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Morning headlines: Friday, March 16, 2012

The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt
The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.

Judge to hear arguments today in lawsuit challenging Mo. photo ID amendment

A judge is preparing to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would clear the way for requiring voters to show photo identification.

The lawsuit contends the ballot summary approved by lawmakers for a future statewide vote is misleading. Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce scheduled a hearing Friday in the case.

The Republican-led Legislature last year passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would clear the way for separate legislation requiring a photo ID to vote and allowing an early voting period. The proposed amendment seeks to get around a 2006 Missouri Supreme Court ruling that declared a previous photo ID law unconstitutional.

Ill. poised to submit appeal to FEMA today

The state of Illinois will submit its appeal to a federal agency that has denied aid to five southern Illinois counties ravaged by deadly tornadoes last month.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office says it planned to submit paperwork Friday that it hopes will persuade the Federal Emergency Management Agency to change its mind.

After meeting this week with federal lawmakers from Illinois, FEMA gave the state more time to submit revised damage estimates from the Feb. 29 tornadoes that killed seven people in Harrisburg in Saline County. Sen. Dick Durbin has said FEMA rejected the state's aid request before all of the damage from the storms was calculated.

Illinois seeks the aid for Saline, Gallatin, Randolph, Union and Williamson counties.

Edward Jones retains naming rights to St. Louis dome

The financial firm Edward Jones is retaining the rights through 2025- at least as long as the St. Louis Rams stay.

The name was set to expire in 2014, but Edward Jones has agreed to pay the Rams $42.3 million for an 11-year extension. The original 12-year naming rights agreement cost Edward Jones $32.7 million.

The new deal also includes indoor and outdoor advertising at the dome.

There is concern about the future of the Rams in St. Louis. A lease deal to keep them playing at the dome could expire after the 2014 season unless the dome is considered to be among the top tier of NFL stadiums. Owner Stan Kroenke has been noncommital.