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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize.
Lottery officials say the prize is growing quickly Friday because so many people have been purchasing the $2 tickets. The jackpot has grown by an estimated $236 million since the last drawing on Wednesday.
The last jackpot was won on March 30, so it's been growing for about six weeks. The next drawing is Saturday night.
The largest jackpot ever was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2012. The prize was split three ways with winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 175 million.
All lanes on I-70 over the Blanchette Bridge in St. Charles are expected to be open to motorists three months earlier than projected.
This (Friday) morning, Missouri Department of Transportation District Engineer Ed Hassinger and City of St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith announced the I-70 Blanchette Missouri River Bridge rehabilitation project is ahead of schedule. The westbound I-70 bridge was closed November 2, 2012, for a maximum one year closure.
“We are pleased to announce today that our reconstruction work is progressing ahead of the one year schedule,” said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger. “The contractor, Walsh Construction, is pushing to open the bridge to traffic before the city’s annual Festival of the Little Hills in mid-August. That goal would be nearly three months ahead of the original schedule.”
This week, Walsh Construction installed the last major piece of structural steel for the bridge. Since March, crews have installed approximately 2,200 pieces of steel for a total weight of 6.5 million pounds of steel in the truss and 1.5 million pounds of steel girders. Crews have begun pouring the concrete bridge deck. Despite extreme low river levels in the winter and flood levels in the spring, the contractor and team of local trades have continued on an aggressive schedule.
“Motorists have done a great job adjusting to the reduced lanes on I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge, and we appreciate their patience and cooperation,” said Hassinger. “We need people to continue using the alternate bridge crossings and avoiding I-70 during rush hours for a few more months.”
“We also want to thank the City of St. Charles for their team approach to this. Their cooperation and assistance with the local businesses has made this a smooth process for everyone,” said Hassinger.
15-thousand people are converging on the campus of Washington University as they begin their 152nd year of celebrating graduates. And the school warns motorists you might want to take another route if you're commute takes you near Forest Park.
Traffic around the university will be very heavy Friday morning due to the university’s annual Commencement ceremony, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Traffic backups should be anticipated on streets near the university, especially Forsyth, Big Bend, Forest Park Parkway and Skinker.
The university will award 2,873 degrees to 2,752 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The university also will bestow honorary degrees on six individuals.
Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., will deliver the 2013 Commencement address. During the ceremony, Booker, who is credited with helping revitalize New Jersey’s largest city with his hands-on and innovative approach, also will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Washington University’s five other honorary degree recipients and their degrees are:
Marilyn Fox, St. Louis civic leader, philanthropist and community volunteer, doctor of humanities;
Martin L. Mathews, president, CEO and co-founder of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club, doctor of humanities;
Juhani Pallasmaa, a Finnish architect, educator and critic and a leading international figure in contemporary architecture, design and artistic culture, doctor of art and architecture;
Peter Rosen (MD ’60), one of the international leaders in the field of emergency medicine and one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the specialty, doctor of science;
and Howard Wood (BSBA ’61), co-founder of two of the nation’s most successful telecommunications companies: Charter Communications Inc. and Cequel III LLC, doctor of laws.
Police say they've caught the man who exposed himself to a teenage girl near a St. Peters library earlier this week.
49-year-old Kevin Flatley was arrested yesterday (Thursday) and charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Misconduct. Police say they tracked him down through a tattoo of an Italian flag similar to one described by the witness.
Flatley's bond has been set at $20,000.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are down to their final day to pass legislation before their annual session ends.
Legislators face a mandatory quitting time of 6 p.m. Friday. Several significant issues remain unresolved with fading prospects, including an overhaul of the state's tax credit programs and a proposed transportation sales tax that would go on the 2014 ballot.
The Republican-led Legislature already has passed several other priority measures. Those include an income tax cut projected to eventually reduce state revenues by about $700 million; several pro-gun measures; and changes to state labor laws and workers' compensation claims.
The Legislature defeated a Medicaid expansion for lower-income adults that had been a priority of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
It's one of the biggest parades of the year in St. Louis. The 125th annual Annie Malone May Day Parade will march through downtown Sunday afternoon.
In light of recent violence at a New Orleans parade and the Boston Marathon bombing, St. Louis police are adjusting their security plan. Police Chief Sam Dotson says the plan includes both plain clothed and uniformed officers and communications with FBI and state law enforcement officers.
"It includes an intelligence component," Dotson said. "Are there any threats against the parade? And the first answer to that is no, there aren't."
Dotson says parade goers can play a role in keeping the event safe by leaving their guns at home, and paying attention to their surroundings. Dotson says police will be very visible along the parade route Sunday and if parade-goers see someone acting strangely, like wearing a long coat or a trench coat that's inappropriate for the weather, they should point that individual out to an officer.
Parade organizers say they've also contracted private security for the event.
A Powerball player in the St. Louis area will soon have a fatter wallet. That's because a $1 million winning ticket was sold at a South County liquor store.
While no one won matched all six numbers to win Wednesday's $360 million jackpot, Missouri Lottery officials say a ticket matching all five white balls was sold at Telegraph Liquors in the 5600 block of Telegraph Road. That ticket is worth $1 million.
A $10,000 ticket was also sold at a QuikTrip in Ellisville.
Since there was no big winner Wednesday, the jackpot for Saturday's drawing has increased to an estimated $550 million.
St. Louis police say a bizarre case of road rage left a 43 year old man dead.
It began around noon yesterday, when a box truck apparently cut off a Lincoln Navigator on westbound Inerstate 70.
Police say the SUV followed the truck to the Union Blvd. exit, ramming the box truck several times. At the light at Margaretta and Union, the driver of the SUV got out of his vehicle and began hitting the truck with a hammer, striking the driver before jumping onto the truck's hood. When the truck turned onto Margaretta, the attacking man fell off and was injured.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he later died. Police have not yet released his identity.
A local non-profit needs your help to assemble a tribute to a jewel of St. Louis.
Thursday marked the 50,000th day since Forest Park was opened. To commemorate the anniversary, Forest Park Forever wants to collect 50,000 memories of the park.
Lesley Hoffarth, President of Forest Park Forever, invites residents to share their memories in person, or online through Twitter, Facebook, or email. Memories can be dropped off with a picture at the Forest Park Visitor Center Monday - Friday between 6 AM and 8 PM. On Twitter and Instagram users should use #FPF50K to mark their memories. Or they can be added to the group's Facebook page.
She also says there are plans underway to improve the park, including one project that should be popular, "We are going to update the signs!" She adds, "It is the number one complaint we get from people, that they can't find their way around.' The signs were designed in coordination with all of the different attractions in the park. In addition to signs placed near roads, there will also be signs along the walking paths throughout the park. They will give directions and approximate walking times to the attractions throughout the park. Work on the new signs will start this fall and should wrap up by the spring.
KTRS's own McGraw Milhaven shared his memory of the park, "My favorite memory of Forest Park is going to be the next time I visit, because every time I'm there I fall in love with it."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri prosecutors want a judge to let them keep closer tabs on the former head of a failed artificial sweetener plant in Moberly.
Attorney General Chris Koster's office said Thursday it has filed a motion in St. Charles County Circuit Court seeking to monitor ex-Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole with a wearable GPS device.
Cole is under house arrest in his home state of California awaiting a Missouri trial on felony fraud and forgery charges. His bond was reduced from $500,000 to $100,000 in March.
The Mamtek project was financed with $39 million in bonds issued by the city of Moberly's Industrial Development Authority. The project collapsed after Cole's company missed a bond payment in August 2011.
A hearing is scheduled Monday on a change of venue from Randolph County.