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STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri murder case will hinge on claims of self-defense and whether a property owner had the right to shoot a canoer who may have intruded on his land.

James Crocker had grown weary of the people encroaching on his property along the Meramec River. A nasty confrontation in July ended when Crocker allegedly shot and killed Paul Dart Jr., who was on a canoe trip.

Defense attorney Michael Bert says Crocker is covered by the state's castle doctrine, which allows the use of deadly force to protect property. Bert says Crocker also felt his life was in danger.

Prosecutors cited witnesses who said Crocker flew into a rage and opened fire after a man relieved himself near his yard. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

 

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:47
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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
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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
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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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