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The cleanup continues in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis City.

Though the streets are cleared, peeled back siding and tarps on roofs are signs of the destruction left behind by the storm that raced through the area Wednesday night.

Theresa Boziekis owns a 130 year old home on Dalton that used to have a 100 foot tree in the front yard. She told KTRS News what happened when the wind felled the pine, "Before any sirens went off we all of a sudden started to hear what sounded like a large train coming, and then it sounded like several large bangs out around the house and our house shook".

The tree did fall into the street, crushing the back end of a car. Boziekis says the house suffered some structural damage, including cracks along the roof line and throughout the two-and-a-half stories of the home.

 

Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:40
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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Attorney General Chris Koster says he won't appeal a federal court ruling striking down a Missouri law that exempted moral objectors from an insurance requirement to cover birth control.

But Koster does want a judge to revise the ruling, so that religious institutions can receive the same exceptions they currently have under federal law.

At issue is a law enacted by Missouri's Republican-led Legislature last year that requires insurers to issue policies without contraception coverage if people or employers assert that birth control violates their "moral, ethical or religious beliefs."

A judge ruled last month that the Missouri law conflicted with an insurance requirement under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Koster, a Democrat, said Thursday that the Republican-backed bill "is just plain foolish."

Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:30
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The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Hazelwood last night.

The official investigator is on the scene and has given a preliminary EF 2 rating to the twister. That classification means that sustained wind gusts were measure at 111 - 135 miles per hour.

The report says the tornado damage extends from the Coachlite Skating Center in Bridgeton along 270 all the way into Hazelwood.

No reports have been released on tornadoes reported to have hit Wildwood and Florissant.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:40
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Four Ritenour schools experienced a brief lockdown Thursday afternoon.

Police say a group of teens threw a brick at a passing car. The driver swerved in an attempt to hit the teen who threw the brick. The driver instead, collided with two houses, knocking down one homeowner's carport.

In total nine teens were arrested in connection to the incident. 

The Early Childhood Center, Ritenour High School, Kratz Elementary School and Marvin Elementary School were all placed on external lockdown, meaning kids could not go outside for recess. The lockdown lasted from just before 1PM until around 1:20PM.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:38
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man has been sentenced to two years of probation for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Michael Brandon Smith, formerly of O'Fallon, was also ordered Thursday to perform 40 hours of community service during sentencing in U.S. District Court.

The incident happened May 18, 2012. A Metro St. Louis Air Support Police helicopter was responding to a burglary report at a St. Charles County school when the aircraft was struck several times by a green laser beam.

Federal prosecutors say that when the beam struck the glass of the helicopter the vision of the pilot and a second person in the chopper was impacted, and the helicopter had to pull away from the search.

Smith pleaded guilty in November.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:24
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Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel will be joining Hazelwood's Mayor Matthew Robinson to assess tornado damage this afternoon. 

The politician grew up in Florissant and graduated from Hazelwood West High School. 

They will be joined by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon who first did an aerial assessment of hard hit Sullivan in Franklin County  this (Thursday) morning 

The Governor declared a state of emergency in Missouri and also activated the State Emergency Operations Plan, which allow state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

 

Thursday, 11 April 2013 11:24
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says his agency provided a list of 163,000 Missouri residents with concealed gun permits to federal authorities. But he says federal investigators never used the information.

Patrol Superintendent Col. Ron Replogle testified Thursday before a Senate committee that has raised concerns about a database on driver's license applicants kept by the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Replogle says the patrol twice got a list of concealed gun permit holders from the Revenue Department and shared it with a fraud investigator at the federal Social Security Administration. But Replogle says the federal investigator was unable to read the information stored on the discs and ultimately destroyed them.

Replogle told senators the patrol should not have released the whole list.

   

Thursday, 11 April 2013 11:18
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The American Red Cross St. Louis Area Chapter is moving the Hazelwood shelter to the civic center at 8969 Dunn Road because Armstrong Elementary School does not have power.

Six people spent the night in the Red Cross shelter at Armstrong Elementary last night after tornadoes ripped through the North St. Louis community.

Red Cross disaster assessment teams will begin canvassing tornado damaged neighborhoods in Hazelwood this morning, after police and fire have determined the area is safe.

Downed power lines and a gas leak have prevented first responders from allowing assessment teams in the affected areas. Assessments are required before the Red Cross can begin casework. Volunteers will likely start damage assessments sometime Thursday morning. Caseworkers expect to meet with clients Thursday afternoon. 

Anyone in need of Red Cross assistance should call 314.516.2700. Those wishing to donate to the relief effort can call 314.516.2800 or visit redcross.org. 

The Red Cross will provide safe shelter and warm food to those affected by the storm until other arrangements are available. 

 
Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:10
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Metro reports due to wires down, trees down and debris in roadways following last night's severe weather, especially in the North St. Louis County area, the following MetroBus routes are being rerouted until further notice:

#44 Hazelwood

#45 Ferguson Florissant

#4174 New Halls Ferry Express 

Metro says they are unable to serve the Patterson/Lindbergh area at this time. "We ask our MetroBus customers to be patient and allow extra time for their commutes this morning as the situation no doubt will keep changing with regard to streets being opened and closed. Customers should use extreme care in walking to their bus stops in the areas where storm damage was heavy."   

Metro Call-A-Ride: Customers will be contacted if Metro Call-A-Ride vans do not have access to their streets. 

MetroLink: Normal service this morning. Trains are running on time.

 

 

Thursday, 11 April 2013 08:10
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House wants to block the scanning and computer storage of personal documents needed to get a driver's license or state identification card.

   Legislation given initial approval 141-14 on Wednesday would bar the Revenue Department from scanning documents needed for driver's licenses or concealed weapons permits. Documents that have been scanned would need to be destroyed.

   The bill needs another vote before moving to the Senate, where members have criticized the driver's license procedure.

   Previously, license clerks looked at applicants' documents, took a photo and printed the license. Under the new system, licenses are printed and mailed by a contractor several days after people apply. Revenue Department officials have said the new procedure makes licenses more secure and saves money.

   Some Missouri senators are pressing the state's driver's license agency to stop collecting documents from people with concealed gun permits.

   But the head of the agency said Wednesday he's reluctant to halt the practice.

   Since December, clerks in Missouri's local license offices have been making electronic copies of concealed weapons permits for a state database of driver's license applicants. Concealed gun endorsements are noted on driver's licenses.

   Some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the document database. During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Kurt Schaefer asked the Revenue Department to stop making and keeping copies of concealed gun permits.

   Revenue Director Brian Long said he's unwilling to commit to that, because the scanned documents provide protection against fraud. But Long also said he will consider it further.

 
Thursday, 11 April 2013 04:16
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