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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Attorneys for Missouri death row inmate Michael Taylor continue the effort to spare his life, even as a federal judge has turned down some of his requests for a stay of execution.
 
U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips on Monday refused to halt the execution based on separate claims that Missouri's one-drug execution method could cause a painful death, and that the state in three recent executions put inmates to death while court cases were still pending. Taylor's attorney, John Simon, appealed to a federal appeals court.
 
Phillips is still considering another stay request, a claim that Taylor had an ineffective attorney at his original trial.
 
Taylor faces execution at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old Kansas City girl in 1989.
 
Monday, 24 February 2014 13:14
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Police in Columbia, Illinois are hoping the public can help locate a suspected truck thief.

 

Investigators say Jeremy Davis and two suspects stole a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer filled with construction equipment last week. Davis’ last known address was in Waterloo, but police believe he is currently staying in St. Louis.

 

Anyone who has information on Davis' whereabouts is asked to call the Columbia, Illinois police 618-281-5151.

Monday, 24 February 2014 12:50
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Monday, 24 February 2014 09:26
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Average retail gasoline prices in St. Louis rose 9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.27 per gallon on Sunday.  

This is according to GasBuddy's daily survey of nearly one thousand gas outlets in St. Louis. The national average has increased 5 cents per gallon in the last week and stands at  $3.40 a gallon.

Gas prices in St. Louis during the past week are 37 cents per gallon lower than at the same time one year ago. Even though the national average has increased more than 12 cents per gallon during the last month, it still stands 33 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago. 

Monday, 24 February 2014 09:12
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members could consider a proposal that would require voters to show official photo identification at the polls.
There are two elements. A constitutional amendment requiring voter approval would allow a photo ID, and a bill would outline the details in state law.
House Majority Leader John Diehl says the chamber could work on the proposal this week. Lawmakers have sought to enact the requirement previously in Missouri.
Republican supporters contend the policy is needed to help prevent election fraud, while Democratic opponents say it can disenfranchise voters.
 
Monday, 24 February 2014 09:03
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Candidates for Congress and state offices will line up at the secretary of state's office in the state capital this week to file for the 2014 election.
 Filing opens on Tuesday and runs until March 25. Candidates showing up on Tuesday will participate in a random drawing to determine whose name shows up first on the August primary ballot.
 All 163 state House seats are up for re-election, as well as 17 Senate seats. The Republicans currently hold 108 seats in the House and have 24 of the Senate's 34 spots.
 The state auditor's race is the only statewide contest on the ballot. Republican Auditor Tom Schweich is seeking re-election and has no announced Democratic opposition.
 All eight of Missouri's U.S. House members also face re-election.
Monday, 24 February 2014 07:33
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   Boeing officials expect their new contract with machinists to help the aerospace company better compete for new business.  Members of Machinists District 837 approved a 7 1/2 year contract extension on Sunday.
   The new contract was approved by Boeing machinists Sunday.  It will buy out many veteran workers and cut pay for new hires brought in to replace them. Raises and benefits would also be locked in through mid 2022.
   Boeing officials have said the cut in expenses will allow assembly lines in St. Louis to remain more competitive beyond 2016, when the current F-18 Super Hornet order is due to be completed.  
   But some union members claim hundreds of older workers are being left out of the buyout, while having their pensions cut.  Paul Miller tells Fox 2 News that he's getting nothing from the new contract. "They got us broken up into three groups now," he said.  "And they're taking care of the new hires.  And they're taking care of the retirees.  But us group, the people that are here in middle, they're not taking care of us."
    Still, members of Machinists District 837 approved the contract extension with a nearly 3-1 margin. 
 
Monday, 24 February 2014 04:53
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   The seat of justice in downtown St. Louis is also a cutting edge security system testing ground.  
   A pilot program approved by St. Louis judges in December is using facial recognition technology to spot individuals who are known threats before they can get past the front doors.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the courthouse is one of three downtown locations testing the new screening system developed by Blue Line Security Solutions, a group of current and former St. Louis police officers.  
   Other facial recognition systems snap pictures of everyone in camera range and try to ID them. The Blue Line system is loaded with images of specific people who've already been deemed a threat and then scans visitors looking for a match.  
   The St. Louis Circuit Court is testing the program for free.  The cost of using the system after the testing period is over has yet to be determined.  
Monday, 24 February 2014 04:50
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   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- After 19 rounds in a Missouri county's annual spelling bee over the weekend, only two of the 25 contestants who started the competition remained.
   Several hours and 47 rounds later, an 11 year old and her 13 year old adversary had used up all of the available words, forcing organizers of the Jackson County Spelling Bee to temporarily halt the showdown.
   "It was legendary," said Mary Olive Thompson, a library outreach manager and co-coordinator of the Saturday spelling bee.
   Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary School in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation in Kansas City, buzzed through the list of words provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Then they ran through a list of about 20 additional words bee officials picked out of their Merriam-Webster's 11th Edition during the lunch break, The Kansas City Star reported.
   But bee officials decided not to pull more words from the dictionary because they worried one speller might get a tough word and the other a relatively easy one, which wouldn't be fair.
   Plus, Thompson said, at "about 2 o'clock, I think we were all really tired."
   Saturday's competition went 66 rounds, she said, while last year's bee ended after only 21.
   "Scherzo," "fantoccini" and "intaglio" were among the words Kush correctly spelled in the late rounds, while Sophia nailed words such as "schadenfreude, "mahout" and "barukhzy."
   Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."
   With the winner moving on to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C., in May, both contestants were at the top of their game in the final rounds Saturday, Thompson said
   "Sophia and Kush's eyes were just bright and glowing," she said. "It was almost magical."
   The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site.
Monday, 24 February 2014 01:16
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal proposal to clean up the smoke from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers.
   Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed to flow from new residential wood-powered heaters.
   Some manufacturers contend the proposed standards are so stringent that the higher production costs would either force them out of business or make their products unaffordable to lower- and middle-income consumers.
   In Missouri, some lawmakers are fighting back with state legislation seeking to discourage the enforcement of tougher standards on wood-burning stoves. Concerns over wood-stove pollution and regulations also have been simmering in other states, including in some places where local officials are pushing for stronger environmental standards.
   
 
Monday, 24 February 2014 00:41
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