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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri prosecutor who dropped charges in a sex assault case involving a 14-year-old girl says he's asking a court to appoint a special prosecutor to look at the case.

   Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice announced the development Wednesday.

   The girl's mother, Melinda Coleman, says her daughter was plied with alcohol and raped by a 17-year-old acquaintance.

   Coleman says the family was forced to move from Maryville because of harassment they faced in the small town. She says that after the alleged attack last January, her daughter was dumped on her family's front porch in freezing cold temperatures.

   Two months after the incident, Rice dropped charges against the 17-year-old boy.

   Rice and the county sheriff have insisted the case collapsed when the Colemans became uncooperative with investigators. Coleman denies that.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 17:20
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Police are looking for a man who tried to rob two businesses this week.

The first incident was in High Ridge, Missouri around 11:30 PM, Tuesday. The suspect walked in to a Circle K, pointed a gun at the employee, and demanded money. The employee refused twice and the suspect ran away.

Then, around 2 AM Wednesday, the same suspect tried to rob a Steak n' Shake in Fenton. Again the employees refused to give in to the suspect's demands for money.

The suspect was described in both attempted robberies as a white male. He is 5’6″-5’10″ tall and weighs 130-140 pounds. He wore dark clothing and a bandana to conceal his face. 

Call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information in this case: 636-797-5515.

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:40
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The outlet malls in Chesterfield have been popular attractions since they opened. So popular that one of the two is about to get bigger.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that St. Louis Premium Outlets has filed plans for a 79,000 square-foot expansion--that is enough room for as many as 20 new stores. That would bring the total number of stores to 110. The expansion plan is still under review and needs approval from the city planning commission and city council.

Managers of Taubman Outlets are busy too, they have signed eight new stores. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:26
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State Sen. Kurt Schaefer is suggesting Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster could open an investigation into an alleged sexual assault in northwest Missouri.

Schaefer said Wednesday that an independent review of the evidence is needed after the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped charges against teenagers accused in a sexual assault of two younger girls.

Schaefer is a Republican running for attorney general. Koster is a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2016.

Koster's office has said it cannot intervene unless a local prosecutor or court asks him to do so.

Schaefer cited a Missouri law allowing subpoenas for witnesses or information to be provided to the attorney general regarding sexual offenses. That law only applies when the venue of the crime is in question.

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:28
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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Maryville city and school officials say they are on heightened alert in response to negative attention the city is receiving over a sexual abuse case.

City, school and police officials say they are concerned about reaction expressed on social media and in phone calls after the Nodaway County prosecutor decided to drop sexual assault charges against two 17-year-old boys who were accused of sexually assaulting two younger girls.

On Monday, the activist group Anonymous released an online statement criticizing the city and police for not prosecuting the case. However, the case was handled by Nodaway County, not the city.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports police are increasing patrols to protect anyone involved with the case and school officials met Monday at all three city schools to discuss security.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:33
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ST. LOUIS— AP -- St. Louis city prosecutors have dropped charges against a former teacher’s aide who was accused of molesting two 4-year-old boys.

John Cuneo was scheduled to go to trial this week on charges of first-degree child molestation, sexual contact with a student by a teacher and first-degree attempted child molestation. His attorney, Scott Rosenblum, was notified Tuesday that the charges had been dropped.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office did not explain the decision, saying she does not comment on closed cases.

Rosenblum says the state’s main witness against Cuneo had credibility problems and several witnesses supported Cuneo.

Cuneo was an instruction care aide for the St. Louis Public School District. He is now retired.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:28
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HARRISBURG, Ill.—A southern Illinois high school Spanish teacher is accused of pulling a gun on a woman in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane.

WSIL-TV reports 61-year-old Larry Luna of Harrisburg was arrested Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon.

Harrisburg police say Luna was in his car in line outside a McDonald’s when he began yelling at the woman placing an order in the vehicle in front of him.

Police say Luna brandished a gun when the woman stepped from her car.

Harrisburg schools superintendent Dennis Smith says administrators are waiting for the court case to play out.

Luna is free on bond. Online court records don’t show whether he has an attorney. A message left Wednesday at Luna’s home wasn’t returned.

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:27
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal lawsuit accuses the Jefferson City school district and two administrators of not doing enough to prevent a band teacher from having an affair with a student.

The band teacher, Christopher Knehans, pleaded guilty in 2012 to two felony counts of sexual contact with a student.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported Tuesday the lawsuit alleges that high school Principal Paul Dodson and Assistant Principal Tammy Ridgeway were warned several times that Knehans and the student were involved. It alleges that the administrators did not intervene to stop the relationship.

Knehans is also named in the lawsuit.

The district's attorney, Chris Rackers, said district officials would not comment on the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year but amended this month.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 11:28
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The online site, Nextdoor, plans to announce a partnership with the city of St. Louis Wednesday that would enable several city departments to begin using the social networking site as an informational and crime-fighting tool.

Nextdoor looks to link neighbor to neighbor as a way to keep people posted as to what is happening in their area.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the police department could use the site to post crime alerts and crime trends that could be targeted citywide or to specific neighborhoods.

The city’s Emergency Management Authority will use it to share information about storm warnings, disaster preparations and heat advisories.  

Michael Powers, legislative director for Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, says it is a unified way for officials to communicate with neighborhoods. Powers says 70 of the 79 neighborhoods in the city have established Nextdoor sites with about 54-hundred residents using the network.

Nextdoor is a San Francisco-based, private social network which launched in October 2011.  Nearly 22-thousand neighborhoods are participating across the United States.  

The site is free and the company says it will remain free to the neighbors who use it. Currently, businesses can’t be a part of the site, just residents.  

Nextdoor also has teamed with police departments in several cities, but St. Louis is unique because the departments taking part extend beyond just police.

 
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 08:43
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - East St. Louis officials and a local firefighters union say they've reached a deal that will avert layoffs of nearly one-third of the city's fire department.

 

   Terms of the deal reached Tuesday between the city and the International Association of Firefighters Union Local 23 weren't disclosed.

 

   But Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. tells the Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1gKk3L2 ) that it spares having to lay off 16 of the city's more than 50 firefighters, at least through the end of the year. He says it's commendable that both sides worked out a creative solution.

 

   The union local's president, Brandon Walls, wouldn't discuss the details but says he's glad no one will be laid off.

   The layoffs were expected because of the city's budget issues.

 
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 08:17
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