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Morning headlines: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

UPI/Bill Greenblatt
The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.

Mo. legislation allows some sex offenders to be removed from state registry

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation allowing some sex offenders to be removed from the state registry.

Several offenses, such as promoting obscenity, no longer would require registration. In other cases, people could petition a state trial judge to be removed from the state registry.

Petitions could be filed after 20 years for those convicted of particularly serious offenses, such as forcible rape, forcible sodomy or child molestation. People convicted of other sex offenses would need to wait 10 years before petitioning.

The Republican-led House endorsed the legislation by voice vote Tuesday. It needs another vote before moving to the Senate.

Mo. House endorses legislation allowing health care providers to refuse tasks that violate religious beliefs

The legislation would prohibit punishment of doctors, nurses and others who refuse to participate in abortions, sterilization, embryonic stem cell research and certain other procedures. Workers could not be fired or suspended or have wages reduced.

Health care institutions also would not be required to perform medical procedures or research that violate their beliefs.

The House gave the measure first-round approval by voice vote Tuesday after little debate. It needs another round of approval before moving to the Senate.  The legislation is sponsored by House Majority Leader Tim Jones, a Republican from Eureka. He says the measure offers important protections.

Clydesdale facility opens this weekend

A mid-Missouri ranch that serves as a breeding facility for Budweiser Clydesdale horses opens for public tours this Saturday.

Warm Springs Ranch is in the midst of the foaling season. Officials say more than 30 baby Clydesdales are expected to be born at the ranch near Boonville this year.

Ranch supervisor John Soto says foaling season starts in February and continues to June, and now is a very busy time. Visitors can interact with the more than 100 Clydesdales, including some who have appeared in Budweiser commercials.

The herd includes a horse born last year named "La Russa," for the longtime Cardinals manager who retired after leading St. Louis to the 2011 World Series title.

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