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Morning headlines: July 29, 2011

(flickr/Jack W. Reid)
The heat wave is to blame in three more St. Louis-area deaths.

Sweltering heat blamed for 3 more deaths in St. Louis

The city health department says a 75-year-old woman is the fifth person to die from the heat in St. Louis this year. Her air conditioner was on but was blowing hot air in her home. She died on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that two men also found dead Sunday are likely victims of the heat. A medical examiner determination could come as early as Friday. A 55-year-old man was found in his home in the Jennings area. He lived alone with no air conditioning.

A 46-year-old man was found in his home in the Normandy area. The home's air conditioner and a fan were not working. The names of the victims were not released.

Escaped inmate back in custody

A man who police say scaled two razor-wire fences to escape from a medium security jail in St. Louis is nowback in custody.

Local media reports that police apprehended 29-year-old Allen Brown Thursday night, nearly 24 hours after he escaped from the Medium Security Institution. He has been housed at the jail awaiting trial on weapons and drug charges.

Two corrections officers are on leave during the investigation into the escape, which happened between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday.

More than a thousand people seek unemployment benefits following Joplin tornado

An estimated 1,200 people have sought unemployment benefits in Joplin after their workplaces were damaged or destroyed by the deadly May tornado.

The estimate on jobless benefits comes from the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. The state labor department says it is unable to calculate precisely how many people are receiving regular unemployment benefits as a result of the May 22 disaster.

The number of people drawing jobless benefits in Joplin could have been even higher than it is. The chamber estimates that 5,000 people had their jobs affected by the tornado, but employers have kept about 3,500 on the payroll - either by shifting them to different locations or simply paying them until their businesses can be rebuilt.

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