Residents in the bi-state area were greeted with the news most expected on Tuesday, the bickering on Capitol Hill and ensuing budget stalemate has forced a government shutdown. Those interested in voicing their frustration may want to contact local legislators.
In Illinois residents can contact Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin. Kirk's Washington, D.C. phone number is 202-224-2854, while Senator Durbin's is 202-224-2152.
Illinois Congressmen Bill Enyart's office number is 202-225-5661, while Representative John Shimkus's number is 202-225-5271.
In Missouri you can contact Senator Claire McCaskill at 202-224-6154 and Roy Blunt at 202-224-5721.
The delegation of Missouri Representatives includes Blaine Luetkemeyer (202-225-2956), Ann Wagner (202-225-1621) and William "Lacy" Clay (202-225-2406).
An Ellisville man who broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and attacked her small dog so severely that the animal had to be euthanized, was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday. In July, a St. Charles jury found Charles Zidek guilty of felony charges of animal abuse and burglary. St. Charles County Circuit Judge Rick Zerr gave the 37 year old Zidek a four-year term on each charge, to run consecutively. Prosecutors say Zidek entered the home of Diana Walkonis in October, 2011, by breaking out a basement window. Authorities say he then repeatedly threw her Italian greyhound, Vinny, against a bedroom wall. Walkonis found her pet when she returned home later that day. Zidek was linked to the crime when by blood found in the house near the broken window, matched his DNA.
Investigators in East St. Louis are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before deciding whether to file charges in the death of a newborn. Authorities say the baby boy was allegedly thrown from a second-story window by his 23 year old mother. Police Chief Michael Floore says it's unclear if the full-term baby was stillborn. The baby's body was found wrapped in a sheet in some bushes near the home in the 500 block of North 22nd Street.
The online health insurance exchanges are now open in both Missouri and Illinois. The online marketplace is a key component of the federal health care law. Illinois officials have set up their own marketplace at GetCoveredIllinois.gov. Missouri voters chose to bar their government from setting up its own marketplace. So the federal government is running the exchange for Missouri residents at Healthcare.gov. Consumers have until December 15th to sign up if they want coverage to start on January 1st, but enrollment is open until March 31.
A death penalty case in St. Charles County is the first in more than a decade.
Sixty-three year old Terry Culberson is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 55 year old Dorothy Hall in the face five times. Her body was found inside Culberson's O'Fallon, Missouri mobile home on February 5, 2013.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says the brutality of the murder was a factor in deciding to ask for the death penalty. "St. Charles County has not requested a death penalty since 2002, so it's a very unique situation," he said.
Lohmar says Culberson's past conviction for assault with the intent to kill was also a factor. A trial date has not yet been set.
If the Zoo-Museum District doesn't expand to include more counties around the St. Louis metro area, visitors may have to start paying admission to visit the St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum and other cultural venues.
That's according to Zoo-Museum District Board member Charlie Valier. With grand plans to expand the zoo across I-64/US-40, civic leaders are trying to find the best way to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars needed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Valier told the board yesterday that there are three options to raise revenues: Ask voters to raise the tax rates; Charge admission; or widen the Zoo-Museum District to include St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri, and Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois.
Valier told the paper that six counties support cultural venues in the Denver area, and three support those in Detroit.
The firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District won't be pretty in pink for this year's breast cancer fundraiser.
The bright pink tee-shirts they've worn during Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the last four years have been banned this year by the district board.
Two of the district's three board members told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the shirts aren't professional and could lead to confusion among the public, since firefighters sell the tees to raise funds.
Firefighters say the move is political, since the shirts bear the firefighter's union logo.
Relations between the board and the International Association of Firefighters has been tense since the April board election.
As the Illinois State Police get ready to begin issuing concealed weapons permits, they're letting residents know more about the requirements of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
Concealed carry license applicants must successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction. So the ISP website now includes a list of approved concealed carry firearms training curricula. The website also provides an updated list of qualified instructors.
Concealed carry license applications will be available by January 5, 2014.
More information can be found at the ISP's firearms ccw website.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) is chiding House Republicans for failing to allow an up-or-down vote on a so-called "clean funding" bill.
McCaskill released a statement as the midnight deadline passed in Washington, saying the government shutdown will upset economic recovery. She criticized House Speaker John Boehner (R), calling his handing of the budget process "irresponsible political posturing."
The St. Louis County Democrat says the federal government shutdown will hurt Missourians by delaying veterans' benefits, causing furloughs for 39,000 federal employees in Missouri, delaying loans for small businesses and Social Security checks for seniors enrolling in the program for the first time.
During an interview with CNN's Wolfe Blitzer Monday evening, 2nd District Congresswoman Ann Wagoner (R) said the House GOP were the only ones working to avoid the shutdown.
The St. Louis County Republican criticized Senate leadership and President Obama for failing to negotiate over the weekend.
Wagoner issued a statement after the midnight deadline saying that she has waived her salary for the duration of the government shutdown "because congress didn't get the job done." Wagoner blamed the deadlock on "partisan bickering."
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis and Chicago are both pursuing the global headquarters of agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co., which last week announced it needed better access to its global customers and an international airport.
ADM currently is based in the central Illinois city of Decatur, roughly halfway between Chicago and St. Louis. The company is so far staying mum about where it wants to base 200 executive and information technology jobs.