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ST. CLAIR, Mo. (AP) — A Franklin County judge has ordered animals seized from a home to be returned to the owner.

The animals — 192 rabbits, 25 goats, 10 cats, 21 chickens, four dogs and a duck — were removed from 75-year-old Velma Muessemeyer's property near St. Clair, Mo., on Nov. 12. It was the second animal seizure there in less than four years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that so far, the animals have not been returned.

Humane Society officials said at the time of the seizure that the animals lived in dirty and dangerous conditions. Muessemeyer was charged with 21 misdemeanor animal abuse counts.

Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge David Tobben said in a ruling last week that there was no evidence that most of the animals were in danger.

Saturday, 28 December 2013 10:47
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PLATTE WOODS, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Lottery says a Powerball ticket worth $71.5 million was sold at a Kansas City-area convenience store.

Lottery officials said Friday a ticket sold at the Autobahn BP store in Platte Woods matched all six numbers drawn Christmas night. The store will get a $50,000 bonus for selling the prize. And the winner can either collect the full jackpot in 30 annuity payments, or take the one-lump payment of $39.8 million before taxes.

Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde says the winner will be announced in the next few days through a news release or news conference.

The winning numbers are 23, 28, 38, 39, 56 and the Powerball number is 32.

Saturday, 28 December 2013 10:46
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The crowded situation in the inmate intake center near Joliet has become the latest focus in the ongoing dispute over whether Illinois' prisons are too crowded.
The Associated Press has learned hundreds of inmates are sleeping in a gym, a health care unit and "staging areas" next to garages at the Illinois prison system's principal intake facility.
 
Ralph Portwood is president of the employees' union at Stateville prison, which oversees the reception center. He says the situation poses a security concern because inmates there are being held in groups instead of two per cell.
 
Illinois Department of Corrections officials say the setup isn't the most desirable but that the facility is secure, with extra guards available.  Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez says the prisons are run safely and humanely.
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:27
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) - Documentary filmmakers A.J. Schnack and David Wilson knew it would be easy to make fun of Branson, middle America's flag-waving, family-friendly celebration of musical variety shows and early-bird dinner specials.
The Midwest natives felt a stronger obligation to dig beneath the surface and portray local performers and town leaders as more than aw-shucks Ozark hillbillies.
 
The result is "We Always Lie to Strangers," a new film that tells a more nuanced story of how the southwest Missouri resort is dealing with the aftermath of an economic recession, an aging audience and performance troupes whose gay cast members live a version of "don't ask, don't tell" among their conservative Christian neighbors.
 
The documentary will be distributed nationally in 2014. It kicked off the annual St. Louis International Film Festival in November.
   
 
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:17
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