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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the outline of a pension reform proposal from a bipartisan panel is "positive indeed."

However, the Chicago Democrat was less clear about whether he's fully behind it or not, saying he wants to see final details.

He told reporters Sunday after an unrelated event that the panel tasked with coming up with a way to address the state's nearly $100 billion pension problem has made progress.

Pensions have been Quinn's top issue. He recently halted lawmakers' pay after lawmakers missed another one of his deadlines to solve the issue.

The pension committee is considering a plan that would, among other things, end automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases for retirees. Increases would instead be linked to the rate of inflation.

Committee members say the details are preliminary.

 

Monday, 26 August 2013 14:10
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri lawmaker arrested for possessing marijuana says he is resigning from a Democratic campaign position but not from office.

Rep. Jeremy LaFaver said Monday he is stepping down as chairman of the House Democratic Victory Committee, which raises money for House candidates.

But LaFaver told The Associated Press he is not resigning from the House, because he believes he can still be an effective lawmaker.

The Missouri Republican Party has said LaFaver should resign.

LaFaver was arrested Sunday after a traffic stop in Boone County for possessing a marijuana pipe and up to 1.2 ounces of marijuana. He has apologized for the incident.

LaFaver sponsored an unsuccessful bill this year that would have lowered penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Monday, 26 August 2013 13:34
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A suspect is back in custody after police say he escaped a St. Louis hospital.

Why was he in the hospital? He was shot in the face during an attempted burglary.

The owner of an East St. Louis towing company was patrolling the company grounds when he saw two burglars. The owner shot one of the men in the head before calling police. One suspect was arrested, the other taken to SLU hospital. While the injured suspect was in the hospital, he managed to escape and fled to his girlfriend's apartment. Police quickly found him and arrested him again.

The suspect will need reconstructive facial surgery, but is expected to survive.

Monday, 26 August 2013 12:24
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Richard "Dick" Thien, a veteran journalist who played a pivotal role in developing USA Today for Gannett Co. Inc., has died. He was 73.

Thien died Friday of natural causes at Missouri Baptist Hospital in suburban St. Louis, his son, Mark Thien, said Monday. Thien was a two-time cancer survivor.

In 1981, Gannett's CEO, Al Neuharth, chose Thien to be one of five prototype editors for USA Today, the nation's first national general-interest newspaper that made its debut the following year. USA Today immediately made a splash with its colorful look, frequent use of graphics and shorter, tighter stories, setting a trend followed by many newspapers around the world.

Thien was described in the book "The Making of McPaper: The Inside Story of USA Today," as "a gruff, cigar-chewing type who barked like an old-time city editor."

The Associated Press named Thien one of the 12 best editors in the country in 1986. It was among many awards he won in a career that spanned more than four decades.

Thien grew up in St. Louis and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1963.

He worked at newspapers in several states and was a longtime coach in the Chips Quinn Scholar program for young minority journalists. He also taught journalism at the State University of New York in Binghamton, the University of Kansas and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned a master's degree in journalism in 1998.

Thien was a first lieutenant in the Army in the 1960s.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Elaine, three children and three grandchildren. A funeral service is Friday at Kutis Affton Chapel in suburban St. Louis.

 

Monday, 26 August 2013 12:15
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