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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two bills making their way through Missouri's Republican-led Legislature represent the state's latest attempt to oppose the federal health care law.
 
Senators passed measures last week that would impose additional regulations on insurance navigators, who help consumers sign up for health plans on the exchange marketplace.
 
One bill would require navigators to take a written exam and undergo a criminal background check before working with consumers. Another would require navigators to purchase a $100,000 bond and be liable for unlawfully sharing a customer's personal or financial information.
 
Republicans say the measures would protect Missourians from fraud. But Democratic opponents say the bills are designed to block access to health care.
Monday, 17 February 2014 13:25
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A pair of suspects connected to a Highland, Illinois bank robbery are in custody.

 

Police say the first man was captured in Highland on Sunday night. The second man was found early Monday morning in Michigan.

 

Police and the FBI do not believe there are any more suspects. 

Monday, 17 February 2014 13:23
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The state of Missouri faces the loss of nearly $70 million this year in tobacco settlement payments due to a unique pricing advantage enjoyed by some cigarette companies.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri is the only state which signed a landmark settlement agreement more than 15 years ago to not eliminate a loophole allowing small cigarette manufacturers and retailers to avoid making escrow payments. The payments are required of companies that didn't sign the settlement.
 
State lawmakers have refused requests by two Missouri attorney generals over the past 12 years to neutralize the pricing advantage. And a federal arbitration panel found that Gov. Jay Nixon neglected to file lawsuits against the smaller tobacco companies to force them to pay into the escrow fund when he was attorney general.
 
Missouri could also lose tens of millions in tobacco money each year for at least seven years.
Monday, 17 February 2014 12:40
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   CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago-area family of a missing Southern Illinois University student is offering a reward for information in the 19-year-old sophmore's disappearance.
   Authorities say Pravin Varughese has been missing since Wednesday. His family says they are offering a $15,000 reward. His sister, Priya Varughese, says family members "just want him home." She says her brother, a cousin and a roommate were at a party the night he disappeared.
   Carbondale Police Sgt. Rich Brunner says officers have searched for Pravin Varughese using dogs and by air. He says the searches have covered much of the SIU campus and city. Brunner says friends and police handed out flyers Sunday. Vigils also have been planned.
    Vaughese and his family are from the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove. He was studying criminal justice.
Monday, 17 February 2014 10:44
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