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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A judge has issued an order blocking a newspaper's request for documents about the resignation of the police chief in southeast Missouri.

Perryville Police Chief Keith Tarrillion submitted his resignation last week amid allegations that he falsified a police report in a personal insurance claim two years ago.

Perryville city officials alleged that Tarrillion used another officer's name to create a police report about vandalism at his home. Tarrillion later received nearly $5,700 from his insurance company. Tarrillion denied the allegations when he resigned Wednesday.

The Southeast Missourian reports that Circuit Judge Ben Lewis has issued an order that blocks the city from responding to the newspaper's records request for documents about the case.

Tarrillion's lawyer says the records constitute a "closed record" under the Sunshine Law.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:32
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County is revising its outdoor warning siren tests.

The St. Louis County Emergency Communications Commission said Tuesday that based on feedback from the public it will reduce the duration of the monthly warning siren test to one minute from three minutes effective with the test on April 1. In the event of an actual tornado, the sirens will sound for a full three minutes.

The commission says the warning system is intended for outdoor notification only and the sirens are not designed to alert people inside of buildings.

The county also announced the installation of two additional sirens last week — in Bridgeton and Kirkwood — bringing the total number of sirens to 199.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:30
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Preliminary reassessment figures show that the median value of a residential property in St. Louis County declined 7 percent over the last two years.

County Assessor Jake Zimmerman released the figures Monday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that many properties in areas with high levels of foreclosure sales are down 12 percent or more.

St. Louis County reassesses property every odd-numbered year.

Assessments increased for residential properties in only one school district — 0.4 percent in Clayton. The biggest drop was in the Riverview Gardens School District — 24 percent.

Zimmerman says sales volumes are picking up and the real estate market appears to be recovering.

The values are preliminary and could be changed by the assessor's office until July 1.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:30
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning millions of dollars of welfare payments made to low-income residents.

Schweich released an annual audit Tuesday examining Missouri's use of $12.7 billion of federal funds during the 2012 budget. He raised concerns about $68 million of expenses, mainly through programs run by the Department of Social Services.

As he has in the past, Schweich questioned whether some of Missouri's payments under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program were allowed under federal law. The department has said that they are.

Among other things, the audit also cited improper payments to some child care providers and noted that the state failed to perform annual eligibility verifications for some senior and elderly residents receiving home-based services.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:26
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A sheriff says a woman who disappeared for four days with her 4-year-old daughter spent that time smoking synthetic pot with her ex-husband in a low-rent suburban Kansas City motel.

Authorities feared 28-year-old Rachel Koechner had been abducted, but Chariton County Sheriff Chris Hughes says she spent much of that time with her ex and their child in the motel. Koechner has not been charged.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 15:57
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Police say an intoxicated man who broke into a St. Louis-area church might have gotten away with it if not for a case of the munchies.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 24-year-old Andrew Jung of St. Charles is charged with three felonies and jailed on $30,000 bond following the March 8 break-in of the St. Peters Catholic Church in St. Charles.

Responding officers found that a deep freezer had been damaged, and ice cream had been taken.

Jung was spotted walking about three blocks from the church — intoxicated and with ice cream on his face and clothing.

Court documents show that Jung is on probation for burglarizing another church nearby.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri has signed off on deals to sell $700 million of products to Taiwanese consumers over the next four years.

Nixon made the announcement Tuesday while on a trade trip that also includes a visit to South Korea.

The governor said his administration signed a $500 million agreement with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and a $200 million agreement with the Taiwan Feed Industry Association. He also met with government officials and Taiwanese importers of Missouri products.

As an example of the business agreements reached on the trip, Nixon said that Garden City-based NeCo Seeds had closed deals to supply soybean products to two major Taiwanese food distributors.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:38
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Hundreds of protesting coal miners have returned to downtown St. Louis for a third time this year.They were marching from Peabody headquarters to U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Patriot Coal Corp. has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to modify collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers of America, allowing the coal company to cut health care coverage for retired miners.

St. Louis-based Patriot said in the filing the action is necessary to save more than 4,000 jobs. Patriot also seeks to change wages, benefits and work rules for existing workers in an effort to make the company more competitive.

Union leaders have been anticipating the move for some time, holding protests in St. Louis last month that drew more than 1,000 people. UMWA President Cecil Roberts says the loss of benefits would cause financial ruin and threaten the health for thousands of retirees.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:20
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The same developer behind a controversial Walmart project in Ellisville may have a tougher time winning public financing for a new project. Sansone unveiled plans Monday night for a 30-million dollar, 12 acres retail and restaurant development on land adjacent to the Walmart site.

They also asked for more tax-payer financing, but the Economic Development Commission rejected the plan.

Commission chairman Tom Weis says they were hoping for something more than another shopping center. Weis said they want something "tying in with the great streets concept; trying to build these little pods people can live in, work in, they can shop in."

Tax Increment Financing has been a hot-button issue in the West County suburb, even contributing to the suspension of Mayor Adam Paul, who opposed the Walmart TIF.

Paul says he believes his election was a referendum by Ellisville residents against using tax dollars for such projects. "I believe we started TIF reform in the region," Paul said. "For the developer to come back asking for more tax increment financing and more incentives is preposterous."

Paul won a legal victory at a hearing Monday, forcing the city council to turn over documents detailing communications regarding his impeachment. Paul's attorney says he still expects the council to remove the mayor from office on March 27, saying the votes are already lined up.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 04:27
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Home values in St. Louis County appear to be sliding in the wrong direction.

The county reassesses property values during odd-numbered years. The last full assessment was in 2011, when residential values slid four percent. STL County reassessment lowers property values On Monday, County Assessor Jake Zimmerman released some preliminary reassessment figures that indicate that the slide has continued. The figures show median home values have dropped another seven percent since 2011 - with homes in high-foreclosure areas losing 12 percent of their value or more.

Home values rose in only one school district -- Clayton, with declines ranging from 0.2 percent in Kirkwood to 24 percent in Riverview Gardens. STL County reassessment lowers property values Commercial property values appear flat across most of the county.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:37
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