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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A group of Missouri law enforcement officials are asking state lawmakers to create special armed-offender dockets for courts in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

A task force led by Attorney General Chris Koster issued the recommendations Friday as part of a report on curbing urban violence. The report asks the Legislature to consider special dockets that would prioritize violent offenses committed with firearms.

The group also asked law enforcement to boost cooperation and make better use of surveillance technology. It also recommended salary increases for county sheriffs.

Koster says Missouri's two largest cities each had more than 100 homicides last year. City officials and police department representatives from St. Louis City, Kansas City and St. Louis County joined Koster on the task force.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 15:00
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury has awarded a $7.5 million judgment to a former St. Louis police officer who claimed her supervising sergeant sexually harassed her and that she suffered retaliation for complaining.

The Post-Dispatch reports Tanisha Ross-Paige was awarded $300,000 in compensatory damages and $7.2 million in punitive damages from the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners for retaliation. The jury found in favor of the police board on a discrimination claim.

Ross-Paige's lawyer John Eccher called Friday's verdict "absolutely huge for this type of case." A police spokeswoman declined comment.

The original lawsuit claimed Sgt. Steven Gori distributed a mock "wanted" poster with Ross-Paige's picture and comments about her body. The suit claims Gori and a lieutenant gave Ross-Paige unfavorable shifts and different performance evaluations after she complained.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 14:59
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Board of Education has endorsed a plan for assisting and intervening in school districts.

Districts are to be classified in tiers based upon performance, and state involvement would increase as performance worsened. Education officials could tailor what steps are taken based upon the situation within a school district.

The education board approved the framework Friday and directed state education officials to start work toward applying it to specific districts. Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says the first step is likely to be an overview of districts that are currently unaccredited or have provisional accreditation.

Missouri officials have been considering school plans since a law took effect last year that gave the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education more power to intervene in struggling districts.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 14:56
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JEFFERSON CITY---Water leaks cost you money–money that essentially goes down the drain.  There are several things that consumers can do to conserve water and at the same time save money on their bill.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide.  The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. About 10 percent of the homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more of water per day. The EPA estimates that fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
To help consumers find and repair easy-to-fix leaks and to promote conservation, the Missouri Public Service Commission is supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fix-a- Leak Week, March 17-23, 2014.
“Water is essential to our existence.  It is vitally important that we do all that we can to preserve this critical resource,” said PSC Chairman Robert Kenney.  “Fixing water leaks will not only save money on water bills, it will also help conserve water for future generations to enjoy.”
According to the EPA, a good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage.  It is likely that a family of four has a serious water leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
Here are some tips to save water:
-- Check for leaks. Silent toilet leaks can be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots, too.
-- Twist and tighten pipe connections.
-- Replace the fixture if necessary.
-- Install a water saving showerhead; they use one-third the amount of water that a regular showerhead uses.
-- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
-- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
For more tips, visit our website at www.psc.mo.gov
Friday, 21 March 2014 13:18
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