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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate declined in November while payrolls expanded by 15,000 jobs.
 
The Missouri Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in November from 6.5 percent in October.
 
The leading gainer was educational and health services, which added 5,200 jobs last month. The construction sector grew by 2,300 and professional and business services increased by 2,000 jobs. The information, leisure and hospitality sectors each declined by 200 jobs.
 
Missouri's civilian labor force was about 3 million, which is down 244 from October. The labor force includes people with jobs and those who are on unemployment but looking for work.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 13:16
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The Mega Millions jackpot has jumped to $636 million dollars.

 

The cash option for the jackpot is around $341 million. The near record-setting jackpot was helped in large part due to a change in the way Mega Millions is played.  

 

Players now choose five numbers from 1-75 and one number from 1-15. That change raised the odds from 1 in 176 million to the current odds of 1 in 259 million.

 

Those long odds are not slowing down ticket sales. Officials say it is still possible that tonight's jackpot could be raised again.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:22
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GALLATIN, Mo. (AP) - A small northwest Missouri company is preparing to slaughter horses for meat after a federal appeals court lifted an emergency stay on U.S. horse slaughter operations.
 
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday lifted a temporary motion that blocked horse slaughter plants from opening.
 
David Rains, of Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, said Tuesday he has seven horses at his property ready for slaughter, but is still waiting for an inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service before beginning work.
 
It was the third time in five months that Rains and two other U.S. companies prepared to open horse slaughtering operations. Each time a court move has prevented them from opening.
 
Rains says the issue is so contentious that he's received death threats.
 
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:15
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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Kansas and Missouri residents will be out during the next three weeks counting the birds in their states.
 
It's part of an annual national effort that began more than 100 years ago, called the Christmas Bird Count.
 
The count began Dec. 14 and will continue through Jan. 5. Bird enthusiasts plan gatherings or individuals simply count the number of birds they see in their backyards.
 
The Joplin Globe reports the bird count began in 1900, with only a few dozen observers in 25 locations. Last year, more than 71,000 people participated in 2,369 locations.
 
Audubon and other organizations use data collected in the count to determine the health of bird populations. If a certain species is declining, conservation measures can be implemented to help that species rebound.
 
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:49
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A startling admission from the EPA concerning radioactive waste at the Westlake Landfill.
 
At a meeting Monday night EPA officials admitted that they have found new radioactive waste outside of the existing fence line. The fence was erected to keep workers away from the buried waste.
 
Harvey Ferdman, policy advisor to Representative Bill Otto joined McGraw Tuesday morning. Ferdman says the EPA had new information about the waste coming in contact with groundwater, "The said and I wrote this down, they are now seeing it in more places than before. And that's a very big admission from the EPA to say that. They've been in the past saying, that it appeared not to be moving around."
 
The Westlake landfill is adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill that is the site of an underground fire that has been smoldering for years.
 
Video: Policy Analyst Harvey Ferdman: EPA Says Radioactive Waste has Reached Groundwater 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 10:49
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a small southeast Missouri town after police allegedly threatened to arrest a homeless couple for holding a sign asking for help.
 
The ACLU filed suit Monday on behalf of the homeless couple, Edward Gillespie and Brandalyn Orchard. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau names the city of Miner and two unidentified police officers.
 
The lawsuit claims that in late September, Gillespie and Orchard were holding a sign that read, "Traveling. Anything helps. God bless." A Miner officer told them to leave.
 
The ACLU says the officer later showed copies of city ordinances related to vagrancy, begging and loitering. A second officer arrived and the couple was told to leave town or face arrest.
 
A Miner police spokesman declined comment.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 09:48
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URBANA, Ill. (AP) - No injuries were reported after a suspected natural gas explosion in an unoccupied building on the University of Illinois campus.
 
The Champaign News-Gazette reports Tuesday morning's fire in Urbana was reported around 6 a.m.
 
The building was once a doctor's office and the former University Faculty Assistance Building.
 
Urbana Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger told the newspaper that authorities believe a natural gas leak sparked the explosion and subsequent fire that shot flames into the sky.
 
He says investigators will plan to disassemble the rest of the building to reach debris that's burning inside.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 09:47
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Despite early reports of shots fired and broken glass at Kirkwood High School police are now saying that broken light bulbs are cause for the scare.  Reports say vandals may have been the cause or possibly simply a box of light bulbs falling to the ground.  School to resume at 9 am.  

 

 

Early report below

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:45
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   Long-time St. Louis newsman Larry Conners is taking his age discrimination claims against his former employer to court.  Conners, 66, is suing KMOV-TV for $50,000, alleging that younger and less-experienced employees got better assignments and treatment.

   The veteran broadcaster had filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint after he was fired in May.  

   His dismissal came about a week after he posted controversial comments to Facebook.  Conners had suggested he may have been targeted by the IRS after a 2012 interview with President Barack Obama.  

   KMOV general manager Mark Pimentel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the station will "vigorously defend" itself against Connors' claims.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 02:27
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