JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon is giving a mixed review to Missouri's 2013 legislative session.
The Democratic governor praised lawmakers for boosting funding for education and mental health in the session that ended Friday evening. And he complimented them for passing a bill that would replenish an insolvent state fund for disabled workers.
But Nixon criticized the Republican-led Legislature for failing to expand Medicaid health coverage to an estimated 260,000 lower-income adults, and for failing to pass a comprehensive overhaul of the state's tax credit programs.
Nixon implied that he likely will veto a projected $700 million income tax cut. He also cited potential legal issues with a bill seeking to nullify federal gun control regulations.
Nixon reserved judgment on whether he believes the Legislature's proposed $25 billion operating budget is balanced.
An investigation is underway in the Metro East after a 4-month-old baby was found dead in his home.
Cahokia police say it appears the child died from suffocation. Officers say the baby was sleeping in bed with two adults and the suffocation appears accidental.
More information on safe sleep for babies can be found by calling 800.421.3511.
Employees at a St. Charles Chuck E. Cheese are being praised for how they dealt with a child being left behind yesterday.
The St. Charles police say a two-year-old boy was left behind at the restaurant by his daycare. He was one of 14 kids taken to the Chuck E Cheese by two women who work for Rich & Little Daycare in Moline Acres. Fox 2 reports that witnesses say there were just too many kids for only two employees.
Chuck E. Cheese employees noticed the boy wandering around and called police. The officers said the employees handled the situation perfectly. The boy has been reunited with his mother. An investigation into the situation is ongoing.
Members of a national organization are protesting a proposed change to the Boy Scouts.
OnMyHonor.net organized a rally today in the Central West End. The protestors were arguing against changing the organization's long standing policy banning gay members. Delegates with the Boy Scouts plan to vote next week on lifting that ban.
The changes would not apply to adult members.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would require scrap metal dealers to collect more information from the people who sell them metal.
A 2008 state law required scrap dealers to keep records for transactions involving aluminum and copper. The new legislation would require dealers to also record sales involving catalytic converters. Dealers also would have to keep track of the license plate numbers of sellers.
Scrap metal dealers would be prohibited from buying metal that is identified as belonging to telecommunications or cable providers.
The legislation gained final approval Friday, and it now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Medical marijuana use in Illinois is now in Gov. Pat Quinn's hands after the state Senate approved legislation.
Lawmakers voted 35-21 Friday to send the measure to Quinn for final approval. Quinn hasn't signaled whether he will sign it into law.
The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the 33 illnesses listed in the bill.
The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs. Opponents say the program could encourage the recreational use of marijuana especially among teenagers.
Police have identified the man who died during a bizarre road rage incident.
The incident started on westbound I-70 at the Union exit when an SUV, driven by Darvin Wallace, started follow a box truck. While following the truck, Wallace started ramming the other vehicle. Wallace eventually got out of his SUV and started beating on the truck with a hammer. That is when Wallace climbed onto the side of the truck. The driver tried to shake him off the truck and Wallace fell on the street where the truck driver accidentally ran him over.
Wallace was taken to the hospital and died later on Thursday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize.
Lottery officials say the prize is growing quickly Friday because so many people have been purchasing the $2 tickets. The jackpot has grown by an estimated $236 million since the last drawing on Wednesday.
The last jackpot was won on March 30, so it's been growing for about six weeks. The next drawing is Saturday night.
The largest jackpot ever was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2012. The prize was split three ways with winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 175 million.
All lanes on I-70 over the Blanchette Bridge in St. Charles are expected to be open to motorists three months earlier than projected.
This (Friday) morning, Missouri Department of Transportation District Engineer Ed Hassinger and City of St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith announced the I-70 Blanchette Missouri River Bridge rehabilitation project is ahead of schedule. The westbound I-70 bridge was closed November 2, 2012, for a maximum one year closure.
“We are pleased to announce today that our reconstruction work is progressing ahead of the one year schedule,” said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger. “The contractor, Walsh Construction, is pushing to open the bridge to traffic before the city’s annual Festival of the Little Hills in mid-August. That goal would be nearly three months ahead of the original schedule.”
This week, Walsh Construction installed the last major piece of structural steel for the bridge. Since March, crews have installed approximately 2,200 pieces of steel for a total weight of 6.5 million pounds of steel in the truss and 1.5 million pounds of steel girders. Crews have begun pouring the concrete bridge deck. Despite extreme low river levels in the winter and flood levels in the spring, the contractor and team of local trades have continued on an aggressive schedule.
“Motorists have done a great job adjusting to the reduced lanes on I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge, and we appreciate their patience and cooperation,” said Hassinger. “We need people to continue using the alternate bridge crossings and avoiding I-70 during rush hours for a few more months.”
“We also want to thank the City of St. Charles for their team approach to this. Their cooperation and assistance with the local businesses has made this a smooth process for everyone,” said Hassinger.
15-thousand people are converging on the campus of Washington University as they begin their 152nd year of celebrating graduates. And the school warns motorists you might want to take another route if you're commute takes you near Forest Park.
Traffic around the university will be very heavy Friday morning due to the university’s annual Commencement ceremony, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Traffic backups should be anticipated on streets near the university, especially Forsyth, Big Bend, Forest Park Parkway and Skinker.
The university will award 2,873 degrees to 2,752 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The university also will bestow honorary degrees on six individuals.
Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., will deliver the 2013 Commencement address. During the ceremony, Booker, who is credited with helping revitalize New Jersey’s largest city with his hands-on and innovative approach, also will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Washington University’s five other honorary degree recipients and their degrees are:
Marilyn Fox, St. Louis civic leader, philanthropist and community volunteer, doctor of humanities;
Martin L. Mathews, president, CEO and co-founder of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club, doctor of humanities;
Juhani Pallasmaa, a Finnish architect, educator and critic and a leading international figure in contemporary architecture, design and artistic culture, doctor of art and architecture;
Peter Rosen (MD ’60), one of the international leaders in the field of emergency medicine and one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the specialty, doctor of science;
and Howard Wood (BSBA ’61), co-founder of two of the nation’s most successful telecommunications companies: Charter Communications Inc. and Cequel III LLC, doctor of laws.