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    A Franklin County toddler who's been missing since Sunday morning is safe.  The Endangered Person Advisory for the girl has been lifted.  

   The Franklin County Sheriff's Department isn't saying where two-year-old Ellanna Jade Spear was located, or who was with her.  

   Authorities had issued the advisory after her custodial grandparents received a text message Sunday morning saying that Ellanna wouldn't be returned from a visit with non-custodial grand parents.  The toddler had last been seen Friday in Gray Summit, Missouri.  

   There's no word yet if any arrests have been made or if anyone will face charges in the case.

   All authorities are saying at this time is that the little girl has been found safe.

 

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Monday, 17 February 2014 01:10
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers could clear up a legal thicket entangling communities' red light cameras while also applying the brakes to cameras designed to nab speeders.

State approval would be required for speed or red light cameras on state highways, and communities seeking to place them elsewhere would need to follow specific requirements. Speed cameras on local roads would be limited to school zones, work zones and areas where serious traffic accidents are excessive.

Legislation endorsed by a House committee also seeks to address recent court cases over red light cameras. Appeals courts have focused on how points are assessed for violations caught by red light cameras.

The bill would specify that traffic infractions captured by speed or red light cameras would not lead to points on a motorist's driving record.

Sunday, 16 February 2014 08:05
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Michael Sam received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards during Missouri's basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday.

The All-America defensive end who could became the first openly gay player in the NFL, later a blew a kiss to the student section and shook hands with fans.

Sam and football team were honored at halftime for their Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State.

Wearing a shirt declaring "We Are All CoMo Sexuals," 51-year-old Michelle Carmichael joined more than a thousand others in forming a line of support for Sam.

The shirt plays off the nickname of Columbia, where Sam announced to his teammates in August that he was gay. The NFL hopeful shared his sexuality with the world last Sunday.

Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:55
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican former U.S. Senate candidate John Brunner says he is contemplating a run for Missouri governor in 2016.

Brunner told The Associated Press on Friday that he has received encouragement to run but doesn't plan to make a decision until after the 2014 elections.

His comments came several days after former U.S. attorney and Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway announced her Republican candidacy for governor. Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) is another potential Republican candidate, but he first faces re-election this year.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is barred by term limits from seeking re-election. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster already is building a gubernatorial campaign.

Brunner is a former St. Louis area businessman who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in the 2012 Republican primary.

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:36
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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois' Madison County are investigating the deaths of three people who died from suspected heroin overdoses after all three bodies were found within a span of five hours.

Coroner Stephen Nonn says the body of 29-year-old Katie Heavey of Collinsville was found Thursday night by her father.

Nonn says 38-year-old Dearold Oseland was found dead early Friday in his Roxana apartment by his girlfriend. That was about 90 minutes before 40-year-old Paul Simpson's body was found in his Granite City home.

Nonn says autopsies in each case were inconclusive, and toxicology tests are pending.

The coroner says evidence of drug use was found at each scene.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:34
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois doctor will be sentenced in April after he admitted defrauding the state's Medicaid program and illegally dispensing prescription medications.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 68-year-old Viwathna Bhuthimethee of Alton pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.

Authorities say Bhuthimethee ran an Alton walk-in clinic with his wife. He was indicted in 2012.

Investigators accused him of operating a "pill mill" in which he prescribed more than 2,000 painkiller or anti-anxiety pills to four women from 2008 through 2010 outside the course of his professional practice.

He's set to be sentenced April 3.

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:33
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman who served as an executive of a business that provides visiting nurses and hospice services for Missouri and Illinois patients is accused of embezzling about $600,000 for personal use.
A federal grand jury in St. Louis has charged 49-year-old Susan Winebarger of Highland, Ill., with two counts of wire fraud.
Authorities say Winebarger was a chief financial officer and later chief executive of VNA-TIP of Bridgeton, Mo.
Investigators allege that from January 2008 and last December, she issued checks to herself from company accounts and hid the embezzlement by altering bank statements and internal financial reports.
She's also accused of withholding money that should have gone to employees' retirement accounts.
 
Thursday, 13 February 2014 09:45
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Thursday, 13 February 2014 09:46
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TROY, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois prosecutor is lobbying for a girl whose home-based cupcake business was shut down because she didn't have a commercial kitchen.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says he wants to amend a state law on sixth-grader Chloe Stirling's behalf. The two-year-old law allows people to make certain food items in a home kitchen to sell to the public if the food was to be sold at a farmers' market.
The girl had been selling her cupcakes to raise money to buy a car someday. But the county's health department shut down her operation last month after concluding her kitchen wasn't a commercial one requiring a permit and inspection.
The county's public health administrator insists existing laws are "excellent."
 
 
Thursday, 13 February 2014 09:32
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