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St. Louis, MO – After campaigning in Illinois yesterday, President Bush will spend part of the final campaigning stretch in Missouri.

Bush will stump for GOP Senate hopeful Jim Talent today at the Family Arena in St. Charles. It will be the President's fifth stop in Missouri this campaign season.

The President is just one of a number of big name campaigners. Singer Sheryl Crow, a Missouri native, has campaigned for Jean Carnahan.

New polls in the race continue to show a very tight race between Carnahan and Talent.

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County election officials say they're ready for the polls to open Tuesday at 6am. Democratic director of elections Judy Taylor says the county expects between 60 and 65 percent voter turnout. This election will be the first in Missouri to allow provisional voting, which lets voters with questionable eligibility cast a ballot that will be counted later. Taylor says she expects between 500 to 1,000 provisional ballots.

St. Louis, MO – A priest who denied an allegation that he
sexually abused a teenager more than two decades ago is accused of
sodomy.

St. Louis prosecutors filed the charge today against 68-year-old
Reverend Thomas Graham.

The St. Louis archdiocese says it has placed Graham on administrative leave until the criminal case is resolved.

Prosecutors allege Graham sexually abused a boy, then 13-years-old, in 1975. The archdiocese says the allegation was made public seven years ago.

Jefferson City, MO – An independent audit is praising the books of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

MO-DOT says the review is evidence of responsible budget managing. Analysts say a ballot defeat in August for a transportation tax increase was evidence of MO-DOT's credibility problem with the public.

So department officials were quick to tout the audit's positive findings.

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Health Department has canceled the remainder of a $96,000 grant with a local AIDS agency that hired a gay-porn movie actor to speak at a "safer sex" meeting for young men.

City health director Hugh Stallworth says he's pulling money for BA-BAA, or Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS, because of what the porn star wore during the meeting - a towel and boots.

St. Louis, MO – City workers and two St. Louis aldermen have filed a lawsuit to stop city employees from working polls on Election Day.

A judge must decide whether employees can legally collect both a city paycheck and a stipend for working the polls. A city union says civil service employees can only do work that fits their job or risk being fired.

St. Louis, MO – Jim Talent and Senator Jean Carnahan are
seeking crucial undecided votes today, as a new poll gives Talent the apparent lead.

Carnahan's schedule includes rallies in St. Louis and Hannibal. Talent, her Republican challenger, is making campaign stops in Joplin, Hannibal, Columbia and St. Louis.

A poll in the Kansas City Star shows Talent with 46 percent, Carnahan with 41 and 12 percent undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.

St. Louis, MO – African-Americans and other minorities who paid higer premiums on Metropolitan Life Insurance policies than whites because of their race will be compensated.

The state of Missouri announced a settlement with MetLife today that will pay $4.8-million to more than 55,000 state residents. Missouri Department of Insurance general counsel Eric Martin says policyholders will receive between $20 and $80 each.

St. Louis, MO – A branch of the Catholic Church is moving its diocesan headquarters to St. Louis. Thursday, church and civic leaders gathered to dedicate the new Maronite Catholic Pastoral Center. The building will serve the diocese of Our Lady of Lebanon, which is moving from Los Angeles.

The Maronite Church is one of 22 rites of the Catholic faith. Archbishop Justin Rigali, who heads the Latin, or Roman rite of the St. Louis archdiocese, says the Maronite community adds to the richness of the Catholic Church.

Jefferson City, MO – Doctors say the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance could force them to cut back services or move out of Missouri.

Several physicians testified yesterday at a public hearing requested by Governor Bob Holden and hosted by the state Insurance Department.

Holden says he wants to find out why malpractice insurance rates are rising when the number or claims in Missouri is falling.

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Mayor Slay says the city is planning a hassle-free election for city voters Tuesday.

He and other city leaders say they've covered every conceivable detail; from automated wake-up calls for election judges to having lists of people with keys to polling places incase doors are locked.

The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of Election Day two years ago, when some voters were turned away in confusion that led to a Justice Department lawsuit.

St. Louis, MO –

St. Louis, MO – The national spotlight remains on Missouri's U.S. Senate race and the parade of nationally recognized politicians continues through Missouri.

Two leading Congressional Democrats - Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman and Congressman John Conyers Junior of Michigan - visited Kansas City Thursday morning to boost Senator Jean Carnahan's campaign.

Carnahan's Republican opponent, Jim Talent, was in Cape Girardeau for a rally headlined by Vice President Dick Cheney.

St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis AIDS agency has put its director on paid leave.

The move comes amid allegations that a gay-porn movie star stripped and had sexual contact with guests during an agency-sponsored event in the director's home. The board of Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS voted yesterday to place Erise Williams Jr. on indefinite leave.

Williams says the allegations are false. The city is also investigating whether federal grant money was improperly spent.

Belleville, Illinois – A Champaign man is suing the Belleville
Diocese and a retired Salem priest who he says sexually abused him 19 years ago.

A lawyer representing 41-year-old James Wisniewski says his client only recently recalled the sexual abuse he says he suffered from 1973 to 1978. Wisniewski's lawsuit accuses the Reverend Raymond Kownacki.

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Historical Society has unveiled plans for a national exhibit to celebrate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

A letter written by Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis's telescope are among the more than 400 original artifacts that will make up what planners call the most comprehensive Lewis and Clark exhibit ever.

Jefferson City, MO – Secretary of State Matt Blunt predicts
that 45 percent of Missouri voters will go to the polls in next Tuesday's election.

If his estimate is correct, this Election Day totals will exceed the 43 percent turnout in 1998, the last non-presidential election year.

In the August primaries, slightly more than 25 percent of state voters went to the polls. Fewer people tend to vote in mid-term elections.

St. Louis, MO –

Democratic Senator Jean Carnahan and Republican challenger Jim Talent are both working overtime to earn and turn out every vote they can in the hotly contested Missouri Senate race. But as KWMU's Hillary Wicai reports both candidates' teams are particularly concentrating on the women's vote.

St. Louis, MO – Half of Missouri's counties do not offer
services aimed at preventing domestic violence or helping victims of abuse.

Governor Holden is asking state agencies must do more to educate the public about domestic violence and improve services for
victims.

He announced findings of Missouri's Domestic Violence Task Force this afternoon in Creve Coeur, a St. Louis suburb.

Holden is also extending his executive order, keeping the task force working to combat domestic violence.

St. Louis, MO – A natural gas pipeline company has withdrawn plans for a power plant in Cape Girardeau.

Kinder Morgan Incorporated says it grew tired of delays in its permit application appeal.

Both supporters and opponents say the decision could foretell how Missouri handles environmental permits for other controversial developments, including a proposed cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County.

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