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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Washington University research project is under scrutiny for its off-label use of a contraceptive device.
 
The research project provides free birth control devices to poor and uninsured women and teenagers in the St. Louis area for three years. The university says the study has led to fewer pregnancies and fewer abortions.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a 27-year-old woman is suing the university's medical school over what she calls an unethical research trial using a contraceptive device called Mirena.
 
The device is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that's inserted into the uterus and releases a hormone to prevent pregnancy.
   
The woman says using the device soon after she gave birth resulted in two heart surgeries and a chronic illness. The university denies the lawsuit's allegations.
Monday, 24 March 2014 10:30
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Monday, 24 March 2014 09:24
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Two state senators say Illinois needs another Big Ten Conference school.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports a bill has been introduced by Lisle Republican Michael Connelly and Palatine Republican Matt Murphy.
 
The two say their measure would study what's needed for a public university in the state to join the conference that already includes Northwestern and the University of Illinois.
 
Connelly says tight admissions policies at Illinois mean some students who want to attend a large state school in a marquee athletics conference look to other states such as Indiana and Iowa.
 
The 12-team conference is set to expand to include 14 schools next year. New members need support from at least 70 percent of schools to join.
 
 A conference spokesman declined to comment on the Illinois bill.
 
Monday, 24 March 2014 09:12
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The average retail gasoline price in St. Louis has risen 8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.46 per gallon on Sunday. That is according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of nearly 1,000 gas outlets in St. Louis.

The national average has not moved in the last week and remains $3.51 per gallon for regular gas.  

Prices in St. Louis yesterday were 23 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, but 20 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 10 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 13 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago. 

Monday, 24 March 2014 09:05
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OREGON, Mo. (AP) - Construction is expected to begin later this year on a wind farm in northwest Missouri.
 
Element Power officials say the operation near Oregon in Holt County will be the largest wind farm in the state. It will generate 200 megawatts of electricity at the Mill Creek Wind Farm. The power will be sold the Kansas City Power & Light.
 
The St. Joseph News-Press reports if construction goes as scheduled, the wind farm is expected to begin operating by the end of 2015.
 
Scott Zeimetz, project manager for Element Power, says the company has not yet determined the size or number of turbines it will install on the farm.
 
Construction will create 300 jobs, with 12 to 14 permanent full-time jobs available when the wind farm is operating.
 
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:31
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.
 
House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.
 
The House plan would also bar universities from offering resident tuition rates to students living in the U.S. illegally.
 
The Republican-led committee rejected Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to more lower-income adults. But its plan would restore adult dental coverage that was previously cut from Medicaid.
   
 
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:17
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CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Transit Authority officials say they'll use torches to cut a commuter train apart as they remove wreckage from an underground station after a derailment.
 
Christopher Bushell is the transit agency's chief infrastructure officer. He says Monday's derailment means the O'Hare International Airport station will remain closed for at least "12 to 24 hours."
 
Bushell says crews are inspecting the station's stairs and escalator, which was received "significant damage" when the train plowed across a platform and scaled the escalator around 3 a.m. More than 30 people were hurt, but all of their injuries are considered non-life threatening.
 
Workers will disassemble the train and remove it on a flatbed.
Bushell says CTA inspectors are reviewing the train's video footage as well as information from the agency's signal systems.
   
 
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:07
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - An associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law is involved in a case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
Josh Hawley is on a team of about 15 lawyers working on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Inc., which addresses whether businesses can use religious objections to avoid a requirement to provide insurance coverage for birth control for employees.
 The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the case goes before the court Tuesday. Hobby Lobby objects to covering certain contraceptives in its health plans required by the federal health law.
 Paul Clement, former U.S. solicitor general, will argue the case for Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby. Hawley has worked on briefs and oral arguments in the case for the Hobby Lobby legal team.
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:03
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   CHICAGO (AP) - A reform group wants to put the issue of how Illinois draws political boundaries on November's ballot.
   The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the Yes! for Independent Maps campaign has proposed creating a bipartisan commission to draw districts, which would take the power away from lawmakers. The campaign needs to collect roughly 300,000 signatures before May 4, but organizers say they hope to get more.
   The remapping process has been under heavy scrutiny.
   Every decade, Illinois redraws political maps based on population. However, questions have been raised about lawmaker involvement, including criticism that the process is used to protect incumbents.
   Democrats led the remap in 2011 because they control both chambers and the governor's office. But Republicans sued and federal judges characterized the remap as a "blatant political move."
 
Monday, 24 March 2014 02:56
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