Law enforcement agencies around the St. Louis region are joining forces keep the roads safe during the upcoming "Ride of the Century" motorcycle event.
Hundreds or motorcyclists will converge on the area over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30-Sep. 1). The Missouri Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police and police in the City of St. Louis will be working together to crack down on unsafe stunt riding again this year.
In the past, these riders have been known to block traffic, drive erratically, and evade police all while performing dangerous stunts on crowded roads. Last year, more than 2,500 riders converged on the city for the event. Nineteen people were arrested and several riders were injured. In 2011, two riders were killed.
Two jockeys are recovering from injuries and a horse has been euthanized after a racetrack collision at Fairmont Park.
It happened just as the horses turned into the final stretch of the third race yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon. Fairmont officials say the No. 2 horse, Shakkarena, ridden by jockey Robert Cummings, fell because of a leg injury. The No. 5 horse, She’s on Her Way, ridden by Rohan Singh, was unable to avoid the fallen horse and also tumbled.
Shakkarena had to be euthanized because of the serious leg injury.
She's on Her Way didn't appear to be injured in the collision.
Both jockeys are hospitalized with serious injuries.
Yet another St. Louis County Police board member is resigning amid an FBI investigation of a crime lab construction contract. This time it's police board secretary Raymond Wagner who will be stepping down. Wagner announced at a meeting today that he would be stepping down at the end of next month. This marks the third police board resignation in two weeks, after Chairman Gregory Sansone and Floyd Warman stepped down after federal investigators started looking into a $3.7 million dollar subcontract. The deal was for Sansone’s company to work on a new crime lab. Ray Wagner by the way is the husband of US Representative Ann Wager. He says he's leaving for unspecified personal and business obligations.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Traffic offenses committed near emergencies on Missouri highways could lead to new penalties.
Violations for speeding or passing within an emergency zone when responders are present would carry a $250 fine, on top of any existing penalties.
The new law creates the offense of endangerment of an emergency responder. It would include passing within an emergency zone, speeding by at least 15 mph and using a lane not marked for motorists. Fines will range from up to $1,000 if no one is hurt to $10,000 if a responder is killed.
The highway legislation is among several new Missouri laws taking effect Wednesday.
Supporters say it is intended to protect law officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
O'Fallon Police are asking for the public's help in locating a man who they say exposed himself Tuesday morning. Around 6:00 a.m., police received an anonymous tip that a man exposed himself near Calumet Ranch Trail and Knaust Road. A short time later, a woman contacted the responding officer and told him that a man inappropriately touched her while she was jogging. The suspect is described as a white male wearing a black hoodie, black spandex-style pants, and black shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call the O'Fallon Police Department.
A heat wave is taking hold of the metro-area and reminding us that it's August in St. Louis.
The National Weather Services has issued a heat advisory for the St. Louis area from noon Tuesday until 7:00 Saturday evening.
Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid and upper 90's, with heat indices around 100 over the next several days. There will be little relief at night, especially in the urban heat island of St. Louis.
At least a few schools are closing early today as a precaution. They include the Legacy Christian Academy in Caseyville which will close at noon and St. John the Baptist in Villa Ridge which plans to close at 11:30. Also, all schools in the Bunker Hill District are closing at 2 p.m. today.
And the extreme heat is forcing some high school football teams to change game times this weekend. Hazelwood School District officials rescheduled games for Hazelwood Centrals and Hazelwood East. Both games have been moved from 1 PM to 10 AM.
Extra precaution is warranted, especially for those spending time outside. OSHA recommends drinking extra water and taking frequent breaks in the shade or in air conditioning.
For information about cooling centers, call the United Way by dialing 2-1-1 from any land line phone. Or call 1-800-427-4626.
QUAD CITIES, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is advocating for the U.S. to launch a missile strike at the Syrian regime which is believed to have used chemical weapons on civilians.
The Quad City Times reports that Kirk made the comments Monday while visiting the Rock Island Arsenal.
Kirk opposes extending "boots on the ground" U.S. military involvement in Syria. He likened an air strike to the 1998 attack on Iraq aimed at curbing weapons of mass destruction. Kirk is a Highland Park Republican and a recently retired Naval intelligence officer.
Secretary of State John Kerry has decried what he called Syria's "indiscriminate slaughter of civilians," but hasn't indicated whether the U.S. will take action. Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied launching a chemical attack.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The estimated savings on a pension proposal backed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan earlier this year is nearly $25 billion less than originally thought.
That's because the Teachers Retirement System - one of Illinois' five pension systems - says it made a mistake in its calculations. The change was outlined in a Monday letter to a bipartisan panel tasked with coming up with an approach to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
Madigan's plan involves across-the-board cuts in benefits. It was originally touted to save Illinois about $187 billion over 30 years. However, the new estimate is about $163 billion in the same time period.
Another plan from Senate President John Cullerton, which had union support, was estimated to save roughly $47 billion over the same timeframe.
After three years of lawsuits, developer Paul McKee is hoping to restart his stalled NorthSide Regeneration Project.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city's Tax Increment Finance Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday on McKee's request for some changes to the $390 million TIF package that the Board of Aldermen had approved for for the project four years ago.
A spokesman for the project says they need officials to restart the clock the 1,500 acre redevelopment.
The public hearing also gives residents another chance to chime in.
McKee says if he wins the TIF changes, ground could be broken next spring on the 2 square mile development site north of downtown.
Metro-east officials say the death of a Madsion, Illinois man should serve as a reminder of the dangers of extreme heat.
Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn announced Monday that 56 year old Darold Mays died of heat stroke. May suffered from heart and lung disease that made him more vulnerable, but hi body temperature was over 101 when he had been found dead in an alley in the 1300 block of Klein Avenue in Venice.
Family members say that Mays was developmentally disabled and was known to venture out into the community to collect aluminum cans.
Nonn says with temperatures forecast to be in the mid and upper 90s this week, it's important to be conscious of the heat's toll on healthy individuals during normal activities, but also to keep an eye on friends and family who may be more susceptible to the heat because of age or chronic health issues.