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Your World Today - October 31, 2011

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The Missouri Public Service Commission's Cold Weather Rule, designed to help customers with heat-related utility bills, begins on November 1st and will remain in effect through March 31st, 2012. The Cold Weather Rule applies to natural gas and electric utilities under PSC jurisdiction that provide heat-related service. Municipally operated systems, cooperatives, and those that provide propane delivered by truck are not under PSC jurisdiction and the rule does not apply to them.  The Cold Weather Rule prohibits the disconnection of heat-related service when the temperature is predicted to drop below 32 degrees during the following 24-hour period. It also provides more lenient payment terms permitting reconnection of service for natural gas and/or electric customers. It prohibits the disconnection of registered elderly and disabled customers who meet certain income guidelines who make a minimum payment. The Cold Weather Rule allows a customer to register with the utility if they are 65 years of age or older, are disabled to the extent that the customer has filed with the utility a form submitted by a medical physician attesting that your household must have natural gas or electric utility service provided in the home to maintain life or health, or the customer has obtained a formal award letter issued from the federal government of disability benefits. The rule allows customers to budget payments over 12 months and to extend payment of pre-existing arrears beyond 12 months. It does not require a deposit if payment agreement is kept, but does require that customers be notified by mail 10 days before the date the utility intends to shut off service; that an attempt be made to contact the customer within 96 hours before the shut off; that an attempt be made to contact the customer right before the shut off; and that notice is left at the home when service has been shut off. It also requires the customer be notified of possible financial help in paying the utility bill and allows for the reconnection of service for less than the full amount owed. If a customer is faced with a heat-related utility bill that they cannot pay in full, it is important that the customer contact the utility company, state an inability to pay the bill in full, provide income information either by month or annual income, make a minimum payment, and enter into a payment agreement. It is important to note that in order to receive some of the benefits of the Cold Weather Rule, a customer must sign-up (register) with their heat-related company. For more information on the PSC's Cold Weather Rule, please see the Commission's website at www.psc.mo.gov or call the Commission's Consumer Services hotline at 1-800-392-4211. Consumers can also receive Cold Weather Rule information from their local natural gas or electric company.

Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation (MCEC) has $190,000 of grant funds available to renovate rentalhousing in the eight-county Meramec Region, and interested landlords are needed to participate. Approximately 15 homes are expected to be improved. The Missouri Department of Economic Development has awarded MCEC a Community Development Block Grant for disaster rental rehabilitation. The grant will continue housing renovation projects in the region for rental properties occupied by low-to-moderate income (LMI) families. The grant can be used on rental housing in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and Washington counties. Landlords wishing to participate in the program should complete the rental rehab application on MRPC’s website at ww.meramecregion.org. Tenants must meet income eligibility requirements to be included in the program. If the landlord is also in the low-to-moderate income range, based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines, then 100 percent of the eligible rehab costs can be covered by the grant. If the landlord is not LMI, then the landlord must pay 25 percent of the eligible rehab costs. The renovation work may include roofs, doors, insulation, window replacement, siding, HVAC updates, electrical work, floor coverings, kitchen cabinetry, tubs and showers, sidewalk repair and drainage work. Renovation improvements take about 45 days per home. Landlords needing more information call (573) 265-2993. Applications can also be picked up at the MRPC office at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James, and are available online at www.meramecregion.org.

Sports [TOP]

The St. Louis Cardinals are World Series champions. Chris Carpenter worked through six-plus effective innings on short rest and the Cardinals' bullpen once again shut down the Texas Rangers to take Game 7 of the Fall Classic, 6-2, Friday night. David Freese sealed his MVP performance by knocking in a pair of runs, Yadier Molina went 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Allen Craig homered and stole one away from Nelson Cruz to put the finishing touches on an incredible two months from Tony La Russa's bunch. Lance Lynn hurled a perfect eighth and handed the ball over to Jason Motte, who retired the side in order in the ninth, sending Busch Stadium into a frenzy when Craig sealed the franchise's 11th title by tracking down David Murphy's fly ball at the warning track in left.

Marcus Lucas' 11-yard touchdown reception in overtime was the deciding score as Missouri rallied to post a 38-31 victory over 16th ranked Texas A&M in a Big 12 clash from Kyle Field. James Franklin threw for 198 yards and two scores and added 97 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground for the Tigers (4-4, 2-3 Big 12), who trailed by 14 points in the second quarter. Henry Josey rushed for 162 yards and a score on 20 attempts, and Eric Waters contributed a 42-yard TD reception for the victors. Missouri will play Baylor Saturday.

Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and the St. Louis Rams won their first game of the season Sunday, a 31-21 shocker over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Indeed, it's been a good week for sports in St. Louis. Several Cardinals players showed up to the game with the World Series trophy in tow, holding it up for the fans to see, and the Rams (1-6) did their best not to kill the mood. They blocked a punt and intercepted Brees to score two touchdowns in the last 70 seconds of the first half, taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room that was rarely in jeopardy the rest of the way. The Rams play Arizona Sunday.

Ryan Smyth scored twice and Ryan Nugent- Hopkins tallied two assists as the Edmonton Oilers posted a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at Rexall Place Sunday night. David Backes and Alex Pietrangelo lit the lamp for the Blues. Jaroslav Halak stopped 26-of-30 shots in St. Louis' second straight loss.

The Kansas City Chiefs will host the San Diego Chargers tonight on Monday Night Football.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral services for Francis ‘Scotty’ Eugene Scott of Steelville, age 78, will be held Tuesday at 1:00 at the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis. Visitation will be held today from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Britton Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville with funeral rites by the VFW of Cuba at 7:00. Interment will be in the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Roy Wayne Howard Sr. of Salem, age 64, on Wednesday from 1:00 to 3:00 at the Wilson Mortuary Salem Chapel.

Weather [TOP]

Today..Sunny, high of 62.
Tonight..Mostly clear, low of 41.
Tuesday..Sunny, high of 69.
Tuesday night..Mostly clear, low of 45.
Wednesday..Mostly sunny, high of 66.
Wednesday night..Mostly cloudy with a 60% chance of showers, low of 43.

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