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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge says he can't accept a plea deal for a former Illinois judge on heroin and gun charges because the prison term is too light.
 
Michael Cook pleaded guilty in November as part of a deal with prosecutors that called for him to serve 18 months in prison. But on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade rejected the deal, saying Cook deserves more prison time.
 
An attorney for the former St. Clair County judge declined to go through with the sentencing. He has three weeks to work out another deal with prosecutors. Cook also can ask for a jury trial.
 
The case involves the death of Associate Judge Joe Christ, who was with Cook at a hunting cabin when he overdosed on cocaine last year.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:31
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UPDATE: A missing 12-year-old girl has been found. Authorities found Dehlila Kuhn at a relative's home Wednesday afternoon. The police did not comment on where Dehlila has been since she was last seen on Monday afternoon. 

 

(KTRS) - Police continue their search for a missing 12-year-old girl. St. Louis Police say Dehlila Kuhn was last seen around 4:30 Monday afternoon, getting off a bus in the 4500 block of Broadway

 

Dehlila is 5'1", about 113 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She has a tattoo on her left arm  that says "Jane." She was last seen wearing a black jacket with fur on the hood, black skinny jeans, black boots, a blue necklace, and bracelet.

 

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866.371.TIPS.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 13:39
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BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - Organizers of a professional golf tournament that will bring some of the sport's biggest legends to southwest Missouri this summer say the event will be a huge economic boost for the Branson area.
 
The Legends of Golf tournament - often credited as the driving force behind creation of what is now the Champions Tour - has committed to at least five years at Buffalo Ridge, owned by the founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops.
 
The Springfield News-Leader reports Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino have committed to the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops tournament the week of June 2-8.
 
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday said the tournament is a significant long-term opportunity to improve the area's economy.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:57
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missourians could buy motorcycles on Sunday under legislation endorsed by a state House panel.
Many states have repealed bans on selling retail on Sunday, but Missouri still prohibits dealers from selling cars, trucks and motorcycles on that day.
The measure endorsed by the House General Laws Committee Tuesday would remove motorcycles from that list. Supporters argue it would make Missouri more competitive with neighboring states, including Kansas, that permit such sales on Sunday.
The legislation now heads to the Rules Committee and is sponsored by Republican Rep. Caleb Jones, of Columbia.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 11:12
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will not hear the cases of three cities whose red-light camera laws were challenged in lower courts.

The Post Dispatch reports that the high court denied transfer requests from the cities of Creve Coeur and Kansas City, and red-light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions Inc.

The state Supreme Court has not yet addressed more recent appeals court rulings in cases involving challenges to the Ellisville and Arnold photo enforcement ordinances.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:43
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:43
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It has been nearly 100 years since the city has hosted a Democratic National Convention, but St. Louis was one of about thirty cities to receive letters within the last week regarding interest in hosting the 2016 convention.
The city was considered a runner-up to host the 2012 convention, but lost out to Charlotte.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Brian Wahby, the former chairman of the city's Democratic Party who led the 2012 effort, confirmed to the paper that he is in Washington today to attend the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting. 
 Wahby's visit is part of an on-going effort to bring the convention to the Gateway City.  Among the other cities invited to submit bids are Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Tampa.
Across the state, Kansas City is aggressively seeking the 2016 Republican National Convention.  
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:37
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014 08:14
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   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A disgraced metro-east judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal involving the cocaine death of a prosecutor-turned-judge is about to be sentenced.
   Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. That's where he pleaded guilty in November to heroin and gun charges.
   Cook had negotiated an 18 month sentence as part of a plea deal. But it's possible the federal judge assigned to the case, Joe Billy McDade, may depart from that.
   Cook resigned from the bench last May, after his legal troubles surfaced after Joe Christ died of a cocaine overdose while with Cook at a hunting cabin. Christ was a former St. Clair County prosecutor and newly sworn-in judge.
   
 
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 04:22
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   Missouri education officials want to intervene sooner in school district that are struggling to maintain accreditation.  That was the jist of the plan officials with the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education outlined at a public meeting on the UMSL campus Tuesday night.  Education officials held the meeting to gather feedback on the proposed plan to improve performance in stuggling districts.  
   Most of the speakers expressed concerns that the plan doesn't do enough to help districts that are already failing and burdened with the cost of a state mandated transfer program, districts like Normandy.  
   Missouri Education Commissioner Dr. Chris Nicastro spoke with Fox 2 News.  She acknowledges that the problems in Normandy go beyond those addressed by DESE's proposal. "Unless something significant happens in the legislature to alter the course, it's pretty clear that the transfer program expenditures will cause the district to go bankrupt," Nicastro said.
   Many at last night's meeting also took the opportunity to criticize the transfer program and its affect on districts like Normandy.  That includes Maryville University Professor Emeritus Dan Rocchio. "We need to be changing the system within the district," Rocchio said, "as opposed to spending money to send kids outside the district."
   Public comments on DESE's proposed plan can be submitted online at www.dese.mo.gov/unaccredited-districts.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 04:08
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