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Senator Dick Durbin will be in East St. Louis later this morning, urging law enforcement agencies to trace guns used in crimes. Durbin's office says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms currently provides law enforcement with the means to trace crime guns, but only half of Illinois agencies use the ATF's services. Last month, Durbin introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Act, which incentivizes the reporting of every recovered gun used in a violent crime to the ATF for tracing.
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is continuing his drum beat for immigration reform, saying he hopes the House of Representatives will take action this year on legislation passed by the Senate.
The Illinois Democrat said in a round-table discussion in Wheaton on Monday he hopes to show House Republicans there is "a diverse level of support" for fixing the nation's "broken" immigration system.
The round-table, which took place in the district of Republican Congressman Peter Roskam, included business, health, religious and community leaders.
Durbin is one of the sponsors of legislation approved by the Senate that would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the country unlawfully. The bill also would expand access to visas for workers and graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
More than 20,000 students attended classes on the first day of school in the city of St. Louis Monday.
Based on preliminary data, the district reports 20,055 students on the first day, down just over 200 from last year.
But Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams says the district was still enrolling students at several schools Monday and will most likely continue to do so over the next few days.
Monday’s attendance figures do not include more than 2,000 preschool children. The first day of classes for SLPS students in preschool will be Monday, August 19.
Authorities are identifying an Alton man killed in a crash Monday afternoon as 78 year old Charles Bickett.
Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn says a jeep struck Bickett's Ford Taurus in the driver's side as Bickett attempted to turn left from a restaurant parking lot onto College Avenue in Alton.
Bickett was pronounced dead at the scene about 2 p.m. He died of blunt chest trauma. Nonn says Bickett had been wearing a seat belt.
Toxicology test results are still pending and Illinois State Police continue to investigate the crash.
Some thought he had been an angel, others a ghost, but a mysterious priest who seemed to just appear at a horrific accident scene on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri last week is real. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City issued a statement Monday identifying him as Fr. Patrick Dowling of Columbia.
Fr. Dowling has been the subject of speculation since arriving with anointing oils and praying with rescuers and 19-year-old Katie Lentz, of Quincy, Illinois, who was trapped in her mangled car. Then he had seemed to disappear.
The diocese says Fr. Dowling came across the scene while driving between morning Mass assignments.
Fr. Dowling wrote about the August 4 accident in the comments section of story about the crash on the National Catholic Register website. Here is what he wrote:
“I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital—I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.”
Police believe a man shot to death in the St. Clair County Courthouse Monday afternoon took his own life.
St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says it happened on the fourth floor of the parking garage about 4:30 p.m.
Police haven't released the man's name pending notification of family, but say he was 25-30 years old and had addresses in both Belleville and Caseyville, Illinois.
Watson says the man had not gone to the courthouse but to the probation office on the other side of the garage.
Sheriff's deputies and Belleville police had initially closed down the garage thinking there might be a gunman still lurking. It reopened about an hour later.
One woman is in critical condition after a series accident in Des Peres Monday afternoon.
Police say a work truck hit a car at the intersection of Manchester and Lockett around 2 PM. A man and woman were in the car and both were injured. KMOV reports the woman was briefly trapped in the car and was freed by emergency crews. The woman remains in critical condition.
The driver of the truck was not injured.
A tragic drowning accident at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park over the weekend.
Around 3 PM Sunday, investigators say that six-year-old Kira Dempsey was trapped under a log in the Black River. She was eventually pulled from the water, but died at a nearby hospital a short time later.
Police say she was swimming in the river when she got trapped.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri is expecting fewer freshman this fall compared to last year.
A memo from Ann Korschgen, the university's vice provost for enrollment management, and Barbara Rupp, director of admissions, estimates freshman enrollment this fall at 6,165 based on current deposits. That's a drop of nearly 480 from last year.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that officials say the university has anticipated the drop in freshmen as the number of high school students in Missouri and the Midwest declines.
Deposits from out-of-state students also dropped by 61 this year, but that number is still up 423 from two years ago.
There is a fourth confirmed case of a serious stomach illness in Missouri.
The Department of Health and Senior Service announced another person has contracted Cyclospora. Cyclospora is a single cell parasite that is often contracted by people after they eat food contaminated with feces.
The CDC has been brought in with the investigation to determine the source of the illness. In other states Cyclospora has been tied to salad mixes from a Mexican farm.