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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury has awarded $1.14 million to a former employee of the Missouri Department of Public Safety who accused the department of age discrimination.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the St. Louis Circuit Court jury awarded $1.14 million Thursday to 61-year-old Timothy Barber, a senior agent in the department's Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control. Barber worked for the department for nearly 30 years before he was let go in 2009.

Barber's lawyers asked the jury to award Barber three years' worth of lost compensation, minus what he gets in retirement money. Barber made about $56,000 a year. The jury awarded him $540,000 in actual damages and $600,000 in punitive damages.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, which represented the state agency, declined comment.

Sunday, 30 March 2014 09:34
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are seeking to allow new charges on cellphones and wireless devices to help improve the state's 911 system.

Public safety officials say many counties cannot identify the location of someone who uses a cellphone to call 911.

Legislation advancing this year would establish a 3-percent charge on prepaid wireless devices. Proceeds would go for the poison control center and for counties to improve 911.

The proposals also would give counties a new 911 funding option by permitting a monthly fee on devices that can contact 911. The fee would be capped at $1.50 and require voter approval. Counties currently can assess a fee on landline phones or a sales tax. Counties would not be permitted to combine funding options.

Sunday, 30 March 2014 09:33
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House Republicans were told they could face primary opposition this year if they voted to sustain Governor Jay Nixon's veto of income tax cut legislation.

Fifteen Republicans voted anyway against the override despite the threats, but only four drew primary challengers for this year's election as candidate filing closed this past week.

The Missouri Club for Growth, which promised to recruit primary challengers, said they have spoken to those challengers. But the group declined to say if it would provide financial backing to those campaigns.

The link between the tax vote and Republican primaries isn't clear. A political scientist from Missouri State University said many of the incumbents would have drawn challengers regardless of their vote.

Sunday, 30 March 2014 09:32
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LISBON, Maine (AP) — A Maine man in search of a valuable mineral cut open a dead porcupine on the side of the road and unexpectedly pulled out its baby.

Jared Buzzell, of Lisbon, says he was searching for wild mushrooms Thursday when he saw a porcupine get hit by a car in Minot. Buzzell says he'd heard that a valuable mineral deposit used in Chinese medicine formed in the stomachs of porcupines.

He then cut open the dead porcupine to search for the mineral and instead found the baby.

He tells WMTW-TV (bit.ly/1hlWRUl) he cut the umbilical cord and thought the baby porcupine was dead until he started massaging it and it began breathing.

Buzzell is caring for the baby at home and plans to give it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

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