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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is criticizing House budget writers for not going along with his plan for constructing a new mental health facility at Fulton State Hospital.
The governor wants to issue $198 million in bonds for the facility. He asked lawmakers for $14 million in the current state budget for initial bond payments, but the House Budget Committee did not include those funds in its proposal.
Nixon said Wednesday that he is "sick and tired" of inaction on the hospital and that its current conditions were a threat to patients and employees. Lawmakers say the funds weren't needed in the current budget.
The hospital opened in 1851 and is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River.
   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:12
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A proposal making it illegal to display what some are calling "revenge porn" is one step closer to becoming law.
The bill makes it a felony to post sexual material of another person on the internet without their consent. An Illinois Senate committee unanimously passed the bill Wednesday.
State Sen. Michael Hastings is sponsoring the measure. The Democrat from Orland Hills says "revenge porn" - often posted by angry ex-boyfriends, girlfriends or spouses - has serious harmful effects, even leading victims to commit suicide.
Mary Dixon is the legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. She says the organization is concerned the bill is too broad and would like to see some changes.
The legislation now moves to the Senate.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 13:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that would prohibit borrowers from getting a renewal on payday loans.
State law currently allows borrowers to renew their loans six times. A payday loan can be no larger than $500 and can run only from 14 to 31 days.
The legislation was given first-round approval Wednesday by voice vote. It needs another affirmative vote to move to the state House.
Sponsoring Sen. Mike Cunningham, a Rogersville Republican, says his bill would prevent borrowers from getting into a trap by continuing to renew a loan and accumulate interest. His bill would give borrowers an extended time period to pay back a loan with no additional interest or fees.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 13:16
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A survey finds that Illinois leads the nation in the amount "green" building space it has.
 
The U.S. Green Building Council announced its top states Tuesday for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - or LEED.
 
Illinois certified 171 projects representing 29 million square feet in 2013 - or 2.3 square feet per resident.
 
The Green Building Council says LEED buildings use sustainable building design. They use less energy and water, saving money and reducing carbon emissions.
 
Top LEED projects certified in Illinois in 2013 included the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie; a 57-story tower at 300 North LaSalle Street in Chicago; the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria; Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and Springfield's Workforce Careers Center at Lincoln Land Community College.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:58
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Supporters of raising the minimum wage are set to rally yet again.

 

The event will take place outside of City Hall in downtown St. Louis. Participants are urging leaders to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The Congressional Budget Office came out with a report saying that raising the bottom wage that much could result in tens of thousands of job losses.

 

The rally runs from 1 until 2 this afternoon.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:48
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MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in southern Illinois' Jefferson County say a man has been stabbed to death outside a gun club.
 
Coroner Eddie Joe Marks says 37-year-old Eric Houser died at a hospital after the altercation Tuesday night at the Mount Vernon Gun and Sportmen's Club.
 
There's no immediate word on any arrests or charges.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:09
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BRIDGETON, Mo. (AP) - Residents who live near a troubled landfill in St. Louis County are raising money for their own radiation monitors and seeking renewed government attention.
 
   The action comes after a surface fire broke out Sunday at Bridgeton Landfill. The landfill was already under scrutiny because of odor problems that prompted a lawsuit last year by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, and the presence of underground smoldering near where nuclear waste is buried.
 
   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that representatives for landfill owner Republic Services, the Pattonville Fire Protection District and emergency communications officials will meet next week, in part to review an emergency and evacuation plan.
 
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:05
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UPDATE: St. Louis, MO (KTRS)
Springfield police say 10-year-old Hailey Owens is dead.
 
Searchers found her body sometime this morning. Hailey was abducted around 5, Tuesday evening. Witnesses told investigators that a man in a pickup drove up and down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck. A neighbor told police he ran after the truck after seeing the abduction while his wife tried to get the license plate number.
 
Around midnight, police announced they had captured a suspect in the case. At a 6:30 press conference the police announced they had found Hailey. Police have identified the suspect as Craig Michael Wood.
 
 EARLIER:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Police have a suspect in custody in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri, but the girl remains missing.
Springfield police released a statement just before midnight Wednesday saying dozens of officers were still searching for Hailey Owens, but that a man had been taken into custody on kidnapping charges.
The suspect’s name hasn’t been released. Police say he was found inside a vehicle at a local home.
Witnesses told investigators a man in a gold-colored 2008 Ford Ranger drove down the street several times before approaching Hailey and pulling her into his truck around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Amber Alerts were issued in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Hailey is 5-foot-2, about 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing jean shorts and purple sandals.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 04:49
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have given first-round approval to legislation that would reward the state's four-year institutions for good performance with more funding.
 
Under the measure endorsed Tuesday, public universities would establish performance criteria. The criteria would be used to determine how much extra money the institutions get during years the state can afford to increase college funding.
 
Universities would work with the Department of Higher Education to establish five performance goals. A university's goals must include graduation and retention rates, as well as job placement statistics. The formula would expire in 2016.
 
Missouri is currently using a similar mechanism to fund the universities but the measure would put the change into law.
 
The bill needs another vote before moving to the House.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:49
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Authorities say they have found the body of missing SIU-Carbondale student, Pravin Varughese.

 

His family was offering a $15,000 reward to find the student. Authorities found his body in a heavily wooded area off of East Main Street.VAHR-eh-geez was last seen on Wednesday night at a part. Police believe he may have gotten into a fight or argument and he got a ride home from the party. Witnesses told police that he could not tell the driver where he lived, so he got out of the car.

 

He was found with all of his clothes, but he was not wearing a jacket. Authorities think he might have died of exposure and are not treating the death as a homicide.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:47
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