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   WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) - The mayor the village of Washington Park, Illinois says city leaders are talking about disbanding the police department.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports Thursday that Washington Park Mayor Ann Rodgers says the village's financial situation is bleak. She says a number of options are being considered but nothing has been finalized. The village's police chief, Aubrey Keller, has previously suggested the department be abolished.

   Keller says the department has a staff shortage and is paying overtime costs.

   St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly also agrees that abolishing the department is an option.

   Washington Park has a $7 million deficit and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has called for the state attorney general to investigate the village's finances.

 
Friday, 26 July 2013 03:18
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   O'Fallon, Missouri city councilman Michael Snowden is stepping down after just five months in office.  

   Snowden was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former councilman Mark Perkins, and then elected to the post in April.  Perkins had quit to devote more time to his job.  

   In a statement Snowden says he's accepted a position in another State to run and operate a "911-Emergency Dispatch Center." His resignation is effective September 15th.

   It's not known yet if his Fifth Ward seat will be filled before the general election next April.

Friday, 26 July 2013 02:44
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   The Mehlville school district won't hire more teacher or enlarge class sizes in order to accommodate students transferring in from the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District.  

   The Mehlville school board supported their superintendent's position and set class size limits Thursday night.  That will allow the district to accept only 150 of the roughly 450 students who've applied to transfer.  

   A lottery will be held August 2nd to determine which students can make the switch from Riverview Gardens to Mehlville.  

   More than 200 parents attended last night's school board meeting at Mehlville High School.  Many expressed concerns about the cost of busing and the number of hours students will spend in transit.  Others were concerned that the transfer students will put a drain on the Mehlville district.

   Mehlville Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost has said that maintaining the district's small class sizes is key to maintaining educational excellence. 

Friday, 26 July 2013 02:19
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   A year after fire swept through the four-story 3949 Lindell Apartments, the building is about to reopen.  

   Fire broke out in the attic of the 197 unit building on July 17th of 2012.  The five alarm fire quickly spread through the Central West End complex.  No one was hurt, but more than half of the building was destroyed.  St. Louis fire officials say the blaze burned so hot that investigators were not able to determine a cause.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the building now has sprinklers in the attic, a firefighting feature absent in the original building.  

   Tenants have already moved into one rebuilt section, with the rest of the project will reopen in mid-August.  

Friday, 26 July 2013 01:41
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   Five prisoners being held in the Wellston city jail are free, even though their warrants haven't been cleared.  

   Officials released all the prisoners Wednesday night because the police department could no longer afford to feed them.  The cash-strapped city had stopped providing funds for inmate meals.  

   Police officers began dipping into their own pockets to buy them food, but the city refused to reimburse the officers.

   All of the prisoners released were being held on misdemeanor warrants.

Friday, 26 July 2013 01:21
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Authorities have recovered human remains in a septic tanks in St. Francois County.

Just after 11 AM, the body was found on un occupied property northeast of Bonne Terre. The discovery is the result of a 7-month missing person investigation that involved Federal, State and local Law Enforcement agencies.

Identification of the body has not been released pending notification of the family.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 17:34
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Anheuser-Busch confirms that their new Soulard biergarten will open next month.

The groundbreaking happened in May next door to the tour center at 12th and Lynch streets. The biergarten will have 17 beers on draught. The facility will also host daily beer tastings. The food menu is expected to expand later in the year.

Admission to the biergarten is free.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 17:00
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   A cement plant worker is recovering at a local hospital after falling eight feet into a gravel bin Thursday. Emergency workers were called to the Valley Material Company cement plant in Valley Park about 3:30 p.m.  

  Valley Park Assistant Fire Chief Rolland Piotraschke says rescuers used several ladder trucks to reach and retrieve the man who was buried waist deep in gravel when they found him.  Piotraschke says the rescue was made more difficult because the worker was unconscious when he was removed from the bin.  

   Lois Hewkin, whose family owns Valley Park Welding says the man is a welder who was fixing a hole in the gravel hopper when he slipped and fell.  She describes him as a hard worker who's been with the company for about 18 years.

   Hewkin says the man is expected to make a full recovery.  

Thursday, 25 July 2013 19:18
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Charges are filed against a St. Louis woman who bragged on Facebook about lighting a dog on fire.

On July 10, a dog owner found his pet on fire in the back yard of his house. The dog, named Brownie, died from the injuries. Police say they were alerted to a post on Facebook, in which the poster, identified as Adrienne Martin, referenced setting the animal on fire.

The post read “I’m on killa mode… kill dogs… today. I mean what I say and I say what I mean… all dogs don’t go to heaven.”

Martin was charged with felony animal abuse and knowingly burning on Thursday. No word on whether she is in police custody at this time.  

Thursday, 25 July 2013 15:53
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A former cable repairman will be in prison until he is nearly 100 years old for terrorizing and sexually assaulting a customer.

The crime happened in December of last year in O'Fallon, Missouri. James Hederle repaired the victim's cable one day and then asked her out. The next day, around midnight, Hederle returned to her house, broke down the front door, and tied the woman up. He proceeded to rape the woman and said if she told anyone he would kill her.

Thursday, the 22-year-old Hederle was sentenced to 75 years in prison for the crime.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 13:50
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