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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri employers could save $186 million in federal taxes after a revised projection indicates money borrowed to pay jobless benefits will be repaid early.
   The state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund became insolvent in February 2009 during the economic downturn. Missouri borrowed from the federal government, and businesses pay a surcharge to repay the debt.
   Nixon said Tuesday the U.S. Department of Labor revised its projection for when Missouri would pay off the loan. Now, the state is expected to repay it in November instead of May 2015. Nixon says that would reduce business's federal unemployment tax by $84 per worker.
 
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 03:42
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   We should know by the end of the week who will replace retiring St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch.

   Friday is Fitch's last day on the job and the county police board is expected to name his replacement at that time.  

   Fox 2 News is siting unnamed sources as say the field has been narrowed to three candidates: Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Cox, Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division; Lieutentant Colonel Kenneth Gregory, who leads the patrol division; and the head of special operations, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Belmar.  

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 03:36
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   Several elected officials around the St. Louis area have issued responses to President Obama's State of the Union address.  Leaders from both Missouri and Illinois shared their thoughts. They vary widely in their impressions, and as one might expect, seem to fall along party lines.
 
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL): 
   "Tonight the President gave an optimistic speech about opportunity for American families, an economy on the rise and leveled a call to action to ensure this is a year of progress for the middle class.
   "From programs to grow the economy and create jobs like the launching of new manufacturing institutes and infrastructure investments to efforts to strengthen the middle class like raising the minimum wage, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit along the lines of a bill introduced with Senator Brown, and making college more affordable, tonight's speech focused on creating more opportunities for American families.
   "Improving opportunities for American families requires innovation and action and I plan to work with my colleagues to build on the work we've done in my Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to reverse the devastating cuts to federally funded research and development and grow these programs for years to come.
   "Finally, tonight's speech challenged us in Congress to set aside the partisanship and gridlock that is preventing us from improving the lives millions of Americans. We must now rise to the occasion."
 
U.S. Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) MO:  
   "Tonight, President Obama laid out a bold, optimistic agenda that challenged us to reward hard work, renew economic security for middle-class families and keep faith with our senior citizens.
   "I strongly support the President's call to raise the minimum wage; pass comprehensive immigration reform; renew the Voting Rights Act; continue expanding access to affordable healthcare for all, and eliminate barriers to higher education that are keeping millions from achieving their dreams.
   "He also laid out a clear path that would continue our nation's remarkable progress towards achieving energy independence and creating millions of new jobs in the emerging 21st Century green economy. 
   "I am hopeful that Congress can build on recent bipartisan agreements to move this progressive agenda forward to benefit all Americans."
 
 
 
U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO):
   "The people of the 2nd District are tired of the same old failed speeches and policies from President Obama.  The Show-Me state wants to know, ‘where are the jobs!’   It's time the President started working with Congress and not around us. 
   "The President called for a ‘year of action.’  I don't know where the President and Senate Democrats have been for the last year, but House Republicans have taken action on solutions that will make your lives just a little better, a little easier to manage. 
   "In fact, the House has passed over 170 pieces of legislation in the last year that have been ignored by the United States Senate and the President.  The House has passed solutions that will increase the size of your paychecks, increase upward mobility, restore your individual liberties and lower costs on everyday items that you depend on every day like groceries, gasoline and the cost of your health care.   These common-sense solutions offer the American people a better future versus a failed present.
   "It's time we turn the page and begin a new era focused on empowering the American people and not the government." 
 
 
 
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) MO:
   "We've made a lot of progress these past few years, creating millions of jobs and pulling our economy out of the ditch—but there are an awful lot of commonsense ideas still sitting on the table that could build on that success, if elected leaders stop kowtowing to the political extremes and start working toward compromise to get things done. Raising the minimum wage for working families, building innovative private-public partnerships to invest in our roads and bridges, making the tax code fairer, and fixing our broken immigration system aren't partisan initiatives. They're commonsense goals that we should all be ready to rally behind to strengthen America's middle class families."
 
 
 
U.S. Congressman John Shimkus (R) IL:
   "These speeches are always more political than whoever the President is wants to make it seem.  President Obama – in an election year – took a more liberal, activist tone.  I happen to disagree with many of his ideas.
   "Promises made in speeches are also not automatically the law of the land.  However, President Obama wants to start using executive authority to take more actions without Congress’ involvement.  This is an unprecedented challenge to Congress by a President.
   "While the President talks about energy security, his EPA has taken several steps that will hinder what was becoming a growing coal industry.  I'm afraid of what his pen or his EPA might do to other energy issues that benefit Illinois.
   "The President talks about jobs, yet his Administration has taken more steps to stymie job growth than to create jobs.  The House has sent hundreds of bills over to the Senate that would directly or indirectly help job creation.
   "Finally, I want to say that the failures of Obamacare go beyond a website that doesn't work.  Here in Illinois, we are prime examples of the fiasco of Obamacare – we have had thousands more people receive cancellation notices from insurance companies than we have signed up on the website."
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:48
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   The St. Louis Major Case Squad is looking for a person of interest in the death of a Swansea, Illinois man.
   Police say a friend had called and asked them to check on 61 year old David Daughtrey.  Police arrived at Daughtrey's home in the 200 block of Mimosa Avenue and found him dead inside.  Investigators aren't calling his death a homicide, but say it is "suspicious."  
   Daughtrey's adult son, Jarad Daughtrey also lived in the home.  Police are calling him a "person of interest" in his father's death.  Police believe he may be driving his father's black, black Chrysler Town and Country van, with handicapped/military tags and Illinois plate number W280371.
   Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Case Squad at (618) 234-3291.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:38
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   It's unclear when or if Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls will be executed.  

   The U.S. Supreme Court has granted him a stay of execution.  Justice Samuel Alito signed the order and it was sent out Tuesday night, just hours before Smulls midnight execution date.  

   The 56 year old was convicted of killing a St. Louis County jeweler and badly injuring his wife during a 1991 robbery.  His juvenile accomplice, now 37, is serving a life sentence.   

   Smulls' lawyer says the stay is temporary while the high court reviews the case.  She had made last-minute pleas to spare Smulls' life, focusing on Smulls "due process" rights, since he still has appeals pending that challenge Missouri's execution method.  Attorney Cheryl Pilate is arguing that Missouri's refusal to disclose the name of the compounding pharmacy that makes the pentobarbitol used in executions makes it impossible for Smulls' advocates to know whether it could cause pain and suffering.

   Earlier on Tuesday, Pilate revealed the name of the company she believes is making the drug.  She told The Associated Press that her research indicates the drug is made by The Apothecary Shoppe, based in Tulsa, Okla. She says an Oklahoma City-based lab tested the drug.   

 

 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:26
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It has been so cold, you probably have not been thinking about your first trip to an amusement park this summer yet.

 

But at Six Flags, they are preparing for the 2014 season. The seasonal employer is preparing for a pair of job fairs, during which they hope to fill more than 2,500 jobs. Positions are for anything from entry level to seasonal management.

 

The job fairs will be held Feb. 1 and 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the human resources office. Applicants can apply ahead of time on the Six Flags website. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:44
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation to offer additional financial assistance to persuade more top students to stay in the state after graduation day.
 
The legislation would add a forgivable loan of up to $5,000 per academic year to Missouri's Bright Flight scholarship. Each year a student works in Missouri after school would count toward one year of loan forgiveness. Leaving before the loan is repaid would require repaying the loan with interest.
 
Republican House member Mike Thomson, of Maryville, says too many top Missouri students leave. Bright Flight scholarships are awarded based on ACT or SAT scores. The legislation was examined Tuesday by the House Higher Education Committee.
 
Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed $17 million in next year's budget for a Bright Flight loan program.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two alternative plans are expected to emerge from a Missouri House committee that has been looking at potential income tax cuts.
 
The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote Tuesday evening on the legislation.
 
One plan would gradually reduce Missouri's top individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.3 percent. It also would phase in a 50 percent deduction for business income reported on individual tax returns. And it would increase the current tax deduction for lower-income individuals.
 
The other plan targets only businesses. It includes a similar business income deduction, as well as a gradual 50 percent reduction in Missouri's corporate income tax rate.
 
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed an income tax cut last year and has again emphasized concerns about the effect on education funding.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:21
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A note for drivers in the Brentwood area today and tonight.

 

A broken water main has shut down one lane of Eager Road in each direction between Hanley Road and I-170. The closures will stay in place through rush hour tonight. The affected area handles around 25,000 vehicles a day. Drivers are encouraged to find an alternate route.

 

The road is expected to be open by Wednesday morning rush.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:39
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St. Louis police are investigating the city's fourteenth homicide of the year.

 

Officers say 21-year-old Erick Burney was walking in the 1500 block of Montgomery in North St. Louis on Monday afternoon, when a driver pulled up alongside him. Investigators say someone inside the car started shooting. Burney was hit multiple times and died at the hospital.

 

No information on a suspect has been released.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:50
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