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WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting bipartisan criticism, President Barack Obama is conceding that his proposed budget is not his "ideal plan." But he says it offers "tough reforms" to the nation's benefit programs while closing loopholes for the wealthy.

 

Obama argues his approach will provide long-term deficit reduction without harming the economy.

 

In his first comments about a budget he is to release next week, Obama says he intends to reduce deficits while providing new spending for public works projects, early education and job training.

 

Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address that he's willing to compromise to move beyond what he calls "a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making."

 

In the Republican address, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says that ideas for fixing the federal government are coming from the states.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several southern Illinois counties are sampling the fruits of a land rush linked to a debated drilling practice, even as state lawmakers wrestle with how to regulate it.

 

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of fees have flowed in recent years into the coffers of Wayne and Hamilton counties from searches of title records, often by out-of-state people seeking prime parcels for exploration.

 

Locals believe the best is yet to come from the drilling technique commonly called "fracking."

 

Hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

 

Some environmentalists worry that could pollute. But Governor Pat Quinn and the industry believe it could create by some estimates some 40,000 jobs.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 07:16
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The man widely hailed as the greatest St. Louis Cardinal of them all will be honored at the team's home opener on Monday.

 

The Cardinals are starting the season with six road games before hosting Cincinnati in a Monday afternoon game. Before the game the team will honor Stan Musial, the Hall of Famer who died in January at age 92.

 

The Cardinals said Friday that Musial's four children will unveil an outfield wall marker as part of Opening Day ceremonies that begin at 2:30 p.m. The Budweiser Clydesdales will make their traditional Opening Day march around Busch Stadium, and the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame will circle the ballpark in a motorcade.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 07:14
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Colorado prisons chief shot to death at his home last month has been honored in his native state and the college town where he lived for nearly three decades.

 

More than 400 friends, family members and former Missouri co-workers of Tom Clements packed Friday afternoon's memorial service at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia, where he had been a youth minister.

 

Clements was a St. Louis native who worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections for 31 years before taking the top prisons job in Colorado in 2011. He rose through the ranks from a probation and parole officer in St. Louis to an administrative job overseeing Missouri's 21 adult prisons.

 

Colorado officials are investigating whether a violent white supremacist gang based in that state's prison system was behind the killing.

 

 

Saturday, 06 April 2013 07:12
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