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   St. Clair County seems to have it's own version of wiki-leaks.  

   Information that hasn't been released by the county board is being posted on the anonymous website CountyBoardInfo.com.  Material posted to the site include minutes from a July 29 executive session at which board members and State's Attorney Brendan Kelly discussed drug testing county employees.

   The unidentified web publisher says the site "is designed to enhance government transparency."  The site isn't affiliated with county government, but promises to keep posting county board meeting agendas, audit reports and meeting minutes.  

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the county hasn't posted such material on its website since June.  

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 03:47
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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An expert in term limits says a Republican governor candidate's proposal to overhaul the Illinois Legislature is better structured than past failed bids.

   University of Illinois Professor Chris Mooney says Bruce Rauner's petition drive to limit lawmakers to eight years in office is savvy in its three-pronged approach. The Winnetka venture capitalist's proposal would not only limit the length of terms but also cut the size of the Senate and make it harder to override a governor's veto.

   Those elements could help the proposal overcome a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down a 1994 initiative because it didn't make "structural and procedural" changes to the Legislature.

   But the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says it is concerned that Rauner's petition drive could unfairly boost his separate governor's campaign.

 
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 02:36
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   The first tuition bill is in for Normandy students who transferred to Francis Howell.  

   Four hundred forty-nine transfer students began classes in Francis Howell schools on August 8th.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the total due now is just over $424,000.  Francis Howell Chief Financial Officer Kevin Supple told the paper the bill was sent Tuesday via email.  

   Normandy officials say the invoice must be processed and approved by the school board, which could take a month or more.  

   Missouri education officials have suggested unaccredited districts pay tuition bills within 10 days.  State officials have also said they will withhold state aid distributions if an unaccredited district falls two months behind in paying transfer tuition.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 02:01
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   The St. Louis County Council is moving ahead with a bill that would subject County Police Commission nominees to background check.  After the measure advanced Tuesday night, it could win final approval as soon as next week.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that council members dispatched County Executive Charlie Dooley's proposal aimed at forcing subcontractors to disclose potential conflicts of interest on county projects without a vote, effectively rejecting the measure.  

   Both bills grew out of the scandal that unfolded when former police board chairman Gregory Sansone's company was hired to subcontract on construction of a new crime lab.  The FBI is currently investigating the matter.  

   If the background check measure passes, which could happen as soon as next week, it would take affect immediately.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 01:11
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   A robbery near Belleville in which the victim was pistol whipped is prompting a warning from Metro-east authorities about the dangers of online sales.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says a woman and her boyfriend were robbed at gun point in the parking lot of the Bradford Place Apartments.  They were lured there by someone who'd advertised an iPhone for sale on Craigslist.  

   Two teens, one with a gun, stole the couple's cash and a cell phone.  One of the teens struck the woman in the head with a handgun.  

   One of the suspects is identified as 17 yr. old Trevon Yates of East St. Louis.  The other is a juvenile, identified only as a 16 yr. old male. Both teens are now in custody and facing felony charges. 

   Sheriff Watson is reminding the public to use extreme caution when buying and selling things online and only meet strangers in a well-lit, public place.    

 
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 01:02
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A convict who escaped from the Robinson Correctional Center before the weekend, is back in custody.

Police say Jared Carter is being held in the Crawford County jail. Carter was walking down the street in Palestine, Illinois when he the village's chief of police and other officers approached him. When the police asked him for ID he just said "I'm who you're looking for" and surrendered.

Carter was an inmate-trustee at the Robinson Correctional Center who was allowed to work on prison grounds outside the walls. He was working on Friday when authorities say he walked away.

Palestine is in Eastern Illinois near the Indiana state line.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 17:19
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High flying action is coming to Festus next month.

The weekend of October 5 and 6 will be the Jefferson County Air Festival. In addition to the air show, there will be food, skydiving exhibitions, and helicopter rides. Admission is $5 per person or $10 per vehicle.

The event is held at the Festus airport. 

For more information, call 636-937-2228 or visit www.FestusAirport.net.

 

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:49
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STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri murder case will hinge on claims of self-defense and whether a property owner had the right to shoot a canoer who may have intruded on his land.

James Crocker had grown weary of the people encroaching on his property along the Meramec River. A nasty confrontation in July ended when Crocker allegedly shot and killed Paul Dart Jr., who was on a canoe trip.

Defense attorney Michael Bert says Crocker is covered by the state's castle doctrine, which allows the use of deadly force to protect property. Bert says Crocker also felt his life was in danger.

Prosecutors cited witnesses who said Crocker flew into a rage and opened fire after a man relieved himself near his yard. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

 

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:47
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri teachers union says it is spending at least $100,000 on commercials urging state lawmakers to uphold the governor's veto of an income tax cut.

The Missouri chapter of the National Education Association says the TV and radio spots began running Tuesday and will continue for a week. The ads assert the tax cut would benefit "corporate special interests" while "stealing money from our schools."

Lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to decide whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

Supporters of the legislation have been running their own ads for weeks. They have been financed largely by nearly $2.4 million in contributions from retired investment firm executive Rex Sinquefield.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:45
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Laclede Gas Co. says it has finalized a $975 million deal to buy Missouri Gas Energy.

Laclede announced Tuesday that the purchase has been completed. The deal combines Missouri's two largest natural gas companies under one entity that will serve more than 1.1 million customers across the state.

St. Louis-based Laclede had served about 630,000 customers in St. Louis and 10 eastern Missouri counties. Missouri Gas Energy had served about 500,000 customers in about 30 western and central Missouri counties, including the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Joplin areas.

Laclede had announced the deal last December. State utility regulators approved it in July.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:43
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