Mo. health advocates push for insurance enrollment
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Health care advocates are making an extra push to get people signed up for insurance through a federal website before a March 31 deadline.
The Cover Missouri Coalition says about 40 enrollment events are planned Saturday around the state, including some featuring live music, free food and advice from tax preparers. Dozens of additional events are planned in the coming days.
The coalition also will be running new online and radio advertisements between now and the end of the month.
People who don't have insurance by March 31 could face tax penalties under the terms of President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Missouri Foundation for Health says about 68,000 Missouri residents had enrolled in health plans through the federally run online marketplace as of last month.
FBI: No danger on plane searched in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities say they didn't find anything suspicious on an American Airlines plane that was searched after landing at Kansas City International Airport.
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said Friday that someone at Chicago's O'Hare Airport who missed Thursday night's flight said something that could "possibly be perceived as a threat." She says the plane was searched after landing as a precaution.
The Republic Airlines flight operated for American Eagle was directed to a remote area of the airport where its 63 passengers and four crew members disembarked before the plane and luggage were searched.
Chicago police spokesman Officer Mike Sullivan said no arrests had been made as Friday morning.
PHELPS COUNTY HOMICIDE
Suspect arrested in Phelps County shooting death
ROLLA, Mo. (AP) - The Phelps County Sheriff's Department says a 60-year-old man is jailed after a shooting death.
Authorities say 57-year-old Richard Finnell was found dead of a gunshot wound Thursday evening at a home just outside Rolla.
After the shooter ran into the woods, officers from Rolla police, the sheriff's department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted an air and ground search.
KYTV-TV reports the suspect was caught about three hours later. He is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Man convicted of shooting, paralyzing officer
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis man faces sentencing April 11 after being convicted of shooting suburban St. Louis police officer Michael Vernon, leaving the officer paralyzed from the waist down.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 22-year-old Brian Lamont Cannon Jr. was found guilty Thursday of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, two counts of burglary, car theft and other felonies.
The shooting happened May 28, 2012. Vernon, of the Florissant Police Department, was searching an alley for a burglar when a gunman popped out of a trash bin and fired three shots. Vernon was hit three times, one bullet lodging in his spine.
About 20 of Vernon's former colleagues sat in the St. Louis County courtroom to watch testimony in the case.
VA JOBS-ST LOUIS
VA moving 800 jobs from St. Louis city to county
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The U.S. government is consolidating Veterans Affairs operations in the St. Louis area, meaning more than 800 jobs will be moving out of downtown St. Louis and to St. Louis County.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 640 VA employees will leave a building on South 18th Street, and 180 more will move from the Robert A. Young Federal Building downtown. All will be relocated to Overland in St. Louis County.
Jason Klumb of the General Services Administration's regional office in Kansas City says the relocation is occurring as part of the government's preference to put employees in GSA-owned buildings.
Plan suggested demolishing apartment complex
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri records show a master plan for an apartment complex where a firefighter recently died recommended in 2008 that the complex be demolished because of its poor condition.
Columbia fire department Lt. Bruce Britt died at University Village Feb. 22 as he was evacuating residents after part of a walkway collapsed.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports documents it obtained indicated the university was concerned about the condition of the complex for years, and work orders for the walkway were filed last year.
The authors of the 2008 draft plan recommended the complex be demolished by 2011 because it was too expensive to renovate.
University spokesman Christian Basi says University Village is popular with graduate students with families because it is close to campus and is low cost.
Lawsuit: KC district made reasons to eject blacks
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of Kansas City's downtown entertainment district alleges in a lawsuit that the district's owners and others created disturbances so they could eject black patrons from the area.
Glen Cusimano, a former security liaison for the Power & Light district, alleges in his lawsuit that Cordish Companies and others engaged in several racially discriminatory practices.
He says he was ordered to have white men start arguments with black patrons so they would be kicked out of the area. The Kansas City Star reports Cusimano says the practice was used 20 to 30 times last summer.
Cordish, which developed the district, says the accusations are "complete fabrications" from an employee who was fired.
Cusimano is seeking $10 million in actual and punitive damages.
Grand opening set for Ballpark Village
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The long-awaited Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium in St. Louis will officially open on March 27.
Developers on Thursday announced plans for the grand opening of Phase 1 of Ballpark Village. It includes a Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, the Budweiser Brew House, the rodeo-themed cowboy bar PBR St. Louis, the piano bar Howl at the Moon, and a TV studio for Fox Sports Midwest.
Plans for Ballpark Village date more than a decade, but the project has run into various snags over the years.
An opening ceremony will be at 5 p.m. March 27. The band Third Eye Blind will perform a free concert at 9 p.m.
Normandy choral group excelling despite hardship
WELLSTON, Mo. (AP) - The Normandy School District has gone through a difficult year and is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. But a high school chorale group is excelling, earning a trip to Carnegie Hall.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Normandy High School Chorale boarded a plane Friday for New York, where they'll join other top high school choirs from around the country for a performance Sunday night.
The school district in St. Louis County is unaccredited. A Missouri Supreme Court ruling last summer paved the way for hundreds of Normandy students to transfer to better-performing schools, at the district's cost.
The district couldn't afford to send the chorale group to New York, but a nonprofit group called Beyond Housing helped generate $16,000 from private donors.
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