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URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A University of Illinois graduate who is an astronaut on the International Space Station is going to take a walk in space.
 
The Champaign News-Gazette reports that Mike Hopkins will go with another American astronaut on what NASA calls an urgent spacewalk to fix a broken cooling line. The first walk will take about six hours and NASA has scheduled another one for Monday and a third to take place next week, possibly on Christmas Day.
 
Hopkins is a 1991 engineering graduate who was also a co-captain of the Illini football team. He has been on the space station for about seven months in what is his first space flight.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:57
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has developed a proposal to help more Missourians pursue careers in mental health care.
 
The governor planned to announce details Wednesday during stops in Columbia and Kansas City. His office said the announcement would involve a proposal for funding in the next state budget.
 
Nixon told higher education officials in October he would be proposing an initiative to train professionals in such fields as psychiatry, specialty nursing and applied behavioral analysis.
 
He said 72 of Missouri's 114 counties do not have a licensed psychiatrist, while 90 do not have a licensed behavioral analyst.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:14
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says he will have reports coming out soon on some of Missouri's biggest tax credit programs.
   Schweich says he hopes to release audits early in the 2014 legislative session on tax credits for developers who build low-income housing, renovate historic buildings and clean up contaminated old business sites.
   Missouri waived $144 million of taxes during its last budget year because of the low-income housing credits. Developers redeemed nearly $79 million in historic preservation tax credits and more than $6 million in Brownfield remediation tax credits for work on contaminated sites.
   Lawmakers are to consider new limits on some of those tax credit programs during their session that starts Jan. 8.
   Schweich said he wants the audits out early enough that lawmakers can use the information.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 07:37
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   Boeing is expected to whittle down the list of contenders for their new 777X airplane plant.  Missouri is one of 22 states competing for the plant and the 8,000 jobs it could bring.  An email from company executive Ray Conner to Boeing employees indicates that the company plans to select a list of finalists this week.  The email was posted to the Washington Aerospace Partnership's Facebook. 
   Missouri's bid includes $3.5 billion in tax incentives and a promise from local unions that the plant could be built using three shifts of workers with no overtime charges.  
   Jeff Aboussie of the Building and Construction Trades Council of St. Louis told Fox 2 News its worth it to put people back to work.  "I don't believe that there's one union in this town that isn't welcoming the fact that Boeing could, hopefully, select St. Louis," he said.
   Boeing officials have said they expect to announce the site for the new plant in mid-January.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 03:47
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