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Whiteman Air Wing gains rare certification

Sunday, 18 August 2013 08:23 Published in Local News

KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (AP) — Members of an Air National Guard wing at Whiteman Air Force base have become the first citizen airmen certified to take part in dropping nuclear bombs.

The Kansas City Star reports the Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base has passed the Pentagon's stringent Initial Nuclear Surety Inspection, which means it can assist in delivering nuclear bombs.

The wing's certification by the Air Force Global Strike Force Command enables more than 700 Guardsmen, working alongside active-duty airmen, to load nukes into B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and fly them on the orders of the U.S. president.

The Air Force keeps secret the details of the process for certifying air units for nuclear missions. The inspection at Whiteman took four days, and certification was awarded this month.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year-old Julian Gates told the St. Clair County judge Friday that he "snapped" when the girl urinated in her bed.

Gates, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, told investigators he beat Mia Caito with a belt, his hand and an extension cord.

Investigators say the girl was covered "head to toe" in bruises and died of blunt force trauma in the January 2012 assault.

In a victim impact statement, the girl's mother, Brandy Johnson, told the court the little girl loved hugs and kisses, wearing her hair in a ponytail and watching "Dora the Explorer."

Doe Run wants Missouri lawmakers to override veto

Sunday, 18 August 2013 08:17 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lead company wants lawmakers to override a veto of a bill shielding it from large legal costs.

The Doe Run Company contends its very future is at stake, along with hundreds of jobs.

At issue is a bill limiting punitive damages in liability cases related to old lead mining facilities. Several such lawsuits are pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October.

Lawmakers are to convene in September to consider whether to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto. He said the bill violated the state constitution by retroactively limiting damages and by benefiting only certain legal defendants.

Doe Run faces an uphill battle. The bill originally passed the Missouri House 94-63, with six absentees. That means supporters need 15 more "yes" votes to override Nixon's veto.

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