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Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:56
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   Boeing Machinists in St. Louis will vote Sunday on a new contract.  

   The tentative deal reached yesterday is designed to lower the cost of making fighter jets and avoid layoffs here.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the deal sweetens buyouts for veteran workers and cuts wages for many future hires, while setting raises, bonuses and benefits through 2022.  

   Boeing officials say the changes are needed in order to reduce the cost of building the F/A 18 Super Hornet, with the hopes of keeping the line going after 2016.  

   The union vote comes one day before the Pentagon releases its next fiscal budget, which isn't expected to include any new Super Hornets for the Navy.  

   Boeing officials plan to ask Congress to add 20 new Super Hornets when they revised the budget. 

   

Thursday, 20 February 2014 04:25
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   Military personnel cuts will take a big bite out of Fort Leonard Wood.  The largest base in Missouri is expected to lose one-thousand soldiers by October 2015 as part of budget cutting across the U.S. military.
   Fort Leonard Wood CO, Army Major General Leslie Smith outlined the cuts Wednesday at a town hall meeting on the base. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about seven-thousand people in uniform work at the base, known mainly for training new recruits, military police and engineers.  The paper reports the cuts will come from Forces Command, a less visible group that deploys soldiers overseas.  
   Personnel cuts are also expected to affect Scott Air Force Base, but the extent of those cuts isn't yet known.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:32
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   Officials in northwest Missouri have issued an Endangered Person Advisory for a 23 month old girl taken from her grandmother's home by her non-custodial mother.  
   The Harrison County Sheriff's says Caiden Stanton is believed to be with her mother, Calley Stanton.  Police say the 27 year old woman may have been under the influence of illegal substances when she took the child from her Bethany, Missouri home Wednesday morning.  
   Both mother and daughter are described as fair skinned with red hair.  The pair may be traveling in a black, 1990's Ford Taurus with Missouri tags.  
   Anyone with information is urged to call 9-1-1.
 
Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:14
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   A lucky lottery player in California is the newest Powerball millionaire.  Lottery officials say one ticket, sold at a Chevron station near San Jose, is the sole winner in Wednesdat night's $425 million Powerball drawing.  

   The winning numbers drawn were: 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 with a Powerball of 34.  

   There were no million-dollar winners in Missouri.  Lottery officials report that two people in Missouri matched four white balls and the Powerball.  One of them used the Power-play to triple the $10,000 prize.

Thursday, 20 February 2014 02:53
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) — Neighbors watched in horror as a 10-year-old southwest Missouri girl was snatched off the street just blocks from her home.
   Some had spotted a man in a gold Ford Ranger pickup truck driving down the road in Springfield several times before taking off with the girl, investigators said. The residents even called 911 to report the truck's license number.
   But the vehicle moved too quickly. And Hailey Owens was gone.
   Now prosecutors have charged Craig Michael Wood with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action. In filing the charges Wednesday, they alleged that the 45-year-old middle school football coach and teacher's aide abducted Hailey as she walked home from a friend's house Tuesday.
   A probable cause statement said the fourth-grader's body was found stuffed in two trash bags inside plastic storage containers in the basement of Wood's Springfield home. She had been shot in the head, according to Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson.
   The basement floor was still damp from bleach, according to the probable cause statement.
   Authorities won't officially confirm that the body is Hailey's until after an autopsy, but Springfield Police Paul Williams said "we have a high degree of confidence" in the preliminary identification, which indicates that it is the girl.
   According to the probable cause statement, resident Michelle Edwards told police she and her husband were in their garage when saw a pickup truck approach the girl, who was holding a cellphone. She said the driver asked the girl for directions before he grabbed her with one hand and threw her into the truck "like a rag doll."
   Another resident, Ricky Riggins, told the Springfield News-Leader that he chased the fleeing pickup in his car after a neighbor tried to pull the girl away.
   "I couldn't keep up," Riggins said. "He was probably five to six cars ahead of me. ... It was so fast."
   Wood was inside a truck parked outside his home when police arrested him Tuesday night. The probable cause statement said he was holding a roll of duct tape when officers arrived.
   The truck is registered to Wood's father, Jim Wood, who told police he loaned the vehicle to his son. The father, who lives in nearby Ash Grove, declined an interview request from The Associated Press.
   He and the girl apparently didn't know each other. Hailey attended Westport Elementary School; Wood worked at Pleasant View School.
   "There's no connection that we've been able to determine at this time between the victim and the suspect," Williams said.
   Springfield school officials said Wood is a seventh-grade football coach and teacher's aide who supervises in-school suspensions at Pleasant View, which has students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
   Norm Ridder, the Springfield district's superintendent, said in a statement Wednesday that Wood began working for the district in August 1998. He said Wood has been suspended since his arrest.
   Wood was initially hired as a temporary employee who worked as a substitute teacher before he was hired full time in 2006, school district spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe said later Wednesday. He has coached football at Pleasant View since 1998 and was also an assistant boys' basketball coach.
   "He met all of our qualifications for employment," Bledsoe said, noting that the Springfield district has a more rigorous background check requirement than state law, with an additional screening designed to detect substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect as well as any past criminal violations.
   Online court records show Wood had little criminal history. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 1990 in Greene County and was fined $100. Wood also was convicted in 2001 for illegal taking of wildlife, a misdemeanor.
   Williams said police have no idea of a motive for the killing. He said Wood has not talked to investigators since his arrest.
   Joe Bridges, a local music promoter who organized a candlelight vigil for Hailey scheduled for Saturday, told The Associated Press that residents in the city of 162,000 are collectively mourning the child's abduction and death.
   "The community is walking around right now with a very heavy heart," said Bridges, who described himself as a distant relative of Hailey but said he didn't know her well. "Everybody is just speechless."
Thursday, 20 February 2014 02:39
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CHICAGO (AP) - Former Illini track and field athlete Aja Evans has won a bronze medal in the two-man bobsled at the Sochi Olympics.
Evans is from Chicago. She was paired with Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa. They grabbed the bronze on Wednesday.
 
The win gives the U.S. two Olympic women's bobsled medal winners for the first time. The team of Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams won the silver. Canada took the gold.
 
Evans and Greubel won with a time of 3 minutes, 51.61 seconds.
 
The University of Illinois said in a Wednesday release that Evans was a five-time All-American and three-time Big Ten shot put champions at Illinois from 2007 to 2010. Evans switched to bobsledding in March 2012.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:37
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The head of the Missouri Corrections Department is remaining silent on whether the state has enough of its execution drug to carry out next week's scheduled lethal injection.
 
Director George Lombardi told the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday that he couldn't comment on the state's drug supply. But he did say the state cannot stockpile pentobarbital produced by a compounding pharmacy because of its shelf life.
 
The Oklahoma-based Apothecary Shoppe agreed this week to not supply the drug to Missouri for its next execution.
 Michael Taylor is scheduled to die Feb. 26 for the abduction, rape and murder of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl. Gov. Jay Nixon has said the department is prepared to carry out the execution.
 
Republicans on the Senate committee said it's important to impose the death penalty.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri state senator wants to give the Corrections Department flexibility on how it carries out executions.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow the department to execute inmates by any lawful means. Current law permits executions only by lethal gas or chemicals.
 
Schaefer, of Columbia, says legal questions over Missouri's current use of pentobarbital shouldn't be used to block capital punishment in the state. He says his bill would give the department the necessary flexibility to carry out death sentences.
 
Missouri's next scheduled execution is Feb. 26, but its current drug supplier has said it will no longer sell compounded pentobarbital for use in lethal injections. State officials won't say whether the state has enough of the drug to proceed with next week's execution.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:19
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 SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Police say the body of a missing 10-year-old girl has been found in southwest Missouri.
Police Chief Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says search crews found a body they believe is Hailey Owens inside a suspect's Springfield home on Wednesday.
 Witnesses told police that Hailey was taken by a man in a pickup truck Tuesday evening.
 Forty-five-year-old grade school coach Craig Michael Wood is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder in Hailey's disappearance. Wood was arrested late Tuesday inside a vehicle parked outside his house. Formal charges have not been filed.
The Springfield School District says Wood is a coach and teacher's aide at a school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Hailey did not attend that school, and Williams says the two apparently didn't know each other.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:30
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