(AP) – State Stories – February 11th

| February 11, 2013 | 9:22 am
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri conservation officials are urging people to be cautious around skunks that soon will be emerging from winter shelters. Skunks are one of the two primary carriers of the rabies virus in Missouri. Encounters increase during skunks’ mating season, which starts in later this month and continues through March. Missouri health officials last year reported finding 12 rabid skunks and 16 rabid bats with cases reported in 14 counties.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The property reassessment process is under way in the St. Louis area, and officials expect a slight drop in assessed home values, continuing a trend that began in 2009. Assessors in St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties and St. Louis city expect to release their values in a few weeks. Officials say home prices in the region rose slightly last year, but not enough to offset drops over the past several years.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Legislation requiring voters to show photo ID at polling places is scheduled for debate in the Missouri House. House Majority Leader John Diehl said he expects a proposed constitutional amendment mandating photo ID and a bill implementing the rule to be taken up on the House floor this week. Republicans argue the measure is needed to cut down on voter fraud. Democrats contend the photo ID requirement is aimed at disenfranchising voters.

NEVADA, Mo. (AP) – The estranged husband of a woman who died in 2009 is now facing charges in her death. Fifty-seven-year-old Bob Beisly the Second was charged this weekend along with a second man. Vernon County authorities say new evidence led them to charge the pair for the death of Belinda Beisly.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has assembled a panel of county clerks and other officials to help shape a policy allowing for early voting. Missouri now lets voters cast absentee ballots only if they swear they cannot go to the polls on Election Day or meet other, limited criteria. But the state has no general provision for early voting, which Kander says could help ease long lines at the polls. Kander’s commission will meet throughout February.

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — The president of the University of Central Missouri will hold a two-hour “Tweet Chat” with students tomorrow. Administrators at the Warrensburg school say anyone else who’s interested in the university is also welcome to participate.

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