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   Phineas the dog, a golden lab who's been the focus of controversy in Salem, Missouri, is probably still alive.  

   The dog was stolen from the veterinarian's office where he'd been staying since shortly after Salem Mayor Gary Brown ordered him destroyed because the dog allegedly bit a 7 year old girl in 2012.  

   Phineas' owners and their attorney Joe Simon had expressed fears that someone had taken the dog and destroyed him.  But Simon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday that a letter was received Friday indicating that the dog is being kept in hiding by someone who believes they're helping the animal.  

   Last Thursday, a canine bite expert  and veterinarian both testified that photographic evidence indicates that Phineas isn't the one who bit the child.  The court case is ongoing.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 03:12
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   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - State officials say federal employees in Illinois who were furloughed during the shutdown have to repay unemployment insurance benefits.

   The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Monday in a release that preliminary data shows that of the 2,937 federal workers who applied for unemployment insurance, 577 went on to be paid benefits. That represents a total of $231,174.

   The department says that the employees will be sent notices that the money must be repaid. If it isn't, department officials can take steps to recover the money like garnishing tax refunds.

   IDES Director Jay Rowell says the partial shutdown "needlessly scared" scores of workers.

   The partial federal government shutdown lasted 16 days.

 
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 02:33
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   The World Series will put St. Louis on a world stage.  That means major security measures will be in place around Busch Stadium.  

   St. Louis Police spent time Monday coordinating security plans with the FBI, ATF, Homeland Security, and the Missouri Highway Patrol.  St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson tells Fox 2 News they're trying to run through every possible security scenario in order to have a response plan in place.  "We’re doing everything we can to make sure no stone is left unturned, and the resources are there when we need them," he said.

   Dotson says securing a national event like the World Series is a complex process, no matter where it takes place.  "Whether we’re in St. Louis, Chicago or Louisville it doesn't matter," he said.  "We still have to go through the same planning process as if we’re Boston or New York or L.A."

   Dotson says many of the safeguards that were in place in 2006, like mechanical and K-9 bomb sniffers and surveillance cameras, will be used again.  There will also be extra police officers on the streets, both in uniform and plain clothes.

   Fans are advised to get to the ballpark early and expect long lines because of added security measures.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 02:13
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A man and his dog are dead after a house fire in St. Ann.

Firefighters found the 54 year-old man on the floor of his bedroom. Officials say the fire began in a chair in the living room--a place where relatives say he often smoked. Investigators believe the fire could have been started by a dropped cigarette. The Post-Dispatch reports that relatives say the man may have been overcome by smoke while he searched for his dog. 

 

Monday, 21 October 2013 17:30
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former St. Clair County circuit judge charged with heroin possession and a weapons violation presided over more than 1,700 felony cases.

The Belleville New-Democrat reports that Michael Cook's tenure included eight bench trials and 24 jury trials. Cook resigned after he was charged in May.

Officials are re-examining the cases Cook handled. A judge granted a new trial to one convicted murderer whose case he oversaw, and another has demanded a retrial. Hearings are scheduled for both next week.

Of the 1,705 felony cases Cook handled, 1,102 resulted in guilty pleas. Three of the bench trials ended in guilty verdicts. Twenty of the jury trials ended in guilty verdicts.

Cook has pleaded not guilty. He has agreed to have his law license suspended and sought drug treatment.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013 16:46
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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Officials in a northwest Missouri county whose prosecutor is under fire for his handling of a teen sexual assault case are planning to close county offices Tuesday because of a planned rally related to the case.

Nodaway County Clerk Beth Walker says the courthouse and county administrative building are being closed. Walker says law enforcement officers will maintain some kind of presence around the buildings during the rally.

At least two activist groups, including one called "Justice for Daisy," have called for the protest, which is to begin at 6 p.m.

Daisy Coleman says she was 14 in January 2012 when a 17-year-old Maryville boy gave her alcohol and had sex with her when she was incapacitated. Felony charges against the boy and a second 17-year-old were dropped months later.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013 15:05
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Clean up continues after a train derailed in Bond County Monday morning.

Just before 6 AM 18 cars jumped off the tracks near Main St. in the town of Smithboro. Investigators say the 59-car CSX train was going from East St. Louis to Avon, Indiana.

No injuries were reported and investigators continue work to determine the cause of the derailment. 

Monday, 21 October 2013 15:04
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CHICAGO (AP) - Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage are gearing up for another push in the Illinois Legislature.

Supporters are planning a march and rally in Springfield on Tuesday, the first day of the Legislature's fall session. Gov. Pat Quinn and other lawmakers who support legislation legalizing same-sex marriage are expected to participate.

Opponents have scheduled a prayer rally at the Capitol on Wednesday. A group of African American clergy who oppose the measure also recorded radio ads in which they urge listeners to call lawmakers and tell them to vote no.

The Illinois Senate approved the legislation in February. The spring session ended without a House vote, after the bill's sponsor said he didn't have the support to pass it.

It's unclear if a vote will occur during the fall session.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013 14:33
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Drivers are encouraged to avoid a section of Mid Rivers Mall Drive starting tonight.

MoDOT is shutting down the Mid Rivers Mall Drive Bridge over Interstate 70. One lane in each direction on the bridge will close at 7 p.m.  Then at 11 p.m., crews will close the entire bridge for paving work.

The bridge should reopen Wednesday evening.

Monday, 21 October 2013 14:29
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate allegations that a 14-year-old cheerleader was sexually assaulted by an older classmate who plied her with alcohol.

Daisy Coleman also alleges that a second 17-year-old boy recorded the January 2012 incident in Maryville using cellphone video.

Circuit court clerk Elaine Wilson says Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has taken on the case.

Felony charges against both boys were dropped last year after Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice says Daisy and her family stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Melinda Coleman, Daisy's mother, says the family never stopped cooperating but looks forward to answering questions in a new review of the case.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013 12:42
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