Rachel Lippmann

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

Missouri auditor Tom Schweich had no authority to challenge Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold about $170 million from the budget for fiscal year 2012 before the spending plan actually went into effect.

That was the ruling today from six of the justices on the Missouri Supreme Court. Judge Paul Wilson did not participate.

Updated at 5:31 p.m. with additional comments from Al Watkins, attorney for Mo. Rodeo Cowboy Assoc. Pres. Mark Ficken.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. with comments from Gov. Jay Nixon. Jacob McCleland contributed reporting from Cape Girardeau.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. with actions taken against the rodeo clown.

The Missouri State Fair has permanently banned a rodeo clown whose imitation of President Barack Obama has been widely criticized as disrespectful.

Updated 10:52 a.m., 11:33 a.m., 11:53 a.m., 12:11 p.m., and 4 p.m. May be updated further.

Virginia Johnson, one half of the famed Masters and Johnson research team on human sexual behavior, has died at the age of 88, her son Scott tells St. Louis Public Radio.

Johnson was a resident of The Altenheim senior living community in St. Louis. The facility has also confirmed her death.

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that a jury should decide whether Monsanto's chemical production division is responsible for cancers allegedly caused by the widespread use of certain toxic chemicals in everyday products.

Over the course of several decades, Monsanto manufactured 99 percent of the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB's, found in the world. High concentrations of the chemicals can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other forms of cancer.

Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have blocked Missouri officials from enforcing federal gun laws, saying it would violate the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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