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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation that would change the ability of certain public employee labor unions to collect fees.
 
The Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee heard public testimony Monday on the measure its supporters call "paycheck protection."
 
If passed, the measure would go to the voters for approval. Sponsoring Rep. Holly Rehder, of Sikeston, says that would get around a likely veto from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.
 
Rehder's bill would require annual written authorization in order for union fees to be automatically deducted from a person's paycheck. Unions would also need authorization to spend a person's fees on political activities.
 
Unions representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would not be affected under the measure.
Monday, 03 February 2014 12:55
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Springfield police say someone stole national championship rings belonging to Missouri State University's women's basketball coach.
Kellie Harper won three college basketball championships when she played at the University of Tennessee from 1996 to 1998.
The Springfield News-Leader reports Harper, who is in her first year coaching Missouri State, reported the theft Saturday. A police report says the rings were taken from her office at JQH Arena sometime after Jan. 15.
Harper's Tennessee team was 100-14 during the three years she played there. Harper scored 20 points in the championship game in 1998 to help Tennessee defeat Louisiana Tech.
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 11:18
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A western Missouri man faces a federal charge accusing him of using his cellphone to exchange pornographic messages with a teenager.
 
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says in a release that 49-year-old Larry Allison of Weaubleau is charged with one count of possession, receipt and production of child pornography.
 
The federal complaints says Allison is accused of sending graphic text messages, including a naked photo of himself, to the teenage girl last month until the girl's mother found out. A detective then portrayed herself as the victim in the cellphone messages and said Allison asked her sexual questions.
 
Allison's public defender didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Monday. Allison is in federal custody until his detention hearing later this week.
Monday, 03 February 2014 11:18
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WRIGHT CITY, Mo. (AP) - Police in eastern Missouri's Warren County are searching for a female driver who left the scene following an accident in which a passenger in her car was killed.
The accident happened Saturday night on Route F. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 2004 Dodge Intrepid went off the side of the road and hit a tree, killing 57-year-old John W. Rogier of Wright City.
Police don't know the identity of the driver.
Monday, 03 February 2014 11:13
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The City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office has started a six month on-street parking field test evaluation to assess parking meter technology. The evaluation is part of an ongoing effort to modernize operations.
The goal is to provide St. Louis with a cost-effective, on-street parking system that allows people to use cash, credit cards and mobile phones to pay for parking.
Meters developed by four companies were selected to participate in the field test.  The test meters are located on 10th Street between Chestnut and Washington Avenue and at the corner of Broadway and Pine in downtown St. Louis.  
There are two additional sites in the Central West End. One is at Maryland and Euclid and the other at Laclede and Euclid.  
The Treasurer’s Office will be asking for public input during the field test evaluation. Based upon the results of the trial, the office may decide to proceed with an offer to one or more companies to furnish and potentially install units on a long-term basis throughout the city.
The public is invited to give feedback by taking a survey on the Treasurer’s Office website: http://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/treasurer/. 
In addition, the Treasurer’s Office has formed a Citizens Advisory Committee that will also provide feedback on parking improvements in the city. 
 
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 09:31
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The owner of a southwestern Illinois title company faces up to a quarter century in prison after admitting in court that she defrauded clients to support her gambling habit.
Sixty-five-year-old Karen Strasser Steinke of Millstadt pleaded guilty Friday in East St. Louis to charges of wire fraud and structuring financial transactions to avoid currency-reporting requirements.
Authorities say the owner of Metro East Title Co. in Belleville was obligated to hold escrow, settlement and closing funds in a trust account. But investigators say she instead pilfered those funds for gambling.
The company was accused in a federal lawsuit last October of failing to deliver to the American Legion's Columbia chapter $385,000 in proceeds from a land sale to Belleville.
Steinke also faces mandatory restitution when sentenced May 2.
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:35
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is scheduled to consider legislation that would change the ability of certain public employee labor unions to collect fees.
The Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee is expected to hear public testimony Monday on the measure its supporters call "paycheck protection."
The bill would prohibit a union from receiving fees that are deducted automatically from a public employee's paycheck. It would also require unions to get written authorization to spend a person's fees on political activities.
Unions representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would not be affected by the bill.
The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a similar bill last year, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:20
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A California man has been ordered to spend 17years in federal prison on convictions related to child pornography and inappropriate behavior with an Ohio teenager.
Twenty-seven-year-old David Michael Thompson of Temecula, Calif., was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis on charges of transporting child porn and traveling across state lines to engage in sex with a minor child.
Authorities say an Illinois State Police trooper stopped Thompson's car in 2012 and found a 16-year-old girl who'd been reported missing from the Cincinnati area.
The girl told police she met Thompson through online social networking sites and was planning to move in with him.
Investigators say Thompson's cellphone had two photographs showing the girl engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:15
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With snow in the forecast, it may be a good day to fill the gas tank.
Retail website GasBuddy.com reports the average price for a gallon of regular gas in St. Louis has fallen nearly 14 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.04 a gallon on Sunday.
That is 22 cents below the national average which is $3.26 a gallon. Prices yesterday in St. Louis were 33 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and about a nickle lower than a month ago.
The national average has decreased 4.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 21.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago. 
GasBuddy.com surveys nearly one thousand retail outlets in St. Louis everyday. 
Monday, 03 February 2014 07:27
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The federal agency that oversees two popular rivers in southern Missouri is trying to balance the competing needs of preservationists who want more environmental protection against nearby property owners fighting for less government regulation.
   Paddlers, partiers, boat owners and other outdoor devotees have long flocked to the spring-fed Current and Jacks Fork rivers. The two bodies of water make up a national park known as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
   The National Park Service is updating its management plan there for the first time in three decades and held a series of public hearings and meetings in January. The agency's preferred alternative would close 65 miles of undesignated horse trails and unauthorized stream crossings while also adding restrictions on the use of motorized boats.
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 03:49
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