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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Running afoul of Missouri's open government laws could carry a smaller financial penalty but no longer require proof the law was knowingly broken under legislation before a Senate committee.

Officials or agencies now can pay up to $5,000 for a purposeful violation and up to $1,000 for a "knowing" violation. The Senate legislation would reduce the amount of the lesser penalty to $100 and no longer require a violation be committed "knowingly" for there to be punishment.

Supporters say the changes would make enforcement of the Sunshine Law just like that of other statutes.

Organizations representing cities, counties and other local governments are critical. They question levying penalties against people who can be volunteers and who accidently violate an open meeting or public records requirement while serving their communities.

Sunday, 16 March 2014 09:11
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — It's payback time for all of those snow days this winter — but not for everyone.

Spring break was scheduled about this time of year for many school districts, but the brutal winter forced so many snow days that some schools are remaining in session to make up the days.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that not everyone is in attendance. Some teachers who made spring break reservations for trips are sticking with their plans. That has led to a high number of requests for substitute teachers, leaving some districts to scramble for replacements.

The scenario could crop up again at the end of the school year as schools make up for snow days.

Sunday, 16 March 2014 09:09
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Patrik Berglund scored twice to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators Saturday night.
 
Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen had the other goals for the Blues, who have won seven of their last eight. The game also marked the fifth and final game of the season series between the Central Division rivals, with the Blues winning all five matchups.
 
Ryan Miller made 30 saves to improve to 6-0-1 since the Blues acquired him in a trade with Buffalo on Feb. 28. Two of those victories came against the Predators.
 
St. Louis is 19-0-2 against the Central this season.
 
Eric Nystrom scored for Nashville, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. The Predators have lost their last five home games, all in regulation.
 
Berglund scored the game's first goal at 11:32 of the opening period. Nashville failed to clear the puck from inside its blue line, and Berglund grabbed it and skated to the top of the left faceoff circle, where he beat Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot.
 
Rinne started for the second game in as many nights, his first back-to-back set since returning to Nashville's lineup after missing 51 games with an infection in his right hip.
 
Berglund struck again at 2:02 of the second. He carried the puck into Nashville's zone on the right side and pulled up at the right faceoff dot, where he beat Rinne between the pads with a wrist shot.
 
It was Berglund's third two-goal game of the season.
 
Tarasenko made it 3-0 at 7:21 of the second when he collected a rebound off of the end boards and beat Rinne to the far post to record his 21st goal of the season. He has points in five consecutive games.
 
Nystrom scored Nashville's lone goal at 16:50 of the third after he collected the puck following a goalmouth scramble. The goal was Nystrom's 13th of the season.
 
Steen scored his 30th at 8:05 of the third on a one-timer from the top of the right circle off of a pass from Jaden Schwartz. It is the first 30-goal campaign of Steen's career.
 
NOTES: Nashville LW Viktor Stalberg played in his 300th career regular season game. ... This is the first time the Blues have swept the season series with Nashville. ... Tarasenko had five points in five games played against the Predators this season.
Saturday, 15 March 2014 22:34
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Joe Kelly pitched into the sixth inning and had three hits to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Saturday.
 
Kelly went 5 1-3 innings, allowing four hits and a run. He became the first pitcher to have three hits in a spring training game since Chris Volstad did it for the Marlins in 2010.
 
Kelly singled three times, drove in two runs and scored twice.
 
The right-hander made 37 appearances for the Cardinals last season, including 15 starts, and went 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA. He pitched into the postseason and said he feels like a permanent part of the staff heading into the season.
 
"I went deep into the game," Kelly said. "I had some quick outs and that should always be a goal for me. I saw the whole lineup."
 
The Braves, still reeling from the possibility of beginning the season without ailing pitchers Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, started non-roster invitee Gus Schlosser, who allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in four innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
 
Schlosser was expected to work out of the bullpen this season, but will likely stretch his arm out in Triple-A at the start of the year as an insurance policy for the starting rotation.
 
STARTING TIME
 
Cardinals: Kelly's outing was the longest by a St. Louis pitcher all spring. "That was a great performance," manager Mike Matheny said. "He was trying to be a one-man show today. He was still throwing up to 95-97 (mph) in the sixth and he was still going after the hitters. I liked what I saw."
 
Braves: Schlosser was his own worst enemy while allowing three runs in the third inning. He misplayed a grounder that led to the first run and put two runners in scoring position. "I felt good," Schlosser said. "I had one bad inning, but overall I did my job. I just tried to show what I can do if given the chance. I didn't feel out of my comfort zone at all." Schlosser has made 55 starts in his minor league career but hasn't pitched in Triple-A yet.
 
TRAINER'S ROOM
 
Braves: Medlen and Beachy are expected to get checked out Monday by Dr. James Andrews to see if they will need second Tommy John surgeries. ... SS Andrelton Simmons missed the game with a sore knee. He is day to day.
 
BATTING CHAMP FOR A DAY
 
Kelly said the Cardinals are stressing that their pitchers spend more time on hitting, and it paid off with his 3-for-3 day. "We were one of the worst-hitting teams in baseball last year when it came to pitchers," Kelly said. "We are trying to take shorter swings and just get the ball over the infield. It was pretty fun today. We're working on it because we were so close to being last in almost every category last year." Kelly has a career batting average of .152 in two seasons with St. Louis.
 
HELP WANTED
 
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would be taking a long look at plenty of "insurance policies," including Schlosser, to pick up the slack for Atlanta's injured starting pitchers. In addition to Medlen and Beachy, Minor might miss the first couple weeks of the season. As for his rotation when the team goes north, Gonzalez said he has a lot of thinking to do. "I haven't decided whether to go with four starters at the start of the year or five," he said. "I just want to see what we have just in case."
Saturday, 15 March 2014 22:32
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