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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Preliminary reassessment figures show that the median value of a residential property in St. Louis County declined 7 percent over the last two years.

County Assessor Jake Zimmerman released the figures Monday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that many properties in areas with high levels of foreclosure sales are down 12 percent or more.

St. Louis County reassesses property every odd-numbered year.

Assessments increased for residential properties in only one school district — 0.4 percent in Clayton. The biggest drop was in the Riverview Gardens School District — 24 percent.

Zimmerman says sales volumes are picking up and the real estate market appears to be recovering.

The values are preliminary and could be changed by the assessor's office until July 1.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:30
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning millions of dollars of welfare payments made to low-income residents.

Schweich released an annual audit Tuesday examining Missouri's use of $12.7 billion of federal funds during the 2012 budget. He raised concerns about $68 million of expenses, mainly through programs run by the Department of Social Services.

As he has in the past, Schweich questioned whether some of Missouri's payments under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program were allowed under federal law. The department has said that they are.

Among other things, the audit also cited improper payments to some child care providers and noted that the state failed to perform annual eligibility verifications for some senior and elderly residents receiving home-based services.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:26
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A sheriff says a woman who disappeared for four days with her 4-year-old daughter spent that time smoking synthetic pot with her ex-husband in a low-rent suburban Kansas City motel.

Authorities feared 28-year-old Rachel Koechner had been abducted, but Chariton County Sheriff Chris Hughes says she spent much of that time with her ex and their child in the motel. Koechner has not been charged.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 15:57
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Police say an intoxicated man who broke into a St. Louis-area church might have gotten away with it if not for a case of the munchies.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 24-year-old Andrew Jung of St. Charles is charged with three felonies and jailed on $30,000 bond following the March 8 break-in of the St. Peters Catholic Church in St. Charles.

Responding officers found that a deep freezer had been damaged, and ice cream had been taken.

Jung was spotted walking about three blocks from the church — intoxicated and with ice cream on his face and clothing.

Court documents show that Jung is on probation for burglarizing another church nearby.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:48
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