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Just weeks after calling on the Air Force to remove a Lieutenant General from command, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement Wednesday regarding the retirement of that officer.
McCaskill says the decision by Lieutenant General Craig Franklin to step away from the Air Force is the right one, adding, "His handling of sexual assault cases is the best possible illustration of why civilian review, elimination of commanders’ ability to overturn convictions, and so many other protections are included in our recent defense bill.”  
Franklin’s response to a sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy led to criticism and scrutiny of how such cases are handled by the military.
McCaskill introduced legislation—which has since been passed into law—that curtailed the authority of military commanders to dismiss jury convictions against sex offenders.
Other reforms designed to curb sexual assaults in the military include:
*  Requiring civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case 
*  Assigning victims their own independent legal counsel to protect their rights 
*  Mandating dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault 
*  Criminalizing retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault 
*  Eliminating the statute of limitations in rape and sexual assault cases
 

Blues top Oilers 5-2 for 6th straight win

Tuesday, 07 January 2014 23:55 Published in Sports
 
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, and the St. Louis Blues won their season-high sixth straight game by beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday night.
 
Chris Stewart, Maxim Lapierre, David Backes and Patrick Berglund also scored for the Blues (30-7-5), who are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games. They are two points behind the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.
 
The Blues beat the Oilers for the seventh time in eight games and 13th in 16. They have also won four straight and seven of nine in Edmonton.
 
Nail Yakupov and Mark Arcobello had goals for the Oilers (14-27-5), who have lost five of six games and 11 of 14.
 
St. Louis controlled the pace early, outshooting Edmonton 9-1 through the first eight minutes.
 
Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was forced to make a number of big saves, but Edmonton had the best scoring chance of the opening half of the first period. Jordan Eberle picked up a rebound in the blue paint before goalie Brian Elliott dove across the crease to make a pad save.
 
The Blues took a 1-0 lead with 7:14 left in the first when Stewart fired a shot from the point on the power play that beat Bryzgalov for his 14th goal.
 
The Oilers took advantage of a giveaway at the St. Louis blue line 1:36 into the second period. David Perron sent Yakupov streaking up the wing, and he put a wrist shot past Elliott.
 
The Blues responded 42 seconds later when Lapierre pushed rookie Brad Hunt off the puck along the boards, took it to the net, and hooked a shot past Bryzgalov.
 
It was difficult to tell how the puck went in, but officials checked for a hole in the net, and the goal counted. Lapierre played in his 500th NHL game.
 
Edmonton kept pace with a goal five minutes into the middle frame to make it 2-2. Luke Gazdic sent a pass from behind the net, and Arcobello chipped it up and over Elliott and into the net.
 
St. Louis regained the lead with nine minutes left in the second. The Blues' power-play unit kept the Oilers hemmed in their own zone for 90 seconds before Backes picked the top corner of the net for his 17th goal.
 
The Blues made it 4-2 with 6:03 left in the second. A faceoff win allowed Tarasenko to score on a quick shot from the top of the circle.
 
Blues forward T.J. Oshie had to be helped off the ice late in the third period after a knee-on-knee collision with Taylor Hall.
 
Berglund sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
 
NOTES: St. Louis has 10 players heading to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Edmonton has three. One of the Oilers, Anton Belov was picked for the Russian team, despite being a healthy scratch for Edmonton the last three games. ... Blues G Jaroslav Halak returned to the lineup following an illness. D Roman Polak (lower body) and leading scorer Alex Steen (concussion) remained out. ... Oilers D Corey Potter (groin) missed his sixth game. D Philip Larsen (illness) was also out. ... Oilers forward Ales Hemsky left the game after a first-period hit from St. Louis' Ryan Reaves.

Parents reminded of crisis care

Tuesday, 07 January 2014 10:42 Published in Local News
The stress of the cold and inclement weather can test the patience of any parent, so the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery wants to remind parents that crisis care is always available for children from birth through age 12.
Five Crisis Nurseries located throughout St. Louis City and County, St. Charles and Wentzville remain open 24-hours a day. All children are provided three warm meals and snacks, medical examinations, clothing and shoes, while parents work closely with Crisis Nursery’s staff to resolve their crisis.
All services are free of charge.
Parents in need of care for their children due to a lack of basic resources, homelessness, or other emergency or crisis situations that threaten the health of their children should call a Crisis Nursery location.

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