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Monday, 17 March 2014 10:12
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The average retail gasoline price in St. Louis has fallen 9 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.39 a gallon yesterday.  
According to GasBuddy.com, prices are 28 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, but average 21 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.  
This compares with the national average that has increased about 3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.50 a gallon. 
GasBuddy.com surveys nearly one thousand gas outlets in St. Louis every day.
Monday, 17 March 2014 09:37
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Police in St. Charles County are investigating a possible third child abduction attempt in the past week, while police in Troy, Illinois are handling a reported attempt in that town. 
 
The most recent incidents were reported on Sunday.  The first occurring shortly before 10 o'clock in the morning in West Alton.  Police say a black man driving a red SUV tried to lure a 6 year old girl into his car near St. Charles Street and Highway 94. The girl ran to a nearby church where a Sunday school teacher called police.
 
In Troy, Illinois Sunday afternoon police say a nine-year-old girl was walking home from the Dollar General Store along Riggin Road when a man in a black panel van asked if she "needed a ride."  When she said no, the man reportedly ordered her to "just get in the van."  The girl refused and ran home safely.  
 
Police are now looking for an older black man who was wearing a black T-shirt and a skullcap, and driving a black van with no windows on the rear or passenger side door.  
 
Last week, two other incidents were reported in St. Charles County -- one Tuesday in O'Fallon, the other Thursday in Lake St. Louis. In both of those instances, the children described the suspect as being a white male wearing a red ball cap. 
 
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call police or Crimestoppers.
Monday, 17 March 2014 09:33
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A measure making it easier for inmates to get married is moving through the Missouri Legislature.
The legislation would create an inmate exception to a Missouri law that requires people seeking a marriage license to appear in person before the local recorder of deeds.
Some recorders have gone into prisons in the past in order to get signatures on marriage licenses.
 
But over the past year, three federal judges have ruled in separate cases that Missouri's in-person license requirement is unconstitutional for prisoners wanting to get married.
A bill that passed the Senate last week and is now pending in the House would allow inmates to apply for marriage licenses using an affidavit.
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 09:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sen. Claire McCaskill and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay are among those urging renewal of federal legislation that they say has a proven record of providing job opportunities in Missouri.
 
 The two Democrats plan to discuss their support for renewing the expired Workforce Investment Act during a news conference Monday afternoon at Soldiers' Memorial in St. Louis.
 
 McCaskill's office says she will highlight the importance of the Workforce Investment Act in helping military veterans look for jobs when they return to civilian life.
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 09:26
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   CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A pre-trial hearing has been delayed for a man accused of setting a Randolph County, Illinois house fire that killed four children last year.
   The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports Sunday that Monday's hearing for Derrick Twardoski has been rescheduled for April 17th. Twardoski has pleaded not guilty to four first-degree murder counts in the deaths last May in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.
   Eight exhibits are still being tested for DNA evidence in the case. Randolph County prosecutors say the testing will be done Monday and results should be available in 30 days.
   The fire killed siblings ages 12, 9 and 5-year-old twins. Their parents and a 6 year old escaped.
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 03:42
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   JEFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri had expected to receive about $130 million this April under an annual settlement payment from tobacco companies.
   But it looks like Missouri will get less than half that amount because of an arbitrator's ruling that state officials failed to diligently enforce the settlement a decade ago.
   House and Senate committees heard testimony this past week on legislation that the attorney general's office and major tobacco companies both say is necessary if the state wants to negotiate a smaller loss of tobacco funds. The bill would, in essence, force a price hike on some cheaper cigarettes that compete with the brands made by big tobacco companies.
   House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream says the bill faces opposition and definitely won't pass in time to reverse this year's reduced tobacco payment.
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 03:39
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   While unemployment rates are decreasing, the economic recovery still isn't trickling down to the dinner table for too many hungry Missourians.  That's according to Monica Palmer with the Missouri Food Bank Association.  She says 2013 was a record-breaking year, with more than 100 million pounds of food distributed across the state - a 23 percent jump from the year before.
   Palmer says more Missouri families are finding they simply can't stretch their budgets any further.  "Their income is not keeping up, because groceries are going up, childcare is going up, everything is going up, but wages are not competing - they're actually going down," Palmer said.
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Missouri number two in the nation for "very low food security," which means many of the state's residents have a hard time consistently providing food for themselves and their families. More information on accessing or donating to local food banks is at FeedingMissouri.org
   Palmer says not only are more people visiting the state's food banks for the first time, they're relying on them for longer periods of time.  She says that has led to a shift in the food bank mission. "Historically, food banks are the organizations that help with emergency needs," Palmer said.  "But over the last several years we've seen food banks supplying more maintenance food because people aren't finding the jobs, they're not getting back on their feet quite as much."
   Palmer says cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program last year equated to three and a half million lost meals for Missouri families. While the recently-passed federal Farm Bill does allocate an additional 200-million dollars to food banks nationwide, Palmer says it's too soon to know how much of an impact it will have.
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 02:47
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   The recent spate of adults trying to lure children into their cars apparently isn't limited just to the Missouri side of the St. Louis metro area.  Police in Troy, Illinois are looking for a man who approached a nine-year-old girl late Sunday afternoon.  
   Police say about 4:30 p.m. the girl was walking home from the Dollar General Store along Riggin Road when a man in a black panel van asked if she "needed a ride."  When she declined, the man reportedly ordered her to "just get in the van."  The girl refused and made it home safely.  
   Police are now looking for an older black man who was wearing a black T-shirt and a skullcap, and driving a black van with no windows on the rear or passenger side door.  
   Anyone who may have witnessed the encounter or who has other information is asked to call Troy, IL Police at 618-667-6731.
Monday, 17 March 2014 01:53
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The Ancient Order of Hibernians will hold their 30th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dogtown today (Monday).  This year's Grand Marshall is native St. Louisan, cartoonist Mike Peters who draws the popular, long-running comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm.   The parade along Tamm Avenue steps off at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Tamm and Oakland.  Parade organizers suggest parking at the St. Louis Zoo south lot or free curb-side parking in Forest Park.  
 
Also several bus lines are being rerouted because of the parade.  More information is available at the Metro St. Louis website.  
 
More information about the parade can be found on the website of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
 
 
 
 
 
Monday, 17 March 2014 00:59
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