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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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Heavy rain today (Friday) and continued snow melt are expected to tax local storm water drainage systems. The National Weather Service in St. Louis says streams and creeks in rural areas will rise, but should be able to handle the run-off.  It is municipal sewer systems that could back up.  Ice-clogged sewers could cause localized urban flooding.  

The Metropolitan Sewer District is asking residents to first try and clear some of the snow or debris from the sewer openings before calling them. With 130-thousand inlets to manage, MSD says it is impossible to attend to all of them.  Authorities also remind motorists not to drive on flooded roads.

Friday, 10 January 2014 10:19
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The controversy surrounding the lack of plowing of St. Louis city side streets has pushed the issue front and center following last weekend's snowstorm. In response, not only were plows on the streets overnight, but now city residents are being asked to log-in online to voice their opinion on whether the City should plow residential side streets.

Officials say it is important to collect data because not everyone is in favor of plowing the side streets for fear of getting snowed under.  

The Mayor wants to know more before making wide-sweeping policy changes and urges feedback from residents. More information is available on the city's website at: stlouis-mo.gov. Click on the "Mayor Slay" tab to register your opinion.

Friday, 10 January 2014 09:15
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Buying an older car could become more economical in Missouri.
A state senator filed a bill Thursday that would exempt decade-old cars from sales taxes on the titling of the motor vehicle.
Under the bill, a 2004 model bought in 2014 would be exempted from sales taxes.
The measure is sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Parson, of Bolivar. He says that some people can't afford new cars, and that vehicles in service for 10 years have already had taxes paid on them.
It has not yet been referred to a Senate committee
Friday, 10 January 2014 08:34
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A burglar who shot an off-duty St. Louis police officer has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Sgt. Rick Lingard was off-duty and alone in a home on March 22, 2012, when the burglary occurred. Two men who were 19 at the time, Christopher Gales and Montez Thomas, were accused of shooting Lingard during the crime. 
Gales, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty earlier this week in St. Louis County Circuit Court to several charges. He was sentenced Thursday.  The case against Thomas is still pending.
 
Friday, 10 January 2014 07:39
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