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(CNN) — Annette Funicello, one of the best-known members of the original 1950s “Mickey Mouse Club” and a star of numerous 1960s “beach party” films, died Monday at a California hospital of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co. said.

She was 70.

Funicello was just 12 when she was selected by Walt Disney himself to be one of the original Mouseketeers of the “Mickey Mouse Club,” the 1950s television variety show aimed at children.

Funicello, who had a background in dance, quickly became one of the most popular Mouseketeers.

She “was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said.

“She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent,” Iger said in a statement released Monday. “Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life.”

She had been living in Shafter, California where she and her husband ran the The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases Inc. She had been living with Multiple Sclerosis for more than 25 years.Last October, the fund had launched a year-long “Penny Campaign” fund-raising program to highlight how every penny donated to her charity counts.Also in October, Canadian TV (CTV) aired a 30-minute special about her life with Multiple Sclerosis. You can watch that special online: www.ctvnews.ca/w5.

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Caitlin Schmidt will remember to Cardinals 2013 Home Opener forever.

Schmidt's boyfriend, Zachary Hermann proposed to her during the festivities outside of the stadium Monday afternoon. He popped the question next to the Stan Musial statue. And with family and friends looking on, Caitlin accepted the proposal!

The two plan to get married in August.

FANS CAMP OUT FOR OPENER

Some 50 Cardinal fans set up camp outside Busch Stadium overnight Sunday in anticipation of Monday's home opener against the Cincinnati Reds.

St. Louis Police are advising revelers to leave early because of road changes and closures due to construction of Ballpark Village.  

Fans are encouraged to avoid construction delays by using MetroLink.

Pedestrians should also note that the pedestrian bridge between the Stadium West garage and the ballpark has been removed.  

OTHER CHANGES

8th Street is now a two-way street between Clark and Market with two north and southbound lanes.

Temporary stop signs are currently in place at the intersections of 8th Street and

Clark, as well as 8th Street and Walnut.

Walnut is now a two-way street between 8th Street and Broadway, with one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.

7th Street is no longer in existence.

 

ADDITIONAL CAUTIONS FROM POLICE:

Those choosing to drive are urged to “park smart”— park in well-lit, populated areas, concealing valuables by placing them in compartments or in the vehicle’s trunk prior to arrival. The department strongly encourages citizens to leave firearms at home. Events such as baseball games are no place for firearms, as they are not allowed inside Busch Stadium and leaving them in a vehicle creates opportunity for criminals. Don’t let yourlegal firearm become an illegal firearm.

Event-goers are also advised to remain aware of their surroundings and if choosing to consume alcohol, are urged to drink responsibly. Criminals often target those who appear to be most vulnerable, including those who might be intoxicated.

There will be a significant law enforcement presence in all areas surrounding Downtown and Busch Stadium. Police strongly encourage anyone who sees criminal or suspicious activity to alert a nearby officer or dial 9-1-1.

 

Monday, 08 April 2013 13:37
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WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says a new rail transfer facility in eastern Missouri has already helped local employers expand.

 

Nixon was in Washington, Mo., on Monday to help dedicate the $4.2 million rail transfer project.

 

Nixon says the project helped two local businesses expand their operations and create about 330 jobs. He was joined at the event by officials from those businesses - CG Power Systems and Canam Steel.

 

The state awarded $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to the city of Washington for the project, which is also using nearly $1 million in federal funds and $1.1 million from the city.

 

Washington is located in Franklin County, about 40 miles west of St. Louis.

Monday, 08 April 2013 12:31
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FORT OSAGE, Mo. (AP) - A 47-year-old assistant Fort Osage fire chief has died in crash on his way to a fire in rural Jackson County.

 

The Kansas City Star reports that Harold Hollingsworth, a 16-year veteran with Fort Osage, was driving to a fire during a severe thunderstorm Sunday night when his fire department SUV slid off the road and hit a tree.

 

Todd Farley, an assistant fire chief with the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, say it's the first time a Fort Osage firefighter has died in the line of duty.

 

Fort Osage is a town of about 7,000 about 30 miles east of Kansas City. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating.

 

Funeral arrangements were pending Monday.

 

Monday, 08 April 2013 12:12
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