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   JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial told a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

   Thamsanqa Jantjie did describe his qualifications for being a sign language interpreter, but told The Star he works for an interpreting company that paid him $85 for interpreting Tuesday's event. He told Radio 702 Thursday he's receiving treatment for schizophrenia and had an episode while on stage.

   Jantjie did not address allegations by sign language experts that he faked interpretation for the Mandela memorial attended by scores of world leaders and broadcast internationally.

   The Star quoted him as saying: "I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry, it's the situation I found myself in."

Published in National News

The 7-year-old Mehlville boy who died in a house fire on Monday, will be laid to rest this week.

Brian Davis was the only family member who died in the blaze. Visitation for Brian is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday at St. Mathias Church on Buckley Road.

His funeral will be Friday morning. Brian's grandmother and sister escaped the fire.

Published in Local News
Monday, 16 September 2013 03:00

Funeral set for girl allegedly killed by uncle

   EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - Family and friends will say their formal goodbyes to a 7 year old southern Illinois girl who authorities allege was stabbed to death by her uncle.

   Services for Willow Long of the tiny village of Watson in Effingham County are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Effingham High School, followed by private burial.

   Twenty-two year old Justin DeRyke was charged last Wednesday with first-degree murder in Willow's death.

   Prosecutors say he told investigators he killed his niece to end her suffering after she accidentally fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck with a stick near the family's home.

   DeRyke is being held on $5 million bond and hiring an attorney. He's set to appear again in court Thursday.

 
Published in Local News

The town of Percy, Illinois said a final farewell to the four children killed in last Friday's house fire.

12-year-old Ethan, 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen died in the fire. Their parents and a cousin escaped the burning home. Derrick Twardoski faces four murder charges in connection to the fire.

Prosecutors say they believe they know why he set the fire, but are not releasing the motive ahead of the trial.

 

Published in Local News

Four siblings killed in a Randolph County, Illinois house fire that prosecutors say was intentionally set are about to be laid to rest.

Services are scheduled for this afternoon at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Steeleville for 12-year-old Ethan Owen and his siblings, 9-year-old Kailey Owen and 5-year-old twins Brandon Owen and Landon Owen.

 The Randolph County coroner says the children died of apparent smoke inhalation during the fire early last Friday at their home in Percy. The village is located about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. Their parents managed to escape.

33-year-old Derrick Twardoski faces four counts of first-degree murder in the case. During a court appearance Monday, Twardoski wept while he pleaded not guilty, was denied bond and was assigned a public defender to represent him.  

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Actors, directors and film critics have gathered in Chicago to honor the late movie critic Roger Ebert.

   The movie reviewer's widow, Chaz Ebert, welcomed her husband's fans to the Chicago Theatre on Thursday, and remembered him as a father, friend, humanitarian and journalist.

   A choir began the memorial by singing "Roger Ebert, we will always love you."

   Actors John Cusack and Chris Tucker were to speak at the event, called "Roger Ebert: A Celebration of Life," along with Ebert's friends and family.

   The acclaimed critic died April 4 at age 70 after a years-long battle with cancer. The day before his death, Ebert wrote in a post on his blog that he was taking a break from his schedule of almost-daily movie reviewing because the cancer had recurred.

 
Published in National News
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 08:15

Thatcher funeral to be held April 17

LONDON (AP) - The British government says former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral will be held April 17.

Today undertakers removed the ex-leader's body from London's Ritz Hotel, where she died Monday, amid preparations for a ceremonial funeral with full military honors.

A van carrying Thatcher's casket left the hotel for an undisclosed location.

Officials say Thatcher's funeral will be held with full military honors at St. Paul's Cathedral. It is not technically a state funeral, which requires a vote in Parliament, but is the same level of honor given Princess Diana and the Queen Mother Elizabeth.

Thatcher's coffin will lie overnight at the Houses of Parliament before the funeral, and then travel on a horse-drawn gun carriage to the cathedral along a route lined by military personnel.

 

   

Published in National News
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:42

Friends an family remember Aaron Ripperda

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - One of seven Marines killed last month during a Nevada training exercise is being remembered in his southwestern Illinois hometown as an inclusive person concerned for people.

 

The body of 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was laid to rest Wednesday after a funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.

 

The 2005 Highland High School graduate was killed March 18 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the sprawling Hawthorne Army Depot.

 

His father says his son expected to return home for good next month.

 

The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/10rgMaZ) reports that Rev. Scott Snider told mourners that Ripperda is at peace, and "we look forward to the day when the warriors' work is done and the light of peace breaks across the world."

Published in Local News

Family and friends prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corporal Aaron Ripperda.

The 26-year-old Highland, Illinois native died in a training exercise in March in Nevada. A funeral Mass is set for this morning. Ripperda graduated from Highland High School in 2005.

The Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket at the funeral.  They would protest what they call, “a nation of sodomites and hypocrites”.

 

 
Published in Local News
A public memorial service is scheduled today for St. Louis native and Colorado's top prison official, who was shot to death at his home last week.

A private funeral was held yesterday for former Missouri official Tom Clements, according to his obituary in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The man suspected of killing Clements died following a shootout with authorities in Texas.

The 58-year -old Clements was born in St. Louis. He attended Hazelwood High and St. Louis Community College. He graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University and earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri.

Before moving to Colorado in 2011, Clements worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections for 30 years, most recently as director of adult institutions.
Published in Local News
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