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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is supporting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, joining other Midwestern governors who are urging President Barack Obama to approve its construction.
   In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday, Nixon cited energy independence and economic growth as reasons to support the pipeline's construction. The State Department is taking comments on the project before making a recommendation to Obama on whether to approve it.
   The Democratic governor says the project would promote energy independence in an "environmentally responsible way."
   The pipeline would travel through the heart of the United States, carrying oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to a hub in Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines.
Monday, 03 March 2014 15:32
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WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri sheriff's department is targeting drivers who ignore school bus laws.
 
The Washington Missourian reports that starting this week, Franklin County deputies are riding along on school buses and watching for aggressive drivers who drive around stopped buses in violation of the law.
 
Authorities say the sheriff's office receives many reports of violators who are either unaware of the law or intentionally violate it. They say it puts children getting on and off the bus at risk.
 
Motorists are being reminded that those going both directions must stop if the red flashing lights of a school bus are activated.
Monday, 03 March 2014 09:17
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CHICAGO (AP) - A new report says electricity deregulation has saved Illinois customers up to $37 billion over the past 16 years.
 
The report being released Monday by four business groups says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same.
 
Deregulation kicked in in 1998, allowing Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates were set. The utilities before deregulation both supplied and delivered electricity to customers, who had no other choices.
 
The legislature also restructured the natural gas market.
 
The report was issued by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Business Roundtable.
 
Electric rates have risen recently as utilities make "smart grid" improvements.
Monday, 03 March 2014 07:16
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