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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State lawmakers have sent to Governor Jay Nixon an extra budget for the current fiscal year which includes a $14 million increase for a fund that reimburses schools for the cost of special needs children.

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The "High Needs" fund pays schools for students that cost more than three times the amount of a typical student in the same district.

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The spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says the fund typically increases by about 10 percent every year, but this year's increase is 18 percent, which she called "unusual."

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The cost increase isn't only because there are more kids with special needs. School districts have also been getting better at documenting high-cost students and collecting the reimbursement money.

Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:28
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Not so long ago, leaving college dorm life for an off-campus apartment in Columbia meant a slight upgrade in niceties — with the bigger prize of greater independence and more freedom from prying parents.

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Now, students at the University of Missouri are flocking to high-end downtown apartment complexes that boast granite countertops, enormous flat-screen TVs and an ample taste of the good life with such amenities as rooftop swimming pools and on-site tanning salons.

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The desirous downtown destinations are forcing city leaders to confront thornier questions about parking, noise and historical preservation. Downtown development is a prominent issue in the city's mayoral race. It comes soon after a St. Louis developer backed away from plans to tear down the historic Niedermeyer building and replace it with more student high-rises.

Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:24
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has suspended a St. Louis judge who let a clerk handle hundreds of cases while she was on vacation.

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the unpaid six-month suspension of Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles was ordered Friday. A one-page order says the court found Peebles "engaged in misconduct" but doesn't go into specifics.

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Peebles has been suspended with pay since August, when a judicial disciplinary commission voted to recommend her removal. A report by the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline found Pebbles abdicated her duties to clerks, showed up late to work and tried to cover up the destruction or removal of a document.

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Peebles had been fighting the dismissal recommendation. It's been 20 years since a Missouri judge was removed from office.

 

 

Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:23
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Schnucks grocery store chain says it's found the source of a credit card fraud problem that has victimized dozens of people.

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In a news release Saturday, Schnucks Markets Inc. announced that the computer forensic firm it hired discovered that a computer code was recording customers' credit and debit card numbers. The suburban St. Louis-based grocery says it's taken "comprehensive measures" designed to block further access.

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CEO Scott Schnuck described what happened as a "cyberattack" and says the company is cooperating with authorities.

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The chain learned March 15th that some customers had noticed unauthorized charges for credit cards they used at Schnucks. Shoppers were encouraged to pay with cash or checks until the fraud problem was resolved.

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Authorities said many of the unauthorized charges were at out-of-state big box stores.

 

Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:19
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