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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year-old Julian Gates told the St. Clair County judge Friday that he "snapped" when the girl urinated in her bed.

Gates, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, told investigators he beat Mia Caito with a belt, his hand and an extension cord.

Investigators say the girl was covered "head to toe" in bruises and died of blunt force trauma in the January 2012 assault.

In a victim impact statement, the girl's mother, Brandy Johnson, told the court the little girl loved hugs and kisses, wearing her hair in a ponytail and watching "Dora the Explorer."

Doe Run wants Missouri lawmakers to override veto

Sunday, 18 August 2013 08:17 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lead company wants lawmakers to override a veto of a bill shielding it from large legal costs.

The Doe Run Company contends its very future is at stake, along with hundreds of jobs.

At issue is a bill limiting punitive damages in liability cases related to old lead mining facilities. Several such lawsuits are pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October.

Lawmakers are to convene in September to consider whether to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto. He said the bill violated the state constitution by retroactively limiting damages and by benefiting only certain legal defendants.

Doe Run faces an uphill battle. The bill originally passed the Missouri House 94-63, with six absentees. That means supporters need 15 more "yes" votes to override Nixon's veto.

1,600 homes evacuated as Idaho wildfire burns

Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:22 Published in National News

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Evacuating residents say the smoke is unbearable and Idaho officials say high winds are forecast again today in the area of a wind-driven wildfire near Sun valley that's burning its way through sage and pine trees.

Sheriff's deputies have expanded evacuation orders to 1,600 homes for the 100-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire included residences in drainages and foothills west of the towns of Hailey and extending to north of Ketchum in central Idaho.

More than 600 state and federal firefighters were working to get the blaze under control and protect property in the affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis. Another 1,000 firefighters will join the battle.

Managers at the Sun Valley Ski Resort turned on water cannons that are normally used for wintertime snowmaking, in case sparks from the fire threaten mountaintop lodges

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