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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri state senator is taking aim at health inspectors who he says are blocking charitable chili suppers.

Republican Sen. Mike Cunningham, of Rogersville, is sponsoring legislation that would let nonprofit groups prepare food in private homes and bring it to charitable fundraisers. The groups would need to post signs saying the food was prepared in a kitchen not subject to regulation.

Senators gave initial approval Wednesday to Cunningham's bill after a Democratic senator attached an amendment exempting the St. Louis area from its provisions.

Cunningham asserted that "rogue inspectors" are acting like "food Nazis" by shutting down charitable chili suppers.

Democratic Sen. Ryan McKenna, of Crystal City, says he has heard of no problems and supports food safety efforts.

Food safety bill is SB432

Online: Senate: http://www.senate.mo.gov

Thursday, 18 April 2013 09:25
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has a plan to generate money for police: Pull the plug on the city's cable TV station.

The mayor spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the St. Louis Police Board and proposed eliminating STL-TV. The $650,000 in savings would be shifted to next year's police budget to help pay overtime and increase hot spot policing efforts.

The police department's proposed budget of $176.8 million for next year represents a 3 percent increase. But Chief Sam Dotson says pension and health care costs are rising so fast that job losses may be required unless additional money is found.

The force has 1,265 officers.

 

 
Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:14
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St. Louis based Anheuser-Busch has agreed to sell its stake in City Beverage, its largest distributor in Chicago. It's part of legislation that would end a multiyear battle over how alcohol is regulated in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports the agreement appears in a bill expected to exit the Illinois House this week. A-B has until Jan. 1, 2015, to sell its interest in the distributorship.

     Mark Bordas, A-B's region vice president of state affairs, said in a statement, "Anheuser-Busch is pleased with the agreement reached with the Illinois legislature as it related to our minority investment in City Beverage."

Investment firm BDT Capital, which currently owns 70 percent of City Beverage, did not immediately respond to the newspaper's request for comment.

Alcohol sales are regulated in most states through a three-tier system intended to separate manufacturing, distribution and retail sales. Illinois House Bill 2606 would amend the state's liquor regulations, saying "no person licensed as a manufacturer of beer ... shall have any interest, directly or indirectly, in a holder of a distributor's license or importing distributor's license.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission and A-B have been involved in litigation on the issue since the commission blocked the brewer from acquiring City Beverage in 2010.

     St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is part of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, which reported revenue of $39.8 billion in 2012.

Thursday, 18 April 2013 07:38
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A national trails magazine has awarded Missouri the title of "Best Trails State" for its commitment to maintain and improve its vast system of hiking and biking paths.

The award from American Trails was announced Wednesday at a conference in Arizona. It's given every two years to states that make the most significant contributions to maintaining and promoting their trails.

Missouri's state parks system includes nearly 1,000 miles of managed trails. Many historic trails pass through the state, including the Lewis and Clark, Trail of Tears and the Santa Fe National Historic Trails.

Attendance in Missouri state parks increased in 2012, with more than 18 million visitors.

 

   

 

Thursday, 18 April 2013 06:57
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The National Weather Service has lifted a tornado watch for St. Charles County, St. Louis County and St. Louis City.

Variable clouds and becoming windy with rain and a few thunderstorms - possibly severe this afternoon. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. High 67F. SSW winds at 5 to 10 mph, increasing to 20 to 30 mph. Additional rainfall may reach one inch.

Tonight:

Cloudy early with some clearing expected late. Low 36F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph

 

 

Thursday, 18 April 2013 05:47
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   With another line of potentially severe weather expected to push through the metro-area Thursday, Ameren has place crews on both sides of the river on stand-by.  Ameren officials say they've mobilized personnel and equipment to facilitate their response to any storm-related power outages.  

   But Ameren officials say there are some things customers who lose power during the storms need to do.  First, officials say, report the outage.  Don't assume the power company knows your lights are out.

   Second, they remind customers to stay away from downed power lines and always assume that any lines that have fallen are still live wires.  Report the downed lines immediately.

   They say to stay out of the way of power company crews who are working to repair lines and restore power.

   And finally, they ask customers to be patient.  Crews will get repairs made as quickly as they can do so safely.

   More tips can be found at Ameren's online Outage Center

Thursday, 18 April 2013 04:35
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal firearms official says the agency never sought or received a list of Missouri concealed gun permit holders.

   A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the agency was not involved in an effort by the Social Security Administration to obtain the information.

   Missouri senators have publicized an email from a state crime analyst indicating that the Social Security Administration wanted a "comprehensive list" of concealed gun permit holders as part of a "joint venture" with the ATF.

   But ATF spokesman Mike Campbell says there was no joint venture and his agency never asked for or received the Missouri information.

   A Social Security official confirmed Wednesday that the agency had no plans to involve the ATF in its investigation.

 
Thursday, 18 April 2013 03:45
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has preliminarily approved sweeping measures that would expand gun rights in the state and allow certain school officials to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.

   The bill would allow appointed "protection officers" to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit and register with the state Department of Public Safety. The officers would also be required to complete a training course established by the peace officer training commission.

   The proposals adopted Wednesday would also lower the age required to carry a concealed weapon and allow firearms less than 16 inches in length to be openly carried. One of the measures would also criminalize the enforcement of any federal gun control laws adopted after January.

 

Thursday, 18 April 2013 03:43
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   Ellisville's ousted mayor is making good on his promise to appeal his impeachment in court.  Former Mayor Adam Paul filed an appeal in St. Louis County Circuit Court Wednesday asking a judge to overturn his April 8th impeachment.  

   But he didn't stop there.  

   Paul also filed a defamation lawsuit against his accusers.  The suit claims City Attorney Paul Martin, Council Member Matt Pirrello, City Manager Kevin Bookout and resident Katie James harmed his reputation by making unsubstantiated allegations against him.  

   Paul hand delivered a copy of the lawsuit to the city council at last night's council meeting.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the new city council, which took office Wednesday night, has decided not to appoint an interim mayor to take Paul's place.  The council plans to proceed with a special election, but the details have not yet been determined.

Thursday, 18 April 2013 02:55
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Rep. Lou Lang says he is thankful on behalf of patients in the state for the Illinois House approval of a measure authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

 

   Lawmakers voted 61-57 Wednesday to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions.

 

   The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of the legislation. He says the bill's regulations make it the strictest in the nation. He says those regulations were key to putting the bill "across the goal line."

 

   The legislation sets a 2.5 ounce limit per patient per purchase. The measure calls for 60 state-regulated dispensaries where patients could buy the drug.

 

   Lang says he looks forward to a "strong" vote in the Senate.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:38
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