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DE SOTO, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri man is recovering after falling from a kayak into a frigid river and clinging to a branch to stay afloat.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 50-year-old Joe Sullivan of rural De Soto was kayaking in the Big River in Jefferson County Sunday afternoon when he fell into the river. Sullivan grabbed a branch to stay afloat in the river swollen by rain and snow melt.
Sullivan picked his cellphone out of a plastic bag and called 911. He floated about two miles before he was able to climb out of the river. Rescuers from the De Soto Rural Fire District found Sullivan on a riverbank, cold but OK.
 
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:08
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A bill filed in the Missouri Senate could well strike another blow against the federal Affordable Care Act. The bill, sponsored by Ladue Republican John Lamping, would suspend insurance companies’ state licenses if they accepted subsidies offered by the federal government to help pay health insurance premiums for low- and middle-income Missourians.  Lamping tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the subsidies are illegal and eventually will be thrown out by a federal court. By rejecting them, he says, Missouri could remove the trigger in the federal law that, beginning in 2015, will assess penalties against large employers that don’t provide health insurance.  Critics of Lamping’s plan say that the Affordable Care Act is helping people obtain health insurance and that it’s time to stop fighting it. 
It wouldn’t be the first time Missouri had tried to halt Obamacare.
In 2010, about 71 percent of Missourians voted to oppose the mandate to purchase insurance and in 2012, nearly 62 percent voted to prevent the governor from setting up a state-based insurance exchange.
As a result, Missouri is one of 34 states where the federal government is operating the exchange, an online marketplace that allows consumers to compare health plans and sign up for coverage.
That website, HealthCare.gov, gained notoriety because of a problem-plagued rollout last fall. As of Nov. 30, only 4,124 Missourians had selected a marketplace plan.
Monday, 13 January 2014 08:34
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A break in the weather allowed St. Louis city street crews to patch the pavement yesterday in an attempt to manage the growing number of potholes.  Officials hoped to have most of the major holes on the arterial roads fixed with a temporary patch on Monday. The storm of a week ago, coupled with frigid temperatures and then fast melting, has created craters on streets throughout the area. The pothole patching is a temporary fix which will hopefully last until getting more attention in the Spring. City officials are asking residents to report potholes to the Citizens' Service Bureau by calling 314.622.4800, tweeting to @stlcsb, or filling out a request for service online.  The Streets Department has also set a goal of patching potholes reported to the CSB within 48 hours of getting a request. 
 
Monday, 13 January 2014 06:59
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   PARIS (AP) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Syria's government is considering opening humanitarian access and a prisoner exchange in the run-up to a peace conference that would bring together the opposition and the leadership for the first time.
   Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday in Paris in a second day of talks to raise pressure on Syria's opposition to attend the peace conference, which is scheduled to begin in just over a week in Switzerland.
   Kerry said he and Lavrov, who last year hammered out an agreement that saw Syrian President Bashar Assad give up chemical weapons, agreed on the need to press for humanitarian access, a cease-fire and a prisoner exchange.  Assad has agreed to send a delegation.
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