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UNION, Mo. (AP) - A space heater is believed to be the cause of a fire that killed a 24-year-old eastern Missouri woman and her two young children.

The fire Friday night killed Samantha Cooksey of Union and her children, 6-year-old Allison Cooksey and 1-year-old Logan Berger. Cooksey's boyfriend, who was the father of Logan, lived in the home but was at work at the time of the fire.

Union Police Chief Normal Brune told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/11Djb5X ) that the fire apparently began in the mobile home's living room, where a space heater was located.

The home was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. The bodies were found after the fire was out.

Funeral arrangements are pending.
Monday, 25 March 2013 13:19
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CASSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri high school says four girls' basketball players from a rival school poured urine into the opposing team's water cooler during a February game.

Monett High's principal told parents in a letter last week that the four Cassville High players each urinated into a cup, then dumped the contents of one of the cups into the Monett team cooler at a Feb. 4 game in Cassville. The schools are located about 20 miles apart near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

A written statement from the Cassville school district confirms that unspecified disciplinary action has been taken in response to the "inappropriate act."

Monett High School has contacted infectious disease specialists and says a Cassville student is being tested for potential health risks. Monett's principal encouraged parents not to retaliate.
Monday, 25 March 2013 13:17
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some supporters of a Medicaid expansion championed by President Barack Obama are also embracing a Republican alternative put forth in the Missouri House.

Among the witnesses testifying for the Republican plan Monday in a House committee were officials representing medical clinics, hospitals and business groups. Some of those same people have stood by Democrats in recent weeks as they embraced a proposed Medicaid expansion for lower-income adults.

But Missouri's Republican-led committees have repeatedly defeated the Medicaid expansion backed by Obama and Democrats.

The alternative by Republican Rep. Jay Barnes would cover fewer additional adults than Obama's version while also removing some children from the Medicaid rolls. Medicaid recipients would be covered through competitively bid managed care policies and could get cash incentives for holding down their health expenses.
Monday, 25 March 2013 12:20
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CHICAGO (AP) - State officials have announced nearly $500 million in construction projects slated to begin soon.

The Illinois Department of Transportation released a list Monday of nearly 200 road and bridge projects. They include an interchange project on Chicago's Far South Side off Interstate 94. The state is investing $43 million in the project, which will repair, reconstruct and replace seven bridges. It will be completed in 2014.

Gov. Pat Quinn, Congressman Bobby Rush and state Sen. Donne Trotter were among the public officials who announced the projects Monday on the city's South Side.

The money comes from a capital construction program, Illinois Jobs Now!, and a supplemental appropriation lawmakers approved earlier this year.

The other projects include pedestrian structures, lots road resurfacing, bridge repair and road widening.
Monday, 25 March 2013 12:17
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Real estate agents in the St. Louis area say it is no longer a buyer's market.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the number of homes for sale in the St. Louis region is down 13 percent over the past year based on information from Zillow, a real estate sales website. Meanwhile, more houses are selling.

Sales rose 13 percent last year in St. Louis County, and 10 percent in the first two months of 2013. Lower supply and higher demand is pushing up home prices, though some areas, including much of north St. Louis County, are still seeing declines.
Monday, 25 March 2013 11:39
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she believes gay couples should be able to marry.

The Democratic senator announced her support for gay marriage on her blog. She says churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside their religious beliefs, but she believes "government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love."

McCaskill's announcement comes the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear a challenge to California's gay-marriage ban.

Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

As recently as last year's Senate campaign, McCaskill said she supported states' rights to decide gay marriage and had no quarrel with Missouri's vote.

President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage last year.
Monday, 25 March 2013 11:22
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Officials say a fire at a Nevada, Missouri probation and parole office was deliberately set.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information about last week's fire at the office.

Both state and federal fire investigators determined the blaze was arson.
Monday, 25 March 2013 09:41
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For the first time in its 87 year history, Fairmount Park is postponing its opening day.

The snow has affected the track surface and Fairmount officials say they need time to make it suitable for thoroughbred competition.

The track will instead open its 2013 season this Friday night March 29th, post time 7:30. .
Monday, 25 March 2013 09:24
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A public memorial service is scheduled today for St. Louis native and Colorado's top prison official, who was shot to death at his home last week.

A private funeral was held yesterday for former Missouri official Tom Clements, according to his obituary in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The man suspected of killing Clements died following a shootout with authorities in Texas.

The 58-year -old Clements was born in St. Louis. He attended Hazelwood High and St. Louis Community College. He graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University and earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri.

Before moving to Colorado in 2011, Clements worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections for 30 years, most recently as director of adult institutions.
Monday, 25 March 2013 07:39
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It probably won't come as a surprise to many in the metro area, but the spring snowstorm that blanketed St. Louis Sunday set a record. It was the deepest one-day snowfall in March according to the National Weather Service.

The official snow total at Lambert Airport was 12.4 inches, beating the old record by three-tenths of an inch, and snow is still falling this morning.

That old record of 12.1 inches dates back to March 24, 1912.
Monday, 25 March 2013 04:47
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