Just in time for the 4th of July, there are new requirements for anyone looking to purchase fireworks in Belleville.
Consumers have to show proof they have completed a 15 minute safety class. Illinois has a statewide ban on fireworks. Local communities can vote to allow fireworks and other pyrotechnics, but only residents who have completed the test can purchase them.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal has the safety class on their website. The Belleville Fire Department will administer the class and hopes to have it online later this month.
An East St. Louis man is back home after spending nearly four months in jail for a crime he did not commit.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that DNA evidence cleared 20-year-old Marlon Miller as a suspect in a brutal rape and robbery. The victim was walking home from a Metrolink stop in East St. Louis when someone pointed a gun at her and forced to a secluded area, then robbed and raped her.
Miller may still be headed to court, he alleges that former East St. Louis detective Orlando Ward coerced a confession to the robbery and helped charge him with sexual assault. Ward was arrested last month for allegedly being a part of a drug ring.
The St. Louis County Emergency Communications Commission said Tuesday that based on feedback from the public it will reduce the duration of the monthly warning siren test to one minute from three minutes effective with the test on April 1. In the event of an actual tornado, the sirens will sound for a full three minutes.
The commission says the warning system is intended for outdoor notification only and the sirens are not designed to alert people inside of buildings.
The county also announced the installation of two additional sirens last week — in Bridgeton and Kirkwood — bringing the total number of sirens to 199.