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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation creating a test program designed to help children spend more time with their incarcerated parents.

The program would provide transportation for children and their caretaker who live more than 50 miles away from their parent's prison for visits.

Two Missouri men's prisons and two women's prisons would be selected for the program's trial. Prisoners convicted of offenses where the victim was a child or were found guilty of child abuse would be excluded. The Department of Corrections would have to submit a final report to lawmakers on the program's effectiveness in 2017.

The measure is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Penny Hubbard, of St. Louis. The House voted 140-6 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

Friday, 19 April 2013 13:14
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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that sought to re-impose local sales taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers or through person-to-person sales.

Nixon's veto Friday marks the second time in two years he has rejected the Legislature's attempt to reverse the effect of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling.

The court ruled that local sales taxes can only be charged on vehicles bought from Missouri retailers. If cities and counties want to tax vehicles bought elsewhere, the court said they need to adopt local "use taxes."

The legislation vetoed by Nixon sought to get around that ruling by tying local sales taxes to the titling of vehicles. Local voters would have had a chance to repeal the taxes by 2016.

Nixon said the repeal section was not drafted well.

 

Friday, 19 April 2013 13:11
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An Illinois high school student is facing federal charges that he possessed explosive devices in his home.

Federal grand jurors in East St. Louis indicted 18-year-old O'Fallon Township High School student Thomas Lee Stanton with one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The indictment alleges that Stanton on Wednesday had in his Lebanon home explosive devices that included a so-called cricket bomb. That was comprised of carbon dioxide cartridges, fuses and explosive powder.

The felony count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

Friday, 19 April 2013 11:24
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LONDON MILLS, Ill. (AP) - A flood-swollen river in central Illinois has topped a levee and inundated parts of London Mills, prompting authorities to evacuate about half of the small town of about 500 people.

Police chief Scott Keithley says the waters overwhelmed the levee on the Spoon River overnight sending torrents of water into yards and sewers already running out of control because of the heavy rains. He says some homes are half under water.

Keithley says authorities and volunteers have given up filling sandbags in the town, a small community of farm workers.

The water has pushed debris into the town and sent abandoned cars floating.

Flash floods and rivers that have quickly risen to record or near-record levels have inundated communities around the state.

Gov. Pat Quinn has issued a disaster declaration.

Friday, 19 April 2013 10:10
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The city of St. Louis is closing several flood gates to keep the Mississippi River out of the city after heavy rain swept through the region on Thursday.

The St. Louis City Streets Department began closing and raising the gates Friday morning as the river is expected to crest on Wednesday at 39.5 feet.

Officials closed four gates Friday and erected the gates at Poplar Street and Carr Street along Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard.

City officials said crews would continue to shut gates throughout the weekend. They said the schedule could change depending on the latest forecasts and needs of businesses impacted by the rising river.

Friday, 19 April 2013 09:34
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The City of St. Peters is making preparations at a number of  facilities in the interest of public safety and threat of flooding.

Currently, five St. Peters City Parks’ facilities are closed including:

• Woodlands Park

• Rabbit Run Park

* Lone Wolf Park

• Brown Road Park

• Sports Center Park

• St. Peters Municipal Golf Course

As of dusk Friday (7 p.m.), 370 Lakeside Park will also be closed to the general public.

These St. Peters City Parks will be closed until the threat of flooding has ended.

The city says it will provide updated information via a special FLOODWATCH section on the home page of their website, www.stpetersmo.net

Friday, 19 April 2013 09:17
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St.  Louis  firefighters were forced to evacuate a burning home on Theodosia in north St. Louis this morning. One person inside the home has died. Details to follow.

 
Friday, 19 April 2013 08:25
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MARSEILLES, Ill. (AP) - Officials say they've evacuated as many as 1,500 residents of the northern Illinois community of Marseilles after a possible levee break on the nearby Illinois River.

Connie Brooks of the Lasalle County Emergency Management Agency says the residents, including those in a nursing home, were evacuated late Thursday night after nine barges broke free of a tugboat and struck the levee. She says there is expected to be more flooding in the community of 5,100 residents southwest of Joliet when the river was expected to sometime Friday afternoon but that she did not expect that to prompt any more evacuations.

She says there were no reports of any injuries.

The Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island says that efforts will be made Friday to remove the barges.

   

Friday, 19 April 2013 07:35
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Two St. Charles County schools are closed today after a threat on a social media site.

Investigators say the schools at Assumption Parish in O’Fallon and at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie are both closed.  Dardenne Prairie police say someone posted a bomb threat on Instagram.  

A third school also involved is remaining open.  That school is Fort Zumwalt West Middle School. O'Fallon, MO police are patrolling around the school.

Police say at this point no one is in custody.

 

Friday, 19 April 2013 06:09
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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has issued an emergency declaration following the flooding and severe weather affecting areas across Illinois.

   Quinn issued the declaration yesterday. The action will allow the state to access federal resources including generators, pump systems sandbags and additional funds. The declaration is a step below a disaster emergency declaration.

   Quinn says the American Red Cross has opened two shelters in north central Illinois. One is in Oglesby and another in Roanoke.

   Earlier yesterday, Quinn initiated the State Incident Response Center to monitor flooding and severe weather in portions of Illinois and help coordinate assistance local authorities may need.

   The governor is encouraging people affected by the weather to go online for real time updates on the storms.

 
Friday, 19 April 2013 04:27
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