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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri teachers union says it is spending at least $100,000 on commercials urging state lawmakers to uphold the governor's veto of an income tax cut.

The Missouri chapter of the National Education Association says the TV and radio spots began running Tuesday and will continue for a week. The ads assert the tax cut would benefit "corporate special interests" while "stealing money from our schools."

Lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to decide whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

Supporters of the legislation have been running their own ads for weeks. They have been financed largely by nearly $2.4 million in contributions from retired investment firm executive Rex Sinquefield.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:45
Published in Local News
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Laclede Gas Co. says it has finalized a $975 million deal to buy Missouri Gas Energy.

Laclede announced Tuesday that the purchase has been completed. The deal combines Missouri's two largest natural gas companies under one entity that will serve more than 1.1 million customers across the state.

St. Louis-based Laclede had served about 630,000 customers in St. Louis and 10 eastern Missouri counties. Missouri Gas Energy had served about 500,000 customers in about 30 western and central Missouri counties, including the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Joplin areas.

Laclede had announced the deal last December. State utility regulators approved it in July.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:43
Published in Local News
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NEW YORK (AP) - A New York jury has awarded $30,000 in punitive damages to a black woman who sued her black ex-boss after he unleashed an N-word tirade at her last year.

Brandi Johnson said she was happy after the Manhattan federal jury concluded Tuesday that Rob Carmona must pay $25,000 and his organization Strive East Harlem must pay another $5,000.

Those awards are in addition to $250,000 in compensatory damages that the jury awarded Johnson last week. Carmona wiped his eyes with a towel and appeared emotional as he testified Tuesday. He said he learned his lesson that he must communicate differently than in the past.

Johnson's defense attorney accused him of crying "ghost tears" and urged jurors to award additional damages to show him that "calling somebody the N-word is a very serious thing."

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers have given final approval to legislation to make more low-income adults eligible for health insurance through the federal health care law.

The Medicaid expansion bill approved 75-32 Tuesday by the Republican-led House now heads to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who plans to sign it.

The newly eligible recipients would be covered starting in March instead of January because Senate Republicans refused to put the measure into effect immediately.

Medicaid expansion is part of a strategy to ensure nearly all Americans have health insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It was designed to cover the neediest uninsured people but became optional for states because of a Supreme Court decision.

Michigan's plan includes GOP provisions requiring federal approval. Snyder says he has received "positive feedback" from the Obama administration.

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