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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he's open to many of the Medicaid changes sought by Republican lawmakers as part of a plan to expand health coverage to low-income adults.

 

In an unusual move, the Democratic governor met privately for about 45 minutes Wednesday with House Republicans at the Capitol.

 

Republicans have repeatedly defeated Nixon's plan to expand adult Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the poverty level, which is about $32,500 for a family of four. A Republican-led House committee was to vote later Wednesday on an alternative that adds fewer adults to Medicaid while injecting more private-sector competition.

 

Nixon said he's open to a private insurance model for Medicaid and to new co-payment requirements for participants.

 

States that expand to 138 percent of poverty can receive full federal funding.

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:51
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HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - One of seven Marines killed last month during a Nevada training exercise is being remembered in his southwestern Illinois hometown as an inclusive person concerned for people.

 

The body of 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was laid to rest Wednesday after a funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.

 

The 2005 Highland High School graduate was killed March 18 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the sprawling Hawthorne Army Depot.

 

His father says his son expected to return home for good next month.

 

The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/10rgMaZ) reports that Rev. Scott Snider told mourners that Ripperda is at peace, and "we look forward to the day when the warriors' work is done and the light of peace breaks across the world."

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:42
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Monsanto says its net income increased 22 percent in the second quarter on strong sales of its biotech seeds.

 

The agricultural products company boosted its full-year earnings guidance, citing its strong performance in the first two quarters.

 

The St. Louis company says it earned $1.48 billion, or $2.74 per share in the three months ended Feb. 13. That compares to earnings of $1.21 billion, or $2.24 per share, a year ago.

 

Revenue climbed 15 percent to $5.47 billion.

 

Analysts polled by FactSet expected Monsanto to report earnings of $2.56 per share on sales of $5.27 billion in revenue for the quarter.

 

Monsanto has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade. In recent years the company has focused on growing business in emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries.

 
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 12:36
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois businessman who prosecutors say was illegally using jobless benefits to pay tabs at a Hooters restaurant and a hotel in Costa Rica faces more federal charges.

 

A new indictment Tuesday added four counts against 58-year-old James Quirin of Sauget. Those alleged felonies include tax evasion and false filing.

 

Quirin's already facing eight counts related to his alleged theft of government money after investigators say he misused a debit card given to people collecting unemployment benefits. Authorities say Quirin charged his Hooters tab and hundreds of dollars in hotel expenses to the debit card in March 2010.

 

Quirin is accused of working for an excavating firm and fraudulently getting more than $44,000 in unemployment benefits.

 

A message was left Wednesday with his attorney, Ronald Jenkins.

 
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 11:56
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MARION, Ill. (AP) - A man who resigned as a southern Illinois sheriff's deputy after being accused of drunken driving for the second time in five years has pleaded not guilty to his latest DUI count.

 

WSIL-TV reports that 48-year-old deputy Shaunn Curry entered the plea Tuesday in Williamson County Circuit Court. He's charged with driving under the influence.

 

Authorities say the Williamson County deputy was off duty in his own vehicle March 1 when he was stopped near Marion after several motorists called 911 to report a possible drunken driver.

 

Curry was found guilty in 2009 of DUI related to a December 2007 wreck he had while off duty. He was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge.

 

He resigned late last month.

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:59
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Two St. Charles police officers are recovering from injuries after they were hit by two armed robbers in their getaway car.

Two 18-year-old men are in custody. They are suspected of robbing a St. Charles Steak 'n Shake and then ramming two police cars while trying to escape.

It happened just before four Wednesday morning outside a Steak ‘N Shake on First Capitol Drive in St Charles. 

One officer was taken to the hospital and the other was treated at the scene.

More charges are expected later Wednesday.

 

 
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:54
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Family and friends prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corporal Aaron Ripperda.

The 26-year-old Highland, Illinois native died in a training exercise in March in Nevada. A funeral Mass is set for this morning. Ripperda graduated from Highland High School in 2005.

The Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket at the funeral.  They would protest what they call, “a nation of sodomites and hypocrites”.

 

 
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 08:31
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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has selected Dave Nichols to serve as the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. Nichols has served as interim MoDOT director since March 21. He has been with the department for more than 29 years.

“Dave Nichols has the talent, skills, and experience needed to be a successful leader for MoDOT,” said Commission Chairman Joe Carmichael. “The commission has unanimously agreed that a prolonged search for a new director was unnecessary, as the right person for the job was already here.”

Nichols assumed the interim director position after the resignation of Kevin Keith, who left MoDOT on March 21 for a medical leave of absence.

Nichols has held a variety of leadership roles in the department, including his work as chief engineer and as the department’s first director of program delivery. He has also served as district engineer for the department’s Northwest District headquartered in St. Joseph and worked in MoDOT’s Kansas City District.

“The commission has full confidence in Dave’s ability to tackle the significant transportation challenges Missouri is facing,” said Carmichael. “His dedication and innovation will help Missouri maintain its status as a leader in transportation.”

 
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 14:00
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FULTON, Mo. (AP) - Three employees have been injured in an accident at a nuclear plant in central Missouri.

Local emergency managers say workers were burned last night at the Callaway Energy Center about 25 miles northeast of Jefferson City.

Ameren says the accident didn't affect operations at the plant.

 
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 06:58
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Rockwood School District voters not only rejected a $38.4 million bond issue Tuesday, but they also ousted two longtime board members after much controversy and criticism.

Challengers Loralee Mondl and Jeffrey Morrell drew roughly twice as many votes as the incumbents, School Board President Janet Strate and member Steve Banton.

The bond measure, which required a four-sevenths majority for passage, would have provided for renovations, security measures and other updates.

 

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 06:17
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