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 BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois sheriff says his county has agreed to pay $3,500 to three former inmates to settle their federal lawsuit over living conditions at the jail.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat the payouts to Floyd Robinson, Timothy Headrick and Myron Barber come without the county admitting any wrongdoing alleged in the 2011 lawsuit.
The ex-inmates alleged unacceptable jail conditions, including crowding, inmates forced to sleep on the floor, the foul odor of human waste, insects, mice, small amounts of food per serving and inadequate access to a law library.
The newspaper reported earlier this week that the county also agreed to pay up to $2,000 to each of three former jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18
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The Missouri Department of Transportation will close all lanes of eastbound I-70 downtown between Pine Street and the Poplar Street Bridge at 6 p.m. this Sunday. Crews will be removing a retaining wall along the interstate near Walnut Street as part of preparations for the Park Over the Highway project.  

One eastbound lane on I-70 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday. The other lane will reopen before 3 p.m. Monday, after crews make permanent pavement repairs to the right lane of eastbound I-70.

Friday, 31 January 2014 10:14
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   Friday is St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch's last day on the job.  He's retiring after 34years in law enforcement in order to run his own security and law enforcement consulting firm.  
   Fitch was 18 years old when he started his police career in Cahokia, Illinois.  Three-years later he went to work for the St. Louis County Police Department.  
   Chief Fitch tells Fox 2 News that when he began his career, he never had aspirations to be chief of police.  "I wanted to Adam-12 guy," he said.  "Where you're just out there in a patrol car and handling the calls and arresting the bad guys and taking care of the good people of the community."   
   In 2009, he was made chief of police, a job that sometimes put him in the thick of county politics.  Chief Fitch says the positions he took on controversial issues wasn't about politics, but upholding the law.  "To me it wasn't much of a decision on what should I do, what should I speak out about, what should I stay silent about. It really was just, what's going right and wrong."
   Chief Fitch says he won't miss the politics of his job, but he will miss the people he worked with. "You can't work with people every day for as long as I have and not have some genuine affection for these people that we work with every day," ge said.  "So that's the part I'll miss the most."
   The St. Louis County Police Board will select his replacement during a closed-door session today.
 
 
 
 
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 04:41
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   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin says the Senate's passage of a bill that would delay premium hikes for years for buyers of federal flood insurance is good news for areas along the Mississippi River.
   Durbin cheered Thursday's advance of the measure that would put off huge premium increases that are supposed to phase in next year under new, updated government flood maps.
   Those maps are of concern in southwestern Illinois from Alton south to Columbia, where the Army Corps of Engineers believes many levies are in need of millions of dollars in upgrades.
   Officials in those districts are scrambling to make the fixes to avoid having them downgraded to functionally useless. That would require thousands of homeowners with federally backed mortgages to buy flood insurance.
 
Friday, 31 January 2014 03:49
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   St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is shuffling the desks, and job titles of some of his city hall staff.   He's bringing in some new faces to replace some who are retiring.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that long-time alderman Fred Wessels is giving up his seat on the Board of Aldermen to take over the community development administration.  He'll replace Jill Claybour, who retired.  

   Former police board commissioner Richard Gray will be the new director of public safety, and current director, Charlene Deeken will be Gray's deputy.  

   Several other staffers will switch jobs.  

   All of the changes take affect on Monday.

Friday, 31 January 2014 01:29
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   As the end of the St. Louis Rams lease of the Edward Jones Dome draws nearer, team owner Stan Kroenke may be looking at moving the team back to Los Angeles.  

   The Los Angeles Times cites multiple sources in reporting that a holding company tied to the billionaire developer just purchased a 60 acre tract of land in Englewood, Calif. an L.A. suburb.  It had reportedly been the site of a planned Walmart, but the store was never built.  The land has also long-been considered as a possible site for a football arena should Los Angeles get another NFL team.

   Its not clear how Kroenke plans to use the land, but the purchase does give him new options when the Rams' lease ends after the 2014 season.

 

Friday, 31 January 2014 00:52
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