The online health insurance exchanges are now open in both Missouri and Illinois. The online marketplace is a key component of the federal health care law. Illinois officials have set up their own marketplace at GetCoveredIllinois.gov. Missouri voters chose to bar their government from setting up its own marketplace. So the federal government is running the exchange for Missouri residents at Healthcare.gov. Consumers have until December 15th to sign up if they want coverage to start on January 1st, but enrollment is open until March 31.
A death penalty case in St. Charles County is the first in more than a decade.
Sixty-three year old Terry Culberson is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 55 year old Dorothy Hall in the face five times. Her body was found inside Culberson's O'Fallon, Missouri mobile home on February 5, 2013.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says the brutality of the murder was a factor in deciding to ask for the death penalty. "St. Charles County has not requested a death penalty since 2002, so it's a very unique situation," he said.
Lohmar says Culberson's past conviction for assault with the intent to kill was also a factor. A trial date has not yet been set.
If the Zoo-Museum District doesn't expand to include more counties around the St. Louis metro area, visitors may have to start paying admission to visit the St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum and other cultural venues.
That's according to Zoo-Museum District Board member Charlie Valier. With grand plans to expand the zoo across I-64/US-40, civic leaders are trying to find the best way to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars needed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Valier told the board yesterday that there are three options to raise revenues: Ask voters to raise the tax rates; Charge admission; or widen the Zoo-Museum District to include St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri, and Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois.
Valier told the paper that six counties support cultural venues in the Denver area, and three support those in Detroit.
The firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District won't be pretty in pink for this year's breast cancer fundraiser.
The bright pink tee-shirts they've worn during Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the last four years have been banned this year by the district board.
Two of the district's three board members told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the shirts aren't professional and could lead to confusion among the public, since firefighters sell the tees to raise funds.
Firefighters say the move is political, since the shirts bear the firefighter's union logo.
Relations between the board and the International Association of Firefighters has been tense since the April board election.
As the Illinois State Police get ready to begin issuing concealed weapons permits, they're letting residents know more about the requirements of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
Concealed carry license applicants must successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction. So the ISP website now includes a list of approved concealed carry firearms training curricula. The website also provides an updated list of qualified instructors.
Concealed carry license applications will be available by January 5, 2014.
More information can be found at the ISP's firearms ccw website.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) is chiding House Republicans for failing to allow an up-or-down vote on a so-called "clean funding" bill.
McCaskill released a statement as the midnight deadline passed in Washington, saying the government shutdown will upset economic recovery. She criticized House Speaker John Boehner (R), calling his handing of the budget process "irresponsible political posturing."
The St. Louis County Democrat says the federal government shutdown will hurt Missourians by delaying veterans' benefits, causing furloughs for 39,000 federal employees in Missouri, delaying loans for small businesses and Social Security checks for seniors enrolling in the program for the first time.
During an interview with CNN's Wolfe Blitzer Monday evening, 2nd District Congresswoman Ann Wagoner (R) said the House GOP were the only ones working to avoid the shutdown.
The St. Louis County Republican criticized Senate leadership and President Obama for failing to negotiate over the weekend.
Wagoner issued a statement after the midnight deadline saying that she has waived her salary for the duration of the government shutdown "because congress didn't get the job done." Wagoner blamed the deadlock on "partisan bickering."
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis and Chicago are both pursuing the global headquarters of agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co., which last week announced it needed better access to its global customers and an international airport.
ADM currently is based in the central Illinois city of Decatur, roughly halfway between Chicago and St. Louis. The company is so far staying mum about where it wants to base 200 executive and information technology jobs.
CHICAGO (AP) - A budget director for Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown proceeds, Illinois employees paid by federal funds could face temporary layoffs as early as Wednesday.
The budget office had no estimates Monday for how many employees would be affected.
Abdon Pallasch is Quinn's assistant budget director. In a statement, he says that the timing of the layoffs would depend on existing resources and individual agencies. Agencies that could be affected include Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs.
During the last shutdown in 1995, about 1,200 Illinois employees were temporarily laid off. They were hired back after two weeks.
Pallasch says most state agencies have sufficient funds to provide services in the short term, but a longer term shutdown would have a greater impact.
NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the death of a southeast Missouri jail inmate.
The Sikeston Standard-Democrat reports that Daniel Presnell died Thursday morning at a hospital. He had been brought to the New Madrid County Jail Tuesday by a bail bondsman. Presnell was wanted for failure to appear in court on a charge of receiving stolen property.
Sheriff Terry Stevens says Presnell appeared intoxicated when he first arrived. He was taken to a Sikeston hospital when his condition failed to improve, then transferred to a hospital in Cape Girardeau, where he died.
An autopsy was conducted to determine the cause of death, and Stevens asked the patrol to investigate.
St. Louis officials were happy to announce that the national student robotics championship will continue to call St. Louis home.
The FIRST Robotics Championship inked a new three-year deal that will keep the event at the Edward Jones Dome through 2017. FIRST said that it reaches an estimated 300,000 kids from more than 60 countries in four K-12 robotics programs. The FIRST organization picked St. Louis from a group of cities vying for the conference.
The 2014 championships are set for April 23-26.