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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri has dropped the GED and made the switch to a new high school equivalency exam.
 
The Columbia Missourian reports that beginning this month, Missouri began using HiSet, which Educational Testing Service is offering. The switch came with the introduction of a more costly computer-based version of the GED.
 
Even though the state went with the lowest bidder, the new exam will be more costly for some test takers.
 
Previously it cost $40 to take the GED once, with each retake costing another $40.
 
Missouri adult education official Tom Robbins says the most affordable way to take the HiSET is to pay $95 for the five-test battery. Participants get two free retests within a 12-month period. Out of that amount, $10 goes to the state to administer the program.
Monday, 06 January 2014 08:52
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KTRS, St. Louis, MO - Sunday marked the day Illinois residents could officially apply for a concealed weapons permit.

The Illinois State Police began accepting applications on its website yesterday. State Police have up to 90 days to approve or deny applications, as long as the applications are complete and fingerprints are submitted in an electronic format. The agency will have an additional 30 days to complete a manual background check if applicants choose not to submit fingerprints, so it could be months before anyone will actually be allowed to possess a concealed firearm.

Illinois is the last state in the nation to allow conceal-carry.

Monday, 06 January 2014 08:11
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Death penalty opponents are using the 25th anniversary of Missouri's resumption of capital punishment to highlight their desire to halt executions.
 
George Mercer was executed on Jan. 6, 1989, for the 1978 rape and slaying of waitress Karen Keeten in the Kansas City area. Mercer's execution was Missouri's first after a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in 1976.
 
Since then, Missouri has executed 70 inmates.
 
Death penalty opponents planned a news conference Monday at the Missouri Capitol.
 
Missouri slowed its execution pace in recent years during court challenges to its procedures.
 
But it executed two people in the past two months and is scheduled to execute Herbert Smulls on Jan. 29 for the 1991 robbery and slaying of suburban St. Louis jewelry store owner Stephen Honickman.
Monday, 06 January 2014 07:19
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Monday, 06 January 2014 06:42
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KTRS, St. Louis, MO - The wind is howling this morning and will be much of the day, forcing temperatures down to dangerously low levels. The wind chill will make the air temp feel like 20 to 30 degrees below zero, and the blowing and drifting snow will test the patience of drivers and road crews alike.

Officials are again asking that if you don't have to be on the roads, to stay home. St. Louis City and County government offices are closed as are St. Charles. If you must travel, be prepared for the unexpected, for instance a breakdown or an accident that closes the roadway. Carry extra clothing, a warm blanket, some food and water and perhaps a thermos with a hot beverage, and make certain your cell phone is fully charged.

Frostbite is a real consequence of not being prepared as in today's conditions, frostbite could occur within 30 minutes. Keep your mouth and nose covered, exposing as little skin as possible. And simply limit your time outdoors.

Monday, 06 January 2014 06:20
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Ameren Missouri and Illinois crews are also dealing with the perilous conditions.

There are nearly 53-hundred customers in St. Clair County without power and 500 in Macoupin County without power in Illinois.

In Missouri, crews are working to restore power to a dozen customers in St. Charles and about 30 customers in St. Louis County. The St. Louis County customers have been affected by a downed power line at Lindbergh and Schuetz. Over 600 customers in Jefferson County are crossing their fingers that power will be restored to them soon. 

Monday, 06 January 2014 06:18
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KTRS, St. Louis, MO - Snow, and lots of it, fell across the St. Louis area Sunday, wreaking havoc for road crews, firefighters and first responders.

Accumulation totals were in the double-digits in many areas with the depth at Lambert Airport officially measuring 10.8 inches. Downtown measured over a foot. The "precip" may have moved out, but life threatening temperatures have moved in and that is posing an extreme challenge.

A fire in St. Charles and one in Fairview Heights resulted in one death and several injuries yesterday. Fox2 News reports that four firefighters from the St. Charles Fire Department were injured Sunday night battling a house fire in the 600 block of Nancy Avenue. The family residing in the home escaped without injury. The firefighters were transported to St. John’s and Mercy hospitals. Three have been released and one is still receiving treatment. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fox2 also reports the Fairview Heights Fire Department and the Illinois State Fire Marshals Office are investigating a fatal fire that broke out Sunday evening around 7 o'clock. Officials say the fire killed a Fairview Heights woman in a mobile home located in the 300 block of Union Hill Road. The identity of the woman has not been released pending notification of family.

Monday, 06 January 2014 06:13
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri county prosecutors are working together to improve their crime-fighting efforts.

The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has created committees to discuss best practices, with a focus on getting convictions while protecting the rights of criminal defendants.

The Kansas City Star reports the committees will study such issues as handling forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony and the use of jailhouse informants. Other subcommittees will consider handling cases involving children, the elderly, drunken driving and sex crimes.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd says the effort was prompted in part by two recent cases — the release of 29-year-old Ryan Ferguson after he was jailed for more than a decade for a Columbia homicide, and the dismissal of sexual assault allegations in a Maryville case that caused a public uproar.

Sunday, 05 January 2014 12:28
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon says the incentive package Missouri offered Boeing showed the state is "ready to compete" in the global economy.

His statement came early Saturday morning, just after Boeing announced its new 777X airplane will be built in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order for that to happen.

Nixon thanked the General Assembly, community colleges and local business and labor partners for the "nationally-recognized proposal," which had authorized up to $1.7 billion in tax incentives over two decades.

He also said that Boeing's decision last month to shift some research positions to Missouri is "proof positive" that the state is a "top destination for high-tech jobs and investment."

Sunday, 05 January 2014 12:26
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The bitter cold weather settling over much of the Midwest and Northeast is unpleasant for most, but life-threatening for some who are willing to do almost anything — even dangerous things — to stay warm.

The U.S. Fire Administration says more than 50,000 residential fires annually are caused by heating, resulting in about 150 deaths. January is the peak month.

People who can't afford to heat their homes, or homeless people huddled in warehouses and abandoned buildings, often take desperate measures to survive. They heat homes with space heaters or huddle around open stoves, or even use candles or kerosene heaters.

Already this winter, several Missouri fires have occurred in buildings where alternative heat sources were used.

Sunday, 05 January 2014 12:23
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