The state of Illinois is steadfast in its insistence that local governments devastated by deadly tornadoes in November should be eligible for federal assistance. They're appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of aid.
State officials argue that FEMA's population-based formula penalizes small towns in large states.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency filed the appeal on Thursday.
At least seven people were killed statewide and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in the storms.
It's unclear when or if Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls will be executed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted him a stay of execution. Justice Samuel Alito signed the order and it was sent out Tuesday night, just hours before Smulls midnight execution date.
The 56 year old was convicted of killing a St. Louis County jeweler and badly injuring his wife during a 1991 robbery. His juvenile accomplice, now 37, is serving a life sentence.
Smulls' lawyer says the stay is temporary while the high court reviews the case. She had made last-minute pleas to spare Smulls' life, focusing on Smulls "due process" rights, since he still has appeals pending that challenge Missouri's execution method. Attorney Cheryl Pilate is arguing that Missouri's refusal to disclose the name of the compounding pharmacy that makes the pentobarbitol used in executions makes it impossible for Smulls' advocates to know whether it could cause pain and suffering.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pilate revealed the name of the company she believes is making the drug. She told The Associated Press that her research indicates the drug is made by The Apothecary Shoppe, based in Tulsa, Okla. She says an Oklahoma City-based lab tested the drug.
A man appealing his conviction in the 1982 murder of a St. Louis woman and the sexual assault of her young daughters will remain in prison. St. Louis Circuit Judge Robin Vannoy on Tuesday rejected a motion from Rodney Lee Lincoln based on new DNA tests.
Lincoln is serving a double life sentence for the murder of 35-year old JoAnn Tate and the sexual assaults of her 7- and 4-year old daughters.
The judge ruled that the DNA evidence doesn't prove Lincoln's innocence. The results showed no male DNA, just that of the victims.
Prosecutors say Lincoln's conviction came largely because the two girls had identified him as their attacker.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - An Arizona company that installs and operates red-light cameras across Missouri has hired a former state Supreme Court chief justice to lead an appeal before that court.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports former justice Michael Wolff will spearhead an appeal sought by American Traffic Solutions Inc. and Ellisville of a ruling earlier this month that said Ellisville's red-light camera ordinance is not enforceable.
The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern Division said in a Nov. 5 opinion that state law requires points to be assessed for moving violations, which can be committed only by a driver or pedestrian.
Many cities ticket the owner of a vehicle caught running a red light, regardless of who was driving, and do not report the infraction to the state to have points assessed.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.
Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.
House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.
There's more fallout from the St. Clair County Courts scandal.
A metro-east man who was supposed to be sentenced on a murder conviction yesterday is instead getting a new trial.
Twenty-nine-year-old William Cosby had been convicted in April of shooting a man to death outside an East St. Louis nightclub.
Yesterday, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida ordered a new trial. The problem? Cosby's trial judge had been Michael Cook, who is now facing drug and weapons charges.
Cosby's attorneys argued that it had been unfair that prosecutors had known Cook was being investigated and the defense had not. Judge Haida agreed.
Cosby remains in the St. Clair County Jail on a million dollar bond while he awaits that new trial.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A state appeals court in St. Louis has upheld the use of red-light cameras in the suburban community of Creve Couer.
In an opinion released Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals' Eastern District sided with a previous St. Louis County Circuit Court ruling in favor of Creve Couer and its camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions Inc. The suit was brought by four people who received tickets for running red lights.
The appeals court has previously upheld red-light camera use in Creve Couer brought by another ticket recipient, ruling in 2011 that the city's traffic-camera ordinance enacting civil penalties was similar to a parking ticket rather than a criminal violation.