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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - A grieving father's personal appeal to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has prompted the social network to release a retrospective video tribute of the man's deceased 21-year-old son.
   John Berlin of suburban St. Louis posted a YouTube message to Zuckerberg on Wednesday seeking a copy of Facebook's new "look back" video feature for his late son, Jesse, who died in January 2012.
   The automated tool creates a 62-second video using photos and comments previously posted by Facebook users. The YouTube plea has since drawn more than 1.1 million views.
   Facebook typically disables the accounts of people who have died. But the company said in a statement Thursday that Berlin's request "moved us to take action" and suggested Facebook might alter its policies on information posted by users who later died.
 
Friday, 07 February 2014 04:28
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   Legislation that would limit the ability of cities and counties to restrict cellphone towers is a step close to being law in Missouri...again.  
   State senators approved a series of bill Thursday that would reinstate many of the provisions of a 2013 law that were struck down in court for violating the single-subject requirement of the state constitution.  Lawmakers split the measures into five separate bills this time around.  
   The legislation is aimed at creating uniform standards for communications companies expanding cellphone and Internet services.  
   Many cities oppose the rules over conflicts with their own zoning and land-use regulations.
 
Friday, 07 February 2014 03:33
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   MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois jury has awarded $16 million to the families of two teenagers killed in a July 2010 grain bin accident.
   The Carroll County jury reached its judgment after a 13 day trial, awarding $8 million each to the families of 19 year old Alejandro Pacas and 14 year old Wyatt Whitebread.
   The workers were in a Haasbach LLC grain bin to help the corn flow while machinery was running. They were trapped in corn more than 30 feet deep.
   Haasbach, which is now out of business, paid $200,000 in federal fines for more than two dozen violations. It also paid more than $68,000 for violating child labor laws under an agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
   The jury found Haasbach owner Consolidated Grain and Barge ultimately responsible for the deaths.
   Carroll County is about 280 miles north of St. Louis, in northwestern Illinois near the Iowa border.
 
Friday, 07 February 2014 03:20
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   The state of Illinois is steadfast in its insistence that local governments devastated by deadly tornadoes in November should be eligible for federal assistance.  They're appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of aid.  

   State officials argue that FEMA's population-based formula penalizes small towns in large states.  

   The Illinois Emergency Management Agency filed the appeal on Thursday.

   At least seven people were killed statewide and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in the storms.

Friday, 07 February 2014 02:51
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   Four projects by the crew that broke a natural gas line, causing an explosion that destroyed a Soulard business Wednesday, are on now hold.  That after city officials learned the South Dakota-based Four Winds company was operating without a city business license.  

   Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's office, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company had been hired by subcontractor MasTec, to install fiber optic cable for AT&T when the accident happened.  

   The gas rupture forced the evacuation of 14 people from the Stars Design Group just before explosions rocked the block.  

   Crane says the city also hadn't been given the required 24-hours notice that work on the project was beginning.  So Four Winds other projects for AT&T were halted Thursday.  

Friday, 07 February 2014 02:27
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   Storm spotters play an important role in monitoring the weather around the St. Louis area, especially during the spring storm season.  The National Weather Service is gearing up for spring by offering Storm Spotter training classes across the metro area.  
   The next class is Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the Justice Center in St. Peters.  But if you want to be a registered storm spotter and can't make the class, there are 16 others scheduled across the metro area before the end of March.
   The classes are free and open to everyone, but only those who are high school age or older can sign up as a volunteer storm spotter.  Registration isn't required for most classes.  Check the National Weather Service's storm spotter class schedule for more information: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=schedule.
Friday, 07 February 2014 02:14
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A Missouri lawmaker is hoping to start a conversation about legalizing the sale and use of cannabis in Missouri.

 

Democratic Representative Chris Kelly proposed a bill that would impose a 25 percent tax on the sale of marijuana for recreational use. The bill would also set up a licensing system for growers and sellers. Under Kelly's formula, St. Louis County could have 400 pot retailers, and another 127 in St. Louis city. The legislation would allow Missourians to keep up to a pound of cannabis, a pound of hashish and more than a half-gallon of hashish oil. Kelly does not hold out much hope of seeing the bill pass, but hopes to start a conversation.

 

The advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis, filed 13 petitions with the state that call for legalizing marijuana. 

Thursday, 06 February 2014 17:39
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A worrisome new scam warning from the Better Business Bureau.

 

The so-called "one ring" scam exclusively targets cell phone users. Victims will receive a call that rings only once and then ends. If the user tries to call the number back, they are charge a $19.95 international call fee and upwards of 9-dollars a minute during the call. The BBB says the calls appear to come from islands in the Caribbean, but some calls may be domestic.

 

The BBB says anyone who thinks they have been victimized by the scam should notify their carrier immediately in order to have a better chance of having charges removed. 

Thursday, 06 February 2014 17:27
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri School of Journalism is looking for a new dean.
 
The university announced Thursday that its current leader Dean Mills plans to retire in August after 25 years overseeing the nation's first journalism school.
 
Mills will remain with the university as part-time director of a fellowship program at the journalism school's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. The research institute opened a decade ago under Mills' watch.
 
He also presided over a physical expansion of the journalism school and oversaw the relocation of two professional organizations to Columbia, the American Society of News Editors and the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
Thursday, 06 February 2014 17:23
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bill Brady says he was "insensitive" when he said out-of-work people don't want jobs because they enjoy collecting unemployment benefits.
 
The state senator from Bloomington told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register Wednesday he "didn't take into consideration there are a number of people out there looking for jobs who don't want to be on unemployment."
 
During a GOP gubernatorial debate Tuesday in Naperville Brady said unemployment benefits should be cut. He said Illinois provides out-of-work residents larger and longer benefits than most states.
 
He also said business leaders tell him they have trouble rehiring former workers because they are enjoying collecting unemployment insurance.
 
Brady is seeking the GOP nomination against state Sen. Kirk Dillard, businessman Bruce Rauner, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Thursday, 06 February 2014 15:54
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