JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Parents could give up newborn babies without legal consequences 45 days after birth under a bill given first-round approval by the Missouri Senate.
The measure endorsed Tuesday increases parents' "safe harbor" period from the current five-day window.
Parents of newborns can currently hand over a baby to medical professionals, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement. The legislation would add pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to that list.
Sponsoring Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City, says his measure would help protect children from being abused or neglected by parents unfit to care for their child.
His bill also includes a provision requiring students attending a public university to be vaccinated for meningitis if they live in on-campus housing and do not have religious objections.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - SSM Health Care, one of the largest Catholic health care providers in the U.S., plans to purchase the Dean Health Systems group in Wisconsin.
The merger announced Tuesday is pending approval of Dean physician shareholders and regulators. SSM says the transaction could be complete by this summer. Terms were not disclosed.
St. Louis-based SSM is a non-profit organization with 18 hospitals and other health care operations in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
Dean Health Systems is a Madison, Wis.-based physician-owned organization with more than 60 clinics, plus eye care and pharmacy operations. It already partners with SSM for the Dean Health Plan insurance provider in Wisconsin.
Late Tuesday night, some American Airlines passengers were still waiting to get to their destinations after a computer glitch grounded the carrier's flights most of the day.
American officials say a problem with their flight reservations system forced them to cancel or delay more than 700 flights across the country, including more than 20 Lambert Airport flights.
The glitch was resolved around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, too late for some passengers, who'll have to wait to travel until Wednesday.
Check aa.com for flight information.
JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) - St. Louis County police are investigating the death of a 2-month-old boy in Jennings.
The child is identified as Adrian Robertson. Police were called to a home about 3 p.m. Monday. Adrian was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later. His cause of death was not released.
Toxicology tests have been performed and the medical's examiner's office is awaiting results.
CHICAGO (AP) - Nearly 250 physicians are calling on Illinois lawmakers to legalize the use of marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.
Three physicians spoke during a news conference Tuesday. They say marijuana can be a safer and more effective treatment than narcotics for patients with diseases such as cancer and HIV.
The Illinois House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would create a medical marijuana pilot program. It would allow physicians who have an existing relationship with a patient to prescribe marijuana for certain conditions. Patients would be limited to buying 2.5 ounces at a time from dispensaries regulated by the state.
Julie Falco of Chicago uses marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. Falco says she and other patients shouldn't be considered criminals for trying to ease their suffering.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson in Missouri's 8th Congressional District will debate next month at Southeast Missouri State University.
The university announced Tuesday that the 90-minute live debate will air at 6:30 p.m. May 28 on KFVS-TV. It also will be webcast on the Southeast Missourian's website.
All four candidates running in the June 4 special election will participate. They are Jason Smith, a Republican; Steve Hodges, a Democrat; Bill Slantz, a Libertarian; and Doug Enyart, the Constitution Party. Because seating is limited, tickets will be distributed by each candidate's campaign headquarters.
Missouri's 8th District stretches from the outer suburbs of St. Louis south to the Missouri Bootheel and west to the Ozark hills.
Emerson resigned in January to lead a national association of rural electric cooperatives.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration will stop making electronic copies of people's concealed gun permits.
Nixon announced the policy reversal Tuesday after several weeks of criticism from Republicans who said the new document copying policy of the Department of Revenue was an invasion of privacy.
The Democratic governor said his administration had "determined that the scanning and retention of concealed carry certificates are not essential to the integrity of the license issuance process."
The Department of Revenue handles concealed carry permits because it is responsible for issuing photo identification cards or placing a concealed weapons endorsement on people's driver's licenses.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have passed legislation that would require mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect to report suspicions directly to the state's Children's Division.
Currently, mandated reporters such as doctors, social workers and teachers must either report or "cause a report to be made" to the Children's Division when they suspect child abuse or neglect.
Supporters of the House legislation say that allows a mandated reporter to submit information to another person in his or her organization, who then decides whether to notify authorities.
The House legislation passed 150-0 and now will be considered by the Senate.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan raised more than $800,000 in political funds compared to $565,000 for Gov. Pat Quinn in the first three months of the year.
Madigan is a potential Democratic primary challenger to Quinn. Madigan says she has not yet decided whether to take on the governor next spring.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state Elections Board show Madigan spent $77,000 during the first quarter and had $4.4 million in the bank on April 1. Quinn spent $119,000 and had $1.5 million on hand.
Among possible Republican candidates, businessman Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nerz) exploratory committee raised more than $1 million and already has taken in $91,000 in large donations since April 1.
GOP Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROO'-ther-ferd) raised $300,000 and had $740,000 in the bank.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A registered sex offender in St. Charles County has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to more sex crimes.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 54-year-old Dennis Lee Noack of St. Charles was sentenced Monday to three life terms for statutory sodomy and child molestation. The sentences will run concurrently.
The three victims ranged in age from 7 to 16.
Noack was previously convicted of sexual conduct with a 12-year-old girl in a 2000 case, and sentenced to 179 days in jail.