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Governor Jay Nixon's plan to expand Medicaid in Missouri has encountered a new wrinkle of opposition from some lawmakers. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee raised concerns Monday that the Medicaid expansion could hurt the state's credit rating.

Missouri currently enjoys a triple-A rating.

But Moody's Investors Service last week assigned a negative outlook to Missouri because of the proportion of the state budget that already comes from the federally and state-funded Medicaid program.

If Missouri expands Medicaid eligibility as called for in the federal Healthcare Reform Act, it would get billions of dollars more from the federal government in coming years.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:31
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CARRIER MILLS, Ill. (AP) - Caterpillar Inc. and police say an explosion at one of the company's southern Illinois sites where mining equipment is repaired left one worker hospitalized and heavily damaged a building.

Caterpillar spokesman Rusty Dunn says it's unclear what caused the blast and fire yesterday morning in an unattached paint building. That building was heavily damaged. Saline County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tracy Felty says it happened near the village of Carrier Mills.

Dunn says an unidentified employee sustained burns and was taken to a St. Louis-area hospital. His medical status was not immediately known.

The Carrier Mills site and a related site in nearby Norris City together employ about 70 people. It's not clear how many workers were at the Carrier Mills location when the explosion happened.

Carrier Mills is about 140 miles southeast of St. Louis.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:12
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As the race for St. Louis Mayor heats up, the jabs are getting more pointed. The Domcratic candidates, incumbent Mayor Francis Slay, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed and former Alderman Jimmie Matthews, squared off in a second forum Monday. All three talked about crime, education and redevelopment. And then the mud slinging began.

Mayor Francis Slay chided Democratic rival Lewis Reed for not releasing his tax returns. The Aldermanic President drew a contrast between his returns and Slay's. Reed said it would be a different matter for him to release his joint tax returns since his wife was a working lawyer and the Mayors was a "stay-at-home mother."

Reed then accused Slay of creating a personal "slush fund" with more than 150-thousand dollars left over in the Citizens for a Stronger St. Louis fund -- the campaign committee aimed at keeping the city’s earnings tax intact. Slay denied that.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that committee treasurer Brad Ketcher said the campaign fund was converted into a nonprofit organization after the election.

St. Louis' Democratic primary election is March 5th. The winner will face Green Party candidate James McNeely in the general election.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:40
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Developer Paul McKee will be in Jefferson City Tuesday, trying to save his stalled NorthSide Regeneration project. The McEagle Properties chairman will ask the House Economic Development Committee to extend the tax credit program he's been using to amass land for the project.

The $95 million Distressed Areas Land Assemblage credit was passed in 2007 and will expire this August.

McKee's company has received more than $40 million so far and amassed 2,200 parcels of land in north St. Louis for the project. But McKee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's needs to buy another 500 parcels for contiguous sites.

The NorthSide project calls for new and refurbished homes, retail and manufacturing space, along with schools and medical facilities on a two square mile area just north of downtown.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:45
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The St. Louis Police need help to find a man who tried to rob a south city Bank of America on January 28.

Police say the suspect never showed a weapon during the attempted robbery and ran away before getting any cash. The suspect is described as a black male, about 40 years old and around six feet tall.

CrimeStoppers is offering a 1,000 dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Monday, 11 February 2013 17:33
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A suburban St. Louis couple's $5 million donation to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine will go toward improving research for drugs used to fight cancer in both animals and people.

The university announced the estate gift from Cottrell and Kay Fox of Town and Country on Monday.

The university says the couple wanted to recognize their longtime family veterinarians, James Schuessler and Fred Bendick of St. Louis, who both graduated from the college.

The university says in a news release that the Foxes' gift will support an endowment in companion animal medicine. It also will fund research to develop treatments for people and animals with cancer and improve training for graduate students and veterinary oncology residents.

Cottrell Fox is a 1971 graduate of the university's journalism school.
Monday, 11 February 2013 16:24
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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police believe investigators have broken up an auto-theft operation by raiding a southwestern Illinois storage lot where they say they found suspected stolen vehicles and $300,000 worth of fine china.

No charges have been filed in connection with last week's search of a Granite City business where investigators say they found three stolen vehicles and a tractor-trailer.

Illinois State Police said Monday that officers stopped a tractor-trailer leaving the business and found two stolen vehicles inside the trailer. A subsequent search of the lot uncovered a possibly stolen 1997 Cadillac, a 2000 Lexus and a tractor-trailer in addition to the dishware.

The investigation involves officials from Illinois State Police and regional law-enforcement agencies.
Monday, 11 February 2013 16:19
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Some Missouri environmental groups say the state's major utilities are not following renewable energy requirements.

The Columbia Missourian reports that eight environmental advocacy organizations filed complaints with the Missouri Public Service Commission in late January against Ameren Missouri, Empire District Electric Co. and Kansas City Power & Light.

A 2008 law approved by Missouri voters required investor-owned utilities to generate at least 2 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2011. That requirement increases to 10 percent in 2018 and 15 percent by 2021. Utilities that didn't meet the standard could buy power from other sources to help cover the gap.

The utilities say they are following the law
Monday, 11 February 2013 16:14
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A St. Louis man is accused of breaking into a south city home, then kidnapping and raping a teenage girl.

Timothy Gilbert faces a dozen charges including kidnapping, sexual abuse, and rape. Police say Gilbert broke into the home in the 3900 block of Delor then took the 16-year-old girl at knife point. That is when Gilbert allegedly spit on the girl and raped her. Investigators say they found Gilbert's DNA on the victim's bra.

He is being held on a 75,000 dollar bond.
Monday, 11 February 2013 15:20
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Messages in a high school bathroom prompted the evacuation of Bourbon High School.

The high school students were moved to the nearby middle school while Crawford County deputies investigate the threat. District officials contacted parents about the incident and no students at the middle school were being released.
Monday, 11 February 2013 14:56
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