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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Snow cover in western Missouri is pushing an unusually large number of snow geese into eastern Missouri near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

The Department of Conservation says a conservation area in Lincoln County north of St. Louis recorded 7,000 snow geese, with an estimated 15,000 birds in the surrounding area.

Snow geese spend the winter in Missouri and other southern areas of their range. They return north to the Arctic to nest.

The birds are common in marshes, rivers, lakes and crop fields. They move constantly to seek a place to feed.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 04:18
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate panel is trying to prevent the enforcement in the state of President Barak Obama's executive orders on gun control.

The committee voted Tuesday to adopt the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.

Obama signed 23 executive actions in January, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence.

Munzlinger's bill initially would have criminalized the enforcement of all federal gun laws, even those enacted by Congress, passed after Jan. 1, 2013. But those provisions were revised to include only the enforcement of executive orders.

A House committee endorsed similar legislation last week, but that measure seeks to criminalize enforcement of all federal gun laws.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 04:16
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Associated Press has learned the Illinois women's prison in Dwight will close by March 31 after a complicated move of hundreds of inmates, including the temporary placement of 500 prisoners in gymnasiums.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered Dwight penitentiary closed to save money. But state officials have not revealed how and when the women's facility would be shuttered.

A draft Department of Corrections memo obtained yesterday by the AP indicates the closure process began Feb. 28, with the transfer of male inmates at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln to prisons in Canton, Centralia, Danville, Hillsboro, and Vienna.

Those medium-security inmates would move into cells vacated by minimum-security inmates who will move into temporary housing in gymnasiums.

The women from Dwight will then move into the vacated cells at Logan.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 03:23
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a series of measures that would ban semi-automatic assault weapons in Illinois.

One amendment approved yesterday would make it a felony for anyone to possess a military-style assault weapon or to have large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo says civilians shouldn't have these guns because they're made for "mass destruction."

The debate was part of a procedure House Speaker Michael Madigan set up to allow open discussion of contentious issues. The first was last week and he followed that one with another on pensions.

The amendments were approved with Democratic votes only.

Republicans refused to cast votes. GOP Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst says Madigan's procedure puts politics before public safety.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 02:51
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