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WELDON SPRING, Mo. (AP) - A Republican state representative from St. Charles County has been fired from his teaching job, and he plans to sue the district over his dismissal.

 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that education board members of the Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County met in closed session Monday and voted to dismiss Bryan Spencer. The district had previously refused to grant him unpaid leave of absence while he serves in the Legislature.

 

Spencer's attorney says it is wrong to punish someone for successfully seeking public office. But school district attorney Cindy Ormsby says there is no constitutional right to hold two jobs at one time. She denied that the board action had anything to do with Spencer's political affiliation.

 

Spencer was elected in November.

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 15:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton is hosting more than 1,000 college student leaders from across the nation and abroad this weekend at Washington University in St. Louis.

 

The Clinton Global Initiative University is an outgrowth of the former president's philanthropic foundation.

 

Featured speakers are to include Chelsea Clinton, the ex-president's daughter: television host Stephen Colbert; actress Jada Pinkett Smith; and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native.

 

Student participants are required to make "Commitments to Action" that involve community projects focusing on education, the environment, human rights, poverty and public health.

 

The three-day conference begins Friday night and includes a Sunday service project at Gateway STEM High School.

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 14:52
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CHICAGO-- AP — The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that its film critic Roger Ebert has died. He was 70.

 

The paper says on its website the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic died Thursday.

 

Ebert was known for his thumbs-up, thumbs-down TV reviews that influenced moviegoers across the nation.

 

On Wednesday, he had announced on his blog that he was undergoing radiation treatment after a recurrence of cancer.

 

Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and later had surgery for cancer of the salivary gland. He lost his chin and his ability to speak. But he later resumed writing full-time and eventually even returned to television.

 

Ebert started as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. In 1975 he became the first movie reviewer to get the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State auditors say the Illinois Department of Natural Resources didn't employ enough mine-safety inspectors the past two years to comply with state law.

 

An Illinois Auditor General's report released Thursday says the department had 10 inspectors for more than 40 mines. The state Coal Mining Act calls for at least 16 inspectors.

 

A spokesman for the department was not immediately available to comment on the audit.

 

Phil Smith is a spokesman for the United Mineworkers of America. He said many of the state and federal agencies responsible for mine safety lack the money to do their jobs.

 

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says one miner died on the job in Illinois over those two years. Another miner died this year.

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 14:46
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