JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri retailers could start selling beer by the bottle under legislation given initial approval in the state Senate.
State law currently prohibits stores from selling beer in packages that contain fewer than three bottles.
The bill by Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt, of Glendale, would allow the sale of a single bottles, cans or pouches of beer.
Senators gave the bill preliminary approval Monday. A second vote is needed to send it to the House.
If the measure is passed by both chambers and signed by the governor, single-serving beer sales could start in stores in 2015.
Schmitt described the legislation as promoting freedom and liberty. Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, said it's a neat way to help a lot of small businesses.
--- Beer sales bill is SB689.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is trying to keep about 800 Veterans Administration jobs downtown.
The VA announced last week that it planned to consolidate jobs at an office in Overland.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that aldermanic president Lewis Reed is circulating a petition through the White House website to keep the jobs in the city.
He needs 100,000 signatures by April 9. Reed says the loss of the jobs would be a big blow to downtown.
The plan calls for VA workers to move from rented space in St. Louis to a government-owned building in Overland.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Two more former inmates of a southern Illinois jail are suing over strip searches they claim were unconstitutional.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Teresa Hale and Leticia Jackson of Belleville filed the federal lawsuit against St. Clair County and jail officials. Seeking more than $350,000 in damages, the lawsuit alleges the women were strip searched while jailed in 2012 for suspected drunken driving.
In December, 29 inmates filed a similar lawsuit, seeking $10 million in damages.
Sheriff Rick Watson told The Associated Press the cases have no merit, and that his department follows state and federal statutes.
A lawsuit echoing similar allegations against the jail was dismissed in December after a federal judge ruled strip searching prisoners as a group isn't unconstitutional if the searches weren't intended to humiliate.