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Strong storms swept though the metro St. Louis area Friday evening, bringing strong winds, lightning, heavy rain and even some unconfirmed reports of tornadoes.
One metro-east town is heartbroken after the storm did serious damage to a structure with historic and sentimental significance.
Gillespie High School sustained heavy damage in the storms. The concession stand along the athletic fields was wiped out. The roof was peeled back on the building housing the weight room. But most upsetting was the damage to the school's historic gymnasium. The building was heavily damaged in the storm, one brick wall crumbling when part of the roof was ripped away.
The Macoupin County emergency manager is reporting that 25 to 30 homes in the Gillespie area sustained roof damage. Several large trees were knocked down, taking many power lines with them.
Power is out to the entire town of Gillespie and much of the area surrounding the town about 50 miles northeast of St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Waves of violent weather spawning high winds and tornado have torn through the St. Louis area, downing trees and power lines and sending gamblers rushing from a casino floor. There were no immediate, confirmed reports of injuries.
The storms that began pounding the region around 6:30 p.m. prompted numerous tornado warnings, with at least a few confirmed sightings from Montgomery County about 70 miles west of St. Louis into St. Louis County itself. Many homes were damaged in St. Charles County, specifically at Whitmoor Country Club and other nearby subdivisions.
Emergency management officials say the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights lost its roof. Investigators did find the building structurally safe. The casino is set to reopen at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Audience members at Friday night's Circus Flora performance were moved from under the big top to the nearby VA shelter during intermission in the city's Grand Center Theater District.
8:10PM: A line of severe storms is moving through the St. Louis metro area.
These storms are capable of producing damaging straight-line winds, hail, and flash flooding.
A Tornado Warning has been issued for St. Louis county that expires at 8:15 PM
An Amber Alerty issued for Missouri has been canceled. Police found missing 8-year-old boy Lu'Vell Maurice Dukes.
Police say the boy is in good condition and is being taken to see his mother. The boy's biological father, Von Harrell Jr. has been arrested.
An Amber Alert is active for Missouri.
Police say 8-year-old Luvell Maurice Dukes was abducted by his father Friday afternoon. The full Amber Alert is below:
The Bel Nor Police Department has issued an Amber Alert for a child abduction that occurred Thursday May 30. Abducted was Luvell Maurice Dukes, an 8 year old black male, 3'06" 43 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.
The suspect is believed to be Von Harrell, a 30 year old black male, 5'08" 155 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.
The suspect vehicle is a grey 2007 Chevrolet Impala bearing Missouri registration MG3Z8W.
Anyone seeing the victim, suspect or vehicle or anyone having any information related to the abduction should immediately dial 911 or call the Bel Nor Police Department at 314-381-2971.
One of the brothers injured during a botched robbery this morning in south St. Louis, has died. Now, they are asking for help to local the suspect in the murder.
On Friday, the suspect walked into a store at 4400 Chippewa. He demanded money from the owners--who were brothers. One of the men pulled out a baseball bat. That is when the suspect produced a gun and shot the two men.
19-year-old Haris Gogic was shot in the head and died later Friday afternoon. His brother was shot in the arm and is in stable condition.
The suspect is on the loosed. He is described as a black male, dark complexion, slim build, approximately 6 feet tall, late 20's - early 30's, having a mustache and goatee . He was wearing a grey shirt, grey pants and grey baseball cap.
Still no suspects after a 14-year-old was shot outside a North County home last night.
Police say they were called to a home near Lilac and 270 around 10:30 last night. There was a large party taking place at the house. Witnesses said the teen was shot outside the house, but there was no information on who the shooter was.
Police also say they do not know the motive for the attack. The victim is expected to survive.
There is now and interim president of the Missouri History Museum. Bob Cox will guide the institution until the full-time president is named.
Cox spent 46 years working for Emerson, most recently in the rold of Senior Vice President of Administration. He is on the boards of KidSmart, the United Way, and the Boy Scouts of America and a trustee at Webster and Drury Universities.
His contract with the museum runs through the end of this year.
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A jury has found a 34-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in the beating deaths of five of his ex-wife's relatives in central Illinois.
The verdict in the trial of Christopher Harris was announced Friday.
In sometimes tearful testimony, Harris admitted to killing 14-year-old Dillen Constant. But Harris said he did so only after the teenager bashed the rest of his family to death at their home in Beason in September 2009.
Harris was also accused in the deaths of Dillen's mother, Ruth Gee; his stepfather, Rick Gee; his 16-year-old sister, Justina Constant; and 11-year-old stepbrother Austin Gee.
Harris' brother, Jason Harris, testified that Christopher Harris told him he killed all five victims after a night of drinking and drug use.
Chesterfield Police have filed charges against a woman who crashed her vehicle into the emergency doors at St. Luke's Hospital early this (Friday) morning.
17-year-old Yahontas Moore of St. Louis has been charged with driving while intoxicated. She backed into the emergency room doors and crashed into the same parked car twice.
The Monarch Fire Protection District reported that Moore had come to St. Luke's because one of the occupants in the vehicle needed medical attention.
LOUISIANA, Mo. (AP) - The rising Mississippi River is forcing closure of a bridge at Louisiana, Mo.
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Friday morning that the Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 would close at 7 p.m. Friday due to flooding on the bridge approach on the Illinois side.
The closure creates an inconvenience for travelers - the next nearest river crossing is at Hannibal, Mo., 35 miles to the north.
Heavy rain has caused the Mississippi, Missouri and many other Midwestern rivers to rise above their banks. Some towns are expected to see crests of more than 10 feet above flood stage by early next week.