Parts of Missouri are cleaning up after strong storms swept across the state overnight. The storms may have resulted in a few tornadoes late last night and early this morning. High winds knocked down power lines and trees in parts of the St. Louis area. There were no reports of injuries. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were common in the St. Louis area.
Crews with Ameren Missouri are working to restore power to thousands of customers throughout Missouri.
The state of Missouri has carried out its first execution in nearly two years. Early this morning, 47-year-old Martin Link was put to death for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Cline says Link died by lethal injection shortly after midnight at the state prison in Bonne Terre. On Monday, Gov.
Colleen Coble, CEO of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announce legislative proposals to strengthen the state's domestic violence laws on Feb. 8, 2011.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has unveiled the legislative changes he says will strengthen the state's domestic violence laws.
The 12 recommendations are the result of a task force Koster convened last year, and seven of them will require action by the General Assembly.
Most of the legislative proposals focus on strengthening orders of protection, which Koster calls the main tools to help domestic violence victims. He says current law doesn't allow juveniles to request those orders.
Snow blanketed many areas of Missouri last night and into this morning, including in Jefferson City, Mo. pictured here in 2009, the site of Gov. Nixon's State of the State address last night. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
A winter weather advisory is in effect for the St. Louis region until 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Heavy snow fell overnight in St. Charles County, Northern St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Madison County, Il. The National Weather Service says more snow is expected throughout the day. Some places in the St. Louis region might see 12 inches of snow by the time the snow stops.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon proposed flat funding for public schools and cuts to colleges in his annual State of the State speech. In his address last night, the Democratic governor acknowledged that "times are tough" and he said that even modest job gains are cause for celebration. Nixon put forth a plan to slightly shrink the state's spending, shedding several hundred state workers and privatizing some of their functions. He proposed a $23.1 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Missouri lawmakers are urging Attorney General Chris Koster to challenge the federal health care law. The Republican-led Senate passed a resolution Wednesday asking the Democratic attorney general to either file his own lawsuit, join a suit by other attorneys general or join a suit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. A similar resolution was passed last week by Missouri's Republican-led House of Representatives. Koster's spokeswoman has said only that the office is monitoring the situation. The Missouri legislative action comes as Republicans in charge of the U.S. House are attempting to repeal the federal health care law enacted last year by President Barack Obama. That effort is not expected to receive support in the U.S. Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats.