EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man faces up to 15 years in federal prison now that he's admitted to paying undercover investigators $1,500 in hopes of having sex with a seven year old girl.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 65 year old David Driskill of Carrollton has pleaded guilty in East St. Louis to commercial sex trafficking. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.
Authorities say Driskill sent text messages in May to a woman, offering to pay $3,000 if she could arrange for to have sex with a child between 7 and 11 years old. The woman instead notified authorities and cooperated with them.
Driskill was arrested days later at a Jerseyville apartment after paying an undercover federal investigator $1,500 for the supposed sexual encounter with a girl.
Call it the tale of two hearings.
Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program. Each focused on different perspectives.
At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children. Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.
Two Missouri death row inmates now know when they're slated to die. The state's high court on Wednesday set execution dates for long-serving inmates Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster last month had asked the court to move forward with their sentences.
The court didn't explain why it decided to set the dates. Executions in Missouri have been on hold since 2012 when a federal court challenge was raised over the use of the drug propofol in executions in the state.
Nicklasson's execution is set for October 23rd and Franklin's is November 20th.
Nicklasson was convicted of the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70 in Callaway County. Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.
Franklin was convicted of the 1977 sniper shooting of Gerald Gordon as a crowd dispersed from a bar mitzvah at the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation in Richmond Heights. Two others were wounded.
Sunset Hills aldermen are expected to give final approval at their next meeting to a measure that will allow bow hunters to hunt deer inside the city limits.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that aldermen gave initial approval this week to a plan aimed at controlling the rising deer population.
Under the plan, bow hunters would need a valid hunting license and an insurance policy or indemnity bond worth at least two-million dollars. They'd have to hunt from a 10 foot high deer stand and only on parcels of one acre or larger.
Officials will host a forum next Tuesday evening at 7 (Aug. 20) at City Hall to answer residents' questions.
West Nile has remained out of the public discussion for much of the summer. Health officials tell KTRS News, the threat is not over.
"I'm happy that we're half way into August and--knock on wood--we haven't had any person get sick with West Nile Virus," says Drew Hane, manager of Vector Control in St. Louis County.
He says that despite below average temperatures it is still plenty warm for the mosquito population to grow. The increase in precipitation from this year compared to last has caused the mosquito population to explode. This presents a unique problem, "If it was 4% of mosquitoes last year and we've got twice as much population and it's still 4%, you're now twice as likely to run into those 4% of mosquitoes because there are so many out there."
Hane says the best protection is still an insect repellent with deet or picaridin.
Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that will close a loophole in sex offender rules.
The law will ban convicted sex offenders from playgrounds of recreation areas in private buildings. That means offenders will not be able to set foot in play areas like those found in McDonalds restaurants.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House member and his wife are going to court over what they say is a requirement that their group health insurance include coverage for contraception.
The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit in St. Louis on Wednesday on behalf of Paul and Teresa Wieland. Paul Wieland is a Republican from Imperial.
According to court documents, the family previously opted out of coverage for contraceptives, sterilization or abortifacients. The lawsuit contends the Wielands have been told their coverage must now include contraception and sterilization because of the federal health care law.
The Wielands contend their religious, free speech and parental rights have been violated. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction.
Later this month a job fair is headed the Doubletree Hotel in Westport.
On Wednesday, August 28th, employers like Walgreens and Macy's Credit and Customer Services will be on site. The fair is open to the public. Job seekers are encouraged to bring resumes. Recruiters will be on site for networking opportunities.
More information is available at the National Career Fairs website.
A convicted murderer who was released from prison early, is charged for murdering a second person and dumping the body in Horseshoe Lake.
Scott Thompson was convicted of murder in 1989, but was released in February of this year after serving just 24 years of his 45-year sentence.
Now investigators believe Thompson killed 20-year-old Dakota Jones and left his body in the lake. Thompson was released because his conviction predated Illinois' "truth in sentencing" laws. The new rules require that murderers serve their entire sentence.
Thompson faces two counts of first-degree murder.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal grand jury in Kansas City has indicted 18 people on charges accusing them of conspiring to transport more than $17 million worth of contraband cigarettes to New York.
The 43-count indictment, unsealed Wednesday, says hundreds of thousands of cartons of contraband cigarettes were taken from the Kansas City area to New York, where they were sold primarily on Indian reservations. Federal prosecutors accuse the group of running the operation from 2010 until last year.
The indictment says two defendants bought about $17.3 million worth of contraband cigarettes from undercover agents and transported about 620,000 cartons to New York without paying the required $4.35 per pack excise tax. Prosecutors estimate the scheme cost New York more than $8 million in state excise taxes.
The defendants are from several states, including Missouri and Kansas.