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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois has suspended non-emergency roadwork to help keep traffic moving over the July Fourth holiday weekend, the most heavily traveled summer holiday.
The Illinois Department of Transportation says the halt to construction began Wednesday afternoon and will continue through Sunday.
Thousands of motorists are expected to travel on state roadways during the holiday period.
Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says the construction freeze will also improve safety.
Motorists planning their trips will be able to see a list of construction-related lane closures on the department's website.
It is also reminding drivers that work zone speed limits remain in effect even when workers are not present.
ELDORADO, Ill. (AP) - Peabody Energy is identifying a miner killed in an underground coal mine in southern Illinois as a 35-year-old Galatia man.
KFVS-TV reports St. Louis-based Peabody says Nathan Clarida died in the accident Tuesday afternoon in the Wildcat Hills Mine near Eldorado in Illinois' Saline County.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration says Clarida was hit by a ram car that was moving through a ventilation curtain
The 7-year-old Peabody mine, which employs 200 workers, is closed while authorities investigate the man's death.
Peabody said in a statement the accident was a "coal haulage incident."
An autopsy is planned to determine the exact cause of death.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Governor Jay Nixon is requesting a federal major disaster declaration for severe storms that struck Missouri from May 29th to June 10th.
The storms included one that spawned a tornado in the St. Louis area and others that caused widespread flooding.
Nixon's request Wednesday is for public assistance to 30 counties statewide from Barton County on the border with Kansas to St. Louis County. The governor also is requesting individual assistance for Callaway, Lincoln, Montgomery, Osage, Pike, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.
Public assistance allows local officials to seek aid for response and recovery efforts. Individual assistance allows households to seek federal aid for uninsured losses.
A cheerful, joking George Ryan says he feels "wonderful" after being released Wednesday from home confinement.
The former Illinois governor spoke outside his home in Kankakee, saying he felt good, physically and mentally.
The day marked the end of more than five years in federal custody for corruption. In January, the 79 year old was released from an Indiana prison and moved to confinement at his home.
Asked what he's doing now, Ryan says he's writing a book, but didn't elaborate.
The St Louis County Police Department has issued an Endangered Persons Advisory for a father and son who went missing yesterday.
A woman called police after he husband and 16-year-old son did not return from a fishing trip. Officers have searched the Mermec River in the area extensively, but have not uncovered evidence that the two men drowned. The missing men are 36-year-old Michael Hill and 16-year-old David Hill.
A pedestrian is severely injured after being struck by a hit and run driver.
The unidentified victim was hit at the intersection of Oak Forest Drive and Laura Hill Road in St. Charles around 4 PM. The driver sped away after hitting the pedestrian. The victim is listed in extremely critical condition.
St. Louis County Police are performing a final sweep of the Meramec River after two men went missing yesterday.
A woman called police after her husband and 16-year-old son did not return from a fishing trip near the Pacific Palisades. A search and rescue operation started Tuesday after noon, but was suspended overnight. Police say they do not believe the two men drowned, but are performing the final search of the river.
Authorities believe the two men left the area voluntarily, but neither the father or son have been seen since yesterday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation aimed at keeping the names of people who committed offenses as juveniles off Missouri's public sex offender registry.
The governor said Wednesday the legislation is too broad and would apply to anyone regardless of the crime that was committed. Nixon says crime victims would have been deprived the chance to be heard before someone's name is removed from the public websites, which are aimed at protecting the public.
The vetoed legislation also ultimately would have allowed juveniles to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry.
A ten month old girl is safe and sound after being abducted by her father this morning. Police say around 9AM Bryan Grant kicked in the door of the girl's home and kidnapped the girl. About six hours after an Amber Alert was issued, police found the girl outside the home of one of Grant's friends. Grant remains on the loose.
The suspect is identified as:
Brown eyes, black hair.
The child’s name is Demi Grant, b/f, 11 months of age.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has reversed course and will allow a veteran officer to moonlight as a lobbyist for a pro-marijuana organization.
Dotson wrote to police Sgt. Gary Wiegert on Tuesday saying his request for "secondary employment" will be allowed.
Wiegert filed a complaint earlier this year with U.S. District Court claiming the department violated his First Amendment rights to free speech for refusing to allow him to lobby on behalf of Show-Me Cannabis.
Wiegert worked for three years as a lobbyist for the St. Louis Tea Party. In February, he submitted a new application to the department. The application did not require him to state for whom he would lobby. It was approved but revoked after the department learned Wiegert was lobbying for the pro-marijuana group.