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Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015
Local news, state news, national news. News from the Standard Democrat.
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April Calendar Girl | Lauren Beydler (04/01/15)
Lauren Beydler, daughter of Steve and Dee Beydler, is the Standard Democrat's Calendar Girl for April. Lauren was the third runner-up in the 2014 Miss Sikeston contest and will graduate from Sikeston High School in May with plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University and major in early childhood education...
Scott County: Tax issue on ballot is not a new tax (04/01/15)
BENTON -- No fooling: Scott County officials are not asking for a new tax. If voters approve the ballot initiative during Tuesday's municipal election, nothing changes. "This keeps your tax obligation as it is currently," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said during the Commission's regular weekly meeting Tuesday. "Nobody wants to see an additional or new tax -- nor do we. We don't want anybody to think this is something new."...
Council action clears way for development in TIF district (04/01/15)
SIKESTON -- Two of the last few items for Sikeston City Council to take action on for the city's latest TIF district were approved during the Council's regular monthly briefing session Monday after second readings. A bill rezoning from light industrial to highway commercial about 36.18 acres south of Stalcup, west of Lawrence and north of where Henning will be once extended was first approved by the Council with a unanimous vote...
Tragic accident helping bring awareness to organ donation (04/01/15)
BENTON -- As parents, it was a question they never wanted to be asked: Is your son an organ donor? But when their 15-year-old son, Kaden, died in an accidental shooting in June, Aaron and Rhonda Robert of Benton found themselves having to answer just that...
Mississippi County: Voters are set to choose city, school officials in election (04/01/15)
CHARLESTON -- Area voters will pick city officials and school board members in the municipal election Tuesday. In Charleston, voters will be asked to vote for two of the five candidates filed for three-year terms on the City Council. Choices are: Bobby Kuykendall, Michael A. Jones, David L. Teeters, John Tucker and Patrick Farmer...
  • Missouri transit systems oppose bill to allow guns on trains
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Republican state lawmaker on Wednesday said his proposal to allow certain bus and train riders to carry guns would help Missourians protect themselves, while public transit lobbyists raised concerns that the measure strips away local control....
  • Fulton Public Schools self-reports federal law violations
    FULTON, Mo. (AP) -- Fulton Public Schools has self-reported federal law violations that administrators believe were committed when students were asked personal questions during an activity called "Claim It" recently in a Fulton Middle School physical education class....
  • Naked woman found dead in brush near Brooklyn strip clubs
    BROOKLYN, Ill. (AP) -- Police have identified a 44-year-old St. Louis woman who was found shot to death near several strip clubs not far from the Illinois-Missouri state line....
  • Man charged in shooting officers discusses it in jail audio
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The attorney for the man accused of shooting two police officers during a demonstration in Ferguson expressed surprise Wednesday at audio of jail telephone calls in which his client appears to confess....
  • Diehl proposes changes to handling Missouri traffic fines
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's top House Republican called Wednesday for a number of changes to how traffic violations are handled in the state's courts - proposals prompted by concerns raised after the fatal police shooting in Ferguson last August....
  • Arkansas Senate takes up religion bill at governor's request
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson backed away Wednesday from his promise to sign a controversial religious-objections bill, bowing to pressure from critics of the measure, including his own son and some of the state's biggest employers, who say the legislation is anti-gay....
  • Russian trawler with 132 crew sinks, at least 43 dead
    MOSCOW (AP) -- A freezer trawler with an international crew of 132 sank late Wednesday in the Sea of Okhotsk off of the Kamchatka Peninsula and at least 43 crew members were killed, rescue workers said....
  • New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez indicted on corruption charges
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who rose to become one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress, was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors....
  • Girlfriend's family: Getty oil heir had a brain aneurysm
    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The mother of Andrew Getty's girlfriend says the oil heir had been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and had not been eating or sleeping well in the days before his death....
  • California governor orders mandatory water restrictions
    ECHO LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered officials Wednesday to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping....
The Latest from our Columnists
No fooling: The racial divide keeps growing
My original intent today was to pen some pithy and hopefully humorous April Fools' column where you concoct some unbelievable absurdity that defies the imagination only to end the tale with the obligatory, April Fools! But it quickly became apparent that the actual headlines of the day provide their own April Fools opportunity...
When it comes to aging, game on
I see little signs every day that I'm getting older with things like gray hairs, achy muscles and all the AARP mail. But this past weekend on a work trip to Columbia I felt older than I ever have. I should have known it didn't start well when I woke up early the morning on the day I left hacking like I smoked three packs a day for 50 years. ...
Nun-sense: Even the good embellish a good story
What we come to expect of those who hold important positions or whose professions by their very nature carry a high degree of trust by others are often measured against our experiences when young. Our teachers often frame and define those events, but not always in the way we perceive of them at the time...
Videos

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. NUCLEAR TALKS GO INTO OVERTIME

Negotiations between Iran and six world powers resume hours after the parties abandoned a self-imposed deadline to produce the outline of an agreement.

2. CORONER: DEATH OF ANDREW GETTY APPEARS NATURAL OR ACCIDENT

The Getty oil fortune heir was 47 and part of one of the wealthiest and best-known American families.

3. HOW INDIANA DEBATE IS EXPOSING REPUBLICAN DIVISIONS

The backlash over the contentious religious freedom law in Indiana is forcing the GOP's presidential contenders to weigh in.

4. TIKRIT TO BE RECAPTURED 'WITHIN THE COMING HOURS'

Iraq's interior minister says security forces are battling the last remaining pockets of Islamic State militants and full control of the city is imminent.

5. WHO IS VISITING FRENCH ALPS CRASH SITE

Lufthansa's CEO refuses to say what the airline knew about the mental health of the co-pilot suspected of deliberately destroying the plane.

6. PALESTINIANS WANT LEVERAGE ON ISRAEL IN ICC

Their formal acceptance into the International Criminal Court is part of a broader effort to put global pressure on the Jewish state and exact a higher price for its occupation of lands sought for a Palestinian state.

7. ON THE MENU: PINK PINEAPPLES, PURPLE TOMATOES

These cancer-fighting, heart-healthy foods are among the genetically engineered foods that could receive government approval.

8. JONI MITCHELL HOSPITALIZED IN LOS ANGELES

The Grammy-winning folk singer is in intensive care, but it's not clear what has stricken the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

9. CREATOR OF THE PET ROCK DIES

Gary Ross Dahl, who invented the smooth stones that were packed in a cardboard box containing a tongue-in-cheek instruction pamphlet for "care and feeding, was 78.

10. WHY GETTING TO THE FINAL FOUR WON'T BE AS COSTLY FOR PARENTS

That's because the NCAA is helping pay for families of athletes to travel and see their sons and daughters play in the biggest college basketball games of the season.

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