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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:41 am
Wed December 9, 2009

H1N1 vaccine available to general public

St. Louis – Missouri health officials say there is enough H1N1 flu vaccine for anyone who wants it.

Until now, limited supplies led many local health departments to restrict access to children, pregnant woman and other high-risk people.

Through the first eight weeks of the flu season, Missouri doctors reported more than 26,000 flu cases. That compares to just 56 during the same period last year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:32 am
Wed December 9, 2009

Four men sentenced on federal dogfighting charges

The Humane Society of Missouri is caring for many of the seized dogs, as well as puppies born since the raid. (photo: Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – Four Missouri men have been sentenced to federal prison for dogfighting. Their guilty pleas resulted from the largest ever coordinated multistate raids on dogfighting operations.

In July, federal agents arrested 26 people and seized hundreds of dogs in Missouri, Illinois, and five other states.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:47 am
Wed December 9, 2009

Nixon unveils DUI reforms

Gov. Jay Nixon unveils his plans to change DWI enforcement to an audience of police officers and victims of drunken drivers.
(UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis Public Radio – Governor Jay Nixon has unveiled his plans for legislation that would tighten enforcement of the state's drunken driving laws.

The seven proposals come from a summit Nixon held on the issue in November. It would become a crime to refuse a Breathalyzer test. County prosecutors would take responsibility for prosecuting repeat offenders, drivers with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above, or drivers who refuse the Breathalyzer.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:13 am
Wed December 9, 2009

Missouri Republicans try to exempt state from health care overhaul

State Senator Jane Cunningham-R, Chesterfield.
Adam Allington

Chesterfield, MO – A group of Republican state legislators has pre-filed legislation attempting to exempt Missouri from any federal health care overhaul bill passed in Washington.

The joint-resolution was authored by Chesterfield Republican Jane Cunningham and already has 17 co-signers in the Senate.

The legislation would amend the state constitution to exempt Missourians from participating in any kind of mandatory insurance coverage or health care plan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:57 pm
Tue December 8, 2009

Mo. Supreme Court rules on public defender cases

The Missouri Supreme Court

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that public defenders cannot use heavy caseloads as an excuse to turn down entire categories of cases.

The decision strikes down rules that allowed overworked offices to turn away cases that involved probation violations and turn away defendants who had once hired private lawyers.

Kansas City attorney Antwaun Smith represented the Public Defender Commission before the High Court.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:41 pm
Tue December 8, 2009

St. Louis nurses receive back pay

St. Louis, MO – One of the region's largest health care providers, SSM Health care, has agreed to pay out $1.7 million in back pay to nurses.

The payments come after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor which found that many nurses were working through lunch breaks even though they were automatically docked one-half hour.

Enrique Rodriguez works for the labor department's St. Louis office and says if employees are working through lunch breaks they are required to be paid.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:28 pm
Tue December 8, 2009

Design competition underway for Arch grounds

St. Louis, MO – A national design competition is now underway to make the Gateway Arch grounds more user-friendly.

The call for designs follows the release of a general management plan last month by the National Park Service.

The superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial -- which includes the Arch -- is Tom Bradley. He says the Arch grounds need to have a better connection to downtown St. Louis and Illinois, across the Mississippi River.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:14 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Rod Jetton charged with assault

Mug shot of former Mo. House Speaker Rod Jetton.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Former Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton was charged with second-degree assault on Monday.

The felony allegations against the 42-year-old Republican stem from a woman's claim that Jetton hit her in the face several times and choked her into unconsciousness.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:27 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Artists help homless men transition to stable lives

St. Louis – Over the last ten years, The Peter and Paul Services Homeless Shelter in Soulard has been helping homeless men transition back into society with the help of local artists.

The goal of the project is to give each individual an opportunity to document his journey from homelessness to independent living through a variety of artistic media.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:49 am
Mon December 7, 2009

Missouri lawmakers begin budget talks

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers begin laying the groundwork this week for what's expected to be a difficult budget process.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is to hear public testimony Monday and Tuesday on spending for education, public safety, social services and other government programs. The House appropriations committee for economic development issues is to meet Wednesday.

Legislative committees typically start hearing pleas for spending before their session officially begins in early January.

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