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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri statute requiring both parties to sign a marriage license in the presence of a county recorder of deeds has been deemed unconstitutional when the prospective bride or groom is incarcerated.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. in Kansas City, Mo., issued the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by five women engaged to Missouri inmates.

Because betrothed inmates can't make it to the recorder's office, marriage license applications involving inmates typically are brought into a prison. The lawsuit claimed that Cole County's recorder had been allowed inside prisons for 17 years, but was denied entry in August and unable to bring marriage licenses to several prisoners. The reason: He declined to list his Social Security number on a form.

The weddings scheduled for Sept. 24 were called off.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:51
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BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — Researchers from Washington University have joined the effort to find the grave of an unidentified child who was decapitated three decades ago.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a research associate and three graduate students at Washington University on Thursday began helping to locate the child's misplaced grave.

Funeral director Calvin Whitaker has been trying to find the remains of the child known as "Little Jane Doe" or "Hope." Her body isn't in the grave site listed for her in Washington Park Cemetery.

Abby Stylianou, a computer science and engineering researcher, plans to compare photographs of the child's burial with aerial images and hopes to have results that could help locate the remains, which could then be examined using new DNA tests to possibly identify the child.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:40
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge has granted reduced bail for the former head of the failed Moberly sweetener plant.

Bruce Cole will need to post $10,000 in cash or secure a $100,000 bond to be released from the Randolph County jail. If released, he could return to his California home and remain under house arrest.

Cole, 65, was being held on a $500,000 bond on claims he perpetrated a massive fraud by persuading Moberly to issue $39 million in bonds to fund an artificial sweetener facility that collapsed financially before construction finished.

Cole faces one theft charge and four counts of securities fraud related to the industrial development bonds issued by Moberly.

The judge granted another motion Friday to reveal what deals the state made with witnesses testifying against Cole.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:23
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to 3 inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.

Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.

MoDOT spokesman Dan Niec says the storm will be just as challenging as two in late February that each dropped a foot of snow on the region.

He says the Transportation Department posts road conditions on its website, www.modot.org, which is updated continuously as conditions change.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:20
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