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Railroad officials say the man struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Pacific Wednesday night had been cutting across the tracks when the accident happened. Police say 20 year -old Zachary Brady was walking home from his job at a fast-food restaurant when Amtrak's Missouri River Runner train struck and killed him.

Police say this is the fourth serious accident along the Union Pacific line near the Fourth Street crossing in the last eight years -- two others were also fatal.

An Amtrak official told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that most accidents involving pedestrians could be avoided if people wouldn't trespass on railroad tracks. Trespasser fatalities have become the leading cause of railroad deaths.
Friday, 08 March 2013 02:29
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Police are looking for three suspects after a promising young boxer was shot and killed outside a University City nightclub around midnight Wednesday night.

The victim, 20 year old Preston Freeman was a north county native who'd been living and training in Salinas, California.

Police say Freeman had been involved in an altercation inside the Escalade Bar and Grill in the 7800 block of Olive before it spilled onto the parking lot. Investigators say Freeman was shot in the chest during a hail of gunfire. His friends drove him to the hospital where he later died.

Three black men were seen fleeing in a maroon Chevy Impala East on Olive. Anyone with information is urged to call University City police at 314-725-2211 ext. 8010 or Crime Stoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
Friday, 08 March 2013 01:47
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Evening rush will be slowed in one direction on the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

MoDOT has closed one lane of Westbound I-255 on the bridge for urgent repairs. Crews are working to repair a bridge joint. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.

Work should be finished in time for the Friday morning rush.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:54
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment rose to 9 percent in January.

That was up from 8.7 percent in December and back to almost the 9.1 percent rate of January 2012.

Department Director Jay Rowell blamed the uneven recovery the state has experienced since the recession.

The number of unemployed people in the state rose by 4 percent to 594,800. The state added a relatively small 7,100 jobs in January.

The biggest job losses were among companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector where the state lost a net 5,500 jobs in January. Government agencies also shed a net 1,500 jobs. Educational and health services employers added 5,500 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January. That was slightly higher than December.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:40
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation aimed at increasing the transparency of initiative petitions that bypass the Legislature to put proposed laws or constitutional amendments on statewide ballots.

Sponsors of the petitions must gather signatures from registered voters for their proposal to qualify for the ballot.

Under the House legislation, the secretary of state's office would offer a public comment period after a proposal is submitted. For those proposals that actually qualify for the ballot, the Joint Committee on Legislative Research would hold a public hearing.

The bill would also make it a misdemeanor to intimidate or obstruct someone who is trying to sign an initiative petition.

The House approved the measure Thursday on a vote of 151-3. It now moves to the state Senate.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:38
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a term limits bill that would let lawmakers serve longer in the House or Senate but not spend more total time in the Legislature.

Currently, lawmakers generally are limited to eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. A proposed constitutional amendment would let officials serve 16 years in the Legislature. The time could be spent entirely in one chamber or split between the two.

House members passed the measure 121-31 on Thursday, sending it to the Senate. The proposal would appear on the ballot if it passes the Legislature.

Backers of the proposal say the change would allow the Legislature to operate better. The advocacy group U.S. Term Limits says the proposal is an effort to "cling to office."
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:30
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon is opposing a tax overhaul plan backed by the Missouri Senate because it contains a sales tax increase.

Nixon said Thursday that the proposed one-half cent sales tax hike would be especially harmful to seniors and veterans on fixed incomes and also could also hurt working-class parents trying to provide for their children.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday night by the Republican-led Senate also includes a three-quarters of a percentage point decrease in the state income tax for individuals and businesses. That income tax cut would more than offset the sales tax hike, resulting in an estimated $450 million loss in state revenues once both tax changes are fully phased in.

The legislation needs another Senate vote before it can move to the House.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:22
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URBANA, Ill. (AP) - Students applying to get into the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus will be able to apply online next year. But they won't be using an online process that allows students to apply to many colleges with one application.

The News-Gazette in Champaign reports that the university is developing its own online application for the Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses. Students applying to the Chicago campus can already use the Common Application Consortium that also covers more than 450 schools.

A university committee has decided that the $500,000 annual cost of the Common Application Consortium to the university's flagship campus outweighed its benefits. The university says an in-house system will cost about $50,000 a year.

The Springfield campus has an online application system. It also doesn't use the Common Application Consortium.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:20
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Florida man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for a sweepstakes scam that cost an eastern Missouri couple more than $250,000.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Thursday that Patrick Percival Wilson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of stealing by deceit and one count of unlawful merchandising practices. The attorney general's office was appointed special prosecutor in the case.

Koster says an elderly couple from Perryville was scammed into believing they won a sweepstakes of $85 million. Wilson and his colleagues convinced the couple to send money to pay taxes and fees for their winnings.

Wilson told authorities that he received at least $67,000 of the money. The rest was sent to Jamaica.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:13
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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Northwest Missouri State says it plans to close what is commonly known as its Home Economics department after the spring semester.

The university says the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences department is the victim of budget cuts. The department has been an academic division at the university in Maryville since 1908, although the name changed several times.

Courses teaching skills such as merchandising, child and family studies, nutrition and diet will be taught in other departments.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports (http://bit.ly/13IBK9e ) only three of the six full-time staff members and one part-time employee will remain after this year.

Child and family studies is being downgraded to a minor, while merchandising will no longer be a degree program.

A banquet celebrating the department will be held next Tuesday.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 11:43
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