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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A high-tech apprentice program envisioned as a career-boosting alternative to the four-year college degree is expanding to St. Louis.
 
New York-based Enstitute hopes to match 100 students with mentors from the local business community, with an emphasis on one- and two-year jobs in science, technology and digital media. The nonprofit says 90 percent of its New York participants either landed full-time jobs or started their own companies.
 
The company’s founders are pitching their project Wednesday to local business leaders, accompanied by a dozen venture capitalists in town for the Invest Midwest conference. Its boosters include Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark, who serves on Enstitute’s board of directors.
 
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:51
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SPRINGFIELD, MO (AP) – A Missouri judge says prosecutors don’t have to provide evidence before the preliminary hearing for a 46-year-old man accused of killing a 10-year-old Springfield girl.
 
Craig Michael Wood faces first-degree murder charges in the Feb. 18 death of Hailey Owens, who was killed after being abducted in her neighborhood. Wood, a middle-school football coach, attended the hearing Wednesday in Greene County court. Wood is being held without bond.
 
The Springfield News-Leader reports Judge Mark Powell on Wednesday overruled a defense motion to have the prosecution produce evidence before Wood’s preliminary hearing, which has been rescheduled for April 24.
 
The judge also said he would take under advisement an objection by Wood’s public defender to having television cameras in the courtroom for future hearings on the case.
 
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:49
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - About a thousand Missouri union members rallied at the state Capitol to combat legislation that would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.
 
The proposal is a top priority of House Republican leaders who say the so-called right to work bill is necessary for the state to compete for jobs.
 
But Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon disagreed while speaking at Wednesday's rally and said he would veto the bill. He called it "unnecessary and misguided," and vowed to fight the proposal if the Legislature decides to put it on the 2014 ballot.
 
The rally is an annual event sponsored by the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council. Rally attendees said it's important to talk with lawmakers about the impact of legislation affecting union membership.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:32
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SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) – Legislation that would allow minors and those with epilepsy to use medical cannabis in Illinois is one step closer to law.
 
A Senate committee passed the proposal on Tuesday without opposition.
 
State Sen. Iris Martinez is sponsoring the measure. The Democrat from Chicago says using medical marijuana improves the quality of life for minors suffering from epilepsy.
 
Supporters say consuming oil from the marijuana plant reduces seizures and doesn’t get children high. They say traditional epilepsy medicines are addictive and leave children feeling “stoned.”
 
Opponents say they’re against any measure legalizing marijuana use because it violates federal law. They also say legalizing marijuana for minors contradicts drug prevention programs.
 
The measure amending Illinois’ four-year medical cannabis pilot program now moves to the Senate floor.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 12:59
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