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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - High stakes gamblers could find Missouri more alluring if legislation passed by the Senate becomes law.
 
A bill approved Wednesday would let Missouri casinos extend a line of credit to gamblers willing to put up at least $10,000.
 
Supporters said the bill would free big bettors from having to carry large quantities of cash to casinos.
 
Casino officials also hope to attract more high rollers from other states, like professional athletes who may be traveling to Missouri to play in a game.
 
The Senate sent the bill to the House by a 24-9 vote.
 
Among those opposing the measure was Sen. Ed Emery. The Republican from Lamar raised concerns that high stakes gambling could be detrimental to families.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:16
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate's second-ranking Democrat says he'd be open to negotiating a compromise if Republicans block Democrats' efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
 
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says Democrats' goal remains a $10.10 minimum wage.
 
In the coming days, the Senate could debate a plan by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin that would gradually lift today's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016.
 
Democrats will need 60 Senate votes to overcome Republican opposition to the increase to $10.10. That means they will need at least five GOP votes to prevail.
 
No Republicans have publicly backed that increase, and Democrats have seemed unlikely to succeed.
 
The minimum wage bill is among several income-related issues Democrats are pushing as this fall's congressional elections near.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:12
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A suburban St. Louis man is facing a combined 11 charges in two counties for allegedly soliciting donations for a charity to aid wounded veterans, but keeping the money for himself.
 
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster was in St. Louis on Wednesday to announce charges in both St. Louis and St. Charles counties against 34-year-old William Harshbarger of St. Charles. He is charged with seven counts in St. Charles County and four in St. Louis County.
 
Harshbarger is accused of soliciting unauthorized donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, often standing outside stores to ask for money.
 
Koster says Harshbarger collected at least $6,200 and none of it went to charity.
 
Harshbarger is jailed in St. Charles on $35,000 bond and does not yet have an attorney.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 13:59
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The St. Louis area will be the beneficiary of a nationwide hiring push by AT&T.

 

The company is hiring a total of 3,000 retail sale and management employees nationwide--that includes about 240 in Missouri. 50 of the retail jobs will be in the St. Louis area--from Washington, to Edwardsville, Illinois.

 

More information can be found at their website, att.jobs.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:31
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois State Police officials have disqualified a Bolingbrook firearms instructor and informed at least 327 applicants they will not receive a license to carry concealed weapons because of improper training.
 
Investigators conducted interviews and reviewed records to determine the training was not in accordance with state law. They have given their findings to the Will County State’s Attorney for possible action.
Illinois’ concealed carry law took effect Jan. 1. Applicants must complete 16 hours of instruction following curriculum approved by the state police.
 
Denied applicants will be able to repeat training without paying the $150 application fee.
 
State police have so far invalidated 13 instructors and notified 425 applicants of invalid training.
 
The state’s concealed carry website will carry names of disqualified instructors.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The women's basketball coach at Highland Community College in northeast Kansas pleaded guilty to being part of a car theft ring.
 
William Smith, the former women's basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy and five counts of mail fraud.
 
Prosecutors say Smith and 20 other people - mostly from the St. Louis area - stole or fraudulently obtained vehicles from individuals and automobile dealerships in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. They then staged accidents and filed false theft reports to obtain insurance money.
 
The St. Joseph News-Press reports Smith pleaded guilty to obtaining fraudulent transfer titles from the Osage Nation for five vehicles in 2011 and 2012. The transfer titles allowed the vehicles to be resold.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:19
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Astronaut and University of Illinois graduate Michael Hopkins will deliver the commencement address at his alma mater's spring graduation next month.
Hopkins recently returned from a 166-day stay aboard the International Space Station. He says in a statement released by the university that he'll be every bit as nervous delivering his speech as he was for his first walk in space.
 
Hopkins graduated from Illinois in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He was also a member of the school's football team.
The Richland, Mo., native was accepted into NASA's astronaut training program in 2011 after trying without success for almost 12 years.
 
The spring commencement ceremony will be May 17 in Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
   
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:11
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   A metro-east man is accusing a former Catholic priest of sexual abusing him when he was a child, and he wants to hold church officials accountable.  

   The Breese man filed a lawsuit against the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging Robert J. Vonnahmen sexually abused him at a church camp in the Ozarks in the early 1970s.  

   In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was one of more than a dozen priests in the Belleville Diocese removed for alleged sexual abuse of children.  Vonnahmen was formally defrocked by Rome in 2007.  

   The lawsuit claims the diocese failed to investigate complaints about Vonnahmen from other children.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 04:10
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   The former bishop of the Belleville Diocese says he may sell the $2.2 million home he had built in Atlanta's toniest neighborhood.  

   Archbishop Wilton Gregory apologized to parishioners late Monday for building the 6,000 square foot, Tudor-style mansion in Buckhead.  Gregory wrote on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper that he hadn't considered the impact his residence would have on parishioners who were giving to the church and struggling to pay their own bills.  

   Gregory was bishop of Belleville from 1994 to 2003, when he was named Archbishop of Atlanta.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 04:07
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   CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' climatologist says winter continue continued to hang on in the state through most of March with colder-than-usual temperatures.
   But climatologist Jim Angel said Tuesday the month was also drier than usual.
   According to Angel, the statewide average temperature in March was 33.8 degrees. That's 7 degrees below average and the eighth coldest March on record for Illinois.
   March proved to be a continuation of Illinois' harsh winter. It was the fifth straight month of below-average temperatures.
   But the month was the 11th driest month on record with just 1.49 inches of precipitation falling on average around the state. That's exactly half of the typical March precipitation.
   But Angel said some spots still had heavy snow. Mendota led the state with 17.9 inches.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:20
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