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Morning headlines: Friday, March 2, 2012

A Mo. House member is sponsoring legislation to restrict vasectomies
(via flickr/ensign_beedrill)
A Mo. House member is sponsoring legislation to restrict vasectomies

Mo. House member proposes restriction on vasectomies

A Missouri House member frustrated with recent legislative debates over birth control and reproductive health is proposing to restrict vasectomies. 

Legislation sponsored by Democrat Stacey Newman would only allow vasectomies when they are necessary to protect a man from serious injury or death. The vasectomies would have to be performed in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or health facility licensed by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

Last week, the Missouri House approved a resolution objecting to the federal health care law and a requirement that most employers or insurers cover contraceptives.

Newman, from St. Louis County, says that such issues affect women the most, but men must also make family planning decisions. Similar legislation has been filed in Georgia.

Mo. Gov. Nixon visits tornado victims

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon was in southeast Missouri yesterday to talk with Stoddard County residents after Wednesday morning's EF-3 tornado.

The tornado killed 50 year-old Mark Champlin as it threw his trailer 100 feet off its foundation. His girlfriend was sent to a hospital in Cape Girardeau after being severely injured. Nixon spoke with Champlin's daughter when he visited the site.

"You know, the devastation was widespread across the state, but in no more significant place than this family with losing her father and her mother still in the hospital," Nixon said. "It shows that tornadoes are random and if anything people can do, when they are out there, if they know they're coming, get in low ground, get in basements, get covered."

The tornado destroyed 10 rural homes and damaged 80 structures while barely missing the town of Puxico.

Storm dumps hail in St. Louis area

A weather system that is being watched closely in parts of the South and Midwest dumped a large amount of hail in the St. Louis area this morning.

There were many reports of quarter-sized hail in places from Florissant to Herman, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis. There were no immediate reports of significant damage.

The storm was part of an unsettled weather pattern and comes days after deadly tornadoes ripped through the state earlier this week.