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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri General Assembly has officially come to a close.

House and Senate leaders gaveled the annual session to an end Thursday in compliance with the adjournment date set in the Missouri Constitution.

The actual work ended two weeks ago. The constitution prohibited lawmakers from passing any legislation after May 17, but allowed additional time for bills to be printed and prepared for delivery to the governor.

On Thursday, the House speaker and Senate president pro tem signed bills as a verification that they had passed.

Gov. Jay Nixon now has until mid-July to decide whether to sign those bills into law or veto them.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 13:17
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says an income-tax cut bill passed by the Legislature also could levy taxes on prescription drugs.

Nixon released a written statement Thursday saying the legislation would repeal an existing sales tax exemption on prescriptions, which could cost consumers $200 million annually.

The Democratic governor has previously indicated that he is likely to veto the bill. His previous statements pointed to the eventual loss of hundreds of millions of dollars for state services as a result of the income tax cut.

The legislation was handled by Republican Sen. Will Kraus, of Lee's Summit. Kraus said Thursday that he did not intend to tax prescription drugs. If that's the case, he says Nixon should sign the bill and call a special session so lawmakers can fix it.

 
Thursday, 30 May 2013 13:12
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some Missouri lawmakers want to change the state’s motorcycle helmet laws to promote tourism, and in turn economic development.

These lawmakers are in favor of suspending Missouri’s helmet requirement for the month of August each year to coincide with the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which draws hundreds of thousands of bikers. These bikers often skip passing through Missouri because of the helmet law. Lawmakers say the state is missing out on a lot of money as a result.

Not only is the money important, but also the freedom of choice.

It’s these same lawmakers who also are pushing for another measure which would lift the helmet requirement for all riders 21 years and older at all times. However, there are lawmakers and outside groups who oppose changing the helmet requirements even in the slightest.

The medical association argues the rate of head injuries will skyrocket.

The  legislature passed a bill in 2009 repealing Missouri’s helmet law, but Governor Jay Nixon vetoed it citing concerns about increased health care costs and safety issues.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:18
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One person is dead after a SUV ran a red light in Berkeley  last night around 9:30.

Missouri Highway Patrol officials say 29 year old Leroy Jennings of St. Louis was southbound on Evergreeen, ran a red light at the intersection and collided with an eastbound car on Airport Road.

A passenger in Jennings sport utility vehicle, 34 year old Lawrence Woods of St. Louis, was seriously hurt and taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital.

The other driver, a 23 year old Brentwood woman suffered minor injuries in the collision.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:11
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rivers in the nation's heartland are rising yet again, and with heavy rain in the forecast, parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois are bracing for another round of flooding.

   The National Weather Service said Wednesday that 2 to 4 inches of rain will be common as strong storms fire up through Friday; some areas could see up to 6 inches.

   How bad things get will depend on how much rain falls and where.

   The weather service says a worst-case scenario would be widespread heavy rain along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, and along the Missouri River. The Mississippi and many of its tributaries are already above flood stage, and the Missouri is getting close.

   Forecasters say the Mississippi could reach its highest level at St. Louis in nearly two decades.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 04:28
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   A state representative is working with a group of South County residents to halt construction of a subsidized senior housing complex in their neighborhood.  

   St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger says four public hearings were held before the County Council approved the three-story, 45 -unit building and 37 parking spaces on an acre and a half site in the 6000 block of Telegraph Road.  

   Hundreds of Oakville residents gathered at St. Paul's United Church of Christ Wednesday evening to discuss the project.  Most say they were never told about any hearings.  

   State Representative Marsha Haefner says that's a problem. "The biggest issue is the lack of transparency," Haefner said.  "And putting such a large complex on such a small site."

   Haefner says she believes citizens can request new hearings if it can be proven that proper notification procedures were not followed.

 

Thursday, 30 May 2013 03:27
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   Two people are dead after separate crashes Wednesday evening.  

   The first accident happened just after 7:00 p.m. along southbound Interstate 55 near Loughborough.  A driver was ejected after hitting a guardrail and then another car.  The victim died at the scene.  

   The second fatal accident happened just before 9:30 p.m. along Airport Road in Berkeley.  Two cars collided, sending one into a utility pole.  Two people had to be extricated from that wreck.  The driver of that vehicle died at the scene.  The passenger from that car and the driver from the other car were both taken to the hospital with serious injuries.  

   None of the victims have been identified by police.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 01:49
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The United Mine Workers are unhappy with the decision of a bankruptcy court to side with Patriot Coal today. The ruling is the latest chapter in saga concerning benefits for retired miners. Patriot Coal is an independent company, but was created by spinning off part of Peabody Energy. Patriot argued they needed to cut retiree's benefits to stay in business. The Miners argued they had been promised benefits and should not have them taken away. The decision came on the last day the court could rule on the matter.

 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 17:02
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - With just three days to go, lawmakers are inching along on a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis

Both chambers are at odds with how to move forward with two complete overhauls. Meanwhile, three smaller pension bills - dealing with retirement age, salary caps and cost-of-living increases - have moved out of a committee to the Senate floor. Senators could vote on those before Friday's adjournment.

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says lawmakers are trying multiple approaches to send Gov. Pat Quinn a complete plan.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a key player in pension talks, says a bill that'd require state universities and community colleges to start picking up their own pension costs was expected to be filed Wednesday.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:50
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BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) - The founder of the Castlewood Treatment Center for eating disorders is no longer leading the center in St. Louis County or its facility in California following lawsuits by former clients.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mark Schwartz and his partner, Lori Galperin, stepped down from daily operations in December, though the change wasn't confirmed until Tuesday.

Castlewood director Nancy Albus is now CEO.

Four women have filed lawsuits since 2011 against Castlewood and Schwartz alleging they were hypnotized into believing they were members of satanic cults, and implanted with false memories of sexual abuse. The center has denied the claims. Schwartz is scheduled to give a deposition in July.

 
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:31
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