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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would renew tax credits for charitable causes but end them for international adoptions.

The legislation sent Wednesday to Gov. Jay Nixon would reinstate tax credits for food pantry donations that expired in 2011 and for donations to pregnancy resource centers and child advocacy centers that expired in 2012.

It also renews tax credits for surviving spouses of deceased public safety officers and for people who improve their homes to be accessible to the disabled.

But the bill halts state tax credits for people who adopt children from other countries or other states. It keeps adoption tax credits in place only for Missouri children with "special needs."
Thursday, 14 March 2013 04:27
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Population growth in the St. Louis metro area is lagging behind the rest of the nation. 2012 census figures released today indicate that the region grew by less than one-tenth of a percentage point, while the nation as a whole grew by three-quarters of one percent.

Locally, the City of St. Louis, Franklin County and all of the metro-east counties except Monroe, lost ground.

St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln Counties all added population, with the most growth west of the Missouri River.
Thursday, 14 March 2013 03:54
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One of the busiest fire departments in the St. Louis area may lose almost half of it's firefighters by the end next month.

The East St. Louis Fire Department gets a substantial part of it's funding from a federal grant. That grant is about to run out. The firefighter's union says that means 22 of the department's 53 firefighters would be let go.

Mayor Alvin Parks says the city is reapplying for the grant, but it could be denied. Parks told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that happens, the city would only need to lay off 10-15 firefighters because of a tax increase that took effect in January.

The firefighters union says they're already short on personnel and resources, unable to send more than 6 firefighters to any one fire scene.

The firefighters are making their case with Youtube video, which had nearly 40,000 hits in the first two days since it was posted.



According to their video, East St. Louis firefighters answer a lot of calls. About half of all 9-1-1 calls in East St. Louis last year, 950 calls were for fires.
Thursday, 14 March 2013 02:49
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St. Louis Community College officials are doing what they can to prepare their staff for emergencies, including the frightening prospect of an armed intruder. College staff, students and emergency responders practiced their reaction to a simulated mass shooting at the Forest Park campus Wednesday.

Campus Police Chief Richard Branahan says the school has been holding the drills for the last four years. "Because of all the things that have happened, and all of the school shootings in the past," Branahan said. "This is just part of continuing training we're doing with the officers throughout the district."

St. Louis Police, Fire Department, paramedics and even the FBI participated in Wednesday's simulation.
Thursday, 14 March 2013 01:46
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