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ST. LOUIS (AP) — One of three men accused in a 2011 shooting death in St. Louis has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a jury convicted 21-year-old Michael Ford the Third on Thursday after a four-day trial.

Ford was accused in the death of 22-year-old Calvin Ross, whose body was found in July 2011 in an alley. Authorities say he had been repeatedly shot.

Two co-defendants, DeJuan Blocker of Spanish Lake and Antoine Barton of St. Louis, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and armed criminal action. They await trial.

Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:45
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed legislation designating the new Interstate 70 bridge connecting St. Louis and southwestern Illinois over the Mississippi River as the "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge."

The name is a compromise between Missouri lawmakers who wanted to honor the late St. Louis Cardinals great and Illinois lawmakers who wanted to name the bridge in honor of military veterans.

Obama signed the measure Friday, two days after Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation dubbing Missouri's side of the bridge the "Stan Musial Memorial Bridge."

Musial died in January at age 92. He was a three-time MVP and seven-time batting champion who spent his 22-year career with the Cardinals. He also was a Navy veteran of World War II and a 2011 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:43
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri consumers may soon find it easier to turn to their local banks to get a short-term loan until their next paycheck.

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation Friday that will double or triple the fees that Missouri-chartered banks can charge for short-term cash advances.

Bank officials have said that the state's current maximum-allowed fees of $25 or 5 percent of a loan don't provide enough financial incentive for many banks to offer the short-term loans. The bill raises the fee cap to $75 or 10 percent of a loan's value.

The legislation could help banks compete with payday lenders, but it faced no opposition from the payday loan industry.

Some consumer advocates raised concerns about the bill, but only after it passed.

Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:43
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The immediate and the institutional are on a collision course in the Senate, where majority Democrats want to erode the right of minority Republicans to block confirmation of President Barack Obama's picks for key administration posts.

On one side is the fate of Obama's choices to head the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency and for seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which settles collective bargaining disputes.

On the other side is the near certainty that once weakened, the rights of the Senate minority would be reduced even further the next time either party wants to jam through a four-year appointment to the Cabinet or lifetime seat for a justice whose confirmation might tilt the balance of power on the Supreme Court for a decade or more.

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