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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislative leaders discussed a developing plan to deal with Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis as the state's biggest employee unions planned a lobbying push to oppose it.

The "We are One Coalition" represents the state's major public employee unions. It alerted members this week about "emergency call-in days" next week and on Dec. 2-3.

Members are being asked to call lawmakers and urge them to vote against pension bills that don't have union support.

Legislative leaders spoke Thursday about a plan they say could save close to $150 billion over 30 years. Officials reported progress but said more meetings are expected. Lawmakers have been alerted about a possible special session on Dec. 3.

Unions say they weren't consulted about the plan and that they think elements of it are unconstitutional.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 17:10
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KTRS, St. Louis - Thanks to an organization that helps homeless children and at risk youth, a group of local executives will get a chance to experience the conditions these kids live in.

Covenant House is organizing the event. 20 business executives will spend the night sleeping on the streets tonight.

The event started to bring awareness to the city’s 2,500 homeless children.

 

Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:54
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KTRS, St. Louis - Archdiocese of St. Louis is sending out a warning: someone is fraudulently using their name in an attempt to steal personal information.

A press release says someone reported being called by a representative of the archdiocese to collect donations for Typhoon Haiyan relief. The caller requested the victim's credit card information during the call. Archdiocese officials say they are not asking for donations over the phone.

They are accepting donations during special collections at Mass. 

Donations can also be mailed to the following address:

Archdiocesan Finance Office

Attention: Catholic Relief Services—Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Relief

20 Archbishop May Drive

St. Louis, MO 63119

 

Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:51
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At least one injury reported after an accident involving a school bus in north St. Louis.

Around 3:30 a bus was involved in a four vehicle accident near the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and Union. Six students were on the bus. A person in one of the other car was critically injured. Some students on the bus were taken to the hospital for a wellness check.

The bus was carrying students from the Parkway School District.   

Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:39
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) - More than two months after a woman's body was found along the banks of the Mississippi River near the northeast Missouri town of Hannibal, her identity remains a mystery.

Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn told the Hannibal Courier-Post that police are no closer to identifying the woman than they were when the body was found in September.

Shinn believes the woman was not from the Hannibal area. He says one possibility is that she was in the country illegally.

There was some evidence that she toured the Mark Twain Cave two days before the body was found. The cave is south of Hannibal, not far from where the body was discovered.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:25
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WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - State officials say federal disaster assessment workers are expected to arrive in Washington and other areas hit by Sunday's tornadoes starting today.

And state spokesman Brian Williamsen said Thursday that Washington Community High School was open for the first time since one of those tornadoes tore through the central Illinois town.

Washington was hit hardest with hundreds of homes destroyed and one local resident killed. Five people died elsewhere in Illinois.

Williamsen said Federal Emergency Management Agency workers were expected to start assessing damage in some areas around the state Thursday afternoon.

Those assessments are part of the process of applying for federal disaster relief.

Williamsen said Washington residents whose homes can't be lived in are being kept out of their neighborhoods Thursday as large-scale debris removal continues.

 
Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:22
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KTRS, St. Louis - A pair of former Rams players are on the shortlist for the hall of Fame.

Cornerback Aeneas Williams and running back Jerome Bettis are both semifinalists for the hall of fame. The list is pared down to 15 names in January before the class of 2014 is announced the day before the Super Bowl. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:21
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri will allow health insurance companies to continue offering policies that otherwise would have been cancelled under the terms of the new federal health care law.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that the state will let insurers sell individual and small-group policies in 2014 that were to be canceled because they didn't meet federal coverage requirements taking effect next year.

Nationwide, more than 4 million people who buy their own insurance have gotten received notices because their plans didn't meet the requirements of the federal law.

Missouri's decision comes after President Barack Obama recently proposed to allow those customers to keep their existing insurance policies for another year.

 
Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:14
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County mother is charged with stealing more than $6,000 from an elementary school parent-teacher organization to pay her rent and other bills.

Thirty-seven-year-old Toni Taylor of St. Ann faces 14 counts of forgery for allegedly falsifying checks from the PTO account at Drummond Elementary School over a three-month period.

Police say that Taylor, the group's treasurer, forged the PTO president's signature.

KSDK-TV reports that Taylor's scheme unraveled after her landlord contacted the school about a suspicious $4,000 check to him from the PTO account.

Bail for Taylor was set at $25,000. She was expected to surrender on Wednesday, accompanied by her lawyer.

 
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:53
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A U.S. Army veteran from St. Louis who lost a leg and suffered severe brain damage when a routine surgical procedure at the John Cochran VA Medical Center went bad has been awarded $8.3 million in a medical negligence lawsuit

 

   Forty-three-year-old postal worker Dirk Askew had a cardiac stent inserted at the veterans' hospital in February 2009 after complaining of chest pain. He returned one week later after developing an infection in his right leg, which was later amputated. His lawyers said surgeons improperly used infected tissue to repair the damage.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1ffSniw ) reports that the settlement will pay $6.8 million to Askew and $1.5 million to his wife.

 

   The case marks the latest negligence claim at Cochran after years of problems with staffing and sterilization.

 
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:52
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