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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - One of Missouri's largest labor organizations has hired a former Republican House Speaker as a lobbyist.
The Missouri AFL-CIO hired Steve Tilley this week as the labor organization prepares to combat "right to work" measures this year. The legislation would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.
Tilley was first elected to the House in 2004 and became Speaker in 2011. While in that office he shied away from "right to work" and said it was not part of his agenda.
He left the House in 2012 to become a lobbyist when term limits barred him from seeking re-election.
"Right to work" is a top priority this year of House Speaker Tim Jones, Tilley's successor. Jones says Missouri needs the policy to compete for jobs.
   
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:47
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A micro earthquake has rattled parts of New Madrid County in southeast Missouri.
KFVS-TV reports that an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.5 happened just after 6 a.m. Friday.
The quake was measured by the Cooperative New Madrid Seismic Network and was located about seven miles southwest of New Madrid and nine miles from Portageville.
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:42
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois jury has cleared a man of charges that he wrongly stabbed his son in the neck with scissors.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that a St. Clair County jury deliberated two hours before acquitting 57-year-old Charles Phillips of rural Belleville on Wednesday. He was charged with domestic battery and aggravated battery.
Police responding to a reported domestic disturbance Dec. 4 at Phillips' home found a wounded Michael Phillips, who told them his father stabbed him during an argument.
The younger Phillips was treated at a hospital and was released.
During Charles Phillips' trial, his attorneys argued that their client has an amputated leg and a disabled arm, and that he stabbed his son in self-defense after being abused for days.
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:30
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CHICAGO (AP) - The state of Illinois is offering more help to low-income households struggling to heat their homes because of a shortage of propane.
 Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn declared the shortage in Illinois an emergency. He relaxed rules on truck drivers so they could travel out of state in search of propane supplies.
On Friday, Quinn announced other steps, including an additional credit of $1,000 for each household taking part in a program that helps low-income residents with home energy bills.
The governor says no one should have to choose "between feeding their families and heating their homes."
In another change, the state will temporarily waive inspections of trucks carrying propane shipments to speed up delivery.
Officials are also asking consumers to report any suspected price gouging.
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:27
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A couple of local men are going toe-to-toe in federal court in St. Louis. At the heart of the issue is a patent infringement lawsuit against payments startup Square Inc. 
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the suit reflects a long-simmering legal battle over Square's technology.  
Robert Morley, an associate professor in Washington University’s engineering department, is suing Square and its co-founders Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, claiming that he was unfairly cut out of the Square enterprise after developing key software.  
Square is a small plastic device that plugs into mobile devices including smartphones and iPads and processes credit card transactions.
Morley alleges breach of fiduciary duty, patent infringement and fraud against Square and its co-founders.
Morley seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:21
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 BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois sheriff says his county has agreed to pay $3,500 to three former inmates to settle their federal lawsuit over living conditions at the jail.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat the payouts to Floyd Robinson, Timothy Headrick and Myron Barber come without the county admitting any wrongdoing alleged in the 2011 lawsuit.
The ex-inmates alleged unacceptable jail conditions, including crowding, inmates forced to sleep on the floor, the foul odor of human waste, insects, mice, small amounts of food per serving and inadequate access to a law library.
The newspaper reported earlier this week that the county also agreed to pay up to $2,000 to each of three former jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18
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The Missouri Department of Transportation will close all lanes of eastbound I-70 downtown between Pine Street and the Poplar Street Bridge at 6 p.m. this Sunday. Crews will be removing a retaining wall along the interstate near Walnut Street as part of preparations for the Park Over the Highway project.  

One eastbound lane on I-70 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday. The other lane will reopen before 3 p.m. Monday, after crews make permanent pavement repairs to the right lane of eastbound I-70.

Friday, 31 January 2014 10:14
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Friday, 31 January 2014 09:47
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Friday, 31 January 2014 08:19
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