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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old schoolmate when he was 17 has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge as part of a deal with prosecutors.
 
Matt Barnett entered the plea Thursday during a court hearing in his hometown of Maryville. He was sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term.
 
The girl says Barnett raped her at a house party in January 2012. Barnett says the sex was consensual.
 
The local prosecutor dropped the case because he said the girl's family stopped cooperating.
 
A special prosecutor was tasked with re-examining it after it received widespread attention last fall.
 
Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:55
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As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.
Approximately 300 blood drives in 25 states across the U.S. were canceled due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 88-hundred blood and platelet donations since
January 2.
In the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of nearly 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in nearly 900 fewer than expected blood donations over the past five days.
“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”
Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.
 
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. 
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
 
Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:14
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The Metropolitan Police Department will host a graduation ceremony for 28 new police
officers on Thursday.  The ceremony will take place in the Anheuser-Busch
Auditorium and begins at 7:00 p.m.
After 28 weeks of rigorous physical training and hours of classroom instruction, the
newest members of the Metropolitan Police Department are ready to embark on their new
journeys as St. Louis Police Officers. The new officers will be sworn in and presented their
official police badges at the ceremony. Mayor Francis Slay and Chief Sam Dotson will address
the new officers. The Deputy Chiefs and various commanders will be in attendance.
Thursday, 09 January 2014 10:40
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   The extended winter break continues for Johnson-Wabash Elementary students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  A sprinkler head burst Tuesday night, causing significant water damage to the school and forcing officials to cancel classes for the rest of this week.  

   District officials say they don't want to keep kids home until all of the repairs are made.  So, starting Monday, classes will be held at the First Baptist Church of Ferguson in the 300 block of North Florissant Road.  

   District officials plan to meet with families Thursday at 5:30 at Johnson-Wabash Elementary School to share information about the temporary relocation.

Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:50
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   If you normally feed the meter when you park in the City of St. Louis, there is good news — at least for a few days.  Parking meter violations won't be enforced this week.  

   Because of the snow, the St. Louis Treasurer's office isn't issuing parking tickets.  

   They're also not ticketing drivers who park on snow routes because the city didn't declare a snow emergency.

   Parking meter enforcement will resume in the city on Monday.

Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:20
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   It's another blow to a struggling North County mall.  The Macy's store at Jamestown is closing.  A clearance sale begins Monday.  
   The announcement came Wednesday.  Macy's officials say its part of a reorganization that will save the company $100 million per year.  The company will close five under-performing stores and cut 2,500 jobs across the country.    
   A spokesperson for the retailer says many of the 88 Jamestown employees will be offered positions at other Macy's locations in the St. Louis area.  The rest will be given severance packages.  
   Currently, Macy's employs 175,000 employees and operates 841 stores nationwide.
 
Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:14
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   CHICAGO (AP) - People who signed up recently for health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois now have until Jan. 30 to pay their first month's premium and still get coverage for all of January.
   Company spokesman Greg Thompson says customers must pay their first month's premium before coverage for medical benefits begins. But claims for services received between Jan. 1 and when the first payment is received will be processed retroactively.
   Blue Cross has the most customers in the state's individual market.
   Thompson says the company is extending the payment deadline to give customers extra time to plan their household budgets.
   The extension applies to people who bought a Blue Cross plan either on the new insurance marketplace or directly from the insurance company.
 
Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:12
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A small patch of forest in St. Louis County could be a big part of understanding global climate change.  In November, the 60-acre plot at Washington University's Tyson Research Center near Eureka was named a Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory.
The land between Lone Elk and West Tyson County Parks is now part of a network of 52 forest plots in 23 countries around the world being used to study climate change and bio-diversity.  
Together, the forests contain about 85-hundred species and 4.5 million individual trees, comprising the largest, systematically studied network of forest-ecology plots in the world.
In part, the Smithsonian project is examining both how climate change affects forests and how forests affect climate change.
The Tyson plot is expected to provide a lot of information because scientists have been monitoring it since the 1980s and have collected data covering two of Missouri's worst droughts in 1988 and 2012.
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 11:15
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