Keeping citizens safe and their property secure are the top priorities for the St. Louis County Police, so the department has announced that it's annual Holiday Enforcement/Crime Prevention Program in underway.
The County Police Department will have both uniformed and undercover officers working in and around shopping centers.
The Metro Air Support Unit will also continue patrolling commercial parking lots and shopping centers. Officers of the St. Louis County Police Department’s Highway Safety Unit will be working additional patrols throughout the holidays, emphasizing DWI enforcement.
Chief Tim Fitch stated, "We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. In addition to each precinct implementing specific strategies for their area, officers from our Division of Special Operations, such as the Highway Safety Unit, will also be highly visible. Remember, keep your eyes and ears open and immediately call the police if you see suspicious activity. Prevention is the key, and if we all pitch in and work together, I know we can be successful."
ST. LOUIS (AP) - An Arizona company that installs and operates red-light cameras across Missouri has hired a former state Supreme Court chief justice to lead an appeal before that court.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports former justice Michael Wolff will spearhead an appeal sought by American Traffic Solutions Inc. and Ellisville of a ruling earlier this month that said Ellisville's red-light camera ordinance is not enforceable.
The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern Division said in a Nov. 5 opinion that state law requires points to be assessed for moving violations, which can be committed only by a driver or pedestrian.
Many cities ticket the owner of a vehicle caught running a red light, regardless of who was driving, and do not report the infraction to the state to have points assessed.
A two year old boy and his grandmother are recovering from gunshot wounds after an ambush attack in north St. Louis Monday night. It happened a little before 8 p.m. in the 1900 block of Semple.
St. Louis Police say a woman in her 50s was in a car with her adult daughter and two children when a gray or silver Pontiac pulled up. Two men got out and began shooting into the car.
The grandmother was struck in the shoulder. The toddler suffered a graze wound in the stomach.
Its not clear what motivated the shooting or who was the intended target.
Police are still looking for the gunmen.
EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - A 22 year old southern Illinois man accused of fatally stabbing his 7 year old niece won't go on trial until next year.
The Effingham Daily News reports an Effingham County judge on Monday tentatively scheduled Justin DeRyke's trial for February. But State's Attorney Bryan Kibler says it likely will be later than that because DeRyke's attorney has so many audio and video interviews to review.
DeRyke is accused of killing Willow Long in September near her home in Watson, a village about 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Investigators say DeRyke insisted he killed his niece to "put her out of her misery" after he says she fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck.
DeRyke has pleaded not guilty and is jailed on $5 million bond.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois House will convene for a special session next week on the state's roughly $100 billion pension crisis.
Both the House and Senate had tentatively set two days aside next week to meet. On Monday House Speaker Michael Madigan's chief of staff emailed representatives, telling them to expect a one-day session starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.
Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says senators still have the days on the books and there has been no change for now.
The four legislative leaders met last week on a plan that could save around $150 billion over the next three decades. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the speaker continued discussions with leaders over the weekend and there was progress.
The leaders are expected to talk again this week.
Officials in the Francis Howell school district say a computer error led to a strange email blast over the weekend. Parents of current and former students received emails saying their children were failing classes -- hundreds of them.
School district spokesperson Neosha Hayes says the issue has been identified and the flow of emails stopped. Hayes also says student information wasn't compromised because only authorized addresses received the emails.
County Executive Charlie Dooley will try again to fill two vacancies on the troubled St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dooley will formally nominate former Metro CEO Robert Baer and one-time Hazelwood mayor T.R. Carr Tuesday afternoon.
If approved the pair would replace Gregory Sansone and Floyd Warmann, both of whom resigned amid controversy last summer. Sansone is the subject of an FBI probe after it was learned that a company he co-owns was hired as a subcontractor on the county's new police crime lab.
One other seat remains open on the board. Its not known if Dooley has a candidate in mind for that seat.
This is the second time the county executive has tried to fill the vacancies. All three of Dooley's previous police board nominees withdrew their names before confirmations could get underway.
Police have released a photo of the suspect connected to a robbery that happened outside a Wentzville Walmart.
A little over a week ago, on Sunday, November 17, a woman says she was approached by another woman in the parking lot. The suspect demanded the victim's purse. The victims gave the other woman money.
Police say the suspect left the scene in a 2000's gold of tan Chevy Blazer. The suspect is described as a heavy set woman, who was wearing a pink hoodie and light-colored blue jeans.
Anyone who information on this case can contact Det. Blake Roth at firstname.lastname@example.org or can call 636-639-2127. You can call anonymously as well to 636-639-2180.
UNION, Mo. (AP) - The eastern Missouri publisher of an anti-government newsletter who was shot by state troopers after pulling a gun has been sentenced to a 30-year prison term by a judge he likened to a terrorist.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 47-year-old Jeffrey Weinhaus called the judge who sentenced him Monday in Franklin County "a black-robed terrorist, an enemy combatant no different than Osama bin Laden."
A jury convicted Weinhaus last month of charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and illegal morphine possession, as well as a marijuana misdemeanor.
Authorities say Weinhaus pulled a gun on Missouri state troopers serving him with an arrest warrant when the officers shot him in in the chest, neck and head.
Weinhaus's attorney says his client plans to appeal.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has asked President Barack Obama to declare 15 counties in Illinois major disaster areas after tornadoes and strong storms hit the state last week.
Quinn also said Monday that state and federal assessment teams found the storms damaged more than 2,400 homes in Illinois. That includes nearly 800 homes that were destroyed.
State agencies continue to help Illinois communities recover from the Nov. 17 storms. Illinois Department of Transportation equipment and Illinois Department of Corrections inmate crews are working to remove debris. The state will have resource centers in the hard-hit areas of Washington and Brookport through Tuesday.
The governor's office says state and federal emergency officials will meet with local governments early next month to document storm expenses.