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O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The city council in a St. Louis area town is considering a bill that would declare any federal, state or local laws prohibiting guns to be in violation of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions, rendering them invalid in the town.

The measure has been proposed in O'Fallon. The Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis reports it could be subject of a vote on March 28.

Co-sponsors Jim Pepper and John Haman Jr. say the bill would not invalidate existing laws but protect the rights of residents to bear arms. But Councilman Bob Howell questioned the need for the bill and urged major revisions. Howell says that while he supports protecting gun rights, he believes the bill puts the city in the position of passing an unconstitutional law.
Monday, 18 March 2013 17:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has struck down a Missouri health insurance law because it conflicts with a federal mandate for insurers to cover birth control at no additional cost to women.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig cited a provision in the U.S. Constitution declaring that federal laws take precedence over contradictory state laws. Missouri's Republican-led Legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon last September to enact a law that appeared to be the first in the nation to directly rebut the Obama administration's contraception policy. The Missouri law required insurers to issue policies without contraception coverage if individuals or employers objected because of religious or moral beliefs.

Fleissig had issued a temporary restraining order against Missouri's law last December.
Monday, 18 March 2013 17:47
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, is threatening to block President Barack Obama's choice for Environmental Protection Agency administrator until plans are resolved for a long-stalled levee project in southeast Missouri.

Blunt and Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed disappointment on Monday that the EPA and two other agencies missed a self-imposed March 15 deadline to establish a plan to move forward with the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project.

Construction to close a 1,500-foot gap in the levee was halted in 2007 due to technical problems with the project's Environmental Impact Statement.

Obama announced his choice of Gina McCarthy as EPA chief earlier this month. Blunt says he'll use a parliamentary procedure known as a hold to block the nomination until the levee issue is resolved.
Monday, 18 March 2013 17:25
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A 25-year-old man is in custody, accused of asking a 13-year-old and 11-year-old girl for sexual favors after giving them a ride home from the mall.

Police say Samwell Fowler asked the girls if they needed a ride home from the South County Mall on the night of March 8. But when they approached the girls' house, Fowler allegedly drove into an alley, locked the doors, and asked the girls for sexual favors. The girls were able to unlock the doors and escape.

The teenage girl told a police officer at her school, and Fowler was found, arrested, and charged with enticement of a minor.
Monday, 18 March 2013 16:39
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CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says there's need for improvement after the private manager of the Illinois Lottery fell short of promised profits.

The lottery says that Northstar Lottery Group projected net income of about $851 million for fiscal year 2012. The lottery says profits actually were $757 million, about $95 million short. Northstar took over management of the Illinois Lottery in July 2011.

Quinn told reporters after an unrelated event in Chicago that the management model needs improvement. He didn't offer many specifics but says one fix could be trying to attract more people to play the lottery.

The profit targets are part of a management agreement between the lottery and Northstar. The agreement says Northstar must pay the lottery $20 million if it doesn't reach the target.
Monday, 18 March 2013 16:32
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The residents in one metro-east neighborhood are back in their homes after a standoff in Troy, Illinois forced their evacuations. That standoff ended around 2 o'clock this morning when a SWAT-type police unit using teargas entered the home.

It had begun around 10:30 Monday morning. Police say an armed man in his 40s had barricaded himself inside a home in the 500 block of Woodthrust Street. Police say the man had threatened to take his own life, and possible attack police as well.

Police had tried to talk the man out, but moved in after negotiations broke down.

The man was taken to a hospital for observation.
Monday, 18 March 2013 17:54
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ST. LOUIS -- AP -- Another wet weekend has caused a renewed rise of Midwestern rivers, creating flooding that is an ironic end to a winter spent fretting about drought.

Parts of eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois were hardest hit by rain that began Saturday afternoon and fell through Sunday. Potosi, Mo., got 4.4 inches of rain, Randolph County, Ill., 4.1 inches, Farmington, Mo., 3.9 inches. Combined with heavy rain the previous weekend and two big snows in the weeks before that, all the water is causing rivers to rise.

The National Weather Service cites several rivers at or near flood stage in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana and Iowa. A man was rescued from his flooded car in Perry County, Mo., Sunday. Dozens of roads and thousands of acres of farm land are under water.
Monday, 18 March 2013 14:43
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NEW YORK -- AP -- There may be another billionaire interested in New York City's top job.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the popular social media service Twitter and the mobile payments startup Square, reportedly says he wants to be mayor of New York one day. Dorsey is from St. Louis. In an interview aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS' Lara Logan said Dorsey is serious about moving to the Big Apple someday and running for mayor. Dorsey tells Logan that what he loves about New York is the electricity he feels when he's in the city.

In Forbes latest ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, a list which requires $1.2 billion in net worth for entry, newcomer Dorsey was listed at No. 392. Current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is listed at No. 10 with an estimated net worth of $25 billion.
Monday, 18 March 2013 14:42
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Teachers in two metro-east school districts will lose their jobs because of budget cuts. School boards in both Collinsville and Belleville District 201 voted for layoffs Monday night.

Collinsville schools will be hit the hardest, with district officials voting to eliminate 16 full-time and three part-time teaching positions.

The Belleville district will cut three full-time teachers and one part-timer.

Both district boards say they have no choice but to make the cuts because the State of Illinois has failed to meet their financial obligations to the districts.
Monday, 18 March 2013 17:43
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NEW YORK (AP) - There may be another billionaire interested in New York City's top job. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the popular social media service Twitter and the mobile payments startup Square, reportedly says he wants to be mayor of New York one day. Dorsey is from St. Louis. In an interview aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS' Lara Logan said Dorsey is serious about moving to the Big Apple someday and running for mayor. Dorsey tells Logan that what he loves about New York is the electricity he feels when he's in the city. In Forbes latest ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, a list which requires $1.2 billion in net worth for entry, newcomer Dorsey was listed at No. 392. Current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is listed at No. 10 with an estimated net worth of $25 billion. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated Press
Monday, 18 March 2013 10:12
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