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The Metropolitan Sewer District is embarking on a 23-year, $4.7 billion plan to improve water quality in the St. Louis area.
 
Most residents won't see the aggressive program of maintenance and repair. Crystal Howard, a spokesperson for MSD, joined McGraw Thursday morning and said the public can help with the project. Howard is asking residents to keep food scraps, oils, and grease--or FOG--out of the sewer system. She encourages everyone to keep a can next to the kitchen sink and instead of dumping oil and grease down the drain, pour it into the can.
 
MSD started the FOG campaign in November and Howard said the results were great, "We did this initiative just before Thanksgiving, we asked everybody--reminded them not to do that. We have had a 10-year low on backups for November"
 
MSD is offering free lids for grease cans. They can be picked up at MSD Headquarters at 2350 Market Street.
 
 
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:28
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Use of the death penalty declined nationally in 2013, but the punishment has seen a resurgence in Missouri.
 
The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released a report showing that 39 people were executed in the U.S. in 2013, just the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 were put to death.
 
Missouri has executed two men in the past month - Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 29 and Allen Nicklasson on Dec. 11. The executions were the first in Missouri since 2011, and the most in a single year since five in 2005.
 
Meanwhile, the number of new U.S. death sentences so far this year is 80, up three from 2012 but down from 315 in 1996. Three death sentences were imposed in Missouri in 2013.
 
Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:21
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It appears the teachers in a small Illinois school district could soon have a new contract.

 

The Mount Olive Board of Education approved a contract agreement that was reached with the teachers' union on Saturday. Teachers were back in the classroom on Monday after spending a week on the picket line. Under the agreement, four teacher will have their retirement benefits reinstated. The contract also eliminates a two-tier salary system. That plan meant new teachers would make less money than current teachers in the district.

 

Teachers are also getting their first pay raise since 2009.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:10
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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Church officials have defrocked a United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania who officiated his son's gay wedding in Massachusetts.
 
The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon had already been suspended. On Thursday, he met with church officials to determine whether he would continue as a pastor.
 
Schaefer was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline. But Schaefer says the book discriminates against gay people and says he wouldn't voluntarily surrender his credentials.
 
Church spokesman John Coleman says officials decided to defrock him.
 
Schaefer left the short meeting with church officials without commenting but planned to address the matter later Thursday.
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