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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A potential Republican primary for governor is stirring anxieties among some party officials who want to patch over the divisions that have hurt Republicans in recent statewide elections.

At an annual Republican conference in Springfield this weekend, many party officials highlighted the need for unity.

That encouragement came as several Republicans already are positioning themselves for a potential 2016 gubernatorial campaign.

Catherine Hanaway already has announced her gubernatorial candidacy. Auditor Tom Schweich also is expected to run for governor, though he first faces re-election this year, and businessman John Brunner also is contemplating a gubernatorial run. All were networking among fellow Republicans at the convention.

Republicans have faced contentious primaries for U.S. Senate and governor in 2012 and 2008. Democrats ultimately have won those races.

Sunday, 23 February 2014 08:56
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Sam says he wants to be known as just a football player, hopeful his sexuality soon won't be a story.

The defensive end from Missouri made his first public appearance Saturday since announcing he's gay. He said at the NFL scouting combine he's not worried about the way he'll be treated once he enters the league.

Sam smiled and laughed often during a 12½-minute news conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, looking relaxed and confident.

Sam is projected as a mid-round pick in the draft in May. He says he doesn't care what position he plays, as long as he can rush the passer.

Sunday, 23 February 2014 08:54
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man considered a bully by some of his St. Louis neighbors has been sentenced to one year of probation for harassment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 44-year-old Dan Scott was sentenced Friday on a misdemeanor count. Judge Michael Noble also ordered Scott to perform 40 hours of community service and undergo anger-management training.

Prosecutors and other critics, including a veteran alderman, called Scott a volatile bully who uses fear and intimidation in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Concerns were so great that a judge barred Scott from his neighborhood for nearly two years.

But supporters say Scott's youth boxing gym and chess club helped troubled youths. Scott, testifying at his trial, said the charges were part of an effort to force him out of the neighborhood.

Saturday, 22 February 2014 08:22
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Police say they have found child pornography at the southwest Missouri home of a middle-school football coach accused in the kidnapping and killing of a 10-year-old girl.

Search warrants released Friday by Springfield police say they found a three-ring binder containing pornographic photos of young children at the home of 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood.

Officers also seized computers, cameras, 15 guns, 30 video recordings and a hat believed to have been worn by fourth-grader Hailey Owens.

Wood is accused of snatching the child as she walked home from her best friend's house this week. Neighbors said they watched in horror and unsuccessfully gave chase as Hailey was pulled into a pickup truck that quickly sped away.

At his brief Friday morning arraignment, public defender Chris Hatley said Wood plans to contest the charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action in the fourth-grader's death.

Wood appeared via video from the Greene County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

Saturday, 22 February 2014 08:20
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri says it has restored power to nearly all of the roughly 67,000 customers who lost electricity during strong storms and high winds.

The unsettled weather on Thursday brought wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour. Most of the outages to Ameren customers occurred in the St. Louis area.

The St. Louis-based utility said about 1,500 customers were still without electricity late Friday afternoon. Crews expected to have all power restored by late last night.

Ameren brought workers from other parts of Missouri to the St. Louis area to help with the recovery.

Saturday, 22 February 2014 08:18
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A man accused of taking part in a deadly robbery in the Central West End, is set to appear in court today.

 

Johnathan Perkins is charged with second-degree murder connected to the shooting death of Megan Boken. Keith Esters pleaded guilty in November and was given life in prison.

 

Prosecutors say the two tried to steal Boken's cell phone in 2012 and ended up shooting and killing her.

Friday, 21 February 2014 14:37
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State officials are projecting that 24,000 new jobs would be created if Missouri chooses to expand its Medicaid program.
 
The Department of Economic Development said Friday that raising the program's eligibility to levels called for by the federal health care law would bring $9.9 billion in new wages to the state.
 
Gov. Jay Nixon has asked lawmakers to expand the program to include adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level - a little less than $33,000 annually for a family of four. Nixon's administration estimates that 300,000 Missourians could join the program under those levels.
 
The Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected expanding the program and argued the state couldn't afford it. But a Republican House member introduced legislation this week that would partially expand the program.
 
Friday, 21 February 2014 14:33
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The police chiefs in Missouri's two largest cities are asking the state Supreme Court for guidance on red-light camera ordinances, which are increasingly being called into question.
 
St. Louis chief Sam Dotson and Kansas City chief Darryl Forte wrote to the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday, saying that inconsistent rulings from lower courts have led to confusion for police and municipalities that operate red-light cameras.
 
It wasn't clear if or when the Supreme Court would take up the issue. A message left with a court spokeswoman on Friday was not returned.
 
Dozens of Missouri communities use the cameras. Police say they can save lives at dangerous intersections. Opponents question their constitutionality and contend the cameras are aimed at generating revenue, not public safety.
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:50
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A northeast Missouri man is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Kansas City Chiefs fan in a parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium.
 
Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the charge Friday against 25-year-old Joshua T. Bradley of Independence. He was arrested early Friday and is being held on $75,000 bond.
 
Smithville resident Kyle Van Winkle died after being confronted by a group of fans Dec. 1 when he was found in the wrong vehicle in the parking lot. Police say the Jeep looked like one that Van Winkle rode in to the game.
 
Peters Baker said Friday that Bradley hit Van Winkle more than once during the confrontation.
 
An autopsy found that Van Winkle died from a blow to the head.
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:49
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CHICAGO (AP) - Cook County Clerk David Orr says he'll start issuing marriage licenses immediately for same-sex couples.
 
Orr made the announcement Friday, just after a federal judge ruled gay couples in the Chicago area don't have to wait until June to marry. That's when the state law is set to take effect.
 
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's order says there is no reason to delay same-sex marriages. Her finding applies only to Cook County.
 
Orr says he'll keep the downtown Chicago Bureau of Vital Records open an extra two hours on Friday evening - until 7 p.m. He says he's doing that to accommodate any couples who want to get marriage licenses after work. Only the downtown Chicago will issue same-sex licenses on Friday. All Cook County offices will offer licenses on Monday.
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:48
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