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Historic Cold Forecast for St. Louis Region Next Week
St. Louis is forecast to drop to -9 degrees Monday morning, with a high temperature of -2 degrees, near the coldest high temperature of -5 degrees recorded in St. Louis on Dec. 4, 1983. Graphic courtesy Accuweather.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 3, 2014 - A strong winter storm system is expected to bring measurable snow to much of the St. Louis region Saturday night and continue through much of the day Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the City of St. Louis, beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. through Sunday at 4 p.m. With possibility of near blizzard conditions at times due to blowing and drifting snow motorists are asked to stay off the roads on Saturday night and Sunday unless absolutely necessary.
Precipitation may initially begin as rain and/or sleet across portions of southeast Missouri and southern Illinois, but this should quickly change over to snow Saturday night as the cold air rushes into the region.
While it is still early, the latest indications are that significant snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches will be possible across much of central and eastern Missouri as well as southwest and southern Illinois where in excess of 6 inches is becoming increasingly likely.
After the snowfall, a bitterly cold Arctic air mass will settle across the region. Some uncertainty remains regarding the exact numbers, but this may be the coldest temperatures much of the region has seen in nearly 20 years. Low temperatures are expected to drop at or below zero across much of the area both Monday and Tuesday morning.
St. Louis is forecast to drop to -9 degrees Monday morning. The last time it was this cold was Feb. 3, 1996. The forecast high temperature for next Monday is -2 degrees. The last time Lambert was this cold was Dec. 4, 1983 which had a high temperature of -5 degrees. For reference, this is the coldest high temperature on record recorded in St. Louis!
High temperatures on Monday are expected to remain below zero across along and north of the interstate 70 corridor, while remaining in the single digits across the remainder of the area. Strong northwesterly winds are expected to create dangerous wind chill values ranging from -15 to -35 degrees late Sunday night through Tuesday morning. The coldest readings will likely be across portions of northeast Missouri and west-central Illinois.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Pushes to Reform Medicaid in 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, (SLFP.com), January 1, 2014 - Governor Jay Nixon is pushing the Missouri legislature in 2014 to pass a bill that brings tax dollars home to strengthen and reform Medicaid the Missouri way.
In prepared remarks released to the media December 31, 2013, the Governor stated that "Tomorrow, 4.4 million Americans in states all across the nation - folks who are working, but don't have health insurance - will wake up and be eligible to get the basic health care services they need.
"Tomorrow, roughly $37 billion - including two billion of Missourians' tax dollars - will begin to flow to 25 states that are reforming and improving their health care systems. States like Arkansas and New Jersey, Iowa and New Mexico, Michigan and Ohio, Arizona and North Dakota.
"Tomorrow, businesses in these states will have a significant competitive advantage - because as more people get health coverage, fewer people show up in emergency rooms, putting downward pressure on private health premiums.
"But not here in Missouri. Because of the legislature's inaction on Medicaid, here in Missouri, 2014 will start in a different way.
"Tomorrow, nearly 300,000 working Missourians will continue to be uninsured. They're factory workers and house cleaners, mechanics and truck drivers, moms and dads. These folks work tough, low-paying jobs that don't offer health benefits, and they can't afford a doctor's bill.
"Tomorrow, moms with breast cancer, dads with heart disease, young adults with mental illness, will go another day without the treatment they desperately need, for no other reason than they live in Branson instead of Bentonville, in Cape Girardeau instead of Cairo, Maryville instead of Muscatine.
"Tomorrow, Missouri families and businesses will continue to pay federal taxes, but instead of coming back to Missouri, those tax dollars will be spent in other states: $2 billion a year, $5 million every day.
"Tomorrow, employers in Missouri will face an uneven playing field - shouldering the burden of rising health premiums, while their competitors in other states see their costs go down.
"Tomorrow, Missouri's Medicaid system will operate as it has for years, without additional needed reforms, protections for taxpayers, or new measures to promote personal responsibility, many of which are being granted for the first time in states that are moving forward.
"Obviously, it doesn't have to be this way. We've seen our neighbors in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky move forward with common sense, market-based approaches to helping low-income working families afford the basic health care services they need to live healthy lives.
"Republicans and Democrats in these states worked together to stand up for taxpayers, for families and for their communities. They seized this opportunity to implement innovative reforms - like rewards for making healthier lifestyle choices and penalties for missing doctors' appointments, or showing up at the emergency room with a stuffy nose.
"They're using market-forces to modernize what had been outdated and inefficient health care systems, and improve outcomes and reduce costs for everyone. And unless we change course, they're going to do all this with our tax dollars - while Missouri gets left behind.
"That's wrong - and as we've seen in these other states, there's a clear way to fix it.
"So as we begin the New Year, let's resolve to work together to make Missouri a healthier place to live and work.
"Let's resolve that Missourians who work hard day and night can afford to see a doctor when they are sick and to take medicine to help them get well.
"Let's resolve that no Missourian should have to choose between going back to work and keeping their health insurance.
"Let's resolve that Missourians' tax dollars be spent here in Missouri, not in other states.
"And let's resolve to pass a bill that brings our tax dollars home to strengthen and reform Medicaid the Missouri way.
"The stakes are high. The choice is clear. And time is running short. We can - we will - we must get this done this year."
New Scams Reported Exploiting Victims of Target Data Breach
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 29, 2013 - Attorney General Chris Koster has issued a warning for consumers to be cautious in providing personal or financial information over the phone or in response to emails related to the Target credit and debit-card breach, as new reports indicate that fraudsters are trying to trick victims of the breach into giving them more information.
Thieves pretending to be from Target or a consumer's bank or credit-card company have been contacting consumers by phone or email and asking for their personal and financial information. The thieves can use this information to steal the consumer's identity.
Koster reminded consumers that neither Target nor their financial institution would ask for their personal information over the phone or by email. Although the card issuer may call about certain charges on the card to verify they were made by an authorized user, the institution that issued the card will not ask for consumers' personal information. Likewise, consumers may receive informational emails from Target, but the company will not ask the consumers to provide private information in response. Consumers should not reply to any email about the data breach that appears to come from Target or a bank or credit-card company.
"Opportunistic thieves may try to take advantage of those whose personal information has been compromised by the recent data breach," Koster said. "Consumers should be wary when anyone asks for their personal information via telephone or email, as the person on the other end of the line may be trying to steal the consumer's identity."
Consumers should also continue to be alert as they travel and shop in the coming days. Some card issuers may, without warning, limit the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from an affected card or limit the amount of purchases that can be made on a given day. Consumers should have other forms of payment available when traveling. All questions about the use of a card that might have been compromised should be directed to the issuer of the card.
Missouri Budget Includes $40.1 Million for Various Programs and Projects
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 29, 2013 - Citing the benefits of Missouri's fiscal discipline, Governor Jay Nixon has made available $40.1 million for a variety of programs and projects for the current fiscal year, including $18 million in improvements at the State Capitol building and $5 million for projects at Missouri State Parks.
In a release, Governor Nixon said, "My administration has worked diligently to protect our perfect AAA credit rating and keep our state on a fiscally sustainable path. This sound fiscal management allows me to release these funds that can be put to use in several state programs and make long-term capital improvements."
The largest amount of expenditure restrictions released today was $18 million for the Missouri State Capitol building. Those funds will be used to extend the life of the historic structure by sealing and waterproofing the exterior of the south side of the building, which will improve the overall appearance, structural stability and water shedding capacity of the building.
In other releases for capital improvements, the Governor made $7 million available for state facilities maintenance and repair, and $5 million for projects at Missouri State Parks.
The $10.1 million made available for the FY2014 operating budget includes $5.8 million that was part of a four percent restriction in several programs; $562,000 for the Division of Tourism; $750,000 for small business programs under the Missouri Department of Economic Development; $500,000 for dental programs at rural health clinics; $200,000 for the Elks Mobile Dental program to provide dental services to children and adults with disabilities; and $50,000 for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Local TV Stations Change Ownership
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 29, 2013 - Meredith Corporation has announced an expansion of its television footprint by entering into definitive agreements to purchase the broadcast assets of television stations in Phoenix and in St. Louis from Gannett Co., Inc. and Sander Media LLC for $407.5 million in cash. These stations are part of Gannett's previously announced acquisition of Belo Corp.
"These acquisitions are consistent with our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and will be immediately accretive to earnings, excluding upfront transaction costs," said Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy. "These are high performing stations and will add to our already strong cash flow. We will increase our presence in the large and growing Phoenix market, where we own KPHO, the CBS affiliate. KMOV (CBS) in St. Louis adds another Top 25 market to our portfolio, and when combined with KCTV (CBS) in Kansas City, gives us powerful local brands in two of the Midwest's top news and sports markets."
Tribune Company has completed the final steps necessary to close its acquisition of Local TV Holdings, LLC. The transaction creates the largest combined independent broadcast group and content creator in the country.
"This is a historic day for Tribune and Local TV," said Peter Liguori, Tribune's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Combining these two great media companies will deliver tremendous benefits for our viewers, advertisers, and most important, the communities we serve. This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune, providing us with significant scale to drive our business objectives and create substantial shareholder value."
As a result of this acquisition, Tribune now owns 39 television stations across the country. In addition, Tribune will provide certain services to support the operations of three former Local TV stations owned by Dreamcatcher Broadcasting LLC.
The combined broadcast portfolios include 14 FOX affiliates, 14 CW affiliates, 5 CBS affiliates, 3 ABC affiliates and 2 NBC affiliates. Tribune owns 14 stations in top-20 markets and the company is now the #1 FOX affiliate group and the #1 CW affiliate group in the country. The transaction added market-leading stations in prime cities such as Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee to the Tribune line-up.
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