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The Metropolitan Sewer District is embarking on a 23-year, $4.7 billion plan to improve water quality in the St. Louis area.
 
Most residents won't see the aggressive program of maintenance and repair. Crystal Howard, a spokesperson for MSD, joined McGraw Thursday morning and said the public can help with the project. Howard is asking residents to keep food scraps, oils, and grease--or FOG--out of the sewer system. She encourages everyone to keep a can next to the kitchen sink and instead of dumping oil and grease down the drain, pour it into the can.
 
MSD started the FOG campaign in November and Howard said the results were great, "We did this initiative just before Thanksgiving, we asked everybody--reminded them not to do that. We have had a 10-year low on backups for November"
 
MSD is offering free lids for grease cans. They can be picked up at MSD Headquarters at 2350 Market Street.
 
 
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:28
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Use of the death penalty declined nationally in 2013, but the punishment has seen a resurgence in Missouri.
 
The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released a report showing that 39 people were executed in the U.S. in 2013, just the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 were put to death.
 
Missouri has executed two men in the past month - Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 29 and Allen Nicklasson on Dec. 11. The executions were the first in Missouri since 2011, and the most in a single year since five in 2005.
 
Meanwhile, the number of new U.S. death sentences so far this year is 80, up three from 2012 but down from 315 in 1996. Three death sentences were imposed in Missouri in 2013.
 
Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:21
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It appears the teachers in a small Illinois school district could soon have a new contract.

 

The Mount Olive Board of Education approved a contract agreement that was reached with the teachers' union on Saturday. Teachers were back in the classroom on Monday after spending a week on the picket line. Under the agreement, four teacher will have their retirement benefits reinstated. The contract also eliminates a two-tier salary system. That plan meant new teachers would make less money than current teachers in the district.

 

Teachers are also getting their first pay raise since 2009.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:10
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   St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is doing something he's never done before.  He's calling for an FBI investigation of an officer-involved shooting.  

   In April 2013, 25 year old Cary Ball was shot to death by police after he fled a traffic stop.  The officers say Ball had pointed his gun at them.  A police investigation concluded last month that the shooting was justified.  

   Ball's family told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they don't believe he would have aimed a gun at police.  They've filed a wrongful-death suit.  

   Chief Dotson told the paper that he's asked for the FBI probe to make certain his department got it right, and not because of any allegations against the officers involved.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 03:21
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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year.
 
The Chicago Democrat who's seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.
 
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Quinn said Wednesday that raising the wage will help eliminate poverty.
 
Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010. There's legislation pending in Springfield to increase it, including a call for $15 an hour.
 
However Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Quinn says that claims are flat wrong.
 
Some business groups have also accused Quinn of trotting out the issue ahead of the 2014 election.
 
Quinn says it's not a new issue for him.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:58
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 CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials are emailing and calling thousands of people, advising them to start over on their health insurance applications if they believe the federal government mistakenly referred them to Medicaid.
 
Federal officials received more than 30,000 applications from Illinoisans who may be eligible for Medicaid, the government health program for the poor.
 
But the federal HealthCare.gov website has been plagued by glitches, now mostly fixed. Illinois officials say anyone who believes they were referred to Medicaid by mistake should start again at the Get Covered Illinois online screening tool.
 
Officials advise if the screener sends them to HealthCare.gov, they should create a new account with a different email address and submit a new application. If the screener refers them to the state's Medicaid site, they can submit an application there.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:57
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Two 15-year-olds and 13-year-old are in custody connected to a carjacking Tuesday night.

 

The incident happened outside of a Dollar General store in Fairview Heights. A mother and her 7-year-old son say the suspects pulled a gun on them, demanded money, and sped off in her car. An officer in the area tried to stop the car, but the suspects did not stop. The driver lost control of the car and it slid off the road. After a brief manhunt, police captured the teens.

 

Police say all three teens had “airsoft guns,” which look like real guns. All three teens are being held in St. Clair County. One suspect was already on home confinement for a previous crime.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:55
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Police in Collinsville are asking for help to solve a series of robberies.

 

The suspects lure victims using a deal on Craigslist and then beat and rob the victims. Police say the most recent crime was on Tuesday night. The victim told officers he was responding to a post for a TV for sale. When the victim walked into the apartment, someone in a ski mask hit the victim with a bat and stole his money.

 

A similar robbery occurred at the same apartment building just two days earlier. No one was injured in that case. No suspects are in custody.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:32
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A suburban St. Louis man is accused in an alleged real estate scheme that bilked investors out of more than $2.5 million.
 
Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Ronald L. Roberts of Town and Country was charged Dec. 11 with three counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed and announced Tuesday.
 
The charges relate to what prosecutors call a bogus land deal with Wal-Mart near Poplar Bluff, Mo. Roberts alleged told lenders they would make huge returns on the money. But, prosecutors say, no deal with Wal-Mart ever existed, and Roberts allegedly gambled at a casino with the money given to him.
 
Roberts does not yet have a listed attorney.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 12:32
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A 15-year-old McCluer High School student was arrested for bringing a gun to class today.
 
Police say the principal heard rumors that a student had brought a gun to school. The school's resource officer approached the student and found a handgun in the student's backpack. The student was taken into custody and charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
 
The suspect has not been identified because he is a juvenile. 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 12:31
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