St. Louis police continue to search for two jail inmates that escaped from the St. Louis Justice Center located at 200 S. Tucker Blvd this morning. Police say 34-year-old Vernon Collins and 33-year-old David White escaped shortly before 7 a.m. and are wearing white t-shirts and shorts and white tennis shoes.
Another auditor is criticizing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's administration for billing a state agency over travel costs.
The audit released Thursday by Republican Auditor Tom Schweich found $1,630 was charged to the Division of Workforce Development, in the Department of Economic Development. Nixon and a labor department official promoted a program administered by the workforce division. The audit said documents for the flight showed no division staff came along.
State officials say the March unemployment rate dropped in every Illinois metropolitan area for a record seventh consecutive month.
A report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that the Rockford metropolitan area with the state's highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent. That's almost 4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.
The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area March rate was second-highest, at 12.7 percent.
Other metro areas with jobless rates over 10 percent were:
A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.
Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.
Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.