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Morning headlines: Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow makes morning drive difficult

The Missouri Department of Transportation says as the snow continues to blow, the conditions on the roads continue to deteriorate.

Kara Price with MoDOT, says interstates are partly to mostly covered throughout the region and snow bursts are making it difficult for drivers to see.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory in effect until six 'clock this evening.

Missouri Highway Patrol helicopter low on fuel when it crashed last year

Federal authorities say a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter was dangerously low on fuel when it crashed near St. Louis in 2010, killing the pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board says the helicopter had only three quarts of jet fuel in its tank before it crashed while returning to an airport in Chesterfield after a patrol.

The pilot, 47-year-old Patrol Sgt. Joe Schuengel, died when the 1981 Bell 206B JetRanger crashed. He was the only person aboard and no one on the ground was hurt. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the NTSB report did not detail a likely cause of the accident. A Federal Aviation Administration report found Schuengel had traces of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory medications in his system.

More layoffs at Scott Air Force Base

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, the Air Force announced a second round of civilian layoffs at Scott Air force Base Wednesday. The Air Force says 223 employees will either be retiring or leaving federal service by April.

It is the second round of layoffs at the base, which in November announced 49 employees would be eliminated. In this round of layoffs, employees are eligible for either the voluntary separation incentive pay or voluntary early retirement programs.