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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to the first overhaul of the state's criminal code since 1979.

The measure endorsed on Monday would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

Sponsoring Republican Rep. Stanley Cox, of Sedalia, said the measure would provide more clarity in sentencing.

Democratic Rep. Rory Ellinger, of St. Louis, said the bill could have done more and reduced sentences for some crimes, But he said it was important to keep the measure non-controversial so it could pass.

The overhaul would also increase fines to reflect inflation. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:17
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WENTZVILLE, Mo. -- AP -- Police say a St. Louis-area teenager had a simple answer for leading police on a lengthy, dangerous chase: He didn’t want to miss prom.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the chase happened Friday in Wentzville. The suspect, 19-year-old Daniel Buck of O’Fallon, is charged with felony resisting arrest and several traffic citations.

An officer sought to pull over an SUV for numerous active warrants. Police say Buck saw police and sped away. Stop sticks eventually disabled the SUV.

Buck allegedly told police he fled because he was driving with a revoked license and had nine warrants for failure to appear on various charges. He reportedly said he didn’t want to go to jail because he was supposed to take his girlfriend to prom the next night.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:12
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says he will keep working to pass a pension reform bill he believes can survive a court challenge.

Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton and fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan have "the same goal but different approaches" to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Madigan filed his pension plan on Tuesday. It caps the salary on which a pension can be based at $110,000 and limits annual cost-of-living increases.

Madigan's legislation also removes language from a plan backed by Cullerton that got Senate approval last month. Cullerton's plan offers affected state-government employees and teachers a choice of benefits instead of unilaterally cutting them.

Cullerton believes the state must give retirees a choice in benefits in order for the legislation to be considered constitutional.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:07
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Another Missouri Lottery jackpot winner from the St. Louis area.

The newest winner bought the ticket for the Saturday drawing at a St. Peters Dierbergs. Just a week before the newest winner, another person bought a ticket in St. Louis County that is worth $2.7 million.

This past weekend's jackpot was $1.1 million.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 15:46
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DIXON, Ill. (AP) - The Lee County state's attorney says she decided to drop state charges against former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell because a second trial after her conviction in federal court would not result in additional jail time or restitution.

Crundwell admitted in the federal case that she stole nearly $54 million in public money from the northern Illinois city over some two decades that she served as its bookkeeper.

The Lee County prosecutor, Anna Sacco-Miller, said Tuesday that any sentence in the state proceedings would be served concurrently with the nearly 20 years that Crundwell received in February in the federal case. As a result, she says, the expense to taxpayers of a second trial cannot be justified.

The charges can be refiled if Crundwell's appeal of her federal sentence is successful.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:40
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The Clayton School District started a large solar project Tuesday. Eight solar panels were installed on six separate buildings.

Officials say the project will produce over $650,000 in utility savings over the next 20 years. In addition to a few administrative buildings, panels are also being placed on Wydown Middle School, Captain Elementary, and Clayton High School.

Students will be able to monitor the activity of the panels through touch screen monitors installed in the schools.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:27
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - After declining to expand Medicaid coverage this year, the Missouri House has passed a bill that would create a committee to study the issue next year.

The House passed the measure 133-27 Monday. It would create a joint committee of House and Senate members to look at ways to "transform" the state's Medicaid program. The committee would begin at the end of the current session until the 2015 session's start in January.

Gov. Jay Nixon called for lawmakers to expand coverage for 260,000 adults starting in 2014. The Republican-led Legislature rejected that appeal numerous times and abandoned plans for an alternative proposal earlier this month.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:36
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- An East St. Louis couple faces up to a year and a half in federal prison now that they’ve admitted scheming to steal nearly $47,000 in student loan money.

Antwayne Crumble and Danyelle McNeil pleaded guilty Monday in East St. Louis. Charges were conspiring to commit student loan fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. Authorities say the couple used personal information from 28 friends and relatives. They took the information and applied to online undergraduate programs at the University of Phoenix for a year beginning in September 2008.

The pair then enrolled the fake students in classes and applied for student loans. They obtained loans for 16 of the applications.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:32
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill that would allow county sheriffs to issue concealed weapons permits instead of the Revenue Department.

Missouri sheriffs already have the responsibility of receiving concealed-carry applications, reviewing applicants' backgrounds and issuing paper permits. But under current law, recipients take the paper permits to a local licensing office overseen by the Department of Revenue to receive a photo ID card noting their concealed-carry status.

Republican lawmakers want to allow sheriffs to print the permits after learning the Revenue Department compiled a list of concealed weapons permit holders to share with a federal agent at the Social Security Administration.

The measure passed 123-34 Monday. It would also allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in schools buildings. It now heads to the Senate.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:26
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A petition filed by downtown property owners is calling for the shut down of the New Life Evangelistic Center.

KMOV-TV reports the City of St. Louis is reviewing the formal petition signed by 167 neighbors of the homeless shelter on Locust Street. The petition mentions problems with the NLEC such as loitering, drinking in public, public urination, noise, and harassment.

The New Life Evangelistic Center is run by the Reverend Larry Rice, who is often at odds with the city, most recently for trying to establish homeless camps in city neighborhoods. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:17
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