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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A judge has denied a new trial for a young Missouri woman who pleaded guilty to murder for the slaying of a 9-year-old neighbor girl.
 
Alyssa Bustamante was 15 years old in 2009 when she killed Elizabeth Olten and buried her in a wooded area near Jefferson City. Bustamante wrote in her diary that it was an "ahmazing" and "pretty enjoyable" experience.
 
Bustamante originally was charged with first-degree murder. That would have carried a mandatory life sentence without parole. She pleaded guilty to a second degree murder and was sentenced to life with the chance of parole.
 
Several months after her plea, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled juveniles cannot face automatic life sentences.
 
Bustamante claimed she would not have pleaded guilty if she had known that case was pending.
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:50
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new audit says Missouri's low-income housing program is inefficient and among the costliest in the nation.
 
The report Monday by State Auditor Tom Schweich says Missouri awards more low-income-housing tax credits per capita than any other state.
 
But the audit says the program is inefficient because only 42 cents of every $1 in tax credits goes toward the actual construction of housing. The report says the rest goes to investors, syndication firms and federal taxes.
 
Special committees that have analyzed the program have reached similar conclusions in the past. But lawmakers have been at loggerheads over whether to pare back the program because some say it has a laudable goal.
 
The audit says the tax credits helped finance about 47,000 housing units since 1998.
 
Monday, 10 March 2014 14:29
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A young man is in the hospital after he was hit by a car while crossing I-70 this morning.

 

Just before 9:30 AM a woman was driving on eastbound 70 near O'Fallon, when she hit the pedestrian. Police say the driver did nothing wrong and do not know why the man was trying to cross the highway. Traffic was jammed until around 11 as police investigated the scene.

 

Police let the driver leave the scene and said there was nothing criminal about the accident. The man was unconcious when he was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

Monday, 10 March 2014 14:27
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A study contends that Illinois wears a "scarlet letter" when it borrows money - which has cost at least $80 million over a five-year period.
 
The review by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs estimated the state's "risk premium" in selling bonds to raise money. This cost is on top of additional interest charges paid because of Illinois' worst-in-the-nation credit rating.
 
The study found that on bonds sold from 2005 to 2010, bond-buyers demanded the premium based only on the state's fiscal reputation. It notes the Prairie State's credit rating has fallen further since 2010.
 
Authors of the study collected data on all state general obligation bonds sold during the period and calculated interest charges above the extra paid based on credit rating.
Monday, 10 March 2014 13:33
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri farmers will get a larger property tax bill for their land starting in 2015.
 
Property tax for agricultural land is based on its productive value. Farms are divided into eight groups based upon land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8.
 
The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing the productive values for all farms by about 5 percent. State lawmakers' deadline to reject that proposal was this past weekend. It means the new values will be in place for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.
 
The tax commission estimates the change will mean about 10 cents more tax per acre. The commission says the last change in productive values took effect in 1995.
Monday, 10 March 2014 13:32
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Monday, 10 March 2014 11:36
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A preliminary hearing date is now set for Craig Michael Wood, the middle-school football coach accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in Springfield, Mo.
 
A judge last week scheduled Wood's preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. April 2 at the Greene County Courthouse. Wood remains jailed without bond. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence for a case to go to trial.
 
Fourth-grader Hailey Owens was killed in February. Police say she was walking near her Springfield home when she was abducted. Authorities say her body was found in Wood's basement later that day.
 
Monday, 10 March 2014 11:24
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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Costs of rebuilding and repairs since the May 2011 tornado that hit Joplin and Duquesne have topped $1 billion.
 
The Joplin Globe reports the city of Joplin recorded just over $991 million in repairs and new construction since the tornado, with another $46 million for two school projects just outside city limits and an estimated $5 million in Duquesne.
 
The May 22, 2011 tornado did millions of dollars in damage and killed 161 people in Joplin and Duquesne, a village about just east of Joplin.
 
Joplin officials say the rebuilding signified that most people decided to stay, rather than leave the devastated area. The city of Joplin reported a population decline of only 4 to 4.5 percent from its pre-tornado census of 50,150.
Monday, 10 March 2014 11:22
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Now that the worst of winter is apparently over, the Missouri Department of Transportation is enlisting the help of motorists in the effort to fill potholes on state-maintained roadways.
 
MoDOT officials say the goal is to fill potholes as quickly as possible once they are reported. Maintenance workers will use asphalt for a temporary fix until permanent repairs can be made.
 
This winter has been especially hard on roads, with rising-and-falling temperatures and a lot of snow and freezing rain that required massive amounts of road salt.
 
Drivers reporting potholes can call 888-275-6636, or go to MoDOT's website or social media platforms.
Monday, 10 March 2014 11:20
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Monday, 10 March 2014 09:43
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