EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The chief federal judge in southern Illinois is warning citizens not to fall for a telephone scam involving jury duty and possible identity theft.
U.S. District Judge David Herndon says the caller poses as a court official and threatens prosecution for shirking jury duty. The caller then tries to extract confidential data from the call's recipient.
Herndon warns the calls don't involve actual court officials, are bogus and could be used for identity theft and fraud if the person called divulges such things as his or her Social Security or credit card numbers.
The judge adds federal courts don't require anyone to provide sensitive information by telephone, with most legitimate contact taking place by mail.
Herndon urges anyone who gets such a call to notify the local federal court clerk.
Even as some metro-east school districts continue to wrestle with budget shortfalls, Belleville District 201 teachers will be getting a pay raise.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the school board Monday night unanimously approved a partial salary step increase this year and next. Superintendent Jeff Dosier told the paper that instead of a full step increase, teachers will get 75 percent of a step increase.
The cost of the pay raises will be covered by retirements and vacant teaching positions not being filled.
The teachers' new contract goes into effect September 1st.
The school board also approved new contracts with the district's custodians, engineers and teacher aids.
Ellisville has a new City Attorney.
At a special meeting Monday night, the Ellisville Board of Aldermen unanimously approved hiring George Restovich, of Restovich Allen LLC, to replace Paul Martin, who was fired June 27, 2013.
Restovich will begin his new job at Wednesday's regular meeting.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Restovich will initially work for an hourly rate. In six months, the board will consider putting Restovich on retainer.
The FBI is investigating a former metro-east official accused of embezzling more than $750,000 over the last 10 years.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an audit by Alton accounting firm Kenneth E. Loy & Co., LLC has determined that former Moro Township Supervisor Donald Flack embezzled more than $100,000 last year alone. But exactly how much was taken won't be known until the forensic audit is completed in September.
Auditors say charges against Flack are likely to be filed soon.
Flack resigned May 14th when trustees confronted him about the missing funds.
Moro Township covers a rural area of Madison County northeast of Alton.
FULTON, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri nuclear power plant is back on line slightly more than three weeks after a small fire.
Ameren Missouri said Monday its Callaway Energy Center near Fulton has resumed operation.
The Callaway County reactor supplies about 20 percent of the electricity Ameren sells to its 1.2 million customers. Other Ameren plants made up for the lost power while the nuclear plant was offline.
The reactor shut down automatically the night of July 26 when power cables that connect the plant to the electric grid shorted, causing the small fire.
Ameren said the arc was caused by a ventilation louver that dislodged and moved close to the cables. The utility says inspections showed no need to replace major equipment.
The Kirkwood School District prepares to receive hundreds of transfers from the Riverview Gardens schools.
Tuesday is the first day of classes. Monday night, is the final school board meeting before school begins. Officials are expected to discuss any last minute preparations for new students.
Riverview Gardens is paying tuition and transportation costs for 263 transferring students.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says the statewide average workers' compensation rate has dropped 4.5 percent.
Officials say the figure set by a national rating agency continues a downward trend that has saved Illinois employers $315 million in insurance premium costs since 2011.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance issued the figure Monday. Insurance companies often use the number to figure workers' compensation premiums.
James Stephens is deputy director of the Department of Insurance. He says the drop reflects an overall 13.3 percent decrease in the rate in the last three years.
Quinn's office says the decrease is because of a money-saving workers' compensation reform package the Democratic governor signed into law in 2011.
The rate changes take effect Jan. 1 if the Insurance Department accepts them.
Drivers will soon be able to speed up a bit on some highways. ]
Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that raises the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 miles an hour. The new law takes effect on January 1 and raises the limit from 65 miles an hour. Illinois joins 36 other states that have at least some parts of highways with speed limits of at least 70.
The bill also lowers the limit for excessive speeding by 5 miles per hour. The more severe penalty now kicks in when drivers exceed the speed limit by 26 mph. The measure was opposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and State Police.
A St. Louis man is in jail after allegedly throwing a woman out of a moving car onto the highway.
Police say David Sheridan was driving on Interstate 64 when he pushed the woman from the car. Officers arrived to investigate and that is when Sheridan walked back to the scene. Police say he started arguing with officers and was taken into custody.
He now faces three felony charges and is held on the $30,000 bond. The victim is in the hospital in serious but stable condition.
Good news for drivers as gas prices took a tumble in St. Louis last week.
Retail prices fell nearly 7 cents per gallon averaging $3.43 a gallon on Sunday. This is according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 983 gas outlets in St. Louis. This compares with the national average which was $3.57 a gallon last week. Prices yesterday were almost 20 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago.