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Your World Today - March 22, 2007

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The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a unanimous agreement reached in a natural gas rate case filed by AmerenUE, which authorizes the company to increase annual non-gas revenues by approximately $6 million.  The rate increase takes effect on April 1, 2007.  The Commission's vote was 4-1. AmerenUE stated the rate increase was needed to recover expenses associated with gas system improvements and expansions since 2003.The new rates mean a typical residential customer in central, eastern and southeast Missouri will see an average monthly increase of about $2.45. For residential customers in Rolla, Salem and Owensville, the average monthly increase will be approximately $6.86. Under the agreement, Approximately $263,000 a year will go towards weatherization programs and another $100,000 a year for programs, which promote energy efficiency. AmerenUE will not request another rate increase for three years. On November 1, 2007, three of AmerenUE's natural gas districts will be consolidated into one district in terms of natural gas costs from suppliers. This is designed to allow all AmerenUE customers to equally benefit in company efforts to reduce natural gas price volatility through gas purchasing and price hedging strategies.

The Salem Memorial District Hospital Board of Directors will hold their regular meeting tonight beginning at 6:00 PM in the hospital library. Administrator Dennis Pryor will give the summary of operations and statistics report for the month of February along with the nursing services, ancillary services and auxiliary reports. Pryor will also give an update on the hospital activity calendar and legislative updates followed by the Chief of Staffs report. Old business to be addressed will include a physician office building report, a strategic planning update and a medical staff bylaw revision. In new business, purchases will be discussed. The Board may then go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel, contracts and pending litigation. The regular meeting of the Salem Memorial District Hospital Board of Directors is open to the public.

The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) has announced the addition of George F. Gruendel, of Salem, to its Board of Directors. The 15-member Board of Directors provides oversight of all MFH activities and grantmaking. Gruendel is completing the term of former director David Auner, who also served as the board treasurer. At the end of his current term, Gruendel would then be eligible to seek up to a maximum of two additional three-year terms on the MFH board. Gruendel has 38 years experience in management, and co-owns Gruendel and Associates, which provides consultant services and training in human resource development, as well as conflict mediation. He most recently served as the acting executive director of Dent County Healthy Communities and as a consultant with the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Established in 2000, MFH is the largest non-governmental funder of community health activities in the state.  MFH is in its sixth year of grantmaking, having issued more than $205 million in grants and awards to date. It is dedicated to serving the uninsured and underserved in 84 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.

Sports   [TOP]

The Salem Baseball Tigers will host the SCA Preseason Tournament semi-final game today at 4:00 at the Salem High School Baseball Field Complex.

Adam Loewen tossed five scoreless innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks, as the Baltimore Orioles topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1, in Grapefruit League action. Albert Pujols singled twice, and Chris Duncan singled home the run for the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright retired the first 10 batters faced, but allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five frames. The Cards will face the Florida Marlins today.

Nick Swisher, Mark Ellis and Dan Johnson hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in a five-run third inning, and the Oakland Athletics outslugged the Kansas City Royals, 11-10, in spring training action. Emil Brown hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and Ross Gload went 3-for-4 for the Royals. Esteban German singled in his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and Alex Gordon doubled in his first two at-bats and finished with three RBI. Brian Bannister surrendered seven runs on nine hits, four of them home runs, in just three innings. Cody Smith worked just a third of an inning and was charged with the loss and the blown save. He scattered two runs on two hits with a pair of walks in the ninth inning. The Royals will play Oakland again today.

The St. Louis Blues will be back in action tonight as they will travel to Minnesota to face the Wild starting at 7:00 tonight. You can hear that game on KSMO Radio.

NHL Scores:

Buffalo 5, Washington 2
NY Rangers 5, Philadelphia 0
San Jose 4, Chicago 1
Colorado 5, Edmonton 1
Dallas 4, Los Angeles 2
Vancouver 2, Nashville 0

The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms on a one-year contract with defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson on Wednesday. The 6-2, 290-pound Wilkerson played in 13 games (one start) for the Chiefs in 2006 and recorded 17 tackles, two quarterback pressures and a pair of passes defensed. He also notched 11 special teams tackles.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral services for Ollie June Chrisco of Bunker, age 85, will be held today at 11:00 at the Crossville Baptist Church in Bunker.  Interment will be in the Crossville Cemetery in Bunker. Memorials may be made to the Crossville Cemetery. All arrangements are under the direction of James & Gahr Mortuary.

Funeral services for Jesse M. Lorts of St. James, age 78, will be today at 11:00 in James & Gahr Chapel in St. James. Interment will be in the St. James Cemetery.

Graveside services for Devin Lee Morrison of Oklahoma City, OK, age three months, will be held this morning at 11:15 in the Morrison Cemetery in Salem. Arrangements are under the direction of the Dent County Memorial Chapel.

Funeral services for Dorthy Maxine Marrill of Salem, age 90, will be held Friday at 11:00 at Wilson Mortuary. Visitation will be tonight from 6:00 to 8:00. Interment will be in the New Hope Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the New Hope Cemetery.

A Memorial Service for Craig Elliott Manning of Rolla, age 58, will be held Saturday at 2:00 at the James & Gahr Mortuary of Rolla. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society.

A Memorial Service for Rodney Alan Housewright of Steelville, age 54, will be held Saturday at 6:00 pm at the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville. Visitation will be from 2:00 until service time.

Weather [TOP]

Today..Cloudy with a 50% chance for showers by this afternoon, high of 73.
Tonight..Cloudy with a 40% chance for showers, low of 59.
Friday..Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance for showers and thunderstorms, high of 71.
Friday night..Partly cloudy with a 30% chance for light showers, low of 56.
Saturday..Partly sunny with a 30% chance for showers, high of 73.

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