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Senator Dick Durbin and other Democrats are asking energy drink companies not to market to children. The Illinois Democrat and his colleagues sent letters to 17 energy drink companies asking that they voluntarily list, on the label, the amount of caffeine in a product as well as any adverse events associated with consuming the drinks. Earlier this year, Senator Durbin co-authored a report entitled “What’s all the Buzz about?” which highlighted the inconsistencies in the labeling and classification of energy drinks. The report found high levels of caffeine in the energy drinks that exceeded what is considered safe in soda by the Food and Drug Administration. The report also found that adolescent consumers are frequent targets for the marketing pitches of energy drink companies. Product design and placement on store shelves help to create product images that appeal to children and teens.
The theft of a police chief's gun used in a 2009 Illinois murder will be investigated by a special state prosecutor. The Southern Illinoisan reports that a Jackson County judge has signed off on having a prosecutor with the Illinois attorney general's office review the case. Authorities say the gun taken from Carbondale Police Chief Jody O'Guinn's car in 2009 was used months later in the death of Deaunta Spencer of Carbondale. Witnesses said Matthew Jones shot Spencer during an altercation. Police say they found what they believe to be the murder weapon blocks from the scene. Jones pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced last year to 35 years in prison.
Missouri and Illinois have a mutual interest in the most recent crew of the International Space Station. The Russian Soyuz arrived yesterday at the Space Station with two Russian astronauts and American Mike Hopkins. The Missouri native is also a former captain of the Fighting Illini football team. Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Mo. and grew up in Richland. While attending the University of Illinois to earn a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering he captained the U. of I. football team in 1991. Hopkins, a Colonel in the Air Force, will remain at the space station until mid-March. Officials at the school say he is the sixth alumnus to become an astronaut. A schedule of the sightings of the ISS can be found at: spotthestation.nasa.gov .