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Morning headlines: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(via flickr/D.H. Parks)

McCreery wins St. Louis County House seat, Sommer wins St. Charles County seat

A Democrat who ran as an independent after losing out on her party's nomination has prevailed in a three-way race for a vacant state House seat in St. Louis County.

Complete but unofficial results from Tuesday's special elections show that Tracy McCreery carried about 44 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Jeff O'Connell and Republican Patrick Brennan, who had 29 percent and 27 percent respectively. McCreery previously worked as an aide to former Democratic state Sen. Joan Bray and in the administration of former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden.

Republican Chrissy Sommer narrowly defeated Democrat Paul Woody, 1,874 to 1,836 votes, for a St. Charles County seat.

St. George votes to dissolve

Residents of the St. Louis County town St. George voted 345-128 Tuesday to dissolve the town of 1,300. St. Louis County will handle police duties, street repairs and other operations.

Mayor Carmen Wilkerson has said that dissolving the town is a far cheaper alternative for residents because the only way the city could afford to upgrade roads would be to raise municipal taxes, creating an additional tax liability of about $1,500 per homeowner. By comparison, allowing the county to take over would mean an extra $15 per year, and less for seniors.

Two minimum wage initiative petitions approved

Missouri voters could be asked next year to raise the state's minimum wage to $8.25.  The secretary of state's office on Tuesday approved the summaries on two initiative petitions, meaning proponents can begin collecting signatures to get the measures on the 2012 ballot.

Missouri's minimum wage currently matches the federal requirement of $7.25 an hour. The ballot measure would increase it by $1 starting in 2013 and allow it to continue rising with inflation. It also would require that workers who earn tips be paid at least 60 percent of the minimum wage instead of the current 50 percent.

Missouri voters in 2006 approved a ballot measure increasing the state's minimum wage.

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