashcroft Highlight Missouri’s Readiness to Defend against Cyber Threats https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-and-secretary-ashcroft-highlight-missouris-readiness-defend 806 at https://governor.mo.gov Thu, 01 Nov 2018 13:51:43 +0000 Governor Parson and Secretary Ashcroft Highlight Missouri’s Readiness to Defend against Cyber Threats Stephanie.Whitaker Thu, 11/01/2018 - 13:51 November 1, 2018 Discuss Missouri’s Election Security Preparedness in Advance of November Mid-Term Elections Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson held a briefing with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Missouri’s new Chief Information Officer (CIO) Mike Cheles, the President of the Missouri County Clerk’s Association Cathy Daniels, and a representative from the Department of Homeland Security to discuss Missouri’s readiness to defend against cyber threats and to prepare for election security in advance of next Tuesday’s mid-term election. “The State of Missouri is committed to protecting the data of the public,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Missouri is on the leading edge across the nation, providing the tools and resources necessary to ensure our state workers are prepared to identify and defend against cyber threats.” Governor Parson has instructed the Missouri Office of Administration’s Office of Cyber Security (OCS) to continuously think of new ways to train state employees on cybersecurity. OCS has recently moved to a new cybersecurity training provider, which offers more flexibility in developing training content, and will lead to further improving cybersecurity training for state employees. OCS administers online end-user awareness training to state employees with interactive monthly training, which covers topics like phishing, password strength, and physical security. The office also launches fake phishing campaigns against state employees to assess their end-user awareness and provide additional education. OCS is an award-winning government cybersecurity office and has been recognized as a national leader in cybersecurity. Most recently, OCS was a finalist and the overall winner for the 2018 Cybersecurity Award at the 30th Annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Awards.  Secretary Ashcroft detailed his proactive efforts and collaboration with Missouri election authorities, preparing for next Tuesday’s mid-term elections. Since taking office, Secretary Ashcroft has become a national leader in election security issues, working with Secretaries across the country in hosting the first National Election Security Summit in St. Louis. “I appreciate Gov. Parson’s commitment to cybersecurity and his recognition of Cybersecurity Awareness Month,” said Secretary Ashcroft.  “We will continue to work hand-in-hand to maintain and improve our systems and ensure our election infrastructure is secure.” “Thanks to Secretary Ashcroft’s leadership, Missourians should be confident in the integrity of our elections,” said Governor Parson. “And, just like Jay has been saying all along ‘If you’re registered to vote, you can vote.’” Governor Parson Takes Action on FY19 Budget Bills https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-takes-action-fy19-budget-bills 546 at https://governor.mo.gov Tue, 04 Sep 2018 17:08:53 +0000 Governor Parson Takes Action on FY19 Budget Bills swobos1 Tue, 09/04/2018 - 17:08 June 29, 2018 Applauds General Assembly for a Fiscally-Responsible, Balanced Budget Which Highlights Improving Infrastructure, Increasing Workforce Development, Curbing Opioid Abuse, and Funding Education Jefferson City Today, Governor Parson signed the FY2019 budget bills passed by the General Assembly and highlighted priorities of improving infrastructure, increasing workforce development, curbing opioid abuse, fully funding K-12, and stabilizing higher education budgets. “One of the biggest responsibilities the legislature holds every year is allocating our taxpayers’ hard-earned money responsibly and efficiently,” said Governor Parson. “We applaud the General Assembly for their efforts to fund critical functions of government including infrastructure, workforce development, and education funding.” The Governor highlighted several areas of the budget, including fully funding the education foundation formula for the second time in history with a $99 million funding increase, prioritizing higher education, providing a needed step in lifting state employee pay, allocating $2.6 million to support faith-based initiatives to curb opioid abuse, and allotting $70 million for key infrastructure and workforce development projects. The total state budget is $28.6 billion. In addition, the Governor issued 21 line-item vetoes, totaling more than $12 million. To view the complete list, see here. “Government budgets are no different than our own at home,” said Governor Parson. “We must operate within our means, make fiscally responsible decisions, and invest wisely to ensure our next generation is given the same opportunities to succeed.” The Governor completed the week signing the budget after traveling to parts of the state for key budget announcements: $12 million in increased available school transportation funding, which is especially important for rural school districts $250,000 to a new K-3 reading assessment program for dyslexia diagnosis $8.4 million for Early Childhood Special Education $8.2 million for capital improvements for river port expansion $2 million investment to expand access at the Ft. Leonard Wood airport $4.8 million restored funding for the Tourism CO-OP Program $1 million for the Jobs for America’s Graduates program, assisting high school youth to be college and career ready $2 million for community college workforce development, offering food stamp recipients the opportunity to gain skills, train, and promote employability and self- sufficiency. Governor Parson said, “We’d like to extend our sincere appreciation to the dedicated men and women who help year-round craft a fiscally-responsible, balanced budget.” All FY18 restrictions have been released. To view the complete list, see here. The Governor also on Friday signed into law HB 1350, HB 1388, HB 1713, HB 1268, SB 652, SB 659, SB 687, SB 871, and SB 954. Governor Parson Announces Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-announces-special-session-address-legislative-priorities 371 at https://governor.mo.gov Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:36:18 +0000 Governor Parson Announces Special Session to Address Legislative Priorities swobos1 Fri, 08/31/2018 - 17:36 August 30, 2018 Session will Focus on STEM Education and Expansion of Treatment Courts Jefferson City Governor Mike Parson announced today that the Missouri General Assembly will be called back in for a Special Session concurrent with Veto Session.  The Special Session will take place the week of September 10-14 and will focus on the passage of computer science course access and awareness of career opportunities through STEM education as well as expanding treatment courts in the State of Missouri.   “When I addressed the General Assembly nearly three months ago, I pledged that I would change the tone and work with the legislature,” said Gov. Parson. “This call is a step in delivering that promise.  These two issues were a part of the General Assembly’s historic session as they passed a number of their priorities.  By working together to come up with a more narrowly defined focus, we will have better served the people of Missouri.” The new STEM education requires Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish an online program to educate students about STEM careers and allows for multiple companies to apply to provide the program.  By passing this during a special session, it will allow for DESE to start the process of implementing it for the 2019-2020 school year.  Senator Doug Libla sponsored one version of the original bill.   “Computer science being offered in our K-12 schools is so important to the future of our Missouri students and to the many companies that desire and depend on these skills. Thousands of high-paying jobs are available right now all across Missouri,” said Sen. Libla, R-Poplar Bluff.  “I would like to thank Gov. Parson and the Missouri Legislature for their past support of this life-changing legislation.” The new treatment court legislation will focus solely on reforms to treatment courts throughout the state.  Expansion of treatment courts will allow for more individuals to get treatment, rather than being incarcerated in our already overcrowded prison system. Representative Kevin Austin was the original sponsor of the treatment court bill. “I applaud the Governor's action and comments.  I appreciate his recognition that Missouri treatment courts have been a great success at changing lives for the better, lowering criminal recidivism rates, saving tax-payer dollars by reducing incarceration, all the while making our communities safer and aiding our citizens in their quest to be more productive and improve their quality of life. I am excited to work with my colleagues and the governor to pass this crucial expansion of our treatment courts into law,” said Rep. Austin, R-Springfield. Both leadership from the House and Senate have endorsed the Governor’s decision for a special session.  The timeliness of the call to have a special session concurrent with veto session will ensure that this special session is run efficiently, cutting down on any additional costs and saving taxpayer dollars.    “Since taking office in June, the governor has asked us for a fresh start and for us to begin working together for a better Missouri. We believe in his vision of moving Missouri forward by finding new solutions for workforce development and exploring innovation,” said President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin. “We understand there are priorities the governor would like to accomplish before the end of the year. We respect those priorities, and as the Senate Leader, I will do what I can to push his agenda forward.” “I appreciate the governor’s willingness to work closely with us to resolve these pressing issues that will have a positive impact on thousands of Missourians all across our state,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff. “My colleagues and I are ready to have an efficient session that will improve our system of education to better prepare our young people for the jobs of the future, and give Missourians battling substance abuse access to treatment that will allow them to become healthy, productive citizens.” In addition to legislators, Missouri leaders have spoken up in favor of the upcoming special session.  “Businesses across the state are struggling right now to find workers who have the skills they need. This problem severely impacts companies that are hiring for jobs that require computer science skills. I applaud Gov. Mike Parson and the Missouri General Assembly for focusing on STEM workforce readiness during the upcoming special session,” said Daniel P. Mehan, President and CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Passing this legislation is an important first step toward improving computer science education in our state and giving students essential skills needed in today’s economy. This effort aligns with our Missouri 2030 plan and the business community anticipates important progress being made when lawmakers return to Jefferson City.” "With tens of thousands of unfilled tech jobs in Missouri, it is more important than ever to make STEM career pathways visible to young people. As an organization that provides free, accessible tech training to Missourians, LaunchCode is proud to support legislation that will open doors to new generations of learners and better prepare them for accelerated, job-focused training programs like ours," said Jeff Mazur, Executive Director, LaunchCode. "We are grateful to Gov. Parson and legislative leaders for making STEM career awareness an urgent policy priority." “Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for careers in STEM is an important priority for Cerner and we work to provide students with learning programs that offer the professional skills and technical knowledge to set them up for future success,” said Julie Wilson, Chief People Officer, Cerner. “We appreciate the continued focus by Gov. Parson on growing STEM education, which will further make Missouri a place to attract and recruit top talent for the jobs of today and the future.” “Treatment courts are the most successful intervention in our nation’s history for holding accountable people living with substance use and mental health disorders, and leading them out of the justice system into lives of recovery and stability,” said Judge Alan Blankenship, 39th Circuit Court and President of Missouri Association of Treatment Court Professionals. Though vetoed during the regular session due to problematic language that had been added, both received strong bipartisan support, and Gov. Parson reiterated that this special session is about agreement not division.   Merit Reform Legislation to Change How State of Missouri Recruits, Recognizes Its Employees https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/merit-reform-legislation-change-how-state-missouri-recruits-recognizes-its 111 at https://governor.mo.gov Wed, 01 Aug 2018 19:56:13 +0000 Merit Reform Legislation to Change How State of Missouri Recruits, Recognizes Its Employees swobos1 Wed, 08/01/2018 - 19:56 August 28, 2018 Jefferson City Merit reform legislation passed by the State of Missouri General Assembly during the 2018 legislative session takes effect today, giving the state greater flexibility in how it manages its workforce. The State of Missouri now has the ability to identify and implement new ways to attract the best-qualified job candidates and recognize employees’ superior performance. Ultimately, merit reform will allow the state to strengthen its teams within all 16 executive departments to better serve the citizens of Missouri. “The citizens of Missouri have high expectations for their state government. And, they should. They expect us to move our state, its economy, and its infrastructure forward, while fulfilling our most important duty — ensuring the safety of all Missourians,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “To serve our citizens better and deliver the results they deserve, we must continue to build a strong workforce. The new merit reform law will help us improve how state government operates for the benefit of both our citizens and our committed public servants by investing in new ways of working like never before.” In 1946, the legislature passed the “State Merit System Law,” which created the Personnel Advisory Board and the state’s Division of Personnel. The law has been updated over decades in attempts to improve management practices and to streamline personnel systems. Despite the revisions, the law still hindered the state’s ability in several areas, including employee recruitment and recognition. The merit reform law gives the State of Missouri the opportunity to make meaningful management changes that will positively affect state workers. Now, the state has greater flexibility to increase the talent pool of job applicants and hire the best-qualified candidates. Under the merit system, the state was bound to hire from a restricted number of applicants for positions under the merit system. This limited the talent pool and sometimes excluded candidates with the most relevant work experience or specific skill set. “Just this past weekend a retired state employee stopped me in the grocery store to say they wish they could have been a manager in a state department absent the confines and restraints of the merit system,” Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said. “Over and over, in a variety of unsolicited settings, managers in state government tell me of the imminent positive effects of merit reform. Enabling managers to place the right employees in the right jobs, based on their skills and performance, will make their units more productive and allow managers to better recognize and reward employees for superior performance.” Thanks to the merit reform law, the state will not only be able to recruit the best-qualified employees, but it will also be able to do so faster. In certain instances, the state has taken up to 90 days to hire applicants. The state’s Human Resources managers have spent tens of thousands of hours annually on processing merit system paperwork. That time can now be directed toward more valuable tasks, like recruiting job candidates. The merit reform law brings the majority of state employees into the “at will” category. “At will” employees may be selected at the discretion of the appointing authority, serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, and may be discharged – as the statute says – for no reason or any reason not prohibited by law. The merit reform law does not change whistleblower, sexual harassment, or discrimination protections for employees. “State employees are state government’s most precious resource. For too long, they’ve gone unrecognized for the superior services they provide to our citizens,” Sarah Steelman, Commissioner of the Office of Administration said. “I look forward to continued collaboration between the Office of Administration and agencies across state government to find better ways to recruit, develop, and recognize state employees. They deserve it.” Merit reform is part of a bigger picture – the transformation of management in state government. Missouri is also investing in new ways to develop its leaders such as with the launch of the new state Leadership Academy and The Missouri Way advanced management training program. The State of Missouri is making strides in not only developing its overall workforce, but also the managers and supervisors who will lead it. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, formerly a state senator, sponsored the merit reform law in the legislature. Read more about the merit reform changes in a joint opinion piece by Gov. Parson and Lt. Gov. Kehoe: Merit reform law to transform State of Missouri management