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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials who oversee Missouri's driver's licenses are assuring that none of the personal documents supplied by applicants are shared with a private contractor.

Revenue Department officials told a House committee Monday they began requiring documents such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements to be scanned into a state computer system as part of an effort to deter fraud.

Lawmakers raised questions about the process after a southeast Missouri man filed a lawsuit last week challenging the new procedures.

Revenue officials said the digital copies of documents are kept by the department, and only basic information about the applicant is forwarded to a contractor that makes the licenses.

Several dozen lawmakers are backing a bill that would bar Missouri from keeping copies of the documents.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 04:29
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The great 2012 drought is officially over in the immediate St. Louis area. That's according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The agency's latest update shows soil conditions in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and eastern St. Charles County have returned to normal after almost 9 months of drought. Western St. Charles, Lincoln and most of Franklin Counties are still listed as "dryer than normal."

The southeastern third of Missouri, as well as southern and central Illinois had been declared drought-free weeks ago.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 04:20
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Authorities in Franklin County want to talk to a woman who reported seeing a car drive into the Meramec River Monday evening. Sheriff's deputies say the woman had reported it to a park ranger at Meramec State Park around 5:30 p.m.

The park ranger attempted to locate the car, but couldn't find it. He also lost touch with the woman who'd made the report.

She's described as a white woman driving a white, Chevy Malibu.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff's department.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 01:54
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A Creve Coeur man is nursing a dislocated shoulder, but still counts himself lucky after falling into a sinkhole at Annbrier Golf Course in Waterloo on Friday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 43 year old Mark Mihal had been standing on the 14th fairway when the ground swallowed him up. He landed in a bell-shaped hole, about 18-feet deep.

The course manager and Mihal's golfing companions used a ladder and some rope to pull him out.

Sinkholes are common in the St. Louis Metro area, but geologists say they are usually easy to spot because of a dent in the ground.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 01:44
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CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The police chief in the southern Illinois village of Caseyville has been placed on paid administrative leave because of a grand jury investigation into his use of a truck seized as part of a drug case.

The Belleville News Democrat reported Monday that Police Chief J.D. Roth did not sell the pickup truck at auction, as directed by state law. Village records show that Roth instead drove the 2003 Dodge Ram 65,000 miles for personal use and charged the village more than $6,000 for maintenance.

Roth was placed on leave Monday by Mayor George Chance after St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly asked that Roth not be involved in police investigations or have access to evidence or village computers.

Roth says he can't comment without the village's permission.
Monday, 11 March 2013 16:26
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri teenager is facing multiple counts of statutory rape and child molestation for allegedly having sex with six eighth-grade girls in two counties.

The Southeast Missourian reports that court filings suggest 18-year-old Austin Luye of Perryville typically approached girls on Facebook, then met them in public and lured them to a secluded place for sex.

Luye is charged in Perry and St. Francois counties. Police say the crimes happened over a four-month period ending in January. Authorities say most of the victims were age 13.

Luye is jailed at the St. Francois County Jail in Farmington on $110,000 cash-only bond. His attorney, Jason Tilley, declined comment.
Monday, 11 March 2013 14:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is heading to South Korea and Taiwan to sign several trade agreements.

The governor plans to depart Friday for a weeklong trip. He is to be accompanied by first lady Georganne Nixon, the directors of the departments of agriculture and economic development and four state lawmakers - Republican Sen. Jay Wasson of Nixa; Senate Democratic leader Jolie Justus of Kansas City; Republican Rep. Lincoln Hough of Springfield; and Democratic Rep. Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City.

The delegation also includes representatives of several businesses, agricultural groups and universities.

The governor's costs are being covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic development.

The itinerary includes a visit to Taipei, Taiwan, on March 17 and Seoul, South Korea, on March 19.
Monday, 11 March 2013 13:47
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Police have a suspect in custody after a shooting and chase through North County.

The suspect allegedly shot someone just before 1PM at 314 Hair Gallery on West Florissant. Witnesses told police that suspect ran out of the salon and got into his car. He then led police on a chase that found its way into North St. Louis. That is when the suspect got out of the car and tried to run away, but officers caught him.

No word on the condition of the shooting victim.
Monday, 11 March 2013 13:42
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One metro east restaurant will be getting a new, thanks to the Food Network. Caseyville Cafe was featured on the show "Restuarant: Impossible".

The show's host, Robert Irvine, travels around the nation transforming eateries on a 10,000 dollar budget. The Belleville News Democrat reports the owners say the filming was a stressful experience, they lost three cooks while the show was in town.

You can take a look at the updates when the episode airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Food Network.
Monday, 11 March 2013 13:30
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Investigators say someone else is responsible for the death of Blackburn College student who overdosed on opium in January.

Police in Carlinville say that Joshua Ramza died of opium intoxication, but the person who supplied him the drug is liable for his death.

Police say the case is now a homicide and they ask anyone with information to contact them at carlinvillepolice.com.
Monday, 11 March 2013 13:21
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