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   Franklin County officials reported damage county-wide.  That includes widespread roof and tree damage.  Sullivan was one of the hardest hit areas in the county.   Several mobile homes were damaged at the Jergenson mobile home park.  At least 4 people were injured there, mainly broken bones.  Rescue crews have gone door to door, searching for additional victims.  The storm struck the 1st Baptist Church in Union during a church service.  Worshippers evacuated to a safe area of the church, which lost a large portion of it's roof, but no one was injured.

   The cleanup will be long and arduous in Hazelwood after a tornado reportedly touched down their during last night's storms.  Strike teams from St. Charles County were called in to assist local authorities about 8:30 p.m.  Fire crews from St. Charles and the City of St. Louis were also called in.  Ground zero was near Howdershell and Lynn Haven.  At least one person became trapped after a tornado tossed a large tree onto a home at Howdershell and Octavia.  Several buildings were damaged in that area and police have closed the roads leading into the neighborhood.  The good news:  There have been no reports of serious injuries in Hazelwood.

   Multiple Tornado Warnings were issued for St. Charles County. Projected paths included St. Peters, Cottleville, and St. Charles; 370 Park; and West Alton. Radar also indicated rotation between O’Fallon and Lake St. Louis, as well as in the area near Defiance.  Power outages are minimal in St. Charles County, but there are other problems, including road closures.  Highway 94 is blocked just east of Portage des Sioux because of downed power poles and wires.  A spokesperson for the county says they're not sure when that will be cleared.  Also there's water covering Hwy H at Hwy 94. Multiple utility lines down or arcing in Dardenne Prairie, St. Peters, O’Fallon, and unincorporated county. And lightning strikes were reported in Lake St. Louis, Dardenne Prairie, Cottleville, and unincorporated areas.

   Damage is also being reported in the Hill neighborhood of South St. Louis.  In the 5600 block of Columbia, two homes were heavily damaged.  The roof was ripped off one home and strewn across the block, causing additional damage to cars and other homes.

  

   

 

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   Baseball fans who plan to go downtown for today's opening day festivities may find their usual route to Busch Stadium blocked.  St. Louis Police are advising revelers to leave early because of road changes and closures due to construction of Ballpark Village.  

  • 8th Street is now a two-way street between Clark and Market with two north and southbound lanes.
  • Temporary stop signs are currently in place at the intersections of 8th Street and Clark, as well as 8th Street and Walnut.
  • Walnut is now a two-way street between 8th Street and Broadway, with one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.
  • 7th Street is no longer in existence.
   Fans are encouraged to avoid construction delays by using MetroLink.

   Pedestrians should also note that the pedestrian bridge between the Stadium West garage and the ballpark has been removed.  

   Those choosing to drive are urged to “park smart” — park in well-lit, populated areas, concealing valuables by placing them in compartments or in the vehicle’s trunk prior to arrival. The department strongly encourages citizens to leave firearms at home. Events such as baseball games are no place for firearms, as they are not allowed inside Busch Stadium and leaving them in a vehicle creates opportunity for criminals. Don’t let your legal firearm become an illegal firearm.

   Event-goers are also advised to remain aware of their surroundings and if choosing to consume alcohol, are urged to drink responsibly. Criminals often target those who appear to be most vulnerable, including those who might be intoxicated.

   There will be a significant law enforcement presence in all areas surrounding Downtown and Busch Stadium. We strongly encourage anyone who sees criminal or suspicious activity to alert a nearby officer or dial 9-1-1.

 
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   Saturday is International Pillow Fight Day and fluffy faceoffs are planned across the globe, including St. Louis.  It's part of the urban playground movement where groups organize free, fun, non-commercial public events for all ages.  Besides the Gateway City, pillow fights will take place in several other U.S. cities, including Washington, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles.  There will also be events in London, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Rome, just to name a few.

   The St. Louis Pillow Fight will begin at 2pm at Cricket Field in Forest Park (Southeast corner of the intersection of Grand Dr. and Cricket Dr. This is very close to the parking lots in front of the MUNY, near Dwight Davis Tennis Center and close to the Visitor Center.  The field is #3 on the map.  

   This event is open to and appropriate for all ages.


RULES: 

1) First and foremost: NO violence - This is a loving event. 

2) Soft pillows only. No zippers, snaps, anything. Just regular pillows. (Tip: Pillows in pillow cases allow for better swinging arc) 

3) Swing with love 

4) Do not swing at anyone without a pillow or holding a camera 

5) Remove your glasses before you jump in 

6) NO FEATHERS. Let's not make a mess. 

7) DON'T LEAVE YOUR PILLOWS BEHIND. STL Improv Anywhere doesn't wanna clean them up! 

8) Be cool 

9) Costumes are highly encouraged ;)

   DISCLAIMER: All people attending this event do so at their own risk. You are all responsible for your own welfare (and that of others) as well as the preservation of public and personal property. The creators and promoters of this event accept no liability for the actions of its participants.

   Get more information at the 2013 Pillow Fight Day website

 
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St Louis area girl scouts set a new Guinness World Record for collecting more than 1.4 million personal care items last year. 

The scouts teamed with 30 Walmart stores in the first ever “Showering the Community” event last year and is part of their April Showers program.

Donna Martin with the Eastern District of the Greater St. Louis area Girl Scouts says they're doing the same this year at area Walmart's on April 12th-14th. Martin says, ""We had nearly 18,000 girls and 14,000adult volunteers working on this last year and we hope to exceed that this year. Not because it's a record but because we fulfill a need in our community."

The Girls Scout's partner, Operation Food Search helped give out the goods to individuals and families in need.  CEO Sonny Schaefer tells KTRS' Vicki Pimentel, "So many are going to food pantries these days who never in their life thought they'd need to do that."

If you'd like to donate to this year's campaign, you  have until April 20 to fill the bags with items printed on the outside. 

You can also buy pre-packaged bags from Schnuck’s and Dierberg’s stores. Drop off boxes are provided at the stores.

Those who are unable to participate or who forget to donate during the week of the event may drop off items at any Dierberg’s market from April 20 to May 4.

You may also call 1.800.727.4475, ext. 4601 to arrange pickups.

 

 

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     Metro will be giving some passengers free rides under a federal class action settlement agreement.  The transit agency was sued over MetroLink credit and debit card receipts that violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.  

     Under the law, merchants can print up to the last five digits of a customer's credit or debit card number or the card's expiration date on their receipt, but not both.  Between January 2010 and August 2011, Metro had been printing both.  

     The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that people who used credit or debit cards to buy tickets during the 20 month period can make claims by July 3 for free ride passes or tickets.  Those who still have their receipts could get $30 cash instead.

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ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor, Fred Weber Inc., will close all lanes and ramps of Interstate 64 in both directions downtown between Hampton and Forest Park Parkway at 8 p.m. Friday, March 29. The closure is weather permitting.

While the interstate is closed, crews will relocate several utilities under the roadway as part of a project to construct a new interchange at Tower Grove and Boyle and replace four bridges over the interstate. The ramps from McCausland/Skinker, Hampton and Kingshighway to eastbound I-64 will be closed during this time. In addition, the ramps from Pine, Jefferson, Market and Grand to westbound I-64 will be closed during this time.

Crews will reopen the interstate and all ramps by 3 a.m. Monday, April 1.

The detour for westbound I-64 will be to get off the interstate at the Forest Park Avenue exit (exit 38A) and follow Forest Park Avenue to Kingshighway. After turning left onto Kingshighway, drivers will follow Kingshighway back to the interstate. The detour for eastbound I-64 will be to get off the interstate at the Hampton Avenue exit (exit 34B), turn right on Hampton and follow it to eastbound Interstate 44. Drivers can then take I-44 to the Poplar Street Bridge. Detour maps are available on-line at http://tinyurl.com/i64detour0113

Washington University in St. Louis and BJC HealthCare have partnered with the department on the project. Construction is expected to continue until July 2014.
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Stephen Colbert and President Bill Clinton are headed to St. Louis next month.

Colbert will interview Clinton on April 6 at Washington University. The appearance is the closing session of the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting. Clinton started the program five years ago as a way to engage the next generation of leaders from around the word.

The interview will air during the Colbert Report during the week of April 8.
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It probably won't come as a surprise to many in the metro area, but the spring snowstorm that blanketed St. Louis Sunday set a record. It was the deepest one-day snowfall in March according to the National Weather Service.

The official snow total at Lambert Airport was 12.4 inches, beating the old record by three-tenths of an inch, and snow is still falling this morning.

That old record of 12.1 inches dates back to March 24, 1912.
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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch in effect from late Saturday night through Sunday evening. Precipitation will initially overspread the area late Saturday afternoon and evening and will be in the form of rain. As colder air builds southward Saturday night. The rain will change to snow and become heavy at times, especially after midnight. Snow will then continue through much of the day on Sunday. Accumulations will be 5 to 8 inches of snow possible with locally higher amounts. Here are more weather stats from the National Weather Service: Winds: North 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Impact: Snow will have the potential to not only accumulate on roads but accumulate at a rapid pace. the snowfall will likely greatly reduce visibilities at times and result in snow packed and slick roads...making travel hazardous. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch is advanced notice that severe winter weather is possible in the watch area. It does not mean it is a certainty. Those in the watch area should begin preparing in case the storm does materialize. If you have travel planned...you may want to adjust your travel time to avoid the storm. Also, you should use this advanced notice to make certain your vehicle is winterized. Make preparations at home by stocking emergency supplies, such as food, medicine and extra heating fuel, just in case the storm makes travel impossible. This is especially important for those living in rural areas.
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The move to a new building for the St. Louis Police Department is going to be more expensive than first thought.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that bids came in more than $1.6 million over expectations. Now, the move will be delayed until early next year — nearly a year later than the original estimate.

The department received seven bids this month. The lowest was $6.3 million to retrofit a former Wells Fargo office building at 1915 Olive St. The department was expecting a cost of about $4.7 million.

Chief Sam Dotson says the awarding of a contract is on hold while officials ensure that the low bidder meets minority participation requirements.

The department's current headquarters at 1200 Clark Ave. dates to 1927 and needs extensive renovation.
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