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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials say a strip club tax has generated less than 40 percent of the money that was expected when the surcharge was approved.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the "pole tax" raised about $380,000 in 2013. That's far less than the $1 million predicted when the measure passed the General Assembly in 2012.
The money is earmarked for rape crisis centers.
 
Strip clubs can pay a $3 tax for every customer or an annual fee ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 based on sales.
 
Polly Poskin is executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She attributes the lower revenue to the fact that the requirement only applies to strip clubs that sell or allow alcohol. Chicago bans alcohol at its strip clubs.
 
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:35
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri could award additional tax credits for donations to pregnancy resource centers, food pantries and maternity homes under legislation endorsed by the Missouri Senate.
 
Under the bill given first-round approval Tuesday, the current annual tax credit cap would increase by $500,000 for all three programs. The pregnancy and maternity center tax credits would be limited to $2.5 million per year and the food pantry program would be capped at $1.75 million annually.
 
The legislation would also expand an existing tax credit program to apply toward donations for programs that provide food for students during non-school hours. That credit would be capped at $500,000 per year.
 
The measure needs one more vote before moving to the House.
 
 
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:20
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Officials from Missouri's public universities are raising concerns about reduced revenues for education as state lawmakers consider an income tax cut.
 
A statement signed by the governing board presidents of nine state universities cites concerns that legislation could limit the money available for education.
 
Although the letter does not specifically mention the proposed income tax cut, the executive director of the Council on Public Higher Education said that is the subject of the concerns.
 
The Republican-led House could vote as soon as Wednesday on whether to give final approval to a bill that would eventually cut more than $600 million of income taxes for individuals and businesses.
 
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has said the bill could harm education funding. He vetoed a tax cut last year.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:16
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis-area man is accused of sexually torturing five women in his apartment over several years.
 
Authorities on Tuesday announced that 29-year-old Adam Michael Capriglione of south St. Louis County is facing 19 felony charges that include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, felonious restraint and domestic assault.
Capriglione is jailed on $500,000 bond.
 
Police spokesman Brian Schellman says an investigation began after one of the victims contacted police in January. Capriglione is accused of raping, sodomizing and torturing five women dating back to 2006.
Capriglione also faces one count of sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly filming a child having sex in 2007.
 A phone message left with Capriglione's attorney, Joseph Green, was not immediately returned.
 
The crimes occurred at Capriglione's apartment and allegedly involved five victims. According to court records, most of the victims began as girlfriends. Some lived with Capriglione. One woman was allegedly choked until she fell unconscious. That same victim was allegedly burned with heated scissors, cut, and beaten with a rubber mallet.
 
Police suspect there may be other victims and urge them to come forward.
 
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:09
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - St. Louis County police and the Drug Enforcement Administration are asking residents of the county to turn in unused prescription drugs.
 
The drug take-back initiative is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26. Police say it is part of an effort to ensure that unused medications don't become available for abuse, and are kept out of the water supply. The DEA will dispose of all drugs collected.
 
Police say the effort is free and anonymous. Four collection sites will be offered at locations in north St. Louis County, Mehlville, Fenton and Wildwood.
 
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:04
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   The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.
   In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers' compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.
   Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers' compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.
   State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.
 
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 15:34
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   A tiny puppy is safe again after St. Louis firefighters rescued him from a 10 foot deep storm drain.  

   Crews were called to the 4900 block of Theodore in north St. Louis this morning after a teacup chihuahua named "Storm" fell down the drain while playing in the front yuard of a home.  Storm's owner says the two pound puppy was trying to jump over the storm drain vent when it fell in.  

   It took more than an hour for fire crews to pull the puppy out.  

   The dog appears to be okay, but will be checked by a vet.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:27
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   Politics makes strange bedfellows, and that's certainly the case in the Illinois Governor's race.  

   Former East St. Louis mayor Carl Officer tells the Belleville News-Democrat that he's formed a SuperPAC to support Republican Bruce Rauner's challenge to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. The group is called Democrats and Independents for Rauner.  

   SuperPACs emerged in 2010 and can raise and spend unlimited funds to campaign for or against candidates as long as the PAC doesn't coordinate their efforts with the candidates themselves.  

   Officer tells the paper he expects criticism from fellow Democrats, but he believes the state needs a totally different approach if everyone is to have a chance at the American Dream. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:40
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   The Missouri House is advancing a bill aimed at keeping electronic cigarettes out of the hands of children and young teens.  

   E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that's inhaled.  

   The proposed legislation would bar sales to anyone younger than 18. The bill was approved by voice vote Tuesday and needs another affirmative vote before moving on to the state Senate.  

   The federal Food and Drug Administration has said it plans to set marketing and product regulations for E-cigarettes in the near future, but hasn't done so yet.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:27
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Former St. Louis Cardinal's catcher Hal Smith has died.  Edwards Funeral Home in Fort Smith, Arkansas says he died Saturday at age 82.  Smith first signed with the Cardinals in 1949. He played for the Redbirds from 1956-61 and was named to three National League All-Star teams.  He later played briefly for Pittsburgh in 1965 before becoming a scout and coach for several teams.  He's survived by his wife and three adult children.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:19
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