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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is going to begin picking up the tab for students to take the ACT college entrance exam and dramatically reduce the amount of time some elementary and middle school students spend taking state assessments.

When the changes take effect next school year, Missouri will join more than a dozen states that already offer the ACT test to all their students. Missouri plans to offer the test once, free of charge to high school juniors.

Elementary and middle school students also will see changes as the state switches to new assessments tied to the Common Core standards for math and reading. Students in third, fourth, sixth and seventh grades will take a one-hour version of the test. Only fifth- and eighth-graders will take a longer seven-hour version.

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:13
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe says he'll recommend that tuition at the system's four campuses not increase for the 2014-15 school year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wolfe told the Post-Dispatch editorial board Friday he'd send his recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who would likely take up the matter at a meeting next week.

The last time tuition remained flat was four years ago. The university system's curators had been moving ahead on a plan that would have called for a 1.5 percent tuition increase.

Wolfe's recommendation comes after Gov. Jay Nixon proposed earlier this week to put more than $80 million into higher education. But in exchange, Nixon called on Missouri colleges and universities not to raise costs.

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:11
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jabari Brown had 24 points with a career-best six assists and Jordan Clarkson added 22 points, helping Missouri handle South Carolina 82-74 on Saturday.
 
Earnest Ross added 14 points for the Tigers (15-4, 3-3 SEC), who led by double digits most of the way and kept the Gamecocks (7-12, 0-6) winless in conference play. The winners shot 54 percent and combined for a season-best 18 assists.
 
Brenton Williams had a career-best seven 3-pointers and a season-best 32 points for South Carolina, which has dropped the first six conference games for the first time since a 0-6 start in 1998-99, and is 0-7 on the road. Sindarius Thornwell fouled out late and had 14 points after totaling 50 points the previous two games.
 
Brown leads the SEC in scoring with an average of about 20 points and was 4 for 6 from 3-point range. He's 16 for 24 from long range the last four games.
 
Missouri is 43-2 at home in three seasons under coach Frank Haith. South Carolina coach Frank Martin picked up one of the wins in 2012 when he was at Kansas State but is 1-6 overall at Missouri.
 
Michael Carrera scored six of his 16 points in the final 1:46 for South Carolina, including two free throws that cut the deficit to six points with 1:18 to go. Ryan Rosburg was 0 for 4 at the line the final 1:29 for Missouri, but Carrera also missed a pair with just under a minute left.
 
Carrera added 11 rebounds for the losers.
 
Ross had 12 points and Missouri shot 50 percent in the first half, leading by as many as 20 points and taking a 38-22 cushion into the break. Wesley Clark had a 3-pointer and Ross converted a three-point play to cap a 16-0 run that put Missouri up 38-18 with 1:48 to go.
 
South Carolina cut the gap to 11 points early in the second half before Missouri answered with eight straight points, including 3-pointers by Clarkson and Brown in a 53-second span.
 
The Gamecocks waited more than 6 minutes for its first basket while falling behind 11-0, and shot 25.9 percent in the first half.
 
Thornwell, who totaled 50 points the previous two games, was held to six points in 12 minutes while saddled with two fouls.
 
The attendance of 12,033 was the largest of the season at Mizzou Arena, which holds just over 15,000.
Saturday, 25 January 2014 19:20
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Kevin Shattenkirk and Alexander Steen scored shootout goals to lift the St. Louis Blues to 4-3 win over the New York Islanders following a puzzling goal reversal call in overtime.
 
Thomas Vanek appeared to score the winner for the Islanders on the power play with 1:15 left in overtime but the play was overturned on review. The puck dribbled past Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak and went to Toronto for review. The puck appeared to hit Vanek's skate but the distinct kicking motion that usually negates goals wasn't apparent.
 
Matt Martin had put the Islanders ahead 3-2 midway through the second period. T.J. Oshie tied the game at 19:33 with his 12th goal.
 
Vanek and Kyle Okposo scored in the first for the Islanders. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues.
 
The Islanders lost for just the fifth time in 15 games.
 
Kevin Poulin made a number of acrobatic saves for New York. His best was a point-blank pad save on Blues leading scorer Alexander Steen midway through the second. He also denied Steen and Oshie during a power play midway through the third.
 
Vanek opened the scoring at 4:01 of the first, slapping the puck by Jarolsav Halak for his 19th of the season. Vanek has points in 17 of his last 19 games with nine goals and 16 assists during the stretch.
 
The 30-year-old left wing was acquired from Buffalo on Oct. 27 for Matt Moulson and two high draft picks. The line of Vanek with center John Tavares and with Okposo on the right has ignited the Islanders over the past month.
 
Okposo has points in five straight games and in 18 of his last 22 contests while Tavares (23 goals and 41 assists) is second in league scoring behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
 
The line connected again at 15:11 when Okposo jammed the puck past Halak for his 22nd goal of the year. Fans at Nassau Coliseum also chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A" for Okposo, who wasn't picked for the U.S. team for the Winter Games next month in Sochi, Russia even though he's having a breakout season. Okposo already has a career-high 54 points.
 
Tarasenko cut the margin in half at 17:17 of the first, beating Poulin high from about 30 feet out. The 22-year-old right wing scored again at 1:17 of the second, his 17th goal this season. He hit the left post late in second and had a golden chance midway through the third when his rebound shot appeared to hit both posts without going into the net.
 
The Blues won the previous meeting this season, 5-1 at the Scottrade Center on Dec. 5.
 
The Blues were completing visits to all three local teams. They defeated the Rangers 2-1 on Thursday after losing 7-1 in Newark to the Devils.
 
St. Louis is 16-3-1 against the East this season. They are 40-10-6 against the East since 2010-11, league-best intra-conference play.
 
NOTES: The Islanders are 19-6-3 when they score at least three goals and are 2-19-5 when they do not . Ten members of the Blues will represent their countries at the Olympics, tying Chicago and Detroit for the most among NHL teams . The Islanders have led by two or more goals 15 times in their 54 games. They are 6-4-5 in those game
Saturday, 25 January 2014 16:02
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