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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:39 pm
Fri March 19, 2010

Mo. Senate passes motor vehicle bill

Jefferson City, Mo. – A wide-ranging motor vehicle bill passed the Missouri Senate this week.

It includes a proposal to expand the ban on texting while driving to all motorists. Current law only prohibits those age 21 and younger from writing, sending and reading text messages while driving a vehicle.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Ryan McKenna (D, Crystal City).

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:56 am
Fri March 19, 2010

Officer sentenced for stealing government property

St. Louis – A former St. Louis police officer has been sentenced to two years probation, and must pay about $1,500 in restitution, for stealing and selling electronic merchandise seized in a traffic stop.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:18 am
Fri March 19, 2010

Wellston schools prepare for permanent shutdown

St. Louis –

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:26 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Mo. budget passes House committee

Mo. House Budget Committee members prepare to vote on budget bills for FY 2011.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The House Budget Committee has passed the 13 bills that make up Missouri's state budget for next year. But the cuts made this week don't cover a projected funding shortfall.

Governor Jay Nixon says about half a billion dollars needs to be sliced from his original budget proposal made in January. The House Budget Committee, however, cut no more than $90 million before adjourning for the week.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:45 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

St. Louis ACORN office to close at the end of the month

St. Louis – The last ACORN branch in the state of Missouri will close at the end of the month.

Organizers with the St. Louis office of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now say they do not have the money to pay staffers or rent. The branch here usually averaged about $500,000 a year, mostly from dues and local foundation grants.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:28 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Mo. Senate passes autism insurance bill

Jefferson City, Mo. – Legislation mandating coverage for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders has passed the Missouri Senate.

The bill would require state-regulated insurance plans to provide up to $55,000 a year to cover a form of behavioral treatment for people under age 21 with autism.

Supporters say it would greatly aid families and that the rise in insurance rates would be minimal. It was sponsored by State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville).

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:57 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Camel born at St. Louis Zoo

(photo courtesy Chuck Mannis/St. Louis Zoo)

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Zoo has a new baby in the house.

A 98-pound male Bactrian camel named Eli was born March 11 to parents Minnie and Elvis. The family and the rest of the camel herd are at the zoo's Red Rocks exhibit.

The critically endangered species is native to Mongolia in central Asia. There are fewer than 1,000 wild camels left in their native range.

The gestation period for camels is 11 months; calves typically are born in March and April.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:49 am
Thu March 18, 2010

Lawmakers begin slashing Missouri state budget

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House Budget Committee spent nearly four hours late Wednesday amending and voting on bills that make up the state budget.

Committee members only made it through about a third of the budget bills before calling it a night. Republican House Budget Chair Allen Icet said so far they've identified $65 million dollars that can be trimmed from various departments. Lawmakers and Gov. Jay Nixon are trying to close a $500 million gap in the 2011 budget.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:39 am
Thu March 18, 2010

Dropping rivers ease concerns about early flooding

St. Louis – The Mississippi River is cresting at St. Louis, and the Missouri River already has begun to fall. That has eased concerns about early spring flooding. But forecasters say the risk of flooding into the spring remains high.

Cool, damp weather has kept soil saturated. Whether that translates into significant flooding depends on how much it rains, where it rains, and how fast it falls.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Miller said it's impossible to predict rain accurately beyond 10 days.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:48 pm
Wed March 17, 2010

Mo. House passes K2 ban

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has passed a bill that would outlaw the use of what's sometimes referred to as "fake" marijuana.

The legislation would add synthetic compounds known as K2 to the state's list of controlled substances. K2 is applied to herbs and flowers, and can produce a high when smoked or inhaled.

The bill was sponsored by State Representative Ward Franz (R, West Plains).

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