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   CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials say the state saved about $44 million in five months because of a vendor's work to scrub unentitled Illinois residents from the Medicaid rolls. Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos detailed the savings Tuesday at a legislative hearing in Chicago.

   The work by Reston, Va.-based Maximus resulted in the state canceling Medicaid for more than 125,000 people. Outsourcing that task will cost the state about $70 million over two years.

   Hamos says 40 percent of the people kicked off Medicaid had no medical costs in the past six months, resulting in lower than projected savings.

   She says Illinois officials still would like to complete the contract with Maximus and will appeal an arbitrator's ruling that would require the contract to be canceled Dec. 31.

 
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:02
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DENVER (AP) -- Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help the St. Louis Cardinals take over sole possession of the NL Central with an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals entered the night tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.

Joe Kelly (9-4) baffled the Rockies as he allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander has been one of the team's most consistent pitchers since becoming a permanent member of the rotation in July.

Juan Nicasio (8-8) struggled with his command, lasting just 2 2-3 innings and allowing eight runs, which tied a career high.

Holliday led an 18-hit night by the Cardinals, who had seven players with at least two hits. Holliday finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double and two-run homer against his former team. He drove in three runs and scored twice.

The Cardinals ran away with the game in the third when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times. Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in the decisive inning, while Holliday added a double and an RBI single.

Colorado's Michael Cuddyer finished 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to raise his average to.331, which is tops in the NL.

Kelly hardly seemed intimidated in his first start at Coors Field. He didn't allow a base runner to reach as far as third base until the fourth inning. He wiggled out of that jam when first baseman Matt Adams corralled Josh Rutledge's liner.

Once Kelly was out of the game, the Rockies went to work as they scored four runs off reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. But the bullpen shut down the Rockies from there, with Kevin Siegrist striking out pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco to end the game.

Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was frequently on base for the Cardinals, with two singles and a hit by pitch. He leads the league hits (187), doubles (51) and multi-hit games (60).

Yadier Molina gave the Cardinals a lead in the first inning with a two-out single to center. Molina is one of the top hitters in the league with runners in scoring position.

Todd Helton nearly tied the game in the bottom half of the first, but Holliday made a leaping catch against the fence in left field.

The 40-year-old Helton announced last weekend his decision to retire after his 17th season with the Rockies. He leaves as the franchise's leader in virtually every offensive category.

NOTES: Kelly is 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 starts this season. ... The only Cardinals starter without one was OF Carlos Beltran. ... St. Louis will send RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9) to the mound on Wednesday, while the Rockies counter with RHP Tyler Chatwood (7-4). ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado missed the game after aggravating his right thumb on Monday. "He may be down for a few days," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday. "His thumb is real tender." ... Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba replaced Wilin Rosario (right calf soreness) in the third inning.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 23:30
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who helped a priest sell methamphetamine has been sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Fifty-three-year-old Waterbury resident Kenneth DeVries was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Hartford. He pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

DeVries has prostate cancer and had asked to be sentenced to time he'd already spent behind bars. He could've faced up to four years in prison.

Prosecutors say DeVries had a limited role in the conspiracy involving Monsignor Kevin Wallin, who's been nicknamed Monsignor Meth by media outlets.

Wallin pleaded guilty to a drug charge in April. He faces 11 to 14 years in prison.

DeVries has said he looked up to Wallin as a religious leader and someone who was supposed to help him.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials are seeking an additional $6.8 million to help an unaccredited school district in the St. Louis area.

The State Board of Education approved the budget request Tuesday for the Normandy district. That's the first step in a process that ultimately requires the support of the governor and Legislature to become a reality.

Students started transferring out of the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts this year under a state law that requires unaccredited districts to pay the costs for students who want to attend other public schools.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Normandy is projected to run out of money in March.

The additional funding recommended Tuesday would come as a supplemental state budget item to be considered after lawmakers convene in January.

 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:17
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