Winter weather arrives in Missouri
ST. LOUIS (AP) - What a difference a day makes: A day after much of Missouri basked in spring-like weather, the reality of the pending winter set in on Thursday with the arrival of bitter cold and a worrisome mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Most of southern Missouri was under winter weather warnings, with up to 8 inches of snow possible by Friday evening.
Sleet and freezing rain accumulations of up to a quarter-inch were expected in areas south of Interstate 44 in addition to snow, creating a potential for downed power lines and very slick driving conditions.
Forecasters expect the cold snap to last into next week.
Several roads in southern Missouri were snow- or ice-covered. Icy roads were blamed in several accidents, though there were no reports of weather-related deaths.
Missouri governor activates emergency operations
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has activated the State Emergency Operations Center for round-the-clock operation in response to the winter storm bearing down on the state.
The storm on Thursday brought sleet, freezing rain and snow to Missouri, creating hazardous driving conditions in the southern part of the state. Temperatures were 40 degrees colder than Wednesday, when much of Missouri basked in weather in the 60s.
Other state agencies were also geared up for the weather. The Missouri State Highway Patrol extended shifts in affected areas, and workers for the Missouri Department of Transportation were treating roads for snow and ice.
Nixon encouraged Missourians to stay on top of the weather, drive cautiously, and check on the elderly and others who may need help.
Boeing incentives clear Mo. House committees
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A package of tax incentives for Boeing Company is just one vote away from final passage in the Missouri Legislature.
The legislation won approval from two House committees Thursday, just a day after it passed the Senate. The approvals clear the way for the House to take up the legislation Friday.
Governor Jay Nixon called a special session to consider the Boeing incentives because he wants to offer more than what's allowed under current law.
Missouri's incentives would be linked to job creation, ranging from $435 million over two decades for the creation of 2,000 jobs to $1.7 billion for the addition of 8,000 jobs.
More than a dozen states are competing to assemble the 777X passenger plane after a machinists union in Washington state rejected a proposed contract.
Southwest pulling out of Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Southwest Airlines is closing down operations at Jackson-Evers International Airport on June 6, 2014.
Southwest began service to Jackson-Evers International in 1997.
The airline made the announcement Thursday in a news release.
Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, says the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve Jackson.
Jordan says Southwest employees will have the opportunity to move elsewhere within the airline, after operations cease next year.
Over the next six months, Southwest will operate its full schedule at Jackson. Southwest provides four daily nonstop departures a day to Chicago (Midway), Houston (Hobby) and Orlando, Fla. The airline employees 31 people in Jackson, according to company figures.
The airline is also pulling out of Branson Missouri Airport.
Magic House, Lambert team up on airport playground
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Antsy children waiting for their plane to arrive at Lambert Airport in St. Louis will have a place to occupy their time, starting next spring.
The airport on Thursday announced plans for a 1,500-square-foot indoor playground, the result of a partnership between Lambert and The Magic House St. Louis Children's Museum. The playground known as The Play Port St. Louis International is expected to open in late May.
Lambert officials say children will be able to pretend they are flying a plane or work in a control tower, among other activities.
The playground is funded through donations.
Mo. processor recalls 1,450 pounds of meat
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State agriculture officials say about 1,450 pounds of possibly contaminated beef and pork products have been returned to a southwest Missouri processor.
Cloud's Meats Incorporated of Carthage voluntarily recalled the meat after routine testing detected E. coli in samples last month.
Records indicate that the products were not distributed for retail sale.
Missouri's Agriculture Department says the recalled products are marked with the code "318" and labeled with Clouds Meats Inc. or Cloud's Smoked Meats. Recalled items include 1,052 pounds of ground beef, 158 pounds of pork sausage, 152 pounds of ground pork, and 96 pounds of Tenderized Minute Steak and Tenderized Round Steak.
Longtime AP photographer Fred Waters dies
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Fred Waters, a longtime Associated Press photographer who covered everything from war to construction of the Gateway Arch, has died.
Waters died Wednesday in Gulf Breeze, Fla., after several years of failing health, his daughter, Karen Wiley, said. He was 86.
Waters was born in Alabama. He was 17 when he joined the Navy in World War II, earning a Purple Heart. He later joined the Army and trained as a photographer.
Waters was hired by AP in 1952 and covered the Korean War, the French-Indochina War and Vietnam. He transferred to St. Louis in 1962 and stayed until he retired in 1987.
Funeral services are 2 p.m. Sunday at Bayview Memorial Park Funeral Home in Pensacola, Fla. Survivors include his wife, three children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
EAST ST LOUIS-STABBING DEATH
Man accused of stabbing ex-girlfriend to death
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - An East St. Louis, Illinois man with a history of abusing his ex-girlfriend now is accused of fatally stabbing her - a killing the victim appeared to anticipate.
St. Clair County prosecutors charged 25-year-old Montrell Cooper with first-degree murder in last weekend's death of Michelle Rowling. Rowling was the mother of Cooper's 3-year-old daughter.
Cooper since early last year twice admitted battering Rowling, in one case knifing her neck.
Rowling twice has gotten emergency protection orders against Cooper. Five days before her death, she posted on her Facebook page that her two children and mother should know she loved them if something should happen to her.
Online court records don't show whether Cooper has an attorney, and he has no listed home telephone number.
SW Mo. apartment manager sentenced in fraud scheme
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to slightly more than three years in prison for a nearly $400,000 fraud scheme at apartment complexes she managed.
The U.S. Attorney's office says 55-year-old Barbara J. Evans, of Carthage, must also pay about $206,000 in restitution under the sentence she received Thursday.
Evans pleaded guilty earlier to one count each of wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return.
Evans managed four Carthage apartment complexes for a Boston-based company. In her plea, she admitted keeping about $206,000 in rent increases paid by tenants of subsidized units when their incomes rose.
She also admitted arranging for a construction company she created with her daughter to get $192,000 worth of contracts at subsidized properties she managed.
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