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ST. CLAIR, Mo. (AP) — A Franklin County judge has ordered animals seized from a home to be returned to the owner.

The animals — 192 rabbits, 25 goats, 10 cats, 21 chickens, four dogs and a duck — were removed from 75-year-old Velma Muessemeyer's property near St. Clair, Mo., on Nov. 12. It was the second animal seizure there in less than four years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that so far, the animals have not been returned.

Humane Society officials said at the time of the seizure that the animals lived in dirty and dangerous conditions. Muessemeyer was charged with 21 misdemeanor animal abuse counts.

Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge David Tobben said in a ruling last week that there was no evidence that most of the animals were in danger.

Saturday, 28 December 2013 10:47
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PLATTE WOODS, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Lottery says a Powerball ticket worth $71.5 million was sold at a Kansas City-area convenience store.

Lottery officials said Friday a ticket sold at the Autobahn BP store in Platte Woods matched all six numbers drawn Christmas night. The store will get a $50,000 bonus for selling the prize. And the winner can either collect the full jackpot in 30 annuity payments, or take the one-lump payment of $39.8 million before taxes.

Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde says the winner will be announced in the next few days through a news release or news conference.

The winning numbers are 23, 28, 38, 39, 56 and the Powerball number is 32.

Saturday, 28 December 2013 10:46
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The crowded situation in the inmate intake center near Joliet has become the latest focus in the ongoing dispute over whether Illinois' prisons are too crowded.
The Associated Press has learned hundreds of inmates are sleeping in a gym, a health care unit and "staging areas" next to garages at the Illinois prison system's principal intake facility.
 
Ralph Portwood is president of the employees' union at Stateville prison, which oversees the reception center. He says the situation poses a security concern because inmates there are being held in groups instead of two per cell.
 
Illinois Department of Corrections officials say the setup isn't the most desirable but that the facility is secure, with extra guards available.  Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez says the prisons are run safely and humanely.
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:27
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) - Documentary filmmakers A.J. Schnack and David Wilson knew it would be easy to make fun of Branson, middle America's flag-waving, family-friendly celebration of musical variety shows and early-bird dinner specials.
The Midwest natives felt a stronger obligation to dig beneath the surface and portray local performers and town leaders as more than aw-shucks Ozark hillbillies.
 
The result is "We Always Lie to Strangers," a new film that tells a more nuanced story of how the southwest Missouri resort is dealing with the aftermath of an economic recession, an aging audience and performance troupes whose gay cast members live a version of "don't ask, don't tell" among their conservative Christian neighbors.
 
The documentary will be distributed nationally in 2014. It kicked off the annual St. Louis International Film Festival in November.
   
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:17
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The company owned by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's husband has bought an airplane the Missouri senator could occasionally use.  McCaskill's office disclosed the purchase Friday by Joseph Shepard's company, which took possession of the plane a week ago. The plane will be used primarily for Shepard's business.
 
 
In 2011, McCaskill, a Democrat, sold a plane for which she and Shepard had an ownership stake. Before that, McCaskill reimbursed the federal treasury $88,000 for taxpayer funded travel and paid St. Louis County about $320,000 in back property taxes, interest and penalties related to that plane.
 
   McCaskill's office said Friday no taxpayer dollars will be used when she flies on this airplane. An independent company is managing compliance with tax and financial reporting. A property declaration is to be filed Jan. 2.
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:14
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a Guatemalan woman seeking to overturn the adoption of her biological child by a Carthage couple. Encarnacion Romero sought to challenge a Missouri Court of Appeals decision terminating her parental rights to the child who was adopted by Seth and Melinda Moser. The Mosers have raised the child, who is now 7, since he was 1 year old. Legal battles have gone on since 2008.

Friday, 27 December 2013 13:54
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Many low-wage workers in Missouri will make a little more money next year.  Starting January 1st, Missouri's minimum wage will go up 15-cents to $7.50 an hour.  The minimum wage for tipped workers will increase 12-cents to $3.75 an hour.  Missouri's minimum wage automatically rises to keep pace with increases in the cost of living thanks to a law approved by voters in 2006.  The rate hike is expected to benefit about 104-thousand low-wage workers in the state.  An analysis by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute estimates the increase will boost economic growth in Missouri by about 11-million dollars. 
 
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 13:46
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   Friends of a murdered metro-east woman are hoping a memorial fund can raise enough money to cover funeral expenses and a grave marker.  Friends of 30 year old Courtney Coats are hoping to raise about 15-thousand dollars through online donations.  
   Coats' was reported missing November 25th.  Her dismembered body was found last week along the Illinois River near East Hardin, IL. 
   Madison County prosecutors have charged 28 year old Patrick Chase of Alton and 30 year old Brandon Chittum of Collinsville with first-degree murder.  
   Both men are held on $1 million bail. 
   The memorial fund is based online at www.GoFundMe.com. Donations also may be dropped off or mailed to the Jerseyville Banking Center in Jerseyville.
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 03:09
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   Students who've graduated from Missouri high schools, but who can't prove their U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status, will soon pay less to enroll in community college classes in St. Louis.  
   Until now, undocumented students have paid the international student rate of $204 per credit hour at all St. Louis Community College campuses.  
   Starting with the semester that begins in January, their tuition rates will be based on where they live.  Those who live in district will pay $98.00 per credit hour -- cutting their tuition bills in half.   
   At least 18 states around the nation, including Illinois, offer similar benefits as a matter of state law.  Missouri does not.
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 02:15
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   Police are yet not sure what led to a crash on Interstate 170 that killed a DirecTV serviceman Thursday.  

   The crash happened on northbound 170 near Page Boulevard just before noon.  The Missouri Highway Patrol says a DirecTV service van rear-ended a semi trailer.  

   Overland Police say the van's driver 35 year old Anthony Graciani of St. Louis was extricated from the wreck and taken to a hospital where he later died.  No one else was injured.  

Friday, 27 December 2013 01:19
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