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Missouri's most prolific political financier has made more than $1 million in year-end donations to some of his favorite causes.  Online state campaign finance reports show that retired investment firm executive Rex Sinquefield gave $750,000 to Teachgreat.org, $245,000 to Grow Missouri and $25,000 to Missourians for Excellence in Government during the final weeks of December.
Teachgreat.org is backing a potential ballot initiative that would end tenure protections for public school teachers. Grow Missouri is backing a potential ballot initiative that would cut Missouri's income tax rates, and Missourians for Excellence in Government is a political action committee funding candidates like St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
Online records show Sinquefield made about $3.6 million in Missouri political contributions in 2013.
 
Thursday, 02 January 2014 08:16
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri judge has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Louis to release by the end of the working day Friday the names of all priests accused of sexual abuse in the past 20 years.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker's disclosure order also includes the names of those who made the complaints.
The judge said the archdiocese could withhold the names of those involved in cases the church determined were "unsubstantiated," leaving it unclear what the archdiocese will ultimately release from 234 complaints identified by the court.
A woman who is suing a defrocked priest, the archdiocese and Archbishop Robert Carlson sought the records. She alleges former priest Joseph Ross began abusing her 16 years ago.
 
 
Thursday, 02 January 2014 07:34
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Thursday, 02 January 2014 06:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to the governor's authority over the state budget.
The discussion comes after budget disputes in recent years. Most recently, Gov. Jay Nixon froze $400 million in the current year's spending plan, while citing concerns lawmakers would override his veto of a tax cut.
The veto was sustained and all but $134 million for capital improvements has since been released.
Republican House member Todd Richardson plans to propose a constitutional amendment for the annual legislative session starting next week. Richardson says he wants governors to have the ability to restrict spending when it is needed to keep the budget balanced, while also protecting the Legislature's power to decide how funds are spent.
Nixon says Missouri governors' current tools for managing the budget are needed.
Thursday, 02 January 2014 06:11
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The St. Louis County Police have issued a missing person advisory.

 

19-year-old Jessica Palmer went missing sometime between 1 AM and 9 AM Tuesday. Her family says Jessica suffers from several mental health disorders, including schizophrenia and Post traumatic stress disorder, and is classified as mentally challenged. Police say she has displayed suicidal tendencies previously.

 

She is a white woman about 5' 4" tall and weighs 200 pounds.

 

Anyone who has seen her is asked to call 911.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 15:48
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The amount Illinois must pay to keep pace with its pension systems should grow less than 2 percent next year but still total nearly $7 billion.
 
A state actuary's report that Auditor General William Holland released Tuesday says taxpayers must pay $6.86 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That's up about $100 million from this fiscal year.
 
Lawmakers adopted a reform plan in early December for the five pension systems to cut a $100 billion debt. But it doesn't take effect until June 1 and has been challenged in court.
 
The actuary suggested that three systems covering teachers, university employees and general state employees lower the estimated investment return they expect. It made the same suggestion last year but the numbers didn't change.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 15:10
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Columbia city officials say they hope an energy-efficient home will be a model for future low-income housing projects.
Habitat for Humanity is building the "net-zero" home, which includes solar panels and a solar water heater, low-flow plumbing fixtures and LED lighting.
It's the first time the organization has built such a home, which also has 45 percent more insulation than previous homes. The home also will be completely accessible to the disabled.
About a year ago, the city asked non-profit organizations to submit designs for energy-efficient homes that low-income families could afford.
The Columbia Missourian reports the house will sell for $107,000. It is expected to be completed in late spring or mid-summer next year.
 
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:35
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Dozens of inmates at a southwestern Illinois jail allege their constitutional rights were violated when they underwent group strip searches.
The federal lawsuit against the St. Clair County Jail was earlier filed this month in East St. Louis. The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports the inmates seek $10 million alleging "cruel and unusual" punishment.
The 29 inmates allege multiple body cavity searches were conducted in front of other inmates and guards.
The lawsuit contends the searches should been done in private.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson couldn't be reached by the newspaper. He didn't immediately return messages left Tuesday.
 A similar lawsuit against the jail was dismissed last week. The judge ruled strip searching prisoners as a group didn't violate the Constitution if it wasn't intended to humiliate prisoners.
 
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:23
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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State and local police officials will be working overtime during the New Year's holiday to ensure motorists are sober and buckled up.
   The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 250 law enforcement agencies across the state said Monday their aim is to prevent fatal motor crashes and ring in 2014 with a safe start.
   Hundreds of additional hours funded with federal money through IDOT will keep law enforcement officials on the road working overtime with roadside safety checks and seatbelt enforcement zones.
   IDOT crash data show from 2008 through 2012 during the New Year holiday, 38 people died in crashes on public roads. Forty percent of those died in accidents in which at least one driver had been injured.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:25
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   More than 200 new laws will go into effect in Illinois tomorrow, including some new traffic rules.  A new 70 mph interstate speed limit kicks in on January 1.  The law allows high-population counties like Madison and St. Clair to post lower speed limits.  But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that neither county appears to be opting out.
   Also starting tomorrow, it will be illegal to use a hand held cellphone while driving.  Hands-free devices will still be allowed.
   Other laws that take affect at the first of the year will limit police use of drones, ban electronic cigarettes and tanning beds for minors, make tossing a cigarette butt on the ground a Class B misdemeanor, and make it a crime to use GPS to track someone without their permission.
   Controversial new laws on concealed weapons, gay marriage and medical marijuana will take effect later in the year.
 
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:18
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