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Major Storm Potential Palm Sunday Weekend>
Graphic of potential Palm Weekend storm courtesy
Major Storm Palm Sunday Weekend
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 22, 2013 - Another major storm has begun to cross the nation with areas of heavy snow, flooding rain and severe thunderstorms. The worst conditions with the storm may center over the Palm Sunday weekend, according to

Like many storms during the second half of the winter, this first major storm of the spring could threaten lives and property, bring significant travel disruptions and foil outdoor plans.

The storm will gather enough cold air to begin producing a swath of heavy snow over parts of the central and southern Plains later Saturday and Saturday night. Parts of Kansas and Missouri appear to be in the middle of several different potential tracks at this time.

It appears the swath from Kansas City to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dayton, Ohio and perhaps Pittsburgh is the most likely for heavy snow. Areas from Omaha and Des Moines to Chicago, Fort Wayne and Cleveland would be on the northern fringe of the lesser snow area.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Watch for the City of St. Louis, effective from late Saturday night until 7 pm Sunday. Rain will be mixing with and completely changing over to snow Saturday, continuing through Sunday morning. Accumulation of 5 - 8 inches are possible.

The First Sign of Spring in St. Louis
Yellow daffodils at the historic firehouse on S. Broadway shivered in the cold rain on Sunday morning, bringing a welcoming sign of spring in spite of temperatures in the thirties and light snow.
Missouri's Annual April Trash Bash Helps Fight Litter
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 17, 2013 - Many signs of spring in Missouri are a welcome sight. Green shoots and flowering trees and bright daffodils promise warmer weather ahead. Unfortunately, other sights during spring aren't so welcome, such as litter along roads and highways, in our communities and in our outdoor spaces.

Help fight litter in Missouri through the state's annual No MOre Trash! month-long Trash Bash in April.

The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide anti-litter campaign. The annual Trash Bash encourage people to clean up litter all across Missouri, from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails and other places.

Trash Bash activities in April also include educational efforts in schools, at highway rest areas, and through community events including Operation Brightside and Earth Day celebrations.

"Through the years, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have picked up more than half a million bags of trash during April Trash Bashes," said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! Coordinator. "That's a lot of litter!"

Missourians care about conserving our forests, fish and wildlife. Last year, more than 18,000 volunteers and other Trash-Bash participants collected more than 130,000 bags of trash and many truckloads of debris during the 2012 month-long event. Volunteers included MoDOT and MDC employees, Adopt-A-Highway groups, Stream Teams, Scout troops, schools and community groups, and others.

Littering isn't just ugly, it also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

Volunteers can go online to for more information on the Trash Bash, and to report cleanup efforts.

Missouri Launches Anti-Smurfing Public Awareness Campaign
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 17, 2013 - Attorney General Chris Koster joined representatives from the Missouri Pharmacy Association, the Missouri Retailers Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and other leaders to announce the launch of a statewide Anti-Smurfing Campaign.

The voluntary educational campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness about the criminal enterprise known as "smurfing" - the practice of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) to sell to methamphetamine cooks. The leaders formally launched the campaign today during a news conference at Marsh's Sun Fresh in Kansas City.

The Anti-Smurfing Campaign informs consumers through signage displayed at the point of sale that smurfing is a serious criminal offense and an integral part of the methamphetamine production process. As a result, the simple act of buying certain cold or allergy product for a stranger can fuel our state's methamphetamine problem.

"Missouri law enforcement officials will tell you that smurfing is one of the biggest challenges they face in the battle against methamphetamine production and abuse," said Attorney General Koster. "With the Anti-Smurfing Campaign, Missouri leaders are coming together with the manufactures of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines to send an unmistakable message: if you're a buying this product for a meth cook, you are committing a serious criminal offense and could end up behind bars."

"Public education is critical to make real progress against meth cooks and dealers," Koster said. "The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is not a silver bullet, but I am confident it will make those who consider buying products to help a meth cook think twice before making an unlawful purchase.

The public-private partnership was developed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), a national association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, and will be carried out by Missouri retailers on a voluntary basis. CHPA tested anti-smurfing posters to ensure that they communicate impactful messaging without deterring legitimate consumers.

Teens Say They Want More Time Behind the Wheel with Their Parents
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 17, 2013 - Research from The Allstate Foundation shows nearly half of parents express regret about not monitoring their teen driver after they get a license, and more than two-thirds wish they spent more time practicing driving with their teen in high-risk situations.

To help educate parents on driving risks, The Allstate Foundation is helping the National Safety Council launch Drive it Home, a new program offering specially created resources to help parents keep their teens safer on the road.

Drive it Home, created by parents for parents, is specifically targeted at parents after their teen gets a driver's license; that is one of the deadliest years in a person's life. Drive it Home uses a variety of video and graphic styles, including humor to capture the attention of parents, educate them on the real dangers facing their teens and help them provide ongoing coaching tips for recently licensed teen drivers.

"We know from our research that parents are the No.1 source of information for teen drivers, yet 40 percent don't know car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens," said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Allstate. "Drive it Home can help protect teen drivers, educate parents on the crucial role they play in the driving process, and help ensure our sons and daughters return home each and every night."

Additional findings from The Allstate Foundation's research include:

Parents don't understand the most deadly risks to their teen driver. Research shows that inexperience is the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, but 74 percent of parents inaccurately believe that risk-taking is the leading cause.

Despite the fact that nine in 10 parents say it's very important for teens to learn to manage night driving and driving with passengers, one in three parents admit they have not adequately covered these items with their teen. Nearly 30 percent of parents are not setting rules around some of the most dangerous behaviors including nighttime driving and passengers in the car. Many parents also don't require their teen to get permission before driving somewhere.

Sixty-four percent of parents are actively looking for resources to help manage their teens' driving experience.

"Parents are looking for information that can help them manage their teens' driving experience and need additional tools that take a variety of non-traditional approaches to capture their attention," said Janet Froetscher, chief executive officer at the National Safety Council.

"The National Safety Council researched the behaviors and messages that appealed most with parents and used it to inform the Drive it Home program. We know different parents respond to different kinds of messages. One technique we use is humor, for instance. While this is an extremely serious issue, we know that comedy can appeal to everyone and we were able to weave important tips, tools and statistics into the content for the program."

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