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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry is wading into Missouri's political battle over tax cuts.
Perry told The Associated Press on Thursday that he believes Missouri lawmakers should override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation cutting state income taxes.
A Texas economic development group began airing a radio ad Thursday in Missouri criticizing Nixon's veto and encouraging Missouri businesses to consider moving to Texas. The group also is running a Missouri TV ad touting Texas' low taxes and regulations on businesses.
Perry is to visit Missouri on Aug. 29. He plans to meet with business leaders, speak at a Missouri Chamber of Commerce luncheon and attend an evening event hosted by groups backing a veto override of the tax-cut bill.
Missouri lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to consider veto overrides.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Peabody Energy retirees are applauding a court ruling that it remains obligated to continue health-care benefits for some 3,100 retirees of one of the company's former holdings.
An 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' bankruptcy panel on Wednesday overturned U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States' May ruling that Peabody no longer was obliged to pay the benefits.
That ruling linked to the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal, which Peabody spun off in 2007.
While the United Mine Workers of America union cheered Wednesday's development, Peabody says the panel didn't rule on the level of funding required to meet future obligations.
Peabody adds the court found the company was obligated to make the payments until a new labor agreement was approved between Patriot and the UMWA. That came in recent days.
St. Louis Police Sergeant David Bonenberger is speaking out about his reverse discrimination lawsuit victory against the St. Louis Police Department.
Bonenberger was awarded $620,000 in punitive damages after he was passed over for a department job. He said supervisors told him he shouldn't bother applying for the position, because it was going to be awarded to a black female.
After three years of court battle, Bonenberger says he's happy to have the incident behind him. "Absolute relief it's finally over and I have finally be vindicated," says Bonenberger. "All along their contention was that I was a dishonest liar, fabricating the entire thing."
Bonenberger says he is absolutely concerned about retaliation from within the department, but he has no plans on leaving.
St. Louis did not make a good impression on a pair of brothers driving through the city on a road trip.
The two men say they their car was broken into. Around 3 AM the pair from Michigan decided to park their car and walk to the Arch to get some pictures. As they returned to their car, they saw two men in the car. The suspects ran out of the car and into their own vehicle. As one of the brothers tried to write down their license plate, a suspect fired several shots into the air. One of the bullets hit a window in the nearby Hyatt Hotel. No one was injured.
The brothers say the suspects stole a cell phone charger, wallet, and computer.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials say this year's state fair had the highest attendance levels in more than a decade.
The governor's office says Thursday that more than 961,000 people attended the fair during its 11-day run this month.
That's up almost 5 percent from last year and the highest since 2002, when 1.2 million people went through the fair's gates.
Ticket sales for concerts at the fair's Grandstand topped $2 million, up more than 29 percent from last year to a new record. More than 53,000 fans attended concerts at this year's fair. The most popular performance was by country musician Toby Keith.
The fair ended Aug. 18.
Crews have just reopened northbound I-55 south of downtown St. Louis after a major accident this morning had the highway shutdown.
Just before 11 AM, two vehicles were overturned in an accident. The crash was near the Potomac exit. Five people, four adults and one child, were taken to the hospital.
Still no word on what caused the accident.
Police in the City of St. Louis are asking for the public's help to find two men who held a waitress at gunpoint while robbing a diner earlier this month.
It happened at the Eat-Rite Diner on Chouteau on early on August 12th. Police say the suspects had been playing pinball inside the restaurant when they asked the waitress for change for a dollar. When she gave them the change, one of them pulled a handgun and pointed it at her, demanding the money in the register. She complied and the suspects took the money and fled in a white Buick Regal or Century with a missing hubcap.
A surveillance image of the suspects can be seen on our website, KTRS.com.
Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois has a new law protecting renters if their landlord's property goes into foreclosure.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Wednesday that says those who buy multifamily properties out of foreclosure to either honor existing tenant leases or give the renters 90 days to move.
It takes effect in three months.
The original bill was sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Chicago Democrats. They say that about 40 percent of families affected by foreclosure are renters who might not know their landlord failed to make mortgage payments.
Advocates of the bill say it will help avoid pushing many tenants into homelessness by giving them time to find a safe place to live. They also say it will prevent properties from standing vacant.
St. Charles County can ban members of the Westboro Baptist Church and others from protesting outside of funerals. That was the finding of the US District Court in St. Louis Tuesday, which dismissed a lawsuit filed by members of the controversial Kansas Church.
The county ordinance prohibits picketing an hour before or an hour after, at or near funerals violated in unincorporated areas. The ordinance defines picketing at a funeral as “Protest activities engaged in by a person or persons located within three hundred (300) feet of the premises of a cemetery, mortuary, church or other place of worship or other location during, and which target, a funeral.” Those who do not follow the ordinance will be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, the individual(s) will be charged with a maximum $1,000 fine.
Shirley Phelps-Roper and Megan Phelps-Roper had sued shortly after the ordinance was passed in Dec. 2010, claiming that enforcement of the ordinance violated their First Amendment free speech, religious liberty and assembly rights. They also claimed that the ordinance violates Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. According to the judgment, the plaintiffs assert that “they picket near certain funerals, including those of American soldiers, to publish their beliefs that God is punishing America for its failure to obey God’s Word...”
On Aug. 20, the United States District Court in St. Louis granted a motion dismissing the lawsuit.
St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil was the original sponsor of the ordinance. “I think it is a great victory for us,” said Brazil. “Families deserve privacy and the right to grieve the loss of their loved one without having hateful and disrespectful protest activities nearby.”
The ruling in favor of St. Charles County came after the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld similar funeral restrictions for the city of Manchester and the state of Missouri.
“Families have the right to mourn their loved ones peacefully and privately,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “I hope this ruling sends a message and helps to set more precedents.”
A new outlet mall opens Thursday in Chesterfield.
St. Louis Premium Outlets will be home to 90 stores and restaurants. The mall will celebrate it's grand opening over four days (Thurs-Sun) with free concerts, Cardinal's autograph sessions, contests and give-aways.
It's the second outlet mall to open in Chesterfield this month. Taubman Prestige Outlets held its grand opening a few weeks ago, reporting more than 135,000 shoppers its first weekend.
More information about Premium Outlets' grand opening events can be found on their website.