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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to deliver his annual State of the State address on Jan. 21.
The governor outlines his legislative priorities during the speech and also releases his state budget proposal. Nixon plans to make his remarks at 7 p.m. to a joint session of the House and Senate.
The Democratic governor already has outlined some of his priorities for the 2014 session. Those include more funding for public school districts and higher education, an expansion of the state Medicaid health care program to cover more lower-income adults and an overhaul of the state's tax credit programs.
Republican legislative leaders have said a Medicaid expansion is unlikely. They also have disagreed with Nixon's administration on the amount of money expected to be available for next year's budget.
   
 
Friday, 03 January 2014 10:16
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - It's been more than 25 years since workers renovating Abraham Lincoln's home found a letter fragment in a mouse's nest inside a wall. But researchers think they've finally identified the author of the mystery letter as newspaper editor Andrew Johnston.
Stacy Pratt McDermott is an associate editor of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln. She compared handwriting on the fragment with other correspondence between Lincoln and Johnston and found it matched.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the two men exchanged several letters about poetry and politics.
The March 10, 1846, letter sent from Quincy, Ill., was Johnston's reply to a poem the future president had shared with him.
Papers of Abraham Lincoln Director Daniel Stowell says "it illuminates an interesting part of Lincoln's career in that he enjoyed poetry."
Friday, 03 January 2014 09:30
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - It's the final day to submit public comment on proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
Environmentalists say thousands of comments have been submitted about the process known as hydraulic fracturing. The Southern Illinoisan reports the final number of written comments will be tallied after the public comment period ends Friday.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will use the comments to evaluate possible rule changes. A panel of legislators will give final approval.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed regulations into law last year that were hailed as among the toughest in the nation.
Supporters say fracking will create thousands of jobs. Opponents fear it could pollute water resources.
Friday, 03 January 2014 07:50
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis leaders are pursuing changes to the operations of the city-owned Soldiers Memorial Military Museum.
The downtown museum's collection of war letters, weapons, uniforms and other artifacts has been neglected for years. The museum also needs more than $6 million in repairs. The city has tried several times to find another caretaker for the memorial.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is interested in a multimillion dollar overhaul of the museum, and establishing an endowment.
Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Francis Slay, says the memorial's fundraising board is talking to other groups that have shown interest in participating in efforts to fix the museum. He says it's early and no commitments have been made, but prospects for help are encouraging.
 
Friday, 03 January 2014 07:42
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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Sierra Club is asking an Illinois appeals court to overturn a state board's ruling that allows Dynegy Inc. more time to install soot controls on five coal-fired power plants it recently acquired from Ameren Corp.
   The appeal was recorded yesterday by the 4th District Appellate Court. It seeks reversal of the Pollution Control Board's November decision to give Dynegy until 2020 to install state-required controls on sulfur dioxide emissions.
   The board agreed 3-1 that requiring significant pollution controls on the plants by 2015 would be a financial hardship.
   Holly Bender is deputy director for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. She says the board's ruling went against the evidence and sets a "dangerous precedent."
   Dynegy spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the variance is more stringent than one granted to Ameren.
 
Friday, 03 January 2014 03:39
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   SEATTLE (AP) - Boeing's contract proposal to machinists in the Puget Sound region would likely increase some workers' annual base salaries to more than $100,000 in the coming years.
   The offer going to a vote Friday would slow the growth of machinists' wages starting in 2016, but workers would still get regular cost-of-living adjustments and an additional one percent raise every other year.
   If historical cost-of-living changes continue, about 400 machinists in Washington state would surpass $100,000 in base pay in 2020, not counting shift differentials or overtime. The most common class of machinists would reach $82,000 at that point.
   Local union leaders are recommending that machinists reject the proposal, in part because it would slow how fast wages grow.
   But the contract would secure work on Boeing's new 777X in the region at a time when 22 states, including Missouri and Illinois are vying for those jobs.
 
Friday, 03 January 2014 03:25
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   St. Louis' extremely cold winter weather has claimed the life of an Alton, Illinois man.  

   Police say 66 year old Carl Walker had been removing snow with a snow blower outside his home Thursday morning when he became short of breath.  He went inside and his wife called 9-1-1.  

   Walker was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he died.  

   Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn says Walker suffered a heart attack.  

   Nonn says its important for everyone, especially those with heart and other health conditions to use extra caution in cold conditions.

Friday, 03 January 2014 02:42
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   St. Louis is seeing some of the harshest winter weather of the last couple of years.  Snow followed by bitterly cold temperatures seems to be a repeating pattern.  

   Snow is expected again Saturday night into Sunday, with 6-7 inches of accumulation possible.  

   That will be followed by historically cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills.  Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in St. Louis say it could be the coldest weather the metro area has seen in the last 20 years.  

   Low temperatures are expected to fall to zero or below both Monday and Tuesday mornings.  Daytime highs won't get out of the single digits and wind chills are expected to be 15-25 degrees below zero from Sunday through Tuesday. 

   Average highs and low temperatures for St. Louis in early January are 40 and 24.
Friday, 03 January 2014 02:18
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   Articulated buses, with two segments linked by an accordion-like connection, will roll in St. Louis this year.

   Metro Transit will deploy the refurbished, 60 foot buses this year to address chronic overcrowding on the Grand line. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that reports that even with the buses running down Grand every 10 minutes, there isn't enough room to pick up all of the would-be passengers. The articulated buses have 14 more seats than the standard 40 foot buses.  

   More than $5 million in federal grants helped Metro buy 15 of the used buses.

   The first of them will be on the streets by March, with the rest running by midyear.

 

Friday, 03 January 2014 02:02
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Nearly two weeks after a jewelry store burglary, police are still looking for the suspects.

 

On the evening of December 20 and employee at Mississippi Mud Gallery and Gifts in Imperial, MO noticed a rear window had been opened. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department says the thief made off with tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry.

 

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department at 636-262-3965.

Thursday, 02 January 2014 15:27
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