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Some south county drivers may face delays the rest of this week because of railroad work. St. Louis County Highway officials say Ringer Road will be closed between Royal Hills Drive and Viento in Oakdale beginning Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. It will remain closed through Friday, March 29.

The closure will allow crews from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad can make extensive repairs to the crossing.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 02:53
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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says any overhaul of Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem should have a funding guarantee.

He spoke yesterday just days after House lawmakers approved their third pension-related bill. The latest would reduce and delay cost-of-living increases in state employees' retirement pay.

Pensions have been Quinn's top issue for more than a year. He says lawmakers' work last week was a step in the right direction but there's further to go. Quinn says any reform package should address retirement age and pensionable salary.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension debt because lawmakers skipped or shorted pension payments for years.

House lawmakers recently OK'd bills that would cap the salary on which benefits are based to the limit set for Social Security and delay the retirement age incrementally.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 02:23
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Voters in the city of St. Louis will elect three people next month who will serve the city, but with no real authority. That's because they'll serve on the seven-member St. Louis Board of Education, which was stripped of it's authority over the public schools when the struggling district lost accreditation in 2003.

A state-appointed Special Administrative Board controls district policy instead. But the April 2nd election is renewing calls to disband the SAB when it's term expires June, 2014 and return governing authority for the now-accredited district to the elected board.

That would be up to the Missouri state board of education which is expected to consider the question this fall.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 01:47
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Potosi’s fire chief is hospitalized following a rollover accident.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that Chief Rick Knight was injured in a crash along Highway 47 Washington County around 4:15 Monday afternoon. Knight's truck rolled over, and he was partially ejected.

Fire department officials say the 51 year old was trapped and had to be pried from the truck.

Chief Knight was taken to St. Anthony's Medical Center in south St. Louis County by ambulance because weather conditions made it unsafe to use a medical helicopter.

His injuries are described as serious, including broken bones.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 00:34
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Stephen Colbert and President Bill Clinton are headed to St. Louis next month.

Colbert will interview Clinton on April 6 at Washington University. The appearance is the closing session of the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting. Clinton started the program five years ago as a way to engage the next generation of leaders from around the word.

The interview will air during the Colbert Report during the week of April 8.
Monday, 25 March 2013 17:46
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - It isn't just Illinoisans who are closely watching a bill in the Illinois House that would regulate fracking. Missouri mining organizations have a keen interest, too.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the Missouri mining industry stands to gain from an increased need for silica sand, which is used in the process of large-scale hydraulic fracturing - or fracking.

Missouri is not an abundant resource of oil or natural gas, but it is a resource for silica sand. The silica sand is critical for the process of fracking.

Environmentalists in Missouri say there is concern that expanded sand mining will cause environmental damage.

The January 2013 Mineral Commodity Summary by the U.S. Geological Survey says Missouri is the sixth-largest producer of industrial sand and gravel.
Monday, 25 March 2013 14:44
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A St. Louis teen faces sentencing later this spring after he admitted to stealing a car at gunpoint.

15-year-old Cameron Coleman walked up to a Jeep in the Baden Neighborhood last May and pulled a gun on the driver. The man behind the wheel was able to free his two kids, aged 6 and 4, from the SUV before Coleman drove off. Two days later, police pulled over Coleman while he was driving the stolen SUV and after a short foot chase, they captured him.

A judge ruled to try Coleman as an adult and he pleaded guilty to several felonies. He will learn his sentence May 5.
Monday, 25 March 2013 13:58
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UNION, Mo. (AP) - A space heater is believed to be the cause of a fire that killed a 24-year-old eastern Missouri woman and her two young children.

The fire Friday night killed Samantha Cooksey of Union and her children, 6-year-old Allison Cooksey and 1-year-old Logan Berger. Cooksey's boyfriend, who was the father of Logan, lived in the home but was at work at the time of the fire.

Union Police Chief Normal Brune told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/11Djb5X ) that the fire apparently began in the mobile home's living room, where a space heater was located.

The home was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. The bodies were found after the fire was out.

Funeral arrangements are pending.
Monday, 25 March 2013 13:19
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CASSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri high school says four girls' basketball players from a rival school poured urine into the opposing team's water cooler during a February game.

Monett High's principal told parents in a letter last week that the four Cassville High players each urinated into a cup, then dumped the contents of one of the cups into the Monett team cooler at a Feb. 4 game in Cassville. The schools are located about 20 miles apart near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

A written statement from the Cassville school district confirms that unspecified disciplinary action has been taken in response to the "inappropriate act."

Monett High School has contacted infectious disease specialists and says a Cassville student is being tested for potential health risks. Monett's principal encouraged parents not to retaliate.
Monday, 25 March 2013 13:17
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some supporters of a Medicaid expansion championed by President Barack Obama are also embracing a Republican alternative put forth in the Missouri House.

Among the witnesses testifying for the Republican plan Monday in a House committee were officials representing medical clinics, hospitals and business groups. Some of those same people have stood by Democrats in recent weeks as they embraced a proposed Medicaid expansion for lower-income adults.

But Missouri's Republican-led committees have repeatedly defeated the Medicaid expansion backed by Obama and Democrats.

The alternative by Republican Rep. Jay Barnes would cover fewer additional adults than Obama's version while also removing some children from the Medicaid rolls. Medicaid recipients would be covered through competitively bid managed care policies and could get cash incentives for holding down their health expenses.
Monday, 25 March 2013 12:20
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