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Morning headlines - Monday, September 10, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Mo. traffic fatalities continue climbing

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says traffic deaths are taking a troubling turn upward this year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says through Sept. 4, 554 people had died on Missouri roads, compared to 498 over the same period in 2011. Fatalities in 2011 reached their lowest total since the 1940s.

Mo. Highway Patrol Captain Tim Hull told the Post-Dispatch that more than 60 percent of the people killed this year were not wearing seatbelts. He also says in many of the crashes, there are signs that drivers were not fully paying attention to the road.

Low water delaying Mississippi River bridge work

Low water is causing delays for crews building the new Mississippi River bridge north of downtown.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the summer-long drought has made it difficult to position barges carrying prefabricated sections of the bridge beneath the work area, particularly on the Illinois side. Project manager Greg Horn told the paper that crews have to build them on land or piece them together above the water, which takes more time.

Horn, however, says the bridge remains on track for a 2014 opening.

In 2010, crews building the bridge lost 81 days to high water. The contractors added extra shifts and extended the workweek to catch back up.

Search resumes for Eads Bridge jumper

The East St. Louis and St. Louis Metropolitan police departments, along with the Coast Guard, will resume their search this morning for a woman who jumped from the Eads Bridge on Sunday.

The Belleville News-Democrat says the unidentified woman jumped from the middle of the bridge around 11:30 a.m. yesterday. Searchers have not yet located the body, but have found some personal items in the water.

East St. Louis police chief Michael Floore says rescuers called off the search on Sunday after the current took away the body. He would not identify the victim, saying he was not sure her family had been notified.

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Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.