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PITTSBURGH (AP) - A review by The Associated Press has found that in at least four states that have nurtured the nation's energy boom, hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination from oil or gas drilling.
 
Pollution was confirmed in a number of them, casting doubts on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.
 
The AP requested recent data on drilling-related complaints from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas and found major differences in how the states report such problems. Texas provided the most detail, while the other states provided general outlines.
 
Pennsylvania received almost 900 complaints in 2012 and 2013 alleging that oil or natural gas drilling polluted or affected private water wells. In recent years Texas recorded 62 complaints, Ohio at least 99 and West Virginia 122.
 
Some of the complaints are still being investigated.
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TUSCOLA, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois' men's basketball team is heading back to campus after spending the night on the floor of a central Illinois church.
 
The Salukis were on their way home to Carbondale after a 66-48 loss at Illinois State when their bus got stuck in snowdrifts on Interstate 57 Sunday evening.
 
A tow truck pulled the bus from the side the road hours later and the two dozen players and staff members spent the night sleeping in a Tuscola church.
 
Tom Weber is the school's assistant athletics director for media services. He says the players started traveling again around 6:30 a.m. after stocking up on food But heavy snow in central Illinois meant the bus was only traveling about 15 mph.
 
He says road conditions are "very, very bad."
Monday, 06 January 2014 09:43
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri has dropped the GED and made the switch to a new high school equivalency exam.
 
The Columbia Missourian reports that beginning this month, Missouri began using HiSet, which Educational Testing Service is offering. The switch came with the introduction of a more costly computer-based version of the GED.
 
Even though the state went with the lowest bidder, the new exam will be more costly for some test takers.
 
Previously it cost $40 to take the GED once, with each retake costing another $40.
 
Missouri adult education official Tom Robbins says the most affordable way to take the HiSET is to pay $95 for the five-test battery. Participants get two free retests within a 12-month period. Out of that amount, $10 goes to the state to administer the program.
Monday, 06 January 2014 08:52
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KTRS, St. Louis, MO - Sunday marked the day Illinois residents could officially apply for a concealed weapons permit.

The Illinois State Police began accepting applications on its website yesterday. State Police have up to 90 days to approve or deny applications, as long as the applications are complete and fingerprints are submitted in an electronic format. The agency will have an additional 30 days to complete a manual background check if applicants choose not to submit fingerprints, so it could be months before anyone will actually be allowed to possess a concealed firearm.

Illinois is the last state in the nation to allow conceal-carry.

Monday, 06 January 2014 08:11
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