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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri sheriff's department is targeting drivers who ignore school bus laws.
 
The Washington Missourian reports that starting this week, Franklin County deputies are riding along on school buses and watching for aggressive drivers who drive around stopped buses in violation of the law.
 
Authorities say the sheriff's office receives many reports of violators who are either unaware of the law or intentionally violate it. They say it puts children getting on and off the bus at risk.
 
Motorists are being reminded that those going both directions must stop if the red flashing lights of a school bus are activated.
CHICAGO (AP) - A new report says electricity deregulation has saved Illinois customers up to $37 billion over the past 16 years.
 
The report being released Monday by four business groups says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same.
 
Deregulation kicked in in 1998, allowing Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates were set. The utilities before deregulation both supplied and delivered electricity to customers, who had no other choices.
 
The legislature also restructured the natural gas market.
 
The report was issued by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Business Roundtable.
 
Electric rates have risen recently as utilities make "smart grid" improvements.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Corps of Engineers officials are holding several workshops in Missouri and Illinois in the next two weeks to discuss flood preparation with local officials.
 
March is the start of the flood season along the Mississippi River Valley. The workshops are designed to give levee district officials a chance to hear about the spring flood outlook and discuss levee safety, response capabilities and other issues.
 
All four workshops start at 6:30 p.m. They are scheduled for Monday at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Troy, Mo., Thursday at Fire Engine House No. 1 in Fairview Heights, Ill., March 10 at the Jacksonville, Ill., Convention and Visitors Bureau, and March 12 at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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