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Researchers at Saint Louis University are say dogs may be more than man's best friend.

 

The doctors say having dogs in the house may keep children from developing asthma and allergies later in life. The researchers exposed mice to dust from a dog owner’s home then tested the mice’s immune response to a substance that commonly triggers asthma attacks. The mice exposed to the dust had a less severe reaction.

 

Doctors say the exposure teaches your immune system how to react.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 12:45
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The Ferguson-Florissant School District is moving forward with plans to terminate Superintendent Dr. Art McCoy.

 

On November 6 the board placed Dr. McCoy on paid leave. The next step in the procedure is to hold a hearing with McCoy so he can hear the reasons for his termination. The hearing will be in a closed session, unless the two sides agree to hold the meeting in open session.

 

In a statement posted to the school district's Facebook page, Board President Paul Morris says that after the hearing they will decide if McCoy's contract should be terminated with cause.

 

The school board has not released the reason they placed McCoy on leave last month.

 

The full statement is posted below:

Dear Ferguson-Florissant School District Families, Staff and Community,
 
As you know, on Nov. 6, the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education placed Dr. Art McCoy on paid administrative leave. Since that time, the Board has looked into several areas of concern and an independent, third-party investigation has been completed.
 
As a result of conclusions reached through these investigations, the Board has voted 6-1 to issue a notice of charges to Dr. McCoy stating reasons the board is considering terminating his contract for cause. Dr. McCoy and his attorney have received the statement of charges.
 
In accordance with the superintendent’s contract with the Board of Education, Dr. McCoy will receive a full hearing of these charges. The hearing will be conducted in closed session, unless a mutual agreement is reached between the Board and Dr. McCoy to hold the meeting in open session. Only after the hearing will the Board determine whether to terminate Dr. McCoy’s contract for cause, which would relieve the District’s responsibility to pay Dr. McCoy’s salary and benefits.
 
This was a very difficult decision, but one that we believe is in the best interests of our students, parents and community. It was made after a thorough, independent investigation and much careful deliberation among all members of the Board of Education. We recognize and are grateful for Dr. McCoy’s contributions to our students since becoming superintendent. Unfortunately, we find it necessary to take this action at this time.
 
We want our students, their families and our community to know that we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every one of our students receives the highest-quality educational opportunities available, and that we will work closely with our District community to forge the path forward with the ultimate goal of success for all of our students.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mr. Paul T. Morris
President
Ferguson-Florissant School District Board of Education
 
Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:51
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The Metropolitan Sewer District is embarking on a 23-year, $4.7 billion plan to improve water quality in the St. Louis area.
 
Most residents won't see the aggressive program of maintenance and repair. Crystal Howard, a spokesperson for MSD, joined McGraw Thursday morning and said the public can help with the project. Howard is asking residents to keep food scraps, oils, and grease--or FOG--out of the sewer system. She encourages everyone to keep a can next to the kitchen sink and instead of dumping oil and grease down the drain, pour it into the can.
 
MSD started the FOG campaign in November and Howard said the results were great, "We did this initiative just before Thanksgiving, we asked everybody--reminded them not to do that. We have had a 10-year low on backups for November"
 
MSD is offering free lids for grease cans. They can be picked up at MSD Headquarters at 2350 Market Street.
 
 
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:28
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Use of the death penalty declined nationally in 2013, but the punishment has seen a resurgence in Missouri.
 
The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released a report showing that 39 people were executed in the U.S. in 2013, just the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 were put to death.
 
Missouri has executed two men in the past month - Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 29 and Allen Nicklasson on Dec. 11. The executions were the first in Missouri since 2011, and the most in a single year since five in 2005.
 
Meanwhile, the number of new U.S. death sentences so far this year is 80, up three from 2012 but down from 315 in 1996. Three death sentences were imposed in Missouri in 2013.
 
Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:21
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It appears the teachers in a small Illinois school district could soon have a new contract.

 

The Mount Olive Board of Education approved a contract agreement that was reached with the teachers' union on Saturday. Teachers were back in the classroom on Monday after spending a week on the picket line. Under the agreement, four teacher will have their retirement benefits reinstated. The contract also eliminates a two-tier salary system. That plan meant new teachers would make less money than current teachers in the district.

 

Teachers are also getting their first pay raise since 2009.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:10
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   St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is doing something he's never done before.  He's calling for an FBI investigation of an officer-involved shooting.  

   In April 2013, 25 year old Cary Ball was shot to death by police after he fled a traffic stop.  The officers say Ball had pointed his gun at them.  A police investigation concluded last month that the shooting was justified.  

   Ball's family told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they don't believe he would have aimed a gun at police.  They've filed a wrongful-death suit.  

   Chief Dotson told the paper that he's asked for the FBI probe to make certain his department got it right, and not because of any allegations against the officers involved.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 03:21
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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year.
 
The Chicago Democrat who's seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.
 
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Quinn said Wednesday that raising the wage will help eliminate poverty.
 
Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010. There's legislation pending in Springfield to increase it, including a call for $15 an hour.
 
However Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Quinn says that claims are flat wrong.
 
Some business groups have also accused Quinn of trotting out the issue ahead of the 2014 election.
 
Quinn says it's not a new issue for him.
 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:58
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 CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials are emailing and calling thousands of people, advising them to start over on their health insurance applications if they believe the federal government mistakenly referred them to Medicaid.
 
Federal officials received more than 30,000 applications from Illinoisans who may be eligible for Medicaid, the government health program for the poor.
 
But the federal HealthCare.gov website has been plagued by glitches, now mostly fixed. Illinois officials say anyone who believes they were referred to Medicaid by mistake should start again at the Get Covered Illinois online screening tool.
 
Officials advise if the screener sends them to HealthCare.gov, they should create a new account with a different email address and submit a new application. If the screener refers them to the state's Medicaid site, they can submit an application there.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:57
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Two 15-year-olds and 13-year-old are in custody connected to a carjacking Tuesday night.

 

The incident happened outside of a Dollar General store in Fairview Heights. A mother and her 7-year-old son say the suspects pulled a gun on them, demanded money, and sped off in her car. An officer in the area tried to stop the car, but the suspects did not stop. The driver lost control of the car and it slid off the road. After a brief manhunt, police captured the teens.

 

Police say all three teens had “airsoft guns,” which look like real guns. All three teens are being held in St. Clair County. One suspect was already on home confinement for a previous crime.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:55
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Police in Collinsville are asking for help to solve a series of robberies.

 

The suspects lure victims using a deal on Craigslist and then beat and rob the victims. Police say the most recent crime was on Tuesday night. The victim told officers he was responding to a post for a TV for sale. When the victim walked into the apartment, someone in a ski mask hit the victim with a bat and stole his money.

 

A similar robbery occurred at the same apartment building just two days earlier. No one was injured in that case. No suspects are in custody.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:32
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