A school bus driver in St. Charles County caught texting while driving is now out of work.
Officials with the Francis Howell School District tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a middle-school student had taken a video of the driver texting with kids on board Thursday. Parents contacted the district about the incident.
Francis Howell spokeswoman Jennifer Henry tells the paper that the company the driver worked for fired the driver as a result of the incident.
The driver isn't likely to face a citation since Missouri law only bars texting while driving for drivers age 21 and under.
Cleanup and repairs are still going on five months after tornadoes struck two central Illinois towns.
Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Kendra Cray says debris removal has been the biggest challenge in Brownstown and St. Elmo after last November's tornadoes.
Cray tells the Effingham Daily News that her office has been working to educate residents as tornado seasons returns. She says they're starting efforts with children because "if we can prepare them, they prepare the parents."
St. Elmo has about 1,400 residents and Brownstown has about 750. The towns are about 80 miles east of St. Louis.
WOOD RIVER, Ill. (AP) — The former riverboat that once served as the Casino Queen along East St. Louis' riverfront is under new ownership.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that federal marshals on Friday auctioned off the vessel called White Star One for $600,000.
There were 14 bids during the sale that lasted just five minutes and opened with a $200,000 bid.
Gerald Smallwood was one of the three bidders and represented a Florida man who had the winning offer. It's not immediately clear what that buyer — a former shipyard owner who owns riverfront properties in Kentucky — plans to do with the vessel.
The White Star has languished since the Casino Queen operation moved inland a few years ago.
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A recently released report says Joplin's former city manager did not get along with other city leaders before he was fired in February.
Joplin City administrators on Friday released supporting documents and full copies of the 31-page report by special investigator Thomas Loraine, an Osage Beach attorney.
The special report focuses on former City Manager Mark Rohr. The Joplin Globe and its parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings Incorporated sought the report's release after Rohr was fired on February 4th. The report said Rohr tried to use divisions in the city council to his benefit.
The Joplin Globe reports that Rohr denies the allegations and says the divide in the Joplin city council made his job much more difficult.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are advocating for more restrictions on welfare recipients after a state audit raised questions over whether benefits are being used properly.
The report identified more than 300 cases in which Missouri welfare recipients spent their benefits exclusively outside the state during a three-month period.
Under legislation passed by the House, recipients would be kicked off the program if they don't spend their benefits within Missouri once every 90 days.
Lawmakers are also debating whether to loosen restrictions on where welfare money can be spent and who qualifies for assistance.
The House measure would allow people to use welfare dollars to buy food at liquor stores. A Senate bill would open the federal food stamps program to some drug felons.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — The Air Force says roughly 100 jobs are being phased out in a unit that provides technical services at an Illinois air base in suburban St. Louis.
The Air Force Network Integration Center cuts at Scott Air Force Base involve 99 positions. Fifty-three of them are civilian jobs.
Air Force spokesman Andy Roake says the eliminations expected to take place through 2015 are due to budget constraints.
The jobs include middle-level management, staff and policy consultation positions.
The Air Force recently announced plans to cut 22,500 positions this year.
The Scott base is about 25 miles east of St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The vast majority of the country's 32 death penalty states refuse to disclose the source of their execution drugs.
A review by The Associated Press has found that the states cloaked in secrecy include some with the most active death chambers. Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri are among them.
The secrecy comes as most states now rely on loosely regulated "compounding pharmacies" for execution drugs but refuse to name them. They cite concerns about backlash that could endanger the supplier's safety.
Defense attorneys question how an inmate's constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment can be guaranteed if nothing is known about the drug being used to kill him.
Proponents say forcing states to reveal their drug source can amount to obstruction of justice by delaying executions.