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The circus is coming to town and so are the protesters. Members of PETA are staging a rally downtown today ahead of the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  

A herd of inflatable "elephants" will lead the protest.  PETA has criticized the iconic circus for abusing it's elephants, documenting their claims on a video expose.  

The demonstration, scheduled for noon, comes on the heels of a complaint that PETA filed with St. Louis Animal Care and Control urging officials to prohibit Ringling from forcing the elephant Siam to perform.

PETA claims that recent veterinary observations indicate that Siam suffers from toenail injuries on both rear feet.  

Foot injuries are the leading cause of euthanasia in captive elephants, and they are often associated with elephants' being continuously chained on hard surfaces.

 
Thursday, 17 October 2013 08:26
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   O'FALLON, Ill. (AP) - A man suspected of robbing a southwestern Illinois bank is jailed pending charges, as authorities try to figure out whether he may have been involved in holdups in other states.

   Investigators say the man was arrested Tuesday near a Swansea cornfield after they found a car matching the description of a vehicle that had been used two hours earlier to rob the Bank of O'Fallon.

   The search for the man involved dozens of law enforcers and an Illinois State Police airplane.

   Authorities say the man entered the bank, implied he had a weapon and demanded money from a teller before running away.

   O'Fallon interim police chief Jeff Wild says the man may be responsible for other bank robberies outside Illinois. 

   There's no immediate word on charges. The FBI is investigating.

 
Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:53
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   A metro-east man is facing felony charges for allegedly shoplifting a single bottle of liquor.  

   Madison County prosecutors have charged 23 year old Jason Whitney of Alton with felony theft.  Police say a worker at a Godfrey supermarket caught Whitney red-handed early Saturday morning.  

   Sheriff's Captain Mike Dixon told the Belleville News-Democrat that the alleged theft qualifies as a felony because of Whitney's burglary conviction earlier this year.

Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:10
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   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.

   The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July.  He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

   House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.

   A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.

   Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.

   Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.

 
Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:13
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   St. Louis city officials want to do more to preserve some vacant buildings for future development, and tear down those that are beyond repair.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a bill will be filed Friday with the Board of Aldermen that would set up a preservation fund of about $500,000 a year to fix roofs and walls on long-term vacant buildings.  An equal amount would go to the city's demolition fund.  

   The paper reports that the cash would come from a new fee on electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits, but building owners would face a lien for the costs as well.  

   If the aldermen agree, the measure  would go before voters, possibly as early as next spring.

   A separate bill also to be filed Friday would toughen penalties for owners who let decay their so-called "high merit" historic buildings, like the now-demolished Cupples 7 building.

 
Thursday, 17 October 2013 01:46
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   The St. Louis Police mounted patrol horses are back in Forest Park full time.  

   The horses had moved out of their stables at the park after lead paint contamination became an issue in 2009.  Since then, the horses were kept at a private farm, makeshift stables at other parks and recreation buildings according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  

   But a million-dollars in donations to Forest Park Forever made repairs at the old stables possible.  The stable is now home to the unit's four horses and to two park ranger horses. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:47
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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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