JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several hundred gun-rights advocates rallied at the state Capitol as the Missouri House voted to allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The House voted 115-41 to send the measure to the Senate Thursday.
The Missouri Sports Shooter Association held a previously scheduled rally in the Capitol rotunda while the House was debating the bill. Many lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, spoke at the event and promised to continue to push for more gun rights.
The House bill would also lower the minimum age required to carry concealed weapons and allow firearms less than 16 inches to be openly carried by people with valid permits.
Flooding is the major concern after more than two inches of rain has fallen in the St. Louis area in just the past day.
Jefferson County officials have issued an emergency evacuation advisory. They are encouraging anyone near a body of water to immediately seek higher ground.
Residents of De Soto, Missouri reporting that several city buildings, including the fire department, are flooded and roads are impassable. Emergency crews continue their work to rescue people trapped in their cars.
A section of I-70 flooded near Highland, Illinois, and forced authorities to close an the exit ramp onto Route 143.
In the more immediate metro area, there are reports of flooding on low-lying roads, including Wild Horse Creek Road in West County.
KTRS News spoke to MoDOT about some tips to keep you safe on the roads. If it seems like a water-covered roadway is shallow enough to drive across--don't do it! Do not drive through flooded areas. And the best way to avoid hydroplaning is to slow down.
MoDOT also has up-to-date road information here.
The United Way is asking for help for another volunteer organization working on flood relief.
AmeriCorps volunteers working in Clarksville, MO need a small volume pump. If anyone/company can help with this, please call AmeriCorps in St. Louis at 314-772-9002.
A St. Louis man convicted of brutally beating to death his 2-year-old son will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The reasons may be unknown--an alcohol fueled rage or bipolar disorder--but a jury has made sure 32 Aaron Lucy of south city will never hurt another child.
He was found guilty of first-degree murder and four felony counts of child abuse, evidence tampering and armed criminal action in the death of his son, Kyle Lucy. He has no chance for parole.
The boy's mother,30-year-old Amanda Newman, told the St Louis Post Dispatch she was satisfied with the life sentence because she believes it will keep Lucy away from their daughter, Abby, who is now 7.
Prosecutors said Lucy beat Kyle to death the day after Christmas 2010 while the family was at a holiday play.
Authorities said Lacy left bruises and scrapes on almost every part of the toddler's body and caused two skull fractures and a fatal brain injury. Blood was found throughout the apartment, including on the back of a picture frame, a broken drawer an overturned television that had been thrown across the floor.
Lucy's mother argued he should be in a mental hospital rather than prison.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Randolph County coroner has ruled another inmate death as a homicide at the Menard maximum-security prison in Chester in far southern Illinois.
Coroner Randy Dudenbostel says 35-year-old William Crowder died March 26 from "manual strangulation." The coroner classified the death as a homicide.
State's Attorney Jeremy Walker intends to file first-degree murder charges against a Menard inmate when he receives investigative reports.
He would not name the inmate but says the man is not due for release until 2013.
Crowder was found dead in his cell in the prison's segregation unit at 10:36 p.m. Crowder's was the third homicide since Jan. 31.
Walker previously filed murder charges against former Menard inmates for the deaths of 25-year-old Jason Hall and 64-year-old Yusuf Abuzir.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Forecasters are predicting minor to moderate flooding in central and eastern Missouri as heavy rains cause the Missouri River to rise up to 15 feet in coming days.
On Friday, the river is expected to crest about 3 feet above flood stage in Glasgow and 5 feet above flood stage in Boonville. By Saturday afternoon, forecasters say the river will surpass flood stage by about 3.5 feet in Jefferson City and 8 feet in Chamois.
On Sunday morning, the river is expected to exceed the flood stage by about 8 feet in Hermann and about 5 feet in Washington.
Two Missouri River tributaries, the Grand and Chariton rivers, also are expected to rise above flood stage. Major flooding is forecast Thursday for Prairie Hill and Chillicothe.
Heads up for drivers heading into and out of downtown this weekend. I-64 will be closed in both directions between Jefferson Avenue and Hampton starting at 8pm Friday night.
The Jefferson Avenue bridge over the highway will also close at 1 am Friday, as MoDOT crews work to remove the bridge and replace it.
The Jefferson Avenue bridge is more than 50-years old. It will be replaced with a wider, more well-lit bridge with wider sidewalks and bike lanes.
Eastbound traffic along Highway 40 will be forced to exit at Hampton Avenue and take I-44 into the city.
Westbound traffic will be diverted onto the 2100 Market Street exit and then onto Forest Park Parkway.
All ramps and lanes are schedule to be opened by 5am Monday. And don't worry about the weather: MoDOT says the work will be done rain or shine.
A St. Louisan has landed on TIME Magazine's list Top 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
Eric Greitens is the founder and CEO of The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that helps military veterans transition back into the community with service work.
The 39-year-old Greitens is a former Navy Seal and Rhodes Scholar. He founded The Mission Continues after returning from Iraq in 2007.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri state senator is taking aim at health inspectors who he says are blocking charitable chili suppers.
Republican Sen. Mike Cunningham, of Rogersville, is sponsoring legislation that would let nonprofit groups prepare food in private homes and bring it to charitable fundraisers. The groups would need to post signs saying the food was prepared in a kitchen not subject to regulation.
Senators gave initial approval Wednesday to Cunningham's bill after a Democratic senator attached an amendment exempting the St. Louis area from its provisions.
Cunningham asserted that "rogue inspectors" are acting like "food Nazis" by shutting down charitable chili suppers.
Democratic Sen. Ryan McKenna, of Crystal City, says he has heard of no problems and supports food safety efforts.
Food safety bill is SB432
Online: Senate: http://www.senate.mo.gov
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has a plan to generate money for police: Pull the plug on the city's cable TV station.
The mayor spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the St. Louis Police Board and proposed eliminating STL-TV. The $650,000 in savings would be shifted to next year's police budget to help pay overtime and increase hot spot policing efforts.
The police department's proposed budget of $176.8 million for next year represents a 3 percent increase. But Chief Sam Dotson says pension and health care costs are rising so fast that job losses may be required unless additional money is found.
The force has 1,265 officers.