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   Even as the U.S. Postal Service considers stopping Saturday mail delivery, they're staffing up to begin package deliveries on Sundays.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Amazon.com is working with local postal officials to roll out Sunday delivery in the St. Louis region by mid-March.  
   The online retailer began Sunday deliveries in New York and Los Angeles in November and had said it would add markets this year, but St. Louis hadn't been mentioned until now.  
   The paper reports that the USPS will be hiring some new workers to meet demands for Sunday deliveries.  
   Amazon hasn't made an official announcement yet, but leaders of the local postal unions tell the paper they had been told that the target date for Sunday delivery in this region is March 16.
 
 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Doctors are sending a warning to new mothers who feed their babies with breast milk purchased online.

   A new study says testing shows the breast milk can contain potentially dangerous bacteria including salmonella.

   Researchers bought and tested more than 100 breast milk samples sold by women on one popular site, and 75 percent of those samples contained high amounts of bacteria that could sicken babies. Researchers did not identify the website.

   The research also cites several cases in which babies did get sick from a stranger's breast milk.

   Breast milk also is provided through milk banks, whose clients include hospitals. But they screen donors and pasteurize donated milk to kill any germs.

   Both online breast milk sites and milk banks charge fees.

 
Published in Health & Fitness

   A robbery near Belleville in which the victim was pistol whipped is prompting a warning from Metro-east authorities about the dangers of online sales.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says a woman and her boyfriend were robbed at gun point in the parking lot of the Bradford Place Apartments.  They were lured there by someone who'd advertised an iPhone for sale on Craigslist.  

   Two teens, one with a gun, stole the couple's cash and a cell phone.  One of the teens struck the woman in the head with a handgun.  

   One of the suspects is identified as 17 yr. old Trevon Yates of East St. Louis.  The other is a juvenile, identified only as a 16 yr. old male. Both teens are now in custody and facing felony charges. 

   Sheriff Watson is reminding the public to use extreme caution when buying and selling things online and only meet strangers in a well-lit, public place.    

 
Published in Local News

   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon is severing ties with its online associates in Missouri because of a new state sales tax law.

   Amazon Associates are people who write blogs or product reviews then link to Amazon.com. They collect commissions if people use their link to buy at Amazon.

   The Kansas City Star reports that Amazon blames its decision to sever ties with its Missouri associates on a new state new law that takes effect this month subjecting those transactions to sales taxes. The retailer says it will no longer pay advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon site after Aug. 27.

   Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Kanas City Democrat, says lawmakers didn't hear from Amazon when the bill was under debate in the Legislature. 

Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - Attention online shoppers: The days of tax-free shopping on the Internet may soon end for many of you.

   The Senate is voting on a bill today that would empower states to collect sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The measure is expected to pass because it has already survived three procedural votes.

   The bill faces opposition in the House, where some Republicans regard it as a tax increase. But there is a broad coalition of retailers lobbying in favor of it.

   Under current law, states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.

 
Published in National News

   Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants consumers to pay sales tax on their purchases, whether they shop in a local store, or online.  

   Consumers are already supposed to pay sales tax for online purchases.  But very few do since there's no uniform collection method, and the onus to pay is placed on the consumer, not the retailer.  In Illinois, for instance, those who file state tax returns are asked to list their online purchases and pay sales tax for them.

   Durbin says the current rules are not fair to brick and mortar stores, who must collect sales tax from their customers.  Durbin has sponsored a bill that would require Internet stores to do the same.  

   The Senate will soon begin debate on the Market Fairness Act.  It could be voted on as early as this week.  

   Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt have both said they favor the move.

Published in Local News

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