BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville in southern Illinois is pairing its parishes so they can be served by one priest.
According to a plan released Thursday, the move will mean no parish in the diocese will be closed anytime soon.
Diocese spokesman Monsignor John Myler says the plan encourages the parishes to prepare for a time when only 50 priests will be available to pastor. He says parishes have been instructed to begin working jointly immediately.
Myler says the parishes are to implement the pastoral plan in a dynamic, flexible, gradual manner. He says if two or more parishes decide it is better to close a church building, it would be a decision of those parishes.
The diocese covers the 28 southernmost Illinois counties and includes 121 parishes.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation intended to restrict use of aircraft for surveillance of people, farms and homes.
Law enforcement officials could use manned aircraft or unmanned aerial drones to gather evidence if they have a warrant or to prevent immediate danger. Journalists and news organizations would be barred from using unmanned aircraft for surveillance unless they have permission from the property owner.
Thursday's 87-66 House vote sends the bill to the Senate.
Supporters say the legislation seeks to protect privacy rights and prevent unwanted surveillance. Opponents said Thursday that the measure could hamper law enforcement.
Police a looking for a suspicious vehicle that a 14-year-girl says followed her for several blocks after school Wednesday afternoon. The incident happened at Pontiac School in Fairview Heights. The girl reported seeing 4 or 5 black males inside a red Dodge Magnum Wagon or a similar style vehicle. She says one of occupants asked her to get inside, and when she when declined, the SUV continued to follow her. One of the males reportedly tried getting out of the SUV when the girl started running. Anyone with information on the vehicle or the incident is asked to call the Fairview Heights police department.
Less than two weeks ago, the region was hit with a foot of snow. This weekend highs in the 70's are expected. What does the weather roller coast bring next?
The Climate Predication Center forecasts a pretty standard April for St. Louis, with what they call an equal chance for precipitation. Julie Phillipson with the National Weather Service tells KTRS News, that means there is an even chance for more, less, or average amounts of rainfall, but it doesn't rule out severe weather.
"It is Spring an generally during the spring, especially in this part of the country, we do see a rise in thunderstorms climatologically, so we will be seeing those more and more often as we move further into the spring months", says Phillipson.
Rain and storms are expected to move into the area late this weekend and stick around through early next week.
A South County man is in custody after an eight hour standoff with police that had included a SWAT team.
It started Thursday afternoon around 4:00 when a man barricaded himself in his Sunset Hills home on Old Gravois Road.
A police tactical unit was called in.
Sunset Hills Police police believe the issue that set the man off was a domestic dispute.
The man finally surrendered without incident around 12:15 Friday morning. His name hasn't been released.
The Sigma Alpha Eplison fraternity chapter at Washington University has been reinstated.
SAE was suspended in February after pledges were allegedly involved in a racist stunt on campus. The university newspaper reported that pledges were given a scavenger hunt and during the activity a group of pledges recited racist rap lyrics to a group of black students.
WELDON SPRING, Mo. (AP) - A Republican state representative from St. Charles County has been fired from his teaching job, and he plans to sue the district over his dismissal.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that education board members of the Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County met in closed session Monday and voted to dismiss Bryan Spencer. The district had previously refused to grant him unpaid leave of absence while he serves in the Legislature.
Spencer's attorney says it is wrong to punish someone for successfully seeking public office. But school district attorney Cindy Ormsby says there is no constitutional right to hold two jobs at one time. She denied that the board action had anything to do with Spencer's political affiliation.
Spencer was elected in November.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton is hosting more than 1,000 college student leaders from across the nation and abroad this weekend at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Clinton Global Initiative University is an outgrowth of the former president's philanthropic foundation.
Featured speakers are to include Chelsea Clinton, the ex-president's daughter: television host Stephen Colbert; actress Jada Pinkett Smith; and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native.
Student participants are required to make "Commitments to Action" that involve community projects focusing on education, the environment, human rights, poverty and public health.
The three-day conference begins Friday night and includes a Sunday service project at Gateway STEM High School.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State auditors say the Illinois Department of Natural Resources didn't employ enough mine-safety inspectors the past two years to comply with state law.
An Illinois Auditor General's report released Thursday says the department had 10 inspectors for more than 40 mines. The state Coal Mining Act calls for at least 16 inspectors.
A spokesman for the department was not immediately available to comment on the audit.
Phil Smith is a spokesman for the United Mineworkers of America. He said many of the state and federal agencies responsible for mine safety lack the money to do their jobs.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says one miner died on the job in Illinois over those two years. Another miner died this year.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would ensure that pharmacies could refuse to stock certain prescription drugs, such as emergency contraception.
The legislation passed the Senate by a 24-9 vote Thursday and now heads to the House.
Sponsoring Sen. David Sater is a Republican pharmacist from southwest Missouri who describes the legislation a business freedom issue. Sater says some states have mandated that birth control or emergency contraception be stocked by pharmacies. But he says a pharmacy - like a clothing store - should be free to sell what it chooses.
The bill was opposed by some Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, cited concerns the bill could be used to limit access to birth control.