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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois gas station owners are speaking out against proposals for a fuel tax hike being floated in Springfield this year.
 
Retail gas station leaders will announce their opposition to such a plan at a news conference on Monday afternoon in the state Capitol. They say increasing the gas tax in a tough economy would hurt drivers and businesses owners.
   
Two weeks ago, a state transportation group unveiled their plan for funding road construction and public transit. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition's proposal included increasing the gas tax by 4 cents. They also called for higher vehicle registration fees and ending the ethanol credit for gasoline.
 
Funding from the state's five-year capital construction program is set to run out this year. The state gas tax hasn't been increased since 1990.
 
Monday, 14 April 2014 08:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate majority leader says the chamber could debate ethics legislation this week that would curb lobbying.
 
The bill would make lawmakers wait two years after their terms expire before registering as lobbyists. It would require lobbyists to report expenditures within 48 hours and would prohibit out-of-state spending on travel, lodging, food and entertainment.
 
Another provision would bar legislators from serving as paid political consultants to fellow lawmakers.
 
Missouri is the only state to allow the trio of unlimited contributions to candidates, unlimited gifts from lobbyists and no waiting period before an elected official can lobby.
Monday, 14 April 2014 08:41
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - One person is dead and another hospitalized after a shooting on Interstate 70 near Kansas City.  Kansas City, Kansas police say the shooting happened around 4 a.m. Monday.
 
Both victims went to the University of Kansas Hospital, where one died and the other was being treated for what police call critical injuries. Police released no information on a possible suspect.
 
The shooting come as authorities investigate a string of shootings at vehicles, many on interstate highway in the Kansas City area. But police did not say if Monday's shooting is related to the earlier incidents.
 
Monday, 14 April 2014 08:07
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Health care providers and advocates for the poor say a disposable diaper shortage among needy families is harming both the infants and their parents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that local food pantries receive countless requests for diapers but are unable to meet the demand. The CEO of Nurses for Newborns says the organization would need as many as 10,000 diapers a day for their mostly poor clients but can only supply a dozen diapers per person in an emergency.

Disposable diapers can cost up to $100 a month for one child.

Social worker Jessica Adams is organizing a nonprofit St. Louis diaper bank that would accept charitable donations and help distribute the diapers to those in need.

Sunday, 13 April 2014 09:53
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ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A U.S. Army sergeant killed in last week's shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, has been buried in the Missouri town where he went to high school and met his wife.

Sergeant Timothy Owens was originally from Effingham, Illinois. He was one of three soldiers killed April 2nd when a gunman fired on the military base. Sixteen others were wounded.

Saturday's funeral was in Rolla (RAH'-lah) where Owens lived in the 1990s.

The Rolla Daily News reported that as many as 75 motorcyclists from the Rolla Patriot Guard Riders accompanied the casket before the service at Rolla's First Baptist Church and afterward, to Lake Springs Cemetery in rural Dent County.

As the casket left the church, Patriot Guard Riders, law enforcement officers and residents lined the sidewalk outside and saluted.

Sunday, 13 April 2014 09:51
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are advancing an early voting measure that could overlap with an initiative petition tackling the issue.

The competing proposals set up a scenario in which Missouri voters could endorse two early voting periods but see only one become law. Missouri law states that if conflicting constitutional amendments are approved at the same time, the measure that gets the largest affirmative vote takes effect.

The initiative petition would allow early voting for six weeks and require officials to accommodate early voting on Saturday and Sunday for the final 21 days before federal or state elections. The proposal in the Legislature calls for nine days of early voting and depends upon lawmakers approving funding.

Sunday, 13 April 2014 09:50
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Legislation to reorganize Missouri's criminal laws also would give longer prison stints to people who sexually abuse or abandon children.

Under the bill, incest would carry additional jail time in child sex crimes. Parents who leave their children without proper care could also spend a decade more in jail if a child dies or is seriously injured.

The main focus of the legislation is the creation of additional classes of felonies and misdemeanors. But a child advocate says the increased punishments for crimes against children will have an impact on their lives.

The House and Senate passed the criminal code overhaul this week and must work out differences to pass an identical bill by May 16th, when the session adjourns

Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two workers who fell to their deaths in a southeast Missouri mine have been identified by their employer.

Mississippi Lime Company president Bill Ayers issued a statement saying 53-year-old John Hahl of Farmington and 29-year-old Chris Rawson of Hillsboro died in the accident around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Hahl and Rawson were working in a lime mine near the town of Ste. Genevieve, about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

Ste. Genevieve County Coroner Leo Basler says the men were in a basket extended from a truck removing loose rock from either the wall or the ceiling of the mine.

Basler says loose rock hit the basket and detached it. The men fell to their death.

St. Louis-based Mississippi Lime Company makes calcium products and calcium-based solution

Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:28
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DIXON, Mo. (AP) — The body of an Army sergeant killed in last week's mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has arrived in a small southern Missouri town for a weekend funeral.

Law enforcement vehicles and nearly 100 Patriot guard motorcycle riders accompanied a hearse bearing the body of 37-year-old Sergeant Timothy Owens in a procession Friday from Lambert Airport in St. Louis to a funeral home in Dixon.

Patriot Guard riders will also escort the remains on Saturday morning from Dixon to a church in neighboring Rolla where the funeral will be held. Owens, originally from Effingham, Illinois attended high school in Rolla and met his wife there.

Owens was one of three soldiers killed April 2nd when ano

Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:27
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   Traffic ticket quotas may soon be a thing of the past in Illinois.  

   A proposal to outlaw them has cleared the state Senate and will be considered in the House. The legislation says police officers can't be evaluated on the number of citations they write.

   The bill's sponsor says it will let officers use more discretion in deciding whether or not to give someone a ticket.

Friday, 11 April 2014 17:11
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