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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.
 
Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.
 
Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.
 
But Hunter's plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost the state jobs.
 
Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven't been approved in Illinois.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:34
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   A Missouri House committee is considering a bill that would make last month's visit by a TV reporter to Kirkwood High School a felony.  The KSDK reporter's visit prompted a lockdown after he wandered off unescorted and school administrators were unable to reach the TV station to verify he was working on a story about school security.  

   The bill's sponsor Richmond Heights Democrat Stacey Newman tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that information about school security needs to be private to ensure that procedures are effective.  

   But not everyone on the Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee agrees.  Kansas City Democrat Brandon Ellington says it would be passing a bill to stop people from exposing the holes in a system that shouldn't have holes.  

   The station has apologized for the incident.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 03:10
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   A compounding pharmacy in Oklahoma won't be the one providing Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an upcoming execution.  Court documents filed Monday show that death row inmate Michael Taylor has reached an agreement with The Apothecary Shoppe in Tulsa.  Under the deal, the pharmacy won't prepare or provide pentobarbital or any other drug for use in Taylor's execution.  

   Taylor's attorney, Matt Hellman, says the pharmacy has not already provided any such drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for Taylor's execution which is scheduled for February 26.

   Missouri Corrections officials have said Taylor's execution will go on as scheduled, but it's not clear where the state will get the necessary drug for lethal injection, or if the state already has enough pentobarbitol on hand for the task. 

   Taylor has pleaded guilty to the 1989 abduction, rape and murder of a 15 year old Kansas City girl.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:37
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Last week's Heat Up St. Louis event, the Hardee's Rise and Shine, was a record-setting effort.

 

60 area Hardee's restaurants took part in the event. They took in $165,000 from the sale on $1 sausage breakfast sandwiches and donations given to 600 volunteers.

 

The money is used to help seniors and the needy pay heating bills.

Monday, 17 February 2014 15:54
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Police say a 23-year-old woman shot and killed her aunt on Sunday.

 

Jamie Onkle is charged with second-degree murder connected to the death of Wendy Hall-Onkle. It's not clear what led to the shooting. Onkle is held on a quarter-million dollar bond.

Monday, 17 February 2014 15:48
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A medical examiner says an 18-year-old Illinois man found dead in a University of Missouri dormitory room in October died from natural causes.
 
Boone County Chief Medical Examiner Carl Stacy says Gregory G. Holthaus, of Highland, Ill., died from sudden cardiac arrest caused by an enlarged heart.
 
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Holthaus was found dead Oct. 13 in the Pershing group of residence halls in Columbia. He was visiting a friend who was a Missouri student.
 
Stacy's report was released to the Tribune late Friday. It says no medications or drugs, and only a small amount of alcohol, was found in Holthaus' system.
 
The report said Holthaus woke up, took a shower and ate Oct. 13, and a friend found him dead about three hours later.
Monday, 17 February 2014 14:45
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two bills making their way through Missouri's Republican-led Legislature represent the state's latest attempt to oppose the federal health care law.
 
Senators passed measures last week that would impose additional regulations on insurance navigators, who help consumers sign up for health plans on the exchange marketplace.
 
One bill would require navigators to take a written exam and undergo a criminal background check before working with consumers. Another would require navigators to purchase a $100,000 bond and be liable for unlawfully sharing a customer's personal or financial information.
 
Republicans say the measures would protect Missourians from fraud. But Democratic opponents say the bills are designed to block access to health care.
Monday, 17 February 2014 13:25
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A pair of suspects connected to a Highland, Illinois bank robbery are in custody.

 

Police say the first man was captured in Highland on Sunday night. The second man was found early Monday morning in Michigan.

 

Police and the FBI do not believe there are any more suspects. 

Monday, 17 February 2014 13:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The state of Missouri faces the loss of nearly $70 million this year in tobacco settlement payments due to a unique pricing advantage enjoyed by some cigarette companies.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri is the only state which signed a landmark settlement agreement more than 15 years ago to not eliminate a loophole allowing small cigarette manufacturers and retailers to avoid making escrow payments. The payments are required of companies that didn't sign the settlement.
 
State lawmakers have refused requests by two Missouri attorney generals over the past 12 years to neutralize the pricing advantage. And a federal arbitration panel found that Gov. Jay Nixon neglected to file lawsuits against the smaller tobacco companies to force them to pay into the escrow fund when he was attorney general.
 
Missouri could also lose tens of millions in tobacco money each year for at least seven years.
Monday, 17 February 2014 12:40
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   CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago-area family of a missing Southern Illinois University student is offering a reward for information in the 19-year-old sophmore's disappearance.
   Authorities say Pravin Varughese has been missing since Wednesday. His family says they are offering a $15,000 reward. His sister, Priya Varughese, says family members "just want him home." She says her brother, a cousin and a roommate were at a party the night he disappeared.
   Carbondale Police Sgt. Rich Brunner says officers have searched for Pravin Varughese using dogs and by air. He says the searches have covered much of the SIU campus and city. Brunner says friends and police handed out flyers Sunday. Vigils also have been planned.
    Vaughese and his family are from the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove. He was studying criminal justice.
Monday, 17 February 2014 10:44
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