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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration's health care website is stumbling on deadline day for sign-ups.
Visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times the visitors were also directed to a virtual waiting room - a feature designed to ease the strain on the site during periods of heavy use.
Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said the website undergoes "regular nightly maintenance" during off-peak hours and that period was extended because of a "technical problem." He did not say what the problem was, but a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services called it "a software bug" unrelated to application volume.
Albright said consumers seeking to sign up will be able to leave their email and "will be invited back when the system is available." Consumers can also call 1-800-318-2596 to complete the application process.
Albright said the website is typically down for maintenance during the period from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EDT, and that as a result of the technical problems the site was down for at least three additional hours on Monday morning.
The sign-up website had been taken down briefly Friday, with consumer interest surging. Lately the site has been getting about 1.5 million visits a day.
A recent analysis for The Associated Press by the performance-measurement firm Compuware found that the government site runs slow compared with health insurance industry peers.
Police aren't releasing many details about a man found shot to death in north St. Louis Sunday afternoon.
Homicide Detectives were called to the 8900 block of Riverview Boulevard after a man was found dead in a car. Police say the man had been shot multiple times, but haven't identified the victim.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.
The drying out process is still underway at a St. Ann apartment building damaged when a kitchen fire Friday morning set off the sprinklers. The building was temporarily condemned after water from the 10th floor fire soaked all of the lower floors.
The American Red Cross continues to assist the 161 displaced residents. More than 100 are calling the Super 8 Motel in St. Ann home for now.
Many Santa Ana residents were disheartened Sunday when they learned it would be at least Tuesday before they can return home to see what the water did to their personal belongings.