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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Lottery has provided a larger-than-usual payment to public education because of stronger-than-usual sales.

The Lottery transferred $29.2 million to a state education fund Friday. That's the third largest monthly transfer in the Lottery's 28-year history.

Lottery officials cited strong Mega Millions sales in December for a $648 million jackpot. The Lottery also set a weekly record for distributed Scratchers tickets in December.

About one-quarter of every dollar of Lottery sales goes to public education programs. Slightly less than two-thirds of the proceeds go toward prizes.

The Missouri Lottery's largest monthly transfer to education was $30.4 million in April 2012, followed by $30.3 million in June 2013. In both instances, there were large jackpots in nationwide lottery games and strong sales for Missouri Scratchers tickets.

Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:42
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) —Governor Jay Nixon is making a trip to Detroit for an auto show that will feature a new Missouri-made product.

Nixon plans to be on hand Sunday when the new GMC Canyon is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. The small pickup truck will be assembled at a General Motors plant in Wentzville.

Nixon also plans to attend a Monday news conference with officials from Ford Motor Co. before returning to Missouri later in the day.

The governor's office says Nixon's schedule will include business meetings with leaders at automotive manufacturers and suppliers that already are expanding in Missouri or are considering doing so.

Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:41
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ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in far southwest Missouri have issued an Amber Alert for a 6-month-old boy missing for more than a week.

The Anderson Police Department issued the alert Friday evening for Mitchell Farris, who has been missing since January 2nd from an apartment in the McDonald County town.

The alert identified two adults being sought as 34-year-old Preston Farris, described as a 5-foot-10 white male weighing 230 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes; and 30-year-old Anastasia McDaniel, a 5-foot-8, blue-eyed white female weighing 172 pounds.

The alert did not describe the relationship, if any, between baby Mitchell Farris and Preston Farris, and a call to police was not immediately returned.

The alert said the adults may be driving a red 2004 Ford Freestar with the Missouri license plate UH7D2R.

Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:39
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new audit says Missouri has too many vacancies on several advisory and regulatory boards.
 
Friday's report from State Auditor Tom Schweich says 27 percent of seats on boards overseen by the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration were vacant as of June 2013. Vacancies are filled by the governor, an insurance department official or the board itself.
 
Five of the 37 boards examined lacked enough appointed members to make a quorum during meetings. The report also found 63 percent of the appointed board members served beyond their term expiration date.
 
In a response included with the audit, the department says it will continue to work at filling vacancies.
 
Overall, the department received a "fair" rating, the second lowest on the auditor's four-part scale.
Friday, 10 January 2014 16:51
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is stepping down.
 
   Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, of St. Louis, said Friday that she decided to resign because some members of the 16-member group were upset about her appearance with Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder at a news conference in December.
 
   Nasheed and Kinder were criticizing the decision of a state commission to delay low-income housing tax credits, as part of an informal deal to pass new tax incentives for Boeing.
 
   She became the chairwoman in 2013, after her election to the state Senate. She previously served six years in the House.
 
   Nasheed says the group's vice-chairman - Democratic Rep. Brandon Ellington, of Kansas City - will take over her duties until the caucus elects a successor.
Friday, 10 January 2014 16:50
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Influenza cases are rising sharply in Missouri, with nine deaths reported so far this season at one St. Louis hospital alone.
 
All nine deaths at Barnes-Jewish Hospital involved people in their mid-20s to mid-60s, hospital officials said Friday. That's unusual because flu deaths are more typical among the very young and the very old. Another 35 patients were sick enough to be treated in the Barnes-Jewish intensive care unit.
 
Officially, Missouri has reported more than 6,700 confirmed flu cases this season. Most cases in Missouri involve the H1N1, or swine flu, strain. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services lumps flu and pneumonia deaths together so the number of statewide flu deaths wasn't known.
Friday, 10 January 2014 16:45
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CHICAGO (AP) - Three more health insurance carriers are giving Illinois customers who signed up in December more time to make their first payments.
 
   Land of Lincoln Health has extended its payment deadline to Jan. 31 for people signed up for plans with coverage effective Jan. 1.
 
   Aetna customers now have until Jan. 14 to pay their first premium for January coverage. Coventry customers have until Jan. 17.
 
   Earlier this week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois extended its deadline to Jan. 30 and Humana pushed its cutoff to Jan. 31.
 
   It's the latest in a string of deadline extensions for people buying insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law. An original New Year's Eve payment deadline fell by the wayside after the technical problems of the federal insurance shopping website HealthCare.gov.
 
Friday, 10 January 2014 14:34
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PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) - A California man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison after about 13.3 pounds of cocaine were found in his vehicle in northwest Missouri.
 
Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd announced Friday that 37-year-old Marcos Gonzalez, of Stockton, Calif., was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in October to first-degree drug trafficking. Zahnd says the cocaine was valued at $600,000.
 
In April 2013, a Platte County deputy stopped Gonzalez's U-Haul van for a routine traffic violation. While searching the van, the deputy found heat sealer and rubber bands, which Zahnd says are commonly used to package narcotics and bulk cash.  The deputy found the cocaine inside the bottom lining of three black suitcases.
Friday, 10 January 2014 12:28
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As hard as it has been for residents to navigate area streets in the wake of last weekend's storm, first responders have also been challenged to answer calls.  

St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson tweeted his pride in the way his personnel handled the adverse conditions.

The Chief saying he "tips his helmet" to the members of the City of St Louis Fire & EMS Department who handled approximately 24-hundred calls, roughly 600 per day, during the four days of brutal temperatures.  

Firefighters responded to 66 building fires during that time and the Chief says, "Your dedication and iron-willed tenacity in the harshest of conditions did not go unnoticed by me or the citizens of the City of St Louis. Again, thank you for just doing what you do every day."

Friday, 10 January 2014 10:42
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Missouri's top law enforcement official wants the owner of a St. Louis landfill to provide more details about a underground smoldering fire at the site which could threaten radioactive waste buried nearby.  

On Thursday, Attorney General Chris Koster asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court to order Republic Services to provide additional monitoring data related to the Bridgeton Landfill.  

Koster says the state has asked Republic Services to supply data and maps showing the concentration of carbon monoxide at various locations in an effort to track movement of the fire.

He says the company has not supplied comprehensive data for the north part of the site, nearest the nuclear material.  

A spokesman says the company expects to provide additional monitoring data that it believes will validate that the site is safe.

Friday, 10 January 2014 10:28
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