SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An employee pension reform bill passed by the Legislature for the Chicago park district is being watched as a test case for statewide reforms, even as it poses a tricky dilemma for Gov. Pat Quinn.
Lawmakers say passage of the park district reforms shouldn't be interpreted as a blueprint for the success of a larger plan addressing the state's $100 billion pension problem. But it could be a test case for how pension reform deals will be interpreted by the courts.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman credits successful negotiations between the park district and labor union, something that hasn't happened statewide.
Quinn has been a champion of pension reform. But union officials who raised a late objection to the park district plan are among his biggest campaign contributors.
St. Louis Police announced today that they have a suspect in custody connected to the shooting of an off-duty officer this week.
On Wednesday night the officer was visiting his sister at her north St. Louis home. The officer asked to men inside the house to leave. One suspect ran out and while the officer was escorting the second man from the house, he shot at the officer. The victim was hit in the leg and the suspect ran from the scene.
The suspect was captured today and charges are pending. The officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A hearing to consider the request of a Missouri teen to have her guilty plea in the killing of a 9-year-old neighbor vacated, corrected or set aside has been rescheduled.
Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 killing of Elizabeth Olten. Bustamante now is 19 years old and was 15 at the time of the killing. They lived in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City.
Online court records show a hearing scheduled for Friday has been moved to Jan. 30.
Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and ordered to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action. She was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The head of the NAACP Salt Lake City branch is asking Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to commute a death sentence for a serial killer who killed two Salt Lake City joggers in 1980.
Joseph Paul Franklin is scheduled to be executed next week for the 1977 murder of a Missouri man outside a synagogue. He was also convicted in the 1980s killings of 20-year-old Ted Fields and 18-year-old David Martin, both black men.
Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP's Salt Lake Branch, says in a letter to Nixon that the execution costs more than keeping Franklin in prison for life.
Franklin has claimed responsibility for nearly two dozen other killings and many other crimes. He admitted shooting Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 but was never charged.
The standoff in Jennings is over after the suspect surrendered to police.
The standoff, in the 5200 block of Hamilton, lasted from around 9 AM until noon. Officers were trying to arrest the suspect, who was wanted for a robbery in Chesterfield, when he ran off. The man barricaded himself inside a house. The St. Louis County Tactical team was called in.
A negotiator was able to talk the suspect out of home. He surrendered to police without incident.
If you have ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur, you may want to check out "Startup Weekend" in St. Louis.
Startup Weekend is a global, grassroots movement aimed at empowering entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.
The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but Startup Weekend events are held in over 200 cities around the world with weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
This weekend's event begins this evening at the T-REx Incubator at 611 Olive St. in downtown St. Louis. More information is available at: startupweekend.org
Students in the Normandy School District are getting an unexpected three-day weekend thanks to a water main that burst near the UMSL campus Thursday.
The main has been repaired, but a boil order is in effect for about 2,200 Missouri American water customers. That includes parts of Bel Ridge, Belle Rive, Bel Nor, Normandy and St. John.
As a result, all schools in the Normandy School District will be closed Friday.
Other schools in the affected area are open, but school leaders are asking students to bring a bottle of drinking water with them.
The UMSL campus had shut down on Thursday because of the break, canceling day and evening classes. University officials say even though they are still under a boil order, classes will resume Friday morning.
Missouri American officials say they hope to life the boil order Friday afternoon.
Parents in the De Soto School District are being warned about an outbreak of scabies.
District 73 officials sent a letter home with students Thursday notifying parents that one high school student, a junior high student, and an elementary student have been sent home with the skin condition.
Scabies is caused by tiny mites burrowing beneath the skin. It's extremely itchy and highly contagious.
District officials say they are taking steps to disinfect schools.
Students with scabies can't return to school without a doctor's note.
De Soto is about 50 miles south of St. Louis in Jefferson County.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Department of Insurance and the state's major health insurer say they are reviewing changes to the health law announced Thursday by President Barack Obama that address policy cancellations.
Obama said insurers can continue to sell policies canceled under the Affordable Care Act for at least one more year to existing customers. But insurers aren't required to continue the canceled plans.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois officials say the company is "determining next steps" and will reach out to consumers who may have new options as a result of Obama's announcement.
A spokesman says Illinois Insurance Director Andrew Boron has been in contact with federal authorities and is evaluating options, keeping in mind what's best for the state's consumers.
At least 4 million Americans have received cancellation notices.
A two-alarm brush fire that destroyed several buildings in rural Franklin County Thursday night is prompting a warning from fire officials.
It took dozens of firefighters more than an hour to extinguish a brush fire along Highway BB near Beverly Court in Cedar Hill. No one was hurt, but the fire destroyed a camper and several out buildings in the rural community.
Cedar Hill Fire Chief Terry Soer says the blaze began as a controlled burn that got out of hand. The chief told Fox 2 News that brush fires are a real risk this time of year.
"Right now we're really concerned because of the low humidity," he said. "The leaf cover is very heavy. Obviously, we're encouraging people -- no burning outside, or anything like that."
Chief Soer says the rain that's expected this weekend will take some of the pressure off.