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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The number of Missouri residents using a federal website to enroll in health insurance is growing, but not as fast as had been projected.
 
Figures released Tuesday show nearly 75,000 people had enrolled in health policies by March 1. That's up by more than one-third from the Feb. 1.
 
Yet Missouri remains behind the enrollment targets originally set for federal health care law. The March 1 number is about where Missouri was expected to be on Feb. 1.
 
Missouri was projected to enroll 118,000 people by March 31.
 
Missouri is one of 36 states where the online insurance marketplace is being run by the federal government.
 
Health care advocates intensified their efforts over this past weekend to persuade people to sign up for the insurance policies.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new audit says Missouri's low-income housing program is inefficient and among the costliest in the nation.
 
The report Monday by State Auditor Tom Schweich says Missouri awards more low-income-housing tax credits per capita than any other state.
 
But the audit says the program is inefficient because only 42 cents of every $1 in tax credits goes toward the actual construction of housing. The report says the rest goes to investors, syndication firms and federal taxes.
 
Special committees that have analyzed the program have reached similar conclusions in the past. But lawmakers have been at loggerheads over whether to pare back the program because some say it has a laudable goal.
 
The audit says the tax credits helped finance about 47,000 housing units since 1998.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri farmers will get a larger property tax bill for their land starting in 2015.
 
Property tax for agricultural land is based on its productive value. Farms are divided into eight groups based upon land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8.
 
The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing the productive values for all farms by about 5 percent. State lawmakers' deadline to reject that proposal was this past weekend. It means the new values will be in place for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.
 
The tax commission estimates the change will mean about 10 cents more tax per acre. The commission says the last change in productive values took effect in 1995.
Published in Local News

   Students at the University of Missouri are being warned to be extra vigilant after a female student reported being raped near campus over the weekend.  

   The student told Residential Life that she'd been raped late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning in the 800 block of Richmond Avenue. University officials say they're working with the victim to make sure she receives the resources and assistance she needs.  

   Additional details about the crime haven't been released.  Police say their investigation is ongoing. 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A recent decline in Missouri's casino revenues is raising questions among lawmakers about the extent to which the state can continue to rely on gambling to fund key programs.

Attendance at Missouri's 13 casinos is down almost 9 percent from last year.

Missouri relies on two sources of casino revenues. A portion of a per-patron fee is used to pay for the operations of the Missouri Veterans Commission, which oversees seven nursing homes. A state tax on casino revenues helps fund public schools.

The House has approved an additional $22 million for public schools because of the funding shortfall and lawmakers are considering a temporary funding boost to help the veterans' homes.

State officials are citing this winter's cold weather among the causes for the revenue decline.

Published in Local News
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - More information about the body of an infant that was found in Warrensburg by a pair of biology students.
 
Investigators say the baby was found in a cave, was near full-term, and had been delivered by C-section. Police are looking for the person who may have dumped the baby. Investigators are asking for help--they want to hear from anyone who knows a pregnant woman with suspicious circumstances around the birth of her baby in the past few weeks.
 
The students found the baby about a mile south of campus on Tuesday.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Five other states are joining Missouri's fight against a California egg law regulating the living conditions of chickens.
 
   Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster last month filed a lawsuit against the measure set to take effect next year. It bars the sale of eggs produced by hens kept in cages that don't meet California's size and space requirements.
 
   The state attorneys general contend the California law violates the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by effectively imposing new requirements on out-of-state farmers.
 
   The five other states joining Thursday are Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Iowa. Those states and Missouri produce 20 billion eggs per year, and 10 percent of that production is sold in California.
 
   The Humane Society of the United States criticized the lawsuit, saying it wastes taxpayer dollars.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that could lower treatment cost for some cancer patients.
 
The bill would prohibit insurance companies from charging patients more than $75 for oral cancer drugs rather than traditional intravenous treatments. Sponsoring Rep. Sheila Solon, of Blue Springs, says oral drugs often carry fewer side effects for cancer patients.
 
The House voted 147-6 on Thursday to send the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk. The Senate passed the measure last month.
 
Patients are often charged much more for oral chemotherapy because it is handled as a pharmacy benefit. Traditional intravenous treatments often cost only the standard co-payment for an office visit.
 
House Speaker Tim Jones says the bill would be among the most significant pieces of legislation passed by the Legislature this year.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new budget plan in the Missouri House would make millions of dollars for public schools and universities contingent upon a strong economy.
 
A proposal outlined Wednesday by House Budget Chairman Rick Stream would provide a $122 million increase in basic aid for public school districts. That's based on revenue projections agreed to by Republican House and Senate leaders.
 
Stream's budget would provide an additional $156 million funding increase for schools only if the state meets more optimistic revenue projections cited by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
 
Stream's budget also provides a smaller increase than Nixon had proposed for the operating budgets of public colleges and universities. He instead proposes tens of millions of dollars for university construction projects, some of which again would be contingent on meeting Nixon's revenue projections.
Published in Local News

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - UPDATE at 1:58 PM: Chesterfield Police say missing Brendon Jette was found in the area of Clarkson and Highway 40

 

EARLIER:Police in West St. Louis County are hoping the public has information on a missing teen.

 

Brendon Jette was last seen on Tuesday evening at 6. Brendon is 14 years old, he is 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. Brendon has brown eyes and brown hair and authorities say he has Asperber's syndrome. Police do not believe there is anything criminal involved.

 

Anyone with information should call the Chesterfield Police at 636-537-3000.

Published in Local News
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