Three men who admit conspiring with ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon to rig property tax auctions are free as they await sentencing.
John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barratt Rochman each pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act. The three men orchestrated a multi-year "pay-for-play" scam that cheated more than 10,000 property owners out of about $2 million in excessive interest and penalty payments.
Bathon had pleaded guilty in February to rigging tax lien auctions between 2005 and 2008 to benefit his political donors.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set the sentencing hearing for Vassen, McLean and Rochman for Feb. 21.
A group of north county residents want their neighbors near the West Lake Landfill to put more pressure on elected leaders to clean up the site. About 100 people attended a public meeting Thursday night hosted by the West Lake Landfill Community Group and Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
MCE's Ed Smith told the group that the current fire smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill isn't the first to threaten the radioactive site. "There was a landfill fire in the early 90s closer to the radioactive wastes than the current landfill fire," he said.
That's why the groups say plans to build a barrier between the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill and West Lake isn't enough. They want local leaders to put pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the soil, as they're doing at other radioactive waste sites.
Missouri State Representative Bill Otto was among the political leaders who attended last night's meeting. He told Fox 2 News that EPA work on the barrier project that had stopped because of the government shutdown is back on track. "They're getting back in the office," he said. "And getting ready to resume the work that they had started or were tasked to do with the landfill."
Bridgeton Landfill LLC released the following statement: "We're eager to resume work with the EPA in conjunction with state agencies to begin the next stage of the construction."
Pattonville Fire officials along with St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and representatives from County Executive Charlie Dooley's office also attended the meeting.
Organizers are calling on residents to note odor issues and contact their local politicians to make a change.
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago consulting firm has made recommendations to the Southern Illinois Airport Authority.
The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that two consultants made a presentation to the authority on Wednesday. It included a development plan and recommendations for the Southern Illinois Airport property.
The consultants suggested relocating, realigning and rebuilding parts of the airport. They also suggested improving access to U.S. 51 and Illinois 13 to provide better access.
Consultant Aaron Gruen said the overall improvement effort would cost about $8 million.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has taken herself out of consideration to serve as special prosecutor in northwest Missouri.
Joyce had been on a short list of people being considered to reexamine the investigation into a sexual assault case in Maryville, Missouri.
Joyce declined the position after looking at the details of the case--she cited her workload as the reason for the decision.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt says there were no winners in the dispute that led to the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government.
Blunt was the lone Republican in Missouri's congressional delegation to vote Wednesday for compromise legislation that ended the shutdown and avoided a debt default.
But he said Thursday the dispute damaged the public's confidence in government. He also says the government continues to spend and borrow too much - issues he says must still be addressed.
All six Missouri Republicans in the House voted against the legislation. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and the state's two House Democrats voted for it.
The measure funds the government through Jan. 15 and allows the government to borrow normally through Feb. 7.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is bringing some more excitement to the industry.
The St. Louis-based company is starting a pilot program that will allow customers to rent a Harley-Davidson. The program is starting in the Sin City, Las Vegas. Enterprise will become the first major car rental company to rent motorcycles in the US. If the Vegas operation succeeds, the program could expand.
Be warned, it is pricey, with prices running between $120 to $160 a day.
Job cuts are coming to the Missouri town of Herculaneum.
The Doe-Run lead smelter will close at the end of the December and put 145 workers out of a job. The EPA says the company decided to close the plant instead of installing pollution control technology.
The Doe-Run plant has been in operation for over a century and is the last remaining lead smelter in the nation.
The heroin dealer at the center of the St. Clair County courthouse scandal, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday morning.
Sean McGilvery admitted to selling heroin, he now faces a decade in prison when he is sentenced in January. McGilvery is at the center of the case of Judge Mike Cook. Cook was arrested at McGilvery`s Belleville home back in May. McGilvery says the judge was at his house almost every day picking up heroin.
Cook's trial on heroin and weapons charges starts in December.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis police are investigating whether an officer's actions during a homicide investigation jeopardized murder charges against the mother of a 1-year-old whose body was found in a trash bin.
City prosecutors dropped murder and child abuse charges against Melissa Shawneece Jackson on Monday, a week before she was set to go to trial for the death of her 18-month-old son, Marquell. The infant's body was found behind their Jefferson Avenue apartment building in May 2011.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an unidentified patrol officer was placed on administrative duty Wednesday as police conduct an internal investigation into his role.
Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum says the case collapsed after the officer testified in a deposition that he didn't alert detectives about incriminating statements made by Jackson's ex-boyfriend.
The circus is coming to town and so are the protesters. Members of PETA are staging a rally downtown today ahead of the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
A herd of inflatable "elephants" will lead the protest. PETA has criticized the iconic circus for abusing it's elephants, documenting their claims on a video expose.
The demonstration, scheduled for noon, comes on the heels of a complaint that PETA filed with St. Louis Animal Care and Control urging officials to prohibit Ringling from forcing the elephant Siam to perform.
PETA claims that recent veterinary observations indicate that Siam suffers from toenail injuries on both rear feet.
Foot injuries are the leading cause of euthanasia in captive elephants, and they are often associated with elephants' being continuously chained on hard surfaces.