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A small town police chief is now unemployed, and he says it's because he criticized the Montgomery County prosecutor's handling of a burglar investigation. Mike Bland was fired from his post with the Bellflower, Missouri Police Department.

Bland's firing notice indicates that he was terminated for failing to get permission from city officials prior to an interview with Fox 2 News.

Bland told Fox 2 he had permission from the Mayor of Bellflower and he has the phone records to prove it. "There was numerous calls made between her and I about this exact case," Bland said. "And not only that, witnesses to the phone call itself."

Bland had criticized county prosecutors for failing to charge three burglary suspects who had confessed to the crimes.

In a statement Montgomery County’s Prosecuting Attorney said there had not been sufficient documentation to file criminal charges.
Friday, 15 February 2013 01:53
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has voted to legalize gay marriage, advancing a proposal that would make the state the 10th in the nation allowing same-sex couples to wed.

In a 34-21 vote, lawmakers approved a measure to lift a state ban on same-sex marriage. The bill now moves to the House, where Democrats also hold a majority.

The Valentine's Day vote came amid concerns from Republicans that the bill would force religious organizations to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their fellowship halls, parish centers or even in their sanctuaries. Bishops in Illinois, led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, also have said they oppose the idea as against the "natural order."

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:33
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A water main break will gum up traffic in Clayton through the night.

Southbound Hanley Road will be restricted to a single lane as crews work to repair the break. The break is immediately south of Forest Park Parkway. Drivers are encouraged to use Brentwood, Big Bend, or 170 as alternates.

Work is expected to continue until Friday morning.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:31
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ST. LOUIS - AP - A small southeast Missouri school district is facing a threat of legal action over a policy barring same-sex couples from attending prom together.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday accused the Scott County Central School District in Sikeston of discrimination. Messages left with the district’s superintendent, Alvin McFerren, were not returned.

The district has just an elementary and a high school, serving a combined 330 students. The SPLC says a male student sought permission to bring his boyfriend to the prom on April 20, but was told district policy prohibits same-sex couples from attending school dances.

An SPLC attorney says the policy denies Dawson’s constitutional rights.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:29
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All students are safe after a bomb threat was found in a Franklin County school.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy said teachers found a note on a desk at St. Clair Junior High that said there was an explosive device in the building. The students were evacuated around eleven the the high school gym.

Fox 2 reports the all clear has been given and students have returned to class.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 14:48
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The St. Clair County Cold Case Task Force has made their second arrest in a week today.

Charges have been filed against George Bricking Jr for the 1995 murder of Christine Foster. Bricking had been arrested in '95 but a grand jury determined there was not enough evidence to file charges.

The task force also arrested Carlos Garrett for the 1989 murder of a 16-year-old girl earlier this week.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 14:45
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Republican-led Missouri House has advanced a new effort to require voters to show photo identification at polling places.

On Thursday, the House approved a constitutional amendment that allows a photo ID requirement. Lawmakers then endorsed legislation to implement it. Both measures now move to the state Senate.

Lawmakers have considered enacting a photo ID requirement for voting several times in recent years. Debate generally has split along partisan lines. Republicans now control a veto-proof supermajority in both the House and the Senate.

Supporters of a photo ID requirement say it would help prevent voter fraud and protect legitimate votes. Critics say Missouri has not had recent incidents of voter fraud and the requirement could make it more difficult for some people to cast ballots.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 14:23
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new major tenant is coming to Ballpark Village in St. Louis - a cowboy-themed bar operated by Professional Bull Riding Inc.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Ballpark Village developer Cordish Cos. announced the addition on Thursday. It was just last week that the team and Cordish announced plans for the initial phase of the entertainment center outside of Busch Stadium.

Cowboy Bars are already operated at seven other locations around the U.S.

The 8,000-square-foot bar in St. Louis will include a mechanical bull.

The first phase of Ballpark Village is expected to open by Opening Day 2014. It will include a Cardinals-themed restaurant and hall of fame, a large bar focusing on Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis heritage, and a live entertainment area.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:47
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As the Illinois Senate prepares to vote on a measure that would legalize gay marriage, a new poll shows increasing support for marriage equality in the state.

The poll, taken by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, shows support has grown from 33.6 percent in 2010 to 45.5 percent today.

Democrats hold a supermajority in the Senate and believe they will pass the bill. If approved, it heads to the House. Governor Quinn has also indicated he would sign the bill.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:16
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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - A Joplin man will face trial for first-degree murder after waiving a preliminary hearing in the killing of his estranged wife.

Thirty-five-year-old Rondias Webb waived the hearing Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court. He is charged in the Nov. 17 shooting death of 36-year-old Monica Webb.

Prosecutors say Monica Webb was shot inside the home where she had moved to get away from her husband. Police say Rondias Webb shot himself after shooting his wife.

The Joplin Globe reports Monica Webb had obtained a protection order against her husband in September after he was charged with misdemeanor domestic assault at an apartment they had shared. Two weeks before her shooting, Webb reported that her husband had violated the protection order.
Thursday, 14 February 2013 11:39
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