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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House Democrat has introduced legislation that would repeal the state's ban on gay marriage.

Mike Colona, a House member from St. Louis who is gay, filed a proposed constitutional amendment this week that would go before voters in November. Colona was joined by 30 of his Democratic colleagues as co-sponsors.

Missouri in 2004 became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage after the Massachusetts high court permitted gay marriage there. The Missouri measure passed with 70 percent of the vote.

With only seven weeks left in the legislative session, Colona's proposal is unlikely to gain traction. And Missouri Republicans, who control both legislative chambers, remain opposed to overturning the state's ban.

Saturday, 29 March 2014 16:43
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis couple has come forward with the winning $96.5 million ticket in the March 22nd drawing of the multistate Powerball game.

The Missouri Lottery on Friday identified John and Susan Brands, of St. Charles, as the jackpot winners.

The windfall has already changed life for the lucky couple, who are both 49 years old. John Brands, originally from Portageville, Missouri has quit his job as a civil engineer and is thinking of buying some farmland.

Susan Brands — a native of Wichita, Kansas — says they're making plans to visit New Zealand, buy new cars, and take time to learn new skills.

The winning numbers in the March 22nd drawing were 13, 28, 31, 55, 58, Powerball 15.

Saturday, 29 March 2014 16:41
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A former southwestern Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal that included a fellow judge's cocaine death is headed to federal prison for two years.
 
U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade on Friday also fined former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook more than $75,000 on heroin and gun charges. Federal prosecutors had requested an 18-month sentence. Cook's attorney suggested a 6-month term was appropriate.
 
McDade last month rejected a deal between the two sides, calling an agreed-upon prison term of 18 months insufficient.
 
On Friday, the 43-year-old Cook entered an open plea, meaning the judge would decide his sentence.
 
McDade calls the two-year sentence appropriate given the negative affect on the public's confidence in the judiciary.
Friday, 28 March 2014 14:28
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The Illinois State Police are in the midst of a statewide safety crackdown.

 

The push is in memory of State Trooper James Sauter. The southern Illinois resident was killed one year ago today in an accident near Chicago. He was in his squad car, when a semi truck rear-ended his car. “Operation Sauter” will target commercial vehicles cracking down on speeding, drunk or distracted drivers, and seatbelt violations.

Friday, 28 March 2014 14:27
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Drivers will want to avoid the eastbound lanes of the Blanchette Bridge through Friday afternoon and evening.

 

MoDOT crews have closed three of the eastbound lanes as well as both ramps from Fifth Street onto eastbound 70 for emergency joint repair. Officials expect to have the lanes reopened by 10 tonight.

 

MoDOT is advising drivers to use 64, Route 364, and Route 370 as alternates.

Friday, 28 March 2014 14:25
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports the Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate.
 
Illinois banned hunting of the nocturnal animal in 1972. Bobcats were on the threatened species list from 1977 to 1999.
 
But supporters say the population has made a comeback.
 
Republican state Rep. Wayne Rosenthal of Morrisonville is the bill's sponsor.
 
He says the bobcat population is growing in rural, non-farming areas of western and southern Illinois.
 
The hunting and trapping season would occur sometime between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15. A hunter would be allowed to kill one bobcat per year.
Friday, 28 March 2014 12:23
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) – It wasn’t loud noise or an argument that led to a peace disturbance call at Hannibal City Hall, it was a person’s unpleasant odor.
 
The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that several city hall workers on Tuesday called police to complain that a person who came into the building smelled so bad they wanted him removed. The northeast Missouri town’s municipal code allows people to be cited for peace disturbance because of a “noxious and offensive” odor.
 
The man agreed to leave the building. A short time later, workers at a neighboring business called police, the same person had gone there, the smell following with him.
 
The person left that building, too, at the urging of police. No arrest was made.
Friday, 28 March 2014 12:20
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals now own their top minor-league team.
 
The Cardinals on Friday closed on the purchase of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. As part of the deal, the city of Memphis, Tenn., acquires AutoZone Park and will lease the stadium to the Cardinals. Both are buying from Fundamental Advisors LP, the sole bondholder of the Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation.
 
Financial terms were not disclosed. Plans for the purchase were first announced late last year.
The Cardinals say the purchase agreement includes a significant investment in AutoZone Park, but did not elaborate.
 
The Memphis franchise has had financial struggles in recent years. The team drew more than 800,000 fans when the stadium opened in 2000, but has drawn fewer than 500,000 in recent seasons.
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:46
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BOONVILLE, Mo. (AP) - The ranch in central Missouri where the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses are raised is becoming a popular stop for visitors.
 
Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville had 24,000 visitors last year, an increase of 33 percent from 2012. John Soto, supervisor of the ranch, says he expects the numbers to keep climbing.
 
He credits Budweiser's famous Super Bowl ads in part for the interest. And he notes it's the only place in the country that offers a behind-the-scene look at the animals.
 
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that for $10, visitors are able to see horses ranging from foals just a few days old to breeding stallions and pregnant mares, as well the breeding facilities. A VIP tour for groups also is offered.
 
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:42
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