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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.

The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich did not have legal standing to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011.

The cuts to education and other services were based partly on the expectation that Missouri would incur millions of dollars of unbudgeted costs from a deadly tornado that hit Joplin a month earlier. As it turns out, the Joplin costs came in lower than expected.

The Supreme Court said Schweich's challenge to the governor's budget-cutting authority amounted to a pre-audit of state spending. The court says the auditor does not have such powers.

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:29
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Public health officials expect older students at the University of Illinois to sign up for insurance coverage through the new Affordable Care Act.

Julie Pryde is the administrator of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District. She said Tuesday that many graduate students don't have insurance.

Gyung Min Choi and his wife, 32-year-old Minyoun Ham were at the office Tuesday to find coverage for her.

Choi is student at the university. He said his wife is about five weeks pregnant and didn't have health insurance. So she hasn't yet seen a doctor.

He said their only option otherwise would be private insurance that might not be affordable with his $24,000 annual income.

The Champaign-Urbana area has about 40,000 students studying at the University of Illinois.

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:26
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A state appeals court in St. Louis has upheld the use of red-light cameras in the suburban community of Creve Couer.

In an opinion released Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals' Eastern District sided with a previous St. Louis County Circuit Court ruling in favor of Creve Couer and its camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions Inc. The suit was brought by four people who received tickets for running red lights.

The appeals court has previously upheld red-light camera use in Creve Couer brought by another ticket recipient, ruling in 2011 that the city's traffic-camera ordinance enacting civil penalties was similar to a parking ticket rather than a criminal violation.

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 13:35
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MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government's shutdown is affecting thousands of civilian workers at southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base.

Some two-thirds of the civilian workforce at the installation east of St. Louis - or nearly 3,500 workers - came to work Tuesday before being promptly sent home on unpaid furlough.

They'll stay that way until the end of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday.

The remaining civilian employees on the 13,000-worker base are exempt.

Air Force Col. Kyle Kremer is commander of the base's primary air wing. He says some flight operations at Scott will be curtailed, including those transporting senior government and military leaders.

But he says operations deemed essential such as training flights and flights of KC-135 air tankers won't be affected.

 
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 13:03
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is moving toward a possible Congressional race.

The Southeast Missourian reported Tuesday that Kinder has formed a congressional exploratory committee for the 8th Congressional District. He says the committee's purpose is to forecast support for his potential candidacy. Kinder is serving his third term as lieutenant governor

Republican Jason Smith, of Salem, currently represents the 8th Congressional District. Smith beat out Kinder and several others earlier this year for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson after she resigned. Smith was picked by an 84-person committee of local Republican leaders.

Missouri's 8th Congressional District appears on the 2014 ballot.

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:48
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - An Oklahoma doctor is charged with using a teenage Missouri boy to produce child pornography.

The U.S. attorney's office says Shelby Coleman was arrested over the weekend after going to a Springfield hotel and texting instructions for the 16-year-old to come to his room. The 36-year-old Tulsa Women's Health Clinic doctor was charged Monday in federal court and is being held in the Greene County Jail. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

An affidavit says Coleman and the Laclede County teen sent one another sexually explicit text messages and images. The teen's father contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol after discovering the messages, and a state trooper used the teen's phone to set up the meeting.

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:41
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Residents in the bi-state area were greeted with the news most expected on Tuesday, the bickering on Capitol Hill and ensuing budget stalemate has forced a government shutdown. Those interested in voicing their frustration may want to contact local legislators.

In Illinois residents can contact Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin. Kirk's Washington, D.C. phone number is 202-224-2854, while Senator Durbin's is 202-224-2152.

Illinois Congressmen Bill Enyart's office number is 202-225-5661, while Representative John Shimkus's number is 202-225-5271. 

In Missouri you can contact Senator Claire McCaskill at 202-224-6154 and Roy Blunt at 202-224-5721.  

The delegation of Missouri Representatives includes Blaine Luetkemeyer (202-225-2956), Ann Wagner (202-225-1621) and William "Lacy" Clay (202-225-2406).

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:35
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An Ellisville man who broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and attacked her small dog so severely that the animal had to be euthanized, was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday. In July, a St. Charles jury found Charles Zidek guilty of felony charges of animal abuse and burglary. St. Charles County Circuit Judge Rick Zerr gave the 37 year old Zidek a four-year term on each charge, to run consecutively. Prosecutors say Zidek entered the home of Diana Walkonis in October, 2011, by breaking out a basement window. Authorities say he then repeatedly threw her Italian greyhound, Vinny, against a bedroom wall. Walkonis found her pet when she returned home later that day. Zidek was linked to the crime when by blood found in the house near the broken window, matched his DNA.

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:26
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Investigators in East St. Louis are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before deciding whether to file charges in the death of a newborn. Authorities say the baby boy was allegedly thrown from a second-story window by his 23 year old mother. Police Chief Michael Floore says it's unclear if the full-term baby was stillborn.  The baby's body was found wrapped in a sheet in some bushes near the home in the 500 block of North 22nd Street.  

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:04
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The online health insurance exchanges are now open in both Missouri and Illinois.  The online marketplace is a key component of the federal health care law.  Illinois officials have set up their own marketplace at GetCoveredIllinois.gov.  Missouri voters chose to bar their government from setting up its own marketplace.  So the federal government is running the exchange for Missouri residents at Healthcare.gov. Consumers have until December 15th to sign up if they want coverage to start on January 1st, but enrollment is open until March 31.

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 09:34
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