The Associated Press

Associated Press

This content is either partially or entirely curated from St. Louis Public Radio's subscription to the Associated Press news wire.

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Missouri has awarded an additional $4.2 million in grants to improve facilities at six child care centers around the state.

Gov. Jay Nixon is touting the funding through the Department of Economic Development as part of what he calls the "Missouri Start Smart" initiative to expand access to early childhood education.

The money will help expand three preschool facilities in the St. Louis area, one in the Macon area in northern Missouri, and one each in the Calhoun and Polo school districts in western Missouri:

Official Photo, U.S. House of Representatives

Former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, a champion of the military who served 17 terms in the U.S. House before losing a re-election bid in 2010, has died. He was 81.

Skelton died Monday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., surrounded by family and friends, including longtime colleague Russell Orban. 

The cause was not immediately released, but Orban says Skelton entered the hospital a week earlier with a cough. Orban confirmed Skelton's death to The Associated Press. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency is alleging discrimination in her firing by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Gracia Backer was replaced in March as director of the Division of Employment Security in Missouri's labor department. Her ouster came at the same time that Nixon appointed Labor Department Director Larry Rebman to a different job.

File Photo | St. Louis Cardinals

Michael Wacha and his Cardinals bullpen provided the power pitching. Carlos Beltran injected with a painkiller, came through with a huge hit. And this time, it was the Red Sox who were tripped up by fielding failures.

Mark Halski / Via Flickr

BOSTON (AP) - Given a bit of help by the umpires and a lot more by the Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox turned this World Series opener into a laugher.

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Former Republican gubernatorial nominee Dave Spence has dropped out of consideration for a seat on the five-member St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, citing the stringent screening process recently enacted by the County Council.

Spence said in a letter released Tuesday by County Executive Charlie Dooley's office that he has no problem submitting to background checks, but he worries that the council cannot safeguard his business and personal information.

(via Flickr/peter.a photography)

Federal prosecutors are cracking down on businesses in mid Missouri that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

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The Illinois Supreme Court is invalidating a two-year-old Illinois law charging taxes on certain Internet sales.

The justices ruled 6-1 in an opinion released Friday to invalidate the so-called "Amazon tax." The ruling determined that the law violates a pre-emptive federal decree prohibiting "discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce."

(Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) / (http://www.bnd.com)

Federal prosecutors say a southwestern Illinois man who admitted to trafficking heroin supplied the narcotic almost daily to a former judge now facing drug and weapons charges.

Thirty-four-year-old Sean McGilvery of Belleville pleaded guilty to heroin conspiracy and possession Thursday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
 Prosecutors say Michael Cook was a St. Clair County circuit judge when he got heroin from McGilvery "on an almost daily basis."

(via Flickr/woodleywonderworks)

A Missouri appeals court says a legal dispute over St. Louis County's foreclosure mediation ordinance is moot after a recently enacted state law.

St. Louis County's 2012 ordinance required that lenders give residential borrowers a chance to mediate before their homes are foreclosed. Missouri lawmakers this year approved legislation making real estate loans subject only to state and federal laws. It was aimed at overturning local foreclosure mediation ordinances. Gov. Jay Nixon allowed the law to take effect on Aug. 28.

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