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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The new priest at St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis is a married man.
   Wissam Akiki was ordained Thursday night in the church that sits near downtown St. Louis. Several hundred people - including Akiki's wife and 8 year old daughter - were on hand for the ceremony.
   Eastern Catholic churches in the Middle East and Europe ordain married men. However, the Vatican banned the practice in America in the 1920s.
   Pope John Paul II called for greater acceptance of Eastern Catholic traditions. Over the years, popes have made exceptions on a case-by-case basis for married men to become Eastern Catholic priests in America.
   Pope Francis gave permission for Akiki to be ordained. It's considered an exception, not a policy change.
Friday, 28 February 2014 04:36
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   Sixth-grader Chloe Stirling will soon be back in the cupcake business.

   Officials in Madison County, Illinois, had ordered the 11 year old to stop baking cupcakes for sale, because the kitchen in her home didn't meet health department standards.

   The Triad Middle schooler and her parents told their story on the "Rachael Ray Show" that aired Thursday.  And a local plumbing company is upgrading the family kitchen thanks to donations of money and equipment.

   Chloe says she wants to use the money from her "Hey Cupcake!" business to someday buy a car.

Friday, 28 February 2014 02:53
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   Even as the U.S. Postal Service considers stopping Saturday mail delivery, they're staffing up to begin package deliveries on Sundays.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Amazon.com is working with local postal officials to roll out Sunday delivery in the St. Louis region by mid-March.  
   The online retailer began Sunday deliveries in New York and Los Angeles in November and had said it would add markets this year, but St. Louis hadn't been mentioned until now.  
   The paper reports that the USPS will be hiring some new workers to meet demands for Sunday deliveries.  
   Amazon hasn't made an official announcement yet, but leaders of the local postal unions tell the paper they had been told that the target date for Sunday delivery in this region is March 16.
 
 
Friday, 28 February 2014 02:40
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former St. Louis City alderwoman has been fined $100,000 for using her campaign funds to pay off student loans and for spa visits.
   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Kacie Starr Triplett misused almost $19,000 in campaign donations on personal expenses.
   In a letter Thursday, Triplett apologized for her actions and said her decision stemmed from "greed and selfishness," not from need.
   The Missouri Ethics Commission levied the six-figure fine but is willing take only $10,000 if Triplett pays within 45 days. There is no criminal penalty in the commission's decision, although it could spur other investigations.
   Triplett left the Board of Alderman in 2012.
 
Friday, 28 February 2014 00:50
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at polling places.
 
The Republican-led chamber voted 103-50 in favor of a constitutional amendment that would authorize the voting requirement. The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a previous photo ID law as unconstitutional.
 
The House also passed a separate bill with specific details of how the voting requirement would work if voters approve the constitutional change. Under that bill, only government-issued and military IDs could be used for voting.
 
Republicans supported the measures and say they protect the integrity of elections and prevent fraud. Democrats opposed the voting requirement and say it would disenfranchise voters who are unable to obtain a photo ID.
 
Both measures now head to the Senate.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have passed legislation proposing a truce with Kansas in the battle for businesses in the Kansas City area.
 
The bill approved 30-2 Thursday would end offers of special tax incentives for businesses to relocate from one side of the border to the other in the metropolitan region.
 
The measure now goes to the Missouri House. But the truce also would need approval from the Kansas Legislature or governor to take effect.
 
Over the past five years, Missouri and Kansas have collectively waived hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenues for businesses that moved across the state line.
 
The Missouri legislation would bar incentives for businesses moving between the Missouri counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass and the Kansas counties of Wyandotte, Johnson, Douglas and Miami.
 
Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:44
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is heading to Canada to discuss business opportunities with some of that nation's leaders.
 
Nixon plans to travel Sunday to Montreal, then go Tuesday to Ottawa and Wednesday to Toronto.
 
Traveling with Nixon will be first lady Georganne Nixon and the directors of the state departments of Economic Development and Agriculture. The delegation also will include executives from several Missouri businesses.
 
Nixon plans to meet with Canadian government officials and business leaders whose companies have locations in Missouri or are considering expanding in the state.
 
The governor's travel costs are being paid for by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization that frequently finances gubernatorial trade missions.
 
Nixon plans to return to Missouri next Thursday.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:43
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) Two juveniles are facing animal abuse charges, after police say they beat a dog and posted a video of the attack to Facebook.
 
The video shows one boy slamming the dog into the ground two times. The boy then climbs on top of the pet and starts punching the animal repeatedly. The person filming the attack can be heard laughing off camera. (The video is posted below and is graphic. It also contains vulgar language)
 
St. Louis County Police were called by citizens who had seen the video on Facebook. At 3:15 PM, the video had been shared over 7,000 times. St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman says police cannot be in all places at all times, and they thank the public for bringing the video to their attention.
 
Animal Control seized the dog. They plan to examine the dog and treat it for any injuries. 
 
The juveniles are facing charges in Family Court. 
 
 
WARNING: Video below is graphic
Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:08
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CHICAGO (AP) - The four Republican gubernatorial candidates are gearing up for another televised debate just weeks ahead of the March primary.
 
Thursday's event in Chicago comes as two candidates lag far behind in money. State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady also acknowledge polls that show them behind businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) and Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd). But they say they're not worried.
 
They've vowed to defy expectation and are counting on a late surge. Dillard received an endorsement Wednesday from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association
 
The primary is March 18.
 
The debate is hosted by the League of Women Voters of Illinois, WLS-TV and Univision.
 
Gov. Pat Quinn faces primary challenger Tio Hardiman, an activist. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat won't participate in any debates ahead of the primary.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:30
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed legislation that could lower the tax bill for many Missourians by linking the state's tax brackets to inflation.
 
A bill approved on a 146-4 vote would require Missouri's individual income tax brackets to be adjusted annually for inflation starting in 2015.  Legislative staff estimate that would reduce state tax revenues by $26 million when fully in effect.
 
Although state tax rates have changed over time, Missouri's top income tax bracket has been set at $9,000 since 1931. That means all income over that amount currently is taxed at the same 6 percent rate.
 
The tax-bracket legislation now goes to the Senate. It's one of several measures lawmakers are considering this year that would reduce state income taxes.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 12:48
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