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   Festus homeowners are anxious to learn the details of a plan to clean up lead contamination in their yards from a nearby scrap metal recycling center.  But residents learned last night they'll have to wait until a deal is finalized between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and MW Recycling which operates the Shapiro Brothers scrap yard.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that elevated lead levels were found in 16 yards, with as many as 15 more still to be tested.  Water tests in a nearby creek also showed lead and cadmium contamination.  

   The company will pay for and conduct the remediation operations with DNR oversight.

Friday, 10 May 2013 04:49
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   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Air Force streamlining efforts mean nearly three dozen civilian jobs have been cut at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports the 33 jobs at Scott's Air Force Network Integration Center were eliminated when a contract with the workers' employer ended at the end of last month.

   But Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base, says the lost Illinois jobs will translate to nine new in-house positions at Peterson.

   Campbell says the Air Force will save money long-term through the consolidation.

 

Friday, 10 May 2013 03:19
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   Determined not to let the statute of limitations keep them from prosecuting a serial rapist, St. Clair County authorities have charged a suspect identified only by his DNA profile with a 2005 assault in East St. Louis.  

   The profile is linked to four other sexual assault cases between 1997 and 2008.  

   Prosecutors say they to the action in order to file charges before the 10 year statute of limitations runs out.

    Illinois State Police Lt. Dave Wasmuth says he believes the serial rapist will eventually be arrested. "We're just waiting for his DNA to be taken, submitted to the DNA index, and a match will occur, Lt. Wasmuth said.  "And then the warrant would be amended and actually put that person's name on the warrant."

   St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly says the victim, who no longer lives in the St. Louis area, is "happy" that authorities are pursing a conviction so aggressively.

  This is the first time St. Clair County prosecutors have filed charges against a suspect identified only by a DNA profile, but similar legal actions have been taken elsewhere in Illinois.  

   Bail for the unnamed suspect has already been set at $750,000.

 
Friday, 10 May 2013 01:23
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Limited seating is available for next week's "It's in the Cards" Gala. 

The event benefits the Thompson Foundation for Autism, which supplies assistance to families of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Center Director Dr. Stephen Kanne tells KTRS News the gala shines light on the issue, but it isn't enough on its own, "Autism isn't something for us that happens once a year during the gala. You know, we have to deal with the issue yearlong as do the families and kids."

Dr. Kanne says anyone can donate at thompsonfoundation.org.

There are also resources there for families who think their children might have autism spectrum disorder.

 

Thursday, 09 May 2013 17:42
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An Affton man admitted to giving alcohol to his preteen stepson just hours before the boy drowned in the Meramec River.

Todd Combs told prosecutors he had supplied alcohol to several minors, including 12-year-old Christopher Marks, on August 5 of last year. The family was having a picnic in the Pacific Palisades conservation area. Family members told police Marks went to use a rope swing by the river, but never returned.

After days of searching, teams found the boy's body miles downstream.

Combs will be sentenced next month for seven counts of child endangerment.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 17:16
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Lambert Airport is being rewarded for what analysts are calling "prudent fiscal management".

The Fitch Ratings Agency upgraded the facilities credit rating to BBB+. The rating cited stability in air traffic and an adequate ability to meet financial commitments.

Fitch assigns ratings that range from D at the low end up to AAA. BBB+ is considered in to be at the high end of mid-grade investments.

 

Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:44
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Public school administrators say some local districts would have to raise property taxes if they're forced to cover the cost of teacher pensions.

   The school officials testified Thursday at a special hearing called by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

   The Chicago Democrat says suburban and downstate districts get a "free lunch" because the state pays their teacher pension costs. He says Illinois is in grave financial trouble and the districts must be part of the solution.

 

   The administrators say potential tax increases would depend on how much money districts have and how much of the burden the state shifts to districts.

 

   Public university representatives also testified Thursday. They say the change could result in a 2 percent tuition increase.

 

   Madigan has vowed to address the issue before the General Assembly adjourns.

 

Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:26
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A home improvement project is being blamed for the explosion at a St. Peters home.

Officials with the Cottleville Fire Protection District say a contractor was working to refinish a concrete floor, but did not have adequate ventilation. The contractor also said the hot water heater was left on, prompting the explosion.

The house will need major work before it is livable again.

 

Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:23
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension-reform plan deserves a Senate vote.

The Democratic governor said the proposal is comprehensive.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in pension debt because of years of state underfunding.

Senate President John Cullerton has a different idea he plans to call for a vote Thursday afternoon. Public employee unions back that proposal.

The House approved the Madigan bill last week. It would require employees to pay 2 percent more toward retirement benefits. It would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for retirees and raise the retirement age for workers under 45.

Cullerton's proposal would offer employees a choice between health insurance or cost-of-living increases. He says it would survive a court challenge.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:22
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Two late-night joggers were robbed near Carondelet Park around 12:30 this morning.

The victims told police a car pulled up next to them and the driver asked for directions. When one of the joggers approached the car, three teens assaulted him and stole his cell phone. The suspects piled into the car and sped off.

Police arrested two suspects in connection to the crime and a third is being held by juvenile authorities  Two suspects remain at large. Police say the suspects are all thought to be between 15 and 18 years old. 

 

Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:18
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