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St. Clair County settles with more inmates

Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18 Published in Local News
 BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois sheriff says his county has agreed to pay $3,500 to three former inmates to settle their federal lawsuit over living conditions at the jail.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat the payouts to Floyd Robinson, Timothy Headrick and Myron Barber come without the county admitting any wrongdoing alleged in the 2011 lawsuit.
The ex-inmates alleged unacceptable jail conditions, including crowding, inmates forced to sleep on the floor, the foul odor of human waste, insects, mice, small amounts of food per serving and inadequate access to a law library.
The newspaper reported earlier this week that the county also agreed to pay up to $2,000 to each of three former jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.
 

MoDOT has weekend closures on tap downtown

Friday, 31 January 2014 10:14 Published in Local News

The Missouri Department of Transportation will close all lanes of eastbound I-70 downtown between Pine Street and the Poplar Street Bridge at 6 p.m. this Sunday. Crews will be removing a retaining wall along the interstate near Walnut Street as part of preparations for the Park Over the Highway project.  

One eastbound lane on I-70 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday. The other lane will reopen before 3 p.m. Monday, after crews make permanent pavement repairs to the right lane of eastbound I-70.

St. Clair County officials say they are not admitting any wrongdoing, but will pay up to $2,000 to each of three former county jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.
County Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat the county agreed to the payouts to save taxpayers the money it would cost to defend itself against the lawsuits.
In 2012, the trio claimed that they were among 14 inmates beaten in December 2011, four days after a fight between inmates and guards at the jail in Belleville.  
Watson says that, while he dislikes the settlements and would prefer to test the veracity of the allegations in court, he understands why the payouts were approved.

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