VALLEY PARK, Mo. (AP) — Power has been restored to hundreds of Valley Park homes after a deadly accident caused the outage. The crash happened earlier today when a driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a utility pole. The driver died at the scene. Ameren says about 1,600 customers lost power for a time.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A central Missouri woman has admitted embezzling more than $540,000 from two former employers and failing to pay taxes on the stolen funds. Kelley Lee Steiner of Jefferson City was an officer of Jefferson Bank from 1999 to 2008. Prosecutors said Steiner used some of the stolen money to pay her personal credit card bills and her children’s college expenses.

PALMYRA, Mo. (AP) – A northeast Missouri man will have to pay a fine after authorities found more than 30 exotic animals in his Palmyra home. Investigators say they found a six-foot-long alligator along with various snakes including one that was 13-feet long. A local ordinance prohibits exotic pets.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman says she deserves a reward for turning in a British man accused of pulling off a $1.6 million heist in 1993. A lawyer for 25-year-old Jessica King says she’s pursuing a $158,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of Edward John Maher. He was arrested earlier this month after King tipped authorities off to his whereabouts.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Union Pacific Railroad plans to spend more than $38 million for rail line improvements in central and eastern Missouri. The project calls for replacing more than 60 miles of rail. The work affects UP tracks between Jefferson City and the Franklin County town of Labadie.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) – Independence police say a body found in a creek over the weekend is that of a Kansas City man missing for more than month. The man was identified yesterday as 35-year-old Eric W. Hedrick. Hedrick was reported missing from Kansas City on Jan. 19. A cause of death is still unknown.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – The Springfield city clerk says a petition seeking to repeal a new smoking ban in the city had enough valid signatures. City Clerk Brenda Cirlin yesterday certified the petition to force a new vote on the issue. However, the city council could act on the proposal before an election is held.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The latest edition of Missouri’s Official State Manual is now available to the public. But for the first the Blue Book is only being published online. The manual contains information about local, state and federal governments, election records and contact information for government officials and departments.

CASSVILLE, Mo. (AP) – Governor Jay Nixon is heading to southwest Missouri later this week to fire the starter’s pistol for the state’s annual trout season. Nixon will open the trout fishing season on Thursday morning at the Roaring River State Park near Cassville. Nixon’s an avid fisherman and his office says he’ll do some fishing while he’s at the park.