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The all clear was given to staff at KOMU-TV to return to the station after there was a threat of its tower toppling from heavy snow.

Heavy snow and high winds were considered dangerous by station engineers on its nearby tower. Staff members were cleared from the building around 10am Sunday as a precaution.

This interrupted their coverage of he storm that is blanketing the area.
Sunday, 24 March 2013 12:28
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For up to the minute traffic information in the St. Louis metro area, check the KTRS.com traffic tab.

Drivers traveling into other parts of Missouri and Illinois can get information about road conditions from both state's transportation departments.

Missouri drivers can find updated road conditions at the MoDOT website.

Illinois drivers should check the Getting Around Illinois website.

Interstates in the immediate St. Louis area were still partially snow-covered at 3:00 a.m. Monday, but continue to improve.
Sunday, 24 March 2013 14:01
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Winter Storm Virgil hit the entire region hard on Sunday.

By 4:50 PM, areas like O'Fallon, St. Peters, St. Charles, and Florissant, Missouri were all reporting over 10" of snow. That total is expected to continue to rise overnight, with the possibility of another inch on Monday.

MoDOT officials urge drivers to remain cautious through the Monday morning rush.

EARLIER:

The entire area is under either a Winter Storm Warning or Advisory until midnight Sunday. Snow has been falling very quickly along with blowing snow, making travel hazardous. Winds are 10-30mph. The Missouri Department of Transportation had 200 crews out overnight preparing roads for icy conditions. Snow crews with IDOT have been doing the same.

Snowfall totals will be greater in the northern sections of the listening area. 2"-4" is expected in southern counties, up to 8" in the metro area, with up to 11" in northern counties.

Lambert Airport is also under a Winter Storm Warning. As of 11:15 AM 38 Arriving flights have been canceled. 40 Departing flights have been canceled.

Snow flurries could continue until Monday morning. School closings are posted here on our website on our home page.

Tune into the Big 550 for weather updates starting at 5am with Farmer Dave Schumacher and then through morning drive with McGraw in the Morning. Tim Wilund will provide continuous traffic updates, Fox 2 Meteorologist Glenn Zimmerman with your weather and the KTRS News team providing conditions from around the listening area for your Monday morning and afternoon commute.

To report a power outage in Missouri or Illinois, call the following numbers: Ameren Illinois: 1-800-755-5000 Ameren Missouri: 1-800-552-7583
Sunday, 24 March 2013 07:09
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UNION, Mo. (AP) — A woman and her two children have died in a mobile home fire in the eastern Missouri town of Union.

Union police said the home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters responded Friday night.

After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters found the bodies of the 24-year-old woman and her two children, ages 1 and 6. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that their names weren't immediately released.

The woman's 26-year-old husband wasn't home at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Sunday, 24 March 2013 07:05
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four more cases of deadly white-nose syndrome have turned up in bats in eastern Missouri.

The state Conservation Department says the disease was recently confirmed in a tri-colored bat and a little brown bat found in a public cave in Washington County.

A little brown bat and a northern long-eared bat, found in two separate public caves in Franklin County, also had white-nose syndrome.

White-nose syndrome does not infect people, pets or livestock but is estimated to have killed 5.5 million cave-dwelling bats nationwide since it first was detected in 2006.

It's caused by a fungus and spreads largely among bats and by human clothing and equipment in caves.

Signs of the disease or the fungus have now been confirmed in 19 bats, all in eastern Missouri, since 2010.
Sunday, 24 March 2013 07:02
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri airports in Branson and Columbia are among those that will have their towers shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration because of federal budget cuts.

Towers at the Branson Airport and Columbia Regional Airport will stop operations.

The closures will not force the shutdown of either airport. But pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.

The plan has raised concerns over the impact on safety and the potential financial effect on communities that rely on airports as economic engines for attracting business.
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:27
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Midwest is gearing up for its third major storm in a month, with up to a foot of snow expected barely a week after some cities saw record highs.

The storm system also could generate thunderstorms and tornadoes in parts of the South this weekend.

The National Weather Service says up to a foot of snow could start falling on northwest Kansas on Friday night, while Kansas City, Missouri, Indianapolis and Omaha, Nebraska could get up to 8 inches. Snow is expected to start in those cities late Saturday afternoon and continue through midday Sunday.

The system is expected to carry snow into the Northeast early next week.

In the South, forecasters say the system could spark tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday.
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:20
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Bacon lovers have their day in St. Louis.

Saturday is Baconfest, an all-day pork party featuring live music, beer, and lots of bacon.

John Johnson, the executive chef for Lumiere Place and River City casinos in St. Louis, made a 50-foot "hog log" for the event. That includes 100 pounds of bacon wrapped around 300 pounds of Italian sausage stuffed with another 100 pounds of bacon.

Revelers could purchase 10-ounce, 965-calorie slices of the log, with proceeds benefiting the USO.

The event is taking place at Lumiere Place
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:18
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JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old jail inmate in the St. Louis County town of Jennings is dead after police say he hanged himself in his cell.

Charles Chatman Junior of Jennings was found about 8:30 a.m. Friday. He was being held in jail pending posting of bail on traffic warrants.

Authorities say video surveillance shows Chatman hanging himself at 7:42 a.m., not long after he was moved to a one-man cell in the Jennings Correctional Center because he was agitated.

Chatman allegedly hanged himself with a piece torn from a sheet.
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:13
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CHICAGO (AP) — Five small airports in Illinois are among dozens nationwide that will lose their air traffic control towers under budget cuts that have hit the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency announced Friday that it will begin closing 149 air traffic facilities starting April 7.

The affected Illinois towers are at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Waukegan Regional Airport near Chicago.

All of the affected airports will remain open. Under long-established procedures, pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency without help from controllers.

The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year under the federal cuts known as sequestration.
Friday, 22 March 2013 17:23
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