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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southern Missouri school district is ending a policy prohibiting same-sex couples from attending prom, a day after a national anti-discrimination group threatened to sue.

Scott County Central School District superintendent Alvin McFerren told The Associated Press Friday that the school board has agreed to revise a handbook policy that prohibits same-sex dates at school dances. McFerren says the policy was adopted 10-15 years ago because students were attending prom as couples simply to save money - the couples price was cheaper than the individual cost.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday threatened legal action on behalf of Stacy Dawson, a male student who wanted to attend prom with his boyfriend. McFerren says Dawson can attend the dance on April 20 with whomever he chooses.
Friday, 15 February 2013 14:27
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri has ended a search for a leader for its College of Education after controversy over a finalist's background as a psychologist at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the school is appointing the head of its faculty search committee as an interim replacement rather than hire retired Army Col. Larry James, or a second finalist from the University of Minnesota.

James is dean of professional psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. His 22-year military career includes two stints overseeing interrogations at the U.S. military detention centers.

Faculty and student critics said James was involved in abuse of detainees. He denied the charges.

James had also coordinated mental health resources at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Friday, 15 February 2013 14:24
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man facing a third murder trial after judges overturned two earlier convictions has been freed from jail and says he's overwhelmed.

Mark Woodworth walked out of the Livingston County jail at midday Friday and repeatedly said he was overwhelmed by the prospect of his new freedom. He thanked his friends and relatives for their support, hours after a judge's order releasing him on a $50,000 bond.

Woodworth has been serving a life sentence in the fatal shooting of Cathy Robertson, the wife of his father's farming partner. His latest conviction was thrown out in January when the Missouri Supreme Court ruled state prosecutors had failed to share evidence with Woodworth that could have helped his defense.

Attorney General Chris Koster quickly announced he would try Woodworth again.
Friday, 15 February 2013 14:19
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A multi-vehicle accident this morning along I-55 caused some headaches for drivers. Emergency crews responded around 8:30 near I-55 and Lindbergh in Jefferson County.

KMOV-TV reports a truck hauling a trailer ran off the road and overturned in a ditch. Another vehicle then came to rest on its side. All northbound lanes of I-55 were completely shut down. One person suffered minor injuries. 

 

 

Friday, 15 February 2013 10:47
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   A lawmaker from University City wants gun owners to give up their semi-automatic weapons. It's part of a bill introduced by  democratic state representative Rory Ellinger.   

     Owning an assault weapon in Missouri would be illegal under the democrat's bill.

    Ellinger filed a bill this week that would require gun owners to give up their semi-automatic weapons within 90 days of the measure's passage. Failure to surrender an assault weapon would result in a felony charge.

   It would also be illegal to manufacture or import such weapons in the state. The measure would exempt state and federal law enforcement from the ban.

   It's unlikely the Republican-led Legislature will act on it. 

Friday, 15 February 2013 11:05
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The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is working to increase diversity among its contractors and those who work for the contractors. In a recent settlement agreement stemming from a 2007 lawsuit, MSD is required to spend $4.7 billion over the next 23 years to implement sewer improvements throughout the city and county. Currently, MSD's goal for the project is to award 25% of its construction workforce for contracts to minority owned businesses. A recent disparity study suggested the company increase that number to 30%. The bidding process for contracts starts this spring. 

Friday, 15 February 2013 09:46
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New details emerging after a deadly confrontation between a homeowner and a young man in south city. 

 

It happened around 1:30 this morning (Friday) at a home on Tennessee and Winnebago, just south of Gravois Park. Police say the homeowner saw a young man in his backyard, went to investigate, then shot the intruder, who has now been identified as 15-year-old Demetrius Murphy. Police say Murphy was with a 17-year-old male at the time, and the two were in the process of burglarizing the victim's home. Under Missouri law, the 17-year-old could now face murder charges, since a person was killed during the attempted burglary. Police say the homeowner's actions appeared to be justified. 

Friday, 15 February 2013 09:35
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The top budget writer in the Missouri House has outlined a spending plan that omits Governor Jay Nixon's proposed Medicaid expansion.

The plan presented Thursday by Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream would also provide a smaller increase for public colleges and universities than Nixon had proposed for the 2014 fiscal year.

The Democratic governor wants to accept about $900 million from the federal government to expand Medicaid health care eligibility to nearly 260,000 lower-income adults. But Stream said he left that out of the budget because it runs contrary to Republican philosophy against bigger government.

Nixon had proposed a $34 million funding increase for colleges and universities. Stream's proposed budget pares that back to $20 million. It also provides less money for early childhood programs than Nixon had sought.
Friday, 15 February 2013 04:23
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A 13 year old Cross Keys Middle School student is in juvenile custody after bringing a gun to school Thursday.

Ferguson-Florissant District officials say the student had told his teacher that he'd brought something to school that he shouldn't have. The teacher contacted school administrators who called Florissant police. They took the student into custody.

The gun, a .38-caliper pistol, was unloaded, but the student did have one bullet in his possession.

The case is being turned over to the St. Louis County Family Court. Besides possible weapons charges, the student faces long-term suspension or possibly expulsion.
Friday, 15 February 2013 03:42
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A newly freed Illinois prison inmate is back behind bars, now accused of fatally beating a teenage honor student in southwestern Illinois nearly a quarter century ago.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County prosecutors in southwestern Illinois have charged 51 year old Carlos Garrett with first-degree murder in the death of Nicole Willis. Her partly clothed body was found near her Centreville home.

It's not immediately clear what prompted the murder counts against Garrett.

Until Monday, Garrett had been serving a six year prison term on a Montgomery County drug-distribution conviction.

Garrett remained jailed yesterday in Belleville on $1 million bond.

Online court records do not show whether he has an attorney.
Friday, 15 February 2013 02:19
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