It's not nearly the $15 an hour that fast-food and retail workers have been fighting for, but Missouri's labor department has increased the state minimum wage. As the new work week begins the department announced late Friday that next year's minimum wage will be $7.50 an hour. That is 15 cents more than the current $7.35 an hour. The increase will make Missouri's wage 25 cents higher than the federal minimum.
Residents in a Wildwood subdivision aren't sure if their lake will ever hold water.
Lake Chesterfield is empty again. Major repairs were made in 2004 when the lake drained into a giant sink hole one night.
This time, subdivision trustees hired an engineering firm to lower the lake a little, in an effort to find the source of a slow leak. But during the process, a valve stuck, and all of the water, and most of the fish, drained away according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It cost more than $600,000 to fix it last time. And the subdivision is bound to fix it this time. How it will cost this time isn't known.
Subdivision trustees say the real problem is the limestone that lies beneath the man-made lake.
A beloved south city business will reopen this morning after fire forced it to close early Sunday.
Employees at the Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand on Chippewa called firefighters about 1:00 p.m. after smelling smoke. Fire crews discovered a small electrical fire that apparently started in the attic. It was quickly extinguished.
The iconic building sustained smoke and water damage. Crews spent the rest of the day Sunday cleaning up the mess and company officials say it will reopen at 11 a.m. Monday.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The annual Veterans Day parade in Illinois' capital city has a new rule this year: No politicians, and no campaigning.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the change is part of an effort to refocus the event on the military men and women who served the country.
Organizers also are banning participants from throwing candy to people lining the streets downtown Springfield.
Sam Montalbano is a parade organizer. He says World War II veterans "aren't going to be around much longer" and it's time to salute them.
Monday's parade will honor all veterans.
Politicians who served in the military may participate with their veterans groups, but they can't do any campaigning.
Instead of candy, participants will hand out small American flags.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois village's former trustee faces up to a decade in federal prison now that he's pleaded guilty to committing health care fraud.
Thirty-nine-year-old Darron Suggs pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
Suggs admitted he filed fraudulent Medicaid bills on behalf of two people receiving federal aid for home health care. He falsely claimed he acted as their personal health care assistant for seven years beginning in 2006.
The federal government says the fraud netted Suggs nearly $65,000.
Suggs was a Washington Park trustee who also served as a St. Clair County probation officer but left that job in July.
Suggs also faces up to $250,000 in fines when sentenced March 14.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court is imposing a new fee on attorneys to help provide legal aid to low-income residents in civil court cases.
The court said Friday that it had approved an additional $30 annual fee to be paid by lawyers starting in 2014. The fee is expected to generate at least $750,000.
Missouri's legal services fund helps pay for attorneys to aid people in civil cases such as child-custody disputes, protective orders, home foreclosures and bankruptcy cases.
The Supreme Court says the fee increase will help offset a recent cut in federal funding for low-income legal services.
Missouri's four regional legal aid programs also receive funding from a state fee charged on the filing of civil and criminal court cases.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A coalition backing a Missouri income tax cut has put forward a potential ballot initiative limiting state tax credits.
Grow Missouri says it filed two initiatives Friday with the secretary of state's office that would amend the Missouri Constitution to curb tax credits.
One plan would impose a $200 million annual cap on tax credits; the other would ban all new tax credits upon voter approval of the amendment on the November 2014 ballot. If the state nonetheless exceeds the tax credit caps, the proposals would trigger an automatic reduction in the state's income tax rate.
The treasurer for Grow Missouri says the group plans to file additional ballot initiatives in the coming weeks that would reduce Missouri's income tax rates for businesses and individuals.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, postponed in the debate over Missouri's choice of execution drug, has been rescheduled for December 11th.
The Missouri Supreme Court set the new date on Friday.
Nicklasson was convicted of the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs, Missouri businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70. Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.
Nicklasson was first set to be executed Oct. 23, when Missouri planned to use the anesthetic propofol for the first time. The plan drew concerns because most propofol is made in Europe, and the European Union threatened to limit export if it was used in an execution.
Governor Jay Nixon stopped the execution.
Former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook, whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose in March, pleaded guilty today in court. The Post-Dispatch reports that Cook was sentenced to 18 months in prison for misdemeanor heroin possession and a felony charge of being a drug user in possession of a firearm. On Wednesday, 46-year-old James Fogarty, a former county probation officer, admitted selling drugs to Cook and Judge Joseph Christ and using drugs with both men. Two men convicted separately of murder in Cook's court have won retrials after raising concerns about the judge's drug connections, and some other criminal defendants have been allowed to withdraw guilty pleas.
For those fans of Star Wars out there, maybe in a land far far away, this weekend could your chance to land a lead role in the next Star Wars movie. A Disney casting director will be holding open auditions in St. Louis on Sunday. They're looking for a 17-18 year old girl and a 19-23 year old young man to play street smart, independent, athletic characters in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode Seven. Those auditions are on Sunday from noon to five at the Sheraton Hotel downtown.