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A small patch of forest in St. Louis County could be a big part of understanding global climate change.  In November, the 60-acre plot at Washington University's Tyson Research Center near Eureka was named a Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory.
The land between Lone Elk and West Tyson County Parks is now part of a network of 52 forest plots in 23 countries around the world being used to study climate change and bio-diversity.  
Together, the forests contain about 85-hundred species and 4.5 million individual trees, comprising the largest, systematically studied network of forest-ecology plots in the world.
In part, the Smithsonian project is examining both how climate change affects forests and how forests affect climate change.
The Tyson plot is expected to provide a lot of information because scientists have been monitoring it since the 1980s and have collected data covering two of Missouri's worst droughts in 1988 and 2012.
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 11:15
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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced appointments to eight boards and commissions today and among the appointees are three St. Louisans.  Democrat Joseph Hunt has been named to the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority. The authority oversees financing, design and construction of the St. Louis domed stadium/convention center expansion and administers annual Preservation Funding.  The Governor has appointed a pair of Republicans to serve on the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners.  John King  of St. Louis and John Maupin of Creve Coeur will serve on the board which conducts all public elections in St. Louis County. 

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:33
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Just weeks after calling on the Air Force to remove a Lieutenant General from command, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement Wednesday regarding the retirement of that officer.
McCaskill says the decision by Lieutenant General Craig Franklin to step away from the Air Force is the right one, adding, "His handling of sexual assault cases is the best possible illustration of why civilian review, elimination of commanders’ ability to overturn convictions, and so many other protections are included in our recent defense bill.”  
Franklin’s response to a sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy led to criticism and scrutiny of how such cases are handled by the military.
McCaskill introduced legislation—which has since been passed into law—that curtailed the authority of military commanders to dismiss jury convictions against sex offenders.
Other reforms designed to curb sexual assaults in the military include:
*  Requiring civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case 
*  Assigning victims their own independent legal counsel to protect their rights 
*  Mandating dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault 
*  Criminalizing retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault 
*  Eliminating the statute of limitations in rape and sexual assault cases
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:26
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   Don't play with boiling hot water.  That's the message from officials at St. Louis Children's hospital after two children were treated Tuesday for facial burns.  

   Hospital spokeswoman Abby Wuellner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the pair had been injured when they threw a pot of boiling water into the air outside to see if it would turn to ice crystals or snow before hitting the ground.  

   The paper reports that interest in the at-home experiment has peaked since video of a Wisconsin weatherman doing it on Monday went viral.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 04:16
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