MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government won't make a decision for years on whether to close Scott Air Force Base, but leaders in southwest Illinois fear growing budget pressures in Washington could affect the facility's future.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Illinois congressmen are working to keep the base open even though the next round of base closures won't take place until at least 2015.
Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the newspaper that the base's fate is at risk if Congress doesn't reform entitlement programs. Defense Department officials have said that the facility has more infrastructure than needed.
Civilian workers at the base near Mascoutah are already scheduled to start taking 20 days of unpaid furloughs between May and September as a result of a series of automatic federal budget cuts.
O'Fallon, Illinois Police aren't saying what prompted them to ask for help from the St. Louis Major Case Squad Sunday afternoon, only that a person was dead.
Police had been called to the victim's home in the 1300 block of Engle Court around 11:00 a.m. Saturday. O'Fallon police are now calling the victim's death "suspicious."
Major case investigators refused to comment on Sunday, but O'Fallon police say they expect to release more details on Monday.
Police are hoping someone will come forward with a tip that leads them to a sexual predator.
Students at Lindenwood University were alerted Sunday of a report of sexual assault overnight.
A Lindenwood University student was reportedly attacked early Sunday in the 1000 block of Powell. St. Charles Police are investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.