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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state senator from eastern Missouri is forgoing a re-election bid, potentially setting off a scramble among Republicans vying to replace him in the reliably GOP district.
   Republican Sen. Brian Nieves (nee-EH'-vehz), of Washington, withdrew Thursday after initially filing for re-election.
   One candidate, House Republican Dave Schatz, of Sullivan, had already filed to challenge Nieves. But with Nieves' exit, Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka, is now also considering a run.
   Jones says he will take time next week to weigh his options. Nieves did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
   A potential primary could be an expensive contest. Schatz loaned his campaign $350,000, and Jones reports having $900,000 in his campaign account.
   The Senate district includes Franklin County and parts of western St. Louis County.
 

Consumer advocate seeks release of Ameren info

Friday, 14 March 2014 03:51 Published in Local News
   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's official consumer advocate wants regulators to publicly release information that could show whether Ameren Missouri has earned more than it's entitled to from its electricity rates.
   The request by Public Counsel Lewis Mills to the Missouri Public Service Commission deals with a report filed last November by the St. Louis-based utility company that has been kept confidential.
   In February, Noranda Aluminum and other Ameren customers filed a complaint alleging the utility was earning more than allowed by the regulatory commission. That complaint cited the confidential November report and asked the PSC to lower Ameren's allowable earnings - thus potentially cutting rates for consumers.
   Mills said in his recent filing that the public needs access to the confidential information to understand the basis for the allegation that Ameren is overearning.
 

St. Pat's weekend DUI enforcement high

Friday, 14 March 2014 03:44 Published in Local News
   St. Patrick's Day weekend is upon us and that means police departments across the metro area are on the lookout for drivers who've had too much to drink.  
   MoDOT reports that more than 200 Missouri law enforcement agencies will take part in a special impaired driving crackdown that puts additional officers on the road Friday through Monday.  
   Illinois transportation officials are giving local communities a little help with enforcement.  Edwardsville Police Deputy Jeffery Mills tells Fox 2 news the city has a special grant for enforcement over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.  "The IDOT grant allows us to bring officers in on overtime and their specific role is to enforce DUIs within the City of Edwardsville," he said.  Deputy Mills says the point behind the IDOT program is to keep the roads safe for other drivers.  
   Edwardsville police began conducting DUI checkpoints Thursday.  They'll continue through Monday night.
   Police in Alton, IL have announced a similar DUI enforcement effort. 
 

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