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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   Two Missouri residents are among five people killed in a rock slide on a Colorado hiking trail.  Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer says all five were members of an extended family.  

   The sheriff's department reports that 10 year old Baigen  Walker and 22 year old Paris Walkup, both of Birch Tree, Missouri, were among the dead.  

   Their aunt and uncle, 45 year old Dawna Johnson, 46 year old Dwayne Johnson, and the couple's 18 year old daughter, Kiowa-Rain Johnson were also killed.  

   All of the victim's bodies have now been recovered.  

   The Johnson's 13 year old daughter, Gracie survived the slide with a broken leg.

St. Clair County expands employee drug testing program

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 05:44 Published in Local News

   After a drug scandal rocked the county courthouse, St. Clair County officials are expanding their drug testing program.  The board decided unanimously Monday night to expand the random drug testing to hundreds of additional employees.

   Ironically, the new policy won't apply to the circuit court system where the scandal broke.  That's because the courts are a separate government entity.  

   In March, Circuit Judge Joe Christ died while staying with Circuit Judge Michael Cook at a hunting lodge.  In May, Cook was charged with heroine possession and a weapons violation.  A probation officer and another man are also facing charges.  

   There are a lot of problems with Missouri's school transfer law, but no easy solutions.  That's what state lawmakers heard from St. Louis area school administrators and state educators during five hours of hearings Tuesday.  

   The legislators are considering changes to the current law that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to better schools at the expense of their home district.  Issues of cost were a repeated theme yesterday.  

   Three districts in the state are currently unaccredited: Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Kansas City.  But with 11 other districts only having provisional accreditation and new state education standards, there is concern that the transfer situation could be much more widespread in the next few years.

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