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Addiction recovery advocates will rally in Jefferson City today to urge Missouri lawmakers to pass legislation that's aimed at getting medical help for drug overdose victims.

A bill sponsored by Republican state Representative Bryan Spencer, would grant immunity from minor drug possession charges to overdose victims and people who get medical help for them. Ten other states, including Illinois, have already enacted the so-called "good Samaritan" laws. Spencer's bill is based on the Illinois model.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he supports the measure, saying that saving lives is more important than pursuing minor drug charges. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch expressed doubts that the law would make much difference, telling the paper that people who abuse alcohol or heroin "aren’t the most responsible" people.

Advocates say the state can't afford to ignore the problem. They cite research by the Missouri Recovery Network and Roosevelt University, which suggests that heroin and opiate abuse poses a particularly deadly and growing threat in Missouri, especially the St. Louis area.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 02:53
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri welfare recipients would be barred from using their benefits for alcohol, gambling or adult entertainment under a proposal from two state senators.

The legislation outlined Monday would also prevent welfare recipients from using their electronic benefit card for sporting events, lottery tickets, amusement parks, zoos or museums.

Repeatedly misusing welfare money would carry a felony charge and prison sentence.

The measure would stop short of preventing welfare recipients from purchasing banned items, because electronic benefits could still be converted into cash.

Republican Sen. Will Kraus, of Lee's Summit, and Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, are sponsoring the measure.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 01:54
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Today is primary day in the City of St. Louis. It's also the day we'll learn who will be the next mayor.

That's because the winner of today's Democratic Primary will face only Green Party Candidate James McNeeley in the general election April 2nd. And city voters haven't elected a non-Democrat to the post since Republican Aloys Kauffman won a second term back in 1945.

The Democratic incumbent, Mayor Francis Slay is running for a record fourth term. His chief Democratic rival is Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.

Both candidates spent Monday night campaigning and going over their "get out the vote" efforts -- preparations that could prove critical, with an election day weather forecast that calls for rain and snow.

The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 01:44
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Expect to pay more to park at Lambert Airport beginning next month. That's the word from the St. Louis Airport Commission which is expected to vote this week to increase the rate to park.

Parking at the airport's two primary garages would go from $2.50 per hour, up to $5 for the first two hours, or any fraction of that time. Under the proposed new rate structure, it would cost $5 to park for 30 minutes, and $10 to park for three hours. The same amount of time under current rates would cost $2.50 and $7.50 respectively.

Rates will also likely go up at three other airport facilities. The increases are expected to generate an additional $1.5 million in revenue.

Airport officials say they're also hoping to free up some space in the two busiest parking facilities by encouraging those picking up arriving passengers to use the cellphone lots instead of terminal parking.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 01:12
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