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      Special veterans' court operating in central Mo.

      A special court to handle criminal cases involving military veterans with mental health or substance abuse problems is up and running in a central Missouri judicial circuit.

      The Veterans Treatment Court in the 13th Circuit, which includes Boone and Callaway counties, is among the newest in Missouri, but more may be on the way. Legislation passed this year authorizes all circuit courts to create them.

      The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the 13th Circuit's court is funded with a $100,000 donation from the Veterans United Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of Veterans United Home Loans, which employs about 1,100 at its Columbia headquarters.

      Veterans charged with certain violent crimes don't qualify for the alternative court. It's intended for those needing treatment for problems that led to criminal acts.