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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The year 2013 was the safest on Missouri roads in more than six decades.
 
Preliminary figures released Thursday by the Missouri State Highway Patrol show that 741 people died in traffic crashes last year.
 
Patrol Capt. Tim Hull says that's the lowest number since 683 people died on Missouri roads in 1947.
 
Missouri officials have placed an emphasis on reducing traffic fatalities in recent years.
 
The Department of Transportation has installed cables in the medians of some four-lane highways to prevent cross-over crashes and rumble strips on the sides to warn drivers when they are close to running off the road.
 
Since 2005, Missouri traffic fatalities have declined 41 percent.
 
Of those killed in crashes last year, 63 percent were not wearing seatbelts as they were required to do.
 
Thursday, 02 January 2014 15:21
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Hours after the snow stopped falling, several roads are still very slick.

 

Emergency crews responded to a pair of accidents on Highway 64/40 that happened just moments apart. West of the Boone Bridge a driver hit a patch of ice and spun off the highway. The driver was not hurt and no one else was in the car. While officers were responding to that accident another car hit the same ice patch. That car flipped over and one person was thrown from the vehicle. A person from the second car was airlifted to the hospital.

 

MoDOT is reminding drivers they can report untreated areas by calling 888.ASK.MODOT.

Thursday, 02 January 2014 14:59
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - St. Clair County officials say they've reached a tentative contract with emergency dispatches after years of negotiations.
 
The Belleville News-Dispatch reports the contract was approved by the southwestern Illinois county and runs through 2014.
 
Negotiations first began in 2011, but became contentious about how on-the-job experience was counted for work at a 911 answering service at the county sheriff's department.
 
The deal includes retroactive pay increases for 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as an increase for 2014. Employees who leave their posts within three years of being hired will have to reimburse the county for a portion of their training expenses.
 
The previous contract for the dispatchers expired in January 2012.
 
Thursday, 02 January 2014 14:47
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A published report says groups with ties to the pension-reform law adopted last month have contributed close to $3 million to Illinois Supreme Court justices who might decide its fate.
 
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that six of seven justices have taken money in the past 13 years from labor unions, business groups and a political committee controlled by Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
 
Retired teachers have sued to stop the pension-reform plan that cuts retiree benefits to reduce a $100 billion debt.
 
Most of the pension-related money went to former Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride. He accepted $2.5 million from both Madigan and business groups in a 2010 retention battle.
 
Current Chief Justice Rita Garman says court decisions are based on constitutional standards, not politics.
 
Thursday, 02 January 2014 13:47
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