The Associated Press | St. Louis Public Radio

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.

(Scott Air Force Base)

The U.S. Department of Defense says one of four Air Force members killed in a weekend plane crash in Afghanistan was a pilot who had been stationed at Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.

The department says 28-year-old Capt. Brandon Cyr of Woodbridge, Va., died in Saturday's crash of an Air Force MC-12 aircraft.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The Pentagon says there were no reports of enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

Davis Tarwater / Wikimedia Commons

USA Swimming has announced that the 2016 Olympic swimming trials will be held in Omaha, besting St. Louis and the other finalist for host city, San Antonio. 

The announcement was made during a 20 minute presentation on Saturday evening.   

Omaha also hosted the trials in 2008 and 2012.   In 2012 the trials gave Omaha a $20 million economic boost and were attended by more than 164,000 fans.  The eight day event also aired on prime time television.

(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

Missouri senators are considering a measure to impose tough attendance requirements for students receiving state-sponsored scholarships.

Sponsoring Republican Sen. David Pearce, of Warrensburg, says the bill is designed to help students finish their degrees on time. It would require them to take a defined number of credit hours per semester to remain eligible for aid.

The Bright Flight, Access Missouri and the A+ Schools Program would be affected.

The measure has already won first-round approval and is expected to be sent to the House this week.

(via Missouri Democratic Party)

A judge has expunged the arrest record of a former executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party.

An order Friday by St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker says the arrest of Matthew Teter following a domestic incident was based on false information. The order also says there's no probable cause to believe he committed an offense and that no charges will be pursued.

Teter said he was forced out of his job at the Democratic Party in February 2012 after the arrest.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has halted the nomination of an Air Force lieutenant general who's been tapped to be the vice chairman of U.S. Space Command.

McCaskill said in a statement on Thursday that she wants more information about Lt. Gen. Susan Helms' decision last year to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault trial. 

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) is one of many co-sponsors of a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes for online purchases.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state.

As NPR's Planet Money puts it:

(Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio)

Updated 9:55 a.m. April 25 with more information about the investigation from Amanda Vinicky. Headline changed. Updated 12:22 p.m. with suspect dead. Will be updated further.

Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday morning on five people found murdered early Wednesday morning in their Manchester, Ill. home. Police say their shooter, who’s also from a rural part of west-central Illinois, is also dead.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri senators trying to target budget cuts at the agency that issues driver's licenses may have instead blocked funding for the registration of boats and mobile homes.

The Senate passed a budget plan late Monday that eliminates the entire $3.5 million allotment for the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division.

During debate, senators said the proposed cut could halt the issuance of driver's licenses. They described it as negotiating leverage to get additional information from state officials about the data collected from driver's license applicants.

via Flickr/Jeremy Brooks

Someone is holding a $2.7 million winning Missouri Lotto ticket, but lottery officials don't yet know who the lucky person is.

The Lotto ticket purchased at a QuikTrip in the St. Louis County town of Florissant matched all six numbers in the drawing from Saturday. The winning numbers are 14, 20, 21, 24, 25 and 35.

There were other winners over the weekend, too. Lottery officials say someone in Hannibal won $250,000 playing Mega Millions on Friday, and a $232,000 Show Me Cash ticket was sold Saturday in St. Louis.

Adam Allington

Torrential rains which drenched the Midwest earlier in the week are causing major flooding on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and was on site to inspect flood damage on Saturday.

Nixon conducted an aerial inspection of the region northwest of St. Louis from St. Charles up to Louisiana, MO.  Nixon also paid a visit to the riverside community of Clarksville, where a sandbag levee is the only thing protecting the downtown business district.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill which would have levied sales taxes on out-of-state auto, boat and other vehicle purchases. 

The Governor vetoed a similar bill in May of last year.

Friday's action marks the second time in two years he has rejected the Legislature's attempt to reverse the effect of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Update 4:50 p.m. with comments from Mo. Nat. Guard Maj. Tammy Spicer. Updated 2:43 with Missouri disaster declaration. Updated 9:56 a.m. April 19 with Missouri, St. Louis information. Updated at 4 p.m. April 18 with Ameren substation information.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency following significant flash and river flooding in his state.

Missouri S&T

Researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are conducting work that could shape the next generation of nuclear reactors.
 
The state's first nuclear reactor was constructed more than 50 years ago at the Rolla school. Now, researchers there are tracking and measuring the movement of radioisotopes. Their goal is to understand how nuclear fuel pebbles would behave in what are called "fourth generation" nuclear reactors.
 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has rejected a bill that would have allowed additional water and sewer companies to seek permission for surcharges to build new infrastructure.

Currently, only water companies in St. Louis County can impose such a surcharge between formal rate cases. Other water companies must get approval for a rate increase from the state Public Service Commission.

State comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, shown in this state photo, died December 10, 2014 from complications of a stroke at the age of 70.
via Illinois Comptroller website

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the ever-long list of vendors waiting on payments from the state means taxpayers have to pay interest and their money is being "flushed away."

That's according to a story posted online Sunday in the Rockford Register Star. The story is part of GateHouse newspapers' series on Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills.

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

Tonight at midnight is the deadline to file taxes, and late filers in St. Louis beware: Unlike some years past, the main post office downtown will not stay open late or have employees at the street to collect returns.
 
Postal officials say customers can use the downtown post office at 1720 Market St. until 8 p.m. on Monday.
 
Though employees will not be on the street, customers can drop returns in large collection boxes along Market, or in collection boxes in the drive-thru lane in front of the main post office until midnight to ensure the April 15 cancellation.

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

Time is running short for any legislative efforts to tighten Missouri's campaign finance rules.

Campaign finance appears to have taken a secondary position at the state Capitol, where the focus has included economic development, taxes and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. Lawmakers have about a month remaining until their mandatory adjournment.

(via Flickr/Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Susan Abbott )

Four members of Missouri's congressional delegation have filed legislation aimed at dropping the wildlife focus on the Missouri River.

The bill would remove "fish and wildlife" from the list of authorized river management endeavors the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can undertake on the river. It's backed by Republican U.S. Reps. Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long.

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says he is making preparations to run for governor in 2016.

Koster, a Democrat, has served as attorney general since 2009 and previously was a state senator and local prosecutor.  He has the potential to move up because Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election again.

Asked Tuesday by The Associated Press whether he will run for governor in 2016, Koster replied: "We are making the necessary preparations and building consensus around the state toward that end."

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Will be updated with more information.

Missouri schools appear likely to get a 2 percent funding increase next year. And state employees could get a small raise.

Those decisions appear to be locked into the budget as a result of decisions Tuesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Incarcerated parents in Missouri could spend more time with their children under a bill given first-round approval by the Missouri House.
 
The legislation endorsed Monday would set up a test program that would provide transportation for children who live more than 50 miles away from their parent's prison to visit them.
 
Two Missouri men's prisons and two women's prisons would be selected for the program's trial. The Department of Corrections would have to submit a final report on the program's effect in 2017.
 

Adam Allington, STL Public Radio

Baseball-mad St. Louis is welcoming the Cardinals for the first home game of the year.

After starting the season with six road games, the Cardinals host the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon.

The usually festive occasion in St. Louis is a little melancholy this season. Monday's game is the first Cardinals home game since the death of Stan Musial.

The Hall of Famer died in January at age 92. His absence was notable before the game as the team's other members of the Hall of Fame circled the Busch Stadium warning track in Mustangs.

Updated 3:51 p.m. April 4

Ameren Missouri released a statement today saying that the plant is operating safely, but did not release any further details about those injured. An excerpt of the statement: 

(Mo. Sec. Of State website)

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is taking action against a financial management company connected to the failed Mamtek artificial sweetener plant in mid-Missouri.

In his role as Secretary of State Jason Kander also serves as Missouri’s chief securities regulator.

He’s accusing Morgan Keegan, a Memphis-based firm of helping defraud Missourians based on a list of falsehoods, including the claim the Mamtek held several production patents.  

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

The president and CEO of Patriot Coal says without union concessions from current and retired miners, the company will be forced into liquidation.

Bennett Hatfield made the assertion in a commentary published Thursday in the Charleston Daily Mail. He wrote that the company's liquidation would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and have a devastating impact on workers, their families, retirees and their communities.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Missouri's criminal code would get a major makeover under a bill advanced by a House committee.

(via Monsanto)

Monsanto says its net income increased 22 percent in the second quarter on strong sales of its biotech seeds.

The agricultural products company boosted its full-year earnings guidance, citing its strong performance in the first two quarters.

The St. Louis company says it earned $1.48 billion, or $2.74 per share in the three months ended Feb. 13. That compares to earnings of $1.21 billion, or $2.24 per share, a year ago.

Revenue climbed 15 percent to $5.47 billion.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin roughly doubled his office payroll after losing a campaign for U.S. Senate.

Salary figures available through the online tracking site Legistorm.com show Akin paid his 14-person staff nearly $400,000 in the final quarter of 2012. That's twice as much as the $200,000 quarterly payroll that Akin averaged through the rest of the year.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Police are warning motorists of traffic congestion and diversions Monday as the United Mine Workers of America protests Patriot Coal's bankruptcy reorganization plan in West Virginia.

Some 5,000 participants are expected to begin arriving at the Civic Center in Charleston around 9 a.m. The UMWA says people from southern West Virginia will drive in, and 50 buses are carrying people from seven states.

Participants will rally at 11:30 a.m. at Laidley Tower, where Patriot's West Virginia offices are located.

knittymarie | Flickr

Some growing Missouri schools and small districts lacking high-dollar property are facing challenges to fund needed construction projects because of a state cap on debt.

The Missouri Constitution limits a school district's debt to 15 percent of the taxable tangible property in that district. A state House committee this past week considered a proposal that would allow local voters to approve some wiggle room.

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