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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State lawmakers are hoping that new incentives can help Missouri compete for big-time sports events.

The House gave final approval Wednesday to legislation authorizing up to $3 million annually in subsidies for cities, counties and nonprofit groups that host amateur sports events such as college basketball tournaments.

The bill is the first one of the 2013 session to make it to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri has a long history of hosting sports events. Kansas City, for example, is hosting the Big 12 basketball tournament this week and games for the NCAA men's basketball tournament next week.

But supporters of the legislation say Missouri has been losing bids for future events to states offering incentives.

Missouri's bill would provide tax breaks equal to $5 for every ticket sold to the events.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:10
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri House Utilities Committee has endorsed legislation that would allow electric utilities to seek permission for an infrastructure surcharge. Power companies could ask to levy the surcharge between their formal rate cases before the Public Service Commission. The House committee endorsed the legislation Wednesday after lowering a cap on how much could be collected and adding a requirement that power companies credit customers' electric bills if regulators disallow a cost included in the surcharge. Supporters of allowing the surcharge contend it would help utilities invest in infrastructure improvements and would create jobs. Opponents say it would make it easier to raise electric rates. Similar legislation already has cleared an energy committee in the Missouri Senate.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 13:55
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis business has agreed to pay a $23,000 civil penalty to settle claims of failing to take precautions with lead-based paint.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Groeller Painting Inc. also failed to notify residents about lead-based paint risks before the renovation of a multifamily property built before 1978.

Lead paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978, but can be found in some older homes.

When young children breathe in or swallow lead, it can lead to physical and mental delays, lower intelligence, shorter attention spans and behavioral problems. In adults, it can cause high blood pressure and damage to the nervous system and stomach.

An EPA rule that took effect in 2010 increased the requirements for contractors on projects that disturb lead-based paint.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:45
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Missouri's attorney general is looking for new ways to curb mathamphetatime use in the state.

At a news conference today, attorney general Chris Koster will outline initiatives against "smurfing," a practice that involves recruiting people to purchase medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

The campaign calls partly for Missouri pharmacies to display warnings at cash registers letting would-be smurfers know their actions have serious consequences.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:15
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JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A body found in Cape Girardeau County has been identified as that of a southeast Missouri woman reported missing last week. The Sikeston Standard Democrat (http://bit.ly/YaBFnC ) reports that 26-year-old Jordan Miller of Miner, Mo., was found dead Monday on a county road near Jackson. Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton says Miller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Miller was reported missing Thursday.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:50
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Two Nevada companies have agreed to pay Missouri $41,500 in penalties for violating the state's no-call law for telemarketers, according to the Missouri attorney general's office.

Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement that his office received more than 175 complaints about the companies, Firebrand Group SL and Worldwide Commerce Associates. Consumers reported that the companies were trying to sell services such as cruise packages and tax services.

In addition to the cash penalty, the companies have agreed to stop making telemarketing calls to any consumer in the state of Missouri who has placed his or her phone number on the Missouri do-not-call list without the consumer's express consent, Koster's office said.

Missourians can sign up for the do-not-call hotline on Koster's website at ago.mo.gov or by calling (866) 662-2551.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:39
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Ameren doesn't need an infrastructure surcharge. That's according to consumer advocacy groups which point to the utility's own financial data as proof.

The Consumer Council, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, is arguing against passage of Missouri Senate Bill 207 that would allow Ameren to establish a surcharge in order to generate millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements.

Consumer groups argue that the extra revenue isn't needed since the utility earned well above it's authorized return limits in 2012. They also point to a $263 million rate increase that took effect in January.

Ameren officials say the higher than expected profits last year were due to unusual circumstances, like the extra-hot summer, and weren't enough to cover needed infrastructure improvements.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 02:55
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Dozens of environmentalists and land owners are meeting with lawmakers in Springfield hoping to persuade them to temporarily ban high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," held a rally and lobbied Illinois legislators Tuesday. They're hoping to win support for a two-year moratorium on the practice instead of regulations that would allow it.

Fracking opponents say they were ignored during negotiations over a regulatory bill, which proponents say would give Illinois the nation's toughest regulations.

Protesters say they fear the water around their southern Illinois homes could be polluted by the practice.

Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations to release oil and natural gas.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 02:15
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No charges will be filed against the driver of a pickup truck that struck and killed a six year old boy late Tuesday afternoon.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that the accident happened about 5:00 p.m. along Highway 8 near Highway P, just west of Park Hills, in St. Francois County.

Police say two boys had been playing along the roadside when Evan Ketto ran into the path of the truck. It swerved, but couldn't avoid striking him.

The child was airlifted to a Farmington hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 01:55
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An alert parent is being credited with stopping a potentially dangerous situation before it could escalate.

Wellston police Sergeant Marvin Berry says the mother of a Normandy High School student saw people exchanging guns inside a car on the school parking lot Tuesday afternoon. She alerted school security. They called police.

Police searched two SUV's and found two handguns. Four people, three of them students, have been arrested.

A letter sent to parents by the school principal, Calvin Nicholas says no one was directly threatened in the incident.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 01:36
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