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   STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri man is charged with second-degree murder, accused of shooting another man following an argument along the Meramec River.

   The shooting happened Saturday afternoon. The suspect, 59 year old James Crocker of Steelville, is jailed on $650,000 cash-only bond.

   Court records allege that Crocker, a property owner along the river, was angry that a man on a float trip stopped to urinate on a gravel bar. Crocker is accused of shooting the man's traveling companion, 48 year old Paul Dart, Jr. of Robertsville.

  Dart's widow, Loretta Dart says her husband had tried to intervene to keep the peace.

   "My husband was trying to solve the situation without anyone getting hurt," she said.  "And it wound up taking his life." 

   Dart was shot in the head. Crawford County Sheriff Randy Martin says Crocker then went to a neighboring home and asked a woman to call 911.

   Dart's widow says he was on his annual float trip with about 50 others.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 04:40
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A U.S. Supreme Court decision about federal benefits for gay couples has prompted the Missouri Supreme Court to take a second look at a pending case.

   The state's high court heard arguments in February on a challenge to a Missouri law that denied survivor benefits to the same-sex partner of a Highway Patrol officer who died in the line of duty.

   In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that that barred legally married same-sex couples from receiving benefits from the federal government.

   The Missouri Supreme Court has asked attorneys involved in the Highway Patrol officer's case to submit additional written arguments in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That could further delay a decision in the Missouri case.

   

 
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 04:35
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   Officials with the Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts are hoping they can talk parents into keeping their kids enrolled as they try to rebuild the failing districts.  

   About 1,000 people gathered Monday night to listen to improvement plans from both districts' superintendents at a meeting at Shalom Church City of Peace in Florissant.  Both men took over leadership of their districts on July 1.  

   So far, more than 1,300 students have applied to transfer out of the unaccredited districts. Both superintendents admit that will hurt the districts financially.  

   Riverview superintendent Scott Spurgeon said, "Any student, even one child that wants to leave our district, certainly would have a financial impact on us."

   "I don't think it will bankrupt us, but it might put us in financial distress," Normandy Superintendent Ty McNichols said. 

   Superintendents of Jennings, Hazelwood and Ferguson-Florissant school districts attended the meeting to show support for those charged with rebuilding the failing districts.  But also say they'll welcome any students who chose to transfer.

   The transfer application deadline is August 1.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 01:42
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   Members of Governor Jay Nixon's staff will testify voluntarily this week before a Missouri House panel that had tried to subpoena them.  

   Republican Representative Stanley Cox says six current members of Nixon's administration and a former Revenue Department director will testify Tuesday and Wednesday.

   The panel is investigating the Revenue Department practice of making electronic copies of birth certificates, concealed gun permits and other personal documents of applicants for driver's licenses and state IDs.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 00:34
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   WASHINGTON, DC (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants Illinois police departments to use a federal firearms tracing system that can tell investigators the chain of custody of a gun from the manufacturer to the first legal purchaser.

   Durbin says fewer than half of Illinois' more than 800 police departments use the eTrace program of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Monday he will be introducing legislation creating an incentive for police to use eTrace.

   The legislation would require police departments seeking federal COPS grants to tell the federal government how many crime guns they've recovered. They would have to report how many were submitted to ATF for tracing and why any recovered guns were not submitted.

   COPS grants are designed to encourage the development of community policing programs.

 
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 00:01
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One person is in critical condition after a shooting in Webster Groves this afternoon.

Police say the shooting happened at 2 PM on the parking lot of a housing unit near the intersection of Elm and Waymire Avenues. One person was injured and taken to the hospital where they are listed in critical condition.

Police do have a suspect in custody but are asking if anyone has additional information about the incident.

 

Monday, 22 July 2013 17:23
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Police have released surveillance images of a man accused of robbing a bank inside a Brentwood grocery store. Investigators hope the public can help identify the man.

The robbery happened at the First Bank inside the Dierbergs located in the 8400 block of Eager Road just before 2 p.m. Saturday.

The suspect is a white man between 30 and 40-years-old. He is about 6'2" tall. He was last seen wearing a black Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap, black sunglasses, blue jeans, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

Monday, 22 July 2013 15:22
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CHICAGO (AP) - Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley is calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to bring the state's legislative leaders together for around-the-clock talks to resolve the state's $97 billion pension shortfall.

At a news conference on Monday, Daley urged Quinn to get more aggressive in trying to solve the worst-in-the-nation crisis by bringing legislative leaders to the governor's mansion in Springfield to negotiate until they reach some kind of deal.

Daley has formed an exploratory committee as he considers running against Quinn in next spring's Democratic primary.

Daley says the governor is wasting time and dismissed Quinn's suspension of lawmakers' pay until they come up with a solution to the crisis as a gimmick that may even be unconstitutional.

Monday, 22 July 2013 14:17
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- A southeast Missouri woman is facing manslaughter charges for allegedly running over her lover.

The Southeast Missourian reports that 29-year-old Angelia Hanson of Cape Girardeau was charged Friday with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of 43-year-old Jody Lane.

Police say Hanson backed a Dodge Durango over Lane Friday morning outside their home. Hanson told police she accidentally ran over Lane after an argument. Lane was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

Hanson does not yet have an attorney. She is jailed on $100,000 bond.

Monday, 22 July 2013 14:01
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A top official from a Russian research university will be the new director of the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

The University of Illinois said Monday that H. Edward Seidel will be the new NCSA director.

Seidel has been a senior vice president at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. The institute is a relatively new private university opened in a partnership between the Russian government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seidel replaces Thom Dunning who retired this year.

Seidel's resume includes work at the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois. He held several positions at the U of I in the 1990s including a senior researcher position at NCSA.

He has a Ph.D. from Yale in relativistic astrophysics.

Monday, 22 July 2013 11:44
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